Legio V Macedonica

Legio V Macedonica

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Legio V Macedonica'
Start a new discussion about 'Legio V Macedonica'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia

Legio quinta Macedonica (Fifth Macedonian Legion) was a Roman legion
Roman legion
A Roman legion normally indicates the basic ancient Roman army unit recruited specifically from Roman citizens. The organization of legions varied greatly over time but they were typically composed of perhaps 5,000 soldiers, divided into maniples and later into "cohorts"...

. It was probably originally levied by consul
Consul
Consul was the highest elected office of the Roman Republic and an appointive office under the Empire. The title was also used in other city states and also revived in modern states, notably in the First French Republic...

 Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus
Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus
Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus was consul of the Roman Republic in 43 BC. Although supporting Gaius Julius Caesar during the Civil War, he pushed for the restoration of the Republic upon Caesar’s death...

 and Octavian
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

 in 43 BC, and it was stationed in Moesia
Moesia
Moesia was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans, along the south bank of the Danube River. It included territories of modern-day Southern Serbia , Northern Republic of Macedonia, Northern Bulgaria, Romanian Dobrudja, Southern Moldova, and Budjak .-History:In ancient...

 at least until 5th century. Its symbol was the bull, but the eagle was used as well. The cognomen
Cognomen
The cognomen nōmen "name") was the third name of a citizen of Ancient Rome, under Roman naming conventions. The cognomen started as a nickname, but lost that purpose when it became hereditary. Hereditary cognomina were used to augment the second name in order to identify a particular branch within...

 Macedonica comes from the fact that the legion was stationed in Macedonia
Macedonia (Roman province)
The Roman province of Macedonia was officially established in 146 BC, after the Roman general Quintus Caecilius Metellus defeated Andriscus of Macedon, the last Ancient King of Macedon in 148 BC, and after the four client republics established by Rome in the region were dissolved...

 for a significant period of its existence.

1st century BC: Creation and deployment in Macedonia


The Legio V was one of the original twenty-eight legions raised by Octavian. There are two fifth legions recorded: the V Gallica and the V Urbana. It is possible that these both were early names for the V Macedonica. The legion probably participated in the Battle of Actium
Battle of Actium
The Battle of Actium was the decisive confrontation of the Final War of the Roman Republic. It was fought between the forces of Octavian and the combined forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII. The battle took place on 2 September 31 BC, on the Ionian Sea near the city of Actium, at the Roman...

 (31 BC). It later moved to Macedonia, where it stayed from 30 BC to AD 6, gaining its cognomen
Cognomen
The cognomen nōmen "name") was the third name of a citizen of Ancient Rome, under Roman naming conventions. The cognomen started as a nickname, but lost that purpose when it became hereditary. Hereditary cognomina were used to augment the second name in order to identify a particular branch within...

, before moving to Oescus
Oescus
Oescus, or Palatiolon Palatiolum, was an ancient town in Moesia, northwest of the modern Bulgarian city of Pleven, near the village of Gigen. It is a Daco-Moesian toponym. Ptolemy calls it a Triballian town, but it later became Roman...

 (Moesia
Moesia
Moesia was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans, along the south bank of the Danube River. It included territories of modern-day Southern Serbia , Northern Republic of Macedonia, Northern Bulgaria, Romanian Dobrudja, Southern Moldova, and Budjak .-History:In ancient...

).

1st century: The Great Jewish Revolt


In 62, some vexillatio
Vexillatio
A vexillatio was a detachment of a Roman legion formed as a temporary task force created by the Roman Army of the Principate. It was named from the standards carried by legionary detachments, vexillum , which bore the emblem and name of the parent legion...

nes of the Fifth fought under Lucius Caesennius Paetus
Lucius Caesennius Paetus
Lucius Junius Caesennius Paetus was a Roman aristocrat, member of the Caesennian gens and the Junian gens, who lived in the second half of the 1st century during the Roman Empire. He was Consul Ordinarius for the year 61, and enjoyed several high provincial commands in the East.He was the son of...

 in Armenia
History of Armenia
Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the Biblical mountains of Ararat. The original Armenian name for the country was Hayk, later Hayastan , translated as the land of Haik, and consisting of the name Haik and the suffix '-stan' ....

 against the Parthian Empire
Parthian Empire
The Parthian Empire , also known as the Arsacid Empire , was a major Iranian political and cultural power in ancient Persia...

. After the defeat of the Battle of Rhandeia, the whole V Macedonica, together with III Gallica
Legio III Gallica
Legio tertia Gallica was a Roman legion levied by Julius Caesar around 49 BC, for his civil war against the conservative republicans led by Pompey. The cognomen Gallica suggests that recruits were originally from the Gallic Roman provinces. The legion was still active in Egypt in the early 4th...

, VI Ferrata
Legio VI Ferrata
Legio sexta Ferrata , was a Roman Legion formed in 65 BC, and in existence up to at least 3rd century. A Legio VI fought in the Roman Republican civil wars of the 40s and 30s BC...

, and X Fretensis
Legio X Fretensis
Legio X Fretensis was a Roman legion levied by Augustus Caesar in 41/40 BC to fight during the period of civil war that started the dissolution of the Roman Republic...

 under the command of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo
Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo
Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo was a Roman general and a brother-in-law of the emperor Caligula.-Descent:Corbulo was born in Italy into a senatorial family...

, was sent to the east to fight in the victorious war against the Parthians.

The Fifth was probably still in the East when the Great Jewish Revolt
First Jewish-Roman War
The First Jewish–Roman War , sometimes called The Great Revolt , was the first of three major rebellions by the Jews of Judaea Province , against the Roman Empire...

 in Iudaea Province
Iudaea Province
Judaea or Iudaea are terms used by historians to refer to the Roman province that extended over parts of the former regions of the Hasmonean and Herodian kingdoms of Israel...

 began in 66. Nero
Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

 gave the V Macedonica, the X Fretensis and the XV Apollinaris
Legio XV Apollinaris
Legio quinta decima Apollinaris was a Roman legion. It was recruited by Octavian in 41/40 BC. The emblem of this legion was probably a picture of Apollo, or of one of his holy animals....

 to Titus Flavius Vespasianus
Vespasian
Vespasian , was Roman Emperor from 69 AD to 79 AD. Vespasian was the founder of the Flavian dynasty, which ruled the Empire for a quarter century. Vespasian was descended from a family of equestrians, who rose into the senatorial rank under the Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty...

 to counter the revolt. In 67, in Galilee
Galilee
Galilee , is a large region in northern Israel which overlaps with much of the administrative North District of the country. Traditionally divided into Upper Galilee , Lower Galilee , and Western Galilee , extending from Dan to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon, along Mount Lebanon to the...

, the city of Sepphoris surrendered peacefully to the Roman army, and later the V Macedonica conquered Mount Gerizim
Mount Gerizim
Mount Gerizim is one of the two mountains in the immediate vicinity of the West Bank city of Nablus , and forms the southern side of the valley in which Nablus is situated,...

, the chief sanctuary of the Samaritan
Samaritan
The Samaritans are an ethnoreligious group of the Levant. Religiously, they are the adherents to Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism...

s. In the Year of the Four Emperors
Year of the Four Emperors
The Year of the Four Emperors was a year in the history of the Roman Empire, AD 69, in which four emperors ruled in a remarkable succession. These four emperors were Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian....

, 68, the legion stayed inactive in Emmaus, where several tombstones of soldiers of the V Macedonica remain. After the proclamation of Vespasian as Emperor and the end of the war under his son Titus
Titus
Titus , was Roman Emperor from 79 to 81. A member of the Flavian dynasty, Titus succeeded his father Vespasian upon his death, thus becoming the first Roman Emperor to come to the throne after his own father....

, the V Macedonica left Iudaea and returned to Oescus (71). In 96, the later emperor Hadrian
Hadrian
Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

 served the legion as tribunus militum.


2nd century: In Dacia, protecting Danube frontier


In 101, the legion moved to Dacia
Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

, to fight in Emperor Trajan's campaign against the king Decebalus
Decebalus
Decebalus or "The Brave" was a king of Dacia and is famous for fighting three wars and negotiating two interregnums of peace without being eliminated against the Roman Empire under two emperors...

. The legate of the V Macedonica was future emperor Hadrian
Hadrian
Hadrian , was Roman Emperor from 117 to 138. He is best known for building Hadrian's Wall, which marked the northern limit of Roman Britain. In Rome, he re-built the Pantheon and constructed the Temple of Venus and Roma. In addition to being emperor, Hadrian was a humanist and was philhellene in...

. After the war ended in 106, the legion remained in Troesmis
Troesmis
Troesmis was an ancient town in Scythia Minor. It was situated in what is now Romania near Igliţa-Turcoaia.Between 107 and 161, it was the home of the Roman Legio V Macedonica. Notitia Dignitatum shows that during 337-361, it was the headquarters of Legio II Herculia.-Destruction of the site:The...

 (modern Iglita), near the Danube Delta
Danube Delta
The Danube Delta is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in Romania , while its northern part, on the left bank of the Chilia arm, is situated in Ukraine . The approximate surface is...

 since 107. A centurion
Centurion
A centurion was a professional officer of the Roman army .Centurion may also refer to:-Military:* Centurion tank, British battle tank* HMS Centurion, name of several ships and a shore base of the British Royal Navy...

 of the legion, Calventius Viator
Calventius Viator
Marcus Calventius Viator was a soldier and commander of Roman Emperor Hadrian's horse guards, the equites singulares Augusti, during the early 2nd century....

, rose to prominence under Hadrian. He was eventually promoted to commander of the emperors horse guards, the equites singulares Augusti.

When Emperor Lucius Verus
Lucius Verus
Lucius Verus , was Roman co-emperor with Marcus Aurelius, from 161 until his death.-Early life and career:Lucius Verus was the first born son to Avidia Plautia and Lucius Aelius Verus Caesar, the first adopted son and heir of Roman Emperor Hadrian . He was born and raised in Rome...

 started his campaign against the Parthians (161–166), the legion moved to the east, but was later returned in Dacia Porolissensis, with a basecamp in Potaissa.

The northern frontier was a hot border of the Empire; when emperor Marcus Aurelius had to fight against the Marcomanni
Marcomanni
The Marcomanni were a Germanic tribe, probably related to the Buri, Suebi or Suevi.-Origin:Scholars believe their name derives possibly from Proto-Germanic forms of "march" and "men"....

, the Sarmatians
Sarmatians
The Iron Age Sarmatians were an Iranian people in Classical Antiquity, flourishing from about the 5th century BC to the 4th century AD....

, and the Quadi
Quadi
The Quadi were a smaller Germanic tribe, about which little is definitively known. We only know the Germanic tribe the Romans called the 'Quadi' through reports of the Romans themselves...

, the V Macedonica was involved in these fights.

At the beginning of the reign of Commodus
Commodus
Commodus , was Roman Emperor from 180 to 192. He also ruled as co-emperor with his father Marcus Aurelius from 177 until his father's death in 180. His name changed throughout his reign; see changes of name for earlier and later forms. His accession as emperor was the first time a son had succeeded...

, the V Macedonica and the XIII Gemina
Legio XIII Gemina
Legio tertia decima Gemina 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...

 defeated once again the Sarmatians, under the later usurpers
Roman usurper
Usurpers are individuals or groups of individuals who obtain and maintain the power or rights of another by force and without legal authority. Usurpation was endemic during roman imperial era, especially from the crisis of the third century onwards, when political instability became the rule.The...

 Pescennius Niger
Pescennius Niger
Pescennius Niger was a Roman usurper from 193 to 194 during the Year of the Five Emperors. He claimed the imperial throne in response to the murder of Pertinax and the elevation of Didius Julianus, but was defeated by a rival claimant, Septimius Severus and killed while attempting to flee from...

 and Clodius Albinus
Clodius Albinus
Clodius Albinus was a Roman usurper proclaimed emperor by the legions in Britain and Hispania upon the murder of Pertinax in 193.-Life:...

. The Fifth later supported Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus
Septimius Severus , also known as Severus, was Roman Emperor from 193 to 211. Severus was born in Leptis Magna in the province of Africa. As a young man he advanced through the customary succession of offices under the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. Severus seized power after the death of...

, in his fight for the purple.

In 185 or 187, the legion was awarded of the title Pia Constans ("Faithful and reliable") or Pia Fidelis ("Faithful and loyal"), after defeating a mercenary army in Dacia.

Later centuries: Honors and evolution


While staying in Potaissa for most of the 3rd century, V Macedonica fought several times, earning honors. Valerian
Valerian (emperor)
Valerian , also known as Valerian the Elder, was Roman Emperor from 253 to 260. He was taken captive by Persian king Shapur I after the Battle of Edessa, becoming the only Roman Emperor who was captured as a prisoner of war, resulting in wide-ranging instability across the Empire.-Origins and rise...

 gave the Fifth the name III Pia III Fidelis; his son, Gallienus
Gallienus
Gallienus was Roman Emperor with his father Valerian from 253 to 260, and alone from 260 to 268. He took control of the Empire at a time when it was undergoing great crisis...

 gave the legion the title VII Pia VII Fidelis, with the 4th, 5th and 6th titles awarded probably when the legion was used as a mobile cavalry unit against usurpers Ingenuus
Ingenuus
Ingenuus was a Roman military commander, the imperial legate in Pannonia, who became a usurper to the throne of the emperor Gallienus when he led a brief and unsuccessful revolt in the year 260. Appointed by Gallienus himself, Ingenuus served him well by repulsing a Sarmatian invasion and securing...

 and Regalianus
Regalianus
P. C Regalianus was a Dacian general who turned against the Roman Empire and became himself emperor for a brief period, being murdered by the hands who raised him to power.-Career:...

 (260, Moesia). A vexillatio fought against Victorinus
Victorinus
Marcus Piavonius Victorinus was emperor of the secessionist Gallic Empire from 269 to 271, following the brief reign of Marius. He was murdered by a jealous husband whose wife he tried to seduce.-Reign:...

 (Gaul, 269–271).

The legion returned to Oescus
Oescus
Oescus, or Palatiolon Palatiolum, was an ancient town in Moesia, northwest of the modern Bulgarian city of Pleven, near the village of Gigen. It is a Daco-Moesian toponym. Ptolemy calls it a Triballian town, but it later became Roman...

 in 274, after Aurelian
Aurelian
Aurelian , was Roman Emperor from 270 to 275. During his reign, he defeated the Alamanni after a devastating war. He also defeated the Goths, Vandals, Juthungi, Sarmatians, and Carpi. Aurelian restored the Empire's eastern provinces after his conquest of the Palmyrene Empire in 273. The following...

 had retired from Dacia. It guarded the province in later centuries, becoming a comitatensis unit under the Magister Militum per Orientis
Magister militum
Magister militum was a top-level military command used in the later Roman Empire, dating from the reign of Constantine. Used alone, the term referred to the senior military officer of the Empire...

. It probably became part of the Byzantine army
Byzantine army
The Byzantine army was the primary military body of the Byzantine armed forces, serving alongside the Byzantine navy. A direct descendant of the Roman army, the Byzantine army maintained a similar level of discipline, strategic prowess and organization...

.

The cavalry unit created by Gallienus was definitively detached by Diocletian
Diocletian
Diocletian |latinized]] upon his accession to Diocletian . c. 22 December 244  – 3 December 311), was a Roman Emperor from 284 to 305....

, and become part of his comitatus
Comitatenses
Comitatenses is the Latin plural of comitatensis, originally the adjective derived from comitatus , itself rooting in Comes .However, historically it became the accepted name for...

. This unit was sent to Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

, where it successfully fought against the Sassanid Empire
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...

 in 296, and then to Memphis
Memphis, Egypt
Memphis was the ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, the first nome of Lower Egypt. Its ruins are located near the town of Helwan, south of Cairo.According to legend related by Manetho, the city was founded by the pharaoh Menes around 3000 BC. Capital of Egypt during the Old Kingdom, it remained an...

, where it had to stay until its entering in the Byzantine army.