In circa AD 100 Flavius Cerialis, prefect of the Ninth Cohort of Batavians at Vindolanda, concludes a letter seeking military preferment, thus: "haec tibi a Vindolanda scribo ... hiberna ...." Little did he know that his correspondence would be retrieved from a partially burnt rubbish pile (preserved thanks to the British weather) adjacent to his praetorium in 1973 (and later years): to be voted (in 2003) as the most significant of the British Museum's 'Top Ten Treasures' of British origin. This archaeological treasure trove reveals an insight into the formative phase of the northern frontier of Britannia in the previous 'Dark Period', dating from the end of Agricola's governorship (AD 84) to the establishment of Hadrian's Wall in c. AD 122. The Vindolanda tablets not only provide a vignette of military, economic and social life on the northern frontier but also reflect the Romanization and Latinity of north-west Gaul. The letters, accounts and dispatches reveal that there was a literary military establishment at Vindolanda within a decade of Agricola's conquest of northern Britain.
|Number of pages||39|
|Journal||Ancient history : resources for teachers|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|