Cohors Sextae Nerviorum

A regiment of auxiliary infantry soldiers recruited from amongst the Nervii tribe of Belgica province. This unit were probably the first Hadrianic garrison of the fort at Great Chesters on Hadrian’s Wall, and were later at Rough Castle on the The Antonine Wall in Scotland, where they were evidently responsible for the building of regimental headquarters or principia in the centre of the fort. They are mentioned on three out of five inscriptions on stone, one dated to the beginning of the third century, from Brough by Bainbridge in North Yorkshire, where they are also listed in the Roman administrative document the Notitia Dignitatum of the late-fourth century.

What does Cohors Sextae Nerviorum mean?

  • Cohors : The cohort was an auxiliary infantry unit in the Roman army .
  • VI : The Roman numeral stands for the atomic number sixth ( Latin sexta ). Therefore, the name of this military unit is pronounced as Cohors sexta .
  • Nerviorum : the nerve . When the unit was formed, the soldiers in the cohort were recruited from the Nervii tribe in the territory of the Roman province of Gallia Belgica .
  • Since there is no evidence of the suffixes milliaria (1000 men) and equitata (partly mounted), it can be assumed that this is a Cohors quingenaria peditata , a pure infantry cohort. The target strength of the unit was 480 men, consisting of 6 centuries with 80 men each.

Evidence for the presence of Cohors Sextae Nerviorum in Britain

  1. Military Diplomata 122AD
  2. Military Diplomata – 124AD (RIB 2401.6)
  3. Military Diplomata c AD126
  4. Great Chesters (RIB 1731 statue base).
  5. Rough Castle (RIB 2144 altar; 2145 139-61AD).
  6. Brough by Bainbridge (RIB 722 205-208AD; 724a/b; Notitia Dignitatum).