NGRef: NT1976
OSMap: LR65/66
Type: Fort, Minor Settlement, Milestone, Camp

Roads
Probable Road: W (11) to Carriden (Carriden, Central)
Possible Road: E (10) to Inveresk (Lothian)
ESE (8) to Elginhavgh (Lothian)

There have been five Latin inscriptions on stone recovered from the Cramond environs and subsequently recorded in the R.I.B., four of which are shown and translated on this page, the remaining stone is too fragmentary to be of much use (RIB2136; not shown). Aside from the fort and settlement and probable harbour at Cramond in Edinburgh there are two temporary marching camps to the south, at Gogar Green and Millburn Tower (both NT1771), also a Roman milestone discussed below.

The Roman Military at Cramond

Legio Secundae Augusta - The Second Augustan Legion

LEG II AVG FECIT • IV • SΛ

"The Fourth Cohort of the Second Augustan Legion made this, (under the centurion) S... A..."

(RIB 2137)

Three of the inscribed stones found here mention Roman military units; the Second Legion Augusta, normally garrisoned in their fortress at Caerleon in South Wales, are mentioned on a damaged building inscription (vide RIB 2137 supra), and two auxiliary regiments, the Fifth Cohort of Gauls recruited from the various tribes of ancient France (RIB 2134 infra), also the First Cohort of Tungri from Lower Germany, here commanded by a legionary centurion (RIB 2135 etiam infra).

Cohors Quintae Gallorum - The Fifth Cohort of Gauls

I O M COH V GALL CVI PRAEEST L MINTHONIVS TERTVLLVS PRAEF V S L L M

"To Iuppiter Optimus Maximus,¹ the Fifth Cohort of Gauls commanded by the prefect Licius Monthonius Tertullus, willingly, gladly and deservedly fulfill their vow."

(RIB 2134; altarstone)

Cohors Primae Tungrorum - The First Cohort of Tungrians

MATRIB ALATERVIS ET MATRIB CAMPESTRIB COH I TVNGR INS VERS C ΛRMO LEG XX V V

"To the Alateruis Mothers and the Mother Goddesses of the Parade Ground, the First Cohort of Tungrians, on instructions from the master at arms¹ of the Twentieth Legion Valiant and Victorious."

(RIB 2135; altarstone)

  1. Based on the expansion C[ustos] Armo[rum], 'Master of the Armoury'. It would appear that this one-thousand strong infantry cohort was split between the forts here and at Castlecary (vide RIB 2155) on the Antonine Wall, with the Cramond contingent being commanded by a senior centurion on secondment from the Twentieth Legion, normally stationed at Chester.

The Dateable Pottery Evidence

There are two potter's marks recorded at Cramond which may be Flavian, one stamped OF IVCVN?, the other OF VALO. Occupation in the Antonine period is attested by the recovery of pottery bearing the stamps of seven potters who flourished during this period; there are single examples of; Aventinus Form 33, Cinnamus Form 37, Decuminus Form 18/31, Gratus Form 18/31, Maximinus Form 33, Su- Cer- Form 31, and one of Duppius of an unspecified type. Investigation of a road leading to the eastern gateway of the fort in 1982 uncovered in the kerbing an amphora-handle with the stamp SCIMNIANO dated c.A.D.160-210.

The Gods of Roman Cramond

Three of the inscribed stones recovered from Cramond are altarstones dedicated to various deities; to Jupiter by a prefect of Cohors V Gallorum (RIB 2134 supra), one to the Mother Goddesses (RIB 2135 supra) by a legionary centurion in command of Cohors I Tungrorum, and another to either Mercury or Mars by a soldier of unknown rank (Brit. 1978.15 infra).

D M CONDATI

"To the god Mercury¹, from Condatus."

(Brit. 1978.15)

  1. The initial two words of this inscription have here been expanded D[eo] M[ercurio], although the gods name may equally be Mars, Mogons, etc.
  2. The stone is reported to be an altar, but the inscription is also compatible with that which you might expect on a tombstone memorial, with the expansion D[is] M[anibus] CONDATI "To the spirits of the departed [and] Condatus".

The Newbridge Roman Milestone

A Roman milestone to the south-west of the Cramond settlement at Newbridge (NT1272), which is notable because it is one of only two recorded in the RIB for Scotland, the other being at Bar Hill on the Antonine Wall in Strathclyde (vide RIB 2312).

Cohors Primae Cugernorum - The First Cohort of Cugerni

IMP CAES T AEL HARD ANTONINO AVG PIO P P COS III ... COH I CVGERNOR TRIMONTI M P ...

"For Imperator Caesar itus Aelius Hadrianus Antoninus Augustus Pius, Father of the Fatherland, consul three times, [...] the First Cohort of Cugerni.¹ To Trimontium² [...] thousand paces."

(RIB 2313; milestone; dated: 140-144AD)

  1. Cohors Primae Cugernorum were a a five-hundred strong auxiliary infantry unit recruited from the Cugerni tribe of Lower Germany, who inhabited the lands between the Meuse and the Rhine, close neighbours of the Germanic tribes the Baetasii to the south and the Batavi in the north-west.
  2. Trimontium was the Roman name for the fort complex at Newstead in the Borders region of southern Scotland, which lay about thirty-six miles to the south-east of Cramond.
See: The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965);
The Roman Occupations of Scotland by B.R. Hartley in Britannia iii (1972) pp.1-55;
Britannia ix (1978) p.473 #15;
Chronology of the Ancient World by E.J. Bickerman (Thames & Hudson, London, 1980);
Britannia xiv (1983) p.289;
Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (Thames & Hudson, London, 1995);
All Latin-English translations, including any inherent mistakes, are my own.