Tuesday, 25 February 2014
The Eagle of the Ninth Legion
Obv: ANT AVG III VIR RPC
Galley right with rowers, mast with banners at prow
Rev: LEG VIIII
Aquila (legionary eagle) between two legionary standards
Legio Nona Hispana (Ninth Spanish Legion) was a Roman legion which operated from the 1st century BC until mid-2nd century AD.
The legion was raised, along with the 6th, 7th and 8th, by Pompey in Hispania in 65 BC.
Caesar's Ninth Legion fought in the battles of Dyrrhachium and Pharsalus (48 BC) and in the African campaign of 46 BC. After his final victory, Caesar disbanded the legion and settled the veterans in the area of Picenum.
Following Caesar's assassination, Octavian recalled the veterans of the Ninth to fight against the rebellion of Sextus Pompeius in Sicily. After defeating Sextus, they were sent to the province of Macedonia. The Ninth remained with Octavian in his war of 31 BC against Mark Antony and fought by his side in the battle of Actium. With Octavian as sole ruler of the Roman world, the legion was sent to Hispania to take part in the large-scale campaign against the Cantabrians (25–13 BC). The nickname Hispana ("stationed in Hispania") is first found during the reign of Augustus and probably originated at this time.
The legion's fate is unknown but has been the subject of considerable interest and research. It was based in York in 108. The theory that it was destroyed in action north of Hadrian's Wall around 117 was popularized by a 1954 novel, The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff, but was somewhat discredited when tile stamps later found in Nijmegen show that the legion was still based there between 121 and 130. Dio Cassius records that a legion was destroyed in Armenia by the Parthians in 161; it was possibly the Ninth Legion. In any event, the Ninth does not appear in a list of legions compiled in 165.
The above coin is for sale and can be purchased by following the link to Mauseus on Ebay HERE.