Moribum (Piercebridge) Vicus

Minor Settlement

The Piercebridge Roman Settlement –┬áThe Roman road Dere Street passes through the Piercebridge area from north to south and runs through a field known as the Tofts to the east of the Piercebridge fort, a minor road runs west for a distance of some 500 feet from the main road to connect directly with the east gateway of the fort; another road similarly branches eastwards off the Dere Street a little way to the north. The stone foundations of many long, rectangular buildings with their narrow ends fronting onto these streets were visible as crop-marks over most of the field, an area of about 11 acres (c.4.4 ha); there are indications that the settlement extended into the field to the north. (JRS 1956 pp.82/3.)

The Epigraphic Evidence from Piercebridge

RIB1027 - Building inscription of Bellinus

Bellinus.
BELLINVS
Huebner wrongly assigned it to Binchester, but corrected it (p. 308)Holder s.v. Bellinus cites several instances of this cognomen.

The Roman Military at Piercebridge

RIB1025 - Building inscription of the Sixth Legion

The Sixth Legion Victrix (built this).
LEG VI V
No commentary.

RIB1026 - Funerary inscription for Gracilis

To the spirits of the departed (and) to ... Gracilis, centurion from Upper Germany from the Twenty-Second Legion: Aurelia [...]illa had this set up to her husband.
[...] M
[...  ]RACILI
[...]INATO
[...]MAN SVPER
[...]G XXII AVRELIA
[...]ILLA CON
IVGI FACIEND
VM CVRAVIT
No commentary.

RIB1022 - Altar dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus of Doliche

To Jupiter, Best and Greatest, of Doliche, Julius Valentinus, centurion from Upper Germany, by the god's order gladly, willingly, and deservedly set this up for himself and his household, in the consulship of Praesens and Extricatus for the second time.
[...] O M
DOLYCHEN[...]
IVL VALENTIN[...]
ORD GER SV[...]
EX IVSSV IPSIVS
POSVIT PRO SE ET
SVIS L L M
[...]AESENTE ET EXTRICATO II CO[...]
No commentary. Addenda from RIB+add. (1995): See JRS lvii (1967), 205 No. 16 (Piercebridge), for another dedication to the same god by legionaries from both Germanies; and Brit. xvii (1986), 438 No. 20 (Piercebridge), a legionary from Upper Germany. The military and political context is discussed by Birley Ep. Stud. iv, 103-7 = Mavors iv, 251-5.

RIB1024 - Altar dedicated to Mars Condates

To the god Mars Condates, Attonius Quintianus, surveyor, evocatus, gladly fulfilled the command by order.
D M
CONDATI
ATTONIVS
QVINTIANVS
MEN EC IMP
EX IVS SOL L A
ex cc in l. 5 recorded by Gale, Thoresby, and Horsley, would mean ex ducenario, an officer earning 200,000 sesterces, as Mommsen suggested to Huebner. But this is unusually high pay for a mensor, who was often principalis and sometimes evocatus. For evocatus Augusti mensor see CIL iii 586 (ILS 5947a). Accordingly, Hirschfeld, Kleine Schriften (1913) 635 n. 3 and Fabricius PW s.v. mensor propose the emendation to evoc.As evocatus imp(eratoris) does not appear to be found, it seems necessary to interpret this as imp(eratum) ... sol(vit); cf. RIB 2091 (Birrens) R.P.W.For Mars Condates see RIB 731 and 1045.For evocatus see Glossary.

RIB1023 - Inscription

No translation

[...] M D O [...]
[...] M P C C [...]
This conjecture of Dolichenus is not unreasonable.

A Roman milestone is reputed to have been found just north of Piercebridge (at N.G.Ref. NZ2016), but I have no record of the text – I am presuming that RIB 1023 is the culprit.

… M D O … … M P C C …

“[…] M D O […] two hundred thousand paces […]”

(RIB 1023; milestone?)

References for Piercebridge

  • 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 in Britain, 1951-5 by J.K. St. Joseph in J.R.S. xlv (1956) pp.82-91;

Roman Roads near Piercebridge

Dere Street: N (9) to Binchester (Binchester, Durham) Dere Street: S (11) to Cataractonivm N (3) to Sandforth Moor