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Legio IV Italica

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Title: Legio IV Italica  
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Subject: Roman legions, Maximinus Thrax, List of Roman legions
Collection: 231 Establishments, Military Units and Formations Established in the 3Rd Century, Roman Legions
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Legio IV Italica

The Legio IV Italica' (or Legio IIII Italica) was an ancient Roman legion, established by emperor Alexander Severus and which was still existing in the early 5th century AD.


  • History 1
  • References 2
  • Sources 3
    • Primary sources 3.1
    • Secondary sources 3.2


The legion was Formed during the reign of Alexander Severus in 231, with Italian and Pannonian soldiers, and perhaps took soon part in the expedition against the Sassanids in 231-231[1]

Its first commander, IV Italica and some legions at this time were commanded by Equestrian Praefectus Legionis compared to the Senatorial Legatus Legionis, was Maximinus Thrax, the former common soldier and future emperor.[2]

It participated in all Maximinus' campaigns in the Danubian area in 235-238.[3] Under Gordian III, it returned to the eastern frontier in 242-244 to fight the Sassanids, under the prefect Serapamo,[4] with its base set perhaps in the province of Mesopotamia.[5] Later, Nischer speculates it may have been based in the Gaul under Diocletian.[6]

It is mentioned in the Notitia dignitatum, as a pseudo-comitatenses legion under the magister militum per Orientem. It perhaps survived until the reformation of Justinian in 545.[7]


  1. ^ Herodian, VI, 3.1; Parker, 176.
  2. ^ Herodian, VI, 8.2-3; Historia Augusta, "The Two Maximini", 5.5; Gonzales, vol.I, p.165.
  3. ^ Gonzales, p.166
  4. ^ Historia Augusta, "The Three Gordians", 25.2; Ritterling, c.1326; Gonzales, p.166.
  5. ^ Luttwak, p.231-232; Gonzales, p.166.
  6. ^ J.Kromayer e G.Veith, p.483, map 54, illustration 147; Nischer, p.22.
  7. ^ Diehl, p.146; Runciman, p.125; Gonzales, p.166.


Primary sources

Secondary sources

  • C.Diehl, Justinienne et la civilisation byzantine au VI siecle, vol.I, New York 1901.
  • Gonzalez, Julio Rodriguez (2003). Historia de las legiones Romanas (in Spanish). Madrid. 
  • J.Kromayer e G.Veith, Heerwessen und kriegfuhrung die griechen und romer, Munich, 1928.
  • E.Luttwak, La grande strategia dell'impero romano, Milan, 1976.
  • J.C.Mann, A note on the legion IV Italica, ZPE 126, Bonn.
  • E.C.Nischer, The army reforms of Dioclatian and Constantine and their modifiacations up to the time of the Notitia Dignitatum, Journal of Roman Studies n.13, Londra 1923.
  • H.M.D.Parker, "The legions of Diocletian and Constantine", in Journal of Roman Studies 23, 1933, London.
  • Ritterling, Emil, [1]
  • S.Runciman, La civilizacion bizantina, Madrid 1942.
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