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so rudely indeed as to suggest that the workmen were illiterate. The plainness of the larger slabs may be accounted for by their having formed parts of large structures, in which ornament had been applied to the architectural features only, while in the minor tombs both ornament and epitaph were cut on a single stone.
There was a manifest sequence in the finds: not only were many fragments of each structure near each other, but the stones were found in sets, possibly showing that there had been some classified arrangement in the interments. For instance, most of the stones first discovered belonged to tombs of infantry soldiers of the 20th legion, and among them was a tablet to the prefect of the camp. Nearly at the same time and place, several monuments to females were found; but among the early "finds" there was no tablet to any of the equites or cavalry. Afterwards, however, several of these were discovered within a short time of each other. Still later, a tablet to a soldier of the 2nd auxiliary legion was found, and, owing to the rarity of such memorials, excited much interest. Soon afterwards five other inscriptions were found, commemorating men of the same legion. Nearly all of these showed round-headed panels for the inscription, and little ornament. The forms of the tablets of the 20th legion were varieties of pedimented or square-headed stones.
These peculiarities—together with distinct signs of decadence in art, noticeable in the style of the sculptures, and that some of the stones were much worn, whilst others were quite fresh—seem to show that these monuments had been erected not only according to some classified plan, or in some sequence, but that, in point of date, they extend over a considerable portion of the Roman occupa
A very long and hot debate has been carried on regarding the age of the wall into which these stones were built as masonry, and whether the Romans themselves so used them, and at what date. This will not be discussed in the present paper, except as regards the evidence of a single stone. The date of most of the stones is conjectural, few of the inscriptions found furnishing any positive clue to it. The stone above mentioned is a large heavy slab, with a round-headed tablet, inscribed G1vvent1vs Ccla Cap1to, who is supposed to have been a man of the 2nd auxiliary legion. This legion was in Britain during the reign of Hadrian, and appears to have garrisoned Chester while the 20th was absent during the building of Hadrian's great north wall. This stone bears evidence in itself of having been used by the Romans as a walling stone. It has at each end sockets for wood dowels, cut for the purpose of securing the stone in a wall built without mortar, which have been made subsequent to the carving of the stone, for they partly cut into the inscription. In the next place, we learn from the condition of this stone that it must have been used as a walling stone very late on in the Roman occupation, and near the time of the withdrawal from Britain. The top and both edges of the stone are greatly weathered and channeled, results which could hardly have been produced in less than a century of exposure. This weathering certainly did not take place while the stone was built into a wall, but while it was standing detached from any building; otherwise it would not be weathered on three sides as it is. The dowel holes have been cut in it subsequently to the weathering. Construction of this kind is usual with Roman masonry when set dry; this stone, therefore, was made to serve for some late Roman building. The building in which it was thus used was assuredly not any part of the wall now standing, which I know is by many considered to be Roman work, and standing in situ. Were this the case, the doweled stones, of which large numbers were found, would lie with their dowel holes in juxtaposition. This, however, was not so; the stones of the wall— whether carefully laid, as some were, or roughly tumbled in, as the greater part appear to have been —did not retain their original setting; the dowel holes, and the lewis holes for hoisting, did not correspond to one another as they should have done, had they been in situ, but were separated and placed in all directions. The wear acquired by the single stone referred to above, during the short period which elapsed between its being set up as a monument in the reign of Hadrian and the time at which it was re-used by the Romans who cut the dowel holes, proves the impossibility of any stone of this class remaining sound during an exposure of 1500 years, if exposed. Whatever the date of the interior of the north wall of Chester may be, its exterior was unquestionably refaced at a very recent period, some of the stones used still showing the tool marks. Hence from this one stone we gather a fund of information about Roman Deva, far beyond the simple record of its inscription. If equal care had been taken to mark all the minor particulars of the excavations, and had free access been given to them during their progress, fewer disputes would have occurred.
Turning to the consideration of the sculptures themselves, one is struck by the large proportion of these that bear more than one inscription, and that consist of two or more figures, which latter class was particularly numerous among the earlier finds. One stone bears two figures, and the hands of a third that stood behind them remain on the shoulders of each. Some, which bear two figures, have the inscription to one person only, this being the case with the large fine stone, in excellent condition, erected to M. Aurelius Nepos by his wife, where a space left for the name of the latter has never been filled up. Two figures, and one epitaph, and a blank panel occur in the memorial to Domitia Saturnina. On the other hand, some stones are inscribed to two or more persons, and the appearance of the lettering indicates that they were commemorated together and had died at the same time. One tombstone bears inscriptions to four slaves or servants. Those to Voconoe and Nigrania [Plate C, fig. 8], and to two children, seven and three years of age [Plate A, fig. 3] are of this character. It is difficult to account for these joint memorials, especially as they are less frequent in the case of soldiers, who might have died in battle, than in that of women, children, and slaves. It is possible that they mark either times of pestilence, or of persecution: Plate C, fig. 8, may show signs of the latter, for it does not contain the usual heathen dedication to the Gods the Shades, and shows one of the figures laying on an altar, as an offering, the circle symbolising the round or wheel of life, while from the altar issue three flames; near to the two names are the letters Ctor, which may read "Victor"; so that this monument may possibly have been set up in memory of Christians. But, so far, no undoubted trace of a Christian monument or inscription has yet been found among these relics. One tombstone, consisting of a large slab with a separate pediment, was found fully finished, but without any trace of inscription on the tablet, and it had never contained one. This would indicate a not uncommon practice among the