- Legio III Cyrenaica
* Notice - The Legion III Cyrenaica living history (www.legioiiicyrenaica.org) group has been doing extensive research on the history of the Legion. Some information in this article is now 'outdated' Updates will be coming soon.
Legio III "Cyrenaica", ("from
Cyrenaica", a Roman province), was a Roman legionprobably levied by Mark Antonyaround 36 BC, when he was governor of Cyrenaica. There are still records of the legion in Syria in the beginning of the 5th century. The legion symbol is unknown.
The first historical appearance of the legion is during the campaign of Emperor
Caesar Augustusto conquer Egypt in 30 BC. III "Cyrenaica" would remain in Egypt and, in 35was in Alexandria, sharing camp with XXII "Deiotariana".The main task of both legions was keep the province safe and to maintain peace and order between the different ethnic and religious groups present in Alexandria.
In the internal turmoil of the
Roman Empire, III "Cyrenaica" tended to follow defeated candidates to the throne like Avidius Cassius(vs. Marcus Aureliusin 175) and Pescennius Niger(vs. Septimius Severusin 192).
The legion, or subunits of it, probably participated in the following campaigns:
25 BC– against Arabia Felix, modern Yemen, and 23 BCagainst Nubia(see XXII "Deiotariana" history)
63– against the Parthian Empirefor the control over Armenia(see XXII "Deiotariana" history)
66– 70and 132/ 136– retaliations on the Jewish rebellions
162– 166– against the Parthian Empire, commanded by Lucius Verus
215– 217– against the Parthian Empire, commanded by Caracalla
After the rebellion of
Zenobiain 267- 272, III "Cyrenaica" was transferred to an unclear location, although the legion was in Bostra(Syria) in the beginning of the 5th century.
New entry: (under revision)Leg. III had a number of Auxiliary units attached to it, as several Roman Legions did. New research has uncovered names and numbers of Auxiliary cohorts that were stationed in Egypt during the same period as Leg III and XXII; some of these cohorts are known to be directly linked to III and XXII (and in the 2nd century, II Trajana) respectively. The titles 'Menapii' and 'Nabatea' were originally created to fill the role of an Auxiliary impression with the Leg. III living history group. New research has led the group to rename the Infantry cohort to COH I Pannoniorum (After Pannonia, a Germanic province), and the archery cohort is being considered renamed to II Petrorum (after Petra, capital of Nabatea). Menapii and Nabatea are both mentioned in Roman records, but as mentioned, new research has pin-pointed specific names attributed to the period and region the living history group seeks to portray.
Old entry:Legio III "Cyrenaica" was known to have had at least two organic
auxiliarycohorts attached to it. One of these cohorts consisted of Menapian Celts, who probably served as skirmishers or spearmen, and the other cohort was made up of Nabataeanarchers.Facts|date=February 2007
List of Roman legions
Alston, Richard. "Soldier and Society in Roman Egypt: A Social History", Routledge 1995.
* [http://www.livius.org/le-lh/legio/iii_cyrenaica.html livius.org account of Legio III Cyrenaica]
* [http://www.romanarmy.com/cms/content/view/41/114/ Ritterling's article]
* [http://www.legioiiicyrenaica.org/ Legio III Cyrenaica, Century I, Cohors II] , US re-enactment group
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