Roman Altar, Manchester Museum

Contributed by The Manchester Museum

Roman altar in the Manchester Gallery at the Manchester Museum. Copyright: The Manchester Museum

One of only three altars to survive from Roman Manchester and the first inscription to be found since the 19th century.The Roman altar was set up by a man called Aelius Victor in honour of the mother goddesses of a Germanic tribe, the Cannanefates, who lived at the mouth of the River Rhine. He is very likely to have been a German who was recruited into the Roman army and posted to the Roman fort of Mamucium (Manchester) perhaps some time in the 2nd century AD. Unfortunately he doesn't give his rank or the name of the regiment with which he was serving. Aelius Victor must have made a vow to the mother goddesses to erect an altar in their honour if he arrived safely. The altar turned up buried face down in a rubbish pit when the site of a former garage was being excavated by Pre-Construct Archaeology in 2008. This inscription tells us about the diverse peoples who lived and worked in Manchester 2000 years ago.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.