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From Aug 2006 - Nov 2013 WeDig provided a live forum for diggers & fans of Vindolanda. It has now been mothballed and will be maintained as a live archive.

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Viewing Single Post From: Session 2
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Fiona D
Apr 17 2013, 01:45 PM
I gather from Andy the altar was set up by a guy called Aprilius to sun god - Sol Invictus I assume - very appropriate! Lets hope he carries on interceding for us.
Very interesting. I could find only one other instance of the nomen Aprilius in RIB volume I. Two bronze statuettes of Mars were found at Cockersand Moss (Lancs) in 1718, and have since been lost. One of them was inscribed:

D(eo) M(arti) N(odonti) | Lucianus | colleg(ae) Aprili Viato|ris v(otum) s(olvit)

"To the god Mars Nodons, Lucianus fulfilled the vow of his colleague, Aprilius Viator"

Whether this Aprilius is the same guy who dedicated the Vindolanda altar is hard to say. Context doesn't help much. The Cockersand site is in the middle of nowhere, nearly 5 km from the nearest Roman road (70d, Preston-Lancaster), and even from further from any known military site. The Vindolanda Aprilis was almost certainly military-affliliated given where the altar was found and the fact that the dedication is Mithraic. The Cockersand dedication was to Mars Nodons, a syncretic god conflating the well known Roman war god with the Celtic god Nodons. So, a military connection there seems not too implausible. And, Aprilius appears to be a relatively uncommon nomen, so who knows?

I'm very eager to hear what Andrew and Justin have to say.
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Session 2 · 2013