PLV Inscriptions (Great Chesters)

Introduction

Great Chesters has not enjoyed the same degree of recent excavation or consolidation as other sites on the former Clayton estate so the epigraphic assemblage is correspondingly smaller. Nevertheless, there are some interesting altars and some striking dedications and tombstones.

Inventory

RIB 1723: Disc[i]p[ulinae… (‘For the Discipline…’). Altar found 1807 at Great Chesters. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.541

RIB 1724: D[(e)ae F]or[t]u(nae) / vexs(illatio) G(aesatorum) R(a)eto(rum) / quorum cur/am agit Tabe/llius Victor / c(enturio) (‘For the goddess Fortuna, a detachment of the Raetian Spearmen, commanded by Tabellius Victor, centurion (set this up)’). Altar found 1908 in NE chamber of bath building at Great Chesters. Source: RIB I p.541

RIB 1725

RIB 1725

RIB 1725: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / D[ol]ic(h)eno Lu/cius Maxim/ius Gaetulic/us |(centurio) leg(ionis) XX V(aleriae) V(ictricis) / v(otum) [s(olvit) l(ibens)] m(erito) (‘For Jupiter Dolichenus, Best and Greatest, Lucius Maximus Gaetulicus, centurion of the Twentieth Legion Valeria Victrix, willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found 1897 built into CO’s house just S of SW corner of HQ building. Source: RIB I pp.541-2

RIB 1726: [I(ovi)] O(ptimo) M(aximo) D(olicheno) / […] Sabini fil(ius) / […]ina Regulus / […] Publi[… (‘For Jupiter Dolichenus, Best and Greatest, […]ina, daughter of Sabinus, Regulus… (set thius up)’). Altar found before 1716 at Great Chesters. Source: RIB I p.542

RIB 1727: [I(ovi) O(ptimo)] M(aximo) / […] Gal(l)or(um) / […]N[… (‘For Jupiter Best and Greatest… of Gauls…’). Altar fragment found in 1907 S of the Vallum. Source: RIB I p.542

RIB 1728: Deo / Veti/ri v(otum) (‘For the god Vetiris, a vow’). Altar found before 873 at Great Chesters. Source: RIB I p.542

RIB 1729: Dib[us] / Veteri/bus pos/sit Roma/na (‘For the Veteres gods, Romana set this up’). Altar found before 1857 at Great Chesters. Source: RIB I p.543

RIB 1730: Dibus Ve/teribus / [… (‘For the Veteres gods…’). Altar found in 1856 at Great Chesters. Source: RIB I p.543

RIB 1731

RIB 1731

RIB 1731: Victoriae Aug(usti) coh(ors) VI / Nerviorum cui praeest G(aius) / Iul(ius) Barbarus praefec(tus) v(otum) s(olvit) l(aeta) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For the Victory of the Emperor, the Sixth Cohort of Nervians, commanded by Gaius Iulius Barbarus, prefect, willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Statue base found 1801 at Wall(town) Mill. Source: RIB I p.543

RIB 1732

RIB 1732

RIB 1732: Deo (‘For the god’). Altar found before 1823 at Walltown (die uninscribed). Source: RIB I p.543

RIB 1733: …]nus |(centurio) leg(ionis) / […] agens curam / [a]ram dicavit / [v(otum)] s(olvens) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘…]nus, centurion of […] Legion, appointee in charge, dedicated this altar, willingly and deservedly fulfilling a vow’). Altar found a few feet W of the strongroom in 1897. Source: RIB I p.544

RIB 1734: …]IDEC S / VIDIA CL / […]CAN (‘?’). Altar found 1807 at Great Chesters. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.544

RIB 1735: …]V[…] / […]TE[…] / […]PI[… (‘?’). Fragment (of an altar?) found 1895 at Great Chesters. Source: RIB I p.544

RIB 1736

RIB 1736

RIB 1736: Imp(eratori) Caes(ari) Trai(a)n(o) Had[ri]a/no Aug(usto) p(atri) p(atriae) (‘For the Emperor Caesar Trajan Hadrian Augustus, father of his country’). Dedication found before 1851 near E gate. Source: RIB I p.544

RIB 1737

RIB 1737

RIB 1737: [Impp(eratoribus) Caesarib]us Antonino et [Vero] / [Augustis Par]thicis Medicis [Armen]/[iacis coh(ors) V]I(?) Raetoru[m …] / […]misia […]cci[…] et […] / […]iiat[ (‘For the Emperor-Caesars Antoninus Verus, each Augustus, Parthicus, Medicus, Armeniacus… the Sixth(?) Cohort of Raetians…’). Dedication found before 1857 at Great Chesters. Source: RIB I pp.544-5

RIB 1738

RIB 1738

RIB 1738: Imp(erator) Caes(ar) M(arcus) Aur(elius) Seve/rus Alexander P(ius) Fel(ix) / Aug(ustus) horreum vetu/state conlabsum mil(itibus) / coh(ortis) II Asturum S(everianae) A(lexandrianae) / a solo restituerunt / provincia(m) regente […] / Maximo leg(ato) [Aug(usti) pr(o) pr(aetore) cur(ante)] / Val(erio) Martia[le |(centurione) leg(ionis) …] / [F]us[co II et Dextro co(n)s(ulibus)] (‘For the Emperor Caesar Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander Pius Felix Augustus, the Second Cohort of Asturians of Severus Alexander restored a granary, collapsed through age, from the ground up, when the province was commanded by… Maximus, the Emperor’s propraetorian legate, under the command of Valerius Martialis, centurion of the… Legion, in the consulship of Fuscus, for the second time, and Dexter’). Dedication found in the N of the fort in 1767. The consular date is AD 225. Source: RIB I p.545

RIB 1739: [Im]p(eratori) Caes(ari) […] / […] Max[imo …] / […] PER[ (‘For the Emperor Caesar… Greatest…’). Dedication found 1897 near the SW corner of the HQ building. Source: RIB I p.546

RIB 1740: Imp(eratori) [Caes(ari) …] / P(io) F(elici) […] / PI[… (‘For the Emperor Caesar… Pius Felix…’). Dedication slab found 1897 in N room of the CO’s house. Source: RIB I p.546

RIB 1741

RIB 1741

RIB 1741: S]everi […] / […]sar […] / […]si (‘…of Severus…’). Dedication slab found in 1897 near the SW corner of the HQ building. Source: RIB I p.546

RIB 1742: D(is) M(anibus) / Ael(io) Mercu/riali cornicul(ario) / Vacia soror / fecit (‘For the immortal shades (and) Aelius Mercurialis, cornicularius, his sister Vacia set this up’). Tombstone found before 1732 at Wall(town) Mill. Source: RIB I p.546

RIB 1743

RIB 1743

RIB 1743: Dis Manib(us) / L(ucius) Novell(ius) Lan/uccus c(ivis) R(omanus) an(norum) LXX / Novel(lia) Iustina / fil(ia) / [f(aciendum)] c(uravit) (‘For the immortal shades, Lucius Novellius Lanuccus, Roman citizen, 70 years old, his daughter Novellia Iustina had this set up’). Tombstone found 1897 in N room of CO’s house. Source: RIB I pp.546-7

RIB 1744: [D(is)] M(anibus) / […]ilis / […]io (‘For the immortal shades (and ) […]ilis, […]io (set this up)’). Tombstone found 1894-5 at Great Chesters. Source: RIB I p.547

RIB 1745

RIB 1745

RIB 1745: D(is) M(anibus) / Aureliae / Caula[e] / Aur[e]lia / S[…]illa / [s]orori [ca]/rissim(a)e / vixit an(nos) / XV m(en)s(es) IIII (‘For the immortal shades (and) Aurelia Caula, Aurelia S(…)illa (set this up) for a most dear sister, lived 15 years 4 months’). Tombstone found 1897 in N room of CO’s house. Source: RIB I p.547

RIB 1746: D(is) M(anibus) s(acrum) / Nigri/nae v[i]x(it) a(nnos) XXXX / [A]ur(elius) Casitto / c(enturio) l[e]g(ionis) [VI Vic(tricis)] / P(iae) F(idelis) c[uravit] (‘For the immortal shades (and) Nigrina, lived 40 years. Aurelius Casitto, centurion of the Sixth Legion Victrix Pia Fidelis, had this set up’). Tombstone found before 1875 due S of Great Chesters and N of Military Road. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.548

RIB 1747

RIB 1747

RIB 1747: Dis M(anibus) / Pervicae filiae / [… (‘For the immortal shades, Pervica, a daughter…’). Tombstone found before 1732 at Wall(town) Mill. Source: RIB I pp.548-9

RIB 1748: XLVIII (’48’). Building stone found in 1894 in the barracks in the SW corner of the fort. Source: RIB I p.549

RIB 1749: …] / Aug(usti) n(ostri) […] / Cael[…] / vics[it …] (‘…of our Emperor… lived…’). Fragment found before 1789 at Great Chesters. Source: RIB I p.549

RIB 1750: …]VI[.]IA[.] / […]VC [.] / […] LEG / [ (‘?’). Fragment found before 1873 E of Great Chesters. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.549

RIB 1751: …]V / […]ord(ian…) / [… provinciam] regente / […]C[… (‘… called Gordiana… when …was governing the province…’). Fragment found before 1732 at Great Chesters farm house. Now lost. Source: RIB I p.549

RIB 1752: …]N[…] / […]IAE[…] / [… (‘?’). Fragment found 1894 in barracks in SW corner of fort. Source: RIB I p.549

RIB 1753: LSCHSI (‘?’). Building stone found in 1925 at Great Chesters. Source: RIB I p.549

Analysis

Great Chesters is quite small and so is the haul of inscriptions, although it is not without interest. Jupiter and his Eastern counterpart, Jupiter Dolichenus, are present amongst the altars and the Veteres naturally put in an appearance (1728-30). Fortuna also pops up (1724). More legionary centurions are included (1725, 1733, 1738, and 1746) or hinted at (1724) and a rara avis (comparatively speaking), a cornicularius (1742) – the head of the commanding officer’s office staff – puts in an appearance. A granary was restored by the Second Ala of Asturians in 225 (1738), once offering the innocent explanation ‘collapsed through age’ that has, in the past, tempted scholars to see this as a euphemism for damage by enemy action (although that view no longer prevails). Finally, the dedication to Hadrian found near the east gate is tantalising, since only half the die was utilised for the inscription; did the letter cutter badly misjudge the available space (which seems unlikely), or had he intended to add something else in the top half? We shall probably never know.

Advertisements