Legio II Italica

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The symbol of II Italica, the she-wolf with twins, on this antoninianus mint by Gallienus. The reverse has LEG II ITAL VII P VII F, "Legio II Italica seven times faithful and loyal".

Legio secunda Italica (Second Italian legion), was a Roman legion.

Formation[edit]

It was levied by emperor Marcus Aurelius in 165 together with III Italica at a time when the Roman Empire was fighting both in Germania and in Parthia.

Unit history[edit]

The legion main theatre of operations was the Roman province of Noricum, in the south margin of the Danube, where Germanic incursions were frequent.

In 180 II Italica was stationed in Lauriacum, modern Lorch.

Year of the five Emperors[edit]

In 193, II Italica marched into Rome with Septimius Severus, then fighting for power. The new emperor awarded them the title of Fidelis (loyal) to acknowledge the support. Later Septimius Severus would use II Italica against the rebellions of Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus, and in his Parthian campaigns.

Under Gallienus[edit]

In the 3rd century, support of the legions was a crucial demand for candidates to the throne. Well aware of this fact, Gallienus granted II Italica the cognomina VII Pia VII Fidelis (seven times faithful, seven times loyal) to secure their continuing support.

Later service[edit]

There are still records of the II Italica in Noricum in the beginning of the 5th century.

Symbol[edit]

The legion symbol is a she-wolf and the twins Romulus and Remus, and is a reference to the rule of Marcus Aurelius and his colleague Lucius Verus.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]