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This article is about the unit in Age of Empires. For other uses of the name in the series, see Legionary.

Upgrade of Long Swordsman. The Legion is the ultimate infantry unit. It has more hit points and more attack strength than the Long Swordsman.
—In-game description in the Definitive Edition

The Legionary (named Legion before Return of Rome) is an infantry unit in Age of Empires that can be trained at the Barracks once the Iron Age is reached (before Return of Rome, it also needed Fanaticism to be researched), which allows it to be upgraded from the Long Swordsman for 1,400 food, 600 gold.


Aoede legion available Available Aoede legion unavailable Unavailable
x indicates that the civilization can fully upgrade their Legionaries' combat statistics, i.e., gets Metallurgy, Chain Mail Infantry and Tower Shield.
- indicates that the civilization does not get Conscription.
+ indicates that the civilization has at least one civilization bonus that benefits the combat strength of the Legionary.


For the cheap cost and good hit point count, the Legionary is an excellent choice to send into battle over the Long Swordsman. They can survive longer and deal more damage, though they still remain inferior to Academy units. These units are great for massed attacks due to their cheap cost and expendability. They are the weakest type of super unit and cannot be upgraded further. If played as the Choson, their hit points increase by 80 and if played as the Romans, their attack speed increases by 50%.

Comparison among civilizations[]

Civilization Choson AoE Choson Phoenicians AoE Phoenicians Assyrians AoE Assyrians Babylonians AoE Babylonians Persians AoE Persians Romans AoE Romans
Hit Points 220 140
Attack 13+7 13+4 13+7
Armor 2+4/0+1 2+4/0+3 2+6/0 2+6/0+1 2+6/0+3
Rate of Fire 1.5 1
Training Time 20.8 26

Further statistics[]

Strengths and weaknesses
Strong vs. Buildings, most units when sufficiently massed
Weak vs. Armored Elephants, Cataphracts, Centurions
Attack Toolworking Toolworking (+2)
Metalworkingicon Metalworking (+2)
Metallurgyicon Metallurgy (+3)
Armor Leatherarmorinfantryicon Leather Armor Infantry (+2/0)
Scalearmorinfantryicon Scale Armor Infantry (+2/0)
Chainmailinfantryicon Chain Mail Infantry (+2/0)
Bronzeshieldicon Bronze Shield (0/+1)
Ironshieldicon Iron Shield (0/+1)
Towershieldicon Tower Shield (0/+1)
Creation speed RoR Conscription Conscription (+25%)
Other Logistics Logistics (-0.5 population usage)
Civilization bonuses
Hit points Choson AoE Choson (+80)
Attack speed Romans AoE Romans (+50%)

Indirect civilization bonuses[]

Indirect team bonuses[]

  • Palmyrans AoE Palmyrans: Researching technologies that benefit Legionaries is 30% faster.


ReturnRome-AoEIcon Age of Empires[]

  • The unit is called Legion and is visually identical to the Long Swordsman.
  • Legionaries have 160 hit points.
  • Long Swordsmen can be upgraded to Legionaries only if Fanaticism is researched.

Age of Empires Definitive Edition icon Definitive Edition[]

AoE2Icon-ReturnRome Return of Rome[]

  • The unit is called Legionary and receives a distinct "bronzed" model.
  • Researching Fanaticism is no longer required to upgrade Long Swordsmen to Legionaries.
  • Upon release, Legionaries had 160 hit points. With hotfix 85208, they have 140 hit points again.
  • Palmyrans AoE Palmyrans (team bonus): Technologies benefiting Legionaries are researched 30% faster.


There is one hero in the game with the appearance of a Legionary:


The Roman legion was the ultimate military formation of antiquity. The legion was a 4200-man unit at full strength, broken down into 120-man units called maniples. Most of the maniples went into battle as separate blocks of men in a square formation that looked something like a checkerboard from above. Ten maniples fought as skirmishers in loose order to the front of the first line of blocks. They attacked the enemy infantry line with sling stones, arrows, and javelins as the two armies closed and then fell back between gaps in the blocks. They may have moved to the edges of the battle to protect the Roman line and harass the enemy line. The heavy infantry blocks moved forward, throwing javelins just before the clash. Gaps in the blocks may have been filled in by a second row of blocks containing more experienced soldiers. The third and final row of blocks was the smallest but contained the most experienced veterans who served as the legion's reserve. The basic legion might have attached cavalry, archers, engineers, and artillery, depending on the task before it. At its peak, the Roman Empire had legions deployed all along its frontiers, defending against barbarians, putting down revolts, expanding the empire, and maintaining order.
—The Age of Empires manual

Legionaries in Age of Empires were primarily based on troops that once patrolled the frontiers of the Roman Empire. These troops were very well trained and were considered as one of the best soldiers in Europe during antiquity. For one thing, the Roman Empire had a centralized bureaucracy which improved the skill and tactics generals use during combat since only well trained soldiers are allowed to become the legions and praetorians of Rome. These soldiers are controlled by infantry divisions which made warfare easier by splitting infantry into different groups. Roman Centurions commanded a group of 100 legionaries, with other officers controlling smaller groups under the Centurion. Roman Legionaries were equipped with a pilum, or javelin, which was used for throwing, a gladius (short iron sword), their primary weapon, and a large shield. The use of iron in the legionaries' equipment gave them an advantage over many other civilizations, which used bronze in their tools and weapons, which was heavier and tended to shatter.


  • With 220 hit points, the Choson Legionary has the highest hit points of all foot units in the game.
  • With a reload time of 1.0, the Roman Legionary has the fastest attack of all units in the game.


Tech tree[]

Stone Age Icon (DE)
Tool Age Icon (DE)
Bronze Age Icon (DE)
Iron Age Icon (DE)
Aoede clubman available
Aoede short swordsman available
Aoede broad swordsman available
Long Swordsman
Units in Age of Empires
CivilianReturnofrome female villager icon Villager · Returnofrome trade cart icon Trade Cart
OtherAoE2 DE priest icon Priest · Slinger-0 Slinger · Returnofrome artifact icon Artifact
Civilian ship1 Fishing Boat Fishing Boat · 2 Fishing Ship Fishing Ship
3 Trade Boat Trade Boat · 4 Merchant Ship Merchant Ship
InfantryClubman Clubman · AxemanAoEDE Axeman
Short Swordsman Short Swordsman · Broad Swordsman Broad Swordsman · AoE nuRoR Long Swordsman icon Long Swordsmen · Returnofrome legionary icon Legionary
HopliteDE Hoplite · AoE nuRoR Phalangite icon Phalangite · Returnofrome centurion icon Centurion
ArcherBowman aoe1de Bowman
Improved Bowman22 Improved Bowman · Composite Bowman Composite Bowman
Chariot Archer111 Chariot Archer
Horse Archer Horse Archer · Returnofrome heavy horse archer icon Heavy Horse Archer
EAICON DE Elephant Archer
CavalryScout-0 Scout
ChariotDE Chariot · ScytheDE Scythe Chariot
Cavalry111 Cavalry · Returnofrome heavy cavalry icon Heavy Cavalry · Returnofrome cataphract icon Cataphract
War ElephantDE War Elephant · Returnofrome armored elephant icon Armored Elephant
Camel RiderDE Camel Rider
SiegeStone ThrowerDE Stone Thrower · CatapultDE Catapult · Returnofrome heavy catapult icon Heavy Catapult
BallistaDE Ballista · Returnofrome helepolis icon Helepolis
War Ship7 Scout Ship Scout Ship · 8 War Galley War Galley · 9 Trireme Trireme
Catapult Trireme Catapult Trireme · Returnofrome juggernaut icon Juggernaut
10 Fire Galley Fire Galley
5 Light Transport Light Transport · 6 Heavy Transport Heavy Transport
Scenario Editor-only units
Short Swordsman Chieftain · Donkey caravan aoe2DE Donkey · Clubman Explorer · Returnofrome heavy cavalry icon General · AoE2 DE priest icon High Priest · Returnofrome horse icon Horse · HeavyCavalryDE Mercenary (removed) · Penguin aoe2DE Penguin · AoE2 DE priest icon Pharaoh · 5 Light Transport Raft · Returnofrome artifact icon War Chest