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XXI

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LEG XI

Legio XI was an Antonian legion which was disbanded or lost its separate identity after the battle of Actium.

The two centurions Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus were from Legio XI (not XIII as the series Rome would have us believe). Pullo and Vorenus were fierce rivals for promotion to primus pilus which was the most senior centurion in a legion. Both distinguished themselves in 54 BC when the Nervii attacked the legion under Quintus Cicero in their winter quarters in Nervian territory. In an effort to outdo Vorenus, Pullo charged out of the fortified camp and attacked the enemy, but was soon wounded and surrounded. Vorenus followed and engaged his attackers in hand-to-hand combat, killing one and driving the rest back.  However he lost his footing and was himself soon surrounded. Pullo in turn rescued Vorenus, and after killing several of the enemy, the pair returned to camp amid applause from their comrades.

In the Civil War of 49 BC, Pullo was assigned to the XXIV Victrix Rapax, a new Italian legion commanded by the legate Gaius Antonius. In 48 BC, Antonius was blockaded on an island and forced to surrender. Pullo was apparently responsible for most of his soldiers switching sides to fight for Pompey. Later that year, he is recorded bravely defending Pompey's camp in Greece from Caesar's attack shortly before the Battle of Pharsalus.