Legio VIII Augusta
(Musei Vaticani, Roma) Legio VIII Augusta: one of the Roman legions. Its name means 'the legion of Augustus', but contains a pun on 'august legion'.
With the seventh, ninth and tenth legions, the Eighth was among the oldest units in the imperial Roman army. They were with Julius Caesar when he invaded Gaul in 58 BCE. The Roman commander mentions the eighth legion in his accounts of the battle against the Nervians and the siege of Gergovia. It is possible that at some stage, Gallic warriors were accepted within the legion's ranks. An inscription mentions a Gaius Cabilenus "from Gaul" (CIL X.4786).
During the civil war against Caesar's fellow-triumvir and Pompey, the Eighth saw action at Corfinium and Brindisi (49), and stayed in Apulia for some time. In the spring of 48, it served at Dyrrhachium, and suffered heavily. In the battle of Pharsalus (9 August 48), it fought as one unit with the Ninth. After this battle, the soldiers were sent back to Italy to be pensioned off, and received land in Campania. Although many veterans were now living on farms, in 46, they participated in Caesar's African campaign. In 45, these reenlisted soldiers received land at Casilinum.
Gaius Valerius Valens, Corinth
In the autumn 44, however, many soldiers of the Eighth (and Seventh) were again reenlisted by Caesar's heir Octavian, who reconstituted this legion to obtain a position of influence. Early in 43, it fought at Modena against Marc Antony, and in 42, the soldiers fought against the murderers of Caesar, Brutus and Cassius, in the battle of Philippi.
Information on Leg. VIII Augusta