Legio XXII Primigenia

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Map of the Roman empire in AD 125, under emperor Hadrian, showing the Legio XXII Primigenia, stationed on the river Rhine at Moguntiacum (Mainz, Germany), in Germania Superior province, from AD 39 until the 4th century
This denarius, struck in 193 under Septimius Severus, celebrates XXII Primigenia, one of the legions which supported the commander of the Pannonian army in his bid for purple

Legio XXII Primigenia (Latin for "Twenty-second legion Primigenia", dedicated to the goddess Fortuna Primigenia) was a Roman legion levied by Roman Emperor Caligula in 39, for his campaigns in Germania. There are still records of the XXII Primigenia in Mogontiacum (modern Mainz) from the end of 3rd century. The legion's symbols were a Capricorn[1] and the demigod Hercules.

XXII Primigenia was first stationed in Mogontiacum in the Roman province of Germania Superior, guarding the Rhine border as part of the limes. Along with the rest of the Germanic army, the legion supported Vitellius in the Year of the four emperors (69). During the Batavian rebellion, XXII Primigenia, commanded by Gaius Dillius Vocula, was the only Germanic legion that survived attacks of the rebels and stayed in its camp, defending Moguntiacum. They remained in Moguntiacum until at least the 3rd century. Later Emperor Hadrian was tribunus militum of the XXIIth in 97-98.

Around 90, units of the XXII was garrisoned in or around the area of modern-day Butzbach, as part of the Limes Germanicus (a series of forts along the Roman frontier of Germania Superior . A stamp of the XXII Legion was found during excavations of a Roman Fort in Butzbach. The 22nd U.S. Infantry Regiment was stationed in Butzbach after WW2, and the stamp of the Legion and the emblem of the American unit were very similar.[2]

The Rhine settlement was their main camp, but vexillationes of the legion participated in the building of the Antonine wall in Scotland (2nd century) and in the campaigns against the Sassanid Empire (around 235).

They were still in Moguntiacum during the attack of the tribe of the Alamanni in 235, and were responsible for the lynching of emperor Alexander Severus, when he tried to negotiate with the enemy, and the subsequent election of Maximinus Thrax as new emperor.

In 268, Primigenia probably fought under Gallienus at the Battle of Naissus, winning a victory over the Goths. The following year, Laelianus, the commander of the 22nd, became emperor of the Gallic Empire.

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