Legion III Cyrenaica

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Legion III Cyrenaica - Roman Legion Living History in New England

A Living History group protraying the ancient Roman Legion as it may have appeared in the 1st Century AD while garrisoned outside of Alexandria, Egypt, securing the province for the Roman Empire.

Membership comprises of people from all walks of life, and portrays primarily Roman Legion soldiers but includes Non-Citizen Auxiliary and Civilians of Roman, Greek/Ptolemaic-Greek, and even Egyptian persuations that existed in the provice of Egypt under Roman rule, covering apx. 69 AD - 150 AD/CE; the "Flavian dynasty” through to Emperor Nerva.

Some members also have impressions and portrayals of other Roman time periods, including Late Republic (aka "Caesar"), Augustan reign, and the Late Empire or "Diocletian" reign.

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Historically, Legion III is believed to have formed around 35 BCE, authorized by either Marcus Antonius or Lepedius, provincial governor of Cyrenaica (what is now Libya) in North Africa.  Around the 2nd Great Civil War between Antonius and Octavian (later Augustus), the Legion was brought into Egypt (Aegytpus), and allegedly defected to the forces of Octavian during the battle of Actium.  The Legion stayed and was garrisoned in Egypt until the early 100's AD/CE when it was then moved out to establish the new province of Nova Trajana in Bostra (now Bosra, Syria), where it remained until records and accords stopped or lost around the 5th or 6th century AD/CE.  This makes Legion III one of the longest-lived Legions in Roman history, and one of the only Legions to retain the designation of "Legion" well after the period when the army was re-organized in the 4th century AD/CE.

While in Egypt, the Legion shared a Double Fortress with XXII Deiotariana, located in Nikopolis just outside of Alexandria, where it is believed the Legions acted as a "Police and Riot" force, but also helped protect the borders from other African neighbors, fighting for control of the Nile river; Legion III also had stations along the Nile up to Thebes and shipping ports on the Red Sea coast.

As a Living History Group, we aim to research and reconstruct as accurately as possible what the Legion may have looked like while in Egypt during the Flavian period.  We attend and occasionally host encampments, displays, parades and events throughout the New England region each year.  We also present to Schools and Libraries, as well as Museums, notably at the former Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, MA (which closed in 2013, the collection moved to Worcester Art Museum, where we continue to present), and at the Museum of Science in Boston MA in conjunction with the Archaeological Institute of America's International Archaeology Day, as well as the Joukowsky Institute at Brown University; Penn Museum; Franklin Institute; Assumption College, UMass Amherst and Boston.

We have members in each of the New England states, including some members in New York and Pennsylvania.  We are members of the New England Military History Preservation Association (NEMHPA) and a Unit member of the Living History Association in Vermont.

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As of 2018, the group is ‘commanded’ by Andy Volpe, contact at palusbuteo AT hotmail.com, and co-commanded by Quinton Johansen, contact at qmjusa AT gmail.com

We currently don't have a webpage, we're working on that.  In the meantime, we have a presence on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Legion-III-Cyrenaica/377570148688

We’re also on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/legioiiicyr/

Living History Association: http://www.livinghistoryassn.org