Stage 28: Imperium. Interpreting the Evidence: Our Knowledge of Roman Britain. Interpreting the Evidence: Our Knowledge of Roman Britain. There are three ways we learn about the Roman occupation of Britain: 1) literary evidence: what the Greeks and Romans wrote about Britain
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Interpreting the Evidence:
Our Knowledge of Roman Britain
1) literary evidence: what the Greeks and Romans wrote about Britain
2) archaeological evidence: what archaeologists have discovered from excavations
3) inscriptional evidence: inscriptions in Latin (and sometimes Greek) from tombstones, altars, public buildings, and monuments, and from private objects such as writing tablets, defixiones, etc.
tell us about Roman
Britain: Julius Caesar’s
account of his brief mission to the southeast coast of Britain in 55 BC and his return in greater force the following year when he stormed the fortress of a British king and Tacitus’ biography of his father in law, Agricola. Much of this account is based on his career in the army and his campaigns as the governor of the province.
Mosaic from Fishbourne Palace
L LICINIUS L F
LEG XX VV ANVL
H S E
1. The dedication at the top –D M – abbreviation for Dis Manibus (to the spirits of the departed)
2. The praenomen. The first of the citizen’s three names and is abbreviated-L-Lucius
3. The nomen. Always in full-Licinius
4. The father’s name. An abbreviated letter before an F (for filius). Here-L F- Lucii filius
5. Tribe. Roman citizens were a member of one of 35 tribes used for voting and abbreviated. Here-TER-for Teretina.
6. The cognomen. Last of the three names, given in full-Valens.
7. Birthplace. A town in the Roman empire, ARE is Arelate (modern Arles in the south of France)
8. Rank and legion. Both abbreviated-VETERAN for veteranus (a retired soldier or one about to retire)); LEG XX VV for legionis XX Valeriae Victricis (20th Legion Valeria Victrix)
9. Age. Represented by an AN or ANN for annorum followed by a number, usually rounded to a multiple of 5. Sometimes VIX is included for lived before the AN
10. Length of service. Represented by STIP followed by a number, e.g. STIP X for stipendia X (ten years experience)
11. The final statement. Abbreviated and usually H S E for hic situs est (is buried here) or H F C for heresfaciendum curavit (his heir had this stone set up)
L(UCIUS) LICINIUS L(UCII) F(ILIUS)
LEG(IONIS) XX V(ALERIAE) V(ICTRICIS) AN(NORUM) V L
H(IC) S(ITUS) E(ST)
This stone is dedicated to the spirits of the departed. Lucius Licinius Valens,
son of Lucius, of the Teretine tribe, from Arelate, veteran of the Twentieth
Legion Valeria Victrix, aged 45, is buried here.