Roman Legion - Legio XVI Gallica
Legio XVI Gallica The Sixteenth Legion of Gaul was a Roman legion formed by Octavian Augustus in 40-41 BC to fight Pompey the Great's son, Sextus Pompey, who had invaded the Sicilian Island and threatened the grain supply to Rome.
Dates of existence: 41/40 BC – 70 AD
Logo: most likely it was a picture of a Lion.
Nickname: Gallica (Gallic).
- Legio XVI Gallica was created Octavian Augustus in 41/40 BC to fight Pompey the Great's son, Sextus Pompey, who had invaded Sicily and threatened the grain supply to Rome.
- In 36 BC, after the defeat of Sextus Pompey, the Legio XVI Gallica was most likely transferred to Africa, where several coins were found with the inscription LEG XVI and a portrait of a very young Octavian.
- After the victory of Octavian Augustus over By Mark Antony at the Battle of Cape Actium in 31 BC, the Legio XVI Gallica was transferred to the Rhenish border.
- According to the assumption of German scientists, from 15 BC to 9 AD, the Legio XVI Gallica vexillations were located in the Augsburg area in Raetia (the westernmost Danube province of Rome). In 1959 AD, a Hagenau helmet was discovered in a gravel pit near Neu-Ulm with an inscription mentioning the legion: "Le(gio) XVI P(ubli) Aur(eli)IR (?) I (centuria) Arabi M(arci) Munati".
- In 13 BC , Legio XIV Gemina and Legio XVI Gallica were transferred to a new camp in Mogonziak (modern Mainz, Germany).
- In 12-9 BC, Legio XVI Gallica participated in the army of Drusus the Elder in his campaign in Germany.
- In 9 BC, legionnaires Legio XIV Gemina and Legio XVI Gallica built a cenotaph in honor of the deceased Drusus the Elder in their camp in Mogonziak (modern Mainz, Germany).
- In 6 AD, Emperor Tiberius used the Legio XVI Gallica in his military campaign against the Marcomanian king Marobod, but he was unable to complete his campaign due to the outbreak of an anti-Roman uprising in Pannonia.
Tombstone of legionnaire Legio XVI Gallica-Titus Pompey. Mainz Museum, Germany. 1st century AD
- In 9 AD, after the destruction of Legio XVII, Legio XVIII, and Legio XIX in the Battle of Teutoburg, Legio XVI Gallica temporarily occupied the Altar of the Ubii (present-day Cologne, Germany) and was able to prevent the Germans from attacking Belgica (a Roman province located in the north-eastern part of Roman Gaul, in what is now France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Germany). But soon Legio XVI Gallica was returned to its base in Mogonziak (modern Mainz, Germany).
- In 14-16, the Legio XVI Gallica, as part of the Germanic legions of the Roman Army of Germanicus, fought with the Germanic tribes.
- In the winter of 40/41 AD, the governor of Upper Germany, the future Emperor Sulpicius Galba, defeated a German Hutt tribe that lived near the Legio XVI Gallica base in Mogonziac, and although there is no mention that the Legio XVI Gallica took part in this, he most likely participated in Galba's campaign.
- In 43, Emperor Claudius moved the Legio XVI Gallica to Novesium (present-day Neuss, Germany), where it replaced the Legio XX Valeria Victrix taken from there for the invasion of Britain.
- In 67 AD, several Roman governors-in Africa (governor Clodius Macer) and Lugundian Galia (governor Gaius Julius Vindex) supported the governor of Tarraconian Spain Sulpicius Galba in his rebellion against the Emperor Nero. The Legio XVI Gallica, as part of the Lower German legions, was sent by Emperor Nero to suppress the Vindex revolt. Vindex was eventually defeated and killed, but Galba was still able to become emperor in the summer of 68 (the year of the four emperors).
- Emperor Galba did not like the Rhenish legions and remembered their participation in the fate of Vindex, so in January 69, the lower German legions, including the Legio XVI Gallica, declared the governor of Lower Germany, Vitellius, as their emperor. Together with him, the Legio XVI Gallica vexillation went to Rome, where it participated in both battles of Bedriacus. In the first battle Vitellius won and became emperor, and in the second he lost and Vespasian became the new emperor of Rome.
- At this time, the Batavian revolt against Roman rule broke out in Lower Germany in 70 AD. The remaining Roman forces in Lower Germania were not enough to quell the uprising. In the winter of 69/70, parts of the Legio V Alaude and Legio XV Primigenia near Nijmegen were defeated and their remnants were besieged in Castres Veter (modern Xanten, Germany), and an attempt to rescue these troops by the Legio I Germanica; Legio XVI Gallica; Legio V Alaude and Legio XXII Primigenia was unsuccessful.
A fragment of tile with the stamp Legio XVI Gallica. Neuss Museum, Germany. 1st century AD
- In March 70, the remnants of Legio V Alaude and Legio XV Primigenia surrendered to the rebels and were killed, and a little later Legio I Germanica and Legio XVI Gallica also surrendered to the rebels near Bonn.
- A few months later, the new emperor Vespasian assembled a strong army, led by Quintus Petilius Cerialis. Cerialis, together with a new army, was able to suppress the Batavian revolt and return the Rhineland to Roman rule.
- Legio V Alaude and Legio XV Primigenia were not restored for their shame, and the legionnaires Legio IV Macedonica and Legio XVI Gallica were renamed and replenished with new legionnaires. Legio IV Macedonica was now called IV Flavia Felix, and Legio XVI Gallica was now called Legio XVI Flavia Firma. The remains of Legio I Germanica were added to Legio VII Galba and renamed Legio VII Gemina.
List of Roman Legions, Legion, Legionnaire, Legio XVI Flavia Firma, Legio XIV Gemina, Octavian Augustus, Legio IV Macedonica, Legio XXII Primigenia, Legio I Germanica
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