PLV Inscriptions (Housesteads)

Introduction

There are three principal zones of inscription recovery at Housesteads: the fort itself, the civil settlement, and a religious area around Chapel Hill. Whilst these largely reflect areas of antiquarian interest and archaeological exploration, it has to be said that Chapel Hill does seem to have a prominence that is more than purely topographical.

Inventory

RIB 1576

RIB 1576

RIB 1576: Deabus / Alaisia/gis Bau/dihilli(a)e / et Friaga/bi et n(umini) Aug(usti) / n(umerus) Hnau/difridi / v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For the goddesses Alaisiagae, Baudihilia, and Friagabis, and to the divine power of the Emperor, the unit of Hnaudrifidus gladly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found 1920 on the N slope of Chapel Hill. Source: RIB I p.501

RIB 1577

RIB 1577

RIB 1577: Cocidio [et] / Genio pr[ae]/sidi Vale/rius m(iles) l[e]/g(ionis) VI v(ictricis) p(iae) f(idelis) v(oto) p(osuit) (‘For Cocidius and the spirit of the garrison, Valerius, a soldier of the Sixth Legion Victrix Pia Fidelis set this up from a vow’). Altar found 1822 E of the mithraeum. Source: RIB I p.502

RIB 1578

RIB 1578

RIB 1578: Deo / Silvano / Cocidio / Q(uintus) Florius / Maternus / praef(ectus) coh(ortis) / I Tung(rorum) / v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For the god Silvanus Cocidius, Quintus Florius Maternus, prefect of the First Cohort of Tungrians, willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found 1854 in the SW corner of the fort. Source: RIB I p.502

RIB 1579

RIB 1579

RIB 1579: Diis Deabusque se/cundum interpre/tationem oracu/li Clari Apollinis/ coh(ors) I Tungrorum (‘For the gods and goddesses according to the oracle of Clarian Apollo, the First Cohort of Tungrians (set this up)’). Altar found before 1808 at Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.502

RIB 1580

RIB 1580

RIB 1580: Herculi / coh(ors) I Tungror(um) / mil(liaria) / cui praeest P(ublius) Ael(ius) / Modestus prae(fectus) (‘For Hercules the First Cohort of Tungrians, which is commanded by Publius Aelius Modestus, prefect (set this up)’). Altar found before 1728 at Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.503

RIB 1581: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / [… (‘For Jupiter Best and Greatest…’). Altar found in 1852 in a north gate guard chamber (but which one?!). Now lost. Source: RIB I p.503

RIB 1582

RIB 1582

RIB 1582: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / milites / leg(ionis) II A[ug(ustae)] / [… (‘For Jupiter Best and Greatest the soldiers of the Second Legion Augusta…’). Altar found before 1854 on the hillside S of Milecastle 37. Source: RIB I p.503

RIB 1583

RIB 1583

RIB 1583: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / et deo Cocidio / Genioq(ue) hui(u)s / loci mil(ites) leg(ionis) / II Aug(ustae) agentes / in praesidio / v(otum) s(olverunt) l(ibentes) m(erito) (‘For Jupiter Best and Greatest and the god Cocidius and the spirits of this place, the soldiers of the Second Legion Augusta, acting as the garrison, willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found in 1898 in the mithraeum. Source: RIB I p.503

RIB 1584

RIB 1584

RIB 1584: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / et numinibus / Aug(ustorum) coh(ors) I / T[un]gror(um) / cui praeest / Q(uintus) Iul(ius) Maxi/mus praef(ectus) (‘For Jupiter Best and Greatest and the divinity of the Emperors, the First Cohort of Tungrians, which is commanded by Quintus Iulius Maximus, prefect (set this up)’). Altar found in 1702 on Chapel Hill. Source: RIB I p.504

RIB 1585

RIB 1585

RIB 1585: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / et numinibus Aug(ustorum) / coh(ors) I Tungr[orum] / cu[i] prae(e)st Q(uintus) Iulius / [...]sus praef(ectus) / v(otum) [s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito)] (‘For Jupiter Best and Greatest and the divinities of the Emperors, the First Cohort of Tungrians which is commanded by Quintus Iulius [...]sus, prefect, willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found before 1726 at the foot of the hill south of Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.504

RIB 1586

RIB 1586

RIB 1586: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / et Numinibus / Aug(ustorum) coh(ors) I Tu/ngrorum / mil(liaria) cui praee/st Q(uintus) Verius / Superstis / prae[fec]tus (‘For Jupiter Best and Greatest and for the divinities of the Emperors, the First Cohort of Tungrians, one thousand strong, which is commanded by Quintus Verius Superstis (set this up)’). Altar found 1702 at the foot of Chapel Hill. Source: RIB I pp.504-5

RIB 1587: I(ovi) O(ptimo) [M(aximo)] / et numinibus / [...] / [...] / [...] / [...]rius / [.]upe[...] / [p]raefectu[s] (‘For Jupiter Best and Greatest and the divinities… [.]upe[...], prefect…’). Altar found in the early 19th century at Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.505

RIB 1588

RIB 1588

RIB 1588: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / [et numinibus A]ug(ustorum) / [...] / [...] / [...] / [p]raefectu[s] (‘For Jupiter Best and Greatest and the divinities of the Emperors … prefect …’). Altar found before 1733 at the foot of the hill south of Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.505

RIB 1589: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / pro salute / Desidieni Ae/[mi]liani praef/[ecti] et sua su[or]/[u]m posuit vot/[um]q(ue) soluit libe/ns Tusco et Bas/so co[(n)s(ulibus)] (‘For Jupiter Best and Greatest, for the well-being of Desidienius Aemilianus, prefect, both his and his family’s, (?) set this up and willingly fulfilled a vow in the consulship of Tuscus and Bassus’). Altar found before 1602 at Housesteads. The consular date is AD 258. Source: RIB I p.506

RIB 1590: Marti [… (‘For Mars…’). Altar base found 1708 at Housesteads. Now lost. Source: RIB I pp.506-7

RIB 1591

RIB 1591: Deo / Marti Quint(us) / Florius Ma/ternus praef(ectus) / coh(ortis) I Tung(rorum) / v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For the god Mars, Quintus Florius Maternus, prefect of the First Cohort of Tungrians, willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found before 1717 on Chapel Hill. Source: RIB I p.507

RIB 1592

RIB 1592: D[e]/o Sancto M/art[i] votum / pos{si}uit Vi/[tali]anus (‘For the sacred god Mars, vi[...]anus set up a vow’). Altar found before 1853 at Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.507

RIB 1593

RIB 1593: Deo / Marti / Thincso / et duabus / Alaisiagis / Bed(a)e et Fi/mmilen(a)e / et n(umini) Aug(usti) Ger/m(ani) cives Tu/ihanti / v(otum) s(olverunt) l(ibentes) m(erito) (‘For the god Mars Thincsus and the two Alaisiagae, Beda and Fimmilena, and to the divinity of the Emperor, the Germans, citizens of the Tuihante, willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Pillar found in 1883 at the foot of the N slope of Chapel Hill. Source: RIB I pp.507-8

RIB 1594

RIB 1594: Deo / Marti et duabus / Alaisiagis et n(umini) Aug(usti) / Ger(mani) cives Tuihanti / cunei Frisiorum / Ver(covicianorum) Se(ve)r(iani) Alexand/riani votum / solverunt / libent[es] / m(erito) (‘For the god Mars and the two Alaisiagi, and the divinity of the Emperor, the Germans, citizens of the Tuihanti, of the cuneus of Housesteads Frisians of Severus Alexander, willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found in 1883 at the foot of the N slope of Chapel Hill. Source: RIB I p.508

RIB 1595: Marti / et Vic/toriae / [… (‘For Mars and Victory…’). Altar fragment found 1898 in the mithraeum. Source: RIB I p.509

RIB 1596

RIB 1596: Deo / [M]arti et / Victoriae / et Numinib(us) Aug(ustorum) / sub cura Lic[i]ni / [.]IVIC[...] II / [...]V[...]IS IS VALLVTI / ALPIBAIIRISI / [.]I[.]I[...]SIC[..] /VS [...]VIVIOB / [...]NDICII / [...] cus(tos) arm(orum) / [...]SD[...]T (‘For the god Mars and Victoria and the divinities of the Emperors under the command of Licinius … custos armorum‘). Altar found early 19th century at Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.509

RIB 1597

RIB 1597: Deo M(arti) / Calve(…) / Ger(manus) (‘For the god Mars, Calve(…), a German (set this up)’). Altar found 1898 in Building XIII. Source: RIB I p.509

RIB 1598: [Ma]tribus / coh(ors) I Tungr/[or]u[m] (‘For the mother goddesses, the First Cohort of Tungrians …’). Altar found before 1727 at Housesteads. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.509

RIB 1599

RIB 1599: Deo / Soli Invi/cto Myt(h)rae / Saeculari / Litorius / Pacatianus / b(ene)f(iciarius) co(n)s(ularis) pro / se et suis v(otum) s(olvit) / l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For the Invincible Sun, Mithras, Lord of Ages, Litorius Pacatianus, beneficiarius consularis, for himself and his own, willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found in 1822 in the mithraeum. Source: RIB I p.510

RIB 1600

RIB 1600: Primary text: De[o Secondary text: Deo Soli / Invicto Mit(h)/rae Saeculari / Publ(icius) Proculi/nus c(enturio) pro se / et Proculo fil(io) / suo v(otum) s(oluit) l(ibens) m(erito) / D(ominis) N(ostris) Gallo et / Volusi(a)no co(n)s(ulibus) (‘Primary text: For the god Secondary text: For the god, invincible sun, Mithras, Lord of Ages, Publicius Proculinus centurion, for himself and his son Proculus, willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow in the consulship of Our Lords Gallus and Volusianus’). Altar found in 1822 in the mithraeum. The consular date is AD 252. Source: RIB I pp.510-11

RIB 1601

RIB 1601: D(eo) Soli / Herion / v(otum) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For the sun god, Herion willing and deservedly (fulfilled) a vow’). Altar found 1822 in the mithraeum. Source: RIB I p.511

RIB 1602: Deo / Hueteri / Superstes [et] / Regulu[s] / v(otum) s(olverunt) l(ibentes) [m(erito)] (‘For the god Hueteris, Supersitis and Regulus willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Found 1910 in either the NE or NW angle tower. Source: RIB I p.511

RIB 1603

RIB 1603: Deo / Huitri / Aspuanis / pro et suis / vot(um) / sol(vit) (‘For the god Huitris, Aspuanis, for himself and his own, fulfilled a vow’). Found 1898 in Building VI. Source: RIB I p.511

RIB 1604

RIB 1604: Deo / Veterib/us votu/m (‘For the god Veteris, a vow’). Altar found 1898 in Building VI. Source: RIB I p.511

RIB 1605: [Dib]us / Vete/[ri]bus (‘For the gods the Veteres’). Altar found 1931–2 in the granaries. Source: RIB I p.512

RIB 1606: Veter/ibus / [p]osuuit A/ure(lius) Vict(or) v(otum) (‘For the Veteres, Aurelius Victor set this up a vow’). Altar found in 1931 between S gate and Building I in vicus. Source: RIB I p.512

RIB 1607: Dibus [… (‘For the gods…’). Altar fragment found in 1931 at the W end of Building 2 in vicus. Source: RIB I p.512

RIB 1608: De[o… (‘For the god…’). Altar found 1931 in the vicus. Source: RIB I p.512

RIB 1609: …] / c(enturio) / leg(ionis) VI V(ictricis) P(iae) F(idelis) / v(otum) s(oluit) l(aetus) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘…centurion of the Sixth Legion Victrix Pia Fidelis, gladly, willingly, and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found before 1703 on Chapel Hill. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.513

RIB 1610: …]/LIA[...] / Aug(usti) l(ibertus) (‘… freedman of the Emperor’). Altar fragment found before 1874 at Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.513

RIB 1611: …]EN V / [...]AL et N/[...]IM T AE/[...] [...] BVT[..]/[...]O MF[.] (‘… and …’). Altar fragment found at Housesteads before 1874. Source: RIB I p.513

RIB 1612a & b: Imp(eratoribus) Ca[es(aribus) L(ucio) Se]pt(imio) [Severo] / [Pio P]ert(inaci) [et M(arco) Aur(elio) Antonino] / [Pio Augg(ustis) (‘For the Emperor-Caesars Lucius Septimius Severus Pius Pertinax Augustus and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Pius Augustus‘). Dedication fragment found 1898 in the HQ building. Source: RIB I p.513

RIB 1612c: Imp(eratoribus) Ca[es(aribus) L(ucio) Se]pt(imio) [Severo] / [Pio P]ert(inaci) [et M(arco) Aur(elio) Antonino] / [Pio Augg(ustis) (‘For the Emperor-Caesars Lucius Septimius Severus Pius Pertinax Augustus and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Pius Augustus‘). Dedication fragment found 1931 in the S granary. Source: RIB I p.513

RIB 1612d: Imp(eratoribus) Ca[es(aribus) L(ucio) Se]pt(imio) [Severo] / [Pio P]ert(inaci) [et M(arco) Aur(elio) Antonino] / [Pio Augg(ustis) (‘For the Emperor-Caesars Lucius Septimius Severus Pius Pertinax Augustus and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Pius Augustus‘). Dedication fragment found before 1874 at Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.513

RIB 1613: D(ominis) [n(ostris) Diocletiano et] / Ma[ximiano (‘For our lords Diocletian and Maximian…’). Dedication found before 1903 at Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.514

RIB 1614: [I]mp(erator)… (‘For the Emperor…’). Fragment of a dedication found before 1874 at Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.514

RIB 1615: …]no / […… (‘? (Antoninus or Hadrianus?)’). Fragment of a dedication found before 1857 at Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.514

RIB 1616: …] / Iul(ius) S[...] / d(ecreto) vica[norum] (‘…Iulius S[...] by decree of the vicus inhabitants’). Dedication found 1931 in Vallum ditch fill. Source: RIB I p.514

RIB 1617: …]A NE I .. H[… (‘?’). Building stone found before 1873 at Housesteads. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.514

RIB 1618: D(is) M(anibus) / Anicio / Ingenuo / medico / ord(inario) coh(ortis) / I Tungr(orum) / vix(it) an(nos) XXV (‘For the immortal shades, Anicius Ingenuus, medicus ordinarius of the First Cohort of Tungrians, lived 25 years’). Tombstone found before 1814. Source: RIB I pp.514-15

RIB 1619: D(is) M(anibus) / Hurmio / Leubasni / mil(iti) coh(ortis) I / Tungror(um) / b(ene)f(iciario) praef(ecti) / Ca[l]pur[ni]us(?) / her(es) f(aciendum) c(uravit) (‘For the immortal shades, for Hermius Leubasnus, soldier of the First Cohort of Tungrians, beneficiarius of the prefect, Calpurnius, his heir, set this up’). Tombstone found before 1717 at Housesteads. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.515

RIB 1620: [D(is)] M(anibus) / [...]P[...] / [...]ANL[.]MPR[.]E[.] / [..]enioni Venocari / Grato Fersionis / Romulo Alimahi / Simili Daili / Mansuetio Senicionis / Pervinc(a)e Quartionis / heres procuravit Delf/inus Rautionis ex G(ermania) s(uperiore) (‘For the immortal shades… son of Venocarus, Gratus, sone of Fersio, Romulus, son of Alimahus, Similis, sone of Dailus, Mansuetius, son of Senicio, Pervinca, daughter of Quartio, their heir Delfinus, son of Rautio, from Uppper Germany, had this set up’). Tombstone found 1702 ¼ mile from Housesteads (W, S, or E?). Source: RIB I p.516

RIB 1621: AV[...] / Meni[...] / filiae [...]/ni coni[ugi] / M(arcus) Aurel(ius) C[...] / vi{c}xit a[nnos] / XXXVII (‘To Au[...] Meni[...], daughter of…, M(arcus) Aur(elius) C[...] (set this up) to his wife, she lived 37 years’). Tombstone found before 1822 at Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.516

RIB 1622: …]uli/us heres vixi(t) / an(n)os XXX (‘…]ulius, heir (set this up), lived 30 years’). Tombstone found before 1822 at Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.516

RIB 1623: …]DV[...] / [...]HVIN[.]/[...]VM INGI/[...] ARIVLOF/[...]TVS (‘?’). Tombstone found before 1873 at Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.517

RIB 1624: Impe/rator (‘Emperor’). Building stone found 1898 on building in NE quarter. Source: RIB I p.517

RIB 1625: Aur(elius) / scal(psit?) (‘Aurelius chiselled this (?)’). Building stone found 1898 on building in NE quarter. Source: RIB I p.517

RIB 1626: [..]MTAT / OESN (‘?’). Building stone found on S wall of HQ near SW corner in 1898. Source: RIB I p.517

RIB 1627: ]…RTIRI…[ (‘?’). Building stone found before 1873 at Housesteads. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.517

RIB 1628: MARII (‘?’). Building stone found 1751 on Chapel Hill. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.517

RIB 1629: [pe]datura / [...]uci (‘Length in feet built by…’). Building stone found before 1922 at Housesteads. Source: RIB I p.518

RIB 1630: …]I Geredis S[… (‘?’). Building stone found W of the granaries in 1922. Source: RIB I p.518

RIB 1631; [...]nus fecit (‘… made (this)’). Building stone found 1831 in the vicus. Source: RIB I p.518

RIB 3325: Im[p(eratori) Caes(ari) divi Traian(i) Parth)(ici) fil(io)] / d[ivi Ner(vae) nep(oti) Traian(o) Hadriano Aug(usto)] / coh[ors...] / mi[l(iaria) ...] (‘For the Emperor Caesar Hadrian Augustus, sone of the divine Trajan Parthicus, grandson of the divine Nerva, the… cohort… a thousand strong…’). Dedication found 1961 in Building XV. Source: RIB III pp.316-17

RIB 3326: coh(ors) I Tu(ngrorum) / D (‘First Cohort of Tungrians (built this)’). Building stone found 1986 on N wall of S granary 6.6m from E end. Source: RIB III p.317

RIB 3327: c(enturia) Camian[a] (‘the former century of Camianus (built this)’). Building stone found in 1976 in Chalet 8 of Barrack XIII. Source: RIB III p.318

RIB 3328: Cunaris (‘Cunaris’). Building stone found 1976 unstratified in Barrack XIII. Source: RIB III p.518

RIB 3329: [...]AD[...] (‘?’). Building stone found 1990 in S face of fort wall. Source: RIB III p.319

RIB 3330: [D(is)] M(anibus) S[...] / [...] vixi[t] / [...] / [...]OSTI{…] (‘For the immortal shades, S[...] lived…’). Tombstone fragment found 1961 in Building XV. Source: RIB III p.319

Analysis

An interesting variety of deities are represented by the altars from Housesteads, many of which come from Chapel Hill, in the civil settlement to the south of the fort. Ever-popular Cocidius is present (1577–8 and 1583), although out-numbered by Mars (1590–7), Mithras (1599–1600), and the Veteres (in all his/her/their forms: 1602–6).

A particularly intriguing dedication (1574) is the one to Clarian Apollo, which chimes with nine other examples from the Empire and may be connected with the Antonine plague of AD 165, brought back to Britain from the East by soldiers returning from the wars there.

Inscriptions record the presence of Germans (1620), at least one of them a soldier (1619), accompanied by Germanic deities – Mars Thincsus (1593) and the goddesses Alaisiagae, Baudihilia, and Friagabis (1576 and 1594) – and this relates to the presence of auxiliaries from the thousand-strong* First Cohort of Tungrians (1578–80, 1584–6, 1591, 1598, 1618–19, and 3326), who are still recorded as the garrison unit at Housesteads in the Late-Roman Notitia Dignitatum and had previously been based not far away, at Vindolanda. However, whilst the garrison of Hadrian’s Wall is usually depicted as being made up entirely of auxiliary cohortes and alae, one inscription (1583) records the presence of legionaries of II Augusta as ‘agentes in praesidio‘ (‘acting as the garrison’), suggesting that their presence at Housesteads was a stop-gap measure, and that is not the only mention of legionaries. The Second Legion occur again (1582) and the Sixth twice (1577 and 1609). The occasion for this legionary substitution may well have been the removal of auxiliary garrisons from Hadrian’s Wall to the Antonine Wall (the First Cohort of Tungrians turn up at Castlecary and Cramond). Later, irregular units – the cuneus of Frisians (1594) and the numerus of Hnaudifidus (1576) – are based at Housesteads, probably accompanying the Tungrians.

* The term milliaria, whilst technically meaning one thousand strong, is a generalisation, for we know such a unit had ten centuries of 80 men. It would thus have been nearer 800 strong, assuming all centuries were up to strength, which is unlikely. Vindolanda Tablet 154 shows that the Tungrians had only 752 men and six centurions when it was written, c. AD 92–7, suggesting that a shortage of centurions was not only a Hadrianic problem.

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