Legio V Macedonica
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Legio quinta Macedonica (the Fifth Macedonian Legion) was a Roman legion. It was probably originally levied in 43 BC by consul Gaius Vibius Pansa Caetronianus and Octavian (later known as the Emperor Augustus). It was based in the Balkan provinces of Macedonia, Moesia and Dacia. In the Notitia Dignitatum records from beginning of the fifth century, the legion was still stationed in Dacia, with detachments stationed in the east and Egypt.
|Legio V Macedonica|
|Active||43 BC to sometime in the 5th century|
|Country||Roman Republic, Roman Empire, East Roman Empire|
Roman legion (Marian)|
later a comitatensis unit
|Role||Infantry assault (some cavalry support)|
|Size||Varied over unit lifetime. 5,000–6,000 men during Principate|
Macedonia (30 BC–6)|
Oescus, Moesia (6–62)
Troesmis, Dacia (107–161)
Potaissa, Dacia Porolissensis (166–274)
Oescus (274–5th century)
possibly Urbana and/or Gallica (before 31 BC)|
Macedonica, "Macedonia" (since AD 6)
Pia Fidelis, "faithful and loyal", or Pia Constans, "faithful and reliable" (since 185–7)
Pia III Fidelis III (under Valerian)
Pia VII Fidelis VII (under Gallienus)
|Mascot(s)||Bull and eagle|
Battle of Actium (31 BC)|
Corbulo Parthian campaign (63)
First Jewish-Roman War (66–70)
Trajan's Dacian Wars (101–106)
Verus Parthian campaign (161–166)
vexillationes of the 5th participated in many other campaigns.
The last known evidence shows the legion, or detachments from it, stationed in Egypt in the seventh century one or two years before the Islamic conquest of Egypt. It is often assumed that the legion fought in this war and was destroyed, although it is uncertain whether detachments or the whole legion were in Egypt, and there is no further evidence of the legion's eventual fate.
Its symbol was the bull, but the eagle was used as well.
1st century BC: Creation and deployment in MacedoniaEdit
The Legio V was one of the original twenty-eight legions raised by Octavian. There are two other 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 (31 BC). It later moved to Macedonia, where it stayed from 30 BC to AD 6, gaining its cognomen, before moving to Oescus (Moesia).
1st century: The Great Jewish RevoltEdit
In 62, some vexillationes of the Fifth fought under Lucius Caesennius Paetus in Armenia against the Parthian Empire. After the defeat of the Battle of Rhandeia, the whole V Macedonica, together with III Gallica, VI Ferrata, and X Fretensis under the command of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, 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 in Iudaea Province began in 66. Nero gave the V Macedonica, the X Fretensis and the XV Apollinaris to Titus Flavius Vespasianus to counter the revolt. In 67, in Galilee, the city of Sepphoris surrendered peacefully to the Roman army, and later the V Macedonica conquered Mount Gerizim, the chief sanctuary of the Samaritans. In the Year of the Four Emperors, 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, the V Macedonica left Iudaea and returned to Oescus (71). In 96, the later emperor Hadrian served the legion as tribunus militum.
2nd century: In Dacia, protecting Danube frontierEdit
In 101, the legion moved to Dacia, to fight in Emperor Trajan's campaign against the king Decebalus. After the war ended in 106, the legion remained in Troesmis (modern Iglita), near the Danube Delta since 107. A centurion of the legion, Calventius Viator, rose to prominence and was eventually promoted to commander of the emperor's horse guards, the equites singulares Augusti.
Based on a Roman inscription discovered near Betar, Hadrian removed the V Macedonica from Dacia (present-day Romania) and sent it to Provincia Iudaea, or what is Judea, along with the Eleventh Claudian Legion, in order to put down an insurrection that broke out in the 16th year of his reign as Roman Emperor, while Tineius (Tynius) Rufus was governor of the province, and which later became known as the Jewish Revolt under Bar Kokhba.
At the beginning of the reign of Commodus, the V Macedonica and the XIII Gemina defeated once again the Iazyges, under the later usurpers Pescennius Niger and Clodius Albinus. The Fifth later supported Septimius Severus, 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 evolutionEdit
While staying in Potaissa for most of the 3rd century, V Macedonica fought several times, earning honors. Valerian gave the Fifth the name III Pia III Fidelis; his son, Gallienus 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 and Regalianus (260, Moesia). A vexillatio fought against Victorinus (Gaul, 269–271).
The legion returned to Oescus in 274, after Aurelian had retired from Dacia. It guarded the province in later centuries, becoming a comitatensis unit under the Magister Militum per Orientis. It probably became part of the Byzantine army.
The cavalry unit created by Gallienus was definitively detached by Diocletian, and become part of his comitatus. This unit was sent to Mesopotamia, where it successfully fought against the Sassanid Empire in 296, and then to Memphis, where it remained until becoming part of the Byzantine army.
Legio V Macedonica is again mentioned in both Antaeapolis and Heliopolis in inscriptions, which seem to have been detachments of the units in Memphis. The last inscription provides the date of 635 or 636, indicating that at least part of the Legion was in Egypt until just before the conquest of Egypt by the Arabs began in 637. This would make Legio V Macedonica the longest-lived Roman Legion known to history, spanning 680 years from 43 BC to 637 AD; the entire history of the Roman Empire in the Classical Era.
|Name||Rank||Time frame||Province||Soldier located in||Veteran located in||Source|
|P(ublius) Oppiu[s] P(ubli)?||optio||?||Judea?||?||Emmaus|
|Annius Vinicianus ||legatus||1st century AD (63 AD)||Armenia||?||?||Tacitus, Annals, XV.28|
|Sex. Vettulenus Cerialis||legatus||1st century AD (67–70 AD)||Judea||?||?||Flavius Josephus, BJ III, 7, 32; VI, 4, 3|
|Cominius Secundus||legatus||c. 141 - c. 144||?||?|
|Marcus Sedatius Severianus||legatus||c. 144 - c. 147||?||?||AE 1913, 55 = ILS 9487; AE 1933, 249|
|Quintus Caecilius Redditus||legatus||c. 152||?||?||AE 1957, 266|
|Aelius Optatus||legatus||c. 156 - c. 159||?||?||AE 1960, 337|
|Publius Vigellius Saturninus||legatus||c. 159 - c. 162||?||?||CIL III, 775 = CIL III, 6183 = ILS 1116|
|Publius Martius Verus||legatus||c. 162-166||Cappadocia||?||?||CIL III, 6169|
|L. Praecilius Clemens Iulianus ||praefectus castrorum||1st century AD (36–43 AD)||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL III, 8753|
|C. Baebius Atticus ||primipilus||reign of Claudius||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL V, 1838; 1839 = ILS 1349|
|T. Pontinius ||primipilus||reign of Claudius?||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL XI, 4368|
|L. Praecilius Clemens Iulianus ||primipilus||1st century AD (36–43 AD)||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL III, 8753|
|[.A]prenas Clemens ||tribunus angusticlavius||?||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL XI, 4119 (Narnia, Regio VI)|
|L. Clodius P. f. Cla(udia) Ingenuus ||tribunus angusticlavius||reign of Vespasian or Domitian||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL VI, 37274|
|C. Iulius Montanus ||tribunus laticlavius||1st century AD, before 56 AD||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL XI, 5884 = ILS 978; after Tacitus, Ann. XIII, 25|
|Titus Junius Montanus ||tribunus laticlavius||reign of Nero||Moesia Inferior||?||?||AE 1973, 500|
|C. Nonius C. f. Vel(ina) Flaccus ||tribunus angusticlavius||reign of Vespasian?||Moesia Inferior||?||?||AE 1975, 353|
|C. Set[tidius] C. f. Pup(inia) Fir[mus] ||tribunus angusticlavius||1st century AD (67–70 AD)||Moesia Inferior||?||?||PME, S 45 (Pola, Regio X)|
|T. Rutilius Varus ||tribunus angusticlavius||reign of Nero||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL X, 1258|
|M. Valerius M. f. Gal. Propinquus Grattius Cerealis ||tribunus angusticlavius||1st century AD (84/85 AD)||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL II, 4251 = ILS 2711|
|L. Volcacius Primus ||tribunus angusticlavius||reign of Claudius-Nero||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL IX, 5363 = ILS 2737|
|Ignotus ||tribunus angusticlavius||reign of Claudius||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL X, 6442, PME, Inc 183|
|Ignotus ||tribunus angusticlavius||reign of Claudius-Nero||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL XI 4789, Spoletium, Regio VI, PME, Inc 204|
|Atilius Verus ||centurio||1st century AD, prior 62 AD||Moesia Inferior||?||?||AÉ 1912, 188 = ILB 52|
|M. Blossius Q. f. Aniensis Pudens ||centurio||1st century AD (67-70 AD)||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL VI 3580 a, b = ILS 2641|
|Ti. Claudius T. f. Vitalis ||centurio||1st century AD (81-85 AD)||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL VI 3584 = ILS 2656 = IPD 4 794 = IDRE I 3|
|M. Iulius V(o)ltinia ||centurio||reign of Domitian, after 85 AD||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL III 7397|
|Resius Albanus ||centurio||reign of Tiberius?||Moesia Inferior||?||?||AÉ 1927, 51 = ILB 47|
|L. Lepidius L. f. An(iensi) Proculus ||centurio||1st century AD (67-70 AD)||Italia||Ariminum||?||CIL III 12411|
|Valerius Crispus ||centurio||1st century AD (71–101 AD)||Moesia Inferior||?||?||E. Peeva, N. Sharankov, Archaeologia Bulgarica 10, 2006, 1, p. 25–33, A-C|
|L. Valerius L. f. Proculus ||centurio||reign of Domitian, after 85 AD||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL III 12411|
|Pollio ||centurio||1st century AD (67–71 AD)||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL III 14155|
|Stiminius ||centurio||1st century AD (67–71 AD)||Moesia Inferior||?||?||CIL III 14155|
|Q. Cornelius M. f. Gal(eria tribu) Valerianus ||praefectus vexillationum||reign of Claudius||Thracia||?||?||CIL II 3272; after CIL II 2079 = ILS 2713|
|M. Clodius M. f. Fab(ia tribu) Ma[...] ||praefectus vexillationum||1st century AD, prior 56/57 AD||Italia||Brixia||?||CIL V 4326|
|Lucius Artorius Castus||centurio, primipilus||mid-late 2nd century AD||Moesia Inferior||?||Pituntium (Dalmatia)||CIL III, 1919; CIL III 14224|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Legio V Macedonica.|
- livius.org account
- E. Ritterling, Legio, RE XII, col. 1572-5
- Rumen Ivanov, Lixa Legionis V Macedonicae aus Oescus, ZPE 80, 1990, p. 131-136
- D. Barag, S. Qedar, A Countermark of the Legio Quinta Scytica from the Jewish War, INJ 13, (1994–1999), pp. 66–69.
- S. Gerson, A New Countermark of the Fifth Legion, INR 1 (2006), pp. 97–100
- Dr. Gerson, A Coin Countermarked by Two Roman Legions, Israel Numismatic Journal 16, 2007–08, pp. 100–102
- P. M. Séjourné, Nouvelles de Jérusalem, RB 6, 1897, p. 131
- E. Michon, Inscription d'Amwas, RB 7, 1898, p. 269–271
- J. H. Landau, Two Inscribed Tombstones, Atiqot, vol. XI, Jerusalem, 1976
- C. Clermont-Ganneau, Archaeological Researches in Palestine during the Years 1873-74, London 1899, pp. 463-470.
- Yigael Yadin, Bar-Kokhba, Random House New York 1971, p. 258.
- Notitia Dignitatum In Partibus Occidentis
- Ross Cowan, The Longest Lived Legion, Ancient Warfare
- Matei-Popescu, Florian (2010). "The Roman Army in Moesia Inferior". STRATEG Project - PNCDI II. Conphys Publishing House. p. 325. Retrieved January 5, 2016.
- Géza Alföldy, Konsulat und Senatorenstand unter den Antoninen (Bonn: Habelt Verlag, 1977), p. 299