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Roman Legion - Legio XX Valeria Victrix

Багерман А.Я.

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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.

Battle Path

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.

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

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

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

Related topics

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.