Majestic Roman Pottery Plaque of a Imperial Eagle, ca. 1st - 2nd Century CE. Mold made and found in the Holy Land. Splendid artistry with crooked neck, open beak, ruffled feathers, and small leg without talons. In excellent condition, 10 1/4" high x 7 1/4" wide. Ex: Anne Christine Kroepelien, Oslo Norway. An aquila, or eagle, was a prominent symbol used in ancient Rome, especially as the standard of a Roman legion. A legionary known as an aquilifer, or eagle-bearer, carried this standard. Each legion carried one eagle. The eagle was extremely important to the Roman military, beyond merely being a symbol of a legion. The eagle as a symbol has a history much longer than that of heraldry itself. In Ancient Egypt, the falcon was the symbol of Horus, and in Roman polytheism of Jupiter. An eagle appears on the battle standard of Cyrus the Great in Persia, around 540 BC. The eagle as a "heraldic animal" of the Roman Republic was introduced in 102 BC by consul Gaius Marius.