Isurium Brigantum (Aldborough)

British Civita

Isurium or Isurium of the Brigantes (Latin: Isurium Brigantum) was a Roman fort and town in the province of Britannia at the site of present-day Aldborough in North Yorkshire, England, in the United Kingdom.

RIB708 - Altar dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus and the Mother Goddesses

I O M ET
MATRIB
V[...]
To Jupiter Optimus Maximus and to the Mother Goddesses ..
No commentary.

RIB709 - Fragmentary funerary inscription

[...]
AVR[...]
VIX [...]
ET AN[...]
NO[...]
AN I [...]
... lived ... and ... years ..
No commentary.

RIB710 - Funerary inscription for Felicula

D M
FELICVLE
COIVGI
KARIS
G M P
F CVR
To the spirits of the departed (and) to his most dear wife Felicula Gaius M(...) P(...) had this set up.
No commentary.

Stamped Tile from Aldborough

LEG VIIII HISP

“[Property of] the Ninth Hispanic Legion.”

(Burn 19)

Roman Milestones from the Aldborough Area

RIB2276 - Milestone of Decius

Primary
For ... Augustus.
Secondary
For the Emperor Caesar Gaius Messius Quintus Decius Trajanus Pius Felix Augustus.
3. The mason has put Messius in the nominative by mistake.Decius, a.d. 249-51.

RIB2278 - Milestone of Decius

IMP C
A[...]S D[...]
N G [...]S
[...]
For the Emperor Caesar, our Lord, Gaius Messius [...
For this use of dn with Imp. Caes. see RIB 2271.Decius, a.d. 249-51.

Classical References to Isurium Brigantum

Below the Selgovae and Otalini¹ are the Brigantes² extending to both seas, among whom are the following towns: … Calatum 19*00 57? Isurium 20*00 57? Rigodunum 18*00 57? …

  1. Both tribes in south-eastern Scotland; the Novantae occupied the south-western peninsula.
  2. The Brigante tribe were the most populous in Northern Britain; their Romanized commercial and administrative centre was established here at Aldborough.
  3. There are nine ?????? (“poleis” – ‘cities’) attributed to the tribe by Ptolemy and Aldborough appears in the middle of the list; the three towns listed here are, in order, Calacum/Burrow in Lonsdale in Lancashire, Isurium/Aldborough in North Yorkshire, and Rigodunum/Castleshaw in Greater Manchester.

The town appears in three separate itinera in the late-second century list of Roman road-stations the Antonine Itinerary. The first mention occurs in Iter I, which details the journey along Dere Street between Bremenium (High Rochester, Northumberland) beyond Hadrian’s Wall to the port of Praesidium (Bridlington, Humberside). In this itinerary the name Isurium is listed 24 miles from Cataractonium (Catterick, North Yorkshire) and 17 miles from the Roman colony at Eburacum (York, North Yorkshire); these details are repeated in the Second Itinerary, which lists the road-stations between the Roman fort at Blatobulgium (Birrens, Dumfries & Galloway) and the Channel Port at Rutupiae (Richborough, Kent).

The Fifth Itinerary lists the route between Londinium (London) and Luguvalium (Carlisle, Cumbria). In this itinerary the name Isubrigantum appears 17 miles from Eburacum and again, 24 miles from Cataractonium but the road stations appear in reverse order to those in itinera I & II.

References for Isvrivm Brigantvm

  • The Towns of Roman Britain by John Wacher (2nd Ed., BCA, London, 1995) pp.401-407 & fig.179;
  • The Romans in Britain – An Anthology of Inscriptions by A.R. Burn (Blackwell, Oxford, 1969);
  • The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965).

Roman Roads near Isvrivm Brigantvm

NNW (24) to Cataractonivm Possible road: E (25) to Derventio Brigantvm (Malton, North Yorkshire) SE (15) to Ebvracvm Probable road: ENE (18) to Hovingham SW (23) to Ilkley (Ilkley, West Yorkshire) Rudgate: S (14) to Newton Kyme (North Yorkshire)