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Can anyone tell me the exact meaning of the word "Valeria" in the title of Legio XX Valeria Victrix?

I've seen it translated as "Brave" or "Valiant", but isn't it a proper name rather than an adjective? "Victorious Valeria"

My Latin dictionary gives Valeria as (a) the feminine of the gens Valerius and (b) the name of a type of eagle.

Any thoughts appreciated.
No, it's certainly an adjective to Legio. Valeria comes, in this case, from the verb valere: to be strong, powerful, and which is probably the root of the English word valiant. Legio XX Valeria Victrix therefore means indeed the Valiant Victorious 20th Legion.
I agree. Though it is tempting to think of Legio XX as being named for Claudius' wife Valeria Messalina--after all, she and the legion both had 5000 men!


Matthew, Leg.XX (Not that we generally use the VV!)
Please not that a valeria is (according to the elder Pliny) also a black eagle. Although the surname probably was an adjective to legio, it is impossible that the pun was not intended.
Thanks Jona! That's new to me!