By M.P. Pellicer | Stranger Than Fiction Stories
In June 1884, a fire hydrant was being laid before the library of the University of Vienna, and an unexpected discovery was made.
They found a Roman grave that had indications it had been opened before since the bricks on the top were broken.
It was walled up with large bricks bearing the inscription "Legio Decima Gemina" (The Twins' Tenth Legion). It was among the oldest units of the Imperial Roman Army, and one of four legions used by Julius Caesar in 58 BC when he invaded Gaul. There was reference to the legion in Vienna beginning in the 1st century A.D. It's symbol was a bull.
Originally the Legion was known as Equestris ("mounted"), because Caesar describes how he employed the soldiers as cavalry.
Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC and Octavian (later Emperor Augustus) settled the veterans of the 10th in Patras (Greece). However they revolted and were punished, losing their prestigious name Equestris. Veterans from other legions were added to the unit, which is when they gained the name of X Gemina.
He sent the Tenth to Petavonium, a legionary fortress in Hispania Tarraconensis (Rosinos de Vidriales) in the province of Zamora, Spain.
These soldiers would go on to be come the first settlers of Mérida, Cordoba and Zaragoza.
After a 100 years the Tenth Gemini were sent to Carnuntum, which is east of modern Vienna. They were used to defend the Danube frontier.
Once the bricks were removed the skeleton of a powerful man was found lying at full length from east to west. His head was missing. A silver coin from the 3rd century A.D. was next to the bones, along with a fragment of a dagger and a simple round cup of clay.
The bricks were well made, and inscribed with the sign of the legion.
The skeleton and everything inside the grave were given to Herr Weiss the keeper of the city archives. This was the first Roman grave found in the area. This discovery confirmed the theory that a road to Carnutum ran in the immediate neighborhood of Post Street where the grave was found.
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