Legio XXI Rapax
Legio vigesima prima rapax (Latin for "Twenty-first Predator legion") was a Roman legion
Roman legion
A Roman legion normally indicates the basic ancient Roman army unit recruited specifically from Roman citizens. The organization of legions varied greatly over time but they were typically composed of perhaps 5,000 soldiers, divided into maniples and later into "cohorts"...

 levied in 31 BC by Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

, probably from men previously enlisted in other legions. The XXI Rapax was destroyed in 92 by the Dacians
The Dacians were an Indo-European people, very close or part of the Thracians. Dacians were the ancient inhabitants of Dacia...

 and Sarmatians. The symbol of the legion is thought to have been a capricorn
Capricorn may refer to:* Capricornus, one of the constellations of the zodiac** Capricorn * Capricorn , a manga series created by Johji Manabe* Capricorn , Jay Chou's 9th studio album...


Augustus probably sent his new XXIst legion to Hispania Tarraconensis
Hispania Tarraconensis
Hispania Tarraconensis was one of three Roman provinces in Hispania. It encompassed much of the Mediterranean coast of Spain along with the central plateau. Southern Spain, the region now called Andalusia, was the province of Hispania Baetica...

 to fight the campaign against the Cantabrians
Cantabrian Wars
The Cantabrian Wars occurred during the Roman conquest of the modern provinces of Cantabria, Asturias and León, against the Asturs and the Cantabri. They were the final stage of the conquest of Hispania.-Antecedents:...

. XXI Rapax was one of the five legions used by Drusus
Nero Claudius Drusus
Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus , born Decimus Claudius Drusus also called Drusus, Drusus I, Nero Drusus, or Drusus the Elder was a Roman politician and military commander. He was a fully patrician Claudian on his father's side but his maternal grandmother was from a plebeian family...

 to suppress the rebellion of the Raetians, in 16-15 BC. From 15 BC, the legion was stationed in Castra Regina (Regensburg
Regensburg is a city in Bavaria, Germany, located at the confluence of the Danube and Regen rivers, at the northernmost bend in the Danube. To the east lies the Bavarian Forest. Regensburg is the capital of the Bavarian administrative region Upper Palatinate...

), in the new province of Raetia
Raetia was a province of the Roman Empire, named after the Rhaetian people. It was bounded on the west by the country of the Helvetii, on the east by Noricum, on the north by Vindelicia, on the west by Cisalpine Gaul and on south by Venetia et Histria...


After the disaster of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest took place in 9 CE, when an alliance of Germanic tribes led by Arminius of the Cherusci ambushed and decisively destroyed three Roman legions, along with their auxiliaries, led by Publius Quinctilius Varus.Despite numerous successful campaigns and raids by the...

, the legion was sent as reinforcements to Germania Inferior
Germania Inferior
Germania Inferior was a Roman province located on the left bank of the Rhine, in today's Luxembourg, southern Netherlands, parts of Belgium, and North Rhine-Westphalia left of the Rhine....

, where they shared the base camp of Castra Vetera (Xanten
Xanten is a historic town in the North Rhine-Westphalia state of Germany, located in the district of Wesel.Xanten is known for the Archaeological Park or archaeological open air museum , its medieval picturesque city centre with Xanten Cathedral and many museums, its large man-made lake for...

) with V Alaudae
Legio V Alaudae
Legio quinta Alaudae sometimes known as Gallica, was levied by Julius Caesar in 52 BC from native Gauls. Their emblem was an elephant, and their cognomen Alaudae came from the high crest on their helmets, typical of the Gauls, which made them look like larks...

. In 43, they were relocated in Vindonissa
Vindonissa was a Roman legion camp at modern Windisch, Switzerland. It was probably established in 15 AD. In an expansion around 30, thermal baths were added....

, in the province of Germania Superior
Germania Superior
Germania Superior , so called for the reason that it lay upstream of Germania Inferior, was a province of the Roman Empire. It comprised an area of western Switzerland, the French Jura and Alsace regions, and southwestern Germany...


The legio has occupied Vindonissa from 46 to 69 with two auxiliary cohorts, first the III Hispanorum and VI Raetorum, and later the VII Raetorum equitata and the XXVI voluntariorum civium Romanorum.

Along with the rest of the German
Germania was the Greek and Roman geographical term for the geographical regions inhabited by mainly by peoples considered to be Germani. It was most often used to refer especially to the east of the Rhine and north of the Danube...

 border army, the XXI Rapax supported its commander, Vitellius
Vitellius , was Roman Emperor for eight months, from 16 April to 22 December 69. Vitellius was acclaimed Emperor following the quick succession of the previous emperors Galba and Otho, in a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors...

, in the Year of the Four Emperors
Year of the Four Emperors
The Year of the Four Emperors was a year in the history of the Roman Empire, AD 69, in which four emperors ruled in a remarkable succession. These four emperors were Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian....

 (69) and marched to besiege Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. Vitellius was, however, defeated by Vespasian
Vespasian , was Roman Emperor from 69 AD to 79 AD. Vespasian was the founder of the Flavian dynasty, which ruled the Empire for a quarter century. Vespasian was descended from a family of equestrians, who rose into the senatorial rank under the Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty...

 before the end of the year.

In 70, the legion was part of the army sent to deal with the Batavian rebellion
Batavian rebellion
The Revolt of the Batavi took place in the Roman province of Germania Inferior between 69 and 70 AD. It was an uprising against Roman rule by the Batavians and other tribes in the province and in Gaul...

 and relieve the four legions imprisoned by Civilis
Gaius Julius Civilis
Gaius Julius Civilis was the leader of the Batavian rebellion against the Romans in 69. By his nomen, it can be told that he was made a Roman citizen by either Augustus or Caligula....

. After that they were sent to Germania Superior, where they shared the castrum (camp) of Moguntiacum (modern day Mainz
Mainz under the Holy Roman Empire, and previously was a Roman fort city which commanded the west bank of the Rhine and formed part of the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire...

) with XIIII Gemina.

In 89, the legions in Moguntiacum supported their commander, Lucius Antonius Saturninus
Lucius Antonius Saturninus
Lucius Antonius Saturninus was the Roman governor of the province Germania Superior during the reign of the Emperor Domitian. In the spring of 89, motivated by a personal grudge against the Emperor, he led a rebellion known as the Revolt of Saturninus, involving the legions Legio XIV Gemina and...

, in his revolt against emperor Domitian
Domitian was Roman Emperor from 81 to 96. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.Domitian's youth and early career were largely spent in the shadow of his brother Titus, who gained military renown during the First Jewish-Roman War...

. After the end of this harmless insurrection, the legions were separated and XXI Rapax sent to Pannonia
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia....

. The legion was sent in Moesia
Moesia was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans, along the south bank of the Danube River. It included territories of modern-day Southern Serbia , Northern Republic of Macedonia, Northern Bulgaria, Romanian Dobrudja, Southern Moldova, and Budjak .-History:In ancient...

 Inferior where they were completely destroyed at Tropaeum Traiani
Tropaeum Traiani
The Tropaeum Traiani is a monument in Roman Civitas Tropaensium , built in 109 in then Moesia Inferior, to commemorate Roman Emperor Trajan's victory over the Dacians, in 102, in the Battle of Tapae. The monument was erected on the place where legio XXI Rapax had previously been defeated in 92...

 by a coalition of Dacia
In ancient geography, especially in Roman sources, Dacia was the land inhabited by the Dacians or Getae as they were known by the Greeks—the branch of the Thracians north of the Haemus range...

n and Rhoxolani
The Roxolani were a Sarmatian people, who are believed to be an off-shoot of the Alans. Their first recorded homeland lay between the Don and Dnieper rivers; they migrated in the 1st century BC toward the Danube, to what is now the Baragan steppes in Romania.The Greco-Roman historian Strabo ...

armies in 92.

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