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Rome’s missing Ninth Legion

The disappearance of Rome’s Ninth Legion has always been a captivating mystery. With the release of the new film The Eagle, the BBC has decided to clarify what is actually known about the vanishing troops.

The British problem was of deep concern to Roman central government. Thanks to a tombstone recovered from Ferentinum in Italy, we know that emergency reinforcements of over 3,000 men were rushed to the island on “the British Expedition”, early in Hadrian’s reign. The emperor himself visited the island in AD 122, in order to “correct many faults”, bringing with him a new legion, the Sixth.

The fact that they took up residence in the legionary fortress of York suggests that the “great losses” of personnel, alluded to by Fronto, had occurred within the ranks of the Ninth.

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Story: BBC News | Photo: BBC News

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