Classical References to Rome and Roman Britain

We can use the following sources for references to the Roman history

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus

Gaius Cornelius Tacitus

Gaius Julius Caesar

 Titus Flavius Josephus

Plutarch

Other Authors

Classical Sources for the Roman Military

Classical References regarding the Geography of Britain

To the Romans, Britannia was a mysterious island lying beyond Oceanus, the great river described by Homer as encircling the entire inhabited world. Britain was therefore seen as a land beyond the limits of civilisation. Britannia was first brought to the attention of the Roman people by the campaigns of Julius Caesar in 55 and 54 BC, but was not proven to be an island until the early eighties A.D., when the governor Gnaeus Julius Agricola sent an exploratory naval expedition around the north coast of Scotland. This section describes Britannia as the Romans knew it, utilizing the British sections from the main classical geographies.

  • Classical Geographia (c.1st century AD ): Classical references to the Insulae Britanniarum, including the works of Caesar, Livy, Pliny, and many more of the most learned geographers of the Roman era.
  • Strabo, Geography References to Britain made by Strabo, who was a Greek geographer, philosopher, and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.
  • Ptolemy’s Geography (c. AD 140): The first two chapters of Book II deal with the British Isles; Hibernia (Ireland) in chapter 1, and Albion (Mainland Britain) in chapter 2.
  • Antonine Itinerary (c. AD 220): A list of fifteen routes throughout the Roman province of Britannia, with several repetitions and several notable omissions.
  • Notitia Dignitatum (c. AD 395-430): A late Imperial administrative document is the unique historical source for the Saxon Shore Forts, a network of coastal defenses built around southeast Britain in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD.
  • Ravenna Cosmography (c.7th century AD ): A list of Roman posting-stations, forts and towns, compiled by an unknown monk from Ravenna on the Adriatic coast of Italy.
  • Peutinger Table (c.11th century AD ): This Roman map was cut into several pieces sometime during the Middle-Ages, a surviving portion of which shows a few towns in south-east England.
  • Nennius’ Cities (9th century?): Nennius was a monk and contemporary of Bede? who wrote his Historia Brittonum in the 9th century, wherein is contained a list of 33 ‘British Towns’.

Epigraphic Resources of Roman Britain

Epigraphy is the study of inscriptions, or epigraphs, as writing. The following are a list of Epigraphic resources for investigating Roman Britain:

Roman Sites to visit in South East England

More about Roman Britain

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Ancient Roman literature, written in Latin, continues to be a significant part of Roman culture. Early surviving works include epic poems about Rome’s early military history, as well as poetry, comedies, histories and tragedies from the Republic period. Ancient Roman literature, written in Latin, heavily borrowed from other cultures, particularly from the more developed literary […]

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De Excidio et Conquestu Britanniae (Latin: On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain, sometimes just On the Ruin of Britain) is a work written in Latin by the 6th-century AD British cleric St Gildas. It is a sermon in three parts condemning the acts of Gildas’ contemporaries, both secular and religious, whom he blames for […]

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The Life of Hadrian​ – Part 1 Chapter 1 [1.1] The original home of the family of the Emperor Hadrian was Picenum, the later, Spain; for Hadrian himself relates in his autobiography​ that his forefathers came from Hadria,​ but settled at Italica​ in the time of the Scipios. [1.2] The father of Hadrian was Aelius Hadrianus, surnamed Afer, […]

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Florus, born apparently in Africa, lived in Spain and in Rome in Hadrian’s time. He wrote, in brief pointed rhetorical style, a summary of Roman history (especially wars) in two books in order to show the greatness and decline of Roman morals. It is based chiefly on Livy. It was perhaps planned to reach his […]

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Of the War — Book V Containing the interval of near six months. From the coming of Titus to besiege Jerusalem, to the great extremity to which the Jews were reduced. Book 5: Chapter 1: Concerning the seditious at Jerusalem: and what terrible miseries afflicted the city by their means. [1.1] When therefore Titus had […]

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Of the War — Book I Containing the interval of 167 Years. From the taking of Jerusalem by Antiochus Epiphanes, to the death of Herod the Great. Book 1: Chapter 1: How the city Jerusalem was taken, and the temple pillaged [by Antiochus Epiphanes]. As also concerning the actions of the Maccabees, Matthias, and Judas; […]

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Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, commonly called Parallel Lives or Plutarch’s Lives, is a series of 48 biographies of famous men, arranged in pairs to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings, probably written at the beginning of the second century AD. Life Of Dion. Life Of Dion: I We are told […]

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Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, commonly called Parallel Lives or Plutarch’s Lives, is a series of 48 biographies of famous men, arranged in pairs to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings, probably written at the beginning of the second century AD. Life Of Nikias. As it appears to me that the […]

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Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, commonly called Parallel Lives or Plutarch’s Lives, is a series of 48 biographies of famous men, arranged in pairs to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings, probably written at the beginning of the second century AD. Life Of Pelopidas. Life Of Pelopidas: I Cato the elder, […]

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Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, commonly called Parallel Lives or Plutarch’s Lives, is a series of 48 biographies of famous men, arranged in pairs to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings, probably written at the beginning of the second century AD. Life Of Theseus. Life Of Theseus: I. As in books […]

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Plutarch’s Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, commonly called Parallel Lives or Plutarch’s Lives, is a series of 48 biographies of famous men, arranged in pairs to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings, probably written at the beginning of the second century AD. Life Of Phokion. Life Of Phokion: I The orator Demades, […]

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De Bello Hispaniensi (also Bellum Hispaniense; On the Hispanic War; On the Spanish War) is a Latin work continuing Julius Caesar’s commentaries, De Bello Gallico and De Bello Civili, and its sequels by two different unknown authors De Bello Alexandrino and De Bello Africo. It details Caesar’s campaigns on the Iberian Peninsula, ending with the […]

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Commentarii de Bello Civili (Commentaries on the Civil War), or Bellum Civile, is an account written by Julius Caesar of his war against Gnaeus Pompeius and the Roman Senate. It consists of three books covering the events of 49–48 BC, from shortly before Caesar’s invasion of Italy to Pompey’s defeat at the Battle of Pharsalus […]

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Strictly speaking, the identity of this little book’s author remains unknown. The unanimous consensus of Antiquity, however, and the almost as general opinion of modern scholar­ship ascribe it to Aulus Hirtius, a subordinate and partisan of Caesar’s who succeeded him as one of the consuls the year after Caesar’s assassination. Bellum Alexandrinum is written about the events […]

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De Bello Africo (also Bellum Africum; On the African War) is a Latin work continuing Julius Caesar’s accounts of his campaigns, De Bello Gallico and De Bello Civili, and its sequel by an unknown author De Bello Alexandrino. It details Caesar’s campaigns against his Republican enemies in the province of Africa. The historical narratives, though […]

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Book One: The Gallic Wars: Book I: Chapter 1 All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in our Gauls, the third. All these differ from each other in language, customs and laws. The river Garonne separates the […]

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Frontinus, Sextus Iulius, ca. 35?103 CE, was a capable Roman civil officer and military commander. Praetor of the city in 70 and consul in 73 or 74, 98 and 100, he was, about the year 76, sent to Britain as governor. He quelled the Silures of Wales, and began to build a road through their […]

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The content below is from The Life and Death of Julius Agricola (1876), by Tacitus, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb Agricola: I On biography and auto-biography To bequeath to posterity a record of the deeds and characters of distinguished men is an ancient practice which even the present age, careless as […]

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The content below is from The Annals (From the Passing of the Divine Augustus) (1876)by Tacitus, translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb. Book One Book One: I A summary of Rome’s political history. Rome at the beginning was ruled by kings. Freedom and the consulship were established by Lucius Brutus. Dictatorships were […]

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One of the most interesting and important sources for the battle tactics of the imperial Roman army is the essay written by Flavius Arrianus detailing his plans as governor of Cappadocia to lead a Roman army against a threatened invasion by Alanic tribesmen, known either as the Ektaxis kata Alanoon or as Acies contra Alanos.

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Publius (or Flavius) Vegetius Renatus, known as Vegetius, was a writer of the Later Roman Empire (late 4th century). The first book is a plea for army reform; it vividly portrays the military decadence of the Late Roman Empire. Vegetius also describes in detail the organisation, training and equipment of the army of the early Empire.

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De Munitionibus Castrorum ("Concerning the fortifications of a military camp") is a work by an unknown author. Due to this work formerly being attributed to Hyginus Gromaticus, its author is often called "Pseudo-Hyginus".

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References to Hadrian, Antoninus Pius & Septimius Severus from The Historia Augusta, a late Roman collection of biographies, written in Latin, of the Roman emperors, their junior colleagues, designated heirs and usurpers from 117 to 284.

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References to Roman Britain in Strabo's Geography, Strabo was a Greek geographer, philosopher, and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.

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References to Roman Britain from Plutarch's Parallel Lives - Book on Caesar

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Titus Livius, known in English as Livy , was a Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people, titled Ab Urbe Condita, ''From the Founding of the City'', covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditional founding in 753 BC through the reign of Augustus in Livy's own lifetime.

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Eutropius was a Roman historian who wrote his Breviarium Ab Urbe Condita (Brief History of Rome from its Foundation) at the behest of Valens (emperor of the East, 364–378).

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Polybius was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period noted for his work The Histories, which covered the period of 264–146 BC in detail.

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The Coligny Calendar is a series of bronze tablets detailing the Celtic(and thus Celtic year,

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Britain Before the Introduction of Coinage In late Iron Age Britain, people relied on bartering their possessions, products, and services to conduct transactions before the introduction of coinage. This payment and exchange process could have been made possible by various items, including gold “ring money” (which mostly originated from the late Bronze Age), neck torcs […]

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Name Unit Obverse Reverse Catalogue Refs. Tasciovanus AV stater – TASCIAV S.214, M.149, V.1680, BMC.1591-1603   AV stater – TASCIAV S.215, M.150, V.1682, BMC.1604/1605   AV stater – TASCIOVAN • CAM S.216, M.186/186a, V.1684, BMC.1606/1607   AV stater – TASC S.217, M.154/155/157, V.1730-1732, BMC.1608-1613   AV stater V[ER] TASC S.218, M.156/157, V.1734/1735, BMC.1623-1624   AV […]

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Name Unit Obverse Reverse Catalogue Refs. Can / Duro AR unit – CAN[S] DVRO S.439, M.434, V.663, BMC.3521-3 Anted AV stater – ANTED S.440, M.418, V.705, BMC.3790   AR unit – ANTED S.441, M.419-21, V.710/1/5, BMC.3791-4025   AR ¼ unit – ANTED S.442, M.422, V.720, BMC.4028-31 Ecen AV stater – ECEN S.443, V.725, BMC.4032   […]

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Name Unit Obverse Reverse Catalogue Refs. Aun Cost AV stater – AVN COST S.402, M.457, V.910, BMC.3258   AR unit – AVN COST S.403, M.458, V.914, BMC.3261-6   AR ½ unit – AVN COST S.404, V.918, BMC.3267/8 Esup Rasu AV stater – IISVP RASV S.405, M.456b, V.920, BMC.3269   AR unit – IISVP RASV S.406, […]

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Name Unit Obverse Reverse Catalogue Refs. “CRAB” AR unit C R A B – S.373, M.371, V.1285, BMC.2788   AR minim CRAB – S.373a, M.372, V.1286, BMC.2789 The following acronyms, abbreviations and symbols are used in the above linked table: S.nnn – Spink Standard Catalogue of British Coins (2002) 37th ed. M.nnn – R.P. Mack […]

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Name Unit Obverse Reverse Catalogue Refs. Addedomaros AV stater – AθθDIIDOM S.200, M.266, V.1605, BMC.2390-2394   AV stater – AθθDIIDOM S.201, M.267, V.1620, BMC.2396-2404   AV stater – AθθDIIDOM S.202, M.268, V.1635, BMC.2405-2415   AV ¼ stater – AθθDIIDOM S.205, M.269, V.1638, BMC.2422-2424 Dubnovellaunus AV stater – DVBNOVAIIAVNOS S.207, M.275, V.1650, BMC.2425-2440   AV ¼ […]

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Name Unit Obverse Reverse Catalogue Refs. Dubnovellaunus AV stater – DVBNOV[ELLAVNVS] S.177, M.282, V.169, BMC.2492-2496   AR unit – DVBNO S.179, M.286, V.171, BMC.2499-2501   AR unit – DVBNO S.180, M.287, V.178, BMC.2502/2503   AE unit – DVBN S.181, M.290, V.166, BMC.2504-2506   AE unit DVBNO – S.182, M.291, V.181, BMC.2507/2508   AE unit DVBNO […]

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Name Unit Obverse Reverse Catalogue Refs. Commius AV stater – COM MIOS S.65, M.92, V.350, BMC.724-729   AV stater – COM MIOS • E S.66, V.352, BMC.730   AV ¼ stater ϝ – S.67, M.83, V.353/354   AR unit – E S.69, V.355, BMC.731-758 Tincommius / Tincomarus AV stater – TINC • COMM F S.71, […]

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Lucan (Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, 39 – 65 CE) was a Roman poet born in Corduba (modern Córdoba, Spain) and educated in Athens. He composed Pharsalia about the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey which occurred in about the year 60 CE.

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Military diplomata or discharge certificates used a standard formula so each one issued would contain exactly the same text. The original copies of the text to be used on all diplomata was inscribed onto a bronze tablet which was kept on full view to the public in the centre of the city of Rome. In any given year each auxiliary regiment in the Roman army would have soldiers who had fulfilled their term of service and were due to be retired.

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The unit list comprises three alae and twelve cohorts, all previously known, which accounts for about onethird of the number of auxiliary units attested in Britain during the reign of Hadrian. 13 alae were named on the constitution of 17 July 122; a fourteenth on that of 16 September 124. By 127 two alae had […]

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[IMP. C]AESAR, DIVI HADRIANI F., DIVI [TRAIAN]I PART(HICI) NEPOS, DIVI NERVAE PMN(EPOS), T . A[E]LIUS HADRIANUS ANTONINUS [AUG(USTUS)] PIUS, [P]ONT(IFEX) MAX(IMUS), TR(IBUNICIA) POT(ESTATE) VIIII, IMP(ERATOR) II, CO(N)S(UL) IIII, P(ATER) P(ATRIAE),EQ(UITIBUS) ET PEDIT(IBUS) QUI MILITAVER(UNT) IN ALIS III [ET COH(ORTIBUS) XI, QU]AE APPELL(ANTUR) AUG(USTA) GALL(ORUM) PROCUL(EIANA) ET I [PANNON(IORUM) SABIN(IANA)?J’ ET I HISP(ANORUM) ASTUR(UM); ET I […]

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[IMP. CAES(AR), DIVI HADRIANI F., DIVI TRAIANI PARTH(ICI) NEP(OS), DIVI .VERVAE PRONEP(OS)], T. AE[LIUS HADRIANUS ANTONIN]US AUG(USTUS) PIUS, P(ONTIFEX) M(AXIMUS), [TR(IBUNICIA) POT(ESTATE) VII11, IMP(ERATOR) II], CO(N)S(UL) 1111, P(ATER) P(ATRIAE) N [EQ(UITIBUS) ET PED(ITIBUS) Q(UI) M(ILITAVERUNT) IN AL(IS) ] ET COH(ORTIBUS) VIII ET SU[NT2 IN BNITANNIA3 SUB P[APIRIO AELIANO 4 QUINQUE ET VIGINTRS STIPEND(IS) EMERIT( IS) […]

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[IMP. CAES(AR), DIVI TRAIAN(I) PARTH(ICI) F., DIVI] NERV(AE) NEPOS, TRA[IN_N]US [HADRIANUS AUG(USTUS) , PONT(IFEX) MAX(IMUS), TRIB(UNICIA) POT(ESTATE) ] XVIIII, CO(N)S(UL) III, P(ATER) P(ATRIAE) T [EQ(UITIBUS) ET PED(ITIBUS) QUI MIL(ITAVERUNT) IN AL(IS) . .2 ET COH(ORTIBUS)] X.. \XI3 QUAE APP(ELLANTUR) (R ) AUG(USTA) GAL(LORUM) [PROC(ULEIANA) 3 ET . . . ET . . . ET. . […]

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[IMP…][EQUITIBUS’ ET PEDITIBUS QUI MILITAVERUNT IN ALIS … E T COHORTIBUS QUAE APPELLANTUR AUG(USTA) GALLORUM PROCULEIANA ET…? ET …] ET I A[QUITANOR(UM) ET … ET … MO]RIN(ORUM) ET III E[T IIII ET VI NERVIOR(UM)? ET SUNT IN BRI]TANN(IA) SUB J[. .C . 10-12. . ., S QUIN(IS) ET VIC(ENIS) 6 PLUJNBUSVE STIPE[NDIS EMERITIS DIMISSIS HON]EST(A) […]

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Middlewich (Salinae), Cheshire . Part of the second tablet of a bronze diploma, 96 X 131 mm (0) . Part of the left-hand edge of the outer face and its full height are preserved but it is broken off about to mm tothe right of the two central binding-holes : see PL .’ . Its […]

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L’Année Épigraphique 1997.1779b; c.126AD This document names several infantry (cohortes peditatae) and part-mounted (cohortes equitatae) regiments, in the army of the propraetor Trebius Germanus. Both the initial portion and the names of the witnesses are lost. However, another copy of this particular series of diplomata has been found, from which most of the original text […]

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Burn 100; CIL XVI.65; dated: July 17th 122AD In excellent condition, this discharge certificate was found in 1930 at Brigetio in Pannonia, now known as O-Szöny on the Danube in western Hungary; evidently the soldier to whom it once belonged went home after his military service in Ala Primae Pannoniorum Tampianae in Britain. This important […]

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CIL XIII.3606; Ager Nerviorvm Diploma dated: c.98AD This document names part of the British army of Tiberius Avidius Quietus of around 98AD. It states that an ala and six cohortes are listed therein, but in reality, a single cavalry regiment and only five infantry cohorts are contained within the body of the text. In addition, it would appear that the second half of the diploma is missing. This would […]

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CIL VII.1195; Privilegia Militvm dated: 16th September 124AD This document names six cavalry alae and twenty-one infantry (cohortes peditatae) and part-mounted (cohortes equitatae) regiments, in the army of the propraetor Platorius Nepos. Several of the cavalry wing entries are damaged, as are the names of the document witnesses also the name of the owner of the diploma. IMP CAESAR DIVI TRAIANI PARTHICI […]

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This document names four cavalry alae and eleven infantry (cohortes peditatae) and part-mounted (cohortes equitatae) regiments, in the army of the propraetor Lucius Neratius Marcellus: IMP CAESAR DIVI NERVAE F NERVA TRAIANVS AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS DACICVS PONTIFEX MAXIMVS TRIBVNIC POTESTAT VII IMP III P P COS V EQVITIBVS ET PEDITIBVS QVI MILITANT IN ALIS QVATTVOR ET COHERTIBVS DECEM ET […]

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L’ Année Épigraphique 1997.1779a; c.AD126 This document names several infantry (cohortes peditatae) and part-mounted (cohortes equitatae) regiments, in the army of the propraetor Trebius Germanus. Both the initial portion and the names of the witnesses are lost. However, another copy of this particular series of diplomata has been found, from which most of the original text may be reconstructed. E]T […]

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L’ Année Épigraphique 1997.1001; Dated: 27th February AD158 Three fragments of a bronze military diploma were found in 1995 on the foreshore near the Roman fort at Ravenglass fort in Cumbria. This document names 4 cavalry Wings (Alae) and 17 infantry (cohortes peditatae) and part-mounted (cohortes equitatae) regiments, in the army of the propraetor Gnaeus Julius […]

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A newly discovered Roman plaque from London measuring 12 x 16 inches (c.30 x cm) contains a complete Latin inscription dedicated to the god Martius Camulos, dated on stylistic grounds to between 50-150AD. According to the excavators the dedicant was a ‘Northern Gaulish merchant’ but I cannot reconcile this conclusion. Their translation reads: “To the spirits […]

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The Notitia Dignitatum ("The List of Offices") details the administrative organization of the later Eastern and Western Empire. It describes several thousand offices from the imperial court down to the provincial level, diplomatic missions and army units. It lists all major "dignities" with their location and their officium staff.

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Claudius Ptolemaeus was a Roman citizen of Macedonian descent (Rivet & Smith 1979, p.103), living and working in Alexandria, Egypt Claudius Ptolemaeus was a celebrated geographer and astrologer who lived between the reigns of Hadrian and Antonine in the second century A.D. He wrote all his scientific works in Greek but, his work,  like so […]

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The Antonine Itinerary – “The Itinerary of the Emperor Antoninus” or the “Itinerarium Provinciarum Antoni(ni) Augusti”, to give its full Latin title, is a famous itinerarium, a register of the stations and distances along various roads. Seemingly based on official documents, possibly from a survey carried out under Augustus, it describes the roads of the Roman Empire. When plotted, two notable […]

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Aside from the Ravenna Cosmography and the Notitia Dignitatum there are no other literary sources which contain the names of the Wall forts. Our knowledge is furthered, however, by other inscriptions, some found along the line of the Wall itself (i.e. RIB 1594 at Housesteads), while others have appeared upon several bronze cooking utensils found […]

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A Gazzeteer of Commemorative Roman Coins These coins were all minted in Rome – except where otherwise stated – and were issued to commemorate victories or events that happened in Britannia. Claudius Hadrian Antoninus Pius Commodus Septimius Severus Caracalla Geta The following abbreviations have been used on this page: AV Aureum Gold; AR Argentum Silver; […]

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The Annals by Roman historian and senator Tacitus is a history of the Roman Empire from the reign of Tiberius to that of Nero, the years AD 14–68.

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Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (ca. AD 56 – ca. AD 120) was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors. These […]

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Histories of Historiae (Latin) is a Roman historical chronicle by Gaius (or Publius) Cornelius Tacitus written c. 100–110. It covers c. 69–96, a period which includes the Year of Four Emperors following the downfall of Nero, as well as the period between the rise of the Flavian Dynasty under Vespasian and the death of Domitian.

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Book One Book One: I Introduction [A.D. 69.] I propose to begin my narrative with the second consulship of Servius Galba, in which Titus Vinius was his colleague. Many historians have dealt with the 820 years of the earlier period beginning with the foundation of Rome, and the story of the Roman Republic has been […]

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Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, commonly known as Suetonius c. AD 69 – after AD 122, was a Roman historian who wrote during the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire. His most important surviving work is a set of biographies of 12 successive Roman rulers, from Julius Caesar to Domitian, probably entitled De vita Caesarum.

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Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars -Titus Flavius Domitianus This translation of Suetonius’ work was originally published in the Loeb Classical Library in 1913. Illustrations from the 1717 English version. Book Eight: XXXVII Domitian’s Early Life Domitian was born upon the ninth of the calends of November [24th October] [795], when his father was consul elect, in the […]

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Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars -Titus Flavius Vespasianus This translation of Suetonius’ work was originally published in the Loeb Classical Library in 1913. Illustrations from the 1717 English version. Book Eight: XXVI Titus’s Birth Titus, who had the same cognomen with his father, was the darling and delight of mankind; so much did the natural genius, address, […]

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Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars – Titus Flavius Vespasianus This translation of Suetonius’ work was originally published in the Loeb Classical Library in 1913. Illustrations from the 1717 English version. Book Eight: I The Flavians The empire, which had been long thrown into a disturbed and unsetted state, by the rebellion and violent death of its […]

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Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars – Aulus Vitellius This translation of Suetonius’ work was originally published in the Loeb Classical Library in 1913. Illustrations from the 1717 English version. Book Seven: XXXVI The Vitelli Very different accounts are given of the origin of the Vitellian family. Some describe it as ancient and noble, others as recent and […]

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Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars – Marcus Salvius Otho This translation of Suetonius’ work was originally published in the Loeb Classical Library in 1913. Illustrations from the 1717 English version. Book Seven: XXIV Otho’s Ancestry The ancestors of Otho were originally of the town of Ferentum, of an ancient and honourable family, and, indeed, one of […]

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Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars – Sergius Sulpicius Galba This translation of Suetonius’ work was originally published in the Loeb Classical Library in 1913. Illustrations from the 1717 English version. Book Seven: I The End of the Caesars The race of the Caesars became extinct in Nero; an event prognosticated by various signs, two of which […]

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Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars This translation of Suetonius’ work was originally published in the Loeb Classical Library in 1913. Illustrations from the 1717 English version. Book Six: I The Domitian Family Two celebrated families, the Calvini and Aenobarbi, sprung from the race of the Domitii. The Aenobarbi derive both their extraction and their cognomen from […]

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Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars This translation of Suetonius’ work was originally published in the Loeb Classical Library in 1913. Illustrations from the 1717 English version. Book Five: I His Father, Drusus the Elder Drusus the Elder, Claudius Caesar’s father, who was first named Decimus and later Nero, was born (in 38BC) to Livia, less than three months after she […]

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This translation of Suetonius’ work was originally published in the Loeb Classical Library in 1913. Illustrations from the 1717 English version. Book Three: I His Father, Germanicus Germanicus, the father of Caius Caesar, and son of Drusus and the younger Antonia, was, after his adoption by Tiberius, his uncle, preferred to the quaestorship five years […]

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Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars This translation of Suetonius’ work was originally published in the Loeb Classical Library in 1913. Illustrations from the 1717 English version. Book Two: I The Octavii That the family of the Octavii was of the first distinction in Velitrae, is rendered evident by many circumstances. For in the most frequented part […]

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Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars This translation of Suetonius’ work was originally published in the Loeb Classical Library in 1913. Illustrations from the 1717 English version. Book Three: I The Claudii The patrician branch of the Claudians – there being a plebeian branch too, no less influential and distinguished – was originally from Regillum, a Sabine town. […]

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Suetonius: The Twelve Caesars This translation of Suetonius’ work was originally published in the Loeb Classical Library in 1913. Book One: I Early Life Julius Caesar, the Divine, lost his father when he was in the sixteenth year of his age; and the year following, being nominated in 86BC, by Marius and Cinna the consuls […]

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The classical references to the geography of Britain from Pliny's Natural History, Cassius Dio's History of Rome and Caesar's Gallic Wars

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The important historical and geographical work now known as the Peutinger Table is a Medieval copy of an original Roman map which had been cut into several pieces, perhaps sometime during the Dark-Ages, in order for the valuable parchment to be re-used on the reverse. Unfortunately, the section which contained details of most of the […]

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The History of the Britons or Historia Brittonum is a purported history of the indigenous British people that was written around 828 and survives in numerous revision's that date from after the 11th century.

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Sometime during the seventh century of this Common Era, an unknown monk in the Monastery at Ravenna on the Adriatic (eastern) coast of Italy compiled a list of all the towns and road-stations throughout the Roman Empire; this important historical document has since become known as the Ravenna Cosmography. The best available text is that […]

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Commentaries on the Gallic War, is Julius Caesar's first hand account of the Gallic Wars, written as a third-person narrative. In it Caesar describes the battles and intrigues that took place in the nine years he spent fighting the Celtic and Germanic peoples in Gaul that opposed Roman conquest.

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Julius Caesar's Second Expedition to Britain (54BC) in his own words

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References to Britain and the Britons by Cassius Dio. Dio was a Roman statesman and historian of Greek and Roman origin. He published 80 volumes of the history on ancient Rome.

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