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Legio X

History of the 10th Legion
 
Legio X Equestris Veneria (Later Legio X Gemina)
Few Roman Legions are tied more closely to thier famous founder than the 10th Legion, Caesar's Tenth.
 
Founded in Hispania (Spain) around 61 B.C. by Julius Caesar, the Tenth quickly became renowned as one of the most famous Legions in the late Roman Republic.  The Tenth fought alongside Caesar in his Gallic Campaigns and was famously recruited by Caesar to act as his personal bodyguard.  In an act unique to Caesar, he mounted the tenth on horses as his personal guard in a meeting with German leader Ariovistus, thus earning the Legion is Equestris (mounted) title.  The second part of the title, Veneria, is in tribute to the Roman goddess Venus, whom Caesar claimed as his ancestor.  So Legio Decima Equestris Veneria means the Tenth Legion Mounted Devoted to Venus.
 
With the coming of the Civil War against Pompey the Tenth once again fought alongside Caesar with distinction, helping to crush Pompeys forces at Pharsalus in a decisive battle.
 
After the death of its founder in 44 B.C. the Tenth would fight alongside Marc Antony, first as part of the Triumvirate in campaigns against the Parthians in the east and Sextus Pompey is Sicilia, and then with Antony in his war against Octavian.  Following an uprising by the legions veterans, the legion would be disbanded and stripped of its Equestris title. The legion would later be reconstituted as Legio X Gemina, made up from veterans of other legions.
 
 
Legio X Fretensis
With Octavian's (now Augustus) changes to the legion system upon his rise to power as Imperator, Legio X Fretensis (named for its victory at Naulochus) was formed in honor of the origenal Legio X and deployed to Syria as part of a massive troop redeployment to counter the resurgence of the Parthian Empire as a threat to Rome's Eastern Provinces.
 
Here in Syria the 10th would become famous once again under the leadership of the future emperors Vespasian and Titus in the massive Jewish Revolts of 66 A.D.  The 10th would play a part in the eventual sacking of Jerusalem and Masada, as well as the destruction of much of the former province of Judaea.  The Legion would now remain in the provice as its primary defense force, both against the Parthians and further Jewish uprisings.
 
The last known records on the 10th Legion come from the 390's A.D. when it was still stationed in the region, now as part of the Byzantine defense forces in the region.
 
The name typically applied to the 10th Legion, that being Fretensis, has been a hotly debated issue among historical circles.  The title, related to the straits of Messina, is thought to have come from the 10th's action with Octavian against the Sextus Pompey.  This is also where the Legions symbols of the trireme and Neptune origenated.  There is little historical evidence of the use of the title Fretensis, however, so it is still not known if the Legion used this title in its day.
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