Archive for April 11th, 2008

A Roman soldier’s altar in Britain

Friday, April 11th, 2008

His name was Aelius Victor and he was probably from Germania somewhere. He made his goddesses a promise that he’d build them altar and so he did. Now, 2000 years later, it’s been found in excellent condition.

A Latin inscription on the altar says: “To the mother goddesses Hananeftis and Ollototis, Aelius Victor willingly and deservedly fulfils a vow.”[…]

Evidence suggests it may have been constructed in the latter part of the first century AD and later discarded, as it was found on top of an ancient rubbish pit.

The existence of a number of pits and ditches in the area suggest it was cleared for farming use.

This is only the second time an artifact that actually names a Roman soldier stationed in Manchester has been found. The first time was 400 years ago, and the last time archaeologists found a stone inscription of any kind in the area was 150 years ago.

Incidentally, if I had been that farmer, I would have found something to do with the altar besides dumping it, but then again, it wouldn’t be in such great condition today if he had.

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