The Antonine Wall

The Antonine Wall ran across the central belt of Scotland, from the Firth of Clyde to the Firth of Forth.  Construction started in AD 142, to make this Wall the northern limit of the Roman Empire and a springboard to complete the intended conquest of the Scottish Highlands.  In AD 162 the Roman army pulled back south to Hadrian’s Wall, leaving most of Scotland only nominally Roman.

Almost the only source for names of forts on this Wall is the Ravenna Cosmography, which lists ten names of civitates ‘connected with each other where Britain is narrowest’: Velunia Volitanio Pexa Begesse Colanica Medionemeton Subdobiadon Litana Cibra Credigone.  Of the 22 forts along the Antonine Wall known from archaeology, some were quite small, leaving just 12 serious candidates to be the locations for ten names.

Fortunately, Velunia supplies a good fixed point at the east end, which shows that RC’s list goes from east to west.  Fitting the other nine names to their most likely locations is then fundamentally a matter of data-handling, which ought to use Bayesian statistics, as indeed is true for most names in RC.  In practice, of course, this website presents Antonine-Wall names one by one, but please remember that they form part of a list.