The Society portrays living history as Roman Legionaries serving in the 1st Century, 5th Cohort of the 10th Legion Fretensis; as well as civilians of Roman society at this time.
It was levied by the young Gaius Octavius, who gave it the number “10” as a reference to Julius Caesars famous Tenth Legion.
The 10th fought during the period of civil war that started the dissolution of the Roman Republic and Octavia’s victory resulted in him being hailed Emperor by the troops. X Fretensis is then recorded to have existed till at least the 410s.
The representations used on the “Vexilvm” meaning small sail in Latin (The Standard or “Colours”) were the BULL the holy animal of the goddess Venus; a Ship, probably a reference to the Battles of Naulochus and/or Actium, the god Neptune; and a Boar. The symbol of Taurus may also mean that it was organized between 20 April and 20 May.
The Legions campaigns took it to the east and it was centrally involved in the First Jewish-Roman War (66–73), under the supreme command of Vespasian. And later in the 2nd Jewish- Roman war during the time of Hadrian.
Since its connection with Judea during Biblical times the 10th Legion was chosen by our group for reenactment, living history and education purposes. This makes it easier to interact with the public and layman with no historical background who may only know of the Roman soldiers through the Biblical stories related to the Passion of Jesus Christ.
Also during that historical period, the islands of Malta and Gozo were dominated by Roman rule, their location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea offering a maritime strategic position and the natural harbours providing adequate naval shelters for the winter months. Therefore that there is a probability that Malta may have served as a temporary transit camp for this legion while it was on it’s way from Sicily to the Middle East.