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Cohors Secundae Gallorum

The Second Cohort of Gauls

The Second Cohort of Gauls were a part-mounted unit levied from the various Gallic tribes of central and northern France, and are mentioned on four inscriptions on stone recovered from Old Penrith. Three of the stones can be dated and prove that this unit were stationed at the fort from at least 178AD to c.249. Five military diplomas naming this unit in Britain are variously dated from 122AD (CIL xvi.69) until 178 (RMD 184). It would appear that Coh II Gallorum came to Britain in the train of the emperor Hadrian, and were removed following the dissolution of the Gallic Empire in 274AD - evidently due to their pro-Gallic views - during which entire period they were seemingly garrisoned in the fort at Old Penrith in Cumbria, known to the garrison unit as Voreda.

The unit is not recorded anywhere else in Britain, but an undated altarstone has been found at Piacenza in Italy, which appears to have been transported back from Voreda by the prefect Lucius Naevius Verus Roscianus, presumably after he had retired from military service because he wished to be reminded of his old unit, also likely because the stone had cost him a lot of money.

Evidence for the Cohort in Britain

  1. Burn 100; CIL XVI.65; military diploma dated July 17th 122AD.
  2. L'Année Épigraphique 1997.1779b; diploma dated c.126AD.
  3. L'Année Épigraphique 1997.1001; diploma dated 27th February 158AD.
  4. Old Penrith (RIB 915 altar 244-249AD; et 916 altar; et 917 altar 178AD).