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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PLV Inscriptions (Drumburgh to Bowness-on-Solway)

Introduction

One building stone and one altar are the meagre pickings from this stretch.

Inventory

RIB 2054

RIB 2054

RIB 2054: leg(ionis) II Aug(ustae) / coh(ors) III (‘Second Legion Augusta Third Cohort (built this)’). Building stone found before 1783 at Glasson. Source: RIB I p.629

RIB 2055

RIB 2055

RIB 2055: Matri/bus suis / milite[s] / [… (‘For their own mother goddesses, the soldiers…’). Altar found before 1834 SE of Bowness. Now built into farm building in village. Source: RIB I p.629

Analysis

We find the Second Legion building the Stone Wall here (2054), presumably during the initial replacement of the Turf Wall, whilst the altar for the mother goddesses now at Port Carlisle (2055) probably comes from the nearby Milecastle 79.

PLV Inscriptions (Drumburgh)

Introduction

Time and erosion have deprived us of the inscriptions on the two Roman altars that stand outside Drumburgh Castle, but there are a few legible inscriptions from the site.

Inventory

RIB 2051: coh(ors) VII (‘the Seventh Cohort (built this)’). Building stone found before 1874 in the gable of a stable opposite Drumburgh Castle. Source: RIB I pp.628-9

RIB 2052: coh(ors) VIII (‘the Eighth Cohort (built this)’). Building stone found in 1783 in a house in Drumburgh. Source: RIB I p.629

RIB 2053

RIB 2053

RIB 2053: Pedatura / Vindo/moruci (‘Length (built by) Vindomorucus’). Building stone found in 1859 at Drumburgh. Source: RIB I p.629

Analysis

The two stones erected by the Seventh and Eighth Cohorts (2051-2) must date to the replacement of the turf fort with the stone one (although it is possible they may equally derive from the curtain wall). The stone (2053) recording work by the Vindomoruci (presumably from the area around Vindomora, modern Ebchester in County Durham) on the other hand probably belongs to the Severan rebuild, when tribal levies are found at work.

PLV Inscriptions (Burgh-by-Sands to Drumburgh)

Introduction

The paucity of inscriptions from this stretch probably reflects the fact that some three miles of the Wall across Burgh Marsh have never been detected and may not have been available to be robbed for building stone. It is difficult to believe that there were any fewer inscriptions here than elsewhere along Hadrian’s Wall.

Inventory

RIB 2049: ICI[..] / […]I[.] / […]II[..] (‘?’). Building stone found before 1732 in Burgh by Sands. Source: RIB I p.628

RIB 2050

RIB 2050

RIB 2050: Matri(bus) / dom(esticis) / vex(illatio) / [l]eg(ionis) VI / [V(ictricis)] P(iae) F(idelis) (‘For the household mother goddesses a detachment of the Sixth Legion Victrix Pia Fidelis (set this up)’). Altar found 1830 at Dykesfield, SW of MC73. Source: RIB I p.628

Analysis

With only two inscriptions available from the Burgh-nbby-Sands to Drumburgh stretch, and only one of those (2050) legible, it is difficult to draw conclusions about this particular epigraphic corpus. It is interesting to note that the Sixth Legion appear to be viewing the mother goddesses in much the same way as the Lares and Penates, in a domestic role. This altar was found near Milecastle 73, just east of Burgh Marsh, and once more may reflect a legionary detachment acting in a garrison role.

PLV Inscriptions (Burgh-by-Sands)

Introduction

As with other western sites on the Wall, Burgh has not exactly been over=productive in its epigraphy.

Inventory

RIB 2038: Deo / Bela/tuca(dro) (‘For the god Belatucadrus’). Altar found before 1769 in the vicarage garden at Burgh. Now lost. Source: RIB I pp.624-5

RIB 2039

RIB 2039

RIB 2039: Deo Belato/cadro Antr(onius) / Auf(idianus) posuit ar/am pro se et s/uis (‘For the god Belatucadrus, Antronius Aufidianus set up this altar for himself and for his family’). Altar found at Hallstones near Burgh. Source: RIB I p.625

RIB 2040: Herculi et / Numini / Aug(usti) coh(ors) / [… (‘For Hercules and the seity of the Emperor, the … Cohort …’). Altar found at Kiln Garth, NW of Burgh fort. Source: RIB I p.625

RIB 2041: I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) / coh(ors) [I] Nervan[a] / Germanorum / mil(liaria) eq(uitata) / cui praeest / P(ublius) Tusc[i]l(ius) CLND/ssinianu[s t]r[ib]u[n(us)] (‘For Iupiter Best and Greatest, the First Cohort of Nervan Germans, double strength, part mounted, which is commanded by Publius Tuscilius …]asianus, tribune (set this up)’). Altar found 1825 in the Eden ½ mile N of Beaumont. Source: RIB I p.625

RIB 2042: [I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo)] / [e]t numinib/us Auggg(ustorum) n(umerus) / Maur(o)rum / Aur(elianorum) Valer/iani(anus) Gallie/ni(anus) q(uorum) c(uram) a(git) Fl(avius) / Vibianu/s trib(unus) coh(ortis) / [p(rae)]p(ositus) n(umeri) s(upra) s(cripti) i(n)st/[a]nte Iul(io) R/ufino pri/ncipe (‘For Iupiter Best and Greatest and the divinitiess of the two Emperors, the unit of Aurelian Moors, called Valerian’s and Galerian’s, Caelius Vibianus, cohort tribune in charge of the above mentioned unit, (set this up) under the direction of Iulius Rufinus, princeps‘). Altar found 1934 in a cottage in Beaumont. Source: RIB I p.625

RIB 2043: Deae / Lati / Lucius / Ursei (‘For the goddess Latis, Lucius Urseius (set this up)’). Altar found in 1843 at Fallsteads/Foldsteads 1 mile S of Kirkbampton. Source: RIB I p.626

RIB 2044: Marti / Belatu/cad(ro) sa(n)ct(o) / MATVSI (‘For Mars Belatucadrus the holy…’). Altar found in 1881 in Burgh by Sands church. Source: RIB I p.626

RIB 2045: …]ALA TVVP Po/s(tumius) Cen[s]orinus / [pro] salute sua / [et suorum] pos(uit) (‘… Postumius Censorinus set this up for the welfare of himself and his family’). Altar found before 1750 in Burgh. Source: RIB I p.627

RIB 2046: …] / Iul(ius) Pi[…]/tinus civ/es Dacus (‘… Iulius … a Dacian tribesman’). Tombstone found 1855 to the S of Burgh fort. Source: RIB I p.627

RIB 2047: [D(is)] M(anibus) s(acrum) / [… (‘Sacred for the divine shades…’). Tombstone fragment found with RIB 2046 in 1855. Source: RIB I p.627

RIB 2048: VII (‘7’). Fragment found with RIB 2046 in 1855. Source: RIB I p.627

Analysis

The worship of Belatucadrus (2038-9, 2044) is once again prominent and there is the usual crop of Jupiter altars set up by unit commanders (2041-2). We also find an altar to the rather unusual deity Latis, otherwise found at Birdoswald (1897). The Moors mentioned in 2042 recall the story in the Historia Augusta (Severus 22.4-5) about Septimius Severus’ ill-omened encounter with a black man near Hadrian’s Wall. Other residents from elsewhere in the empire included German troops (2041) and a Dacian (2046).

PLV Inscriptions (Stanwix to Burgh-by-Sands)

Introduction

The absence of consolidated lengths of curtain wall is again evident in the paucity of centurial inscriptions in this section.

Inventory

RIB 2031: c(enturia) Vesn(i) / Viator(is) (‘the century of Vesnius Viator (built this)’). Centurial stone found 1951 in the Eden. Source: RIB I p.622

RIB 2032: coh(ortis) / IIII / (h)asta(ti) (‘Fourth Cohort, (the century of the) hastatus (prior built this)’). Found 1939 in the keep at Carlisle Castle. Source: RIB I p.622

RIB 2033: coh(ortis) I c(enturia) p(rimi) p(ili) (‘First Cohort, the century of the primus pilus (built this)’). Centurial stone found 1949 in the River Eden opposite Stainton. Source: RIB I p.623

RIB 2034

RIB 2034

RIB 2034: …] / L(ucius) Iunius Vic/torinus Fl[av(ius)] / Caelianus leg(atus) / Aug(usti) leg(ionis) VI Vic(tricis) / P(iae) F(idelis) ob res trans / vallum pro/spere gestas (‘…Lucius Iunius Victorinus Flavius Caelianus, commander of the Sixth Legion Victrix Pia Fidelis (set this up) following successful events north of The Wall’). Altar found 1803 at Kirksteads. Source: RIB I p.623

RIB 2035

RIB 2035

RIB 2035: leg(ionis) XX / Val(eriae) Vi(ctricis) / [c]oh(ors) V (‘Twentieth Legion Valeria Victrix, Fifth Cohort (built this)’). Building stone found about 1820 in the Eden near Beaumont. Source: RIB I p.623

RIB 2036: …]SAC[…] / […]V[… (‘?’). Fragment found in 1886 behind a house in Beaumont. Source: RIB I p.624

RIB 2037: …]PA[…] / […]V[… (‘?’). Fragment found in 1886 behind a house in Beaumont. Source: RIB I p.624

Analysis

The few centurial stones (2031-3) probably date to the replacement of the Turf Wall in stone under Antoninus Pius.

The peltate terminal on the Twentieth Legion’s building stone (2035) betrays the fact that it too is Antonine in date, so belongs to the period between the return from the Antonine Wall and the Severan reconstruction.

By far the most interesting inscription is that on the altar set up by the commander of the Sixth Legion (2034) to mark successes ‘trans vallum‘ (beyond the Wall). This confirms other sources which refer to the Wall as vallum (rampart), not murus (wall) as might be expected.

PLV Inscriptions (Stanwix)

Introduction

The fort of the largest unit on Hadrian’s Wall, the double-strength cavalry unit of ala Petriana, is poorly understood and has not produced the volume of inscriptions of some smaller forts elsewhere. Paradoxically, none of the inscriptions actually mentions the unit, although a cavalryman is depicted on one of the tombstones.

Inventory

RIB 2025: Matribu[s d]/omesticis [s]/uis Asin[ius] / S[e]nili[s] v(otum) s(olvit) l(ibens) [m(erito)] (‘For his household mother goddesses, Asinius Senilis willingly and deservedly fulfilled a vow’). Altar found before 1725 and taken to Scelby Castle. Source: RIB I p.620

RIB 2026: Dedica[ta] / Imp(eratore) Vero [III et] / Um(m)idio [Quadrato] / [co(n)s(ulibus)] (‘Dedicated in the consulship of the Emperor Verus, for the third time, and of Um(m)idius Quadratus’). Altar fragment found in 1931 W of the fort. Source: RIB I p.620

RIB 2027: Leg(io) VI / Vic(trix) p(ia) f(idelis) / G[o]r(diana) r[e]f(ecit) (‘Sixth Legion Victrix Pia Fidelis Gordiana rebuilt this’). Building stone found 1599 (at Stanwix?). Source: RIB I pp.621-2

RIB 2028: Leg(ionis) XX Vic(tricis) / coh(ors) I fecit (‘Twentieth Legion (Valeria) Victrix, the First Cohort built this’). Building stone found before 1794 at Stanwix. Source: RIB I p.622

RIB 2029

RIB 2029

RIB 2029: Dis Manibu/s Marci Troiani / Augustini tit(ul)um fa/ciendum curavi/t Ael(ia) Ammillusima / coniux kariss(ima) (‘For the immortal shades, for Marcus Troianius Augustinus his most beloved wife Aelia Ammillusima had this tombstone set up’). Tombstone found at Stanwix in 1599, now at Drawdikes Castle. Source: RIB I p.621

RIB 2030

RIB 2030

RIB 2030: [D]i[s] Manibus / [… (‘For the immortal shades…’). Tombstone found in 1787 built into Stanwix church, now at Netherhall. Source: RIB I p.621

Analysis

The building inscriptions imply the construction in stone of the (originally turf-and-timber) fort by the Twentieth Legion (2028) and its refurbishment by the Sixth (2027) in AD 238–44, but this may be an over-simplistic interpretation. It is certainly salutary that no inscription names the unit in garrison, ala Petriana (which is named in the Notitia Dignitatum). The cavalry tombstone (2030), of the traditional ‘rider’ type showing a barbarian foe being trampled, leaves little room for doubt about a mounted presence here.