HISTORY of LEGIO IIII SCYTHICA

 

 Marc Antony (Museum of fine art, Budapest)     Legio IIII Scythica: one of the Roman legions. Its title means 'the legion from Scythia'. It is possible that it also suggested that the soldiers were brave like the notorious Scythians.
     This unit was founded by the triumvir Marc Antony in the years after 42. We do not know where it was first stationed. Syria is a possibility, and when this is correct, it is very likely that the fourth legion took part in Antony's ill-fated campaign against the Parthian empire.
     In 31 BCE, Caesar's adopted son Octavian defeated Marc Antony at Actium. From now on, the Roman empire was ruled by one man, Octavian, who accepted the title of Augustus. From now on, the fourth legion was certainly active in Moesia, the region of the Lower Danube. The surname Scythica is attested during the reign of Augustus, and there was much heavy fighting in the years 29-27. The legion's base was probably at Viminacium (Kostolac in eastern Serbia).

 

     Between 6 and 9 CE, IIII Scythica was active in the wars of Tiberius (the future emperor) against the Illyrians and Pannonians on the Middle Danube. Fighting was not the only activity of the legion. Several rock inscriptions prove the construction of roads and other works of engineering in the Danube area. The newly conquered country needed to be developed. Usually, IIII Scythica joined forces with V Macedonica. Among those who served in the legion was a young man named Titus Flavius Vespasianus, who is better known as the emperor Vespasian.
     During the reign of Nero, the legion was transferred to the east. In 58-60, the Roman commander Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo launched a very successful campaign in the vassal kingdom Armenia

 



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      From 66 on, the fourth legion was stationed in Zeugma, an important place on the river Euphrates, facing the Parthian frontier. It was still there in the third century.
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    During the civil war of the year 69, which was the result of the suicide of Nero, the Fourth Scythian legion sided with its former officer Vespasian.

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     Because Zeugma is at the border between the Roman and Parthian empires, we can be certain that the Fourth took part in all wars between the two states: for example, that of Trajan in 114-117 and that of Lucius Verus between 161 and 166, which culminated in the sack of the Parthian capital Ctesiphon.

 

 

     This coin is related to the Roman–Parthian War of 161–166 (also called the Parthian War of Lucius Verus was fought between the Roman and Parthian Empires over Armenia and Upper Mesopotamia. It concluded in 166 after the Romans made successful campaigns into lower Mesopotamia and Media and sacked Ctesiphon, the Parthian capital.
     It is mentions that LEGIO IIII SCYTHICA took part in this offensive.
Medallion with bust of Lucius Verus.Roman, Imperial Period, A.D. 164–165
   Obverse: Bust of Lucius Verus, laureate, draped, cuirassed. LAVRELVERVSAVGARMENIACVSIMPIITRPVCOSII Reverse: Victory with palm erecting trophy at foot of which an Armenian standing, hands clasped in front; and an Armenian seated on the ground, clasping his left knee. SC (in exergue)

     Between 181 and 183, the commander of IIII Scythica was the future emperor Lucius Septimius Severus (193-211). He used the fourth legion during his campaign against the Parthians in 194. In 197-198, the Scythian legion took part in Severus' second Parthian war.

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ЧАСОПИС ЗА ИСТОРИЈУ, МУЗЕОЛОГИЈУ И УМЕТНОСТ
JOURNAL FOR HISTORY, MUSEOLOGY AND ART  
ВОЈНИ МУЗЕЈ БЕОГРАД 2013
MILITARY MUSEUM BELGRADE 2013

Introduction
     One of the most important goals generations of researchers
have strived towards during archeological
researches of ancient Singidunum, was
revealing remains of the Roman military camp
which might have had a permanent formation since the beginning
of the 1st century AD. Members of several legions, first of
all IIII Scythica and V Macedonica, 1 were considered to be the
earliest garrison of this camp

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LEGIO IIII SCYTHICA             
There was already an opportunity to acquire the surname Scythica when Marcus Licinius Crassus conquered the countries of the Balkans (29 - 27 B.C.), for this legion was fighting under his command. At that time the Bastarnians, main opponents of Crassus at the beginning of his campaigns, were not considered separate from the Scythians (Dio LI 23, 3:  (Greek) Bastárnai dè Schûthaí te and  24, 4: (Greek)  pân tò Schuthichòn fûlon  with reference to the Bastarnians; compare Augustus in Mon. Anc. V 51: Bastarnae Scythaequae and Tac. ann. II 65: bellum adversus Bastarnas Scythasquae).

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After the battle of Actium and Antony's suicide, Octavian transferred IIII Scythica to the Danube province of Moesia. The legion is reported to have taken part in civilian tasks, such as the building and keeping of roads. In his youth, future emperor Vespasian served in this legion.

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TI CAESARE AVG P
AVGUSTO IMPERATORE
PONT MAX TR POT XXXV
LEG IIII SCYT LEG V MACED
– Текст натписа на Тиберијевој табли –
From the book  BALCANICA XXXIV, Belgrade 2004, 1–450 СРПСКА АКАДЕМИЈА НАУКА И УМЕТНОСТИ БАЛКАНОЛОШКИ ИНСТИТУТОдговорни уредник
ЉУБИНКО РАДЕНКОВИЋ
Директор Балканолошког института

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     In a picturesque place east of Naples in area CAMPANIA are located Abbey Goleto, monastery L'Abbazia di San Guglielmo. With the tower Febronia in which has been preserved monument in which are built several large stone blocks that probably in antiquity were part of the, mausoleum of centurion Marcus Marcellus Pacius of Legio IIII Scythica. Solid stone blocks from centurion mausoleum with rich decoration typical of the Roman era, are used in renaissance to reinforce the monastery against bandit raids in this historic period.
     Тhe Goleto place is in the present territory of Sant’Angelo dei Lombardi and are relates with the remains of the sepulchral monument built there by MARCUS PACCIUS MARCELLUS of the Galeria tribe, centurion of Legion IIII Scythica. In 1152 the abbess Febronia reuses the remains of the mausoleum as increasing its height by a defensive tower, “one of the rare examples of the fortified works attached to religious wholes”.
Luigi Guerriero in Napoli Nobilissima, vol. XXIX – Fasc. V-VI – set. dic. 1990; Arte Tipografica Napoli
Epigraphy inscription of the tower Febronia of the monastery.
M. PACCIO G. F. GA.
MARCELLO PRIMI
PILARI LEG. IIII
SCYTHICAE

AB INCAR. D.
A. M. C. C. Q.II IN
DIC. V.. X. – N. ED. F. ABATO
FEBRONIA C.T. OPAIS
ABBA
Sources: verderosa.wordpress.com

   

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"The Archaeology of RomanSouthern Pannonia"
(The state of research and selected problems in the Croatian part of the Roman province of Pannonia)
Edited by
Branka Migotti


Wilkes assumed that VII, VIII Augusta and XI legion could have been under the command of Caecina Severus at that time, while  IV Scythica and V Macedonica

We can assume that these were Tiberius’ IX, XIII, XIV, XV and XX, as well as  IV Scythica, V Macedonica, VII, VIII and XI that arrived from Moesia.

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     Cohors I Cisipadensium
     This cohort was in Moesia from a very early period, as proven by an inscription from the peninsula of Istria, at Pola (Ruginium, Regio X), which preserved the career of L. Campanius L. f. Pol. Verecundus, former soldier of legion IV Scythica, promoted to signifer and then centurio of a cohors Cisipadensium. After the province division, the cohort remains on the territory of Moesia Superior, being recorded by imperial constitutions of 94 and 100. It was probably involved together with troops from its province in the Dacian expeditions of emperor Trajan. In 115, it was among the troops of Moesia Superior sent to the Parthian expedition. The fate of this troop is unknown in the Parthian war aftermath until 138, when it is recorded by the diploma for Thracia, together with cohors II Lucensium. However, when and under what circumstances cohort I Cisipadensium reached the territory of Th racia remains unknown. Considering it is not mentioned by the diploma of , it may be supposed that its displacement took place under Hadrian. It is subsequently transferred to Moesia Inferior between 146 and 155. It remained there until mid 3rd C, when under Maximinus Th rax and Gordian III is recorded at Sostra (Lomec) with the mission to surveil the important road linking the city of Philippopolis with the Danube line. When exactly the unit was transferred to Sostra is impossible to assert, probably sometime after 198 when the II Mattiacorum cohort is for the last time attested (vide infra). Where it was again transferred in the reign of Gallienus, when another cohort, II reducum is attested within the Sostra fort (vide infra), it is still unknown.
No cohort commanders or soldiers are known from the period of its stationing in Moesia Inferior.

Quote from: Florian Matei-Popescu
THE ROMAN ARMY IN MOESIA INFERIOR
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     Cohors I Tyriorum sagittariorum
     It appears for the fi rst time within the diplomas for Moesia Inferior of 972072, then of 992073, 1052074, 107 (awarded to a soldier of the unit) 2075 and 1162076. It is interesting that this
troop or a homonym is recorded from an extremely early period, by mid 1st C BCE within an inscription from Italy recording the name of a prefect.
Unexpectedly, a cohort Tyriorum, evidently the unit which was later recorded in Moesia Inferior under the name I Tyriorum sagittariorum, is present on an imperial constitution of 75, April 28, parallel constitution with the one recorded by the Taliata diploma . The unit’s presence within an offi cial document, without numeral, could resolve the issue of the troop identity in an inscription at Akkilise (Antiochia, Pisidia) mentioning an ignotus as prefect of cohort ITVR 2079. In agreement with other scholars, I also believed, given that the next equestrian militia had been fulfilled with legion IV Scythica, which until around 56–57 had been stationed on the territory of Moesia, that it might have made reference to I TVR (riorum) . In my view however, the new imperial constitution defi nitely settles the issue, the reading of the troop name on this inscription being undeniably ITVR (aeorum).
It obviously participated in Trajan’s Dacian expeditions and remained north the Danube 2082. After the reform under Hadrian, it appears among the troops of Dacia Inferior within the diplomas of 130, 140, 146 and 167–168.
Among the commanders who served during the stationing period in the province of Moesia Inferior, I mention L. Rutilius Ravonianus, who appears on the diploma of May 13, 1052084 and on the diploma of 1072085 and possibly L. Valerius [...], recorded by an inscription from Salonae dated by the beginning of the 2nd C, yet supportive elements are thin 2086.
Furthermore, an inscription from Teramo (Interamna Praetuttinorum, Regio V), records an equestrian career of an individual who was cohort prefect, however his name was lost to the cracks in the stone. It is possible that the inscription dated from the period when the cohort was already in Dacia.
     The known soldiers serving while the unit was still in the territory of Moesia Inferior are Tarsa Tarsae f. Bessus, discharged on May 13, 105 and Hebrenus Bithi f. Bessus, together with his two daughters, Dydenis and Scuris, awarded by the diploma of 107.Given that the troop had already been for several decades by Lower Danube, we should not be surprised to find native soldiers from this area.

Quote from: Florian Matei-Popescu
THE ROMAN ARMY IN MOESIA INFERIOR 

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     During the last years of the reign of Augustus and the first years of the reign of Tiberius the lands between the river Morava (westwards) and the rivers Vit and Osam (eastwards) were already permanently occupied zones. The lands situated along the Lower Danube and to the south of the Balkan Range were zones of intervention (T. Sarnowski). Legio V Macedonica was located in Oescus, but the camp of legio IIII Scythica is unknown for the moment (see pi. 14). To the legions were attached auxika, but here are discussed only these units situated along the right bank of the Danube about which we have more certain data. There is information about the following auxiliary units placed until A.D. 45 in the section Dorticum —Nikopol (a modern town by the Danube situated several kilometres to the east of the river Osam): ala (I) Scubulorum (near Nikopol - in the time of Tiberius), ala Bosporanorum milliaria (Asamus-Securisca — before the time of Claudius), ala Pansiana (in or by Oescus), ala Capitoniana (Augustae or Variana — in the time of Tiberius), ala Gallica (we do not know its full name, situated in or by Ratiaria),cohors I Cisipadensium (the village of Negovantsi?, to the east of Dorticum). It should be pointed out that the cavalry units were exceptionally prevailing here. In the new province was required great mobility of the military units. The Moesian contingent took active part in the suppressing of the uprisings in pre-provincial Thracia in A.D. 21, 26 and 27 as well.as in the events in connection with the foundation of the province of Thracia in which were involved parts of legio IIII Scythica,legio V Macedonica, legio VIII Augusta and auxilia. In A.D. 57 legio IIII Scythica left Moesia.

 

     A donative stone to the godess Diana, by Titus Aurelius Cassianus, praefect of the Legio IIII Scythica, and the Legio XIIII Gemina, his wife Lucilla, and their children. Together with military diploma, these donative stones are our most important sources of soldier`s careers and the movement of military units.


Publications: scarlet.be

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sources used:

rome.bg-history.info
oracle-vm.ku-eichstaett.de
romancoins.info
bg.wikipedia.org
freidok.uni-freiburg.de
livius.org
xlegio.ru
livius.org
ancientrome.ru
en.wikipedia.org
bg.wikipedia.org
plevenmuseum.dir.bg
roma-victrix.com
xlegio.ru/ancient-armies
freidok.uni-freiburg.de