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Numerous relics of Roman antiquity have been found here, amongst them being a stone slab bearing the votive inscription: "To the Emperor Hadrian," which was used as a Communion table in the parish church in Camden's time. Samian and other pottery, Roman sandals, altars, coins of Nero, Vespasian, Faustina, and Severus, together with others of the Lower Empire, and gold and brass medals of Nero and Antoninus Pius have also been discovered on the site of the camp.

Other relics include a Roman altar, on the rim of which are the letters "D.M.I." On either side of the north door of the church are two fonts of great interest. That to the east consists of a circular basin, ornamented with a pattern similar to that which is found at Romaldkirk, and supported by a Roman altar with an illegible inscription.

As to the nature and constitution of the garrison we have conclusive evidence so far as concerns the later Roman period. In the Notitia Imperii, written early in the fifth century, and in which the various stations and their respective garrisons are given, is to be found the following: "Præfectus Numeri exploratorium Lavatris," i.e. the garrison of Lavatræ consisted of a detachment of scouts under the command of a Prefect.

Two altars record the presence of Thracians and Frisians at the Bowes camp, viz. the last cohort of the Thracians and the fourth cohort of the Frisians. Further, one of these altars

alludes to a cavalry cohort of Vettones.

Now, who were the Vettonians? They were a people of the Iberian peninsula, dwelling in what is now the Province of Salamanca between the rivers Douro and Tagus. They were renowned as horsemen. The Roman poet Lucian calls them, in the fourth book of his Pharsalia, "the swift Vettonians"; and Silius Italicus, in the third book of his Punica Bella, speaks of them and of the rare qualities of their horses, and of the marvellous manner in which, it was believed, the breed of their horses was maintained. They must have come into Britain at an early period, for they were in the possession of the privileges of Roman citizenship as early as A.D. 104. This is proved by what is known as the Malpas Diploma, in which they are mentioned. It will be observed that this fact entirely accords with the inscription of (Chyrs)ocomas. He is careful to note the distinction they enjoyed by the letters "C.R." The Vettonians are mentioned also in inscriptions discovered at Bath,

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here at Bowes, and near Brecon in Wales. The first and last are sepulchral memorials of dead members of the force. The one here (Bowes) is an altar erected to the goddess Fortune, by whom is not revealed; but it commemorates the fact that the baths at this station having been burned down were re-erected by the first cohort of the Thracians under the superintendence of the præfect of the cavalry of the ala of the Vettonians, Valerius Fronto by name. Bowes is not far from Vinovia, and Valerius Fronto had probably a talent for military architecture and engineering; or possibly he had a wider district under his military superintendence than that which would be furnished by Vinovia alone.

As to the presence of the Thracian and Frisian cohorts we have incontestable proof, as the latter were in camp here about A.D. 120. With regard to the actual presence of the Vettones we have no certain proof. Indeed there seemed to be cogent reasons for assuming that they were not in residence but were probably in another camp. At the same time it seems possible that they may have been at Bowes. Into this interesting question we shall enter more fully when we come to speak of the altar which describes the restoration of the bath after its destruction by fire.

Who the ancient Thracians were has been much disputed. Their language has perished utterly, but there seems no doubt that they were a branch of the Indo-European stock, and kinsmen more or less remote of the Greeks, though they were regarded by the Greeks as barbarians. They inhabited a mountainous region which includes the district between the Hæmus and the Propontis, and from the Nestus River (mod. Karasu) to the Euxine. Thrace never constituted one powerful monarchy, though at times the kings of one or other of the Thracian clans extended his power over a great part of the country so as to be formidable to the Athenian colonists or to Macedonian monarchs. During the early period of the Roman empire the Thracian kings were allowed to remain an independent sovereignty, while acknowledging the suzerainty of Rome. In order to prevent the incursion of the Thracians a wall was built across its isthmus, which was less than five miles in breadth. It was not until the reign of Vespasian (70-9) that the country was reduced to the form of a province.

The Thracians were a fierce and warlike people. Their horses and riders rivalled those of Thessaly. The Thracians

every evening before they slept threw into an urn a white pebble if the day passed agreeably, but if not a black one; and at their death by counting the pebbles their life was judged to have been happy or unhappy. As the Manes were supposed to be delighted with blood, various animals, especially such as the deceased had been fond of, were slaughtered at the pyre and thrown on it. Among the Thracians, widows were cast on to the pyres of their husbands.

The Thracians were great gladiators, and the Roman gladiators were divided into classes, and like the factions in the circus each of them had their partisans. The Emperor Domitian patronised the class called Mirmilions, and one day a poor citizen who was watching the gladiators fighting attempted to be witty. He was speaking in favour of the Thracian gladiators. He said "A Thracian may cope with the Mirmilions, but he will never be able to resist the power of him that protects his adversary." Domitian hearing this ordered the poor fellow to be seized and a label fastened to him on which was written, Impious abettor of Thracia," and then to be devoured by a set of furious mastiffs.

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If we inquire into the previous military history of the Frisians we find that early in the history of the Roman occupation of Britain they were present in this country in considerable numbers. Cohors Prima Frisiavonum " (the first Cohort of the Frisiavonians) is commemorated both in the Sydenham and the Riveling Diplomas and in inscriptions found in Manchester and in Derbyshire. We meet also with "Equites Frisiavonum" at Exeter and with Frisiavones" at Silchester. Camden mentions that an altar of which the inscription is given below was found at Bowes. Unfortunately its present whereabouts is unknown, and also the date of its first removal; but Camden (1599) refers to it as "an ancient large stone in the church, and sometimes used by them as an altar not long ago." Hübner gives the inscription as follows:

Im[p(eratori)] Cæsari divi Traiani [Parthici f(ilio)], divi Nervæ nepoti, Traia[no Hadria]no Aug (usto), pontifici maxi[mo tr(ibunicia) pot(estate). . . . ], co(n)s(uli) I(II) p(atri) p(atriæ), coh(ors) IIII F... [sub Iulio Sev[ero? leg(ato) Aug(usti) p(ro)

pr(ætore)], curante.

Without going into details it will be necessary here only to say that this shows that the fourth cohort of the Frisians was stationed at Bowes during the reign of Hadrian (117-38).

This is probably the only reference to the presence of the Frisians.

As regards the Thracians, we have the evidence of two altars. The first of these, though really found at Bowes was apparently seen at Appleby by Horsley (1732), since which time it has disappeared. Camden gives the inscription as :

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Horsley, however, read the first line as but this alteration does not affect the case, for although the altar decides the fact of the presence of Thracians, it altogether fails to give us any clue to the time in which it was dedicated. Frontinus may have been a prefect or other officer of the cohort, but we learn nothing else.

In 198 A.D. the Picts saw there was an opportunity for them to make a raid on the fair province of the south, which had been left defenceless because the troops had been drawn away to the continent to fight in a quarrel between Severus and Albanius, who had been governor of Britain, and wanted now to clutch the crown of Cæsar. So they came swarming over the Roman Wall and wasted the land with spear and fire. Severus settled with Albanius in a great battle near Lyons, was made emperor, and then hearing of the wild work these Picts were doing he sent Virius Lupus over speedily with troops to drive them north again and put a stop to the devastation. But Lupus

was not the man for the time. He tried gold where steel was the true currency, bought their prisoners from them instead of cutting cords with his sword, and this led them naturally to the conclusion that he was afraid to fight. There was some years of this paltering, seven or eight, during which things went from bad to worse, and Lupus wrote to his Emperor and told him they had broken into revolt and were making havoc again far and near. Would he not then send some troops or come himself and see to it once and for all?

Severus came over in 207, and though he was getting into years and had the gout he cleared the land of the raiders in short time, but at a cost it is said of 50,000 of his men, and then retired to York quite worn out to die in 211. The following is the inscription found on the stone at Ilkley :—

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Emperor Severus Augustus and Antoninus Cæsar-elect restored under the care of Virius Lupus their legate Pro Prætor. This stone found at Ilkley tells us that Lupus restored the station for the use of the first Thracian Cohort.

The most important altar that has been discovered at Bowes is stated by Camden to have been removed to Connington by Sir Richard Cotton, and is now preserved at Trinity College, Cambridge, Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (Hübner). The inscription of this altar is:




















Which expanded is :

Deæ Fortunæ Virius Lupus Leg (atus) Aug(usti) Pr(o) Pr(ætore) Balineum Vi Ignis Exustum Coh (ors) Prima Thracum Restituit Curante Val(erio) Frontone Præf (ecto) Eq(uitum) Alæ Vetto(num).

The "ala Vettonum" was apparently stationed at Vinnovium (Binchester) in Durham, to which a road led from Lavatræ by way of Barnard Castle (xlviii, J.A.A., 132).

This inscription establishes the fact that the bath had been destroyed by fire; that it was restored by the first cohort of the Thracians; and that the altar itself was dedicated as a memorial of its restoration during the time when Virius Lupus was the Legate of Augustus (196-202). Thus the date is settled. It tells us that the restoration was carried out under the care of Valerius Fronto, prefect of horse of the Ala Vettonum. The name of this governor, Virius Lupus, Bailey states is only met with in Britain twice, at Bowes and Ilkley, both in connection with a restoration.

This altar advances no proof that the Vettones were actually in camp at the time. With a strong first cohort in camp, was it necessary to have a cavalry cohort as well? Granting that this was necessary, the case would be that Valerius Fronto would make periodical visits to Bowes during the progress of the work so as to be assured that his instructions were being

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