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Legio II Augusta

Legio II Augusta (named after Augustus, either because the emperor originally had formed the legion or reorganized it) was stationed in Strasbourg when it was called to participate in the invasion of Britain in AD 43. There it served under Vespasian in the conquest of a number of hill forts in southwest England. It was Legio II who supported Vespasian in his bid to become emperor in the civil war following Nero's death. During the governorship of Frontinus, the legion was transferred to a new fortress at Isca (Caerleon) as part of the Welsh campaign.

In the struggle for power after the murder of Commodus in AD 192, Clodius Albinus, the governor of Britannia, withdrew the army, including Legio II, where many of its cohorts had been assigned to work on Hadrian's Wall, to support his bid as emperor. He was defeated at Lyon in AD 197 by his rival Septimius Severus. Legio II, purged of its disloyal officers, was sent back to Britain, eventually to partake in Severus' offensive against the Picts (AD 208-211).

The obverse of a silver denarius of the emperor Vespasian (AD 69-79), who had commanded Legio II in Britannia, shows a capricorn, which was the legionary badge. It was taken in honor of Augustus, who was born when that sign was rising. The winged Victory carries a trophy over her shoulder and may come from a piece of decorative parade armor found at Caerleon.

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