Legio I Minervia

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Map of the Roman empire in AD 125, under emperor Hadrian, showing the Legio I Minervia, stationed on the river Rhine at Bonna (Bonn, Germany), in Germania Inferior province, between AD 82 until the 4th century
Denarius issued in 193 under Septimius Severus, to celebrate I Minervia, which had supported the commander of the Pannonian army in his fight for purple.

Legio I Minervia (Latin for "First legion Minervia", "devoted to goddess Minerva") was a Roman legion levied by emperor Domitian in 82, for the campaign against the Germanic tribe of the Chatti. Its cognomen is related to the goddess Minerva, the legion's protector. There are still records of the I Minervia in the Rhine border in the middle of the 4th century. The legion's emblem is an image of goddess Minerva.

Legio I Minervia first, and main, camp was in the city of Bonna (modern Bonn), in the province of Germania Inferior. In 89, they suppressed a revolt of the governor of Germania Superior. Due to this, Domitian gave them the cognomen Pia Fidelis Domitiana (loyal and faithful to Domitian) to acknowledge their support.

History[edit]

Between 101 and 106, the legion fought the Dacian Wars of emperor Trajan, commanded by Hadrian, the future emperor. The emblem with Minerva figure appears on the column of Trajan in Rome, along with symbols of other legions. After this war, I Minervia returned to its home city of Bonna. Together with XXX Ulpia Victrix, stationed close by in Castra Vetera II (modern Xanten), they worked in numerous military and building activities, even extracting stone from quarries.

Although it belonged to the Germanic army and Bonn was its camp, vexillationes (subunits) of the legion were allocated in different parts of the Empire:

During the civil wars of the late 2nd and 3rd century, I Minervia supported the following emperors (each of them gave them the indicated titles, dropped out after their fall):

Around 353, Bonna was destroyed by the Franks, and I Minervia disappears from the sources. However, there is no reference to its destruction.

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