Legio IX Hispana

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Legio IX Hispana (the Spanish Legion), originally Macedonia (the Macedonian Legion), was a Roman legion that was probably Caesar's nineth legion. It was mentioned for the first time in Julius Caesar's "Commentarii de bello Gallico" (A report on the Gaulic war) when it was stationed in Gaul, now called France. The legion was used by Caesar to fight the Belgae, who lived in modern Belgium.

It was stationed in Pannonia from 9 to 43 AD, but from 20 BC until at least 14 AD it was sent to Africa to fight under Quintus Iunius Blaesus against the rebellious Numidian tribes that were lead by Tacfarinas. They rebelled in 14 AD together with Legio VIII Augusta and Legio XV Apollinaris after hearing of the death of emperor Augustus.

In 43 AD the legion participates in the conquest of Brittania, where it sets up camp in Lindum Colonia (Lincoln). Under the lead of Cerialis it suffers heavy losses during Boudicca's, the Iceni queen, rebellion. From 71 AD it is repositioned to Eboracum (York) until 107 or 108 AD. It probably is then moved to another provincia (province) where it possibly keeps existing, until disbanding in 125 AD.

Some people doubt this and think the Nineth was exterminated by the Picts from the north of England. Because of the unclarity about this subject it is sometimes called the Lost Legion.

There are a few bynames for this legion: the Spanish, the Macedonian, the Nineth, the Lost and the Dragon Legion. The Spanish and Macedonian are probably because that is where it was formed, reformed or the majority of the recruits at that time came from there. The Nineth is because it was the nineth legion that Caesar formed. The Lost Legion is because the unclarity on the subject of the fate of this legion (many people believe it was exterminated by the Picts, others it kept existing until 125 AD). The Dragon Legion owes it's byname to the film "the Last Legion", directed by Doug Lefler, and it might of been a byname for the legion at the time of it's existence, but that is not sure.


- Formation of the Nineth Legion by Julius Caesar
- Fighting against the Belgae during the Gaulic war
- Mentioning by Julius Caeser in his "Commentarii de bello Gallico"
- Fighting against the rebellious Numidian tribes lead by Tacfarinas under Quintus Iunius Blaesus from 20 BC until 14 AD
- Stationed in Pannonia from 9 to 43 AD
- Rebellion in 14 AD with Legio VIII and Legio XV after death of Emperor Augustus
- Participation in the conquest of Brittania with camp in Lindum Colonia
- Heavy losses during Boudicca's Rebellion
- Repositioned to Eboracum until ca. 107 AD
- Moved to another Roman province or exterminated by the Picts
- Disbanded in 125 AD

Until the last decade of the 2nd century BC, the requirements to become a Roman soldier were very strict:
- You had to be a tax-payer
- You had to own property worth 3500 sesterces (Roman money)
- You had to supply your own armaments

There were 5 sorts of Roman soldiers:
- Velites: The poorest and often youngest citizens who could not afford the equipment, were unarmored javelin-throwing skirmishers who ran forward at the head of the Roman battleline and skirmished with the enemy to distract them (they weren't expected or equipped to hold a battle line) until the Hastati advanced, then they retreated to the rear, which brings me to my next point.
- Hastati: Citizens that could afford basic armor, a shield and gladius. As the first rank of heavy (technically medium) infantry were expected to hold the frontline in the center of the battle. Their lighter armour and positioning in the frontline caused them to suffer the highest casualties in any battle, but good performance (and survival) meant promotion to the principes and more social mobility in peace, which brings me to my next point.
- Principes: Citizens who could afford a full set of good quality armour, a large shield and a helmet in addition to their sword. They were positioned directly behind the Hastati to relieve them in the frontline if they were unable to break the enemy by themselves, which was usually the case. Allowing the enemy to wear themselves out on the lighter Hastati before facing the way heavier Principes usually proved a very succesful strategy. The Principes most closely resemble the Legionaries from all of the pre-Marian Roman units.
- Triarii: The final infantry unit, the Triarii, was restricted to experienced veterans from the Principes unit and were the anchor of the entire Roman battle line. They fought in the manner of hoplites at the rear of the formation and were considered the elite infantry of the pre-Marian legion and were usually not needed in battle but used as a last resort if the Hastati and Principes couldn't break the enemy line and were forced into a retreat. The Roman idiom "ad triarios redisse" ("to fall back to/on the triarii") was used to refer to a final attempt to clutch victory from the grasp of defeat.
- Equites: Rich citizens of the equestrian order (eques means horse in Latin) who could afford a horse, the equites were light cavalry equipped with a one-handed light sper that usually advanced along the flanks of the infantry line and were intended to break up enemy skirmisher and missile units and pursue enemy forces that had been routed. They were also the legion's primary reconnaissance force.

- Legionaries: Everyone could join the Roman army, to become Roman citizens. They didn't have to pay for their armour and weapons since they were supplied by the state. Marius offered the disenfranchised masses permanent employment for pay as professional soldiers and the opportunity to gain spoils of war and, after their service, maybe gain a piece of land to farm on. The soldiers were recruited for an enlistment term of 16 years, which then rose up to 20 years full service and 5 years as Evocati under the reforms of Augustus. This improved the military capability of the army.
- Auxilaries: From Rome's conquered lands were many people that had skills and units the Roman army lacked, like the Syrian archers, the elephants from Africa, the Gaulic two-handed swordsmen, etc... These were recruited as auxilaries to reinforce the 6000 men strong Roman legions.

The Roman legions consisted out of 6000 men with 4800 actual soldiers and 1200 non-combatants. The internal organization of a legion consisted of 10 cohorts of 6 centuries each. A century consisted of 100 men, 80 legionaries and 20 non-combatants. However, the first cohort was irregular and consisted of 5 double strength centuries (containing 160 men). Each century was then divided into 10 contubernia led by a decanus. The contubernium contained 8 legionaries
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