Maglona [carvetiorvm]

Fort and Minor Settlement

The Roman name for the Old Carlisle fort first appears in the Notitia Dignitatum as Maglone, between the entries for Bravoniacvm (Kirkby Thore, Cumbria) and Magis (Burrow Walls, Cumbria). The site has also been tentatively equated with a compound entry in the Ravenna Cosmology (R&C#120-21), Maio-Olerica, which occurs between Bibra (Beckfoot, Cumbria) and Derventio (Papcastle, Cumbria).

The Old Carlisle Fort

Between the ramparts the Roman fort of Maglona measures about 935 ft. from east to west by 610 ft. transversely (c.285 x 185 m), giving an internal occupation area of about 13 acres (c.5.3 ha); the arrangements of the gateways and internal buildings apparent on aerial photographs taken in the late-1940's by Prof. J.K. St. Joseph prove, beyond doubt, that the fort faced due east. It was apparently purposefully built to house an Ala Quingenaria, a squadron of auxiliary cavalry having a nominal five-hundred troopers, and as such, was considerably larger than a fort housing an equivalent number of infantry. This was not only due to the need to house the squadron's horses in addition to the troopers, but also because the soldiers themselves, being the auxiliary élite, demanded more spacious and luxurious accommodation than their foot-slogging counterparts in the infantry cohorts. (JRS 1951 p.54 & pl.iv.1.)

RIB905 - Dedication to Emperor Caracalla by Ala Augusta

[...]
[...]MINI NOS[...  ]
[...]NI PII FELICIS [...]
[...   ...]RCO LEG EIVS CVR
[6] PRAF ALA AVG
[6 ...]T IMP ANTONI
[...  ...  ...] BALBINO II C[...]SS
... for the welfare of our Lord the Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Pius Felix Augustus, under his legate Gaius Julius Marcus, under the charge of ..., the prefect, the Cavalry Regiment Augusta ... set this up in the fourth consulship of Antoninus and the second of Balbinus.
For a group of loyal dedications from the same year see RIB 1202 (Whitley Castle).

Seven dated stones have been recovered from Maglona ranging from 188 to 244AD, which indicate a flurry of activity around the time of the Severan campaigns into Scotland and the period thereafter.

The Dateable Stones from Old Carlisle

Altar to an unknown god (RIB 903; 185AD) Altar to Jupiter (RIB 893; 188AD) Altar to Jupiter (RIB 894; 191AD) Dedicatory inscription (RIB 905; 213AD) Altar to the Mother Goddesses (RIB 901; 222-35AD) Altar to Jupiter (RIB 897; 242AD) Altar to Jupiter (RIB 899; 238-44AD)

Neither the fort nor the civil settlement have been excavated as yet, which probably explains the absence of any of the usual legionary building inscriptions. These will no doubt crop-up once the site is put under the trowel, but until then, speculation predominates the early history of the site.

The Garrison Units

RIB893 - Altar dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus

I O M
ALA AVG O[...]
VIRTVT APPEL CV[...]
[...]AEEST TIB CL TIB FI
INGM IVSTINV[...]
PRAEF FVSCIAN[...]
II SILANO II C[...]
To Jupiter, Best and Greatest, the Cavalry Regiment styled Augusta for valour, commanded by Tiberius Claudius Justinus, son of Tiberius, the prefect, (set this up) in the consulship of Fuscianus and Silanus, both for the second time.
No commentary.

This regiment is known from inscriptions at several other cavalry forts. The full title – 'the Augustan Wing, so named by reason of their virtue' – is very likely the name by which the Ala Augusta Gordia were once known.

RIB894 - Dedication to Jupiter Optimus Maximus

I O M
ALA
AVG OB VI͡RTVTÍ¡EM
[...]PÍ¡PEÍ¡LLATA CV[...] PÍ¡RAE
[...]ST P AÍ¡EL PVB F SEÍ¡R
GIA MAGNVS D
MVÍ¡RSA EX PÍ¡AÍ¡NNON
IÍ¡NÍ¡FEÍ¡RÍ¡I
To Jupiter, Best and Greatest, the Cavalry Regiment styled Augusta for valour, commanded by Publius Aelius Magnus, son of Publius, of the Sergian voting-tribe, from Mursa in Lower Pannonia, the prefect, (set this up) in the consulship of Apronianus and Bradua.
Mursa (now Osijek in Croatia): a colonia in Pannonia Inferior. Addenda from RIB+add. (1995): The prefect’s origo is emphasised, the Hadrianic colonia at Mursa which was enrolled in Hadrian’s own tribe Sergia; he might be the grandson of a colonist, an enfranchised auxiliary veteran: see Pinterović, D. and Bulat, M. 1971, 121-31 (with English summary).

RIB903 - Fragmentary dedication

[...]I P[...]AEE[...]
SEPTIMENVS
RVSTICVS PREF
MATERNO ET BRA
DVA COS
... commanded by Septimenus Rusticus, the prefect, in the consulship of Maternus and Bradua.
For Septimenus see CIL ix 4335, CIL x 8377, CIL xi 5217.

RIB897 - Altar dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus

I O M
PRO SALV[...] IMPERATORIS
M ANTONI GORDIANI P [...]
INVICTI AVG ET SAB[...]IAE FVR
IAE TRANQVILAE CONIVGI EIVS TO
TAQVE DOMV DIVIN EORVM A
LA AVG GORDIA OB VIRTVTEM
APPELLATA POSVIT CVI PRAEST
AEMILIVS CRISPINVS PREF
EQ NATVS IN PRO AFRICA DE
TVSDRO SVB CVR NONII PH
ILIPPI LEG AVG PRO PRE[...]
[...]TICO ET PRAETEXTATO
COS
To Jupiter, Best and Greatest, for the welfare of the Emperor Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus and for his wife Sabinia Furia Tranquillina and for their whole Divine House, the Cavalry Regiment, styled Augusta for valour, Gordiana, set this up, when commanded by Aemilius Crispinus, prefect of cavalry, born in the province of Africa from Tusdrus under the charge of Nonius Philippus, emperor’s propraetorian legate, in the consulship of Atticus and Praetextatus.
5, 6.  The dependence of the genitives eius and eorum on what should have been another group of genitives dependent upon salute (l. 2) has induced a confusion of ungrammatical datives and ablatives, as Dessau also notes. For a similar confusion see the acta Arvalium of a.d. 87, CIL vi 2065 (ILS 5034) R.P.W. The original surface has flaked away from the middle of line 4 to the end, and the letters have been recut. 14.  The consulship of Atticus and Praetextatus was in a.d. 242. Addenda from RIB+add. (1995): 11.  Thysdrus in Africa was not the birthplace of Gordian III (so RIB), but the city where Gordian I was proclaimed in a.d. 238 by a conspiracy of local landowners.

The Ala Augusta Gordia is recorded on several dated stones recovered from the Old Carlisle area, ranging from 185 to 244ADAD. They were probably stationed at Cilvrnvm (Chesters, Northumberland) on Hadrian's Wall sometime during the Hadrianic period, then apparently moved to Lvgvvalivm (Carlisle, Cumbria; RIB 946) where they are attested immediately prior to their first known presence here at Old Carlisle.

Numerus Solensium – The Company of Solenses

Praefectus numeri Solensium Maglone

“The Prefect of the Company of Solenses at Maglona

(Notitia Dignitatum xl.28; 4th/5th C.)

This unit is identified only in the above reference and unsupported by epigraphic evidence from the site. They were an irregular auxiliary unit, probably part-mounted, who formed the garrison at Old Carlisle towards the end of the fourth century, coming under the overall command of the Duke of the Britains – sub Ducis Britanniarum as this document phrases it. It is possible that this regiment may be connected with Solentia insula, a small island which lies off the Adriatic coast of Dalmatia, now Å olta in Croatia.

The Civil Settlement

RIB908 - Funerary inscription for Tancorix

TANCORIX
MVLIER
VIGSIT ANNOS
SEGSAGINTA
Tancorix, a woman, lived sixty years.
For the date and place of discovery see Lysons, S., B.M. MS. add. 9462 ff. 71, 72 (Rev. R. Matthews 25 Oct. 1814).

The settlement core lay along the militarily important Carlisle-Papcastle road outside the south-east corner of the fort, with several outlying farms linked by ditched trackways, including a large agricultural complex overlooking the Wiza Beck to the south. The settlement at Maglona expanded over time, no doubt helped by the presence – and spending-power – of five-hundred well-paid troopers, and eventually grew to be larger in area than its parent fort, in fact, the vicus at Old Carlisle was larger than some Roman walled towns.

RIB899 - Altar dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus and Vulkanus

I O M ET
VLK PRO SA
LVTE D N M ANTO
GORDIANI P
F AVG VIK
MAG ARAM
A COL A V D
To Jupiter, Best and Greatest, and to Vulkanus for the welfare of our Lord Marcus Antonius Gordianus Pius Felix Augustus the villagers of Mag(...) dedicated this altar from money contributed by the villagers.
For a similar dedication to Vulcan by vicani cf. RIB 1700 (Vindolanda). Addenda from RIB+add. (1995): For other altars dedicated by vicani of named places, see RIB 1700 (also to Vulcan) and JRS xlvii (1957), 229 No. 18 (Carriden).

RIB901 - Dedication to the Mother Goddesses

[...]BVS MA[...]
[...  ]ALVTE M [...]
[...]NDRI [...]
[...]LIAE M[...]
[...   ] N ET C[...]
[...] PV[...]
To the Mother Goddesses for the welfare of Marcus Aurelius Alexander Pius Felix Augustus, and of Julia Mamea, mother of our Lord and of the army ..
Birley (Cumb. Westm. AAST 2nd Ser. li (1951) 27) considers that this fragment and RIB 904 and 910 were probably found by the Rev. R. Matthews (1771-1846), who excavated on the site. Hodgson in 1840 and 1842 recorded other inscriptions found by him (op. cit. 26).

Altars to Deities of War

Description: DEO BELATVCADRO SANCTO AVR TASVLVS VET VSLM
Togo-Translation:

“To the divine god Belatucader, Aurelius Tasulus, veteran, willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow.”

RIB: 887
Description: DEAE BELLONAE RVFINVS PRAEF EQ ALAE AVG ET LATINIANVS FIL
Togo-Translation:

“To the goddess Bellona, Rufinus, the prefect of horse of the Ala Augusta, and Latinianus his son [placed this].”

RIB: 890
Description: GENIO AVR MARTI ET AVR S EBVRACIO PRO SE ET SVIS V S L L M
Togo-Translation:

“To the Genius of Mars the Golden-Haired,¹ and to Sextus Aurelius Eburacius,² for himself and his family, (who) willingly, gladly and deservedly fulfilled his vow.”

RIB: 891
  1. Most would have opted for the expansion AUR[igae] 'the charioteer' instead of AUR[icomus], but consider the following note.
  2. The order of the dedicators names seem to have been re-arranged, possibly in order to emphasise the name Aurelius, which cognomen was often applied to fair-haired people signifying a “golden” appearance.

RIB886 - Dedication to the goddess Eternity

[...]EAE AE[...]
AE TE[...]
L VATER[...]
CELLVS [...]
REST[...]
For the goddess Eternity Lucius Vaterius Marcellus, the prefect, restored this shrine.
The name of the goddess is imperfect and there is no obvious choice. Aerecura, the Pannonian deity (ILS 3960-3968) is unknown in Britain. Ancasta (RIB 97) is probably too local. Another local deity may be in question R.P.W.

RIB2286 - Milestone of Philip II

IMP CAES
M IVL
PHILIPPO
PIO FELI
CI
AVG
ET M I IVL PHI
LIPPO NOBILIS
SIMO CAESA
TR P COS
For the Emperor Caesar Marcus Julius Philippus Pius Felix Augustus and Marcus Julius Philippus, most noble Caesar, with tribunician power, consul.
a.d. 247, as Philip II was consul in 247 and in July or August became Augustus.

References for Maglona [carvetiorvm]

Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (Thames & Hudson, London, 1995); Peoples of Roman Britain – The Carvetii by Nicholas Higham & Barri Jones (Gloucester 1985); Chronology of the Ancient World by E.J. Bickerman (Thames & Hudson, London, 1980); The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965); Air Reconnaissance of North Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xli (1951) pp.52-65; Atlas of the Greek and Roman World in Antiquity by Nicholas G.L. Hammond (Bristol Classical Press); Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (Thames & Hudson, London, 1995); Peoples of Roman Britain – The Carvetii by Nicholas Higham & Barri Jones (Gloucester 1985); Chronology of the Ancient World by E.J. Bickerman (Thames & Hudson, London, 1980); The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965); Air Reconnaissance of North Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xli (1951) pp.52-65; Atlas of the Greek and Roman World in Antiquity by Nicholas G.L. Hammond (Bristol Classical Press); Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (Thames & Hudson, London, 1995); Peoples of Roman Britain – The Carvetii by Nicholas Higham & Barri Jones (Gloucester 1985); Chronology of the Ancient World by E.J. Bickerman (Thames & Hudson, London, 1980); The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965); Air Reconnaissance of North Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xli (1951) pp.52-65; Atlas of the Greek and Roman World in Antiquity by Nicholas G.L. Hammond (Bristol Classical Press); Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (Thames & Hudson, London, 1995); Peoples of Roman Britain – The Carvetii by Nicholas Higham & Barri Jones (Gloucester 1985); Chronology of the Ancient World by E.J. Bickerman (Thames & Hudson, London, 1980); The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965); Air Reconnaissance of North Britain by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xli (1951) pp.52-65; Atlas of the Greek and Roman World in Antiquity by Nicholas G.L. Hammond (Bristol Classical Press);

Map References for Maglona [carvetiorvm]

NGRef: NY2546 OSMap: LR85

Roman Roads near Maglona [carvetiorvm]

SW (6) to Blennerhasset (Cumbria) ENE (10) to Lvgvvalivm (carvetiorvm) (Carlisle, Cumbria) Possible Road: WSW (15) to Maryport (Maryport, Cumbria)