Legio XIII Gemina
|Legio XIII Gemina|
Map of the Roman empire in AD 125, under emperor Hadrian, showing the LEGIO XIII GEMINA, stationed at Apulum (Alba Iulia, Romania), in Dacia province, from AD 106 to ca. 271
|Active||57 BC to sometime in the 5th century|
|Country||Roman Republic and Roman Empire|
|Type||Roman legion (Marian)|
|Role||Infantry assault (some cavalry support)|
|Size||Varied over unit lifetime. Approx. 3,500 fighting men + support at the time of creation. Expanded and given the cognomen Gemina in 31 BC.|
|Garrison/HQ||Burnum, Illyricum (1st century BC)
Emona, Pannonia (1st century)
Augusta Vindelica, Germania Superior
Poetovio, Pannonia (1st century)
Roman Dacia (106 - c. 270)
Dacia Aureliana (since 270)
Babylon in Egypt (400s)
|Nickname||Gemina, "The twin" (since 31 BC)
Pia Fidelis, "Faithful and loyal"
|Engagements||Gallic Wars (58-51 BC)
Battle against the Nervians (57 BC)
Battle of Gergovia (52 BC)
Battle of Alesia (52 BC) - uncertain
Battle of Dyrrhachium (48 BC)
Battle of Pharsalus (48 BC)
Battle of Thapsus (46 BC)
Battle of Munda (45 BC)
Battle of Actium (31 BC)
1st and 2nd Battle of Bedriacum (69)
Dacian Wars (101-102,105-106)
Vexillationes of the 13th participated in many other campaigns.
Marcus Salvius Otho,
Marcus Antonius Primus
Legio tertia decima Gemina (Thirteenth Twin Legion) was one of the most prominent Roman legions. It was one of Julius Caesar's key units in Gaul and in the civil war, and was the legion with which he famously crossed the Rubicon on January 10, 49 BC. The legion appears to have still been in existence in the fifth century. Its symbol was the lion.
Under the late Republic 
Legio XIII was levied by Julius Caesar in 57 BC, before marching against the Belgae, in one of his early interventions in intra-Gallic conflicts. During the Gallic wars (58-51 BC), Legio XIII was present at the Battle against the Nervians, the siege of Gergovia, and while not specifically mentioned in the sources, it is reasonable to assume that Legio XIII was also present for the Battle of Alesia.
After the end of the Gallic wars, the Roman senate refused Caesar his second consulship, ordered him to give up his commands, and demanded he return to Rome to face prosecution. Forced to choose either the end of his political career, or civil war, Caesar brought Legio XIII across the Rubicon river and into Italy. The legion remained faithful to Caesar during the resulting civil war between Caesar and the conservative Optimates faction of the senate, whose legions were commanded by Pompey. Legio XIII was active throughout the entire war, fighting at Dyrrhachium (48 BC) and Pharsalus (48 BC). After the decisive victory over Pompey at Pharsalus, the legion was to be disbanded, and the legionaries "pensioned off" with the traditional land grants; however, the legion was recalled for the Battle of Thapsus (46 BC) and the final Battle of Munda (45 BC). After Munda, Caesar disbanded the legion, retired his veterans, and gave them farmland in Italy.
Under the Empire 
Legio XIII acquired the cognomen Gemina ("twin", a common appellation for legions constituted from portions of others) after being reinforced with veteran legionaries from other legions following the war against Mark Antony and the Battle of Actium. Augustus then sent the legion to Burnum (modern Knin), in Illyricum, a Roman province in the Adriatic Sea.
After the disaster of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9, the legion was sent as reinforcements to Augusta Vindelicorum (Augsburg), and then to Vindonissa, Raetia, to prevent further attacks from the Germanic tribes.
Under Trajan the Legion took part in both Dacian wars (101-102, 105-106), and it was transferred by Trajan in 106 to the newly conquered province of Dacia (in Apulum, modern Alba Iulia, Romania) to garrison it.
Vexillationes of the XIII Gemina fought under Emperor Gallienus in northern Italy. The emperor issued a legionary antoninianus celebrating the legion, and showing the legion's lion (259-260). Another vexillatio was present in the army of the emperor of the Gallic Empire Victorinus: this emperor, in fact, issued a gold coin celebrating the legion and its emblem.
In 271, the legion was relocated when the Dacia province was evacuated, and restationed in Dacia Aureliana.
In the 5th century, according to the Notitia Dignitatum, a legio tertiadecima gemina was in Babylon in Egypt, a strategic fortress on the Nile at the traditional border between Lower Egypt and Middle Egypt, under the command of the Comes limitis Aegypti.
Fictional accounts 
- A fictionalized account of the actions of Legio XIII Gemina during the struggle between Julius Caesar and the Optimates faction under Pompey can be seen in the joint HBO/BBC/RAI television production Rome, most notably two of its soldiers: Centurion Lucius Vorenus and Legionary Titus Pullo, named after real-life Centurions Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo of the Legio XI Claudia.
On June 15, 2008, the 4th Romanian Territorial Corps became the 4th Infantry Division (Romania) "Gemina".
See also 
- Steiner, Johann Wilhelm C. (1851). Codex inscriptionum romanarum Danubii et Rheni. p. 253.
- Birley, E.B. "A Note on the Title 'Gemina'". Journal of Roman Studies (18): pp. 56–60.
- Cowan, p. 17.
- Cowan, p. 26.
- Notitia Dignitatum, In partibus Orientis, XXVIII
Primary sources 
- "Notitia Dignitatum". Retrieved 2006-11-22.
Secondary sources 
- Lendering, Jona. "Legio XIII Gemina". Retrieved 2006-11-18.
- Cowan, Ross; illustrated by Angus McBride (2003). Imperial Roman Legionary AD 161-284. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-601-1.
Media related to Legio XIII Gemina at Wikimedia Commons
- LEGIO XIII GEMINA Blog (Roman reenactment group inside the virtual world of Second Life)
- LEG XIII GEM, Austrian re-enactment group
- Legio XIIII Gemina Martia Victrix (Roman Military Research Society)