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A Note on the Title ‘Gemina.’

  • E. B. Birley

Amid all the disputes and controversies that have centred on the Roman army of the Empire since Mommsen's day, one important chapter in that army's history has remained curiously free from question; however many legions Augustus retained, whenever this legion was raised or that destroyed, all writers are in agreement that Vespasian, early in his principate, cashiered some of the mutinous legions of the Rhine armies.

The great majority of writers are agreed that the legions so dismissed were I, IIII Macedonica, XV Primigenia, and XVI Gallica; though Hardy, following Grotefend and Schilling, suggested that XV might have survived even into Trajan's principate: to-day, however, no one maintains this view, which was the outcome of a failure to account for Vespasian's apparent reduction of the number of legions.

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page 56 note 1 Studies in Roman History, first series, pp. 209, 212.

page 56 note 2 Art. ‘Legio,’ coll. 1211–1829.

page 56 note 3 ‘The Roman Legions, Oxford, 1928.

page 56 note 4 For which I am indebted to Mr. N. Whatley, M.A.

page 56 note 5 Tac. Hist. iii, 50, and Ritterling l.c., coll. 1267 and 1438.

page 57 note 1 l.c., col. 1268.

page 57 note 2 l.c., p 107.

page 57 note 3 Bell. Civ. III, iv, 1.

page 57 note 4 Mommsen's view that XIII and XIIII were called ‘Geminae’ because raised at the same time is now rightly discredited.

page 57 note 5 Cf. Cheesman, , The Auxilia of the Roman Imperial Army, p. 186.

page 57 note 6 l.c., col. 1,630.

page 58 note 1 Tac. Ann. xiv, 32 and 38.

page 58 note 2 l.c., p. 99.

page 58 note 3 As is indicated in a much-neglected passage of Cassius Dio, LV, xxiii, 7, where the Caesarian definition is shown to hold good for the title Gemina, and the merging of an Augustan legion with VII is implied.

page 58 note 4 Les Légions du Rhin, Introd. p. 20.

page 58 note 5 Tac. Hist. iv, 60. In any case, this was not an Augustan legion, so that it cannot have been the legion concerned. Cf. Cassius Dio l.c.

page 58 note 6 ibid. iv, 72.

page 58 note 7 I rather than IIII or XVI for the reason suggested by Mr. Parker. It should be noted that Hardy, in a footnote (l.c. p. 197), adopts this view without discussing it, though in his text (p. 209) he accepts the traditional account.

page 58 note 8 Hist. iv, 62.

page 59 note 1 Diplomata of those years.

page 59 note 2 LV, xxiv, 3.

page 59 note 3 Tac. Hist. iv, 68.

page 59 note 4 l.c., col. 1268.

page 59 note 5 The punishment incurred by XIIII Gemina and XXI Rapax for the part they had taken in the revolt of Saturninus in A.D. 89 affords an excellent parallel.

page 60 note 1 pp. 501–503.

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The Journal of Roman Studies
  • ISSN: 0075-4358
  • EISSN: 1753-528X
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