Magnis / Magna

Fort, Marching or Temporary Camps, Minor Settlement and Stanegate Fort

Magnis – The Rocks

In the Notitia Dignitatum of the 4th/5th century Carvoran is named Magnis and appears between the entries for Aesica (Great Chesters, Northumberland) and Camboglanna (Castlesteads, Cumbria). The seventh century Ravenna Cosmography also lists Carvoran as Magnis (R&C#130), between the entries for Luguvalium (Carlisle, Cumbria) and again, the Wall fort at Castlesteads.

The Carvoran Fort

RIB1808 - Inscription

[...]RI TR[...]
[...]ANO [...]
[...]
For the Emperor Caesar Trajan Hadrian Augustus ..
The inscription differs from the well-known milecastle-dedications in having an elaborate border and in using Caesari, not Caes. It may well have come from the north gate of the fort, and have commemorated the building in stone under the prefect Flavius Secundus (see RIB 1820) R.P.W.

Although the visible remains are early-Antonine, the same site was occupied by several earlier, timber-built encampments, all surface features of which were levelled to make way for the latest fort. Aerial photography has revealed a large enclosure of just under 8 acres (c.3.2ha) which may be late-Flavian in date, lying below the visible defences. It is possible that the site was first occupied during the campaigns of Gnaeus Julius Agricola but the earliest dateale evidence recovered from the site is the famous modius or corn-measure (vide infra), dated to the latter reign of Domitian, which has been taken as proof of first-century occupation.

It is possible that Carvoran was abandoned when the vallum was built, only to be reoccupied by the early-Antonine period c.136/137AD, whereupon the fort's original turf-and-timber defences were rebuilt in stone. Further rebuilding is attested during the governorship of Sextus Calpurnius Agricola at the end of the reign of Antoninus. After the withdrawal from the Antonine wall, the Carvoran fort was reoccupied by the same garrison unit that it formerly housed in Hadrianic times.

RIB1820 - Centurial stone of Silvanus

𐆛 SILVANI
VALLAVIT
P CXII SVB
FLA SECVNDO
[...]EF
The century of Silvanus built 112 feet of rampart under the command of Flavius Secundus, the prefect.
For Flavius Secundus, prefect of coh. I Hamiorum within the dates a.d. 136-8, see RIB 1778.The verb vallare, to build a rampart, occurs in Britain on only this stone and RIB 1816 and 1818, while the noun vallum refers to Hadrian’s Wall on RIB 2034 and to the Antonine Wall on RIB 2200, 2205. On these three Carvoran stones the distances 112, 112 (probably), and 100 (and more) must be measured in feet (pedes) and not paces (passus), to avoid exceeding the circuit of the fort-wall. Other stones from the site (RIB 1822, 1813, 1814) state the length of wall built, namely 5.8, 6.1, and 9.3 m. respectively, and probably come from gateways, angle-towers, or interval-towers.The trio of stones, RIB 1816, 1818, 1820, alike in their phrasing and elaborate decoration and statement of rampart-length, indicate the construction of a stone fort on this site in the prefecture of Flavius Secundus, within 136-8 (see above). As noted by Brenda Swinbank and Spaul (Arch. Ael. 4th Ser. xxix (1951) 238), this fell in the governorship of P. Mummius Sisenna, about 135-about 139 (Birley in Askew Coinage 81) R.P.W.

RIB1818 - Centurial stone of Prim[…

𐆛 PRIMI[...]
V[...]VIT
P CX[...]
SVB FL SECVNDO
PREF
The century of Prim[... built 112 (?) feet of rampart under the command of Flavius Secundus, the prefect.
For Flavius Secundus see RIB 1778. For the use of vallare and the length of rampart constructed see RIB 1820.

An inscription recovered from the interior of the fort (RIB 1809) records building work undertaken during the governorship of Sextus Calpurnius Agricola (163-166AD) who was legatus augusti pro-praetore in Britain during the early reign of emperor Marcus Aurelius.

RIB1809 - Altar dedicated by Licinius Clemens

[...]
[...]O AGRI
COLA COS
LICINIVS CL[...]
MENS P[...]
... under Calpurnius Agricola, of consular rank, Licinius Clemens, the prefect [set this up].
Wrongly ascribed to Birdoswald by Weddell (whom Smith quotes).For Licinius Clemens, prefect of coh. I Hamiorum see RIB 1792. For Sex. Calpurnius Agricola, governor from about 163 to about 166 (Birley in Askew Coinage 81) see RIB 589, 1137, 1149, 1792.

The Epigraphy of Roman Carvoran

There are 69 inscriptions on stone recorded in the R.I.B. for the Carvoran fort, comprising; 34 altars and religious stones, 18 building inscriptions (including centurial, cohort and legionary stones), 9 tombstones and 8 other undefined inscriptions. Despite all this epigraphic evidence there are only four dateable inscriptions, all produced during the early/mid-second century.

The Dateable Inscriptions

RIB # (clickable) : 1808
Date: 117-138AD
Description: building inscription of the emperor Hadrian
RIB # (clickable) : 1778
Date: 136-138AD
Description: altar to Fortuna for the health of Lucius Aelius Caesar by Cohors I Hamiorum
RIB # (clickable) : 1792
Date: 163-166AD
Description: altar to the 'Syrian Goddess' by Cohors I Hamiorum under governor Calpurnius Agricola
RIB # (clickable) : 1809
Date: 163-166AD
Description: altarstone to unknown god under governor Calpurnius Agricola

The Legionary Units

Although there is evidence which records the presence of Roman legions at Carvoran, particularly the Twentieth which is mentioned on two stones, the role of the legions was not to garrison the frontier but to maintain it. The Roman citizens which comprised the legionary manpower were possessed of a wide variety of engineering and manufacturing skills, and their main occupation, aside from providing the mainstay of the Roman fighting machine, was the planning, construction, and maintenance of the forts, roads, signal-stations, and other trappings of the Roman frontier system.

RIB1826 - Funerary inscription for Gaius Valerius Tullus

G VALERIVS G VOL
IVLLVS VIAN MIL
LEG XX V V
Gaius Valerius Iullus, son of Gaius of the Voltinian voting-tribe, from Vienne, soldier of the Twentieth Legion Valeria Victrix.
2.  Vian(na): Vienne on the River Rhône, a colonia in Gallia Narbonensis. Addenda from RIB+add. (1995): Vian(na) thus spelt is the only instance from Britain (otherwise Vienna, RIB 525 and 673), but it is frequent in legionary tombstones at Mainz. (CIL xiii. 5, Indices, p. 150, collects eight examples, all from Mainz.) Probably Flavian, from its style: Birley Research, 194.

RIB1779 - Altar dedicated to Fortune

FORTVN[...]
AVDAC RO
MANVS 𐆛
LEG VI XX
AVG
To Fortune Audacilius Romanus, centurion of the Sixth, Twentieth, and (Second) Augusta Legions, (set this up).
For the nomen Audacilius see CIL vi 1058, xi 5723.

Another inscribed stone, an altar dedicated to the goddess Fortune (RIB 1779 supra), appears to lend support to the theory that legionary forces were once stationed at Carvoran, but it must be remembered that legionary centurions were highly experienced fighting men, whose skills often found them seconded to temporary service in an auxiliary unit. These postings could involve the training of troops, the provision of tactical knowlege to the command staff, or the engineering skills required to build a new granary, but sometimes an experienced centurion may be placed in overall command of an entire auxiliary regiment.

RIB1824 - Building inscription of the First Cohort of Batavians

COH BA[...]VORVM
... Cohort of Batavians ...
The letter r in Peile’s reading of Barvorum is either ligatured t͡a misread, or an attempt to represent it in ordinary fount. The text was probably put in two lines, as in RIB 1823. For the purpose of the text see RIB 1823. Addenda from RIB+add. (1995): Same stone as RIB 1823. R.P.W. regarded them as duplicates (see note to RIB 1823), but Peile simply mis-read RIB 1823, as Mann points out. But reject Mann’s suggestion that the stones seen by Hutchinson and Hodgson (see note to RIB 1823) were different: they both seem to have been in the same gable-end, and when Hutchinson’s other Carvoran drawings can be checked, they are inaccurate in detail.

RIB1823 - Building inscription of the First Cohort of Batavians

COH I BATA
VORVM F
The First Cohort of Batavians built this.
Hodgson gives two entries (a) (§ III no. 1) the stone seen by himself in 1810, (b) (§ III no. 3) Hutchinson’s version. Huebner rightly regards these as the same stone. Watkin thinks that they refer to different stones R.P.W.Birley (Cumb. Westm. AAST 2nd Ser.) considers that this text and RIB 1824 related to the construction of the Vallum. Addenda from RIB+add. (1995): Same stone as RIB 1824. R.P.W. regarded them as duplicates (see note to RIB 1823), but Peile simply mis-read RIB 1823, as Mann points out. But reject Mann’s suggestion that the stones seen by Hutchinson and Hodgson (see note to RIB 1823) were different: they both seem to have been in the same gable-end, and when Hutchinson’s other Carvoran drawings can be checked, they are inaccurate in detail.

A building stone found in the immediate area of the Carvoran fort is inscribed on two sides with the name of the unit which possibly formed the original garrison. Cohors I Batavorum Equitata were a five-hundred strong mixed regiment of cavalry and infantry, originating from an island in the Rhine Delta. This unit was moved westwards to Camboglanna (Castlesteads) during the second century, then to eastwards along the Wall to Brocolitia (Carrawburgh) in the third.

RIB1778 - Altar dedicated to the Emperor’s Fortune

FORTVNAE AVG
PRO SALVTE L AELI
CAESARIS EX VISV
T FLA SECVNDVS
PRAEF COH I HAM
IORVM SAGITTAR
V S L M
To the Emperor’s Fortune for the welfare of Lucius Aelius Caesar Titus Flavius Secundus, prefect of the First Cohort of Hamian Archers, because of a vision willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow.
For building-stones under the same prefect see RIB 1818, 1820.

RIB1792 - Altar dedicated to the Syrian Goddess

DEAE SVRI
AE SVB CALP
VRNIO AG[...]
ICO[...] LEG AV[...]
PR PR LIC[...]IVS
[...]LEM[...]
[...]H I HA[...]
To the Syrian Goddess, under Calpurnius Agricola, emperor’s propraetorian legate, Licinius Clemens, prefect of the First Cohort of Hamians, (set this up).
The features above l. 5 which seem to have led Camden to record an a before licinivs are still visible, but as damage to the stone. As in RIB 1809, no praenomen is assigned either to Agricola or to Clemens R.P.W.Richmond, Arch. Ael. 4th Ser. 21 (1943) 203, shows that among military units in Britain the worship of dea Syria was restricted to coh. I Hamiorum at Carvoran.Calpurnius Agricola: governor of Britain from about 163 to about 166.Camden assigned it to Housesteads, Horsley to Vindolanda, and Hodgson correctly to Carvoran, as it was dedicated by the commandant of that garrison. It had either been set up some distance from the fort or from Carvoran had been transported some 8 km. east to Melkridge. See Haverfield, loc. cit.

The unit was moved to Bar Hill on the Antonine Wall during this barrier's second occupation period (c.158AD), and returned to Magnis during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (vide RIB 1792 supra). They were very likely stationed at the Vercovicium (Housesteads) fort on the Wall, though the occupation period there is unknown.

RIB1810 - Fragmentary inscription of First Cohort of Hamians

[...]IVS AGRIPP[  ...]
[... ] HAMIORV[  ...]
... Agrippa ... of the First Cohort of Hamians ..
This is wrongly assigned to Calpurnius Agricola by Hodgson, Bruce, and, with some uncertainty, Huebner. Haverfield prefers Agrippa praef.

RIB1780 - Altar dedicated to Hammia

DEE HA
MMI
SABI
F
To the goddess Hammia Sabinus made this.
Richmond, Arch. Ael. 4th Ser. 21 (1943) 203, shows that in Britain the worship of Hammia was restricted to coh. I Hamiorum at Carvoran.Soc. Ant. Minutes loc. cit. wrongly associates the discovery of this altar with that of RIB 1795.

RIB1795 - Altar dedicated to Veteris

DEO SANCT[...]
VETERI
IVL PASTOR
IMAG COH II
DELM V S L M
To the holy god Veteris Julius Pastor, imaginifer of the Second Cohort of Dalmatians, willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow.
A imaginifer was a bearer of a standard with the Emperor’s portrait.

The third century garrison of Carvoran was Cohors II Delmatarum Equitata, another mixed regiment of cavalry and infantry, recruited from among the Delmatian tribes who occupied the area which is now modern Yugoslavia. Their presence is attested on an undated inscription (RIB 1795), which may be of the third century as this unit is also placed here by the Notitia Dignitatum.

The Notitia Dignitatum Entry

Tribunus cohortis secundae Dalmatarum, Magnis
“The tribune of the Second Cohort of Dalmatae at Magnis
(Notitia Dignitatum xl.43; 4th/5th C.)

RIB1825 - Fragmentary inscription

[...] AVG [...]
NVMERI [...]
MAGNCES [...]
LE[...]
of the unit ... of Magn[...] ..
3. Magnenses: this word, in which the c is intrusive (whether anciently or by a blockmaker’s mistake is not clear), is presumably the adjectival form of the name of the fort. The nominative form of this place-name is unknown (see heading to this site) R.P.W.

It seems that a small force named the Numerus Magnesium was stationed at the Carvoran fort, perhaps sometime during the late-second/early-third century when this type of unit first became recognised. This is based solely on the damaged inscription RIB 1825, which reads …AVG… NVMERIMAGNES… LE…. It is possible that a unit known simply as the 'Company of Magnis' were recruited from the tribesmen and villagers living in the countryside in the immediate area of the Carvoran fort, in order to bolster the Second Cohort of Dalmatians which had become depleted through natural wastage (death, retirement, secondment, etc.). As no further mention of this Numerus has been found, it would appear likely that, over time, this irregular unit became incorporated within the ranks of the Dalmatian regiment, as this unit is later named in the Notitia.

Unfortunately there is nothing to substantiate these claims other than the inscription RIB 1825.

The Gods of Roman Carvoran

A number of altars dedicated to both Roman and native goddesses have been recovered from the Carvoran area. The god who is best represented is Vheterus with thirteen stones (RIB 1792-1805), all but one of which are altarstones, the only god coming anywhere close to this total is the war god Belatucader with three stones, one of which is shared with Mars (RIB 1775/6 & 1784). There are only four other gods with more than one dedication, in each case represented on two stones; Jupiter Best and Greatest (altarstones RIB 1783; 1782, not shown), Fortuna (altarstones RIB 1778, dated: 136-138AD; 1779), Mercury (1786, with Num Aug; 1787, altarstone) and another two to the 'Syrian Goddess' or Ceres (RIB 1791; 1792, altarstone, dated: 163-166AD).

There are single altarstones to a number of deities from a variety of theologies; a slab with an altar in relief bearing an inscription to Regina Caelesti (RIB 1827), an altar to Epona (RIB 1777), another to the 'Hamian Goddesses' (RIB 1780, altarstone), an altar to the Nymphs (RIB 1789), one to Silvanus (RIB 1790, altarstone) and another to the 'God of the Armoury' (1806, altarstone). All of these stones appear somewhere on this page.

RIB1781 - Dedication to Hercules

DO
ERCL[...]
[...]
To the god Hercules ..
No commentary.

Altarstones of the Warrior God Veteris

RIB1796 - Altar dedicated to Vetiris

DEO VE
TIRI SAN
CTO AN
DIATIS
V S L M F
To the holy god Vetiris Andiatis on fulfilment of the vow willingly and deservedly set this up.
Bruce provisionally assigned it to Netherby.The Netherby Collection included inscriptions from Corbridge and the Carvoran-Birdoswald sector of Hadrian’s Wall. Watkin, following Peile, rightly assigns this to Carvoran, though Haverfield (in EE) seems sceptical R.P.W. (1944).See also Birley loc. cit.; he considers that Andiatis is a masculine name.

RIB1800 - Altar dedicated to Vitiris

DEO VITIRI
ILVS ET
AVRIDES
V S L M
To the god Vitiris Milus and Aurides willingly and deservedly fulfilled their vow.
No commentary.

RIB1805 - Altar dedicated to the Vitires

DIBVS
VITIRIBVS
DECCIVS
V S L M
To the gods the Vitires Deccius willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow.
No commentary.

The confusion seems to be compounded when a single devotee, one Necalames, who is known to have dedicated at least three altarstones to the god, seems himself to have been undecided as to the correct spelling, on two stones using the name Veteris and on another Vitiris. It is also noted that on the third stone the devotee has changed the spelling of his own name to Necalimes.

Description: DEO VETERI NECALAMES VSLM
Togo-Translation: “To the god Veteris, Necalames willingly and deservedly fulfills a vow.”
RIB: 1793
Description: DEO VETERI NECALAMES C S L
Togo-Translation: “To the god Veteris, Necalames, the guardian of this sacred place.”
RIB: 1794
Description: DEO VITIRI NECALIMES RO V P L M
Togo-Translation: “To the god Vitiris, Necalimes, Roman citizen, willingly and deservedly placed this votive offering.”
RIB: 1801

Altarstones of the War God Mars / Belatucader

“For the god Baliticaurus an offering.”
“To the god Blatucadrus in fulfilment of a vow.”
(RIB 1775; altarstone)
(RIB 1776; altarstone)

RIB1784 - Altar dedicated to Mars Belatucairus

DO MARTI
BELATV
CAIRO
To the god Mars Belatucairus.
For the form Belatucairus for Belatucadrus see Jackson Lang. Early Brit. 430.

RIB1806 - Dedication to an unnamed god

DEO AR
MILVM
BINIVS
V S L M
To the god Binius (gave) this bracelet, willingly and deservedly fulfilling his vow.
1, 2. armilum: perhaps a solecism for armillam (bracelet); it is unlikely that the rare word armillum (drinking-vessel) would be used in this distant province R.G.C.

RIB1827 - Fragmentary funerary inscription?

AEL S[...]
AVREL[...]
MARTI[...]
To Aelia S[... Aurel... Marti ... (set this up).
For a small altar placed under the text on a tombstone see RIB 1639. Huebner interpreted this as a dedication R.P.W. Addenda from RIB+add. (1995): New drawing from Hutchinson Lakes, Fig. vii, who describes it as ‘a large flat stone on which a small altar is cut in relief’. It now appears that only the left-hand and lower moulded edges survived, and that the text did not necessarily begin with AEL. Despite RIB 1639, the altar suggests a religious dedication as Huebner thought, perhaps [reginae c]|ael[esti] | avrel[ivs] | marti[alis] R.S.O.T. For dea Caelestis at Carvoran cf. RIB 1791.

RIB1777 - Altar dedicated to Epona

DEAE
EPON
AE P SO
To the goddess Epona P(...) So(...) (set this up).
No commentary.

RIB1783 - Altar dedicated to Jupiter of Heliopolis Optimus Maximus

I O M
HELIO
POLIT
IVL PO
LIO [...]
To Jupiter of Heliopolis, Best and Greatest, Julius Pollio (?) ... [set this up].
2. Heliopolis in Syria, now Baalbek.

RIB1786 - Fragmentary dedication to M… and to the Divinities of the Emperors

DEO M[...]
ET NVMINIBV[  ...]
IVL PACATVS E[  ...]
ET PACVTIVS C[...]
ET V [..] VAL [...]
CCVS A SOLO [...]
ER V S [   ]
To the god M... and to the Divinities of the Emperors Julius Pacatus and ... and Pacutius C[... and ... built this building from ground-level, willingly and deservedly fulfilling their vow.
No commentary.

RIB1789 - Altar dedicated to the Nymphs

DEABVS NYM
PHIS VETTI[...]
MANSVETA E[...]
CLAVDIA TVR[...]
NILLA FIL V S L [...]
To the Goddesses the Nymphs Vettia Mansueta and Claudia Turianilla, her daughter, willingly and deservedly fulfilled their vow.
No commentary.

RIB1790 - Altar dedicated to Silvanus

SILVANO
VELLAE
[...]
To Silvanus Vellaeus ..
No commentary.

RIB1791 - Dedication to Virgo Caelestis

The Virgin in her heavenly place rides upon the Lion bearer of corn, inventor of law, founder of cities, by whose gifts it is man’s good lot to know the gods: therefore she is the Mother of the gods, Peace, Virtue, Ceres, the Syrian Goddess, weighing life and laws in her balance. Syria has sent the constellation seen in the heavens to Libya to be worshipped: thence have we all learned. Thus has understood, led by thy godhead, Marcus Caecilius Donatianus, serving as tribune in the post of prefect by the Em
The text forms ten iambic senarii.This dedication to Virgo Caelestis is really in honour of Julia Domna, the Syrian wife of the Libyan, or African, emperor Septimius Severus. Julia Domna is identified with the Virgin, whom coins of Severus show riding on the Lion, and it seems to be the case that this Syrian constellation-worship travelled to Africa with the Phoenicians: Dido, in Virgil Aen. iv 58, worships the ‘law-giver Ceres’ R.G.C.The representation, probably a statue, with which this inscription was presumably connected must have shown Julia Domna with a wreath of ears of corn, standing on a lion and holding a balance, probably with other accessories.Although the Hamii, worshippers of dea Syria, were in garrison at Carvoran in the middle of the second century, the dea Syria emphasized in l. 6 is the personification of Julia Domna, to whom the poem throughout implicitly refers (see Hodgkin loc. cit.). For a dedication to Julia Domna as Caelestis see CIL xiii 6671 (Moguntiacum). There is no reason to connect Donatianus with the Hamii (as Birley suggests in Cumb. Westm. AAST 2nd Ser. xxxix (1939) 217, proposing a second-century date for the text). If principis in the singular is taken strictly, the date must be a.d. 212-17 in Caracalla’s sole reign. But if it is loosely used, the text could be dated within the years a.d. 197-217.The personal nature of the promotion of Donatianus to tribune’s rank while still serving as praefectus cohortis is discussed by Domaszewski Rangordnung 130. The text is cut in rustic capitals and is presumably based upon a poem set out in this script R.P.W. Addenda from RIB+add. (1995): Dea Caelestis [Tanit] was the tutelary deity of Carthage, for which she was honoured in Septimius Severus’ coinage; the dedicator has a typically African name (Jarrett, Ep. Stud. 9 (1972), 165). The identification of Julia Domna with Caelestis in CIL xiii 6671 (Mainz) seems to be unique, whereas Caelestis is identified with Dea Syria in AE 1965, 30 (Apulum), so she can be understood as a deity of the Hamian Archers (cf. RIB 1792). In brief, this is why Hodgkin’s interpretation of this inscription (whence RIB) cannot be accepted. See further 10 (1961), 228-37; Stephens, Arch. Ael. 5th Ser. 12 (1984), 149-56; Birley, Deities, 78-9.

The Civil Settlement

A number of inscribed tombstones have been recovered from the area to the south of the fort, some of which indicate extended families living – and indeed dying – in the vicus attached to the garrison. One tombstone (RIB 1829) was erected by a Lucius Senofilus to his niece Lifana, whose parents were evidently already deceased when she died. Another (RIB 1830) was dedicated by Aurelia Pusinna to the “memory of a most devoted and very much missed sister”.

RIB1828 - Funerary inscription for Aurelia Aia

D M
AVR T F AIAE
D SALONAS
AVR MARCVS
𐆛 OBSEQ CON
IVGI SANCTIS
SIMAE QVAE VI
XIT ANNIS XXXIII
SINE VLLA MACVLA
To the spirits of the departed and to Aurelia Aia, daughter of Titus, from Salonae, Aurelius Marcus of the century of Obsequens (set this up) to his very pure wife, who lived 33 years without any blemish.
Salonae, a colonia in Dalmatia.This is presumably a third-century text as the dedicator, a serving soldier, is married; see RIB 505, 507 (Chester).Professor E. Birley observed (to R.P.W. in 1948) that sine ulla macula has a Christian flavour. Examples are CIL vi 9663 (ILS 7518), CIL xiv 1889 (ILCV ix 3331), ILCV ix 768, 4314 and with cordis maculas ILCV ix 1518, 1; also 1 Tim. 6, 14 serves mandatum sine macula. The pagan use of the phrase, however, is not unknown, see Cicero Planc. 14 sunt omnes sine macula, CIL vi 22657. The fact that the woman came from Salonae, where there was an early tradition of Christianity, may strengthen the case R.P.W.

RIB1829 - Funerary inscription for Aurelia

D M AVR [...] VBE
OVC [...] MA VIX[...]
ANN [...] AVR PV[...]
NA SO[... ] PIEN[...]
SIME ET [...]ID[...]
SIME [...]
To the spirits of the departed: Aurelia ... lived ... years Aurelia Pusinna [set this up] to her most devoted and very much missed sister.
No commentary.

RIB1830 - Funerary inscription for Lifana

D M
LIFANA B[...]
CI FILIA V[...]
IT ANN [...]
L SENO[...]
LVS AV[...]CVLVS [...]
CIT
To the spirits of the departed: Lifana, daughter of ... lived ... years Lucius Senovalus, her uncle, made this.
Probably brought from Carvoran, which lies 1.2 km. to the north.

RIB2310 - Milestone of Constantine I

IM[...] CAES
FLAV VAL
CONSTANTINO
PIO NOB
CAESAR[...]
DIV[  ...]
For the Emperor Caesar Flavius Valerius Constantinus Pius, most noble Caesar, [son of] the deified ..
Constantine I, as Caesar, a.d. 306-7.It may have belonged to the Stanegate or the Military Way, or, as Haverfield suggests, the Maiden Way.

RIB2309 - Milestone of Aurelian

[...]
[...] DOMI[...]
[...] AVREL[...]
ANO P F
AVG
For the Emperor Caesar Lucius Domitius Aurelianus Pius Felix Augustus.
a.d. 273-5, after Aurelian had recovered Britain. For another milestone of Aurelian see RIB 2227 (Bitterne).

The Carvoran Modius

The following passage by Joan Liversidge is quoted in full because it accurately gives all the pertinent information in a concise and readable form, therefore leaving no scope for paraphrase:

For measuring corn a bronze vessel shaped rather like a bucket and called a modius was used, and one of these rare objects was discovered outside the fort of Carvoran on Hadrian's Wall and is now in the Chesters Museum. It bears an inscription saying it was made towards the end of the first century during the reign of the Emperor Domitian and that it holds 17½ sextarii or 16.8 pints. In actual fact it holds twenty pints and it has been suggested that this discrepancy was a mean device to defraud the farmers when they came to pay the corn tax (annona). On the other hand, Roman certified measures are usually accurate. Traces of rivet holes show that some attachments have been lost from the modius and these may have taken up the extra space (Liversidge, 1968).

If you would like further information on Roman weights and measures, have a squint at the RBO Roman Appendix.

Magnis/Carvoran Today

LEG II • LEG II AVG
“The Second Legion • Legio II Augusta [made this].”
(RIB 1341; Building Stone from Benwell)
LEG II • LEG II AVG
“The Second Legion • Legio II Augusta [made this].”
(RIB 1341; Building Stone from Benwell)
LEG II • LEG II AVG
“The Second Legion • Legio II Augusta [made this].”
(RIB 1341; Building Stone from Benwell)
The Roman Army Museum
Aside from the north-west corner angle nothing much remains of the Carvoran fort to interest the casual observer, the field being used to graze sheep, the Roman Army Museum on site makes the visit worthwhile. In addition, the walk along Walltown Crags to Turret 45a and Milecastle 45 is served by a public car park just to the north of the R.A.M.

References for Magnis / Magna

Britannia xxxii (2001) pp.330/1 & fig.10 p.332; Britannia xxxi (2000) p.391; Hadrian's Wall Map and Guide by the Ordnance Survey (Southampton, 1989); Roman Britain – A Sourcebook by S. Ireland (Routlege, New York, 1986); Hadrian's Wall in the Days of the Romans by Ronald Embleton and Frank Graham (Newcastle, 1984) pp.187-192; Britain in the Roman Empire by Joan Liversidge (London, 1968) p.177; The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965). Except where noted, all English translations, including any inherent mistakes, are my own. Britannia xxxii (2001) pp.330/1 & fig.10 p.332; Britannia xxxi (2000) p.391; Hadrian's Wall Map and Guide by the Ordnance Survey (Southampton, 1989); Roman Britain – A Sourcebook by S. Ireland (Routlege, New York, 1986); Hadrian's Wall in the Days of the Romans by Ronald Embleton and Frank Graham (Newcastle, 1984) pp.187-192; Britain in the Roman Empire by Joan Liversidge (London, 1968) p.177; The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965). Except where noted, all English translations, including any inherent mistakes, are my own. Britannia xxxii (2001) pp.330/1 & fig.10 p.332; Britannia xxxi (2000) p.391; Hadrian's Wall Map and Guide by the Ordnance Survey (Southampton, 1989); Roman Britain – A Sourcebook by S. Ireland (Routlege, New York, 1986); Hadrian's Wall in the Days of the Romans by Ronald Embleton and Frank Graham (Newcastle, 1984) pp.187-192; Britain in the Roman Empire by Joan Liversidge (London, 1968) p.177; The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965). Except where noted, all English translations, including any inherent mistakes, are my own. Britannia xxxii (2001) pp.330/1 & fig.10 p.332; Britannia xxxi (2000) p.391; Hadrian's Wall Map and Guide by the Ordnance Survey (Southampton, 1989); Roman Britain – A Sourcebook by S. Ireland (Routlege, New York, 1986); Hadrian's Wall in the Days of the Romans by Ronald Embleton and Frank Graham (Newcastle, 1984) pp.187-192; Britain in the Roman Empire by Joan Liversidge (London, 1968) p.177; The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965). Except where noted, all English translations, including any inherent mistakes, are my own.

Roman Roads near Magnis / Magna

Wall: W (3.25) to Birdoswald (Birdoswald, Cumbria) Stanegate / Wall: E (3.25) to Great Chesters (Great Chesters, Northumberland) Stanegate: E (3.5) to Haltwhistle Bvrn (Northumberland) Stanegate: E (7) to Vindolanda (Chesterholm, Northumberland) Stanegate: WSW (4.5) to Nether Denton Maiden Way: S (10) to Whitley Castle (Whitley Castle, Northumberland) Stanegate: E (2.25) to Svnny Rigg Stanegate: W (2) to Throp (Cumbria)