Roman Legion - Legio XX Valeria Victrix
Title: Legio XX Valeria Victrix (The Twentieth Victorious Valerian Legion) was a Roman legion formed by order of Octavian Augustus, following the Battle of Actium in 31 BC.
Dates of existence: 31 BC-296 AD
Logo: wild boar (boar), in the I century AD, capricorn was also used, but in the II and III centuries its image was abandoned.
Nickname: Valeria Victrix (Brave and Victorious). In the third century AD, the full name of the legion was: Legio XX Valeria Victrix Antoniniana Deciana.
- The Legio XX Valeria Victrix was formed by order of Octavian Augustus after the Battle of Actium in 31 BC from legionnaires Octavian Augustus and Mark of Anthony.
The Legion cognomen has three versions of its origin:
1) Direct translation from Latin Valeria Victrix "Brave and victorious"
2) From Latin, the word "Valeria" refers to the black eagle depicted on the banners of the legions. In this case, "Valeria Victrix" — "Victorious black eagle"
3) The Latin word "Valeria" can also be interpreted as "black". In this case, it may be a translation into Latin of the Sabine cognomen named after the Emperor Tiberius.
Also, the time of assigning such a cognomen Legio XX Valeria Victrix varies. According to versions #1 and # 3, this title was awarded in the year 6 after the Marcomanian War. According to version # 2, Legio XX Valeria received this name in 61 after the suppression of the Boudica rebellion in Britain.
- The baptism of fire of Legio XX Valeria Victrix was his participation in the Cantabrian Wars in Spain (Lat. Hispania Tarraconensis) during the reign of Emperor Octavian Augustus in 25-13 BC.
- Veterans of the legio XX Valeria Victrix were settled in the newly created city of Augusta Emerita (modern city of Merida, Spain).
- In 20 BC, the vexillation legio XX Valeria Victrix was transferred to Burum (a Roman military base and town in Dalmatia, now part of Croatia and Montenegro) in the Balkans, and the legion's main force was located in Aquileia (a city in northern Italy under the Romans, now a ruin east of present-day Venice, Italy).
Antefix with a wild boar, symbol of Legio XX Valeria Victrix. London, British Museum. 1st century AD
Tombstone of Legio XX Valeria Victrix Centurion Mark Favonius Facilis. Colchester Castle Museum, England. 43-63 AD
Tombstone of Gaius Dectius, legionnaire of the Legio XX Valeria Victrix. Cologne, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, National Museum of Antiquities. 1st century AD
- In 6 AD, the legio XX Valeria Victrix takes part in a campaign against the Marcomanni as part of Tiberius ' army. Most likely, legio XX Valeria Victrix distinguished itself in this campaign and earned its title for this. One of the differences between the legio XX Valeria Victrix in this campaign is reported by the Roman historian Velleius Paterculus, author of Roman History.
- In the year 9, after the defeat of the Romans in the Teutoburg Forest, legio XX Valeria Victrix briefly becomes the base of Ara Ubior (modern city of Cologne, Germany), later it is transferred to Novaesia (modern city of Neuss, Germany).
- Legionnaires of legio XX Valeria Victrix were involved in three campaigns of Germanicus in "free" Germany.
- In 21 AD, under the emperor Tiberius (reigned 14-37), legio XX Valeria Victrix takes part in suppressing the rebellion of the Turonian tribe in Gaul, who rebelled because of high Roman taxes.
- Under Emperor Caligula (reigned 37-41), the Legio XX Valeria Victrix took part in his German campaign.
- During the reign of Emperor Claudius, Legio XX Valeria Victrix took part in the Roman conquest of Britain in 43 AD.
- The first camp in Britain for the Legio XX Valeria Victrix was Camulodune (modern Colchester), the capital of the Trinovantes, along with other units of the Roman army.
- Then in 48 AD the Legio XX Valeria Victrix was transferred to Kingsholm in Gloucester, and in 57 AD moved to USK.
- In 61, together with the Legio XIIII Gemina under the command of Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, legio XX Valeria Victrix participated in the suppression of the Boudicca rebellion, where he probably distinguished himself and received his cognomen.
- After the suppression of the legio XX revolt, Valeria Victrix was transferred to Deva (present-day Chester, England).
An inscription mentioning Legio XX Valeria Victrix. London, British Museum. 121-138 AD
The symbol of Legio XX Valeria Victrix is a wild boar. Vindolanda. Chester Museum, England. 1st century AD
Model of Deva Victrix, one of the Legio XX Valeria Victrix bases in Britain
- In the year of the Four Emperors (A.D. 69), the Legio XX Valeria Victrix sided with Vittelius, even sending him a large bill of exchange to Rome. After the loss of Vittelius, Vespasian brought this unit back to Britain.
- In 75, the Legio XX Valeria Victrix was transferred to Vroxeter, from where the governor of Britain, Gnaeus Julius Agricola, who had previously been legate of the Legio XX Valeria Victrix, made a career after Vespasian's accession, led troops to the north of the island in 78 against the Brigante tribe. This campaign was successful and Northern England became part of the Roman Empire.
- Agricola also used the Legio XX Valeria Victrix in his campaign in Scotland from 78 to 84 AD.
- Also, the vexillation Legio XX Valeria Victrix in 83 took part in the military campaign of Emperor Domitian against the ancient German tribe of the Hutts.
- In 122-125, legionnaires of the Legio XX Valeria Victrix participated in the construction of the wall (rampart) of the Emperor Hadrian and the Antonine Wall (circa 140 AD), built during the reign of the Emperor Antonius Pius in Britain.
- In 155-158, legionnaires of the Legio XX Valeria Victrix participated in the suppression of a major anti-Roman uprising in Britain. To quell the uprising, local legions were given reinforcements from legions from Germany.
- In 196, the governor of Britain, Clodius Albinus, attempted to become emperor and rebelled against the legitimate emperor Septimius Severus. Albinia was supported by the British legions, including the Legio XX Valeria Victrix.
- Albinus sent his legions to the mainland, but in the spring of 197 AD, his troops were defeated by the troops of the Emperor Septimius Severus. At this time, while there was a struggle for power in the empire, the northern tribes seized Britain from the Romans and the Roman troops who returned after the defeat of Albinius, including the Legio XX Valeria Victrix, had to win Britain for the Romans. The war was long. Emperor Septimius Severus arrived in Britain in 208.
- Legio XX Valeria Victrix fought in northern Britain along the west coast and returned to the Chester camp during the reign of Septimius Severus ' son, Emperor Caracalla (reigned 211-217).
- At the same time, the legio XX Valeria Victrix received the title of Antoniniana (Antoninov).
Tombstone of Fufikia from Legio XX Valeria Victrix. The salon. Split city (Croatia), Archaeological Museum. A.D. 41-54
Inscription dedicated to Officer Legio XX Valeria Victrix. Rome, Vatican Museum. First half of the 2nd century AD
- Between 249 and 251 AD, the Legio XX Valeria Victrix also had the title Deciana ("Legion of Decius"), in honor of the emperor Decius Trajan (reigned 249-251), but why the legion received such a nickname is unknown.
- In 255, the legio XX Valeria Victrix vexillation fought in Germany, and after the victory, this vexillation was sent to the Danube.
- In 286, the Legio XX Valeria Victrix came under the rule of the usurper Carausius (the Roman emperor-usurper of Britain and Northern Gaul, ruled in 286-293), and then Allectus (the Roman usurper - emperor who overthrew Carausius and ruled Britain and Northern Gaul in 293-296).
- Presumably in 296 AD, when Constantius I Chlorus (reigned 293-306) defeated Allectus, thereby reconquering Britain back under Roman rule, the Legio XX Valeria Victrix was disbanded as a punishment for supporting usurpers.
- There is no record of Legio XX Valeria Victrix in the fourth century.
List of Roman Legions, Legion, Legionnaire, Legio XIX, Legio XIIII Gemina, Octavian Augustus
1. M. Hassall, "The Pre-Adrian location of Legionnaires in Britain", in: Richard J. Brewer (ed.), " Roman fortresses and their legions." Documents in Honor of George Boone (2000)
2. M. Hassall, "Legionnaires' Fortresses in Britain", in: Yann Le Boeck, Les legions de Rome sous le Haut-Empire (2000, Lyon) 441-457.
3. L. Keppie, " The British Legions. Legions II Augusta, VI Victorious, IX Spaniards, XX Valeria Victorious", in: Yann Le Boheck, Les legions de Rome sous le Haut-Empire (2000 Lyon) 25-37
4. S. Perea Jebenes, "Hispania y la legio XX", in: Yann Le Bohec, Les legions de Rome sous le Haut-Empire (2000 Lyon) 581-587
5. Kanya River. A brief history of the Roman Legions.