Legio V Alaudae

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Legio quinta Alaudae (Fifth Larks Legion) sometimes known as Gallica, was levied by Julius Caesar in 52 BC from native Gauls. Their emblem was an elephant, and their cognomen Alaudae came from the high crest on their helmets, typical of the Gauls, which made them look like larks. The French word "Alouette" is a direct descendant of "Alauda", itself not a proper Latin noun, but a loan word from Gaulish, possibly the first reason for the legionary name.

V Gallica was the first Roman legion composed of provincial soldiers, as opposed to Roman citizens. Caesar paid the soldiers with his own resources, but the legion was later recognized by the Roman Senate. V Alaudae fought in the Gallic Wars until 49 BC, as one of the bravest legions of Caesar, then they were moved to Spain. They served with Mark Antony between 41 BC and 31 BC and probably fought in Actium. After Antony committed suicide, they were merged into Augustus' army in 30 BC.

Legio V was involved in a mutiny on the Rhine in AD 14. [1]

Their emblem depicted an elephant and was awarded in 46 BC for bravery against a charge of elephants in the Battle of Thapsus.

Known locations for V Alaudae include:

The legion suffered heavy casualties in the Batavian rebellion in the year 70.

In 86 the Legio V Alaudae came to an end. Together with its commander, the Praetorian prefect Cornelius Fuscus, the legion perished at the First Battle of Tapae against the Dacians.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tacitus, The Annals 1.45

References[edit]

Primary sources[edit]

Tacitus, The Annals

Secondary sources[edit]

  • Jones, Brian W. (1992). The Emperor Domitian. Routledge. 
  • Parker, HMD (1971). The Roman Legions. Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons LTD. p. 110. ISBN 0852700547. 

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