The Roman Ninth Legion’s mysterious loss
The disappearance of Rome’s Ninth Legion has long baffled historians, but could a brutal ambush have been the event that forged the England-Scotland border, asks archaeologist Dr Miles Russell, of Bournemouth University.
The theory that 5,000 of Rome’s finest soldiers were lost in the swirling mists of Caledonia, as they marched north to put down a rebellion, forms the basis of a new film, The Eagle, but how much of it is true?
It is easy to understand the appeal of stories surrounding the loss of the Roman Ninth Legion – a disadvantaged band of British warriors inflicting a humiliating defeat upon a well-trained, heavily-armoured professional army.
It’s the ultimate triumph of the underdog – an unlikely tale of victory against the odds. Recently, however, the story has seeped further into the national consciousness of both England and Scotland.
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