NGRef: NY0030
OSMap: LR89
Type: Fort
military road: NNE (5) to Maryport (Maryport, Cumbria)
Probable Military Road: S (6) to Gabrosentvm (Moresby, Cumbria)

The Burrow Walls fort forms a part of the 'Western Sea Defences', a line of forts and watch-towers strung along the north-western coastline of Cumbria from Bowness-on-Solway perhaps as far as Ravenglass, in effect a western extension of Hadrian's Wall.

The Notitia Dignitatum Entry

Numerus Pacensium - The Company of Pacenses

Praefectus numeri Pacensium Magis

"The prefect of the Company of Pacenses [at] Magis"

(Notitia Dignitatum xl.29; 4th/5th C.)

The sole reference for the name of the Burrow Walls Roman fort is the Notitia Dignitatum of the fourth/fifth centuries, wherein the entry Magis can be found, between the entries for Maglona (Old Carlisle, Cumbria) and Longovicium (Lanchester, Durham); as one can appreciate, the association is tentative, to say the least.

Pacensis was the southernmost region of the Roman province of Lusitania, the area now corresponding to south Portugal which includes the modern capital Lisboa or Lisbon, in Roman times named Olisipo. The numerus was an irregular auxiliary unit of fairly small size, often part-mounted and usually armed with the traditional weapons peculiar to the tribe from which the unit was levied. The prefect in charge of the unit would probably have been a Roman career soldier, and not a native of Lusitania.

Other Epigraphic Evidence

Only two inscriptions on stone have been uncovered from the Burrow Walls fort, the texts of both are shown here; for what good they are.

Altar to an Unknown God

"[...] D[...] cohort [...] and to the sons that Aurelius and Secundus stirred-up? [...]"

(RIB 806; altarstone)

The Enigmatic SLAN Formula

S[olvit] L[ibens] A[nimo] N[oster]
"Fulfilled willingly to revive our friend."

(RIB 807)

The expansion and translation of the above text is only one of several I could have dreamed up. To be quite honest, I was toying with the idea of a JavaScript Random Translation Generator instead.

See: The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965);
All English translations, including any inherent mistakes, are my own.
Page Citation: Kevan White (2018) "Roman Britain: MAGIS"