Classis Britannica

The Romans used 10 regional fleets to cover different geographic areas. There was a Classis Alexandrina in Egypt and a Classis Germanica in Germany, while the Classis Britannica was the British equivalent. It was created from the 900 ships built for the Claudian invasion in the year 43 AD and staffed by about 7,000 personnel. 6

The Role of the Classis Britannica

Post the invasion, the role of the navy was to provide coastal support to land forces.

The navy provided close support during for Vespasian advance into South Wales. This included securing the left flank in the littoral zone, and also providing the vital transport capability that enabled the land forces to leap ahead objective by objective. The fleet would be based in a series of new fortified harbours and starting to forge up the Bristol Channel.

In Agricola’s campaign into Caledonia (Scotland) where the Classis would have scouted the coastline and resupplied the advancing legions as they pressed further north into tribal territories, establishing forts and temporary encampments.

The navy also played a role in campaigns across Europe, supporting troop movements across the Channel and the North Sea to theatres of war along the Rhine.

In the final years of Roman rule in Britannia, the fleet was devoted almost entirely to protecting the Eastern and Southern coasts against Frankish pirates, and Saxon raids against coastal settlements known as the Saxonicum or Saxon Shore.

During this period, a system of forts called Saxon Shore Forts was also constructed, with the Notitia Dignitatum, a document of the late Roman Empire describing offices from the imperial court to provincial governments, that includes nine Saxon shore forts built to defend Britannia’s coast.

The forts probably served as naval bases for the Classis, with the main bases believed to be at Rutupiae (Richborough), Portus Adurni (Porchester Castle), Dubris (Dover), and Boulogne-sur-Mer on the north coast of France.

What boats did the Classis Britannica use?

We know from sculptures and carvings and from the written record that the main fighting platform of the Classis Britannica was the liburnian bireme. These were much smaller than the polyreme galleys. They might have had a ram and one or two ballistas, as well as a castle mounted on the rear. A bireme would have two decks of oars, so those ships were much smaller than the quinqueremes and polyremes used in the Punic Wars, and consequently much better suited to use in coastal waters.

In addition, numerous types of other cutters and skiffs were also used, as were a wide variety of merchant and transport vessels. The latter were usually built in the Romano-Celtic tradition. This featured shallow hulls, enabling them to navigate coastal waters, and high bows and sterns to ride out heavy seas.

The navy’s combat role in Britannia wasn’t fighting symmetrical conflicts against opponents in the open ocean; it was instead focused on providing coastal support to land forces.

Where was the Classis Britannica based?

Its principal station was in Gaul, at Boulogne—Gessoriacum, or Bononia as it was later called—the chief Gaulish harbour for British travellers and traffic. Less important stations existed in Britain, at Dover and at Lympne, and a some evidence has also linked to Folkestone.

Who commanded the Classis Britannica?

There are a number of epigraphic references to the careers of the praefectus (fleet admirals), trierchi (captains) and crew members of the fleet. Command was of a procuratorial rank senior to prefects of auxiliary units. It thus lay somewhere between the legions and the auxiliaries. Members of the fleet were obliged to serve an additional year (making 26; from 209 it rose to 28 years) before earning citizenship at the end of service.

One of the prefects in command of the British Fleet we know by name is Marcus Maenius Agrippa, whose curriculum vitae is contained in a dedicatory inscription from Camerinum in Umbria (CIL xi.5632 infra). This man also dedicated an altar to Jupiter Best and Greatest at Alauna Carvetiorum (RIB 823; Maryport, Cumbria) in northern Britain, while he was tribune in command of Cohors I Hispana, a five-hundred strong infantry unit.

RIB823 - Altar dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus

To Jupiter, Best and Greatest, the First Cohort of Spaniards, which is commanded by Marcus Maenius Agrippa, tribune, set this up.
I O M
COH I HIS
CVI PRAE
M MAENI
VS AGRIP
TRIBV
POS
4–5.  For the career of M. Maenius Agrippa see CIL xi 5632 (ILS 2735) Camerinum, with an expeditio Britannica, which is usually placed early in Hadrian's reign, thus making his command at Maryport about 123-6. Birley, Durham Univ. Jour.² 40 (1948) 83 (repr. Roman Army (1953) 28) postulates a second expedition about 130, and consequently alters the dates at Maryport to about 133-7 (Birley, Centenary pilgrimage of Hadrian's Wall (1949), 83) R.P.W. Addenda from RIB+add. (1995): Maenius Agrippa's career is discussed without new evidence by Jarrett, Cumb. Westm. AAST 2nd Ser. 65 (1965), 124-6; Davies, Cumb. Westm. AAST 2nd Ser. 77 (1977), 12; Pflaum CP, No. 120; Birley Fasti, 292-4. See also Birley Roman Government of Britain, 307-10. Only one expeditio Britannica is known for sure in Hadrian's reign, Hadrian's own visit to Britain in 122, to which ILS 2735 naturally refers with its pointed reference to Hadrian's own choice of Agrippa and their personal acquaintance. Addenda from Britannia xliv (2013): The missing corner of this altar was found in 2011, in the same pit as that from which the main portion was recovered before 1725. Re-excavation of these 'altar pits' showed that the altars were not ritually deposited, but were used as packing for the timbers of a very large late Roman building. (Britannia xliv (2012), 294. Horsley's drawing (P.192.N.49, Cumberland LXII) shows the left bolster missing.) Addenda from Britannia xliv (2013): The missing corner of this altar was found in 2011, in the same pit as that from which the main portion was recovered before 1725. Re-excavation of these 'altar pits' showed that the altars were not ritually deposited, but were used as packing for the timbers of a very large late Roman building. (Britannia xliv (2012), 294. Horsley's drawing (P.192.N.49, Cumberland LXII) shows the left bolster missing.)

Another prefect of the Classis Britannica, Lucius Aufidius Pantera, dedicated an altar to Neptune at Portus Lemanis (RIB 66; Lympne, Kent).

RIB66 - Altar dedicated to Neptune

To Neptune, Lucius Aufidius Pantera, prefect of the British Fleet, (set up this) altar.
[...]PTV[...]
ARAM
L AVFIDIVS
PANTERA
PRAEFECT
CLAS BRIT
For L. Aufidius Panthera see CIL iii p. 1978 = CIL xvi dipl. 76, Stein in PIR² no. 1391. Starr dates this about a.d. 135.

What Happened to the Classis Britannica?

The Roman Empire went through both a political and economic crisis in the Third Century – from the assassination of Alexander Severus in 235 through to the accession of Diocletian in 284.

There was a weakening of Roman strength, which people north of the borders could exploit.  Indeed, big confederations such as the Saxon, who had their own maritime technology realised the opportunities offered to them  from the wealthy southern and eastern parts of the Province of Britain.

In 260, Postumus initiated his Gallic Empire, pulling Britain and north-western Europe away from the central empire for up to 10 years.

Although it would have continued after this, the last reference to the Classis Britannica occurs during the reign of Philip, on an inscription from the continent dated to the period 244-249AD (CIL xii.686; vide infra).

In 286 AD Carausius was initially brought in by the Roman emperor as an experienced naval warrior, to clear the North Sea of the ‘Franks and Saxons’.  Carausius was appointed by Maximian to lead a naval force in the Channel from Boulogne.  He proved a brilliant admiral but was accused of keeping recovered plunder for his own use and of pressing captured pirates into his own fleet. To avoid punishment he decided to break with Rome and declare himself Emperor of Britannia and northern Belgic Gaul. 

Around 289 an invasion of Britain was prepared, recorded in a panegyric to Maximian. It describes how promising weather conditions were followed by catastrophic storms which destroyed the campaign before it had begun. Carausius remained in power, and a subsequent panegyric of 291 makes no mention of the aborted invasion. Maximian was obliged to negotiate a peace. For the moment Carausius enjoyed naval supremacy in the Channel.

In 296 AD, the revolt was ended when Carausius was assassinated by a subordinate named Allectus; this presented the opportunity for an Imperial force to make a landing. Britain was regained by Constantius in 296-7 AD, and was fully pacified and reinstated in the Empire by 300 AD.

After this point the fleet of the Classis Britannica was probably seen more as a threat than a protection. It was either abolished, or it ceased to be a definite fleet under one command. A small classis Sambrica now appears at Etaples, and may have been its successor in policing the Gaulish coast, while, as will be seen below, ships still seem to have aided in the defence of Britain.

Evidence for the Classis Britannica in Britain

Archaeologists have discovered numerous tiles at thirteen locations along the Kent and East Sussex coast of England, and at two localities in the Boulogne region of France, stamped with “CLBR” ( CL [assis] BR [itannica]).

  • Lympne (RIB 66; altar to Neptune; dated: c. AD 115-135).
  • Folkestone (Burn 216; RIB II; undated roofing tiles).

Cohors Primae Aeliae Classicae – The First Cohort of the Aelian Fleet

  • L’Année Épigraphique 1997.1001 diploma dated 27th February AD 158.
  • Ravenglass (RIB 2411.94; lead seal).
  • Tunnocelum (Notitia Dignitatum).

Pedites Classicorum Britanniorum – The Infantry of the British Fleet

Hadrian’s Wall between Birdoswalds and Castlesteads

RIB1944 - Building inscription of the Classis Britannica

The length in feet built by the British fleet.
PED
CL BRIT
For the same unit see RIB 1945.

Vexillatio Classis Britannicae – A Detachment of the British Fleet

Benwell

RIB66 - Altar dedicated to Neptune

To Neptune, Lucius Aufidius Pantera, prefect of the British Fleet, (set up this) altar.
[...]PTV[...]
ARAM
L AVFIDIVS
PANTERA
PRAEFECT
CLAS BRIT
For L. Aufidius Panthera see CIL iii p. 1978 = CIL xvi dipl. 76, Stein in PIR² no. 1391. Starr dates this about a.d. 135.

Epigraphic Evidence of Classis Britannica from the Continent

RIBILS 2735; CIL xi.5632; Smallwood, Nerva #265; Camerinum in Umbria - The Curriculum Vitae of Marcus Maenius Agrippa Former Prefect of the British Fleet

‘For Marcus Maenius Agrippa, son of Gaius, of the Cornelian voting tribe, a gentleman of Tuscany, host on the Campus Martius of the divine Hadrian, Father of the Senate, prefect of the Second Flavian Cohort of Britons, part-mounted, chosen by the divine Hadrian and sent on the expedition to Britain, tribune of the First Cohort of Spaniards, part-mounted, prefect of the Gallic and Pannonian Wing of Heavy-Armoured Cavalry, imperial procuratorial prefect of the British Fleet, procurator of the province of Britannia, holder of the public horse,¹ patron of the municipal district of Censorglacensium,² as a consequence of the indulgence of the best and greatest of emperors, Antoninus Augustus Pius, thanks to his interpretation, .’
M MAENIO C F COR AGRIPPAE L TVSIDIO CAMPESTRI HOSPITI DIVI HADRIANI PATRI SENATORIS PRAEF COH II FL BRITTON EQVITAT ELECTO A DIVO HADRIANO ET MISSO IN EXPEDITIONEM BRITANNICAM TRIB COH I HISPANOR EQVITAT PRAEF ALAE GALLOR ET PANNONIOR CATAFRACTATAE PROC AVG PRAEF CLASSIS BRITTANNICAE PROC PROVINCIAE BRITTANNIAE EQVO PVBLICO PATRONO MVNICIPI VICANI CENSORGLACENSES CONSECVTI AB INDVLGENTIA OPTIMI MAXIMIQUE IMP ANTONINI AVG PII BENEFICIO INTERPRETATIONIS EIVS PRIVILEGIA QVIBVS IN PERPETVVM AVCTI CONFIRMATI SVNT L D D D
  1. i.e. a member of the ordo equester, the knights of Rome.
  2. I don’t know where this is.

RIBILS 2911; CIL xii.686; Arelate; dated: 244-249AD - Testament of Saturninus, ex-Captain in the British Fleet

‘[…] Saturninus, ex Captain in Phillipian’s British Fleet, of the African race, a descendant of Bizacinus,¹ from the provincial town of Septimia Libera.² Thysdritanus by the will […]’
[…] SATVRNINVS EX [NAVARCH] CLASSIS BRITTANNICAE PHILIPPIANAE NATIONE AFER BIZACINVS ORIVNDVS MVNICIPIO SEPTIMIA LIBERA THYSDRITANVS TESTAMENTO […]
  1. I don’t know who this African descendant of Saturninus was.
  2. I don’t know where this is either.

RIBL’Année Épigraphique 1987.796 - Testament of Titus Varius Priscus, ex prefect of the British Fleet

‘Titus Varius Priscus, son of Titus, of the Claudian voting tribe, from Celeia,¹ procurator of the provinces of Mauretania Tingitana and Dacia Inferior, prefect of the British Fleet, prefect of the First one-thousand strong Ulpian Wing of Contarii, prefect of the First torque-bearing Wing of victorious Tauriani, prefect of the First Wing of Spanish Campagones, citizens of Rome, tribune in the […] Legion, prefect of the First part-mounted cohort of Lusitani, the commander of the best cavalry decurions, cohort centurions and senior officials ever.’
[T(ITO) V]ARIO T(ITI) F(ILIO) [CLA(VDIA TRIBV) CEL(EIA) PR]ISCO PROC[VRATORI P]ROVINCIARVM […] MA]VRETAN(IAE) TINGITANAE [D]ACIAE INFERIORIS [PRA]EF(ECTO) CLASSIS BRITANNICAE [PRA]EF(ECTO) AL(AE) (PRIMAE) VLP(IAE) CONTARIOR(VM) MIL(IARIAE) [PRA]EF(ECTO) AL(AE) (PRIMAE) TAVRIANORVM TORQVAT(AE) VICTRICIS PRAEF(ECTO) AL(AE) [(PRIMAE) HISPA]NOR(VM) CAMPAGON(VM) C(IVIVM) R(OMANORVM) TRI[BVNO) LEG(IONIS) […] PRAEF(ECTO) COH(ORTIS) (PRIMAE) LVSITANOR(VM) EQVIT(ATAE) PRAESIDI OPTIMO [DECV]RIONES ALARES COHORTALES [CE]NTVRIONES ET OFFICIALES PROVECTI AB EO
Or Cilia was a city in Noricum near the north-eastern border of Italy, now named Cilio in the Karawanken district of Slovenia. According to Lempriére, there are two other (smaller) towns named Celia, in Apulia Peucetia and Campania.

RIBTestament of Titus Varius Priscus, ex prefect of the British Fleet - Testament of an Unknown Prefect of the British Fleet

‘[…] prefect of the British, the German, the Moesian and the Pannonian fleets,¹ procurator and guardian of the Cottian Alps, subprefect of the praetorian fleet at Misenum, tribune of the Sixteenth Flavian Legion, head-man in the Wing […]’
[…] PRAEF CLASS BRIT ET GERMANIC ET MOESIC ET PANNONIC PROC ET PRAESIDI ALPIVM COTTIARVM SVBPRAEF CLASS PRAET MISENENS TRIB LEG XVI FL ET PRAEPOS ALAE […]
Probably not all at the same time.

RIBCIL xiv.5341 - Testament of an Unknown Roman Praefectus Classis

'[...] prefect of the Aegean, prefect of the corn supply, procurator of the provinces of Lugdunensis and Aquitania, prefect of the Praetorian Fleet of Ravenna, procurator of [...] procurator of Mauretania Tingitana [...] prefect of the British Fleet, procurator of the provinces of Cappadocia and Armenia [...]'
[BLA] PRAEF AEG PRAEF ANNONAE PROC PROVINCIAR LVGVDVN ET AQVITANICAE PRAEF CLASSIS PRAETOR RAVENNAT PROC[ ]T PROC MAVRET TINGITAN[ ]PRAEF CLASS BRITTAN PROC PROVINCIAR CAPPADOC ARMEN[ ]O[

References for Classis Britannica – The British Fleet

The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965);
The Romans in Britain – An Anthology of Inscriptions by A.R. Burn (Blackwell, Oxford, 1969);
Roman Britain – A Sourcebook by S. Ireland (Routlege, New York, 1986);

The Romans used 10 regional fleets to cover different geographic areas. There was a Classis Alexandrina in Egypt and a Classis Germanica in Germany, while the Classis Britannica was the British equivalent. It was created from the 900 ships built for the Claudian invasion in the year 43 AD and staffed by about 7,000 personnel. 6

The Role of the Classis Britannica

Post the invasion, the role of the navy was to provide coastal support to land forces, such as Agricola’s campaign into Caledonia (Scotland) where the Classis would have scouted the coastline and resupplied the advancing legions as they pressed further north into tribal territories, establishing forts and temporary encampments.

The navy also played a role in campaigns across Europe, supporting troop movements across the Channel and the North Sea to theatres of war along the Rhine.

In the final years of Roman rule in Britannia, the fleet was devoted almost entirely to protecting the Eastern and Southern coasts against Frankish pirates, and Saxon raids against coastal settlements known as the Saxonicum or Saxon Shore.

During this period, a system of forts called Saxon Shore Forts was also constructed, with the Notitia Dignitatum, a document of the late Roman Empire describing offices from the imperial court to provincial governments, that includes nine Saxon shore forts built to defend Britannia’s coast.

The forts probably served as naval bases for the Classis, with the main bases believed to be at Rutupiae (Richborough), Portus Adurni (Porchester Castle), Dubris (Dover), and Boulogne-sur-Mer on the north coast of France.

What boats did the Classis Britannica use?

We know from sculptures and carvings and from the written record that the main fighting platform of the Classis Britannica was the liburnian bireme. These were much smaller than the polyreme galleys. They might have had a ram and one or two ballistas, as well as a castle mounted on the rear. A bireme would have two decks of oars, so those ships were much smaller than the quinqueremes and polyremes used in the Punic Wars, and consequently much better suited to use in coastal waters. The navy’s combat role in Britannia wasn’t fighting symmetrical conflicts against opponents in the open ocean; it was instead focused on providing coastal support to land forces.

Who commanded the Classis Britannica?

Epigrahic references that specifically mention the careers and activities of the preaefectuc classis (fleet admirals), trierarchi (captains)

Command was of a procuratorial rank senior to prefects of auxiliary units. It thus lay somewhere between the legions and the auxiliaries. Members of the fleet were obliged to serve an additional year (making 26; from 209 it rose to 28 years) before earning citizenship at the end of service.

One of the prefects in command of the British Fleet we know by name is Marcus Maenius Agrippa, whose curriculum vitae is contained in a dedicatory inscription from Camerinum in Umbria (CIL xi.5632 infra). This man also dedicated an altar to Jupiter Best and Greatest at Alauna Carvetiorum (RIB 823; Maryport, Cumbria) in northern Britain, while he was tribune in command of Cohors I Hispana, a five-hundred strong infantry unit. Another prefect of the Classis Britannica, Lucius Aufidius Pantera, dedicated an altar to Neptune at Portus Lemanis (RIB 66; Lympne, Kent).

What Happened to the Classis Britannica?

The Roman Empire went through both a political and economic crisis in the Third Century – from the assassination of Alexander Severus in 235 through to the accession of Diocletian in 284.

There was a weakening of Roman strength, which people north of the borders could exploit.  Indeed, big confederations such as the Saxon, who had their own maritime technology realised the opportunities offered to them  from the wealthy southern and eastern parts of the Province of Britain.

In 260, Postumus initiated his Gallic Empire, pulling Britain and north-western Europe away from the central empire for up to 10 years.

Although it would have continued after this, the last reference to the Classis Britannica occurs during the reign of Philip, on an inscription from the continent dated to the period 244-249AD (CIL xii.686; vide infra).

In 286 AD Carausius was initially brought in by the Roman emperor as an experienced naval warrior, to clear the North Sea of the ‘Franks and Saxons’.  Carausius was appointed by Maximian to lead a naval force in the Channel from Boulogne.  He proved a brilliant admiral but was accused of keeping recovered plunder for his own use and of pressing captured pirates into his own fleet. To avoid punishment he decided to break with Rome and declare himself Emperor of Britannia and northern Belgic Gaul. 

Around 289 an invasion of Britain was prepared, recorded in a panegyric to Maximian. It describes how promising weather conditions were followed by catastrophic storms which destroyed the campaign before it had begun. Carausius remained in power, and a subsequent panegyric of 291 makes no mention of the aborted invasion. Maximian was obliged to negotiate a peace. For the moment Carausius enjoyed naval supremacy in the Channel.

In 296 AD, the revolt was ended when Carausius was assassinated by a subordinate named Allectus; this presented the opportunity for an Imperial force to make a landing. Britain was regained by Constantius in 296-7 AD, and was fully pacified and reinstated in the Empire by 300 AD.

Evidence for the Classis Britannica in Britain

Archaeologists have discovered numerous tiles at thirteen locations along the Kent and East Sussex coast of England, and at two localities in the Boulogne region of France, stamped with “CLBR”.

  • Lympne (RIB 66; altar to Neptune; dated: c. AD 115-135).
  • Folkestone (Burn 216; RIB II; undated roofing tiles).

Cohors Primae Aeliae Classicae – The First Cohort of the Aelian Fleet

  • L’Année Épigraphique 1997.1001 diploma dated 27th February AD 158.
  • Ravenglass (RIB 2411.94; lead seal).
  • Tunnocelum (Notitia Dignitatum).

Pedites Classicorum Britanniorum – The Infantry of the British Fleet

Hadrian’s Wall between Birdoswalds and Castlesteads

RIB1944 - Building inscription of the Classis Britannica

The length in feet built by the British fleet.
PED
CL BRIT
For the same unit see RIB 1945.

Vexillatio Classis Britannicae – A Detachment of the British Fleet

Benwell

RIB66 - Altar dedicated to Neptune

To Neptune, Lucius Aufidius Pantera, prefect of the British Fleet, (set up this) altar.
[...]PTV[...]
ARAM
L AVFIDIVS
PANTERA
PRAEFECT
CLAS BRIT
For L. Aufidius Panthera see CIL iii p. 1978 = CIL xvi dipl. 76, Stein in PIR² no. 1391. Starr dates this about a.d. 135.

Epigraphic Evidence of Classis Britannica from the Continent

RIBILS 2735; CIL xi.5632; Smallwood, Nerva #265; Camerinum in Umbria - The Curriculum Vitae of Marcus Maenius Agrippa Former Prefect of the British Fleet

‘For Marcus Maenius Agrippa, son of Gaius, of the Cornelian voting tribe, a gentleman of Tuscany, host on the Campus Martius of the divine Hadrian, Father of the Senate, prefect of the Second Flavian Cohort of Britons, part-mounted, chosen by the divine Hadrian and sent on the expedition to Britain, tribune of the First Cohort of Spaniards, part-mounted, prefect of the Gallic and Pannonian Wing of Heavy-Armoured Cavalry, imperial procuratorial prefect of the British Fleet, procurator of the province of Britannia, holder of the public horse,¹ patron of the municipal district of Censorglacensium,² as a consequence of the indulgence of the best and greatest of emperors, Antoninus Augustus Pius, thanks to his interpretation, .’
M MAENIO C F COR AGRIPPAE L TVSIDIO CAMPESTRI HOSPITI DIVI HADRIANI PATRI SENATORIS PRAEF COH II FL BRITTON EQVITAT ELECTO A DIVO HADRIANO ET MISSO IN EXPEDITIONEM BRITANNICAM TRIB COH I HISPANOR EQVITAT PRAEF ALAE GALLOR ET PANNONIOR CATAFRACTATAE PROC AVG PRAEF CLASSIS BRITTANNICAE PROC PROVINCIAE BRITTANNIAE EQVO PVBLICO PATRONO MVNICIPI VICANI CENSORGLACENSES CONSECVTI AB INDVLGENTIA OPTIMI MAXIMIQUE IMP ANTONINI AVG PII BENEFICIO INTERPRETATIONIS EIVS PRIVILEGIA QVIBVS IN PERPETVVM AVCTI CONFIRMATI SVNT L D D D
  1. i.e. a member of the ordo equester, the knights of Rome.
  2. I don’t know where this is.

RIBILS 2911; CIL xii.686; Arelate; dated: 244-249AD - Testament of Saturninus, ex-Captain in the British Fleet

‘[…] Saturninus, ex Captain in Phillipian’s British Fleet, of the African race, a descendant of Bizacinus,¹ from the provincial town of Septimia Libera.² Thysdritanus by the will […]’
[…] SATVRNINVS EX [NAVARCH] CLASSIS BRITTANNICAE PHILIPPIANAE NATIONE AFER BIZACINVS ORIVNDVS MVNICIPIO SEPTIMIA LIBERA THYSDRITANVS TESTAMENTO […]
  1. I don’t know who this African descendant of Saturninus was.
  2. I don’t know where this is either.

RIBL’Année Épigraphique 1987.796 - Testament of Titus Varius Priscus, ex prefect of the British Fleet

‘Titus Varius Priscus, son of Titus, of the Claudian voting tribe, from Celeia,¹ procurator of the provinces of Mauretania Tingitana and Dacia Inferior, prefect of the British Fleet, prefect of the First one-thousand strong Ulpian Wing of Contarii, prefect of the First torque-bearing Wing of victorious Tauriani, prefect of the First Wing of Spanish Campagones, citizens of Rome, tribune in the […] Legion, prefect of the First part-mounted cohort of Lusitani, the commander of the best cavalry decurions, cohort centurions and senior officials ever.’
[T(ITO) V]ARIO T(ITI) F(ILIO) [CLA(VDIA TRIBV) CEL(EIA) PR]ISCO PROC[VRATORI P]ROVINCIARVM […] MA]VRETAN(IAE) TINGITANAE [D]ACIAE INFERIORIS [PRA]EF(ECTO) CLASSIS BRITANNICAE [PRA]EF(ECTO) AL(AE) (PRIMAE) VLP(IAE) CONTARIOR(VM) MIL(IARIAE) [PRA]EF(ECTO) AL(AE) (PRIMAE) TAVRIANORVM TORQVAT(AE) VICTRICIS PRAEF(ECTO) AL(AE) [(PRIMAE) HISPA]NOR(VM) CAMPAGON(VM) C(IVIVM) R(OMANORVM) TRI[BVNO) LEG(IONIS) […] PRAEF(ECTO) COH(ORTIS) (PRIMAE) LVSITANOR(VM) EQVIT(ATAE) PRAESIDI OPTIMO [DECV]RIONES ALARES COHORTALES [CE]NTVRIONES ET OFFICIALES PROVECTI AB EO
Or Cilia was a city in Noricum near the north-eastern border of Italy, now named Cilio in the Karawanken district of Slovenia. According to Lempriére, there are two other (smaller) towns named Celia, in Apulia Peucetia and Campania.

RIBTestament of Titus Varius Priscus, ex prefect of the British Fleet - Testament of an Unknown Prefect of the British Fleet

‘[…] prefect of the British, the German, the Moesian and the Pannonian fleets,¹ procurator and guardian of the Cottian Alps, subprefect of the praetorian fleet at Misenum, tribune of the Sixteenth Flavian Legion, head-man in the Wing […]’
[…] PRAEF CLASS BRIT ET GERMANIC ET MOESIC ET PANNONIC PROC ET PRAESIDI ALPIVM COTTIARVM SVBPRAEF CLASS PRAET MISENENS TRIB LEG XVI FL ET PRAEPOS ALAE […]
Probably not all at the same time.

RIBCIL xiv.5341 - Testament of an Unknown Roman Praefectus Classis

'[...] prefect of the Aegean, prefect of the corn supply, procurator of the provinces of Lugdunensis and Aquitania, prefect of the Praetorian Fleet of Ravenna, procurator of [...] procurator of Mauretania Tingitana [...] prefect of the British Fleet, procurator of the provinces of Cappadocia and Armenia [...]'
[BLA] PRAEF AEG PRAEF ANNONAE PROC PROVINCIAR LVGVDVN ET AQVITANICAE PRAEF CLASSIS PRAETOR RAVENNAT PROC[ ]T PROC MAVRET TINGITAN[ ]PRAEF CLASS BRITTAN PROC PROVINCIAR CAPPADOC ARMEN[ ]O[

References for Classis Britannica – The British Fleet

The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965);
The Romans in Britain – An Anthology of Inscriptions by A.R. Burn (Blackwell, Oxford, 1969);
Roman Britain – A Sourcebook by S. Ireland (Routlege, New York, 1986);