Cohors Primae Hamiorum Saggitariorum – The First Cohort of Hamian Bowmen

Perhaps the most notable auxiliary regiment in Britain, a unit of bowmen recruited from the Hamian tribesmen of Syria, the only regiment of archers known to have been stationed in Britain. They very likely took part in the Claudian invasion of 43AD. They are the known Hadrianic garrison of Carvoran. The unit was moved to Bar Hill on the Antonine Wall during its second occupation period c.158AD, and returned to Carvoran c.163-166, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. They were stationed at some time in the Housesteads fort on Hadrian’s Wall, though their period of occupation at Housesteads is unknown.

Evidence for the presence of Cohors Primae Hamiorum Saggitariorum in Britain

  1. Military Diplomata 122AD
  2. Military Diplomata – 124AD (RIB 2401.6)
  3. Military Diplomata c AD126
  4. Military Diplomata (AD 158)
  5. Carvoran (RIB 1778 altar 136-138AD; 1792 altar 163-166AD; 1810).
  6. Housesteads (uninscribed tombstone of an archer; c.2nd century).
  7. Bar Hill (RIB 2166/2167 altars; 2172 tombstone of prefect).