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Open Book Roman Britain's Missing Legion

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Helm, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    In this short (173pages) but very informative book Simon Elliot looks into the mystery of the IX Legion, it's broken up into six chapters.

    The first two give a concise but thorough look into the Roman military and Roman Britain, the next three go into the 3 main theories for the disappearance and the final chapter is the author's conclusion as to what he believes happened.

    The first two of the theories each set in Britain is the of the legion being destroyed in Britain, possibly in Scotland , which has been the usual explanation. But more recent archaeology (including evidence that London was burnt to the ground and dozens of decapitated heads) suggests a crisis, not on the border but in the heart of the province, previously thought to have been peaceful at this time. What if IX Hispana took part in a rebellion, leading to their punishment, disbandment and damnatio memoriae (official erasure from the records)? This proposed ‘Hadrianic War’ would then be the real context for Hadrian’s ‘visit’ in 122 with a whole legion, VI Victrix, which replaced the ‘vanished’ IX as the garrison at York.
    [IMG]

    The third hypothesis is that legio IX Hispana was deployed to and subsequently perished while defending the northern Rhine/Danube frontier. This hypothesis is based on the discovery of bricks and tiles with the stamps of legio IX Hispana that have been found in Nijmegen. In order to present this hypothesis, Simon Elliott now lays out the frontier defences on Rhine and Danube.

    And the final theory is that legio IX Hispana was destroyed fighting on the eastern frontier, Simon Elliott then again, as before with the Rhine/Danube frontier, lines out all encounters of the Roman with the Parthians in the east, and one legion is known to have been lost there.

    Finally, there is a summation of these events and the author reaches a conclusion, which you'll have to read for yourself no spoilers here! I agree with his conclusions on the evidence he's presented here. I am of course not the scholar he is, but the case is pretty watertight, providing he's not left out any information of course.

    There are one or two trivial errors in the book, including the old canard about sword blades being grooved "to let out blood and stop them sticking" but those can be lived with, even though that one does drive me mad. Overall an excellent book, well written and not at all dry reading.
  2. 1969 A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Cannot wait to read it :)
    DioramaArt and Helm like this.
  3. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
  4. grasshopper A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    Nice- I’ve enjoyed The Legions of Rome by Dando. Elliot looks interesting
    Helm likes this.
  5. Redcap A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Thank you for a very good review Steve and I will be getting my copy this week.

    Doubtless and like with all "whodunit?" books, all of the conclusions or opinions will be personally held ones or best guesses but that said, I am sure it will be an enjoyable read nonetheless.

    Hope you are keeping well mate.

    Gary
    Helm likes this.
  6. Redcap A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Just ordered it via Amazon - only £14.99.

    Gary
    Helm likes this.
  7. grasshopper A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
    Simon Elliot is one of those history writers who bring academic creds to the table but write for an audience beyond pure academia- Mary Beard being another...the sort of person one would love to take a seminar from...
    Helm likes this.
  8. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Yes mate and you I hope? Like you say it's a bit of a whodunit but he presents the case well
    Steve
    Redcap likes this.
  9. sd0324 PlanetFigure Supporter

  10. DioramaArt A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Sounds an excellent read, I could have done with this before starting my current project depicting the destruction of the IX. I’ve read a number of theories about the feat of the IX legion, my scene depicts one of those where the Ancient Britain’s wiped out the foot soldiers of the IX at the battle of Camulodunum. Colchester being the ancient capital of Britain where Romans were quite integrated with the local peoples but unrest led to a rebellion led by Boudicca against the Roman occupiers who were hastily gathered from various forts to defend the fortified town and temples.
    Nap and Helm like this.
  11. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Steve

    That sounds a interesting book for sure

    Good to see a book being reviewed as well

    Thanks for sharing

    Nap
    Helm likes this.
  12. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    It's a great read those minor errors aside
    Steve
    DioramaArt likes this.
  13. Martin Rohmann A Fixture

    Country:
    Germany
    The last deployment of leg. VIIII (or IX), of which we are certain, ended in 135 AD. Their whereabouts are actually unknown.

    Since the sources are completely silent, extinction is likely; either from 135 AD. in Iudaea (Bar Kochba-Uprising), 161 AD. in Eastern Cappadocia or a year later in the fight against the Chatta on the Danube.

    An inscription in Rome from the time of Marcus Aurelius names all legions of the empire, omitting legio IX and legio XXII.

    The most plausible date seems to be 161 AD, as the Greek author Lucianus described the destruction of a Roman legion in the area, but without giving any details.


    Cheers
  14. Helm A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    You're going to have to read the book Martin no hints :D
    Steve

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