Legio XI

Legio XI
Active 58 BC to 45 BC, then reconstituted Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis
Country Roman Republic
Type Roman legion (Marian)
Role Infantry assault (some cavalry support)
Size Varied over unit lifetime. Approx. 6,000 men + support at the time of creation.
Mascot(s) Neptune
Engagements Gallic Wars
Caesar's civil war
Julius Caesar
Titus Labienus
Titus Pullo
Lucius Vorenus

Legio XI, along with the XII were levied by Julius Caesar in 58 BC in Cisalpine Gaul, for his war against the Nervians.[1]

The Roman world after Caesar's 58 Campaign in Gaul

Caesar and Pompey

Julius Caesar, founder of the XI Legion

After their victories in Gaul, civil war broke out between Julius Caesar and Pompey The Great, both of whom were triumvirs—those who rule together—and in January 49 BC Caesar and the XI invaded Italy camping at Aquila. They fought in 48 BC at Dyrrhachium and Pharsalus and disbanded in 45 BC the year before Caesar's assassination, and settled by him in Central Italy around the area of Bovianum Undecumanorum.

The legion that's loyal and faithful

They were later reconstituted in 42 BC by Octavian, Caesar's heir as Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis—the legion that is loyal and faithful to Claudius.[1] Now they fought for the new triumvirs of Octavian, Marc Anthony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus against the assassins of Julius Caesar: Brutus and Cassius at the Battle of Philippi. After which they went to put down a rebellion in Perugia.

Octavian who controlled the XI after Caesar

The XI Legion's next big mention in history's annals is in 32 BC when Octavian and Marc Anthony go to war and win supremacy of the Mediterranean. Now thanks to the valiant work of the XI and others Octavian is supreme (and sole) ruler of the Roman world, changing his name to Augustus.

After, the XI was sent to the Balkans, where it seems to have stayed for a century or so—the location of its base seems unknown, until 9 CE. It is recorded as staying at Burnnum (Kistanje) on the coast with the VII Legion, mostly involved in construction and development works such as roads. The VII eventually left, but our XI are still mentioned as being around the Dalmatian coast at the time of Nero's suicide of 68 CE.

Civil wars and more

There are reports of the XI fighting in Germania around the Rhine in 73 and 74 and later in 101 in Pannonia. In the time of Hadrian parts of the XI were sent to Judea in 132-136 CE to put down a revolt. In 193 the legion followed Lucius Septimius Severus as Romes new Emperor besieging Byzantium. In 295 a part of the XI fought in Egypt and a few years later in Mauretania. Reports exist until the 5th Century of the legion being stationed Lower Danube at Durostorum.


  1. 1 2 "Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis". www.livius.org. Retrieved 18 September 2012.

See also

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