Legio II Augusta

Attested:  Ptolemy 2,3,30 Λεγιων δευτερα Σεβαστη as one of 5 πολεις of the Δουμνονιοι.

Where:  The Second Augustan Legion moved around a lot, but it is generally thought to have been based in and around Exeter from AD 55 to 75.  However, it seems to have sent detachments to various places, and this particular name is on a separate line from Ισκα and with different latitude/longitude coordinates.  It is hard to be sure of the precise location, because there are differences among the manuscripts of Ptolemy, but the most plausible guess would be at or near Totnes (possibly Milidunum), ahead of Topsham (Termonin) and Kingsbridge (possibly Alovergium).

Name Origin:  Greek for ‘second august legion’.

Notes:  Most commentators appear to have assumed that this name can just be considered part of a lengthy compound that got split over two lines during copying.  A better guess may be that Vespasian and his men established a base for a while at Totnes (or one of the many other estuaries along the south coast), where they were welcomed enough to leave a mostly civilian place when the legion HQ moved to Exeter.

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Last edited 7 May 2020     To main Menu