Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Legio I Adiutrix 28mm Aventine Miniatures

This is another unit I was commissioned to paint for Mick Hoddy's Bedriacum game. Although the period for it is 69 AD these legionnaries are wearing some equipment more associated with Trajan's later Dacian campaigns. With a bit of imagination though they can work for the Civil War of 69. They took to the field for Otho, and were part of an advanced force sent North to hold the line of the River Po, grouped with Praetorians, cavalry and more importantly for this theory, Macer's Gladiators. Its not outlandish to think that they could have nicked some gladiator equipment such as shin guards, arm defences and chainmail mittens! So I think they look the part!
Legio I Adiutrix was raised by Nero from marines of the Imperial fleet at Misenum, when his reign as Roman Emperor was threatened in 68 AD. He did not get the chance to constitute them properly as a legion before committing suicide as the future Emperor Sulpicius Galba marched on Rome from Spain.
They had a pretty bad start with Galba too. When he reached the Milvian Bridge near Rome in October 68 AD, a large detachment from the Adiutrix went to meet him, in order to ask the new Emperor to formally confirm their legionary status. Being ordinary mere mortals they expected Galba to solve their problems straight away...

Galba was infuriated with their temerity and refused to hear their requests which in turn angered the legionnaries, some of them drawing swords. So Galba unleashed the troops that were with him and (according to Tacitus) many thousands were slain. He didn't stop there either, the legion was punished with decimation, a punishment that hadn't been carried out since the early reign of Tiberius as it was considered to be too humiliating for a professional, paid army. What was worse, the sentence was to be witnessed by the citizens of Rome.
To add insult to injury Galba formally constituted the legion he had raised in Spain, the VII Galbiana; therefore he granted the I Adiutrix its wish and granted it legionary status, but still went ahead and decimated them. I guess Tacitus hit the nail on the head when he wrote that Galba would make an excellent emperor, until he became emperor.
After such a bad beginning the I Adiutrix fought well at Bedriacum. They fought on the Othonian side and faced the veteran XXI Rapax, whose eagle they managed to capture. Unfortunately the enraged Rapax beat them back, capturing many of the ex-marines standards....but the Adiutrix held on to their eagle. See how they got on in Mick's refight of Bedriacum.....


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