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of Antiquities in the Royal Institution at Swansea. It bears the inscription, as given by Colonel Francis in his work on Neath and its Abbey:
M C PIA
The name of Victorinus recording one of the Thirty Tyrants of Rome, slain A.U.C. 1019. A number of coins of Victorinus was found at Gwindy, near Llansanlet, in June 1835. (Dillwyn's Swansea, p. 56; Numism. II, i, 132.)
A figure of the Boverton Stone appears in my Lapidarium Walliæ, Pl. 27, fig. 1, copied from a rubbing by Colonel Francis; also reproduced in Journ. Arch. Institute, iii, p. 275. It was probably erected by the Legion which happened to be at Boverton at the time of the usurpation of Victorinus in Gaul (A.D. 265, in the time of Gallienus), like those of his contemporary, Tetricus, of which all that are known are published in the Winchester Volume of the British Archæological Association, and are of the greatest rarity and interest.
There is also another Roman stone at Scethrog (half way between Llansaintfread and Llanhamlwch), where I found it in the hedge, on the west side of the road, half covered with moss and ivy. The first word is nearly obliterated; but I thought I made out the letters NEMNI, followed by FILIVS VICTORINI. (Lap. Wall., p. 57, Pl 32, fig. 7; and in Arch. Camb., 1851, p. 226.)
Oxford, 31 July 1890.
NOTICE OF A
NEWLY DISCOVERED INSCRIBED STONE ON WINSFORD HILL, EXMOOR.
BY PROFESSOR RHYS, M.A.
THIS stone was made known to Mr. Elton, the Member of Parliament for that part of Somerset, and the well known author of the work on the Origins of English History, by Mr. J. Lloyd W. Page, who has recently published an interesting volume on Exmoor and the Hill-Country of West Somerset, with notes on its archæology, together with maps and illustrations. Mr. Page alludes to the stone several times in his work, and has marked the site on his map. The spot is on Winsford Hill, two miles west of Winsford village, and five miles north-west of Dulverton.
I had been anxious for some months to see the stone, so it was not hard for Mr. Elworthy of Foxdown to prevail on me and Mrs. Rhys to accept his hospitality, and visit the neighbourhood of Wellington. At his house we met Mr. Elton, and we all went, on the 20th of August, to see the stone. From Dulverton our road lay mostly in the red deer district, and along the eastern banks of a pretty river called the Barle. This last name excited my curiosity greatly, and I should have been very glad to know if any ancient forms of it are known, for it presents a sort of mocking similarity to Belerion, the name given by Diodorus to the south-western peninsula of Britain.
When we reached the place where the stone should be, we found Mr. Page there waiting to show it to us. We were unfortunately somewhat pressed for time, as we had to make a part of our homeward journey by train. However, we had leisure enough to satisfy our
selves as to the reading of the inscription, which we made out to be
The top of the stone is fractured close behind the first c, and close to the perpendicular of the E; so I venture to think that here an N has disappeared with the lost piece of the stone, and that the whole was originally
The stone is described as Devonian rag, and it stands about a yard above the ground, inclining considerably towards the track or mountain-road near which it stands; but the inscribed face of the stone looks away from the road, and it is so rough that the rubbing which I took will scarcely, I fear, enable our artist to give a drawing of it.
As to the character of the letters, I may say that they are rudely cut; but the A is, as a rule, boldly cut, and tends to resemble the A with round top in the old inscriptions of Cornwall; and instead of a straight line connecting its limbs, we have, as it were, a v.
is the most rudely formed letter, and the P is not much better. The stroke over the second A, to make a conjoint AT, is deeply cut. The a following is less carefully made, and rather smaller in size than the other A's; the v is also decidedly smaller than the other letters. The only thing that created a difficulty to us was a sort of a tag to the right side of the first A, which suggested A with a small v conjoint with it. On the whole, however, we were unanimous in rejecting it, as being more probably no part of the writing.
I may add that since our visit to the stone, Mr. Elworthy has been to see it again, and this time he was accompanied by my friend and neighbour, Dr. Murray. They had more time than we had, and they used it in carefully cleaning the stone with a brush, and in taking a good squeeze of it. Dr. Murray has kindly shown me the squeeze, and I find that it very materially confirms the first reading. But I will say no more, as I do not wish to anticipate his own account.
As to the language of this interesting but too brief inscription, nepus for nepos will surprise no one who remembers the Margam Mountain Stone with its " pronepus Eternali Vedomavi." Then with regard to such a designation as Carataci Nepus, one cannot help seeing that the formula is highly Goidelic: in fact, we have only to translate it into Irish, and we have at once Ua Carthaigh, "the descendant of Carthach", Anglicised O'Carthy. Anybody who will take the trouble to turn the leaves of the Index to the Four Masters' Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, will find there several O'Carthys, some of whom have no other name given them in the text.
As a Brython I should like to claim the stone as marking the resting-place of a grandson of the great Caratacus who gave the Roman legions so much trouble; but I fear I must relinquish it as belonging to one of the Goidels who conquered parts of South Wales and Devonshire, in both of which they have also left Ogam inscriptions to commemorate their former
sway. The Bristol Channel must have served as their highway to the heart of western Britain.
To return to the name Caratacus. It is needless to say that scholars have now for years given up Caractacus as gibberish, and that the Celtic form may be surmised to have been Caratācos; which regularly makes in Welsh Caradawg or Caradog, and as regularly makes in Irish Carthach.
Lastly, there ought to be more inscriptions of this interesting class in Somersetshire, and it probably only requires for their discovery more men with eyes in their heads, like Mr. Page.