Vindomora (Ebchester) Fort
The Ebchester Fort
RIB1106 - Building inscription of the fifth cohort
RIB1109 - Centurial stone of Martialis
RIB1113 - Building inscription of the Fourth Cohort of Breuci
The Garrison of Vindomora
Cohors Quintae Legionis?
Although it is possible that the first occupants of the Ebchester fort were indeed the Fifth Cohort of an unidentified Roman legion (vide supra), they are only identified on building inscriptions and centurial stones, which cannot be taken as evidence of occupation because all Roman auxiliary forts were actually built by the highly-trained legionaries, and not entrusted to the peregrine auxiliary soldiers who were to garrison the completed camp. Without the evidence even of a single altarstone, we must conclude that the Fifth Cohort were only at Ebchester to build the fort, not to inhabit it.
RIB1101 - Dedication to Minerva
VAE IVL GR
COH IIII BR[...]
L L M
The first attested garrison unit at Ebchester is Cohors IV Breucorum, identified from the early-third century altar to Minerva the Roman war goddess shown above, and also on an undated but probably contemporary building inscription (vide RIB 1113 supra). They were a five-hundred strong infantry regiment originally levied from amongst the Breuci tribe of Pannonia Inferior, natives of the Bosna valley in north-eastern Bosnia-Herzegovina.
This unit may be associated with the Cohors Quartae F[…]? attested at Lavatris (Bowes, Durham; RIB 739) on a dedicatory inscription dated 130-3AD.
RIB1100 - Altar dedicated to Mars and to the Divinity of our Emperor
AR[...]E ET N
AVG N P F
The Roman Gods of Vindomora
RIB1102 - Altar dedicated to Vernostonus Cocidius
GER V S L ❦
Over the years, Ebchester has revealed a small number of altars which are dedicated to a mixture of classical Roman and Germanic/iron-age gods typical of an Auxiliary fort. There are two altars naming the ancient Germanic ancestor-god Vitiris, and single altars dedicated to the Genius or ‘local’ god, to the Roman war deities Mars and Minerva – on separate stones – and one also to Vernostonus Cocidius, an apparent conflation of two Germanic war gods.
RIB1103 - Altar dedicated to Vitiris
S V S
RIB1099 - Altar dedicated to the Genius
[...]R[...]EF V L S
Classical References for Vindomora
References for Vindomora
- Historical Map and Guide – Roman Britain by the Ordnance Survey (3rd, 4th & 5th eds., 1956, 1994 & 2001);
- The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965);