Legio XV Primigenia

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de:Legio XV Primigenia Legio XV Primigenia was originally levied by the emperor Caligula in 39 AD, for the Germanic campaigns. The legion was stationed in the Rhine frontier until 70 AD, when it was destroyed during the Batavian rebellion with the V Alaude. The cognomen Primigenia is derived from the goddess Fortuna.

After the first campaigns, XV Primigenia was stationed in Moguntiacum (Mainz). In 43 AD, the redeployment of units following the Roman invasion of Britain leads the XV Primigenia to Xanten, in a camp shared with the V Alaudae. In 47 both legions were involved in the war against the Frisians and in the construction of Corbulo’s canal in the Rhine.

During the year of the four emperors (68-69AD) XV Primigenia and the other German border legions supported the claim of Vitellius to the throne, first against Galba and afterwards against Otho. When Vespasian was finally acclaimed undisputed emperor, the legions XV Primigenia and V Alaudae returned to Castra Vetera (Xanten camp), where the Batavian rebellion was already on the loose.

Both legions were besieged in their winter camp in 69 AD by a rebel army commanded by Civilis. They finally surrendered in 70 due to hunger and left the camp in orderly fashion under promises of safe conduct. However, the rebels chased the legions and killed the surviving legionaries. Neither the XV Primigenia or the V Alaudae were ever reconstituted after this disaster.

See also: List of Roman legions, Roman legion

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