Skip to main content
Select Source:

legion

legion, large unit of the Roman army. It came into prominence c.400 BC 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).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"legion." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"legion." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 11, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/legion

"legion." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved September 11, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/legion

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

legion

le·gion / ˈlējən/ • n. 1. a unit of 3,000–6,000 men in the ancient Roman army. ∎  (the Legion) the Foreign Legion. ∎  (the Legion) any of the national associations of former servicemen and servicewomen instituted after World War I, such as the American Legion. 2. (a legion/legions of) a vast host, multitude, or number of people or things: legions of photographers and TV cameras. • adj. great in number: her fans are legion.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"legion." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"legion." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 11, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/legion-1

"legion." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved September 11, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/legion-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

legion

legion Basic organizational unit of the Roman army from the early Republic to the fall of the Empire in the West in the 5th century ad. During the great period of Rome's expansion, a legion was about 6000 men strong, consisting mainly of heavy infantrymen (legionaries), with some light troops and cavalry in support. The legion was subdivided into cohorts (420 men each), maniples (120 men each), and centuries (100 men each).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"legion." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"legion." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 11, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/legion

"legion." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 11, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/legion

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

legion

legion a division of 3,000–6,000 men, including a complement of cavalry, in the ancient Roman army.

Legion is also used to mean great in number, many, as in their name is legion. This usage dates from the late 17th century, from the story in Mark 5:9 of the madman healed by Jesus, who when asked his name had replied, ‘My name is Legion, for we are many.’

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"legion." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"legion." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 11, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/legion

"legion." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved September 11, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/legion

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Legion

Legion

a multitude; a great number; a unit of Roman troops; a host of armed men.

Examples: legion of angels, 1380; of appetites and passions, 1751; of devils; of horrid hell, 1605; of knights, 1400; of reproaches, 1634; of Rome, 1387; of troops; of whelps, 1824.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Legion." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Legion." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 11, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/legion

"Legion." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Retrieved September 11, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/legion

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

legion

legion body of infantry in the ancient Roman army; vast host. XIII. — OF. legiun, -ion (mod. légion) — L. legiō, -ōn, f. legere choose, levy (see LECTION).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"legion." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"legion." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 11, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/legion-2

"legion." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved September 11, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/legion-2

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

legion

legionabrasion, Australasian, equation, Eurasian, evasion, invasion, occasion, persuasion, pervasion, suasion, Vespasianadhesion, cohesion, Friesian, lesion •circumcision, collision, concision, decision, derision, division, elision, envision, excision, imprecision, incision, misprision, precisian, precision, provision, scission, vision •subdivision • television • Eurovision •LaserVision •corrosion, eclosion, erosion, explosion, implosion •allusion, collusion, conclusion, confusion, contusion, delusion, diffusion, effusion, exclusion, extrusion, fusion, illusion, inclusion, interfusion, intrusion, obtrusion, occlusion, preclusion, profusion, prolusion, protrusion, reclusion, seclusion, suffusion, transfusion •Monaghan • Belgian •Bajan, Cajun, contagion, TrajanGlaswegian, legion, Norwegian, region •irreligion, religion •Injun • Harijan • oxygen • antigen •sojourn • donjon • Georgian •theologian, Trojan •Rügen •bludgeon, curmudgeon, dudgeon, gudgeon, trudgen •dungeon • glycogen • halogen •collagen • Imogen • carcinogen •hallucinogen • androgen •oestrogen (US estrogen) •hydrogen • nitrogen •burgeon, sturgeon, surgeon

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"legion." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"legion." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 11, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/legion-0

"legion." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved September 11, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/legion-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Legion

Legion ★★ 1998 (R)

Major Agatha Doyle (Farrell) is given a group of convicts to lead on a mission to destroy The Legion, a genetically engineered killing machine. But first she has to keep them from killing each other—or her. 97m/C VHS, DVD . Terry Farrell, Corey Feldman, Rick Springfield, Parker Stevenson, Audie England; D: Jon Hess. CABLE

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Legion." VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Legion." VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 11, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/culture-magazines/legion

"Legion." VideoHound's Golden Movie Retriever. . Retrieved September 11, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/culture-magazines/legion

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Legion

Legion

LEGION. In the eighteenth century (and later), a "legion" was a unit composed of infantry and mounted troops. Two were Henry Lee's Legion and Tarleton's British Legion. Other legions of the American army were led by Pulaski and Tuffin in succession and by William Washington. Benedict Arnold's Tory organization was called the American Legion, and this name was applied also to the legions of Tuffin, Pulaski, and Henry Lee.

SEE ALSO British Legion; Lee's Legion; Pulaski, Casimir; Tuffin, Armand-Charles, Marquis de La Rouerie.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Legion." Encyclopedia of the American Revolution: Library of Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. 11 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Legion." Encyclopedia of the American Revolution: Library of Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 11, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/legion

"Legion." Encyclopedia of the American Revolution: Library of Military History. . Retrieved September 11, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/legion

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.