NGRef: SU1217
OSMap: LR184
Type: Roman Villa
NNE (7) to Sorviodvnvm
SSW (14) to Vindocladia

Inscription of the Emperor Carinus from Rockbourne


"For Marcus Aurelius Carinus, noble Caesar.ยน"

(RIB 98; dated: 282-283AD)

  1. The evil emperor Carinus, full names: Imperator Caesar Marcus Aurelius Carinus Pius Felix Invictus Augustus. See below.

A Potted History of the Emperor Carinus

Carinus became joint emperor with his younger brother Numerian in spring 283AD upon the death of their father the emperor Carus, who was "struck by lightning" near Ctesiphon the Persian capital. He became sole ruler when his younger brother Numerian was murdered by his praetorian prefect Lucius Flavius Aper near Nicomedia in November 284, and in celebration embarked on a reign of debauchery, forcing himself upon young men and women of many noble families. He was to enjoy unlimited imperial power only until the summer of 285 when he was himself murdered by his own generals during the course of the battle against Diocletian at the River Margus (now known as the Morava near modern Belgrade). Carinus must have campaigned in Britain sometime during 284, as he is known to have taken the victory title Britannicus Maximus in that year.

Other Roman Sites in the Neighbourhood

There is another villa about miles to the north-east at Downton (SU1821), and there are potteries in the New Forest to the south-east at Linwood (SU1910), Sloden (SU2114) and Oakley (SU2406).

See: Historical Map and Guide - Roman Britain by the Ordnance Survey (3rd, 4th & 5th eds., 1956, 1994 & 2001);
Chronicle of the Roman Emperors by Chris Scarre (Thames & Hudson, London, 1995);
The Roman Inscriptions of Britain by R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright (Oxford 1965).
All English translations, including any inherent mistakes, are my own.
Page Citation: Kevan White (2018) "Roman Britain: ROCKBOURNE"