Inscription from Fortress Gate

Roman engraving - Yorkshire Museum, York

107AD - 108AD

This stone sat on one of the main gates of the Roman fortress.  It records the gate being built in about 107.  It must have been a very impressive gate because the dedication stone is the best example of letter carving found from Roman Britain. 

The message of the inscription also suggests its importance.  It would have read:

'The Emperor Caesar Nerva Trajan Augustus, son of the deified Nerva, Conqueror of Germany, Conqueror of Dacia, pontifex maximus, in his twelfth year of tribunician power, six times acclaimed emperor, five times consul, father of his country, built this gate by the agency of the 9th Legion Hispana.'

The Emperor's various titles were a standard formula, some came with the job, others were earned over the years.  At this point, for example, Trajan had been acclaimed emperor (or 'Imperator') six times, which meant he had six victorious military campaigns to his name.

The 9th Legion were the Legion that founded York.  They were replace by the 6th Legion in 120.  Its not known for sure what happened to the 9th, though there are traces of their presence in the Rhineland after 120.


  • Yorkshire Museum
    The stone is on permanent display at the Yorkshire Museum, York

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