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lĕgĭo , ōnis, f. 2. lego (prop., a selecting, choosing; hence), transf.,
I.a body of soldiers: “legio, quod leguntur milites in delectu,Varr. L. L. 5, § 87 Müll.
I. Lit., a Roman legion. It consisted of 10 cohorts of foot-soldiers and 300 cavalry, making together between 4200 and 6000 men. As a general rule, the legion was composed of Roman citizens; it was only on the most pressing occasions that slaves were taken into it. The standard was a silver eagle. The legions were usually designated by numerals, according to the order in which they were levied; “though sometimes they were named after the emperor who raised them, or after their leader, after a deity, after some exploit performed by them, etc.: cum legionibus secunda ac tertia,Liv. 10, 18: “undevicesima,id. 27, 14: “vicesima,id. 27, 38: “Claudiana,Tac. H. 2, 84: “Galbiana,id. ib. 2, 86: “Martia,Cic. Phil. 4, 2: “adjutrix,Tac. H. 2, 43: “rapax,id. ib.: “in legione sunt centuriae sexaginta, manipuli triginta, cohortes decem,Gell. 16, 4, 6; cf. Inscr. Orell. Index rerum, s. v. legio.—
II. Transf.
B. In gen., an army, a large body of troops: legio rediit, Enn. ap. Non. 385, 17 (Ann. v. 535 Vahl.): “quia cotidie ipse ad me ab legione epistolas mittebat,Plaut. Ep. 1, 1, 56; 83; 2, 2, 22; id. Most. 1, 2, 48: “si tu ad legionem bellator cluis, at ego in culina clueo,id. Truc. 2, 7, 53: “cetera dum legio campis instructa tenetur,Verg. A. 9, 368: “de colle videri poterat legio,id. ib. 8, 605; “10, 120: horruit Argoae legio ratis,Val. Fl. 7, 573.—
2. Trop.: “sibi nunc uterque contra legiones parat,his troops, forces, expedients, Plaut. Cas. prol. 50.
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