Talk:List of Roman legions
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Table of early Empire legions
Revisiting this table and section several months after completing it, I feel it is too long-winded and not especially reader-friendly. I have revised it to include all the information in the table itself, thus dispensing with the long list of notes. I was pleased I could still keep it to one line per legion, whilst still retaining all the important data. I have also split it into 3 sections, each compact enough to fit comfortably on one computer screen. As for the second table I devised, I have erased it, as I don't think it is very useful and makes the article excessively long. I hope readers will find it easier to use. EraNavigator 1 December 2007.
Dating and Nomenclature: Some Important Issues
It should be noted that although many of the legionary origins and lineages referred to in the article represent the hypotheses of major scholars in the field (Parker, Keppie inter alia), they are by no means as firmly attested as the article suggests. The authors are very firm on the speculative natures of many of their conclusions. As an example, it is in no way provable that Caesar's Leg X Equestris is the organizational ancestor of the Augustan Leg X Fretensis. It is merely a reasonable speculation. It is also speculation that the legions named Gemina ('twinned') are Augustan/Antonian fusions post-Actium. Although this hypothesis has legs based in the political situation and on the fact that all the Geminas are Augustan, it is again not ultimately verifiable.
Speculative dates of origin, where given, need to be substantiated by citation. In the article, many Late Imperial units seem to be attributed to the years 296-297 without source.
Nomenclature raises issues of translation. Although names like 'Augusta', 'Gallica', 'Illyricorum', 'Deiotariana' are straightforward enough, others are less so. (XX "Valeria Victrix" was long thought to mean 'Conquering Valerian', (a family name, cf Graves 'Claudius the God'), but mainstream opinion now holds that it means Valiant and Victorious, paired with its sister XIV 'Martial and Victorious' and awarded simultaneously for their joint victory over Boudicca.
The Late Imperial series 'Flavia Constantia' is here translated as 'reliable Flavian' and attributed to the year of origin 296 0r 297 and the Emperor Diocletian. However 'Flavius' is the gentile name of the House of Constantine, so it is far more probably that the name refers either to Flavius Constantius (Chlorus) which at least makes 297-298 credible, or else - more likely in my view - the whole series were new foundations by his son Constantine the Great after - possibly well after - 305. 126.96.36.199 (talk) 06:49, 11 May 2009 (UTC) Eric Morse
You have written that the X1th legion was reformed as X1 Claudia Pia Fidelis by Augustus. It could not have been. It must have been Claudius surely, as the title means "faithful to Claudius"
Translations of titles
I think that this is a wonderful article, but some of the translations of the Latin are a little too free for my taste. Scythica may well, from the context, mean 'Scythian-conquering', but that is not what the Latin says. 'Scythian' would be a better translation. By the same token, Minervia would be better rendered as 'Minervan', not 'Minerva-revering'. I would also prefer 'Ulpian' for Ulpia, not 'Trajan's', even though the reference is almost certainly to Trajan.
I notice that the name Valeria in the title of Legio XX Valeria Victrix is explained as a reference to Valerius Messalla. I'd always thought that it was conferred by the emperor Claudius in compliment to his wife Valeria Messalina, before he executed her after discovering that she was sleeping with half Rome. Is there a source for this attribution?
P.S. I've just absorbed Eric Morse's comments above, and agree entirely with them. Note that he suggests yet another possible origin for Valeria.
- A further point. Does adiutrix really mean 'rescuer'? Surely 'auxiliary' or 'helper-out' would be a better translation of the Latin. The two legions that bore the name adiutrix both seem to have been recruited from marines or sailors, so the sense 'auxiliary' works very well in that context.
Legio VII contradictions
The table of legions has "Legio VII Claudia Pia Fidelis: 51 BC–44 BC"
Elsewhere in []
"In 58 BC, ... Caesar had initially four veteran legions under his direct command: Legio VII, Legio VIII, Legio IX Hispana, and Legio X. "
Suggesting the Seventh Legion must have been founded by 58BC.
Again [] has "The Seventh, the Sixth, the Eighth and the Ninth were all founded by Pompey in Spain in 65 BC."