This regiment was raised from the Nervii tribe of Gallia Belgica (modern Belgium), who inhabited the Hainaut region of south-eastern Belgium, extending southwards into the eastern Artois region of northern France; their cantonal capital was located at Bagacum (Bavai, France). They were originally sent to Britain with the propraetor Petillius Cerialis in 71AD, along with five other Belgian cohorts. They appear on an undated building inscription from the fort at High Rochester in Northumberland, where there labours were shared with another unit Cohors IV Gallorum. The unit is also attested on undated altarstones at Carrawburgh and at Wallsend, both on Hadrian’s Wall, so they either occupied these forts at different times or else they were spread a bit thin on the ground.
Evidence for the presence of Cohors Secundae Nerviorum in Britain
- Cil Xiii.3606; Ager Nerviorum – Diploma, dated c.98AD.
- Burn 100; CIL XVI.65; military diploma dated July 17th 122AD.
- Cil Vii.1195; privilegia militvm, dated September 16th 124AD.
- L’Année Épigraphique 1997.1779b; diploma dated c.126AD.
- High Rochester (RIB 1298a vex. with Vex Coh IV Gal).
- Wallsend (RIB 1303 altar?).
- Carrawburgh (RIB 1538 altar).
- Whitley Castle (RIB 1198 altar; 1202 213AD; 1203 214-217AD).