Roman inscribed gravestone from Scotland

Contributed by The Hunterian

Roman inscribed gravestone from Scotland

This is the gravestone of Ammonius, a centurion in the First Cohort of Spaniards in the Roman army, who died in Scotland almost two thousand years ago. The inscription reads "To the spirits of the departed Ammonius, son of Damio, centurion of the First Cohort of Spaniards, of 27 years service. His heirs had this erected". Professor Keppie of the Hunterian Museum notes that the name is oriental or north African in origin. This is testament to the multicultural nature of Roman Scotland with members of the army coming from every corner of the Roman world. Ammonius' long service is also notable. Professor Keppie explains that the normal length of service in the Roman army was 25 years, but soldiers who were promoted to centurions could serve for much longer. We can only imagine the battles, travels and amazing adventures experienced by Ammonius during his lifetime.

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  • 1. At 00:22 on 21 October 2012, Antonio Ruiz-Ruiz wrote:

    First Cohort of Spaniards , but What Legion???

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  • 2. At 14:51 on 11 February 2013, Martin wrote:

    Hi Antonio,
    This individual would have been serving in an Auxillary cohort and therefore would not have belonged to a legion. Auxillaries provided most of the on-the-ground duties of frontier policing and the individuals who served in the auxillary regiments were at this time usually, though not always recruited fairly local to the regiments station at any given time. Auxillary troops only received citizenship on completion of their period of service; 25 years. The solidiers in the legions on the other hand were already citizens as this was the key qualifier for entry to legionary service at the time.


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Ardoch Roman camp


second century AD


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