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Mixed Population of the Military Stations.
The prefect of the Savinian ala at Hunnum (Halton-chester).
rawburgh). The tribune of the first cohort of the Tungri at Borcovicus (House
steads). The tribune of the fourth cohort of the Gauls at Vindolana (Little
Chesters or Chesterholm). The tribune of the first cohort of the Astures at Æsica (Great
Chesters) The tribune of the second cohort of the Dalmatians at Magna in
Northumbria (Carvorran). The tribune of the first cohort of Dacians, styled Ælia, at Ambo
glanna (Burdoswald). The prefect of the ala called Petriana, at Petriana (Camberfoot, or
Castle Steeds). The prefect of a detachment of Moors, styled Aureliani, at Aballaba
(Watch Cross) The tribune of the second cohort of the Lergi at Congavata (Stan
wicks). The tribune of the first cohort of the Spaniards at Axelodunum
(Brough on the Sands). The tribune of the second cohort of the Thracians at Gabrosentis
(Drumburgh). The tribune of the first marine cohort, styled Ælia, at Tunnocelum
(Bowness) The tribune of the first' cohort of the Morini at Glannibanta
(Cockermouth) The tribune of the third cohort of the Nervii at Alionis (Whitley
Castle, or Ambleside). The cuneus of men in armour at Brementenracum (Old Penrith, or
Brampton). The prefect of the first ala styled Herculean, at Olenacum (Old Car
lisle, or Elenborough). The tribune of the sixth cohort of the Nervii at Virosidum (Old
Carlisle, or Elenborough).' From the inscriptions found on the sites, it is proved that these were not moveable troops, sometimes quartered at one place and sometimes at another, but that each of them had been established in the town it occupied, from the time the town was first built to the date of the Notitia ;—which was compiled not long before the final withdrawal of the Roman legions. Each station was a town, larger or smaller, according to circumstances, inhabited in great part by the families and countrymen of the soldiers to whom it belonged. Thus we have twenty-three towns, commencing with Wallsend (Segedunum) and Newcastle (Pons Ælii) on the Tyne, and stretching across the island, among which we find, on the suspicious policy of universal conquest, no two consecutive towns belonging to people of the same nation. If we begin with Vindolana, we have a town of Gauls, then one of Asturians, next, a town of Dalmatians, and so in succession, Dacians, Moors, Lergi, (from what country is uncertain,) Spaniards, and Thracians. Probably all these different populations had adopted Roman manners; it is at least certain that among the numerous articles found on the sites they occupied, everything is purely Roman. Most of them, however, seem to have brought with them the religion and worship which they had learnt from their forefathers; and strange indeed must have been the variety of religious creeds existing contemporaneously in this island under Roman sway. Excavations on Roman sites have in general been rich in monuments of religious worship. Almost every town appears to have had its temples and altars to the chief deities of Rome; but with these we find a singular mixture of Eastern deities, and gods from Africa, from Germany, from Gaul, and from other countries. We learn from an inscription at York, that a legate of the sixth legion built in Eburacum a temple dedicated to Serapis. The same place has also contributed a monument relating to the worship of Mithras, and another dedicated to the deæ matres, or popular deities, of Africa, Italy, and Gaul.' The god Belatucadrus, (probably a Syrian deity, if not the same as Mars,) was adored on the banks of the Irthing in Cumberland, and at Netherby in Westmoreland. At Chester, there was a god who is described in the inscription by a mixed Roman and Barbaric name, Jupiter Tanaros, supposed to be the Teutonic Thunr or Thor. A cohort of Dacians in Cumberland worshipped a deity named Cocidius. An altar has been found at Netherby dedicated Deo Mogonti; and one or two in the county of Durham, dedicated Deo Vitiri, - whom Horsley calls a local
- Deity worshipped in this country. At Corstopitum (Corbridge in Northumberland) have been found altars inscribed in Greek to the Tyrian Hercules and to Astarte.
The numerous inscriptions discovered in the stations on the line of the Roman Wall and public roads by Mr. Bruce, place in a strong light this variety of worship prevailing among
the Romano-British towns. Altars to Jupiter, Mars, Minerva, &c., prevail everywhere, and all nations seem to have agreed in giving the first honour to them as the deities of all-conquering Rome. At the station of Maryport, on the Solway Firth, a remarkably ornamented altar was found bearing the following inscription :
Mixed Religious Creeds, except Christianity.
To the genius of the place, PORTVNÆ REDVCI
to returning fortune, ROMÆ ÆTERNÆ
to eternal Rome, ET PATO BONO
and to propitious fate,
tribune of a cohort
from the province of MAVRITANIÆ CÆSARIENSIS. . Mauritania Cæsariensis. ..!!
Two imperfect lines which follow seem to state that Peregrinus had restored a temple to these divinities. He was, perhaps, the officer of the Moors stationed at Aballaba (Watchcross).
Peregrinus,' says Mr. Bruce, addresses first the deity of the * place over which his arms had triumphed ; lest the local god should not smile benignantly, he resorts to Fortune, who had conducted him safely to the land of his adoption; if this deity should fail him, he thinks to find a refuge in the genius of the "eternal city : but driven from that resource, there is nothing 'for it, but to trust to fate or chance.' Fortune seems to have been rather a favourite deity among the stations on the Wall; and it appears that many of the nations brought together to colonise this district adored the sun under different characters. Mithras, indeed, evidently was popular everywhere. A Mithraic cave at Housesteads (Borcovicus, occupied by the Tungri), contained altars and various implements of worship. Several of the altars were dedicated to Mithras by name. Another sculpture also relating to the same deity was found at Cilurnum, a post of the Astures: while a slab at Caryoran contained a poetical declaration of the belief of the dedicator in the Syrian goddess. Carvoran occupies the site of the Roman Magna, the post of the Dalmatian cohort. At Birdoswald (Amboglanna), the hunters of the Dacian cohort had erected an altar tó Silvanus, the divinity of the woods. At Risingham (Habitancum), a small altar, put up by some soldier, to the nymphs, with the following not very intelligible inscripton, has outlived more valuable memorials, –
• Somnio præmonitus miles hanc ponere jussit
Aram quæ Fabio nupta est Nymphis venerandis.' An altar found at Rutchester (Vindobala), was dedicated to the gods of the mountains. Others at Thirlwall Castle, and at Benwell (Condercum), were dedicated to the god Vitres or Viteres, which is explained as perhaps referring to the Scandinavian Vithirs or Odin. Another at the former of these places informs us of the existence of a dea Hamia, while several altars along this line of towns bear witness to the favour with which the deæ matres were regarded.
One circumstance cannot fail to strike us forcibly in considering this strange mythological catalogue, so much apparently out of place. Among the multitude of monuments relating to the worship of the inhabitants of Britain under the Romans among the immense number of Roman sepulchral interments which have been opened and examined—we have records of almost every religion of the heathen world, but we find not the slightest trace of Christianity. It must be borne in mind that all these temples and altars were standing, and their worship, no doubt, in full vigour, at the time when the Romans abandoned the island. We can hardly doubt but, that in the constant intercourse with Rome, some traveller or some soldier, who had received the Christian doctrines, must from time to time have found his way hither; yet we feel fully justified by the circumstance just mentioned in believing that the faith of the Gospel had not established itself in Roman Britain. How contrary is this to the bold averments of the old Ecclesiastical writers, who would lead us to imagine that the Romans left Britain covered with churches and divided into bishops' sees! And how conformable to the statement that Augustine did not find a single Christian either among the Romans or the Saxons in the South of England !
Our information on the condition of the Roman towns in Britain is as yet very scanty, but we may hope for further information as our researches are continued. Some of the inscriptions now known speak of municipal officers, and of trade colleges or gilds. Many speak of the erection or restoration of temples, baths, and other public buildings. An inscription at Caerleon, engraved by Mr. Lee, commemorates the rebuilding of the barracks; and an inscription at Lanchester in Durham (Epiacum), records the building of public baths and a basilica. The Roman towns, with the exception of the military stations, were not for some time protected by walls; a circumstance indicating a sense of security beyond what we should have expected. Such we learn from the history of Boadicea's revolt, had been the case at first with Camulodunum, Verulamium, and Londinium, all which cities were surrounded at a later period with walls of a very massive character. Discoveries made from time to time in London, show us the Roman town gradually increasing from a comparatively small place till it filled the whole space of the present city; and it was only after it had reached this magnitude that the walls were erected. Even then, like most other stations placed in a similar position, it had no wall towards the river; but some excavations near the Thames have brought to light the remains of a wall evidently erected towards the decline of Roman rule ;) probably after some attack by water from the
Tesselated Pavements and Pottery.
Saxon pirates, as it appears to have been built hurriedly with stones from ruined temples and other public buildings. Londinium seems to have been the chief seat of govern ment, and casual excavations have discovered buildings of extraordinary extent and gorgeously decorated, especially in its north-eastern quarter. It was not a military station ; though among the few monumental inscriptions found here two are commemorative of soldiers of the second and twentieth legions, individuals perhaps belonging to the body-guard of the governor of the province.
When we are unable to judge by any other circumstances of the comparative riches and importance of the Roman towns or villas in Britain, there are two distinctive characteristics which present themselves immediately, and in general without any extensive excavations, - the tesselated pavements, and the pottery. The red ware, to which the name of Samian has been applied, and which is usually ornamented with figures in relief, was certainly imported from the continent; and there are good reasons for believing that it was costly. The absence of Samian ware and of tesselated pavements may, therefore, be regarded as one evidence of poverty. It is singular, accordingly, that we find scarcely any pavements in Kent, and that its villas should not appear to have been much ornamented. No pavements of any beauty have been discovered along the line of Hadrian's Wall, nor is Samian ware frequent in that district. At Ribchester in Lancashire, the red pottery occurs in abundance, and in all probability Coccium was a rich town. There are some good pavements, too, in Yorkshire, as we might expect in the neighbourhood of the second city in the island. But the country of magnificent pavements extended over Gloucestershire, Somersetshire, Wiltshire, and Hampshire, into Sussex, and northward through Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire. This was the fashionable part of the island under the Romans, and the
* The few London inscriptions now known have been collected and engraved by Mr. Roach Smith, in his Collectanea Antiqua.' They were nearly all found in the neighbourhood of Ludgate Street which was the principal road out of Londinium; and the sepulchral monuments appear to have stood on each side of it. The site of the Fleet Prison, if dug deep enough, will probably furnish additional monuments of this class.
† Several very elegant Roman tesselated pavements found in Yorkshire, have been recently engraved and published by Mr. Ecroyd Smith, of York; a gentleman who, although, we believe, walking in a comparatively humble path of life, has devoted both time and money to illustrate the antiquities of his country.