part of the  RNG Museum Platform
           The Roman Military Museum

  • Introduction to this Museum see below
  • List of Roman Legions on Coins, Bricks, and Artefacts (with links to museum sections)
  • Roman Military Equipment
  • Roman Military Diplomas
  • Legionary and Auxiliary Stamps on Roman Bricks
  • Numismatic Section
  • The Tabula Peutingeriana
  • The Location of Roman Legions
  • Short Introductions for each Department:

    List of Roman Legions in this Museum on Coins, Bricks, and Artefacts

    Table with direct links to images of Legions mentioned on coins, bricks, and other artefacts.

    Roman Military Equipment

    Showing representative examples of Roman military equipment from the late Republic to the late Empire, from major museums and selected private collections.

    Roman bronze helmet of the type Niederbieber, cheek pieces are missing

    Roman Military Diplomas

    Example of a Roman Military Diploma, that granted Roman citizenship after 25 years (army) or 26 years (Navy) of military service in the auxiliary forces to the veteran and his family. Soldiers in these auxiliary forces (on foot = cohors, mixed with light cavalry = cohors equitata, cavalry = ala) were usually not Roman citizens when they joined the troops. In contrast legionaries had to be Roman citizens. This distinction lost its importance when Caracalla granted citizenship to all people living in the Roman empire (except to the slaves of course).

    Mail us if you need support in identifying details of a military diploma you may have in your collection. We are publishing military diploma in major scientific journals and appreciate very much new material from private collections for this purpose. Your name can be named as donor, or you can remain anonymous, whichever you prefer.

    Even small fragments can help to bring Archeology forward !

    From Hadrian's reign for either the praetorian fleet of Misena or Ravenna (W.Eck, D.MacDonald, A.Pangerl, "Neue Diplome Italischer Truppen", ZPE 2002).

    Legionary Stamps on Bricks

    Largest collection of Roman Legionary Brick Stamps on the web


    Roman Legions on Coins

    4 main groups of Roman coins are devoted to legions, the Denari of Marcus Antonius before the battle of Actium 31 BC, the Aurei, Denari and Sesterti of Septimius Severus of 193 AD to thank those troops that supported him to become emperor, the Antoniniani of Gallienus of 260/261 AD attributed to his newly formed mobile reserve off Mediolanum (Milan), and the very rare Antoniniani of Carausius minted in Londinum (London).

    "Legio XIX" Denarius of Marcus Antonius for his legions before the battle of Actium, that he lost together with his lover Cleopatra against Octavianus, the later Augustus, grandnephew and heir of Julius Caesar. These denarii exist for Leg II - XXIII, as well as for special elite units such as the speculatores and the praetorian cohort. The link from the Denarii of Marcus Antonius to the legions of Augustus and the later empire is very problematic and can only be made for those few legions that Augustus took over after the battle of Actium being old legions of his "father" Caesar (e.g Leg XII Fulminata, Leg V Alaudae), or merged with his existing legions. E.g. the LEG X Equitata of Caesar - with Antonius at Actium - was merged by Augustus into LEG X GEMINA. Most of the legions of Marcus Antonius were dissolved however.

    Roman Countermarks on Coins

    In this section a detailed display of Legionary Countermarks on Roman coins is shown.

    Countermark "VAR" long thought to be of Quinctilius Varus, who died with his three legions trapped in the deep German forests of theTeutoburger Wald in 9 AD. The numerals of the Legions XVII, XVIII, XIX lost by Varus to the Germanic tribes were never replaced, despite the fact that the legionary eagles were later recovered. Many countermarks on Jilio-Claudian coins have military context, even though direct links are difficult to prove.

    Historical Coins:

    There are many roman coin designs with direct reference to the military and to wars (especially to victories - real or propaganda-. A special section of this museum covers Roman victories.

    Parthian returning the legionary standards lost by Crassus (denarius of Augustus), one is tempted to read a X for tenth legion on the standard.

    The Tabula Peutingeriana

    A late Roman road map


    Locations of the Roman Legions

    In this section of the museum the attempt is made to document each legion ever cited on a coin, and to give its main location from the period of Vespasianus - Diocletian. One has to consider however that the legions moved rather frequently to areas of need. A special section of this museum offers a table with the Location of Roman Legions for those interested in further details. In general the bulk of the roman army was based a) in the West in the Rhine region during the reign of Augustus, but shifted later to the Danube border, and b) on the Eastern frontier towards Persia.

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