Lucius Antonius Saturninus

Lucius Antonius Saturninus was known as a great Roman commander of the Upper Germany army and as an ancient governor of the province of Germania Superior. He held his position as an army commander during the time in power of Emperor Domitian at the later part of the first century AD. He was primarily motivated by his own antipathy against Emperor Domitian. He was also known as the leader of the Revolt of Saturninus rebellion. The rebellion, which started on the spring of 89, involved two main troops camped in Moguntiacum namely: Legion XXI Rapax and Legion XIV Gemina.

During the rebellion, the Germanic allies of Saturninus failed to join his force because of the unexpected defrosting of the Rhine River. Because of this, the revolution against Emperor Domitian was swiftly defeated by the troop led by the emperor’s general Trajan. After the battle ended, Trajan burned all of the letters of Saturninus. Burning of letters was initially done as an attempt to avoid further implicating other people to revolt against the emperor.

Aside from Saturninus, Domitian had executed others as well. The heads of those assassinated, including that of Saturninus, were being displayed in Rome, more specifically on the rostra. Emperor Domitian then sent Legion XXI Rapax to Pannonia. The emperor further passed a law which specifically declared the prohibition of Legion XXI Rapax and Legion XIV Gemina from staying at the same camp at a time.

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