OSMap: LR154; B20.
Type: Town, Probable Fort
|NNE (28) to Denver (Downham West, Nordelph, Norfolk)
Ridgeway: ENE (28) to Camboritvm
SW (10) to Wimpole Lodge
SSE (13) to Great Chesterford
Via Devana: SE (20) to Wixoe (Suffolk)
The only classical reference to mention the Latin name for Cambridge is the Antonine Itinerary of the late-2nd century. In Iter V of this work, which documents "the route from Londinium to Luguvalium", the entry Duroliponte appears 25 miles from Camboritum (Lackford, Suffolk) and 35 miles from Durobrivae (Water Newton, Cambridgeshire).
The Via Devana ran south-east towards Camulodunum (Colchester) via a possible settlement and fort near Wixoe on the Stour; and north-west to Durovigutum (Godmanchester) where it terminated, the route northwards continuing via Ermine St. through Durobrivae (Water Newton) towards Lindum (Lincoln). The Iron-Age trackway known as the Ridgeway crossed the Via Devana about 8 miles south-east of Duroliponte, leading south-south-west 6 miles to the site of the Claudian fort at Great Chesterford, and north-east towards the settlement and possible fort at Camboritum (Lackford).
Another trackway led south-west to Wimpole Lodge probably continuing to Verulamium, and north-east through the marshy-fenlands which marked the eastern borders of the Iceni, towards the ancient settlement of Snettisham on the Metaris Aestuarium (The Wash).
From the positioning of other known fort sites in this area along Ermine St., being aware of the the Roman habit of leaving fortified garrisons around a days march distant along major routes, and lastly, the naming of the suburb of Chesterton on the north bank of the Cam, it can be reasonably assumed that Duroliponte started life as a civilian settlement next to a fort.
In spite of much excavation, nothing of military significance has been noted, which may mean either that the fort was actually sited south of the river, or that the garrison was soon withdrawn.
|D N FL IVL CRISPO NOB CAEES FL CONS TANTINI MAXIMI PII FILIO DIVI CONSTANTI PI NEPOTI|
"For our lord [Gaius] Flavius Julius Crispus, noble Caesar,¹ son of Flavius Constantinus Maximus Pius,² grandson of the divine Constantius Pius.³"
(RIB 2239; milestone; dated: 317-326AD)
Although no Latin text on stone is reported in the R.I.B. for Cambridge itself, a few Roman milestones or honorific pillars have been uncovered from the line of the Via Devana to the north and south of the settlement. Two pillars have been uncovered at Milton some three miles to the north, one of which was re-used and re-inscribed in ancient times and is now heavily damaged; the primary inscription reads ...R... AVG, "[...] the Augustus" (another name for the Emperor), while the secondary text reads NOBILISSI CAESAR "the most noble Caesar" (RIB 2236).
|IMP CAES FLA VAL CONSTANTINO PIO NOB CAES DIVI CONSTANTI AVG PII FILIO|
"Imperator Caesar Flavius Valerius Constantinus Pius, noble Caesar, son of the divine Constantius Augustus Pius."
(RIB 2237; milestone; dated: 306-307AD)
There are Romano-British potteries about 4 miles to the north-east at Waterbeach (TL4963) near the south-eastern end of the Car-Dyke, and another pottery kiln about 3½ miles along the Wixoe road to the south-east at Cherry Hinton (TL4855). There are also a number of substantial Roman buildings in the area; two to the north of the Cambridge settlement itself (at TL4560 & TL4561), and another at Comberton (TL3854) near the Roman barrow at Barton (TL3954) lies about 5 miles to the south-west, about half way along the road to the Wimpole Lodge settlement. Another large Romano-British building, possibly a villa, lay about 2½ miles further upstream along the Cam at Grantchester (TL4355).
Antonine itinerary: 5-7 Duroliponte