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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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The simple and obvious explanation is not that the Ninth died slaughtered in Scotland or Palestine etc but that it was reorganised.
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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Wile E. Coyote wrote:
Wiley's new book, "Rome's missing legions", features the full list of all of them and discovers that legions have constantly changed their identities, some merging with other legions. The constant name and number changes and amalgamations mean that fictional histories get created, and it is impossible to trace any accurate records of individual legions.

You get a whiff of the problem by looking at "legion 2"

I suppose it's a bit like League Division Two. The title remains the same, but the contents change over the years.

Curious coincidence of the day, many of the teams in League Division Two are "Roman Towns".

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/league-two/table
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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Are we to hear more of this book, Wiley? Are we to be regaled by snippets in the Reading Room?
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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First of all I have to complete my reading of "The decisive battles of the western world" JFC Fuller.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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You've been saying that since Mafeking was relieved (303 BC).
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Well it is two volumes, and I made the mistake of lending one out. I am hoping that Mafeking is in volume 2. I am sure it was significant, that is if we won. If we lost I will try to disprove it happened, bit like I have done with the defeat of Boudica.

"'But now,' she said, 'it is not as a woman descended from noble ancestry, but as one of the people that I am avenging lost freedom, my scourged body, the outraged chastity of my daughters. Roman lust has gone so far that not our very persons, nor even age or virginity, are left unpolluted. But heaven is on the side of a righteous vengeance; a legion which dared to fight has perished; the rest are hiding themselves in their camp, or are thinking anxiously of flight. They will not sustain even the din and the shout of so many thousands, much less our charge and our blows. If you weigh well the strength of the armies, and the causes of the war, you will see that in this battle you must conquer or die. This is a woman's resolve; as for men, they may live and be slaves.'"[15]
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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The 'Water Newton Treasure', discovered in Cambridgeshire near the Roman town of Durobrivae is declared to be

the earliest group of Christian liturgical silver yet found in the Roman Empire.

Wiki article says

The hoard was discovered during ploughing in February 1975; several items were damaged by the plough. It was probably buried by an inhabitant of the nearby Roman fortified garrison town of Durobrivae. There are nine silver vessels, and the remainder of the items are votive tokens engraved and embossed with the labarum (the chi-rho cross), mostly of triangular shape. The larger items include jugs, bowls, dishes, a strainer, and an unengraved standing two-handled cup of the form (cantharus) later used as chalices.

I tried to access the British Museum entry for more detail but it says 'Sorry, that page doesn't exist'

The hoard consisted of 27 silver items and one small gold plaque. Because of inscriptions found on some of the pieces in the collection it has been suggested that they may have been used in a local church, and they therefore comprise the earliest probable group of Christian liturgical silver yet found in the Roman Empire

The Christian connection hinges on an inscription on a silver bowl as per the British Museum listing which Wiki helpfully cites.

Inscribed silver bowl, height 11.5 cm, width 17 cm, weight 663 g. (1975,1002.5). Badly damaged at the base on one side, the bowl has inscriptions: under the base, the name "PUBLIANUS", and round the rim a regular hexameter line:"SANCTUM ALTARE TUUM DOMINE SUBNIXUS HONORO" engraved alongside two chi-rho monograms. The exact context of the inscriptions have been debated but "O Lord, I Publianus, relying on you, honour your holy altar [or church]." is probably the sense. The bowl is therefore marked as a votive offering, and associates the treasure with a church, or perhaps the private chapel of a large house

Thing is, inscriptions on a silver bowl can't be dated and there are no remains of a nearby church or chapel, otherwise we'd have been told all about them.
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Wile E. Coyote


In: Arizona
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Well one of the oldest tricks in the book is to put an inscription on something. A Roman altar stone is worth close to nothing but add on a dedication "I legionnaire Wilius dedicate devout fortunes to goddess Hattia" (Obscure goddesses are worth more) and away you go. In actual fact it would be worth even more if the inscription was written in a way that was unusual, and so had to be decoded a bit, ie I should chuck in a couple of runes, whilst carving.
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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Obscure? Humph.
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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It's Rosemary Sutcliff's centenary year and her Eagle of the Ninth (published 1954) was mentioned on Twitter as part of World Book Day. It's not easy to find any evidence that the Ninth Legion actually existed. According to the BBC the only trace is in Yorkshire

the last certain piece of evidence relating to the existence of the Legion from anywhere in the Roman Empire comes from York where an inscription, dating to AD 108, credits the Ninth with rebuilding the fortress in stone

The inscription they mention is presumably the inscription found on a tile



Tile stamp of the Ninth Legion from Roman York (Ebocarum). The tile was produced in the legionary tilery, located next to the River Foss.

It's not made clear how this inscirbed tile was dated as there is no mention of accompanying archaeology, never mind a known tile-making centre

... stamps when published merely in printed capitals cannot be identified with specific dies. The die used for the one example known from Lincoln seems to have been taken north for use among others at one of the tileries, on sites not yet located, which supplied York. The rare examples from Aldborough (Isurium Brigantum), the capital of the canton fifteen miles north-west of York, match two of the dies from York

So the 'legionary tilery' might be located somewhere else entirely.
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Hatty
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In: Berkshire
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Just noticed the caption beneath the photo of the inscribed tile reads

Archaeological evidence of the legion's fate is scarce

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12752497

'Fate', they say, rather than existence. Not the same thing, or is it?

P.S. I first wrote 'legendary' instead of legionary. Easily conflated where the Ninth is concerned.
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Boreades


In: finity and beyond
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It occurs to me there might be a parallel with the TV historian's and author's fascination with "Hill Forts" and insistence that the hilltop enclosures were military establishments, lots of gory battles, good TV ratings, book sales, etc, etc.

Whereas anyone who has actually served in a miltary unit (or just lived) in Northern Britain in winter knows that 99% of life is boring, most time is spent complaining about the food, the weather, the crap equipment, etc, etc. That's normal life, there's not much sun and glamour.

What was the background in Roman Britain at the time? We're told that Britain had for (at least) 30 years provoked nothing but trouble for Rome, with rebellious natives and disaffected troops. The Roman garrison on Hadrian’s Wall may have been caught up in this, as it is recorded that it rebelled in 367AD.

e.g. The historian Ammianus :
provides an account of the tumultuous situation in Britain between 364 and 369, and he describes a corrupt and treasonous administration, native British troops (the Areani or Arcani) in collaboration with the barbarians, and a Roman military whose troops had deserted and joined in the general banditry.


Ref : Attacotti and Areani
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attacotti
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Areani

What would be the fate of a legion that had said "blow this for a game of soldiers" and generally buggered off? Struck from the official records might be the least of it.

If they had done the "decent thing" and died heroically in battle there might be some record. But rank and file just slipping off into the dead of night (and historical obscurity) would be a very good reason for the trail running cold.
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Mick Harper
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In: London
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How Leonardo, Herodotus and a Roman architect dealt with Apollo Leslie Greenhill 2014 © Email:lesgreenhill@yahoo.com.au
Abstract Vitruvian Man as rendered by Leonardo da Vinci is one of humanity's most famous and influential images. Detailed specifications for the layout of Vitruvian Man's body were given more than 2000 years ago by the Roman architect Vitruvius in his famous treatise The Ten Books on Architecture. Leonardo's illustration and material found in the artist's notebook bring to light an inventive design concept not noticed before. Pythagorean design is seen from a new and memorable perspective.

For a perspective requiring less memory...
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