Domi trans mare Vindolandae. At home across the sea at Vindolanda

Kerry Peadon

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-75
Number of pages39
JournalAncient history : resources for teachers
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Publisher version archived with the permission of the Editor, Ancient History : resources for Teachers, Macquarie Ancient History Association, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia. This copy is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission to reprint/republish this version for other uses must be obtained from the publisher.


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