PLV Inscriptions (Netherby)

Introduction

These are the inscriptions from the Hadrian’s Wall outpost fort of Netherby (Castra Exploratum). The fort itself has never been excavated (although the extramural bath-house was examined in the 18th century), so little is known about its occupation beyond what can be deduced from inscriptions.

Inventory

RIB 965

RIB 965: Altar for Apollo found before 1875 at Netherby. [De]o Apollini / Aurelius M[a]/te[r]nus pro / s[a]lu[t]e [s]ua et MI […] IIANAISA / MA […] v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For the god Apollo … Aurelius Maternus for the welfare of himself and … willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow’). RIB I p.321

RIB 966

RIB 966: Altar for Cocidius found in 1772 at Netherby. Deo / sancto / Cocidio / Paternius / Maternus / tribunus coh(ortis) / I Nervan(a)e / ex evocato / Palatino / v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For the holy god Cocidius, Paternius Maternus, tribune of the First Cohort Nervana, promoted from evocatus Palatinus, willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow’). RIB I p.322

RIB 967

RIB 967: Altar for an unidentified deity found before 1794 at Netherby. D(eo(?)) s(ancto(?)) E(…) / IVNLIIAR / Monime / PRID VNICI / […] ERESIS / PLERIVM […] A/RIVS posuit (‘For the holy deity … Monime … set this up’). RIB I p.322

RIB 968

RIB 968: Altar for Fortuna Conservatrix found before 1725 in the baths W of Netherby. Deae sanct/ae Fortunae / Conservatrici / Marcus Aurel(ius) / Salvius tribun/us coh(ortis) I Ael(iae) Hi/spanorum / (milliaria) eq(uitatae) / v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For the holy goddess Fortuna Conservatrix, Marcus Aurelius Salvius, tribune of the First Aelian Cohort of Spaniards, one thousand strong, part-mounted, willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow’). Dated to c.AD 222 by the mention of Salvius in RIB 978. RIB I p.323

RIB 969

RIB 969: Altar for Jupiter found before 1794 at Netherby. Primary: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / […] / […] / […] / v(otum) [s(olvit) l(ibens)] m(erito); Secondary: D(eo) Iu[ ̣ ̣]t/er(i) sanct(o) F̣/ortunat. … (Primary: ‘To Jupiter, Best and Greatest, … willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow’; Secondary: ‘For the holy god Ju[…]teris Fortunat[us] (or Fortunat[a])…’.). RIB I p.323

RIB 970: Altar for Mars Belatucadrus found before 1672 at Netherby. Now lost. Deo Marti / Belatucadro / {RO} [A]ur(elius(?)) [Ni(?)]ca[n(?)]/or v(otum) s(olvit) [l(aetus) l(ibens)] m(erito) (‘For Mars Belatucadrus, Aurelius Nicanor gladly, willingly, and deservedly fulfilled his vow’). RIB I p.323

RIB 971

RIB 971: Altar for Mogons Vitiris found before 1711 at Netherby. Deo / Mogont(i) / Vitire san(cto) / Ael(ius) [Secund(us)] / v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) m(erito) (‘For the holy god Mogons Vitiris, Aelius Secundus willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow’). RIB I p.323

RIB 972

RIB 972: Altar for Silvanus found before 1794 at Netherby. Deo / Silv(ano) (‘For the god Silvanus’). RIB I p.324

RIB 973: Altar for Hveter found in 1882 at Netherby. Deo / Hue/tiri (‘For the god Hveter’). RIB I p.324

RIB 974: Dedication for Hadrian by legio II Augusta found at Netherby before 1601. Now lost. Imp(eratori) Caes(ari) Tra(iano) / Hadriano / Aug(usto) / leg(io) II Aug(usta) fec(it) (‘For the Emperor Caesar Trajan Hadrian Augustus the Second Legion Augusta built (this)’). RIB I p.324

RIB 975: Fragment found at Netherby before 1672. Now lost. Imp(eratore) Comm(odo) co(n)s(ule) (‘In the consulship of the Emperor Commodus’). RIB I p.324

RIB 976: Dedication found at Arthuret church in 1609. Now lost. […] Iuliae Au[g(ustae)] / {M} matri Au[g(usti)] / [nostri M(arci) Aur]|eli{i} Anton[ini] / et castr(orum) [et] / senatus et / patriae pro / [pietate ac] / devotione / [communi] / num(ini) eius / [curante G(aio) Iul(io)] / Marc[o] l[eg(ato) Aug(ustorum)] / pr(o) pr(aetore) coh(ors) [I] Ael(ia) / [ Hisp(anorum) (milliaria) eq(uitata)] / posuit (‘… for Julia Augusta, mother of our Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and of the camps and Senate and country, out of their common duty and devotion to his Divinity, under the charge of Gaius Julius Marcus, emperor’s propraetorian legate, the First Aelian Cohort of Spaniards, one thousand strong, part-mounted, set this up’). RIB I p.325

RIB 977

RIB 977: Dedication slab found at Netherby before 1794. […] coh(ors) I / [Ael(ia) Hisp(anorum) (milliaria) eq(uitata)] Anto/[ninian]a ex solo / [exstruxit] sub cur(a) G(ai) Iul(i) / [Marci le]g(ati) Aug(usti) pr(o) pr(aetore) instante / […]ṛ Maximo trib(uno) (‘… the First Aelian Cohort of Spaniards, one thousand strong, part-mounted, styled Antoniniana, built this from the foundations under the charge of Gaius Julius Marcus, emperor’s propraetorian legate, under the direction of … Maximus, tribune’). RIB I p.325

RIB 978

RIB 978: Dedication slab found at Netherby in 1762 set up by the double-strength, part-mounted cohors I Aelia Hispanorum. Imp(eratori) Caes(ari) M(arco) Aurelio / Severo Alexandro Pio [F]el(ici) Aug(usto) / pont(ifici) maximo trib(unicia) pot(estate) co(n)s(uli) p(atri) p(atriae) coh(ors) I Ael(ia) / Hispanorum (milliaria) eq(uitata) devota numini / maiestatique eius baselicam / equestrem exercitatoriam / iam pridem a solo coeptam / aedificavit consummavitque / sub cura Mari Valeriani leg(ati) / Aug(usti) pr(o) pr(aetore) instante M(arco) Aurelio / Salvio trib(uno) coh(ortis) imp(eratore) d(omino) n(ostro) / Severo Alexandro Pio Fel(ice) / Aug(usto) co(n)s(ule) (‘For the Emperor Caesar Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander Pius Felix Augustus, pontifex maximus, with tribunician power, consul, father of his country, the First Aelian Cohort of Spaniards, one thousand strong, part-mounted, devoted to his Divinity and majesty, built a cavalry drill-hall, long since begun from the ground, and completed it, under the charge of Marius Valerianus, emperor’s propraetorian legate, under the direction of Marcus Aurelius Salvius, tribune of the cohort in the consulship of our Lord the Emperor Severus Alexander Pius Felix Augustus’). RIB I p.326

RIB 979

RIB 979: Dedication slab found at Netherby before 1794. Dated to AD 222. [ ̣ ̣ ̣]is coh(ors) [I Ael(ia) Hisp(anorum) (milliaria) eq(uitata)] / [[Se]veriana [Alexandriana]] / templum nu[per nimia vetus]/tate conlabsu[m restituit et] / ad pristinam [formam consum]/mavit imp(eratoribus) d(ominis) [n(ostris) …] / […] (‘… the First Aelian Cohort of Spaniards, one thousand strong, part-mounted, Severiana Alexandriana, restored this temple, lately fallen in through excessive age, and completed it according to its original form when the Emperors our Lords … (were consuls)’). RIB I p.326

RIB 980

RIB 980: Dedication slab set up by legiones II Augusta & XX Valeria Victrix & cohors I Aelia Hispanorum found at Netherby before 1794. Original: [ ̣ ̣ ̣] temp[lum …] (‘… temple …’); recut: im[p(eratoris) …] ANTOIII / PIISVSBSCOS vexil(lationes) / leg(ionum) II Aug(ustae) et XX V(aleriae) V(ictricis) / item coh(ortis) I Ael(iae) Hisp(anorum) / (milliaria) eq(uitatae) sub cura M[o]/d[i] Iuli leg(atus) Aug(usti) / pr(o) pr(aetore) instante Ael(ius) / […] (‘For the Emperor … detachments of the Second Legion Augusta and the Twentieth Legion Valeria Victrix, also the First Aelian Cohort of Spaniards one thousand strong, part-mounted, (set this up) under the charge of Modius Iulius, imperial propraetorian legate, under the direction of Aelius …’). RIB I p.327

RIB 981

RIB 981: Building stone set up by a vexillation of legio VI Victrix found at Netherby before 1873. Main: vexilla/tio leg(ionis) / VI V(ictricis) P(iae) [F(idelis)] (‘A detachment of the Sixth Legion Victrix Pia Fidelis (built this)’); right-margin: leg(ionis) VI P(iae) [F(idelis)] (‘of the Sixth Legion Pia Fidelis’). RIB I p.327

RIB 982

RIB 982: Dedication found at Netherby before 1873. […] I ] R / […] C A V / [… opus] valli (‘… rampart-work’). RIB I p.327

RIB 983

RIB 983: Building stone found before 1875, probably at Netherby. [I]nvidio/[s]is mentula (‘A phallic charm against the envious’). RIB I p.327

RIB 984

RIB 984: Tombstone of Titullinia Pussitta found in creating a plantation near Netherby Hall. D(is) M(anibus) / Titullinia / Pussitta / ci(vi)s Raeta / vixsit / annos XXXV / menses VIII / dies XV / TV (‘For the spirits of the departed; Titullinia Pussitta, a Raetian, lived 35 years, 8 months, 15 days …’). RIB I p.328

Discussion

Garrisoned by the double-strength, part-mounted cohors I Aelia Hispanorum, the outpost fort at Netherby was one of two such bases (the other being Birrens) that guarded the main road into Scotland on the western side of the Scottish lowlands. Dedications show elements of VI Victrix, II Augusta, and XX Valeria Victrix undertaking construction work at the site, the last two together with the garrison auxiliary unit. RIB 974 confirms that the first outpost fort here was constructed under Hadrian. Other inscriptions reveal the presence of at least one temple at the site (and there is a good range of deities represented amongst the altars), as well as the presence of civilians in a vicus, where the excavated bath building with its altar dedicated to Fortuna Conservatrix (a deity associated with risky ventures) was found. Netherby is the only fort to date which preserves a record of the construction of a cavalry exercise hall, essential for winter training, as Vegetius observed (Epitoma Rei Militaris 2.23).

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