Hadrian’s Wall Inscriptions (Benwell)

Introduction


Most of the inscriptions are unprovenanced beyond coming from the fort or its immediate vicinity, although a well-known collection come from the Temple of Antenociticus to the south-east, within the vicus.

Inventory

RIB 1327

RIB 1327

RIB 1327: Deo / Antenocitico / et Numinib(us) / Augustor(um) / Ael(ius) Vibius / c(enturio) leg(ionis) XX V(alaeriae) V(ictricis) / v(otum) s(oluit) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For the god Antenociticus and the deities of the Emperors, Aelius Vibius, centurion of the Twentieth Legion Valera Victrix, willing and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found 1862 in the temple of Antenociticus. Source: RIB I p.439

RIB 1328: Deo An[t}enocitico / sacrum / coh(ors) I Va[n]gion(um) / quib(us) prae est / […]c(ius) Cassi/[anus p]raef(ectus) / [v(otum) s(oluit) l(ibens)] m(erito) (‘Sacred for the god Antenociticus, the First cohort of Vangioni who are under the prefect […] Cassianus, willing and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found 1862 in the Temple of Antenociticus. Source: RIB I p.439

RIB 1329: Deo An(ten)ocitico / iudiciis Optimo/rum Maximorum/que Imp(eratorum) N(ostrorum) sub Vlp(io) / Marcello co(n)s(ulari) Tine/ius Longus in p[re]/fectura equitu[m] / lato clavo exorna/tus et q(uaestor) d(esignatus) (‘For the god Antenociticus, Tineius Longus (set this up), adorned with the broad stripe and designated quaestor whilst prefect of cavalry, by the decrees of the best and greatest Emperors, under Ulpius Marcellus, consular governor’). Altar found 1862 in the Temple of Antenociticus. Marcellus was governor AD180-5. Source: RIB I p.440

RIB 1330

RIB 1330

RIB 1330: I(ovi) O(ptimo) [M(aximo) Dolic]he/no et N[u]minibus / Aug(ustorum) pro salute imp(eratoris) / Caesaris T(iti) Aeli Hadr(iani) / Antonini Aug(usti) Pii p(atris) p(atriae) / et leg(ionis) II Aug(ustae) / M(arcus) Liburnius Fron/to c(enturio) leg(ionis) eiusdem / v(otum) s(oluit) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For Jupiter Dolichenus, Best and Greatest, and the deities of the Emperors, for the well-being of the Emperor Caesar Titus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, father of the country, and of the Second Legion Augusta, Marcus Liburnius Fronto, centurion of that legion, willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found before 1725 at Benwell. Source: RIB I pp.440-1

RIB 1331

RIB 1331

RIB 1331: Lamiis / tribus (‘For the three lamiae’). Altar found 1751 during construction of Military Road. Source: RIB I p.1331

RIB 1332: Deo M/arti / Lenu/anus / v(otum) s(oluit) (‘For the god Mars, Lenuanus fulfilled a vow’). Altar found before 1789 in the north of the fort. Source: RIB I p.441

RIB 1333: Deo M/arti V/ictor(i) / Vind(ex) / v(otum) s(oluit) (‘For the god Mars, Vindex fulfilled a vow’). Altar found before 1789 in northern part of fort. Source: RIB I p.441

RIB 1334: Matr(ibus) Tribus Campes[t]r[i]b(us) / et Genio alae pri(mae) Hispano/rum Asturum […/…] Gordi[a]nae T(erentius?) / Agrippa prae(fectus) templum a so(lo) res/tituit (‘For the three mother goddesses of the training ground and to the Genius of the First ala of Asturians called … Gordian’s, Terentius Agrippa, prefect, restored this temple from ground level.’). Dedication found before 1789. Source: RIB I pp.441-2

RIB 1335: Deo / Vetri / sangto (‘For the sacred god Vetris’). Altar found before 1789 in north of fort. Source: RIB I p.442

RIB 1336: Vit/ir(i)b/us (‘For the Vitires’). Base found before 1789 in north of fort. Source: RIB I p.442

RIB 1337

RIB 1337

RIB 1337: Victoriae / [Au]g(ustorum) Alfe/no Senecio/n[e] co(n)s(ulari) felix / ala I Asto(rum) / […] M pra(efecto) (‘For the Victory of the Emperors, with Alfenus Senecio as consular governor, the lucky First Ala of Asturians (set this up), when […] M was prefect’). Dedication found around 1669 in the fort. It dates to c.AD 205-8. Source: RIB I p.442

RIB 1338

RIB 1338

RIB 1338: …] / c(enturio) leg(ionis) XX V(aleriae) V(ictricis) / v(otum) s(oluit) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘… centurion of the Twentieth Legion Valeria Victrix willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found before 1725. Source: RIB I p.443

RIB 1339: …]/troius / c(enturio) et s(ui) v(otum) s(oluerunt) l(aeti) l(ibentes) / m(erito) (‘…]troius, centurion, and his kin gladly, willingly, and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found 1863. Source: RIB I p.443

RIB 1340

RIB 1340

RIB 1340: Imp(eratori) Caes(ari) Traiano / Hadr[ia]n(o) Aug(usto) / A(ulo) Platorio N[epote l]eg(ato) Aug(usti) pr(o) p[r(aetore)] / vexillatio c[lassis] Britan(nicae) (‘For the Emperor Caesar Trajan Hadrian Augustus, under Aulus Platorius Nepos, propraetorian legate of the Emperor, a detachment from the Classis Britannica (built this)’). Building stone found 1937 in a granary portico. Source: RIB I p.443

RIB 1341

RIB 1341

RIB 1341: leg(io) II Aug(usta) (‘Second Legion Augusta (built this)’). Building stone found before 1789 in the north of the fort. Source: RIB I p.444

RIB 1342

RIB 1342

RIB 1342: leg(ionis) / II Aug(ustae) / coh(ors) II (‘Second cohort of the Second Legion Augusta built this’). Building stone found before 1732. Source: RIB I p.444

RIB 1343: leg(ionis) II c/oh(ors) IIII (‘Second Legion, Fourth Cohort (built this)’). Building stone found before 1873 in the fort. Source: RIB I p.444

RIB 1344

RIB 1344

RIB 1344: leg(ionis) II Aug(ustae) / coh(ors) X (‘Second Legion Augusta, Tenth Cohort (built this)’). Building stone found before 1732 at Benwell. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.444

RIB 1345

RIB 1345

RIB 1345: c(enturia) Arri (‘century of Arrius (built this)’). Centurial stone found before 1732. Source: RIB I p.445

RIB 1346

RIB 1346

RIB 1346: c(enturia) Arri (‘century of Arrius (built this)’). Centurial stone found before 1873. Source: RIB I p.445

RIB 1347

RIB 1347

RIB 1347: c(enturia) Pereg/rini (‘The century of Peregrinus (built this)’). Centurial stone found before 1732, Now lost. Source: RIB I p.445

RIB 1348

RIB 1348

RIB 1348: …]NIO / …]BI[…]VV/ …]I[…]SV/ …]AVG […]E / …a]lae I As/[turum…] OI I /…]V/ …] (‘… First Ala of Asturians …’). Dedication found 1852 then destroyed. Source: RIB I p.445

RIB 1349

RIB 1349

RIB 1349: D(is) [M(anibus) / Aure[l… / P[.]L[.]IC[… / A[.]EP[… (‘For the sprits of the departed, Aureli…’). Tombstone found before 1732. Source: RIB I p.445

RIB 1350: D(is) M(anibus) s(acrum) D(ecimus) Iuliu/s Q(uinti) f(ilius) Candidus c(o)ho(rtis) / p(rimae) Vangionum a(nnorum) XXXX (‘Sacred to the shades of the departed, Decimus Iulius Candidus, son of Quintus, from the First Cohort of Vangiones, 40 years (old)’). Tombstone found 1938 in a building overlying the Vallum crossing. Source: RIB I p.446

RIB 1351

RIB 1351

RIB 1351: D(is) M(anibus) / P(ublio) Sermul/lio Marti/ali (‘For the immortal shades, for Publius Sermullius Martialis’). Tombstone found 1877 500 yds west of Benwell near the Vallum. Source: RIB I p.446

RIB 1352: S E V (‘S E V’). Found 1862, now lost. Source: RIB I p.446

RIB 3285: Minervae / Primus (‘For Minerva from Primus’). Altar found 1937-8 during roadworks. Source: RIB II p.286

Analysis

The presence of several (largely unprovenanced) building stones from legio II Augusta and the large formal dedication by the Classis Britannica are rather difficult to untangle (were both detachments building the fort?) unless II Augusta are seen as building the curtain wall and the fleet the fort, after the fort decision has been made and the wall-builders have moved on. If the fleet were used because they had brought over the legio VI Victrix, then that might have interesting timing implications for the whole Wall project, but this may in fact be too speculative to be of any practical help. Tombstones and religious dedications reflect the presence of the vicus, now prominently manifested in the form of the remains of the Temple of Antenociticus.

Ala I Asturum are recorded as a garrison, but so is cohors I Vangionum. However, whilst legio II Augusta is recorded involved in construction, there are also dedications by centurions of that legion and legio XX that indicate their presence at the site, perhaps in temporary charge of auxiliary units, or perhaps even of legionary detachments, possibly acting as interim garrisons.

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The Milecastle Haiku (Week 12)

Milecastle 77

Raven Bank at the
T-junction. A glimpse of hills,
Catch Solway’s salt scent.

Milecastle 78

Kirkland in a field.
Holiday campers ignore
The mighty frontier.

Milecastle 79

Solway House on a
Low rise, safe against raiders,
Watches haaf netters.

Milecastle 80

Bowness, last of all.
Stacked beneath a mighty fort,
Under the village.

Epilogue

Milecastle haiku
Are done, but the Wall lives on;
Speaking the landscape.

The PLV eboojs

The Milecastle Haiku (Week 11)

Milecastle 70

Braelees above the
Eden. Freed of the Wall ditch,
Bold and high: good view!

Milecastle 71

Wormanby is here!
Technology triumphant
By autumnal lane.

Milecastle 72

Fauld Farm hides behind
Burgh-by-Sands. Church fortified
From northern raiders.

Milecastle 73

Dykesfield on dry ground,
Sees a royal monument:
Long Shanks laid low here.

Milecastle 74

Oyster catcher calls.
Burgh Marsh is a mystery,
Yet the geese fly south.

Milecastle 75

Easton, like Burgh Marsh,
Lost in the mist-clad wetlands.
Poised heron fishing.

Milecastle 76

Drumburgh by the old
Railway. No more dandy carts
Carry Wall pilgrims.

The Milecastle Haiku (Week 10)

Milecastle 63

Walby West unfound;
Maclauchlan thought he saw it.
Still it evades us.

Milecastle 64

By Hadrian Camp,
Escaping the motorway,
Drawdykes just survives.

Milecastle 65

Tarraby, once home
To rural Cocidius,
Hunter deity.

Milecastle 66

Three bridges were seen
Once, from Stanwix Bank, but now
Just one: noise and fumes.

Milecastle 67

Stainton eludes us
But it must be on the bank,
By the path, in trees.

Milecastle 68

Perched above a stream,
Oak-clad Boomby Gill surveys
Distant northern lands.

Milecastle 69

Named, but still not found,
Sourmilk Bridge is worth it for
That wry name alone.

The PLV eboojs

The Milecastle Haiku (Week 9)

Milecastle 56

Garrison to pub,
Walton‘s arc is now described,
A new phase awaits.

Milecastle 57

Cambeckhill‘s a farm,
With Castlesteads above it,
Concealed by the trees.

Milecastle 58

Newtown by the road,
Hidden by a hedge. The verge
Lush from the fresh rain.

Milecastle 59

Old Wall now simmers
Amidst the path’s callow May;
A lark keeps station.

Milecastle 60

High Strand in a field,
Hollow way in the moist ditch,
The Wall now a hedge.

Milecastle 61

Geophysics gives
Wall Head substance. Only now
Freed from the mown hay.

Milecastle 62

Out of reach, Walby
East is lost in a hedgerow.
Crows caw their disdain.