PLV Stanegate Inscriptions (Corbridge)

Introduction

Although Corbridge began in the 1st century AD as a standard military site with an attendant civilian presence, in the 2nd century it evolved into a civil site with a small, yet significant, military presence. Moreover, despite the proximity of Hadrian’s Wall, Corbridge was always more concerned with a) the crossing of the Tyne by Dere Street; b) access to Caledonia via Dere Street; and finally c) the Stanegate itself. Consequently, these three factors need to be borne in mind when considering its inscriptions.

The fact that a remote ecclesiastical site, Hexham, is a major source for inscriptions from the site reflects its proximity to Corbridge and the convenience of deriving worked stone from the Roman site. There is no guarantee that inscriptions from Hexham derive from Corbridge, but it is on balance more likely than any of the other nearby sites, such as Chesters, due to the monumental nature of both the architectural and textual contributions amongst the assemblage.

Inventory

RIB 1120: Apollini / Mapono / Q(uintus) Terentius / Q(uinti) f(ilius) Ouf(entina) / Firmus Saen(a) / praef(ectus) castr(orum) / leg(ionis) VI v(ictricis) p(iae) f(idelis) / d(onum) d(edit) (‘For Apollo Maponus Quintus Terentius Firmus, son of Quintus, of the Oufentina voting-tribe, camp prefect of the Sixth Legion Victrix, willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found c.1866 near the SE corner of Hexham Abbey. Source: RIB I p.368

RIB 1121: [Ap]ollini / Mapon[o] / [Calpu]rnius / [...] trib(unus) / dedicavit (‘For Apollo Maponus, Calpurnius … tribune dedicated this’). Altar found before 1724 used as the village cross in Corbridge. Source: RIB I p.368

RIB 1122: [Deo] / [M]apo[no] / Apo[llini] / P(ublius) Ae[...]/lus c(enturio) [leg(ionis) VI] / [V]ic(tricis) v(otum) [s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito)] (‘For the god Apollo Maponus, Publius Ae…lus, centurion of the Sixth Legion Victrix willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found before 1732 in Hexham Abbey crypt. Source: RIB I p.369

RIB 1123: Deo / Arecurio / Apollinaris / Cassi v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For the god Mercury, Apollinaris, son of Cassius, willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Relief found 1936 on the NE side of Site 11. Source: RIB I p.370

RIB 1124

RIB 1124

RIB 1124: Ἀστ[άρ]της / βωμόν μ᾿/ ἐσορᾰς / Ποῠλχέρ μ᾿ / ἀνέθηκεν (‘You see me, an altar of Astarte, Pulcher set me up’). Altar found before 1754 ‘in the vicar’s glebe’. Source: RIB I p.370

RIB 1125: Concordi/ae leg(ionis) VI / Vi(ctricis) P(iae) F(idelis) et / leg(ionis) XX (‘For Harmony between the Sixth Legion Victrix Pia Fidelis and the Twentieth Legion’). Dedication slab found in 1907 near N door of nave aisle of Hexham Abbey. Source: RIB I p.371

RIB 1126: Ara(m) / Dian(ae) / posui(t) / N[...] (‘N… set up an altar for Diana’). Altar found in 1939 in site clearance at Corbridge. Source: RIB I p.371

RIB 1127

RIB 1127

RIB 1127: Discipuli/nae / Augustorum / leg(io) / II / Aug(usta) (‘For the Discipline of the Emperors, the Second Legion Augusta (set this up)’). Statue base found in strongroom of W compound HQ at Corbridge in 1912. Source: RIB I p.371

RIB 1128: [Disci]p(linae) Augusto[rum?] / [milit]es coh(ortis) I V[ar]/[dullo]rum m(illiariae) [c(ivium) R(omanorum) eq(uitatae)] / [cui] praees[t Pub(lius)] / [Calpur]nius Vic[tor tr(ibunus)] (‘For the Discipline of the Emperors, soldiers of the First Cohort of Vardulli, one thousand strong, Roman citizens, part-mounted, which is commanded by Publius Calpurinius Victor, tribune, (set this up).’). Dedication slab found before 1821 in Hexham. Source: RIB I pp.371-2

RIB 1129

RIB 1129

RIB 1129: Ἡρακλεῐ / Τνρίω(ι) / Διοδώρα / ἀρχιέρια (‘For Heracles of Tyre, Diadora the priestess (set this up)’). Altar found before 1702 in Corbridge, moved to churchyard. Now in the British Museum. Source: RIB I p.372

RIB 1130

RIB 1130

RIB 1130: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / [p]ro salut[e] / [v]exillatio/num leg(ionum) XX [V(aleriae) v(ictricis)] / et VI vic(tricis) mi[lites] / [a]ge[n]t(es) in p[...] (‘For Iupiter Best and Greatest, for the well-being of a vexillation of the Twentieth Legion Valeria Victrix and Sixth Legion Victrix, soldiers in garrison…’). Altar found 1886 in demolishing a cottage. Source: RIB I pp.372-3

RIB 1131

RIB 1131

RIB 1131: Iovi Aeterno / Dolicheno / et Caelesti / Brigantiae / et Saluti / C(aius) Iulius Ap/ol(l)inaris / |(centurio) leg(ionis) VI iuss(u) dei (‘For eternal Iupiter Dolichenus and Caelestis Brigantia and Salus, Gaius Iulius Apolinaris, centurion of the Sixth Legion, (set this up) at command of the god’). Altar found 1910 as a kerb stone S of Site 11. Source: RIB I p.373

RIB 1132: [Deo Marti] / Ul[tori vex(illatio) leg(ionis)] / VI [Vic(tricis) P(iae) F(idelis) sub] / Cn(aeo) Iul(io) [Vero leg(ato) Aug(usti)] / per L(ucium) O[...] / trib(unum) [militum] (‘… a detachment of the Sixth Legion Pia Fidelis under Gnaeus Iulius Verus, governor, through Lucius O…, military tribune’). Statue base found in 1908 near Site 11. Source: RIB I pp.373-4

RIB 1133: [D]e[o] / Merc(urio) (‘For the god Mercury’). Fragment of a relief found in 1940 S of the E granary. Source: RIB I p.374

RIB 1134: Deae M[inervae] / T(itus) Tertini[us ...] / libr(arius) ex [voto pos(uit)] (‘For the goddess Minerva Titus Tertinius … clerk, set this up in accordance with a vow’). Statuette base found 1804 on the W part of the Roman site. Source: RIB I p.374

RIB 1135: B(ona) F(ortuna) / deae / Pantheae / [... ('For the good fortune of the goddess Panthea...'). Altar found 1913 in the E granary. Source: RIB I p.374

RIB 1136: Deo san(cto) Silvan[o] / [milite]s vexil/[lat(ionis) leg(ionis)] II Aug(ustae) et c[ol]/[le]g[ium] Si[l]vaniano/rum aram de suo pos(uerunt) / vol(entes) lib(entes) (‘For the sacred god Silvanus, soldiers of the detachment of the Second Legion Augusta and the cavalry unit of… freely and willingly gave this altar from their own resources’). Altar found at Orchard (Hole) Farm before 1865. Source: RIB I pp.374-5

RIB 1137

RIB 1137

RIB 1137: [[Soli Invicto]] / vexillatio / leg(ionis) VI Vic(tricis) P(iae) F(idelis) f(ecit) / sub cura Sex(ti) / Calpurni Agrico/lae leg(ati) Aug(usti) pr(o) pr(aetore) (‘[[For the Invincible Sun]], a detachment of the Sixth Legion Victrix built this under the governor Sextus Calpurnius Agricola’). Dedication slab found in 1911 in the roadway S of Site 11. Source: RIB I p.375

RIB 1138: Victoriae / Aug(ustae) / L(ucius) Iul(ius) Iuli[anus] / [...]us [... ('For the Victory of the Emperor, Lucius Iulius Iulianus...'). Altar found before 1732 in a cottage near The Hermitage E of the confluence of the N and S Tynes. Source: RIB I p.376

RIB 1139: Deo / Veteri ('For the god Veteris'). Altar found E of Site 11 in 1936. Source: RIB I p.376

RIB 1140: Deo / Vit/iri ('For the god Vitiris'). Altar found during Wm Coulson's excavations on the N bridge abutment in 1862. Source: RIB I p.376

RIB 1141: Vit(eri) / M/iti(us?) ('For Viteris, Mitius (set this up)'). Altar found 1939 in road E of Site 39. Source: RIB I p.376

RIB 1142: LEG() A[...] / Q(uintus) Calpurnius / Concessini/us praef(ectus) eq(uitum) / caesa Cori/onototar/um manu pr/aesentissimi / numinis dei v(otum) s(olvit) (‘Quintus Calpurnius Concessinius, prefect of cavalry, after killing a band of Corionototae, fulfilled a vow to the most effective spirit of the god’). Altar found 1725 in the crypt at Hexham Abbey. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.376

RIB 1143: …]sit [...] / [...]norus / [... pr]aep(ositus) cu/[ram] agens / horr(eorum) tempo/[r]e expeditio/nis felicissi(mae) / Brittannic(ae) / v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘…praepositus placed in charge of the granaries at the time of the Most Fortunate British Expedition willingly and freely fulfilled a vow’). Altar found in the W granary in 1908. Source: RIB I pp.376-7

RIB 1144: …] / L[eg(io) ...] (‘… legion…’). Pedestal found 1907 E of Site 8 fountain. Source: RIB I p.377

RIB 1145: VMD (‘?’). Altar found 1908 on Site 11. Source: RIB I p.377

RIB 1146: ? (‘?’). Altar fragment (illegible) in Corbridge church yard. Source: RIB I p.378

RIB 1147

RIB 1147

RIB 1147: [Imp(eratori)] T(ito) Aelio / Anionino [Au]g(usto) Pio II co(n)s(uli) / sub cura Q(uinti) Lolii Urbici / [leg(ati) A]ug(usti) pr(o) pr(aetore) leg(io) II Aug(usta) f(ecit) (‘For the Emperor Titus Aelius Antoninus Augustus Pius, twice consul, under the charge of Quintus Lollius Urbicus, propraetorian Emperor’s legate, the Second Legiuon Augusta built this’). DEdication found 1935 in W granary. Source: RIB I p.378

RIB 1148

RIB 1148

RIB 1148: Imp(eratori) Caes(ari) [T(ito)] Ael[io] / Antonino A[ug(usto)] Pi[o] / III co(n)[s(uli) p(atri) p(atriae)] / sub cura Q(uinti) [Lolli Urbici] / leg(ati) Au[g(usti) pr(o) pr(aetore)] / leg(io) II A[ug(usta) fecit] (‘For the Emperor Caesar Titus Aelius Antoninus Augustus Pius, thrice consul, father of his country, under the charge of Quintus Lollius Urbicus, propraetorian Emperor’s legate, the Second Legion Augusta built this’). Dedication found 1907 in E granary. Source: RIB I pp.378-9

RIB 1149

RIB 1149

RIB 1149: Imperato[ribus Caesaribus] / M(arco) Aurelio A[ntonino Aug(usto) tribuniciae] / potestati[s XVII] co(n)s(uli) [III et L(ucio) Aur/elio Vero Aug(usto)] A[rmeniaco trib/uniciae potestati]s I[II] co[(n)s(uli)] II / [vexillatio leg(ionis) XX] V(aleriae) V(ictricis) fecit su[b c]ura / [Sexti Calpurni] Agrico[l]ae / [legati Augustoru]m pr(o) pr(aetore) (‘For the Emperors Caesars Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, with tribunician power for the 17th time, consul thrice, and Lucius Aurelius Verus Augustus Armeniacus, with tribunician power for the 3rd time, consul twice, a detachment of the Twentieth Legion Valeria Victrix built this under the charge of Sextus Calpurnius Agricola, Emperor’s propraetorian legate’). Fragmentary dedication found in three separate locations in 1702, 1912, and 1938. Source: RIB I p.379

RIB 1150: I[mp(eratori) ('For the Emperor...'). Fragment of a dedication found on the site of the W gate of the fort at Corbridge in 1953. Source: RIB I p.380

RIB 1151: Imp(erator) Caes(ar) L(ucius) Sep(timius) [S]everus Pi(us) / Pertinax et Imp(erator) C[a]esar M(arcus) / Aur(elius) Antoninu[s] Pius Aug/usti [[et P(ublius) Septi[mi]us Geta]] / [[Caesar]] horre[u]m [per] / vexillatione[m leg(ionis) ...] / fecerunt su[b L(ucio) Alfeno] / [Senecione leg(ato) Aug(ustorum) pr(o) pr(aetore)] (‘For the Emperor Caesar Lucius Septimius Severeus Pius Pertinax and Emperor Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Pius Augustus and Publius Septimius Geta Caesar built this granary through the agency of the … Legion under Lucius Alfenus Senecio, Emperor’s pro praetorian legate’). Dedication found a) in 1725 in the Anglo-Saxon crypt and b) in 1907 in the Anglo-Saxon NW tower at Hexaham Abbey. Source: RIB I pp.380-1

RIB 1152

RIB 1152

RIB 1152: …]CA[...] / [Tere]ntio (?) Paulin[o p(rae)p(osito)] / [a]g(ente) in praeten[tura] (‘…Terentius Paulinus, commander, on frontier garrison duty…’). Dedication slab found 1902 at Corbow (Roman Corbridge). Source: RIB I p.381

RIB 1153

RIB 1153

RIB 1153: Imperatorib(us) / Caesaribus / [M(arco) A]urelio An/[tonino et ('For the Emperor-Caesars Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and...'). Dedication slab found 1902 at Corbow (Roman Corbridge). Source: RIB I p.381

RIB 1154

RIB 1154

RIB 1154: Vexillus / leg(ionis) II Aug(ustae) (‘detachment of the Second Legion Augusta’). Decorative slab found at Corbridge in the E granary in 1907. Source: RIB I pp.381-2

RIB 1155

RIB 1155

RIB 1155: Leg(ionis) II / Aug(ustae) / coh(ors) III f(ecit) (‘Second Legion Augusta, Third Cohort built this’). Building stone found at Corbridge, probably in 1755. Source: RIB I p.382

RIB 1156

RIB 1156

RIB 1156: Leg(ionis) II Aug(ustae) / coh(ors) III (‘Second Legion Augusta the Third Cohort (built this)’). Building stone found in 1883 in the Cor Burn W of Corbridge. Source: RIB I p.382

RIB 1157: Leg(ionis) II Aug(ustae) / coh(ors) IIII f(ecit) (‘Second Legion Augusta the Fourth Cohort built this’). Building stone found 1711 reused in the NE corner of Corbridge church. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.382

RIB 1158: …]ce / [leg(io) II Au]g(usta) / [fec(it)] (‘… the Second Legion Augusta (built this)’). Building stone found before 1855 at Corbridge, now built into shop W of marketplace. Source: RIB I pp.382-3

RIB 1159: Leg(io) / VI Vic(trix) / fe[c(it)] (‘the Sixth Legion Victrix built this’). Building stone found 1937 W of Site 39. Source: RIB I p.383

RIB 1160: Leg(io) VI Vic(trix) P(ia) F(idelis) (‘The Sixth Legion Victrix Pia Fidelis (built this)’). Building stone found 1829 at Corbridge. Source: RIB I p.383

RIB 1161: Instante / Fl(avio) Hygin(o) / c(enturione) leg(ionis) VI v(ictricis) (‘Under the direction of Flavius Hyginus, centurion of the Sixth Legion Victrix’). Building stone found in the chapter house of Hexham Abbey. Source: RIB I p.383

RIB 1162: Legio(nis) VI / pi(a)e f(idelis) vex(illatio) / refe(cit) (‘A detachment of the Sixth Legion Victrix Pia Fidelis rebuilt this’). Building stone found 1856 at the junction of Stagshaw Bank and Cow Lane. Source: RIB I p.383

RIB 1163: Vexi[llatio] / leg(ionis) V[I vic(tricis) p(iae) f(idelis)] / sub c[ura Viri] / Lup[i v(iri) c(larissimi) co(n)s(ularis)] (‘A detachment of the Sixth Legion Victrix Pia Fidelis under the command of Virius Lupus, of senatorial status and of consular rank (built this)’). Dedication slab found 1912 in the strongroom of Site 45. Source: RIB I p.384

RIB 1164: [Le]g(io) / XX V(aleria) V(ictrix) / [fec]it (‘The Twentieth Legion Valeria Victrix built this’). Building stone found 1907 on Site 8. Source: RIB I p.384

RIB 1165: [Leg(io)] XX V(aleria) [v(ictrix)] / [fec]it (‘The Twentieth Legion Valeria Victrix built this’). Building stone found 1907 on Site 8. Source: RIB I p.384

RIB 1166

RIB 1166

RIB 1166: Leg(ionis) XX V(aleriae) v(ictricis) / coh(ors) VII (‘Twentieth/Thirtieth Legion Valeria/Ulpia Victrix Seventh Cohort (built this)’). Building stone found 1912 near Site 45. Source: RIB I p.384

RIB 1167

RIB 1167

RIB 1167: c(enturia) Tu(lli) Cap(i)t(onis) / coh(ortis) VI / QD de(dit) (‘The century of Tullius Capito, Sixth Cohort, QD gave this’). Building stone found 1940 between apsidal building and Site 40S. Source: RIB I p.385

RIB 1168: …] / C[... ('... C...'). Dedication slab found 1912 on Site 39 or 40. Source: RIB I p.385

RIB 1169: coh(ortis) VIIII c(enturia) Ma/rci Coma(ti) ('Ninth Cohort, the century of Marcius Comatus (built this)'). Centurial stone found in 1885, now built into W end of nave of Hexham Abbey. Source: RIB I p.385

RIB 1170: Iulian/us ('Iulianus'). Building stone found on Site 43. Source: RIB I p.385

RIB 1171

RIB 1171

RIB 1171: [D(is)] M(anibus) / [Ba]rathes Pal/myrenus vexil(l)a(rius) / vixit an(n)os LXVIII (‘For the immortal shades, Barathes the Palmyrene, a vexillarius, lived 68 years’). Tombstone found 1910 reused in flooring on Site 23. Source: RIB I p.385

RIB 1172

RIB 1172

RIB 1172: Dis Manibus / Flavinus / eq(ues) alae Petr(ianae) signifer / tur(ma) Candidi an(norum) XXV / stip(endiorum) VII h(ic) s(itus) (‘For the immortal shades, the cavalryman Flavinus of the ala Petriana, a standard-bearer in the turma of Candidus, lived 25 years, served 7, lies here’). Tombstone found 1881 in the foundations of the porch of the S transept of Hexham Abbey. Source: RIB I p.386

RIB 1173: D(is) [M(anibus)] / [I]ul(io) Ca[ndi]/do Da[..] / h(eres) f(aciendum) [c(uravit)] (‘For the immortal shades, Iulius Candidus, Da.. his heir had this set up’). Tombstone found before 1929 in the vicarage stable at Corbridge. Source: RIB I p.386

RIB 1174: D(is) M(anibus) / Iul(ius) Primus / con[iu]gi c(arissimae) / p(onendum) c(uravit) (‘For the immortal shades, Iulius Firmus, set this up for his most dear wife’). Tombstone found 1895 at Trinity Terrace. Source: RIB I p.387

RIB 1175: L(ucio) Val(erio) Ius[t]o / mil(iti) leg(ionis) VI / Egn(atius) Dyonysi/us et Sur(ius) Ius/[t]us her(edes) f(aciendum) c(uraverunt) (‘Lucius Valerius Iustus, soldier of the Sixth Legion Victrix, his heirs Egnatius Dionysius and Surius Iustus, set this up’). Tombstone found 1802 on W part of Roman Corbridge. Source: RIB I p.387

RIB 1176: [Dis] / [Manibus] / Ti[b(eri) ...] / Pa[... ('For the immortal shades, Tiberius ...'). Tombstone found before 1883 in a wall on the NW side of Bridge market place. Source: RIB I p.387

RIB 1177: D(is) M(anibus) / miles / leg(ionis) II [Aug(ustae)] / [... ('For the immortal shades, a soldier of the Second Legion Augusta ...'). Tombstone found before 1907 in the Vicar's Pele in Corbridge. Source: RIB I p.387

RIB 1178: ... em]erit[o ex e]q(uite) alae [...] / [...]ae / [... ('...emeritus, formerly cavalryman in the ... ala'). Tombstone fragment found 1886 in Corbridge church. Source: RIB I p.388

RIB 1179: ...]icinicivi [...]/rauthus et [...]/arfaiaucus [et ...] / [...] et Scu[...] / [...]co [... ('?'). Tombstone fragment found before 1860 E of The Seal in Heexham. Source: RIB I p.388

RIB 1180

RIB 1180

RIB 1180: D(is) M(anibus) / Ahteh(a)e / fil(iae) Nobilis / vixit an(n)is / V (‘For the immortal shades, Ahteha, daughter of Nobilis, lived 5 years’). Tombstone found reused in late road S of Site 11. Source: RIB I pp.388-9

RIB 1181

RIB 1181

RIB 1181: D(is) M(anibus) / Sudrenus / Ertol(a)e nomine / Vellibia felicissi/m(a)e vixit an(n)is IIII / diebus LX (‘For the immortal shades, Sudrenus (set this up) for Ertola, called Velibia, she lived most happily for 4 years and 60 days’). Tombstone found reused in late road S of Site 11. Source: RIB I p.389

RIB 1182: Iulia Mate[r]/na an(norum) VI Iul(ius) / Marcellinus / filiae carissimae (‘Iulia Materna lived 6 years, Iulius Marcellinus for his dearest daughter (set this up)’). Tombstone found about 1861 in the W end of Corbridge church. Source: RIB I p.389

RIB 1183

RIB 1183

RIB 1183: [D(is) M(anibus)] s(acrum) / [... ('For the immortal shades, sacred ...'). Tombstone fragment found in 1910 in topsoil S of Site 11. Source: RIB I p.389

RIB 1184: D(is) M(anibus) / Mo[... ('For the immortal shades...'). Tombstone found 1911 on Site 29. Source: RIB I p.389

RIB 1185: [...]llon(ius) Lu/[...]cius (‘?’). Building stone found 1907 on Site 5 (40). Source: RIB I p.390

RIB 1186: [Coh(ors) I(?)] / Ling(onum) / Iliom/[arus? ('First Cohort of Lingones, Iliomarus...'). Building stone found in 1910 E of Site 11. Source: RIB I p.390

RIB 1187: ...]IVS BA[...] / [...]X A[...] / [...]VB IRA[...] / [...]ANIVI[...] / [...] EFMATER[... ('?'). Tombstone fragment in W tower of Corbridge church found in 1886. Source: RIB I p.390

RIB 1188: ...] / BIS I[...] / VAL[... ('?'). Dedication slab fragment found before 1730. Source: RIB I p.390

RIB 1189: ...] D(e) s(uo) [p(osuit?)] (‘… set this up from his own resources.’). Slab found 1942 in aqueduct north of Site 8. Source: RIB I p.391

RIB 1190: …]IE[...] / [...]TITICIA[...] / [...]VI BRIV[...] / [...]TAE [...] / [...] L(egio) VI Vic(tri…) F (‘… Sixth Legion Victrix …’). ?Building stone found 1760 at Corbridge, now lost. Source: RIB I p.391

RIB 1191: Le(gio) [... ('... legion ...'). Panel fragment found 1934 on Site 39. Source: RIB I p.391

RIB 1192: NI ('?'). Gutter stone found in 1911, now lost. Source: RIB I p.391

RIB 1193: ...]O NO [... ('?'). Inscription found in Hexham Abbey crypt around 1887, now lost. Source: RIB I p.391

RIB 1194: ...]VE[I... ('?'). Fragment found 1911 at Corbridge, now lost. Source: RIB I p.391

RIB 1195: Vic[...] (‘?’). Building stone found at Corbridge 1906-14. Source: RIB I p.391

RIB 1196: a) VII // VIII // XV(?) // XVIII // XX b) X / VIII // X / IIIIV (’7, 8, 15(?), 18, 20 10/8, 10/9(?)’). Voussirs found 1908 at Corbridge on Site 11, now lost. Source: RIB I p.392

RIB 1197: VIIII (’9′). Building stone found at Corbridge 1906-14. Source: RIB I p.392

RIB 3293: VO[...] / [...]Ael[...] (‘…]Ael(ius?)[...'). Altar found 1994 in Town Field during building work. Source: RIB III p.291

RIB 3294: Aurelius / M[... ('Aurelius ...'). Slab fragment found before 1964. Source: RIB III p.292

RIB 3295: a) ...] [...]R [...] / [...]O ❧ b) C (‘?’). Slab identified 1971 on a stone from the W granary. Source: RIB III p.292

Analysis

Corbridge is one of the few sites in the Hadrian’s Wall region where history and archaeology collide head-on. This is a product of its strategic location – at the junction of the Stanegate and Dere Street, just by a major Tyne crossing – and the intensive campaign of excavation that began in 1906 and continued, with interruptions, until 1980.

The religious dedications give us a good idea of just how cosmopolitan a place Corbridge was. The deities represented include Apollo Maponus (1120-2), Mercury (1123, 1133), Astarte (1124, in Greek), Diana (1126), Minerva (1134), Heracles of Tyre (1129, also in Greek), Jupiter (1130-1), Mars Ultor (1132), Panthea (1135), Silvanus (1136), Sol Invictus (1137), and Veteris (1139-41). More militarily derived deities include Concordia (1125), Discip(u)lina (1127-8), and Victoria (1136). Notable by their absence are Cocidius and Mithras. The presence of pairs of legionary detachments in the compounds south of the Stanegate is most poignantly indicated by that dedication to Concordia (‘harmony’) between the Sixth and Twentieth Legions, but it is difficult to interpret that in any other way than the most pessimistic and see it as indicative as extreme rivalry, if not outright conflict, between the two detachments.

The various building inscriptions tell us something of what was happening to Corbridge as it developed from a turf and timber fort with a small associated civil settlement into a town with a legionary enclave. The Second Legion Augusta are seen rebuilding the stone granaries in AD 139–40 (11478), whilst a building inscription of AD 163–6 (1137) includes a (deleted) dedication to Sol Invictus by a detachment of the Sixth Legion, building under Calpurnius Agricola, possibly the occasion when construction of Site 11 began. The same legion is mentioned in other inscriptions (1159-63) and we know the Twentieth Legion constructed the ornamental fountain (Site 8) next to the granaries (1164) and they are recorded elsewhere (1165–7). The Second Legion Augusta is represented by a dedication on a statue base (1127) and a relief (1154) depicting their vexillus (sic), as well as on various building stones (11558). Severus’ northern campaign is reflected in an inscription set up by a praepositus in charge of granaries during ‘the Most Fortunate British Expedition’ (1143) and the construction of a granary by a legionary detachment (1151). We may also note in passing a building stone (1186) from a cohort (possibly the First) of Lingones (the First were at High Rochester in the Antonine period and Lanchester in the 3rd century).

Finally, the tombstones reveal some of the inhabitants to us. From its days as a fort, the tombstone of Flavinus (1172) is a fine example of the Reiter type of relief, with a cavalryman of the ala Petriana riding down a cowering barbarian. The tombstone of Barathes, a standard bearer (vexillarius), often equated with the husband of Regina, recorded on a tombstone (RIB 1065) from South Shields. The stone of a lefionary of the Sixth Legion (1175) has heirs with distinctly eastern-sounding names, possibly reflecting a sojourn in the East during the Antonine period for that unit, perhaps also attested in the dedication to Sol Invictus (1137). The civil population is highlighted by three child tombstones from the site, one each of 6 (1182), 5 (1180), and 4 years old (1181), all little girls.

The PLV eboojs

Was Hadrian’s Wall awash with cider?

Now, be honest: you’re thinking that I am positively potty, aren’t you? Everybody knows cider was introduced into Britain by the Normans, and that beforehand there was beer (the famed cervesa of the Vindolanda Tablets); imported (and natively grown) wine, of course; and possibly some mead too. But Roman cider? You’ve got to be joking!

One of my cider varieties

One of my cider varieties

I must declare an interest, here. When I lived in the Scottish Borders, I had a small (very small: on espaliered dwarf root stock) orchard and I grew my own apples in order to make cider (or cyder, since it only contained apples, with none of the chemical hotch-potch some producers add). Boosted by windfalls from neighbours (who, as a cider-maker, I rapidly learned soon tire of endless apple pies) and with a little added piquancy (and, importantly, tannin) from wild, hedgerow crab apples down by the old airfield (the one where Wojtek the bear used to live), I made passable cider. I once even managed to secure a few kilos of Kingston Black (a god amongst cider apple varieties): small, ugly, tannin-laden fruits that had a sort of tardis trick with the amount of rich, red juice they produced. That juice turned into a cider to die for. However, I digress – you get the picture: I have an interest in cider, in more ways than one.

Some of my apples

Some of my apples

Anyway, my quest for Roman cider in Northern Britain started out with light-hearted intent, sparked tangentially by a item on a television news programme, but serious evidential questions lie at the root of all this flippant alcoholic speculation, as will hopefully become apparent.

Why might there have been cider on Hadrian’s Wall? Because the most important ingredient necessary for the presence of cider was there. No, not apples (don’t be silly, that much is obvious); I mean cider-lovers.

Underground strongroom at Great Chesters

Useful cellarage at Great Chesters?

The auxiliary units based in Britain were drawn from all over the Empire except, as was policy, from Britain itself. The infantry cohorts, cavalry alae, and part-mounted cohorts came from a variety of peoples, and the mounted components in Britain contained a high proportion of Gallic and Spanish units. In fact, along Hadrian’s Wall, there were Asturian alae at Benwell (I Hispanorum Asturum) and Chesters (II Asturum), and an Asturian part-mounted cohort (cohors II Asturum) at Great Chesters. It has even been suggested that the Roman name of Chesters – Cilurnum – was derived from the Asturians’ home region, rather than an existing local placename. To these might be added the cohors I fida Vardullorum, a double-strength, part-mounted unit that pops up at Castlecary on the Antonine Wall, at Corbridge, Lanchester, Cappuck (possibly), and finally at the Hadrian’s Wall outpost fort of High Rochester in the 3rd century. The Vardulli came from the Aquitanian Basque region around modern Gipuzkoa, where there is still a tradition of cider production and consumption. We can be less certain where the cohors II Vasconum were deployed (they only show up on diplomas, not inscriptions), but the Vascones were neighbours of the Vardulli in northern Spain, so I think we might suspect them too of a fondness for the fermented apple.

A thirsty Asturian from Chesters

A thirsty Asturian from Chesters

And so to the news item. Amidst disturbing coverage of the proposed new anti-abortion law in Spain, Channel 4 News went to Asturias, where a group of women were singing protest songs against the new bill whilst drinking their favourite tipple: their local sidra. Now I’ve sampled Spanish cider and, like German Apfelwein, it can hold its own against British ciders and, at its best, give our finest a run for their money (perhaps just being pipped at the post; I couldn’t resist that…). I even have a friend from the north of Spain whose family had been growing cider apples since way back into the apple-blossomed mists of time. I nosed through a few of my history-of-cider books, most of which are more folklorish than factual (as is so much ‘popular history’; we ancient historians are rather fastidious about what we require as evidence), but all of which agreed on the antiquity of the Asturian love of cider, pre-dating even the Romans. A little bit of research on the web sort of confirmed that rather fuzzy view (the web is so good at sort-of-confirming vague things in a non-specific, word-of-mouthish way), but did not provide hard-and-fast evidence (I need citations, not guff). Then I hit pay dirt (rather appropriate, in an archaeological sort of way).

Asturian cavalrymen's tombstone

An Asturian dreaming of his cider?

For we do indeed have some literary evidence: Pliny the Elder (after whom, I discovered, a beer is named, but that is irrelevant) comes to our aid, specifically NH XIV.19. He tells us how both apples and pears could make an alcoholic drink (cider and perry respectively, although whether true perry pears were known is another matter). Strabo (IV.3.7) describes how the mountain Spaniards (which included the Cantabrians and Asturians) drank zytho and it has been argued that this is linked to the Greek Σίχερα, Latin sicera, and thus ultimately sidra. It should be noted that sicera, with the sense of a non-specific intoxicating drink, is claimed by various other modern beverages, not just cider!

Thus it seems that some form of cider was at least known from Roman literary sources. What about archaeology? That’s harder. You see, apples are entimophilous, which means you need insects to pollinate them and that means they do not contribute to the pollen rain: that’s the stuff that drops out of the sky, possibly giving you hay-fever in passing, but which almost exclusively derives from wind-pollinated plants. That in turn means that you can look as hard as you like through all the peat cores and pollen samples taken along Hadrian’s Wall (and there’s quite a few now), but apples just will not show up unless a tree was right next to the coring site. They are, as someone once said, A Known Unknown. So can environmental archaeology help us at all? Luckily it can. Apple pips could theoretically survive through waterlogging (as at sites like Vindolanda or Carlisle) and by carbonisation (where they are accidentally burned and turned to charcoal). Find apple pips and you have apple consumption. Crab apples are neither edible nor a good source of cider by themselves, so pips from a Roman site ought to be cultivars grown for consumption in one way or another.

The label from the back of my ciders

The label from the back of my ciders

Unfortunately, environmental archaeology has only really taken off after Benwell, Chesters, and Great Chesters were excavated, so any hope of proving apple consumption at those sites is forlorn. We may be able to use comparative data from other neighbouring sites, however. Excavations at Vindolanda and Carlisle have already been mentioned as possible sources of waterlogged material and Carlisle (Howard-Davis 2009, 524) has produced evidence for the consumption of both apples and pears.

The sub-literary evidence provides some interesting confirmation. Vindolanda Tablet 302 includes a request for ‘a hundred apples, if you can find nice ones’ in the same sentence as other foodstuffs, like beans, chickens, and eggs. The editors suggest this concerns the acquisition of food for the commanding officer’s house, so these would perhaps be more likely to be dessert apples, rather than intended for cider making, but it makes the point: apples were readily available for that fort, even if not necessarily grown there, and in relative bulk.

Apples.

Apples. Yum!

So where does this leave us? As in so many details of life in Roman Britain there are things the novelist can invent and the ancient historian and archaeologist can only dream of verifying. Was cider only introduced to Britain by the Normans or could Roman auxiliaries have been quaffing it merrily? Despite the lack of fossil pollen evidence (and at least you have learned why there is likely to be none), there were clearly cultivated apples available on the northern frontier, and there were as many as five auxiliary units with the best part of 3000 men from a land with a cider-making and -consuming tradition that (allegedly) pre-dated the Romans. There appear to be good grounds to at least suspect that cider, like many of the soldiers (when opportunity arose), may have been drunk in the vicinity of Hadrian’s Wall. Yes, I’ll drink to that. Waes hael! (or should that be gayolá!?)

Postscript

Now I hesitate to mention this, and please don’t tell the French, but it is a commonplace that some of the British garrison troops who never made it back to Britannia after the usurpation of Magnus Maximus in AD 383 may have settled in Brittany. (It is an incidental, but colourful, detail that Maximus himself hailed from Gallaecia, a region in north-west Spain that included Asturia.) If the stranded troops brought a love of cider with them, could that not be the origin of Normandy and Brittany cidre and that eventual Norman (re)introduction of cider to Britain? I’d best not say any more; there’s a chap with a baguette and a mean look in his eye heading this way…


Howard-Davis, C. (2009) The Carlisle Millennium Project 1998–2001. Volume 2 The Finds, Lancaster

The PLV ebooks

Edge of Empire: the Archaeology of an Annoying Meme

Introduction

This is a tale of frustration, despair, and – frankly – misunderstanding. Frustration, because it does not come to a satisfactory conclusion; despair, because the ubiquitous quotation that forms our subject matter is verging on becoming an annoying cliché; and misunderstanding, because it begs a question that is left unanswered: do empires have an edge?

Edgy

Let’s make this easy: hands up who hasn’t written a book, made a film, or baked a cupcake and not used the phrase Edge of Empire in relation to it? Thought so: not many of you. The phrase seems to have spread amongst both academic and popular writers like the common cold. It is everywhere (no hyperbole in that statement, naturally); just try googling “edge of empire” (if nothing else, a lot of Star Wars references turn up). Apart from finding it slightly annoying, I have become intrigued by its origins and set about trying to track them down.

Lendering & BrouwersWho said it?

It looks like it ought to be a quote from one of the usual suspects, but it turns out it is not Shakespeare, or Roger, Francis, or even Danish Bacon to whom it can be attributed. There is, perhaps, a Kiplingesque quality to it, but even that instinct proves wrong.

Geldard's bookAfter you’ve waded through the plethora of volumes on frontier studies dealing with various periods that have been produced in the last two decades, mostly touting sexy terms like ‘interaction’ and ‘exchange’ (and mostly deploring the role of whichever oppressor they decry), you get back into the barren wastelands of the 1960s, when nobody seems to have worried whether empires were edgy. How did scholars (and publishers, who have special bandwagon-adhesive-coated-boots) manage? Well, they got by. But do all these modern writers know the source of the phrase? It seems unlikely. I asked a few I know (and, yes, I know more than one) who have used it and they did not, and none of the others seem to quote the Urquelle for their label. The mystery deepens. Let’s venture a little further back in time.

In 1906, it turns out, Mills and Boon (that made you sit up!) published The Edge of Empire,  a piece of romantic fiction by Joan Sutherland – no, not that one; this is the pen name of Joan Collings (1890–1947) – set in, you will not be surprised to learn, Imperial India. You famously can’t copyright a title, which is probably just as well, when we look only a few years earlier and find On The Edge of Empire by Edgar Jepson and David Beames. Again, it is set in India and of its time (as fiction usually is). So, we are getting closer, but can the phrase really have originated with one or other romantic historical fiction author?

Stockton villaUnfortunately, at that point the trail peters out. Novelists have a habit of using quotations as titles and ‘The Edge of Empire’ has the feel of a quote, but I have been unable to trace the source. If you know it, do let me know and put me out of my misery. Actually, you can only really put me out of that misery by banning anybody from using it again for a period of, say, a century. Yes, that should do it.

Reality

The truth is, of course, that most of the frontiers so spectacularly plastered with the label Edge of Empire were very far from the edge of anybody’s empire. Hadrian’s Wall was always accompanied by its outpost forts at Birrens, Netherby, Bewcastle, Risingham, and High Rochester. Even without them, we might have suspected that Roman material culture would have oozed over the frontier, but with them there, it seems fairly certain. Even the Antonine Wall had contemporary forts to the north (Strageath, Ardoch, and Bertha spring to mind), so that too was far from the edge of anything. The areas outwith the frontiers were nevertheless under Rome’s sway to some extent and certain areas, Caledonia and Germania for instance, could be seen as handy ‘big game parks’, in which emperors hungry for a bit of military glory could venture out, defeat some barbarians and garner some captives, before returning home, issuing some self-congratulatory coins and perhaps putting up an arch somewhere more-or-less obscure to wrap things up nicely. Frontiers, it seems, tend to be two-way ticket barriers, not edged weapons.

Werewolves and Gladiators

PLV Inscriptions of Hadrian’s Wall

Mapping the inscriptions of the Wall

For the last year or so, PLV has been tweeting and blogging the geolocated inscriptions of Hadrian’s Wall, revealing something of their spatial, social, and historical context. As we went on our merry way, they were mapped in chunks onto Google Maps. However, when it comes to showing you a map of all of them, it is not so easy.

Google Maps LiteGoogle Maps only allows a certain number of placemarkers on the screen at any one time. Their new Map Engine Lite will allow all of them on the screen (see above) but cannot be embedded here on wordpress.com, so that image is just a screenshot.

GeocommonsLikewise, Geocommons, which provides a really stylish map, cannot be embedded here. However, both can be embedded on the sister Per Lineam Valli atlas website, so they have been put there and you will have to content yourselves with these screenshots.

Mural epigraphy

Think of the inscriptions of Hadrian’s Wall as being like those plastic ducks (and other buoyant bath-time fun chums) that were washed overboard from a container ship in 1992. They are markers. The ducks revealed the subtleties of worldwide ocean currents, and the inscriptions from the Wall zone reveal how that former frontier defence has been spread around the landscape. Field walls, farm buildings, religious houses, and outbuildings all have their fair share of these manuports.* I am frequently asked where Hadrian’s Wall has gone and my standard response is that it is still all around, just slightly rearranged.

RIB 1428

RIB 1428

Of course, they are also an invaluable primary record of the activities of the people of Roman Britain. Their accomplishments, lives, and loves are writ large on the local stone. Like the roughly squared facing stones of the Wall themselves, they are competent, if not outstanding, in their execution. Some are touchingly crude, whilst others are haughtily formal. Before the Vindolanda Tablets became a much-loved treasure, these were the nearest we got to knowing how the local people around the Wall thought and communicated. The stilted, formal phraseology contrasted with the struggles with spelling and grammar that are so often evident.

RIB 2003

RIB 2003

The back-breaking labour of constructing the Wall is relayed to us in the abrupt shorthand of the centurial stones, whilst the observances of the military calendar of the garrison units is conveyed through countless commanding officers dedicating altars to the standard, and some not-so-standard, deities. At the same time, the superstitions of the population are hinted at in offerings to minor deities. The ethnic mix of the Wall population is also clear to see, both in names, places of origin, and deities worshipped.

RIB 1444

RIB 1444

It is also worth recalling what we do not have. The organic epigraphy from the initial construction of the Turf Wall is one of the major missing components. One tiny fragment of a monumental inscription on wood survives from Milecastle 50TW, hinting at what is missing from 30 miles on the western side of the Tyne-Solway isthmus. At the very least, that is 60 milecastle and 24 fort gateway inscriptions, as well as all the intervening centurial records (if they too were in timber). The archaeological record is inevitably biased towards stone inscriptions, but it also presents us with the occasional ‘uninscribed’ item, such as the milestone still to be seen to the west of Great Chesters fort. Finds from Jordan show us that milestones could have painted inscriptions alone and the date distribution of British examples (largely 3rd to 4th century AD) suggests they may also have been just painted in this manner in the first two centuries after the Roman invasion and not inscribed into the surface of the stone until later.

Uninscribed milestone west of Great Chesters

Uninscribed milestone west of Great Chesters

So, with these things in mind, head out to one of the museums where you can see some Hadrian’s Wall inscriptions and let the Romans talk to you.

Chesters museum

Chesters museum

Museums

You can find some goodly chunks of mural epigraphy at a number of museums:

Whilst you’re at it, why not pop into Vindolanda and the Roman Army Museum at Carvoran to give yourself some background context?

Postscript

Until now, users of RIB have had to content themselves with the hard-to-obtain hardback books or some rather indifferent texts on the web. Now a full online version is in preparation. I have seen it and it is gorgeous, does lots of things a book just can’t do (calm down, book fetishists!), and promises to be an invaluable tool to all lovers of epigraphy. Hold yourselves in readiness …

* A manuport is something that has been carried away from its place of origin by hand. Thus each stone of Hadrian’s Wall starts out as a manuport, having been brought from a nearby quarry, but then has to suffer the further indignity of being moved again when reused, and yet again when carted off to a museum!

The PLV eboojs

What did the top of Hadrian’s Wall look like?

If it is accepted that there was a walkway along the top of Hadrian’s Wall (and this has long been a matter of debate), then we may justifiably wonder what the top of the curtain wall actually looked like. In 1927, Amédée Forestier offered one possible interpretation.

First, a walkway would almost inevitably demand a breastwork, otherwise it would be pointless. In Forestier’s vision, it is arguably a little on the low side, but we’ll come back to that later. This would need to defend the lower part of the body of anybody patrolling the Wall. There is an extant example of a breastwork at Dura-Europos in Syria, a Hellenized city with a Roman military presence.

The breastwork at Dura-Europos was preserved beneath the earthen rampart the Romans raised to counter the Persian besiegers’ ramp and shows the likely proportion between breastwork and walkway widths (about 1:2), the use of traverses (we shall return to those, too), and the likely form of at least part of the top of the wall (look at the junction with the tower: this reveals that there were merlon caps). However, it must be remembered that the Romans did not build these defences, they merely adopted them when they took over the city in the 2nd century AD.

Now, there is another, rather important, piece of evidence and it comes from the very heart of the Roman Empire: the Praetorian Camp (Castra Praetoria) in Rome itself. The north and east sides of the Castra Praetoria were incorporated in the later Aurelian Walls of the city. As the walls were raised in height over the years (first in the Flavian, then the Severan, and finally the Aurelian periods) the earlier walls were at least partly preserved. This included the very first Castra Praetoria, built in brick-faced concrete under Tiberius. Gate, interval, and corner towers can still be seen, but so can the breastwork. It has traditionally been interpreted as having narrow merlons and broad crenels (below right) but it can equally well be viewed as having broad merlons and narrow crenels (below left).

Eugène Viollet-le-Duc provided an idealised illustration of what a crenellated wall (of any period) looked like.

Time for some terminology:crenellations

The surviving walls at Pompeii, like Dura-Europos, demonstrate the use of traverses to enhance the effect of crenellation.

The advantage of traverses was that they served to protect the defender from oblique attack through the neighbouring crenel. The disadvantage was that they took up part of the width of the walkway.

On the one hand, when the defences at Saalburg (Germany) were reconstructed, crenellations with a 1:1 proportion (between crenel and merlon) were used and (uniquely for reconstructions) traverses incorporated. Similarly, for both the Vindolanda and Wallsend lengths of reconstructed curtain wall, a 1:1 proportion was also adopted. On the other hand, the reconstructed length of curtain wall and gateway at South Shields fort were given a proportion of 2:1 in favour of the crenels.

Broad crenels and narrow merlons have a long history in scholars’ views of Roman wall breastworks and two items are key in this interpretation. First there is Trajan’s Column. Many Roman defences are depicted on this and some (but not all) have narrow merlons. Of course, Trajan’s Column is an impressionistic source, in the sense that whilst it can be used to demonstrate that crenellations were used, but cannot be relied upon to get the spacings right: it is not a photographic record.

To reinforce the uncertain nature of Trajan’s Column as a visual source for anything, it is also important to remember that these are turf-and-timber forts and camps that are being depicted, not stone fortifications.

When the defences of the fort at Saalburg in Germany were reconstructed, short traverses were added behind the merlons.

The reconstruction of the stone curtain wall of Hadrian’s Wall at Vindolanda chose not to include traverses. A handrail is de rigeur nowadays, but presumably not in the Roman period.Similarly, the short reconstructed length of curtain wall at Wallsend also did not include traverses (but once again requires a handrail).So, what can we say about the top of Hadrian’s Wall? Its width makes a walkway likely and a walkway has to be protected by a breastwork. We know the Romans used crenellations on breastworks, so the Wall would have been crenellated. A hint of this is shown on the Rudge Cup (although even the fact that crenellations are depicted has been disputed: are they in fact turrets which have small merlons on top?).The Rudge CupAs for the proportions of the crenellations, logic dictates that the merlons would have been wider than the crenels. Armies, however, are not always logical.

So there we have it. A brief run through the likely appearance of the top of Hadrian’s Wall in the light of what we know from Roman fortifications elsewhere. But is there any physical evidence? Here’s a merlon cap from South Shields, just south of the River Tyne. If they could have them, why not the Wall?

The PLV eboojs

PLV Inscriptions (Bowness-on-Solway)

Introduction

In our final tranche of inscriptions from Hadrian’s Wall, we meet the commander of one of the garrison units.

Inventory

RIB 2056: Deo Belato/cairo Peisi/us m(iles) solv/it votu/m l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For the god Belatucadrus, Peisius Marcus willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found before 1873 at Kirkbride. Source: RIB I p.630

RIB 2057

RIB 2057

RIB 2057: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / pro salute / dd(ominorum) nn(ostrorum) Galli / et Volusiani / Augg(ustorum) Sulpicius / Secundian/us trib(unus) coh(ortis) / [p]osuit (‘For Iupiter Best and Greatest, for the welfare of our lords the emperors Gallus and Volusianus, Sulpicius Secundianus, cohort tribune, set this up’). Altar found in 1739 SW of the fort, now built into a farm building just outside the E gate. Source: RIB I p.630

RIB 2058: …] / DD(ominorum) nn(ostrorum) G[alli et] / Volusian[i Augg(ustorum)] / Sulpicius S[ecun]/dianus trib(unus) / [coh(ortis)] posuit (‘…our lords the emperors Gallus and Volusianus, Sulpicius Secundianus, cohort tribune, set this up’). Altar found before 1872 built into a cattle shed at Herd Hill. Source: RIB I p.630

RIB 2059: [Matribus deabus aed]em / [Ant]onianus dedico / [se]d date ut fetura quaestus / suppleat votis fidem / aureis sacrabo carmen / mox viritim litteris (‘(For the mother goddesses), I Antonianus dedicate this shrine, but grant that the increase of the venture confirms my prayers and I shall soon adorn each letter of this poem individually with gold’). Dedication slab found before 1791 at Bowness. Source: RIB I pp.630-1

RIB 2060: a) …] MARC AVRELLIVS / IMPERA TRIVMPH / PERSA[... b) ...] MARC AVREL / PHILO [… (‘?’). Two fragments found before 1601 at Bowness. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.631

RIB 2061: Legio / VI V(ictrix) P(ia) / F(idelis) f(ecit) (‘The Sixth Legion Victrix Pia Fidelis built this’). Building stone found in 1739 at Bowness. Source: RIB I p.632

Analysis

There are two inscriptions (2057-8) set up by Sulpicius Secundianus, the tribune in charge of the double-strength infantry cohort based at Bowness in AD251-3. Unfortunately, he did not mention which unit he was commanding. The Notitia Dignitatum is no help as it does not include Maia (Bowness) in its list of commands per lineam valli. Otherwise, we are left wondering whether Antonianus ever gilded the lettering on his altar (2059). It survives (in Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery) and seems decidedly gold-free. Must have been a bad year after all.

PLV Inscriptions (Drumburgh to Bowness-on-Solway)

Introduction

One building stone and one altar are the meagre pickings from this stretch.

Inventory

RIB 2054

RIB 2054

RIB 2054: leg(ionis) II Aug(ustae) / coh(ors) III (‘Second Legion Augusta Third Cohort (built this)’). Building stone found before 1783 at Glasson. Source: RIB I p.629

RIB 2055

RIB 2055

RIB 2055: Matri/bus suis / milite[s] / [… (‘For their own mother goddesses, the soldiers…’). Altar found before 1834 SE of Bowness. Now built into farm building in village. Source: RIB I p.629

Analysis

We find the Second Legion building the Stone Wall here (2054), presumably during the initial replacement of the Turf Wall, whilst the altar for the mother goddesses now at Port Carlisle (2055) probably comes from the nearby Milecastle 79.