Campbell, The Fate of the Ninth - Printable Version

+- RomanArmyTalk (
+-- Forum: Research Arena (
+--- Forum: References & Reviews (
+--- Thread: Campbell, The Fate of the Ninth (/showthread.php?tid=31019)

Campbell, The Fate of the Ninth - Ross Cowan - 02-08-2019

Review: Dr Duncan B. Campbell, The Fate of the Ninth: The Curious Disappearance of One of Rome’s Legions.
Campbell dismantles the factoid, created by the great Mommsen, that the Ninth was annihilated by rampaging Brigantes at some point between AD 108 (when the legion is last attested at York) and 120 (the start of Hadrian’s reign was marked by upheaval and heavy fighting in northern Britain). The careers of tribunes whose service in the legion post-date this apparent calamity demonstrate that the Ninth was still alive and well (e.g. Aemilius Karus, between AD 122 and 127; Novius Crispinus, no earlier than AD 128). But it was clearly no longer based at York, or even resident in Britain. It played no part in the construction of Hadrian’s Wall. In the AD 120s, the legion was based at Nijmegen (its presence and construction work is evidenced by tile stamps). When exactly it arrived there (after a sojourn at Carlisle?) is a matter of dispute.
The legion may have been sent east to fight in the Jewish revolt of AD 132-5, and was perhaps reinforced by a draft of marines from the fleet at Misenum. Did the legion meet its fate in this war? No. It was still in existence in AD 140/1 when Numisius Iunior began his tenure as tribune, but the Ninth was not listed on the Nomina Legionum (‘The Names of the Legions’) columns, set up in Rome shortly before AD 165.
With this possible end date in mind, and assuming that the legion remained in the East after its apparent service in the Jewish War, could the famous battle of Elegeia, where the Parthians destroyed an unnamed Roman legion in AD 161, account for the disappearance of the Ninth? Perhaps, but other legions are missing from the Nomina Legionum and Campbell prefers to await the discovery of fresh epigraphic evidence (i.e. career inscriptions, dedications, building inscriptions and tile stamps) that will confirm the movements of the Ninth and provide firm dates for the service of its officers and lower ranks.
Campbell is certain that the Ninth was not disbanded in disgrace, the fate suggested for it by I.A. Richmond. He believed the legion was cashiered by Hadrian after suffering a disgraceful defeat in south-western Scotland. But compare the treatment of the Third Legion Augusta. Disbanded by Gordian III for its role in the defeat and deaths of Gordian I and II in Africa in AD 238, the Third suffered damnatio memoriae and its numeral and title were erased from all monuments. Such damage is absent from the inscriptions of the Ninth.
Campbell’s elegantly written book is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the Roman army, and in how that history is revealed by the careful study of epigraphy and archaeology.

RE: Campbell, The Fate of the Ninth - Gunthamund Hasding - 02-12-2019

Ross thanks for the review
the destiny of the IX'th is a very interesting story and I am sure Duncan is one of the best out there to make out of it an interesting read. I think that I will have to read it myself.


RE: Campbell, The Fate of the Ninth - Nathan Ross - 02-12-2019

(02-08-2019, 11:01 PM)Ross Cowan Wrote: AD 140/1 when Numisius Iunior began his tenure as tribune

He's very annoying, is Numisius Iunior. Were it not for him, I could happily believe that an understrength ninth were disbanded c.128, and the men used to reinforce the newer legion XXX Ulpia Victrix, which moved to Germania Inferior to replace it, just as XXII Deiotariana was used to reinforce II Traiana in Egypt, all as part of some major Hadrianic military reorganisation/rationalisation.

But with Iunior serving in the legion cAD140 that neat theory doesn't hold up. Unless... I don't suppose he could have been consul in AD161 aged 50-52, perhaps? Then he could have been a 19-year old tribune around 128... But that would probably be too convenient! There's always the theory that he was his own son, I suppose... [Image: wink.png]

But the book looks very interesting - thanks for the review!