Legio X Gemina
|Legio X Gemina|
|Active||Before 58 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||Hispania Tarraconensis (31 BC - c. 71)
Nijmegen (71 - 103)
Vienna (103-5th century)
|Nickname||Equestris, "Of the knights" under Caesar
Gemina, "The twin" (since 31 BC)
Pia Fidelis, "faithful and loyal" (since 89)
Domitiana, Antoniniana, Gordiana, Deciana, Floriana, Cariniana (short-lived)
Pia VI Fidelis VI (after 260)
|Engagements||Gallic Wars (58-51 BC)
Battle against the Nervians (57 BC)
Battle of Gergovia (52 BC)
Battle of Ilerda (49 BC)
Battle of Dyrrhachium (48 BC)
Battle of Pharsalus (48 BC)
Battle of Munda (45 BC)
Battle of Philippi (42 BC)
Battle of Actium (31 BC)
Batavian rebellion (70)
Bar Kokhba's revolt (132-135)
Vexillationes of the 10th participated in many other campaigns.
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See also Legio X Equestris and Legio X Fretensis.
Legio decima Gemina (Tenth Twin Legion), was one of the four legions used by Julius Caesar in 58 BC, for his invasion of Gaul. There are still records of the X Gemina in Vienna in the beginning of the 5th century. The legion symbol was a bull. Early on in its history, the legion was called X Equestris (mounted), because Caesar once used the legionaries as cavalry.
In Republican Service
- See also Legio X Equestris
In the Gallic Wars, X Equestris played an important role on Caesar's military success and for this reason is sometimes said to be his favorite. In Caesar's campaigns they were present in the battle of the Sabis, the invasions of Britain, and the battle of Gergovia. They remained faithful to Caesar in the civil war against Pompey, being present in the battles of Pharsalus (49 BC) and Munda (45 BC). In 45 BC Caesar disbanded the legion, giving the veterans farmlands near Narbonne in Gaul and in Hispania.
The legion was reconstituted in 42 BC and fought for Augustus (then Octavian), Lepidus and Mark Antony in the Battle of Philippi against the murderers of Caesar. After this, they followed Mark Antony in his campaign against Parthia and were defeated with him at Actium. Augustus then took control of the legion and settled the veterans in Patras. The legion rebelled and lost its cognomen Equestris as punishment. Reinforcements were added from other legions, and the Tenth was rebaptized Gemina.
In Imperial Service
The newly formed X Gemina was relocated to Hispania Tarraconensis, where Augustus was preparing a campaign against the Cantabrians. They stayed in Hispania for many years and their veterans were among the first inhabitants of modern Zaragoza and EMERITA Augusta, modern Mérida.
Under the Flavian dynasty
In 70, after the Batavian rebellion was suppressed by Vespasian, X Gemina was sent to Batavia in Germania Inferior to police the lands and prevent new revolts. From 71 to 103, the legion was stationed at the base built by II Adiutrix at Oppidum Batavorum, the present day Dutch city of Nijmegen.
As part of the army of Germania Inferior, X Gemina fought against the rebellion of the governor of Germania Superior, L. Antonius Saturninus, against Emperor Domitian. For this reason, the Tenth — as well as the other legions of the army, I Minervia, VI Victrix, and XXII Primigenia — received the title Pia Fidelis Domitiana, "faithful and loyal to Domitian", with the reference to the Emperor dropped at his death and subsequent damnatio memoriae.
Vexillationes of the X Gemina fought against the rebellion of Simon bar Kokhba in 132-135, in Iudaea, others participated in the Parthian campaign of Lucius Verus in 162. Another major campaign was the one fought against the Quadi, Marcomanni and the Lombards, under the command of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.
During the 3rd century, the legion fought for several emperors, who awarded the legion with titles showing the fidelity of the legion and the favour gained by the Emperor himself. The titles Antoniniana (awarded by Caracalla or Elagabalus), Gordiana (by Gordian III), Deciana (by Decius), Floriana (by Florianus), and Cariniana (by Carinus) were short-lived, however, and dropped after the death of the Emperor. For its support of Emperor Gallienus against Postumus, the Gemina was awarded the title Pia VI Fidelis VI, "six times faithful, six times loyal".
At the time in which Notitia Dignitatum was written (late 4th century), the first detachment of Decima Gemina was under the command of the Magister Militum per Orientem, and was a comitatensis unit. The other detachment was still in Vindobona, under the command of the Dux Pannoniae primae et Norici ripensis.
- Lendering, Jona, "Legio X Gemina" from Livius, livius.org