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Legio VI Gallicana

Coin of Laelianus. Bode-Museum, Berlin (Germany). Photo Jona Lendering.
Coin of Laelianus (Bode-Museum, Berlin)
Legio VI Gallicana: perhaps one of the legions of the later Roman empire. Its name indicates its origin in Gaul.

VI Gallicana may have belonged to the garrison of Mainz, when this city was part of the Gallic Empire (260-274). The legion, however, is mentioned only once, in a very unreliable text, the Historia Augusta ("Aurelian", 7.1). Probably, there was never a legion with this name. On the other hand, the Gallic Empire is relatively unknown, the role of XXII Primigenia in Mainz and its commander Laelianus -who proclaimed himself emperor in 269- is poorly understood, and archaeological finds may change our interpretation.


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