NGRef: NZ0813
OSMap: LR92
Type: Fort, Minor Settlement

Roads
SE (8) to Carkin Moor
SE (13) to Cataractonivm
Itinera II et V: W (5.5) to Lavatris

There are ten Latin inscriptions recorded on stone in the R.I.B. for the Greta Bridge fort and settlement; four altarstones, two building-stones and four tombstones. In addition, a Roman milestone or honorific pillar has been recovered from the roadside near the settlement. The texts of all these stones are shown and translated below.

The Religion of Roman Greta Bridge

Altar Dedicated to a Local Nymph

DEΛE NYMPHΛE NEINE BRICΛ ET IΛNVARIΛ FIL LIBENTES EX VOTO SOLVERVNT

"To the goddess the nymph Neine, Brica and Januaria her daughter, freely [set this up], the result of a vow fulfilled."

(RIB 744; altarstone)

There are four Roman altarstones from Greta Bridge, all recovered during the 18th century. The first to be discovered was an altar dedicated to a local nymph found in 1702 near the centre of the fort but unfortunately now lost (RIB 744). In 1727 an altarstone to an unknown god was found just east of the confluence of the Greta with the Tees about ¼-mile east of Rokeby, within the ruins of a shrine (RIB 745), now also. Finally, in 1763 two altarstones to the god Mars were reported, probably originating from Greta Bridge but possibly from the fort at Birdoswald, both now kept at Rokeby Hall (RIB 742 et 743).

Dedication to an Unknown God

ONI RTS SEI ...ELLINVS B F COS PROVINCIE SVPERIOR V S L L M

"[...]ellinus, Beneficiarius to the consular governor of the superior province [of Britain], willingly, freely and deservedly fulfilling a vow."

(RIB 745; altarstone)

Two Altarstones to the Roman God of War

DEO MARTI ENEMNOGENVS ARAM POSVIT VOTVM SOLVIT PRO SE ET SVIS M DEO MARTI
"For the god Mars, Enemnogenus has placed this altar in deserved fulfillment of a vow, for himself and his family." "For the god Mars"

(RIB 742; sandstone altar; restored)

(RIB 743; altar)

Roman Building Inscriptions from Greta Bridge

Dedication to Emperor Severus and his Sons Caracalla and Geta

IMPP CAESS L SEP SEVERO PIO PERT ET M AVR ANTONINO PIO AVGG ET [P SEPT GETAE]¹ NOB CAES SVB CVRA L ALFENI SENECIONIS LEG EORVM PR PR

"For the emperors, the August Caesars, Lucius Septimius Severus Pius Pertinax and Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Pius, and [Publius Septimius Geta], noble Caesar, under the supervision of Lucius Alfenus Senecio, their pro-praetorian legate."

(RIB 746; sandstone ansate slab; dated: 205-8AD)

  1. The fratricidal emperor Caracalla ordered that his younger brother's name be erased from every official monument in the Empire after he had personally stabbed him to death before their own mother at Rome in December AD211; the two sons of Septimius Severus had ruled semi-peacably together for only 10 months.

Two building inscriptions have been recovered from Greta Bridge, both discovered in 1792 near the north gateway of the fort; an ansate slab dated to the beginning of the 3rd century, now in the Bowes Museum (RIB 746); also part of an inscribed slab, now lost (RIB 747).

Inscription Recording the Name of a Possible Governor of Britain

...IING POSI ...HOEVMOLLINI ...ILABS SVB CVRA ...> LEG VI VIC ...O ST VRBANVS ...PERIORIS ...CITRA ...EM

"[...] collapsed, under the direction of [...] centurion of the Sixth 'Victorious' Legion [...] Ostorius? Urbanus [... governor? of Britannia Su]perior [...] within [...]"

(RIB 747; right side of slab)

Roman Tombstones from Greta Bridge

Tombstone Recovered from Greta Bridge in 1873

D M S //MΛTIEREIVS VIXIT...

"To the shades of the departed Matiereius who lived ..."

(RIB 751; tombstone with bust)

Four tombstones have been recovered from the area, three of them just north-east of the fort in 1763 and another which surfaced in 1873 somewhere at Greta Bridge. The texts of all these stones have been preserved by antiquarians but their physical remains are now lost.

Tombstones Found North-East of the Fort in 1763

Inscription Togo-Translation RIB
D M AVRELIVS ROMVL... VS EMERITVS EX DEC VIXIT ANNIS LX "To the shades of the departed Aurelius Romulianus? a retired veteran soldier, an ex decurion who lived for sixty years." 748
...VICI... AVRELIAE ROMANA ET SABINA FILIE PATRI PIENTISSIMO ET RARISSIMO FACIENDVM CVR MRI CARINIMORRFMPIA "...of the town... Aurelia Romana and Sabina her sister oversaw the making of this for their most exceptional and dutiful father ..." 749
D M S SALVIΛ DONΛTΛ VIXSIT ΛN VIII M I "To the shades of the departed Salvia Donata who lived eight years one month." 750

Milestone from Greta Bridge

IMPP DD N GALLO ET VOLVSIANO AVGG

"For the emperors our lords Gallus and Volusianus¹ the Augusti."

(RIB 2279; milestone; dated: 251-253AD)

  1. Imperator Caesar Gaius Vibius Trebonianus Gallus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus was proclaimed Augustus in June 251AD upon the death of emperor Decius in battle against the Goths. He and his son, Gaius Vibius Volusianus, ruled jointly until they were both murdered by their own soldiers in camp at Interamna, 50 miles north of Rome, August 253.
See: The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965).
All translations, including any inherent mistakes, are my own.