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the last century B.C., we find the Suebi on the middle or lower Rhine fighting with Cæsar, Augustus (who transferred some to the west bank), and his successors, including Domitian. In the fourth and following centuries we find the Suebi, or other tribes with the same name, on the upper Rhine and in the Swabian land, which still bears their name, closely associated with the Alemanni and Burgundians.4 But the intervening period is a blank. We have, indeed, the mentions of Ptolemy and Tacitus, who use the name in a very vague and comprehensive way, and we have the statements that Marcus Aurelius, about A.D. 165, and Aurelian, more than a century later, fought against Suebi, but neither notice can be relied on. Epigraphically we are little better off. An altar Matribus Suebis was erected at Deutz, the bridgehead of Cologne in A.D. 223,6 and a Suebe served in the ' Equites singulares’ at a period which must be later than A.D. 120. Otherwise the Suebi, at least under this name, are alike unknown to Roman history and the Roman army, and their appearance on the Lanchester altar is notable. It is possible that they may have been recruited as a result of the wars with Germans waged shortly before Gordian's reign. The policy of setting an invader to catch an invader was, indeed, as yet but half known to the Romans, but Marcus Aurelius had despatched conquered Sarmatians to Britain, and they had formed a regiment there. However a recent suggestion due to prof. Zangemeister (Neue Heidelberger Jahrbücher, iii. (1893) pp. 1-16) affords a more attractive solution. A tombstone found at Aubigny in France mentions a cives Sueba Nicreti who must undoubtedly have been a Roman subject, and prof. Zangemeister conjectures that the civitas S.N., mentioned on several milestones found near Heidelberg, ought to be read in full civitas

* The first mention is in the list appended to the provincial catalogue of A.D. 297, as Müllenhoff has pointed out (Abhandlungen der k.k. Berliner Akademie, 1862, 489 foll.), comparing Ammian xvi. 10. In the Notitia, Sueri laeti et gentiles appear as settled in France and seemingly used freely for army purposes (Occid. Ixii. 34, Mommsen, Hermes, xxiv. 251), but this was not earlier than A.D. 296, and probably much later. See R. Much, Deutsche Stammsitze (Paul and Braune's Beiträge, xvii.) Halle, 1892.

5 M. Aureli Philosophi vita Capitol. 22, Eutrop. viii. 13; Aureliani vita Vopisc. 18. It is difficult with these writers to tell the exact sense sense, traditional or other, in which the name is used.

6 Ihm, No. 289. Two other altars Matribus Suebis have been found at Cologne and Crefeld (Ihm, No. 273, Westd. Correspondenz-blatt, 1890, 147) but neither can be dated.

? Eph. iv. 935. Mommsen refers this Suebe to the Mattiaci near Mainz (Hermes, xvi. 549, note). The meaning of Subus in Eph.iv. 892, 27, is unknown.

Sueborum Nicretum. In that case, we have material to prove that a community of Suebi, called Nicretes, existed on the Neckar near Heidelberg, during the whole of the second and a large part of the third centuries, and we may suppose that our Lanchester Suebes, as well as the eques singularis mentioned above, were recruited hence.

(5) Lon · Gor · give in abbreviated form the namesof the station, and of the reigning emperor. Lon. may possibly belong to the Longovicium of the Notitia (Occ. xl. 30), but we do not know where that was, and on phonetic grounds it may as well have been at LanCaster as at Lanchester. I think Dr. Hübner was rash in putting the former down in the Corpus as the site of Longovicium, but I confess that I cannot even now see any convincing reason for deciding between the two places, and I must perforce remain like Buridan's ass between the two attractions. Gor is, of course, Gordianorum.' It justifies our supplying Gordiani in the third and fourth lines, while the nomenclature, as a whole, justifies our regarding the Suebes as a separate regiment. This nomenclature, indeed, of tribal name, station, and emperor's name is common in the third century. I have quoted above two instances from Africa; there are others in Britain. Cuneus Frisionum Aballavensium Philipp(ianorum) (Papcastle, A.D. 244-9;

Lapid. Sept. 907, C.I.L. vii. 415 = Eph. iii. p. 130. I have satisfied myself, from squeezes sent me by Mr. J. M. Brydone, that this is the

correct reading)." Numerus) explorator(um) Brem(eniensium) Gor(dianorum) (High Ro

chester ; Lapid. sept. 551, 552, C. vii. 1030, 1037.) N(umerus) eq(uitum) Sar[matarum] Bremetenn(acensium) Gordianus (Rib

chester, C. vii. 218)." * It may be as well to add that the name Longovicus, which has been quoted in this context, is a wholly imaginary form.

9 Vexillatio. . . Gordianorum or Gordiana are equally possible and the difference is immaterial. For the first compare Lapid. Sept. 552, C.I.L. vii. 1030, viii. 2716; for the second, Lapid. Sept. 22, C.I.L. vii. 218, 510, Eph. v. 1017.

10 It follows that Aballara is Papcastle, an identification which suits well its frequent juxtaposition with Uxellodunum (Mary port). Seeck's idea that it is the Galara of Iter x. is impossible if the Itinerary distances are even remotely correct. The great difficulty with the Notitia may, I think, be best solved by supposing that, after dmboglanna (Birdoswald) several names of stations per lineam ralli have dropped out and are now irretrievably lost. Chancellor Ferguson's idea (Cumberland, p. 55) is that the writer of the Notitia had the northern defences in two halves and begins the western half at the western instead of the eastern end. This is ingenious, and suits Uxellodunum and Aballava, but it does not in the least suit, c.g., Bremeten.


A lacuna seems to me the best and simplest solution. 11 It follows that Bremetennacum Ribchester, and this suits the Itinerary quite as well as any other route (Watkin, Lancashire, p. 25).

Dr. Hübner




It remains only to comment on the inscription as a whole. It is a curious fact, to which I have elsewhere alluded, that we have in Northern Britain no scarcity of inscriptions belonging to the second quarter of the third century, the reigns of Alexander and Gordian III. These were reigns of comparative order and organization, when, as historians tell us, statesmen looked after the frontiers, built fortresses, and provided, by landgrants and other means, for the strengthening of the frontier troops. They were, at least on the Continent, the last periods of peace before the deluge : in the middle of this third century the barbarians began finally to beat down the defences, and the local rule of the Thirty Tyrants arose. The inscriptions of Alexander and Gordian III. in Britain show that there, too, danger was apprehended; they shew us also that the defences were not based solely on the lines of Wall but on the fortified roads like Watling street that goes past Binchester, Lanchester, and Ebchester, to Risingham and High Rochester. Whether the Wall of Antonine was still occupied at this period is uncertain. It is, at least, significant that the Itinerary stops at High Rochester, and that this is the last point northwards where we find epigraphic traces of Roman occupation under Gordian. This striking correspondence between the inscriptions and the Itinerary can hardly be an accident, and is worth mentioning here as a further proof of the importance of the road at this period. 12

(C. vii. p. 58) puts Coccium at Ribchester, but without and against evidence. The Notitia (Occ. xl. 54) gives cuneus Sarmatarum Bremetennaco; the inscriptions give numerus or ala, the latter used wrongly (like ala exploratorum Pomariensium in Africa, C. viii. 9906). The squadron was first formed out of Aurelius's conquered Sarmatae (Dio lxxi. 16) about A.D. 175.

12 Postscript. Since writing the above, I have seen two articles by pro Hübner (Westdeutsches Korrespondenzblatt, 1893, nro. 97) and Dr. Hooppell (Illustrated Archaeologist, i. p. 121). Dr. Hooppell's objection to the explanation given above of Lon, is based on other Lanchester inscriptions which mention a Cohors I. L. Gor., but L. here (as another inscription shows) denotes Lingones and has nothing to do with our Lon. Dr. Hübner notes das in der Luft schwebende pro salute. I cannot help thinking that, if any part of the inscription is strictly ungrammatical, it is solverunt, which has no nominative unless we expand the final M into milites. But there are many epigraphic parallels for the absence of a nominative to a verb in such a case.

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By SHERITON HOLMES. [Read on the 26th May, 1886, but since rewritten and added to.] At the present time when the question of the relative ages of the Roman Wall, the vallum, and other works which stretch across England from the river Tyne to the Solway, and in the reign of which of the Roman emperors these gigantic works were executed, is occupying afresh the attention of antiquaries, I have thought that a more careful study of the passage of the North Tyne river demands attention, and that an elucidation of the works erected there might be of advantage as forming a key to unlock the hitherto unsolved problem. With a view to this I have taken careful notes of what remains of the works, and have availed myself of the drawings of the bridge-pier plans accompanying Mr. Clayton's paper on the Roman bridge.?

Until recently it seemed as though these questions had been definitely decided and set at rest upon the authority of such eminent writers as the rev. John Hodgson, Mr. John Clayton, and the rev. Dr. Bruce, but closer investigation into the facts has reopened the whole question and tends to upset many of the conclusions previously drawn.

Where the line of the Roman works crosses the North Tyne river there are the remains of two bridges, both of them eridently of Roman construction. The later one consisted of an abutment at each end and three water piers, thus giving four water bays or openings of thirtyfive feet six inches span. The parallel faces of the abutment and the piers are twenty-one feet six inches long and the breadth across the piers sixteen feet. The piers are flat-ended on the down-stream side but have starlings or cut-waters on the upper side. The eastern abutment has had very long and massive wingwalls, the southern one having been lengthened considerably, doubtless to provide against a set of the current tending to carry away the river's bank at its

1 Arch. Ael. (N.S.) vol. vi, p. 80.

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