Campaign history of the Roman military
|Active||- August 476|
|Part of||Roman Legion|
|Equipment||Gladius, Scutum, Galea|
|Senatus popolusque romanus and|
From Augustus, the emperor gave the title of legatus legionis to senior commanders (former Tribunes) of a legion, except in Egypt and Mesopotamia, where the legions were commanded by a praefectus legionis of an equestrian rank. The legatus legionis was under the supreme command of Legatus Augusti pro praetore of senatorial rank. If the province was defended by a single legion, the Legatus Augusti pro praetor was also in direct command of the legion.
A legatus legionis could order capital punishment.
The senatorial legatus legionis was removed from the Roman army by Gallienus, who preferred to entrust the command of a legionary unit to a leader chosen from within the equestrian order who had a long military career.
In popular culture
- Most famously, on Maximus' left arm in the movie Gladiator. As a slave, he removes it using a sharp instrument (possibly a sharpened stone) as he feels betrayed by the leaders of Legatus legionis.
- The book Voluptas by Jonathan Shane O'Brien contains a character, Vincent, who is a legatus legionis.
- The book When the Eagle Hunts by Simon Scarrow features General Vespasian (who became Emperor in 69 AD), when he served as legatus legionis in Britain.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, the Legate Lanius was a Legatus Legionis.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legate Rikke is a Legatus Legionis.
- EB Thomasson, Legatus: Beiträge zur römischen Verwaltungsgeschichte, Stockholm, Göteborg, 1991
- Sir William Smith, A dictionary of Greek and Roman antiquities, Volume 1, Ed. William Wayte and George Eden Marindin, 3rd Edition, J. Murray, 1901 
- L. Keppie, The Making of the Roman Army, from Republic to Empire, 1984.
- Smith (1901) Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities Vol. 1. Books.google.com. 2006-07-14. http://books.google.com/books?id=WcgBAAAAMAAJ&lpg=PA798&ots=ZZrA1GtElf&dq=Legatus%20legionis&pg=PA797#v=onepage&q=Legatus%20legionis&f=false. Retrieved 2011-04-16. Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; name "dictionary" defined multiple times with different content
- "Roman Legion". Unrv.com. http://www.unrv.com/military/legion.php. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- "The Roman Army Essay". Exampleessays.com. http://www.exampleessays.com/viewpaper/43042.html. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- "Voluptas (9780982188200): Jonathan Shane O'Brien: Books". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Voluptas-Jonathan-Shane-OBrien/dp/098218820X. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
- A dictionary of Greek and Roman ... - Google Books. Books.google.com. 2006-07-14. http://books.google.com/books?id=WcgBAAAAMAAJ. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
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