PLV Inscriptions (Castlesteads)

Introduction

Castlesteads has not seen any excavation in recent years, so its crop of altars, dedications, and tombstones is mainly historical.

Inventory

RIB 1976: Deo / Belat/ugag/ro ar(am) / Minerv(alis) (‘For the god Belatugagrus, Minervalis (set up) an altar’). Altar found 1791 at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I p.605

RIB 1977: Deo s(ancto) Be/latuca[d]/ro AVDO / […]ullinus / v(oto) s(oluto) (‘For the god Belatucadrus, …ullinus fulfilled a vow’). Altar found before 1694 in the River Irthing at Castlesteads. Now lost. Source: RIB i p.606

RIB 1978: Discipu/[l]inae / [A]ug[[gg(ustorum)]] // Discipu/[l]inae / [A]ug/usti (‘For the Discipline of the [three Augusti] Augustus’). Altar found before 1863 in stream near Kilsyke Hill. Source: RIB I p.606

RIB 1979: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / coh(ors) IIII Gal/lorum eq(uitata) / cui pr[ae(e)]s[t] / Ca[.]s[…] / Ir[…] (‘For Iupiter Best and Greatest, the Fourth Cohort of Gauls, part-mounted, which is commanded by Ca.s… Ir… (set this up)’). Altar found before 1711 at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I pp.606-7

RIB 1980: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / coh(ors) IIII / Gallorum / c(ui) p(raeest) Volcaci/us Hospes / pr(a)ef(ectus) eq(uitum) (‘For Iupiter Optimus Maximus, the Fourth Cohort of Gauls, which is commanded by Volcacius Hospes, prefect of cavalry’). Altar found before 1712 at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I p.607

RIB 1981

RIB 1981

RIB 1981: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / coh(ors) II Tungr(orum) / m(illiaria) eq(uitata) c(ivium) L(atinarum) cui / praeest Alb(ius) / Severus pr/aef(ectus) Tung(rorum) in/sta(nte) Vic(…) Severo / principi (‘For Iupiter Optimus Maximus, the Second Cohort of Tungrians, double strength, part-mounted, Latin citizens, which is commanded by Albius Severus, prefect of the Tungrians, directed by Vic… Severus, senior centurion, (set this up)’). Altar found 1818 in the Cambeck Water just S of the Wall. Source: RIB I p.607

RIB 1982: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / [c]oh(ors) I[I] Tung(rorum) [m]/il(liaria) eq(uitata) c(ivium) L(atinarum) cu[i pr]/aees[t] Aure[lius] / Optatus p[raef(ectus)] / Tun(grorum) instan[te] / Mes(sio) Opse[quente(!)] / p[r]inc[ipe] (‘For Iupiter Best and Greatest, the Second Cohort of Tungrians, double-strength, part-mounted, with Latin citizenship, which is commanded by Aurelius Optatus, prefect of the Tungrians, directed by the princeps Messius Obsequens, (set this up)’). Altar found 1607 at Castlesteads. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.608

RIB 1983

RIB 1983

RIB 1983: [I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo)] / et numi[ni Aug(usti)] / n(ostri) coh(ors) II Tu[n]/gror(um) Gor(diana) eq(uitata) / c(ivium) L(atinarum) cui prae/est Ti(berius) Cl(audius) Clau/di[anus] pra/ef(ectus) instante [P(ublio)] / Ael(io) Mart[i]n[o] / princ(ipe) K(alendis) Ian(uariis) / I[mp(eratore) d(omino) n(ostro)] G(ordiano) Aug(usto) II [et Po]/[mpeiano co(n)s(ulibus)] (‘For Iupiter Best and Greatest, and the deity of our Emperor, the Second Cohort of Tungrians, called Gordiana, part-mounted, with Latin citizenship, which is commanded by Tiberius Claudius Claudianus, prefect, (set this up) directed by the princeps Publius Aelius Martinus, on the 1st of January in the consulship of our Lord and Emperor Gordian, for the second time, and Pompeianus’). Altar found 1660 at Castlesteads. This dates to AD 241. Source: RIB I pp.608-9

RIB 1984: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) et G(enio) / loci G(aius) Ve/recundius / Severus / v(otum) [s(olvit)] l(ibens) [m(erito)] (‘For Iupiter Best and Greatest and the Spirit of the Place, Gaius Verecundius Severus willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found 1791 at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I p.609

RIB 1985: Iovi O(ptimo) M(aximo) / vo[tu]m (‘For Iupiter Best and Greatest, a vow’). Altar found 1791 at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I p.609

RIB 1986: Deo sang(to) M/arti Venustin[i]/us Lupus v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For the holy god Mars, Venustinius Lupus willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found before 1726 at Castlesteads. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.609

RIB 1987: [De]o Marti / [s(ancto) e]t n(umini) Aug(usti) / […] Paco/[ni]us Satu/[rni]nus / [praef(ectus)] eq(uitum) posuit (‘For the holy god Mars and the spirit of the Emperor… Paconius Secundus, prefect of cavalry, set this up’). Altar found before 1792 at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I pp.609-10

RIB 1988: [Deabu]s / [Mat]ribu[s] / omnium / gentium / templum / olim vetus/tate conlab/sum G(aius) Iul(ius) Cu/pitianus c(enturio) / p(rae)p(ositus) restituit (‘For the Mother Goddesses of all peoples, Gaius Iulius Cupitianus, centurion in charge, restored the temple, collapsed through age’). Altar found before 1728 reused in the S jamb of the E gate. Source: RIB I p.610

RIB 1989: Matri/bus Tr[a(ns)]/mar[inis] / [… (‘For the Mother Goddesses beyond the sea…’). Altar found 1748 at Castlesteads. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.610

RIB 1990: Deo / [N]ep/[tuno] / [… (‘For the god Neptune…’). Altar found before 1873 at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I p.611

RIB 1991: N(umini) Aug(usti) / deo Vana/unti Aurel(ius) / Armiger / dec(urio) princ(eps) (‘For the spirit of the Emperor (and) for the god Vanauns, Aurelius Armiger, senior decurion (set this up)’). Altar found in the High Holm, 60yds S of the Wall and 140yds W of the River Cambeck. Source: RIB I p.611

RIB 1992: [Deo] Soli / [I]nvicto / Sex(tus) Seve/rius Sa/lvator / [pr]aef(ectus) / [v(otum) s(olvit)] l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For the Inncible Sun God, Sextus Severius Salvator, prefect, willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found before 1695 at Castlesteads. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.611

RIB 1993: De[o] Soli / [Invi]cto / M[ith]r[a]e M[ar]/cus Liciniu[s] / Ripanus / praef(ectus) v(otum) s(olvit) [l(ibens) m(erito)] (‘For the Invincible Sun God Mithras, Marcus Licinius Ripanus, prefect, willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found at ‘a fort’ on Hadrian’s Wall before 1604. Source: RIB I p.612

RIB 1994: Deo Soli Mit(h)r/[ae …]VIS / […]COR / […] (‘For the Sun God Mithras…’). Altar found before 1726 at Castlesteads. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.612

RIB 1995

RIB 1995

RIB 1995: Vict(oria) / Aug(usti) (‘The Victory of the Emperor’). Block found before 1732. Source: RIB I pp.612-13

RIB 1996: Deo / [..]VVI[..] / [..]CV[..] / [..]VI[…] (‘For the god…’). Altar found before 1792 at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I p.613

RIB 1997: [Imp(eratori) Caes(ari) Trai]ano / [Hadriano Aug(usto) Pio p(atri) p(atriae) c]o(n)s(uli) III sub / [… (‘For the Emperor Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, father of his country, thrice consul, under…’). Fragment found before 1741 at Castlesteads. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.613

RIB 1998: …] DIO[…] / […]II[… (‘?’). Fragment found before 1741 at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I p.613

RIB 1999: IV[…] / M[… sub] / cu[r]a [… c(enturionis)] / legionis XX G(ordianae) p(rae)p(ositi) coh(ortis) II / Tung(rorum) posuit (‘…under the charge of … the Emperor’s propraetorian legate, the Second Cohort of Tungrians set this up’). Dedication slab found 1600 in a hypocaust at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I pp.613-14

RIB 2000: leg(io) VI V(ictrix) / f(ecit) (‘the Sixth Legion built this’). Building stone found near the E gate before 1732 at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I p.614

RIB 2001: coh(ortis) IIII / [has]ta(ti) pos(terioris) / [c(enturia?) Mar]ciana (‘Fourth Cohort, the century of the hastatus posterior, formerly Marcius’ (built this)’). Building stone fragments found before 1873 at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I p.614

RIB 2002: I[..]BLASIOS / AI[..]B[.]INE[.]C / SVB […]P (‘?’). Found before 1779 at Castlesteads. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.614

RIB 2003

RIB 2003

RIB 2003: D(is) M(anibus) / Gemelli c(ustodis) a(rmorum) / Fl(avius) Hilario c(enturio) h(eres) f(aciendum) c(uravit) (‘For the immortal shades, for Gemellus, custos armorum, set up by the centurion Flavius Hilario, his heir’). Tombstone found before 1748 at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I p.614

RIB 2004: [D(is)] M(anibus) / […]is ex / [… v]ix(it) an(nis) / [… die]b(us) IIIII / […] Aur(elia) / [… coniu]x (‘For the immortal shades… lived… years…, 5 days… his wife Aurelia…’). Tombstone found before 1792 at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I p.615

RIB 2005: …]IL EC[…] / […]II ESSOR[…] / […]XXVIS[A] (‘?’). Tombstone found before 1792 at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I p.615

RIB 2006: …]SOPH[…] / [.. c]oniugi sa[nctis]/[sim]ae et [… (‘…to his very pure and… wife…’). Tombstone fragment found at Walton in 1599. Source: RIB I p.615

RIB 2007: …]IE[…] / […]TILIO [… (‘?’). Fragment found at Castlesteads in 1601. Source: RIB I p.615

RIB 2008: …]IA[…] / […]RE[… (‘?’). Fragment found before 1873 at Castlesteads. Source: RIB I p.616

RIB 2009: MA[…] / IMV[…] / AII[… (‘?’). Fragment found 1901 near SW corner of fort. Source: RIB I p.616

Analysis

The usual unit dedications to Jupiter are represented by a sequence of altars (1979–83) set up by the two principal garrison units, cohortes IV Gallorum and II Tungrorum. Both of these were part-mounted and the Tungrians were additionally double strength. The trio of Mithraic altars (1991–4) appear to indicate the presence of a mithraeum in the vicus outside the fort. Dedications to Belatucadrus (1996–7) and the Mother Goddesses (1988–9) are also present, whilst an appeal to Discipulina (1998) need not imply unruliness. Altars to Mars (1986–7) do not occasion surprise, but one for Neptune (1990) is intriguing and may have been dedicated after a sea voyage or even an earth tremor.

Finally, the fragmentary figured tombstone of the hirsute (and almost certainly Antonine) Gemellus (2003), a custos armorum, attracts the attention. Although the precise function of a custos armorum is unknown, it is assumed they had some role in the monitoring and maintenance of equipment in a unit.

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