Cohors Primae Thracum – The First Cohort of Thracians

This regiment was originally recruited from among the tribes of the Roman province of Thrace, modern Bulgaria, and were believed to have been first stationed in Britain at the Wroxeter auxiliary fort, just to the south of the city of Viroconium, where the tombstone of a trooper in the “Thracian Cohort” was discovered. This part-mounted unit were an ideal choice to man this important crossing of the River Severn and were probably stationed here during the early campaigns of the governor Publius Ostorius Scapula. They were involved in the building of Hadrian’s Wall during the 120AD’s, and are later attested at the Bowes fort in county Durham in the early third century.

Evidence for the presence of Cohors Primae Thracum in Britain

  1. Burn 95; CIL XVI.48; military diploma dated January 19th 103AD.
  2. Burn 100; CIL XVI.65; military diploma dated July 17th 122AD.
  3. L’Année Épigraphique 1997.1001; diploma dated 27th February 158AD.
  4. Wroxeter (RIB 291 tombstone with cohort numeral missing).
  5. Hadrian’s Wall between Newcastle & Benwell (RIB 1323).
  6. Birdoswald (RIB 1909; B.I. shared with Cohors I Aelia Dacorum; dated: 205-208AD).
  7. Bowes (RIB 730 altar 197-202AD; et 732-734; et 740 205-208AD; et 741).