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How significant is the new altar?
Topic Started: Jul 25 2009, 12:17 PM (202 Views)
SacoHarry
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I've been reading the press releases, etc. And it strikes me that the shrine found at the end of June is unique -- that nowhere else has a shrine been found within the walls of a fort.

Is that accurate? If so, that's pretty incredible.

If this was the 4th Century when it was set up, maybe I could see it. I mean, the vicus seems to have moved inside the walls by then, so why not the religious places too. But from the press releases, it sounds like the cult of Dolichenus had died out by the 4th C. So the altar was almost certainly made in the 3rd -- an apparently "safe & secure" time in which the vicus & other temples spread out far from the protection of the fort walls.

Anyway, it's cool enough to have a new altar & confirmation of another commanding officer's name for Vindolanda. But is this thing really yet again rewriting the map of what we know about Roman military practice as a whole?

And again, I missed it by one day.
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SacoHarry
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I asked around about this. At romanarmytalk.com someone mentioned that the site at Dura-Europos far to the east of the Empire had a mithraeum and a "Temple to the Palmyrene Gods" located within the military camp. But the assumption there seems to be that the temples came first & the camp came later. Also, they mentioned something about an altar in a building along the southern wall, but again there was uncertainty.

Regardless, whether it's completely unique, there seems to be no sign of anything within, say, 2000 miles! Pretty amazing.
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