Interesting facts

  • In AD 125 soldiers from the First Italic Legion were sent by the emperor Hadrian to supervise some unknown building works in Delphi (Greece).
  • It is possible that between AD 139 and 142 during the reign of the same emperor a subunit of this legion was sent to Britain to built a part of the Antonine wall at Old Kilpatrick, between Edinburgh and Glasgow. This assumption is based on the text of the altar discovered at the site:


“For Jupiter Best and Greatest, the First Cohort of Baetasii, Citizens of Rome, under the command of the prefect Publicius Maternus, and Aulus Julius Candidus, centurion of the First Italic Legion.” (translation based on

About the altar and its dating see Britannia 1970, 310, no. 20; Frere 1987, 152-153, n. 34.

  • It was suggested that some subunit of the legion served in Africa during the reign of Antoninus Pius and suppressed a revolt of the Mauri. This supposition was based on two finds of stamped building materials, one of them now lost (CIL VIII 10474, 13 and p. 911, Numidia, Constantine / Cirta; another of unknown provenance, kept in the Museum in St. Germain, France. About the stamps see E. Ritterling, Legio, in: RE 1925, col. 1407-1417; R. Cagnat, L’armée romain d’Afrique, 108 n., vol. 2, 119). The reading of the stamps is doubtful, however. To this, one can add the fact that a certain woman from Novae, Antonia Optata was nick-named Maura (IGLNov 92). Still, this evidence can not be an argument for the African expedtion of the Legion. For the inscription see IGLNov, p. 127, ad no. 92 and see here.
  • A vexillatio (combined detachment) of soldiers from the Lower Moesian legions (I Italica and XI Claudia) were stationed in Crimea. The soldiers build a temple there, dedicated to Jupiter Dolichenus in Balaklava (called back then Symbolon Limen), a military post on the Kazatskaya hill and a fort on the Aj-Todor cape. The survey and excavations were conducted by the local and Polish archaeologists (O.Ja Savelja, T. Sarnowski and by R. Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski).  Further reading: T. Sarnowski, O.Ja. Savelja, Balaklava. Römische Militärstation und Heiligtum des Iupiter Dolichenus, Warszawa 2000 (Światowit. Supplement Series A: Antiquity, vol. V).

balaklawa2small balaklawa5small balaklawa6small

Balaklava: the view on the bay, remains of the temple and its reconstruction (by T. Sarnowski, J. Kaniszewski)

  • Another vexillatio of the Moesian troops was stationed in the fort near Montana (western Bulgaria). In the first quarter of the 2nd c. the preceding military unit stationed there was the cohors Sugambrorum veterana equitata. It was replaced by the soldiers of the legio XI Claudia and legio I Italica. The soldiers of the latter legion are attested during in the first half of the 3rd c. It is possible that they supervised the mines and transport of the metals mined near Montana, as well as carrying policing functions in  the regio Montanensium. A very interesting inscription discovered in Montana testifies the participation of the soldiers in imperial hunting (venatio Caesariana), i.e., hunting for the animals which were to be sent to Rome:
After: BS Thurner Hof (Wikipedia)

After: BS Thurner Hof (Wikipedia)

Dianae / Ti(berius) Claudius Ulpianu(s) / trib(unus) coh(ortis) I Cili(cum) cum vexilla/tionib(us) leg(ionum) I Ital(icae) XI Cl(audiae) class(is) / Fl(aviae) Mo(esicae) ob venationem / Caesarianam iniunc/tam a Cl(audio) Saturnino leg(ato) / Aug(usti) pr(o) pr(aetore) ursis et vison/tibus prospere captis / aram consecra/vit Largo et Mes/sallino co(n)s(ulibus).

The monument dated to AD 147 probably refers to one of the huntings organised for the occasion of the ludi saeculares held in AD 148, as a grand jubilee of Rome (900 years from foundation of the Urbs).

More: F. Bérard, ZPE 79, 1989, 129-138.


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