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large unit of the Roman army. It came into prominence c.400 B.C. It originally consisted of 3,000 to 4,000 men drawn into eight ranks: the first six ranks, called hoplites, were heavily armed, while the last two, called velites, were only lightly armed. Marcus Furius Camillus is traditionally regarded as the great organizer of the legion. Under Camillus the hoplites were divided into three groups: the hastati (youngest men), the principes, and the triarii (oldest). Within the legion was the cohort, consisting of one maniple of each of the three groups plus 120 velites and a cavalry unit about 30 strong. A legion was composed of 10 cohorts and comprised about 5,000 men. In Caesar's time each legion had a commander who was responsible to the Senate, 6 tribunes, a legate, a prefect, and some 60 centurions. Training was hard, with much difficult drilling to prepare the men especially in shock tactics and for rapid marches. The standard weapons were the spear (pilum) and (after Scipio Africanus Major conquered Spain) the short thrusting sword (gladius). The characteristic emblems of the legions were eagles inscribed SPQR [Senatus Populusque Romanus—the Senate and the people of Rome], and they carried the eagles in triumph over the far reaches of the empire for hundreds of years. Upon the legions rested to a large extent the glory of Rome. They were primarily heavy infantry and were vulnerable to quickly moving cavalry and archers (e.g., the defeat of Marcus Lucinius Crassus at Carrhae) and to guerrilla fighters (e.g., the famous defeat of Varus by the Germans). With the Germanic invasions the legion proved unable to match the barbarian horsemen, rendering it obsolete.


See G. Webster, The Roman Imperial Army of the First and Second Centuries (1969).


(pop culture)
In the Bible, spirits possessing a human being declare, “My name is Legion, for I am many.” Writer Chris Claremont gave the name Legion to the mutant David Charles Haller, whose psyche had been shattered into multiple personalities. Claremont introduced Legion in Marvel's The New Mutants #26 (1985), in which artist Bill Sienkiewicz depicted him as a gangly youth with a tall shock of black hair. Legion was not a true villain, but he proved to be a menace to the entire world. Legion was the illegitimate son of Charles Xavier, founder of the X-Men, and his former lover Gabrielle Haller. As a small child, David had first used his psionic powers to kill terrorists who had murdered his godfather; the traumatic experience turned David autistic and fragmented his mind into multiple personalities, each of which controlled a different psionic power. When David was a teenager, unable to control his powers, he absorbed the minds of several of Xavier's associates into his own. To rescue them, Xavier and his student Danielle Moonstar projected their astral selves into his mind, which Sienkiewicz depicted as a surreal dreamscape of a war-torn city. There they encountered two of David's personalities, Jack Wayne, who wielded telekinesis, and Cyndi, a pyrokinetic, as well as the terrorist Jemail Karami, whose psyche David had absorbed into his own. Moonstar and Karami cured David's autism and returned the other psyches that he had absorbed to their physical bodies. David was then happily united with his father. Later, Legion used his powers to go back in time and kill Magneto before he became Xavier's arch-foe. Instead Legion inadvertently killed Xavier, thereby creating the divergent timeline known as the “Age of Apocalypse,” in which the evil mutant Apocalypse conquered America. Another X-Men member, Bishop, changed history yet again: this time Xavier survived, and the original timeline was restored, but Legion perished instead.



the basic organizational unit of the army of ancient Rome.

Originally the entire Roman host was called a legion, which was a slaveowners’ militia numbering about 3,000 infantrymen and 300 cavalrymen from among the propertied citizens; they assembled only in wartime and for military training. In the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. the number of legions was increased from two to four and more. In the early fourth century B.C. a small salary was established for the soldiers. A legion was composed of 3,000 men in the heavy infantry (principes, hastati, and triarii), 1,200 men in the light infantry (velites), and 300 cavalrymen. The different categories were recruited from among different propertied classes of the Roman citizenry and had different armament. The heavy infantry was divided into 30 tactical subunits, called maniples (from 60 to 120 soldiers each, forming two centuries), to which velites were attached. A legion was headed in the republican period by a tribune and in the imperial period by a legate.

In the late second century B.C., Marius abolished the difference in armament of the heavy infantry and the recruitment of different categories of soldiers and changed the organization of the legion by combining every three maniples into one cohort. As a consquence of the ruin of the free peasantry, obligatory military service was abolished, an increased salary was established for the soldiers, and the Roman Army became a professional mercenary army. The number of legions reached 75 under Emperor Augustus; by the end of his reign it was reduced to 25, but the size of the legion was increased to 7,000 men. Each legion was given a number and its own name and had a “banner”—a silver eagle on a pole. When the Roman Empire was divided in the late fourth century A.D., the Eastern Empire had 70 legions and the Western Empire 63.

From the 16th to 19th centuries the term “legion” was applied to various military units in France, Great Britain, Germany, and Russia. The Polish legions were particularly well known.


man controlled by devils; exorcised by Jesus. [N.T.: Mark 5:9; Luke 8:30]
References in classic literature ?
In the meanwhile" (the king here detached the cross of the Legion of Honor which he usually wore over his blue coat, near the cross of St.
In a blue frock-coat, buttoned up close, decorated with the Legion of Honor.
In the uniform of the Preobrazhensk regiment- white chamois-leather breeches and high boots- and wearing a star Rostov did not know (it was that of the Legion d'honneur), the monarch came out into the porch, putting on his gloves and carrying his hat under his arm.
What he now wanted was to be made commander of the Legion of honor, gentleman of the bed-chamber, count, and deputy.
You shall see the world at your feet; you shall be Emperor of the French, King of Italy, master of Holland, ruler of Spain, Portugal, and the Illyrian Provinces, protector of Germany, saviour of Poland, first eagle of the Legion of Honor and all the rest of it.
There were fortunes for the staff that never cost France a penny, and the Legion of Honor was as good as an annuity for the rank and file; I still draw my pension on the strength of it.
Then our consoler distributes the Crosses of the Legion of Honor himself, salutes the dead, and says to us, 'On to Moscow
When he entered the town--it might be that he was changed by going there without his late companions, and on no violent errand; or by the beautiful solitude in which he had passed the day, or by the thoughts that had come upon him,--but it seemed peopled by a legion of devils.
And so at home he had established himself in business, and had invented and executed, and worked his way on, until, after a dozen years of constant suit and service, he had been enrolled in the Great British Legion of Honour, the Legion of the Rebuffed of the Circumlocution Office, and had been decorated with the Great British Order of Merit, the Order of the Disorder of the Barnacles and Stiltstalkings.
You pick up more legions as you progress through the game.
With Legions, Turbine has taken the first of many steps beyond its original role as a contract developer and added the responsibilities of marketing and launch efforts, effectively positioning the company as a full-scale publisher.
Locals blame the Legions - vengeful spirits of Hawaiian warriors who died in ancient battles and now roam the desolate plateau.