Roman Legion - Legio XVI Flavia Firma
Legio XVI Flavia Firma The Sixteenth Persistent Flavian Legion was a Roman legion formed in 70 AD by the Emperor Vespasian from former legionnaires of the Legio XVI Gallica who disgraced themselves during the Batavian revolt of 69-70 AD.
Dates of existence: 70 AD-early 5th century AD
Logo: leo, later became pegasus.
Nickname: Flavia Firma (Persistent Flaviev), Severi (Severov), Flavia Fidelis (Flaviev Verny).
- The Legio XVI Flavia Firma was created in 70 AD by Emperor Vespasian (reigned 69-79) from former legionnaires of the Legio XVI Gallica who disgraced themselves during the Batavian revolt of 69-70. The Legio XVI Flavia Firma was immediately sent to the eastern provinces after its creation, as most of the legionnaires were originally from the west of Gaul.
- To the east, the Legio XVI Flavia Firma camped, along with the Legio XII Fulminata , at Satala (present-day Sadak, Armenia) in the upper reaches of the Euphrates River in northeastern Cappadocia (present-day Turkey) on the border with Armenia (a buffer state between the Roman and Parthian empires at that time).
- In 75, the Legio XVI Flavia Firma vexillation, together with vexillations from three other legions, was brought in to build a canal and bridge in Antioch (present-day Antakya, Turkey).
- In 114-117 the Legio XVI Flavia Firma took part in the emperor's Parthian campaign Trajan.
- Emperor Hadrian (reigned 117-138) moved the Legio XVI Flavia Firma from Satala to Samosata (an ancient city on the western bank of the Euphrates. Today, the ruins of Samosata are located near the modern Turkish city of Samsat and are under water, after the construction of the Ataturk dam). Here the legionnaires of Legio XVI Flavia Firma were mainly engaged in construction, as the region was quiet and peaceful. For example, soldiers built a tunnel near Seleucia Pieria (ruins of an ancient city in Syria, near the modern Orontes River, Syria).
Rome, Roman Forum, Arch of the North, Relief west on the right, model: Capture of Ctesiphon, Fragment. Museum of Rome. 2nd century AD
Sendere Roman Bridge
North-western inscription with mention of Legio XVI Flavia Firma on the construction of a bridge over the Sendere River. 203-204 AD.
- The Legio XVI Flavia Firma vexillation took part in the suppression of the Bar Kokhba revolt in Judea in 132-135.
- Emperor Anthony Pius (reigned 138-161) granted Legio XVI Flavia Firma the title "Flavia Fidelis" (Flavius the Faithful). At the same time, it is known that the vexillation Legio XVI Flavia Firma was located near Seleucia Pieria (ruins of an ancient city in Syria, near the modern Orontes River, Syria).
- In 161 AD, the Parthians defeated a Roman army in Capadocia. In response, the Roman Emperor Lucius Verus launched the Parthian campaign in 162-166, in which the Legio XVI Flavia Firma also took part.
- Also in 194 and 197-198 AD, Legio XVI Flavia Firma took part in two Parthian campaigns of Emperor Septimius Severus (reigned 193-211), which ended with the capture of the capital of Parthia, Ctesiphon (ruins of an ancient city 32 km away). from present-day Baghdad, Iraq) and the creation of a new Roman province called Mesopotamia.
- Legio XVI Flavia Firma also participated in the Parthian campaign (216-217) of the Emperor Caracalla (ruled in 211-217).
- During the reign of the emperors of the Severan dynasty (ruled in 193-235), Legio XVI Flavia Firma received the nickname Latin. Severi (”Severov"). At this time, legionnaires of Legio XVI Flavia Firma built a bridge over the Chabinas River, modern Sendere Suja. This bridge is still in use and leads to the Nemrud Dagi mountain sanctuary.
- Around 210 AD, the vexillation of Legio XVI Flavia Firma and Legio IIII Scythica under the general command of Centurion Antonius Valentinus in the fortress of Dura Europos (an ancient city on the Euphrates), where they were engaged in repairing the sanctuary of Mithras.
- Probably, Legio XVI Flavia Firma during the reign of Emperor Alexander Severus (reigned in 222-235) took part in his campaign against the Sasanian Empire, the successor of the Parthian kingdom in 231-232. The war with the Sassanids in the east continued with varying success for both sides. As a result, the Romans lost the province of Mesopotamia and in 260 the Roman Emperor Valerian I (ruled in 253-260) lost to the Sassanids and was captured by them. These Roman defeats are recorded on several Sasanian monuments. But to the Emperor Odenathus of Palmyra (reigned 261-267).) and the Roman emperor Diocletian (reigned 284-305) managed to inflict several defeats on the Sassanids. In 298, peace was concluded between the Sassanids and the Roman Empire. Under its terms, territories in Northern Mesopotamia were returned to the Romans. Presumably, the legionnaires of Legio XVI Flavia Firma played an important role in these events, but we have almost no information about this.
- In the fourth century, the Legio XVI Flavia Firma was still on the eastern border and guarded the Euphrates, but was transferred to Sura, which was located downstream from its old base in Samosata.
- According to the Notitia Dignitatum, at the beginning of the fifth century, the Legio XVI Flavia Firma was under the command of the Dux of Syria and was located together with its prefect in Sura, which belonged to the province of Augusta Euphrates (a Roman province formed in the fourth century on the territory of Kelesyria, along the western bank of the Euphrates River).
List of Roman Legions, Legion, Legionnaire, Legio XVI Gallica, Diocletian, Notification Dignitatum
1. Emil Ritterling. Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft. Legio (XVI Flavia). Band XII,2. — Stuttgart, 1925. — 1765—1768 p.
2. Oliver Stoll. Römisches Heer und Gesellschaft. — Stuttgart: Steiner, 2001.
3. Axel Gebhardt. Imperiale Politik und provinziale Entwicklung. — Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 2002.
4. Peter Edwell. Between Rome and Persia. The middle Euphrates, Mesopotamia and Palmyra under Roman control. — London: Routledge, 2008.
5. Kanya River. A brief history of the various legions.
6. Dando-Collins. "The Legions of Rome. The complete history of all the legions of the Roman Empire. "M. Izd." Tsentrpoligraf”. 2017