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Legio VI Victrix: Wikis


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Map of the Roman empire in AD 125, under emperor Hadrian, showing the Legio VI Victrix, stationed at Eboracum (York, England), in Britannia province, from AD 119 until the 4th century

Legio sexta Victrix (Sixth Victorious Legion) was a Roman legion founded by Octavian in 41 BC. It was the twin legion of VI Ferrata and perhaps held veterans of that legion, and some soldiers kept to the traditions of the Caesarian legion.

The legion saw its first action in Perusia in 41 BC. It also served against the Sextus Pompeius, who occupied Sicily and made threats to discontinue sending grain to Rome. In 31 BC the legion fought in the Battle of Actium against Mark Antony. The next year it was stationed in Hispania Tarraconensis, where it helped in Augustus' major war against the Cantabrians, which lasted from 25-13 BC.

The legion stayed in Spain for nearly a century and received the surname Hispaniensis. Soldiers of this unit and X Gemina numbered among the first settlers of Zaragoza. The cognomen Victrix dates back to the reign of Nero. But Nero was unpopular in the area, and when the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, Servius Sulpicius Galba, said he wished to overthrow Nero, the legion supported him and he was proclaimed Emperor in the VI Victrix legionary camp. Galba created VII Gemina and marched on Rome, where Nero killed himself.

VI Victrix in Britain

Dedication to Sol Invictus by a vexillatio of the VIth, (Corbridge, Northumberland, 162-168).

In 119, Hadrian relocated the legion to northern Britannia, to assist the already present legions in quelling the resistance there. Victrix was key in securing victory, and would eventually replace the diminished IX Hispana at Eboracum. In 122 the legion started work on Hadrian's Wall which would sustain the peace for two decades.

Twenty years later, they helped construct the Antonine Wall, but it was largely abandoned by 164.

In 185, the British legions mutinied and put forward a commander of their own, named Priscus, to replace the unpopular Emperor Commodus, but the former declined. The mutiny was suppressed by Pertinax, who would later become emperor himself after Commodus was murdered.

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