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.

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