I set the number to around 30,000 in my novel based on the estimated sizes of the marching camps at Kintore (44 ha/hectares) and Durno (58 ha). During the invasion of Agricola, and probably also during the era of Emperor Severus, those camps were very large—Durno being the largest Roman camp in
The ancient historian Cassius Dio’s version is that the Emperor Severus lost a ‘full fifty thousand’ troops during guerrilla warfare skirmishes with the northern barbarians (Maeatae and Caledonians) though no major battles occurred during those northern campaigns of Severus. Losing 50,000 soldiers en route north seems a tad unrealistic since that, to me, would entail Emperor Severus having had a lot more than that to start with on his northern Britannia campaign. 50,000 men would have been more than 8 legions lost to those guerrilla war faring Celtic tribes.
The total quota of legions across the
From most sources we have to go on, the general amount of legions stationed in Britannia (post-AD 43) was 4—approximately 24,000 men. It seemed that deployment in Britannia demanded those 4 legions to quell the natives on the western fringes of the Empire. It appears to have been a constant need, but when there was trouble in
The Caledonian barbarians were a troublesome bunch, indeed. Emperor Septimius Severus came to northern Britannia to teach them a lesson they’d not forget in a hurry. Having been a constant thorn in the side of
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