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Legio undecima Claudia (Eleventh Claudian legion') was a Roman legion. XI Claudia dates back to the two legions (the other was the XIIth) recruited by Julius Caesar to invade Gallia in 58 BC, and it existed at least until early 5th century, guarding lower Danube in Durostorummarker (modern Silistramarker, Bulgariamarker). The emblem of this legion is not recorded; it could have been, as well as of all Caesar's legions, the bull, possibly the she-wolf lactating the twins.


The caesarean Legio XI

The XI and XII legions were levied by Caesar for his Helvetii campaign in 58 BC. The legion fought in the Battle against the Nervians, and probably fought at the Siege of Alesiamarker too. During the civil war, the Eleventh legion fought for Caesar at the Battle of Dyrrhachium and at Pharsalus. The legion was disbanded in 45 BC, and its veterans were offered lands at Bojanomarker, which received the name of Bovianum Undecumanorum, "Bovianum of the members of the eleventh".

Following Augustus' rise to power

The XIth was reconstituted in 42 BC by Augustus (at the time known as Octavian), to fight in the civil war against the assassins of Caesar. The XIth fought in the Battle of Philippi, and was then sent back to Italy to quell a revolt at Perugiamarker. It was probably involved in the fight against Sextus Pompeius, who had seized Sicilia.

In 32 BC, the XIth fought for Octavian against Mark Antony, in the civil war ending with the Battle of Actiummarker and Octavian's victory.

The Eleventh was sent to the Balkans, but after the major defeat at the Battle of Teutoburg Forestmarker (AD 9), Augustus redistributed the legions on the Northern frontier, sending the XIth at Burnummarker, Dalmatia (modern Kistanjemarker), together with the VIIth.

Second half of 1st century

In 42, the governor of Dalmatia, Lucius Arruntius Camillus Scribonianus, revolted against Emperor Claudius. The Eleventh and the Seventh sided with the Emperor, and put down Scribonianus' rebellion. Claudius awarded each of the two loyal legions with the title Claudia Pia Fidelis.

In the Year of the Four Emperors (69), the XI, the VII (which had moved from Burnum in 58) and the XIV Gemina sided with Otho. A subunit of the Eleventh moved to participate to the Battle of Cremona between Otho and his opponent Vitellius, but arrived late on the battlefield, and was sent back to Dalmatia by the victorious Vitellius. When the commander of the Eastern army, Vespasian, claimed the purple, the XIth sided with him, fighting in the Second Battle of Bedriacum, which marked the beginning of the rule of Emperor Vespasian.

The following year, 70, Claudia was led by Cerialis to quell with the Batavian rebellion; after the rebellion was put down, the Claudia was moved to Vindonissamarker, in the province of Germania Superior, to replace XXI Rapax, while IIII Flavia Felix moved to Burnum.

Towards the end of the 1st century, Claudia fought on the eastern bank of the Rhinemarker (73/74); it also took part in the Domitian campaign against the Chatti in 83.

Second century

In 101 XI Claudia moved to Brigetio, Pannonia Inferior, in occasion of the Dacian Wars of Trajan (101-106). In 104, the legion is in Durostorummarker, Moesia Inferior, to guard the Danubian frontier, and will remain there for the following centuries. The legion was responsible, with the other Moesian legions (I Italica and V Macedonica), for the protection of the Roman-allied Greek colonies of Crimeamarker.

Some vexillationes of the XI Claudia were sent to Iudaeamarker to quell the bloody Bar Kokhba's revolt (132-135).

In 193, after the assassination of Pertinax, several claimant for the purple raised; among these there was the governor of Pannonia Superior, Septimius Severus, who gained the support of the XIth. The Claudia did not take part in Septimius' march on Rome, but fought with Severus, together with I Italica, against his rival Pescennius Niger. Severus besieged Byzantium, crossed the G├╝lek Passmarker(Cilician Gates), and defeated Niger at the Battle of Issusmarker. It is possible that XI Claudia fought also during the Parthian campaign of Emperor Severus, conquering the Parthian capital of Ctesiphonmarker (198).

Third century and beyond

During the clash between Emperor Gallienus and the Emperor of the Gallic Empire Postumus, XI Claudia fought for the first, receiving the titles Pia V Fidelis V and Pia VI Fidelis VI ("Five/Six times faithful and loyal").

While still camped in Durostorummarker, some vexillationes of the Eleventh fought around the Empire: in 295, a mobile subunit is in Egypt, while in 298 another is in Mauretania.

See also


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