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Viewing Single Post From: Excavations of 1930
SacoHarry
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INSCRIPTIONS

Some forty inscriptions belong to this site, many of them mere fragments. Seven of these may now be considered, for the light that they provide upon the history of the site.16

1. (C. 713; L.S. 260; R.I.B. 1538. At Chesterholin, where until the autumn of 1930 it was built into the north wall of the kitchen passage.)
[Imp. Ca]es. Traia[no I Had]riano[Aug., |
le]g. II[Aug. | A. Platorio Nepote leg.
pr. pr. ]

Hodgson records the discovery of this inscription at Chesterholm, but says nothing of the circumstances of the find. If the attribution is correct, the stone proves Hadrianic building here; but it is perhaps surprising that such an inscription should come from a cohort-fort, where something rather more ornate might be expected. Its resemblance to the milecastle inscriptions is very marked.

2. (A.J. XXXVI, p. 156; E.E. VII, 1050b; R.I.B. 1561. At Chesterholm, where it was re-discovered in 1930 by Mr. James DiacIutyre.)
SV|b sex. calpurnio
AG|ricola leg. aug. pr. pr.

W. Thompson Watkin, who published this inscription in A.J., described it as “found earlier, and now standing, stacked with other remains in the garden.” It is the lower left-hand corner of a large and imposing building-inscription, flanked by an ornamental panel, from whose decoration it is possible to infer that there were originally probably five lines of text. The restoration may be taken as certain, in substance. Calpurnius Agricola was governor of Britain under Marcus and Verus; other records of his governorship have been found at Ribchester (C. 225), Carvoran (C. 758, 773, 774), and Corbridge (E.E. IX, 1381). Whether he was governor of Britain before or after his governorship of one of the Germanies is not known; it has been assumed that he was in Britain first, and that by c. 170 he had one to Germany. Thus, this inscription shows that the fort was rebuilt, at least in part, in 165 or thereabouts.

3. (C. 715; L.S. 262; R.I.B. 1540. Already destroyed in Horsley’s time.)
. . . . . . . . . . coh. IIII]Gallor. | [Alexandriana
de]vota nu | [mi]ni eius por[tam cum tu]rribus |
[a f]undamen[tis restitu]erunt sub | C1(audio)
Xenopho[nte l]eg. Au[g.] pr. [pr.] | curante
[. . . . . . . . . .

Claudius Xenophon was governor in the time of Severus Alexander, c. 222-224 (E.E. VII, 1115; Atkinson, J.R.S. XII), so that the restoration of the cohort's title Alexandriana may be taken as certain. As yet, there is no evidence of rebuilding here under Severus, but it would be unwise to assume that such rebuilding did not take place; at Birdoswald and Risingham, for example, Severan rebuilding was followed by further work in the following decade. For the cohort, cf. no. 5 below.

4. (C. 701; L.S. 257; R.I.B. 1522. Chesters Museum; found in 1838 on the demolition of a cottage at Hardriding, a mile and a half south-west from Chesterholm, whence it had presumably been taken.)
Deo | Cocidio | Decimus | Caerelli | us Victor |
pr. coh. II Ner. | v.s.l.m.

Cohors II Nerviorum appears in the diplomata for 98, 122, 124, and 146; it has left records also at Wallsend (E.E. IX, 1159), Carrawburgh (E.E. III, 103; a vexillation of the cohort), and Whitley Castle, where it was under Caracalla (C. 310) and, no doubt, from then on. The Chesterholm inscription cannot be dated closely, but it should belong to the second century and, to judge by its style, hardly to the end of that century.

5. (C. 704; L.S. 244; R.I.B. 1526. Chesters Museum; found by Anthony Hedley in the building north-west of the east gate of the fort.)
I(ovi) O(ptimo) M(aximo) | ceterisque | diis
immort(alibus) | et gen(io) praetor(i) | Q.
Petronius | Q, f. Fab. Urbicus | praef. coh.
IIII | Gallorum | / / / / / / / / / / | ex Italia | domo
Brixia | votum solvit | pro se | ac suis.

We have more evidence, perhaps, for the history of this cohort than of any other regiment of the garrison of Britain. If Cichorius' view is correct,17 it was in Spain in the first century; by the end of the century it was in garrison at Templebrough, where its presence is attested by tiles, and a number of early inscriptions.18 It appears in the diplomata for 122 and 146, and has kit records also at Castlesteads, Risingham, and Castlehill on the Scottish Wall. At Templebrough, the samian shows that there was an intensive Flavian-Trajanic occupation, followed by a reoccupation of some sort in the second half of the second century. The Castlesteads inscriptions (C. 877, 878) were set up by commanders of the cohort; neither stone can be dated closely. The date of C. 1001, from Risingham, can be arrived at with more certainty. It reads Numinib(us) Augustor(um) coh(ors) IIII Gal(lorum) eq(uitata) fec(it), thus recording building there by the cohort when there were joint Augusti.19 Bruce and other writers have ascribed it to the time of Severus and Caracalla; but the garrison of Risingham at that period was coh. I Vangionum (C. 1003); whilst the simple form and good design of the inscription demand an earlier date. The stone should be dated to the joint principate of Marcus and Verus (rather than to that of Marcus and Commodus); and it may be added to the inscriptions recording reorganization of the northern defences under Calpurnius Agricola or one of his contemporaries. It may be noted here, that both at Risingham and High Rochester we find a cohors quingenaria in garrison in the second century, a cohors milliaria in the third.20 C. 1129, at Castlehill, is a dedication Campestribus et Brittanni(ae) by a prefect of the cohort; the spelling PREF on this stone suggests a date late in the second century. Finally, a number of inscriptions at Chesterholm attest the presence of the cohort here, at least from the time of Severus Alexander, and no doubt from that of Severus--unless it was one of those regiments withdrawn from Scotland by Caracalla; and at the time when the Notitia list item per lineam valli was drawn up, it was still in garrison at Vindolanda. Its movements in Britain may be summarized thus:

Up to c. 120 : Templebrough.
120 to 165 : Castlesteads.
165 to 180 : Risingham.
180 to 196 : Castlehill.
200 onwards : Chesterholm.

Such a scheme is not inconsistent with the existing evidence; it suggests that the fixity of garrisons, well attested from many sites, for years and even centuries on end in one fort, was not always marked in Britain in the second century. As yet, there is hardly sufficient evidence for most regiments, for a detailed scheme of movements in this period to be worth attempting; in general, however, it may be said that what evidence there is shows that no fort on the Wall was garrisoned continuously by the same regiment from the time of Hadrian to the time of Severus; but from the time of Severus on, there is no clear evidence of movements.

The word erased after the name of the cohort was either Alexandriana (cf. no. 3 above) or Antoniniana; in either case it is notable that the commander of the cohort is an Italian.21 Clear cases of Italians commanding auxiliary regiments in the third century are not so common as to be unworthy of special notice, though they are sufficiently numerous to disprove the assertion that from the time of Severus on Italians were debarred from such commands.

I have referred elsewhere22 to the value of this inscription and the similar dedication found with it, for elucidating the meaning of the term praetorium, which is clearly (in a permanent castellum, at all events) the building usually known in England as the “Commandant's House.” Were it only for the discovery of these two inscriptions, Anthony Hedley would deserve the thanks of all Roman historians for his excavation.

6. (A.A. 3, XII, p. 201; R.I.B. 1536. Chesters Museum; found in 1914, 120 yards west of the fort.)
Pro domu | divina et nu | minibus Aug | ustorum
Volc | ano[. . .] sacrum | vicani Vindol | andesses
cur[am] | agente[. . . . . . .] | v(otum) s(olverunt)
l(ibentes) m(erito).

The chief importance of this inscription lies in its spelling of the name of the place; it confirms the reading of Ravennas, Viiidolanda, against that of the Notitia, Vindolana. The name may perhaps mean “Whiteholm” or the like; in the early morning sunlight, such a name would be more appropriate than it seemed to Haverfield. The possibilities of the vicus have been discussed above; it occupies some six acres, and appears to have been so little disturbed by searchers for stone or inscriptions as to offer an exceptionally promising field for investigation.

There are comparatively few inscriptions in Britain mentioning the domus divina, whilst the formula In h(onorem) d(omus) d(ivinae), common on the Rhine, occurs in Britain for certain only at Old Penrith23; the British equivalent seems to be the dedication Numinibus Augusti or Augustorum, which hardly occurs in Germany. The combination of the two forms in this inscription is therefore of some interest. The date off the altar is probably somewhere in the first half of the third century, perhaps in the principate of Severus and his sons.

7. (A.A. 3, XV, p. 29; R.I.B. 1564. Chesters Museum; found east of the fort, in an old field-wall.)
BRIGOWAGLOS | IACIT | [QVI ET BRIOC]VS.

If Haverfield's restoration and identification are correct, this Brigomaglos is the Briomaglos or Briocus who came from Britain to work with Germanus in Gaul, in the early years of the fifth century. In any case, the inscription is very late, and Christian (to judge by the formula); it therefore provides some indication of occupation of the site in the period immediately following the severance of Britain from Rome.

16 In preparing this section I have received invaluable help from Mr. R. G. Collingwood; the numbers prefaced by R.I.B. refer to his forthcoming book on THE ROMAN INSCRIPTIONS OF BRITAIN.
17 S.v. Cohors in P.-W.
18 Cf. May, THE ROMAN FORTS AT TEMPLEBROUGH, where the inscriptions are collected.
19 Haverfield (in ROMAN BRITAIN IN 1914) regarded the plural Augustorum as referring, not to a plurality of living emperors, but to the whole body of emperors, dead and alive. Dedications to the domus divina (for which cf. no. 6 below) do not favour this view; cf. C. 344, from Old Carlisle : I.O.M. PRO SALVTE IMPERATORIS M. ANTONI GORDIANI P(II) P(F,I,ICIS) INVICTI AVG(VSTI) ET SABINIAE FVRIAE TRANQVILI,(AE) CONIVGI EIVS TOTAQVE DOMV DIVIN(A) EORVM. If, however, Haverfield's view is correct, the inscription might very well be as early as the governorship of Lollius Urbicus, and the cohort's period at Castlesteads will in that case be confined to c. 120-140.
20 At High Rochester, coh. I Lingonum was in garrison in the time of Pius (C. 1041), coh. I fida Vardullorum in the third century (C. 1039, etc.). Whether the change implied a larger garrison for forts that were now advanced frontier-posts, and no longer merely on a line of communication behind the lines, is not certain, though it is not unlikely. At present we have hardly sufficient data for determining the relative strength, in the time of Severus, of cohortes milliariae and quingenariae; it might be inferred that by this time all cohorts were of the same strength.
21 The Procurator of Noricum in A.D. 69 was a Petronius Urbicus (cf. P.I.R.); the coincidence of two hardly common names suggests that the procurator was an ancestor of our prefect.
22 C.W. 2, XXX, p. 201.
23 C. 316. Mr. Collingwood tells me that there is also a doubtful example at York. The dated examples of the formula IN H D D on the continent range from the time of Pius (C.I.L. XIII 7458) to that of Diocletian (op. cit. 8019), but it is clearly of considerably earlier origin; the domus divina appears as early as the principate of Tiberius (op. cit. 4635). The Old Carlisle vicus inscription is also a dedication to Vulcan; a good continental parallel is provided by C.I.L. XIII 6454, from Benningen: IN H D D VOLKAN(O) SACRVM VICANI MVRRENSES V. S. L. M. The dedication to Vulcan may be taken to imply that the inhabitants of the settlement were engaged in mining or metallurgy.
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