Roman slab of the Twentieth Legion

Contributed by The Hunterian

Roman slab of the Twentieth Legion

This slab was found near Castle Hill Roman Fort, and was picked by Helen Green, third year student at the University of Glasgow (Single Honours Archaeology). Helen writes - The abbreviated inscription translates as 'For Emperor Caesar Titua Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, father of his country, a detachment of the Twentieth Valiant and Victorious Legion built [this] over a distance of 3,000 feet'. The slab marks the completion of 3,000 feet of the Antonine wall by the Twentieth Legion - a testament to their labour, as well as marking the distance. In the centre, under what appears to be a triumphal arch, is a female figure who is probably either the goddess Victory or a personification of the Roman province Britannia. She is placing a small wreath onto the eagle held by the legion's standard-bearer, portrayed in a humble posture suggesting he is in the presence of divinity. At either side are defeated natives, with bound hands. At the bottom is a jumping boar, the badge of the Twentieth Legion, symbolising the courage and fierceness of its soldiers. I like this artefact because it shows great skill in sculpture and sophisticated symbolism.

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Antonine Wall


second century AD


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