Medieval History/6th Legion of Rome

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Question
I was recently watching  The Military Channel. I forget the episode, but they spoke of The 6th Legion as being known for it's aggressiveness, most feared, and cruelty. How do they know that? Where can I read up more on the 6th Legion's supposedly being most feared and most cruel? I can't recall if it was the 6th Ferrata or 6th Victrix.   Where can I find out the information or do you know directly of what they did? The show wouldn't have made that comment unless they had some direct information. Thank you!

Answer
Hi Jim, and thanks for your question,
Stephen Dando Collins wrote a book, "The Legions of Rome" which includes the history of all of Roman legions. It would not surprise me if that book was the basis of the show you saw.

You are correct. There were two 6th Legions, the Ferrata and the Victrix. According to Collins, the Ferrata had many more battle honors. You might be able to tell the two 6th Legions apart in the show by where the legions were stationed. The Ferrata was mostly in the east - Syria, Arabia, and was in the Jewish Wars. The Victrix was mostly in the west - Spain, the Rhine Frontier, and in Britain.

Which legion was the most feared and cruel is very subjective. Legions existed for hundreds of years, and obviously they did not have the same commanders or rank and file soldiers for all of that time. I suspect those claims were something the show added for dramatic effect.

Hope this helps,

C.M.

Medieval History

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C.M. Aaron

Expertise

I've been studying the early medieval period for almost 20 years. In particular, I've studied the fall of the Roman Empire, the barbarian invasions/migrations, early barbarian law codes, the early medieval church, technology of the period, military campaigns and tactics, and some of the early barbarian dynasties, especially the Merovingians in Gaul (France).

Experience

Twenty years of self study. I also write historical fiction of this era.

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Bachelor's degree.

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