Markus Lau, «Die Legio X Fretensis und der Besessene von Gerasa. Anmerkungen zur Zahlenangabe “ungefähr Zweitausend” (Mk 5,13)», Vol. 88 (2007) 351-364
The military background of Mk 5,1-20 points to the Legio X Fretensis, which has been active in the Jewish War and whose ensign, a boar, matches the swines mentioned in Mk 5,1-20. However, the figure 2000, which is mentioned to give the size of the herd, does not correspond to this context. Roman legions consisted of about 5000-6000 soldiers. This contradiction can only be resolved, when the history of the Legio X is taken into consideration. In 66 AD a vexiliation of this Legio X, consisting of 2000 soldiers, was involved in fights with Jewish insurgents (Jos., Bell. 2,499-506). These details go well with the allusions in Mk 5,1-20 to the Legio X and can explain the figure 2000. From this perspective, Mark’s Jesus is portrayed as a powerful warlord and liberator rather than an occupator.