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Captain Risky

The Roman Ninth Legion's mysterious loss

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Captain Risky

The Roman Ninth Legion's mysterious loss

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The disappearance of Rome's Ninth Legion has long baffled historians, but could a brutal ambush have been the event that forged the England-Scotland border, asks archaeologist Dr Miles Russell, of Bournemouth University.

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-12752497

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Sir Wearer of Hats
Posted (edited)

 

Edited by Sir Wearer of Hats
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DieChecker
1 hour ago, Captain Risky said:

The Roman Ninth Legion's mysterious loss

The disappearance of Rome's Ninth Legion has long baffled historians, but could a brutal ambush have been the event that forged the England-Scotland border, asks archaeologist Dr Miles Russell, of Bournemouth University.

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-12752497

Quote

It was the Ninth, the most exposed and northerly of all legions in Britain, that had borne the brunt of the uprising, ending their days fighting insurgents in the turmoil of early 2nd Century Britain.

The loss of such an elite military unit had an unexpected twist which reverberates to the present day. When the emperor Hadrian visited Britain at the head of a major troop surge, he realised that there was only one way to ensure stability in the island - he needed to build a wall.

Hadrian's Wall was designed to keep invaders out of Roman territory as well as ensuring that potential insurgents within the province had no hope of receiving support from their allies to the north. From this point, cultures on either side of the great divide developed at different rates and in very different ways.

How come whenever we see this wall in Movies it is easily climbed over and often run down? Was this an actual preventative keeping the Scots up north? 

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Essan
48 minutes ago, DieChecker said:

How come whenever we see this wall in Movies it is easily climbed over and often run down? Was this an actual preventative keeping the Scots up north? 

There is little evidence that the Wall was primarily for defensive purposes (not sure there is any evidence of any battles on it?) and most of the time the free tribes north of it were as friendly towards the Romans as those in the occupied territories to the south.   Obviously there were exceptions.

It was more a statement: the Roman Empire starts here!    And to control trade.

It's legacy to this day is the division of Albion (Britain) into separate countries: the occupied territories became England (and Wales) and the unoccupied north became Scotland.  This division was then reinforced by the Normans who likewise divided Britain on the same lines (to the extent that they "swapped" over Lothian and Cumbria so that the border was where it "should" be.

Without the Wall there would be no England and Scotland; just Britain.

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Hanslune
4 hours ago, Essan said:

There is little evidence that the Wall was primarily for defensive purposes (not sure there is any evidence of any battles on it?) and most of the time the free tribes north of it were as friendly towards the Romans as those in the occupied territories to the south.   Obviously there were exceptions.

It was more a statement: the Roman Empire starts here!    And to control trade.

It's legacy to this day is the division of Albion (Britain) into separate countries: the occupied territories became England (and Wales) and the unoccupied north became Scotland.  This division was then reinforced by the Normans who likewise divided Britain on the same lines (to the extent that they "swapped" over Lothian and Cumbria so that the border was where it "should" be.

Without the Wall there would be no England and Scotland; just Britain.

...and to prevent livestock thieves from easily running their captures across the border.

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Captain Risky
8 hours ago, Hanslune said:

...and to prevent livestock thieves from easily running their captures across the border.

I'm sure as a peripheral that also played a part but control of the lands south and tax would have been the primary concern for the Romans building the wall. 

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jaylemurph
12 minutes ago, Captain Risky said:

I'm sure as a peripheral that also played a part but control of the lands south and tax would have been the primary concern for the Romans building the wall. 

“Peripheral?”

If you don’t know much about the Scottish borderlands, just say so. 

—Jaylemurph 

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Kenemet
1 hour ago, Captain Risky said:

I'm sure as a peripheral that also played a part but control of the lands south and tax would have been the primary concern for the Romans building the wall. 

Cattle raids were a very common part of the border culture and are an important part of many Celtic tales.  Cattle were wealth in ancient times.  Raiding the neighboring clan's cattle (or more distant cattle) was pretty much a rite of manhood: https://virtualgael.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/cattle-raiding-and-gaelic-rites-of-passage/

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Captain Risky
Just now, Kenemet said:

Cattle raids were a very common part of the border culture and are an important part of many Celtic tales.  Cattle were wealth in ancient times.  Raiding the neighboring clan's cattle (or more distant cattle) was pretty much a rite of manhood: https://virtualgael.wordpress.com/2018/03/13/cattle-raiding-and-gaelic-rites-of-passage/

Thanks for the link. Yes, cattle theft was important to the locals. So was not paying duties and taxes and generally killing Romans. Such an interesting timeline  to study. But what ever happened to the 9th legion? 

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Kenemet
1 hour ago, Captain Risky said:

Thanks for the link. Yes, cattle theft was important to the locals. So was not paying duties and taxes and generally killing Romans. Such an interesting timeline  to study. But what ever happened to the 9th legion? 

Historians say their numbers were nibbled away and that they were combined with other legions.  The BBC article covered most of the evidence in a very general way.

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Kenemet

Ashby, Steven Paul, Frieda Gosling, and Aleksandra Noel McClain. "Torpel Manor: The Biography of a Landscape." (2017) makes the claim that it was Boudicca's forces that severely diminished the 9th (she says, trying to drag things back to topic.)

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Captain Risky
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Kenemet said:

Ashby, Steven Paul, Frieda Gosling, and Aleksandra Noel McClain. "Torpel Manor: The Biography of a Landscape." (2017) makes the claim that it was Boudicca's forces that severely diminished the 9th (she says, trying to drag things back to topic.)

Yes the Ninth had been in Britain from the beginning. But it was last recorded garrisoning Hadrians Wall.Boudicca's rebellion was over a hundred years before.  

Edited by Captain Risky

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Kenemet
1 minute ago, Captain Risky said:

Yes the Ninth had been in Britain from the beginning. But it was last recorded garrisoning Hadrians Wall.Boudicca's rebellion was over a hundred years latter.  

Still, the attrition would have been significant.  Is there any documentation of how strong the 9th was at various times?

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Captain Risky
1 minute ago, Kenemet said:

Still, the attrition would have been significant.  Is there any documentation of how strong the 9th was at various times?

Not that I'm aware of. The ninth had reputation for being among the toughest legions so i don't that it would have been undermanned or lacking in reputable commanders. 

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Kenemet
Just now, Captain Risky said:

Not that I'm aware of. The ninth had reputation for being among the toughest legions so i don't that it would have been undermanned or lacking in reputable commanders. 

But I seem to remember something about its numbers being reduced and it being undermanned about the time it was "lost."

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Captain Risky
1 minute ago, Kenemet said:

But I seem to remember something about its numbers being reduced and it being undermanned about the time it was "lost."

Yea its a tough one. Roman commander Agricola left and more than likely took what remained of the legion with him to the Rhine in modern Germany. The ninth was commanded by Ceasar himself so it was probably a status symbol. 

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Sir Wearer of Hats
56 minutes ago, Captain Risky said:

Yea its a tough one. Roman commander Agricola left and more than likely took what remained of the legion with him to the Rhine in modern Germany. The ninth was commanded by Ceasar himself so it was probably a status symbol. 

I always favoured the theory that a “Tutenberg Forest” happened and the Romans covered up the loss of face by simply saying “we don’t know what happened to them, maybe dragons ate them”. 

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Hanslune
1 hour ago, Sir Wearer of Hats said:

I always favoured the theory that a “Tutenberg Forest” happened and the Romans covered up the loss of face by simply saying “we don’t know what happened to them, maybe dragons ate them”. 

...or the specific information about that one unit was lost along with so much other Roman information and literature

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Piney
9 hours ago, Hanslune said:

...or the specific information about that one unit was lost along with so much other Roman information and literature

They keep finding wooden tablets in Vindolanda. Maybe one day we will know. 

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Kenemet
15 hours ago, Captain Risky said:

Yea its a tough one. Roman commander Agricola left and more than likely took what remained of the legion with him to the Rhine in modern Germany. The ninth was commanded by Ceasar himself so it was probably a status symbol. 

However, the time period we're talking about is long after Caesar.  The Ninth was legendary, but not invulnerable.  

My understanding is that Rome was in a time of crisis and the Ninth was gradually worn down by a number of factors until it became more important to stem the problems elsewhere by combining the veterans of the Ninth with other legions.

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Captain Risky

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Kenemet
4 hours ago, Captain Risky said:

mariusz-kozik-caesar-in-gaul-sk-017.jpg?

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Oooookay.....

And the point of this was... ?  (besides pointing to the left)

I fail to see how this supports a sudden disappearance of the 9th.

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Hanslune
3 hours ago, Kenemet said:

Oooookay.....

And the point of this was... ?  (besides pointing to the left)

I fail to see how this supports a sudden disappearance of the 9th.

Bumping the thread - which clearly demonstrates that the 9th Legion must have evolved into the progenitors of the ubiquitous gypsy peddlers so well known in the 18,19 and early 20th century European setting. Is it just a coincidence that the Roma (catch that name) arrived in Europe circa 500 AD....I think not. Obviously the kin of the 9th Legion....:rofl:

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Captain Risky
7 hours ago, Kenemet said:

Oooookay.....

And the point of this was... ?  (besides pointing to the left)

I fail to see how this supports a sudden disappearance of the 9th.

Mmmm.. Kenemet, just a little CPR. Back to what happened to the ninth there is every chance that they were given land and pensioned off on some border backwater with the intention of being reinlisted at a latter stage. Forgotten or even reinlisted by another legion.

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Captain Risky
4 hours ago, Hanslune said:

Bumping the thread - which clearly demonstrates that the 9th Legion must have evolved into the progenitors of the ubiquitous gypsy peddlers so well known in the 18,19 and early 20th century European setting. Is it just a coincidence that the Roma (catch that name) arrived in Europe circa 500 AD....I think not. Obviously the kin of the 9th Legion....:rofl:

...unfortunately another example of historical ignorance. The Gypsy tribes came from Norther India, given free passage through Anatolia by the Eastern Roman emperors is the 8th century into Europe. Roma comes from the Sanskrit meaning untouchable. Romaní  was the caste they belonged too. 

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