Date:

Study finds evidence of Legio X Fretensis in Georgia

Archaeologists conducting excavations at the Roman fort of Apsaros in Adjara, Georgia, have uncovered evidence of the Legio X Fretensis.

The Legio X Fretensis “Tenth legion of the Strait”, was a legion of the Imperial Roman army formed around 41/40 BC.

- Advertisement -

The legion was centrally involved in the Great Jewish Revolt (AD 66–73), the first of three major rebellions by the Jews against the Roman Empire.

Around AD 70, most of Roman rule was restored in Judea except for several fortresses and Jerusalem. The city was placed under siege by the X Fretensis, in conjunction with the V Macedonica, XII Fulminata, and XV Apollinaris.

After several battles, Jerusalem and the Second Temple was destroyed, with contemporary historian, Titus Flavius Josephus, stating: “Jerusalem…was so thoroughly razed to the ground by those that demolished it to its foundations, that nothing was left that could ever persuade visitors that it had once been a place of habitation.”

The X Fretensis was also the primary force in the assault on the Herodium, and the famous siege on one of the last strongholds of resistance at Masada.

- Advertisement -

According to contemporary historical text, the X Fretensis was garrisoned in Judaea (20 BC), Syria (AD 6-66), Jerusalem (AD 73 to late 3rd century AD), and Aila (late 3rd century AD). However, excavations at the Roman fort of Apsaros in Adjara, Georgia, have uncovered evidence of the X Fretensis through the discovery of hundreds of bronze coins.

Image Credit : Piotr Jaworski

Most of the coins come from Syrian Antioch and Judea, for which many have been stamped in a practice known as countermarking. A coin that is countermarked has additional marks or symbols punched into it after it was originally produced while in circulation.

Countermarking can be done for a variety of reasons. One such scenario arises when a currency undergoes a reform, rendering existing coins obsolete. To address this, coins already in circulation can be marked with the updated value based on the new currency system.

This practice serves to prolong the lifespan of the existing coins, presenting a potentially more cost-effective solution in certain situations compared to recalling, melting, and producing replacement coins.

Dr. Jaworski from the Faculty of Archaeology at the University of Warsaw said: “They were used to ‘extend the life’ of coins when the original stamps were almost invisible after several decades of use. In this case, the countermarks belonged to the Legio X Fretensis.”.

The coins likely originate from the treasury of Judea and were transported by the X Fretensis on their way to campaign against the Parthians during the reign of Emperor Trajan at the beginning of the 2nd century AD.

“Local coins were not minted at Apsaros, so the legionnaires used their own coins when purchasing wine or bread. They were small denominations used every day to buy food or services,” said: Dr Jaworski.

PAP

Header Image – Apsaros – Image Credit : კოლხი

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Bronze fitting depicting Alexander the Great found on Danish Island

Archaeologists have discovered a bronze fitting depicting Alexander the Great on the Danish island of Zealand.

Archaeologists uncover exquisite Roman glassware in Nîmes

An exquisite collection of glassware dating from the Roman period has been uncovered by INRAP archaeologists in the French city of Nîmes.

Frescos discovery among the finest uncovered at Roman Pompeii

A collection of frescos recently discovered at the Roman city of Pompeii have been described as among the finest found by archaeologists.

Study suggests that Egyptian sky-goddess symbolises the Milky Way

In Ancient Egyptian religion, Nut was the celestial goddess of the sky, stars, the cosmos, astronomy, and the universe in its whole.

Traces of Kettering’s wartime history rediscovered

Researchers from the Sywell Aviation Museum have announced the rediscovery of a preserved WW2 air raid shelter in Kettering, England.

Earthen pot containing 3,730 lead coins found at Phanigiri

Archaeologists from the Department of Archaeology have discovered an earthen pot containing a hoard of 3,730 lead coins at the Buddhist site of Phanigiri, located in Suryapet district, India.

Bronze lamp revealed as cult object associated with Dionysus

A study of a bronze lamp found near the town of Cortona, Italy, has revealed that it was an object associated with the mystery cult of Dionysus.

Neolithic coastal settlements were resilient in the face of climate change

A study of the submerged site of Habonim North indicates that Neolithic coastal settlements were resilient in the face of climate change.