The Roman Ninth Legion’s mysterious loss
By Miles Russell
BBC News Magazine (2011)
Introduction: One of the most enduring legends of Roman Britain concerns the disappearance of the Ninth Legion.
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.