Legio XIV Gemina

Legio XIV Gemina ("The Twinned Fourteenth Legion") was a legion of the Imperial Roman army, levied by Julius Caesar in 57 BC. The cognomen Gemina (Twinned) was added when the legion was combined with another understrength legion after the Battle of Actium. The cognomen Martia Victrix (martial and victorious) was added following their service in the Pannonian War c. AD 9 and the defeat of Boudicca in AD 61. The emblem of the legion was the Capricorn, as with many of the legions levied by Caesar.[1]

Legio XIV Gemina Martia Victrix
Roman Empire 125.png
Map of the Roman empire in AD 125, under emperor Hadrian, showing the LEGIO XIV G M V, stationed on the river Danube at Carnuntum (Petronell, Austria), in Pannonia Superior province, from AD 106 until the 5th century
Active41 BC to early 5th century at least
CountryRoman Republic (1st & 2nd raising under Caesar, 2nd Triumvirate)
Roman Empire (3rd raising was a joining with another understrength legion under Octavian after the Battle of Actium)
TypeRoman legion (Marian) (with Imperial modifications)
later a comitatensis unit
RoleHeavy Infantry (occasionally cavalry support when operating independently)
SizeVaried over unit lifetime. Approx. 3,500 fighting men + support at the time of creation, ~ 5,000 to 6,000 men when operating independently during Imperial period.
Garrison/HQMoguntiacum (9–43)
Vindobona (92–106)
Carnuntum (106–5th century)
Nickname(s)Gemina Martia Victrix, "Twinned Martial and Victorious"
Martia Victrix, "martial and victorious" (added by Augustus)
Pia VI Fidelis VI, "six times faithful, six times loyal" (added by Gallienus)
EngagementsGallic Wars (58–51 BC)
Caesar's Civil War (49–45 BC)
Post-Caesarian civil war (44 BC)
Liberators' civil war (44–42 BC)
Sicilian revolt (44–36 BC)
Perusine War (41–40 BC)
Final War of the Roman Republic (32–30 BC)
Roman conquest of Britain (43)
Year of the Four Emperors (69)
revolt of Saturninus (89)
Dacian Wars (101–106)
Verus Parthian campaign (161–166)
Marcus Aurelius Marcomannic campaign (168–180)
Septimius Severus rise to power (193–194)
Severus Parthian campaign (198)
vexillationes of the 14th participated in many other campaigns.


Under CaesarEdit

Legio XIV was first raised by Caesar in Cisalpine Gaul during his raids into, and conquest of, Gaul. Their enlistment term was for 16 years, as per the other Republican legions (though Augustus raised that to 20). In the first years, the legion frequently was left behind to guard the camp during battles and raids. Following its early destruction at Atuatuca (near today's Tongeren, Belgium) during Ambiorix's revolt it was immediately reconstituted. For years after the Massacre at Atuatuca carried out by the Eburones under Ambiorix together with Cativolcus[2] they were viewed as an unlucky legion, but its honor had been preserved due to the efforts of their Aquilifer, Lucius Petrosidius.[3]

Under GermanicusEdit

This legion fought under General Germanicus Caesar against the Germanic leader Arminius. A decade before this campaign, Arminius succeeded in wiping out three entire legions in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, one of the greatest disasters in Roman military history. The legion secured a victory for Germanicus, and earned him a triumph from his adopted father and biological uncle, Emperor Tiberius.

Invasion of BritainEdit

Stationed in Moguntiacum, Germania Superior from AD 9, Legio XIV Gemina Martia Victrix was one of four legions used by Aulus Plautius and Claudius in the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43. It built its legionary fortress at Mancetter on Watling Street and by AD 58 it had moved its base to Wroxeter.[4]

It took part in the defeat of Boudicca in 60 or 61. At the Battle of Watling Street the 14th defeated Boudicca's force of 230,000, according to Tacitus and Dio, with their meager force of 10,000 Legionaries and Auxiliaries. This act secured them as Nero's "most effective" legion, and he kept them garrisoned in Britain during the next few years to keep the uneasy tribes in check.

In 67 AD the legion was sent to the Balkans in preparation for a campaign against the Parthians that Nero planned but which never materialised.[5]

Rebellion on the RhineEdit

In AD 89 the governor of Germania Superior, Lucius Antonius Saturninus, rebelled against Domitian, with the support of the XIVth and of the XXI Rapax, but the revolt was suppressed.

When the XXIst legion was lost in AD 92, XIV Gemina was sent to Pannonia to replace it, setting up camp in Vindobona (Vienna). After a war with the Sarmatians and Trajan's Dacian Wars (101–106 AD), the legion was moved to Carnuntum, where it stayed for three centuries. Some vexillations or subunits of the Fourteenth fought in the wars against the Mauri, under Antoninus Pius, and the legion participated in the Parthian campaign of Emperor Lucius Verus. During his war against the Marcomanni, Emperor Marcus Aurelius based his headquarters in Carnuntum.

In support of Septimius SeverusEdit

In AD 193, after the death of Pertinax, the commander of the Fourteenth, Septimius Severus, was acclaimed emperor by the Pannonian legions, and above all by his own. XIV Gemina fought for its emperor in his march to Rome to attack usurper Didius Julianus (193), contributed to the defeat of the usurper Pescennius Niger (194), and probably fought in the Parthian campaign that ended with the sack of the capital of the empire, Ctesiphon (198).

Aureus minted in 193 by Septimius Severus, to celebrate XIIII Gemina Martia Victrix, the legion that proclaimed him emperor

In support of imperial candidatesEdit

In the turmoil following the defeat of Valerian, the XIV Gemina supported usurper Regalianus against Emperor Gallienus (260), then Gallienus against Postumus of the Gallic Empire (earning the title VI Pia VI Fidelis—"six times faithful, six times loyal"), and, after Gallienus' death, Gallic Emperor Victorinus (269–271).

Shield design of the Quartodecimani, a comitatensis legion under the Magister Militum per Thracias, 5th century, according to Notitia Dignitatum.

5th centuryEdit

At the beginning of the 5th century, XIV Gemina was still assigned at Carnuntum. It probably dissolved with the collapse of the Danube frontier in the 430s. The Notitia Dignitatum lists a Quartodecimani comitatensis unit under the Magister Militum per Thracias; it is possible that this unit is XIV Gemina.

Attested membersEdit

Name Rank Time frame Province Source
Titus Flavius Rufus centurio (veteranus) ? Italia, Moesia, Dacia CIL XI, 20, CIL III, 00971
Fabius Priscus[6] legatus c. 70 Britannica Tacitus, Histories IV.79.3
Sextus Julius Severus legatus between 110 and 120 Pannonia CIL III, 2830
Publius Cluvius Maximus Paullinus[7] legatus ?138-?141 Pannonia AE 1940, 99
Marcus Nonius Macrinus[7] legatus ?147-?150 Pannonia AE 1907, 180
Marcus Statius Priscus[7] legatus ?153-?156 Pannonia CIL VI, 1523
Gaius Vettius Sabinianus[7] legatus c. 170/171 Pannonia AE 1920, 45
Lucius Ragonius Quintianus[7] legatus ?177-?180 Pannonia CIL V, 1968
Titus Flavius Secundus Philippianus[8] legatus c. 193/194 Pannonia
Gnaeus Petronius Probatus Junius Justus[9] legatus between 222 and 235 Pannonia CIL X, 1254
Marcus Cornelius Nigrinus Curiatius Maternus tribunus angusticlavius 60s Britannica CIL II, 3788
Lucius Cornelius Pusio Annius Messalla tribunus laticlavius c. 59 Britannica CIL VI, 37056
Sextus Julius Severus tribunus laticlavius between 105 and 110 Pannonia CIL III, 2830
Lucius Minicius Natalis Quadronius Verus[10] tribunus laticlavius c. 116 Pannonia CIL XIV, 3599, CIL II, 4510

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ L. J. F. Keppie, Legions and Veterans: Roman Army Papers 1971–2000, page 128.
  2. ^ "Atuatuca: provincial town in Gallia Belgica, modern Tongeren". Jona Lendering. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  3. ^ Gaius Julius Caesar (1914). "Book V, Chapter 37". In Holmes, T. Rice (ed.). Commentarii de Bello Gallico. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  4. ^ Rome Against Caractacus, G. Webster. ISBN 0713472545, P 49
  5. ^ Livius.org, Legio XIIII Gemina: https://www.livius.org/articles/legion/legio-xiiii-gemina/
  6. ^ Anthony Birley, The Fasti of Roman Britain (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981), p. 232
  7. ^ a b c d e Géza Alföldy, Konsulat und Senatorenstand unter der Antoninen (Bonn: Rudolf Habelt Verlag, 1977), p. 301
  8. ^ Paul M. M. Leunissen, Konsuln und Konsulare in der Zeit von Commodus bis Severus Alexander (Amsterdam: J.C. Gieben, 1989), p. 343
  9. ^ Leunissen, Konsuln und Konsulare, p. 344
  10. ^ Birley, Fasti of Roman Britain, p. 245


  • Mommsen, Theodor The History of Rome, Volume 1.
  • Pollard, Nigel & Berry, Joanne The Complete Roman Legions.
  • Parker, H. M. D. The Roman Legions.
  • Ireland, Stanley Roman Britain: A Sourcebook (Routledge Sourcebooks for the Ancient World), 3rd Edition.

External linksEdit