Eboracvm: The Fortress

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Contents

  1. Graham Clews
  2. Eboracvm: The Fortress - Graham Clews - Google Книги
  3. Account Options
  4. Romano-British antiquities

A second edition was updated on completion of the final book in the Eboracvm Trilogy in , and it was re-copyrighted at that time. In December, , Eboracvm, The Fortress, was published. As with The Village, in it was updated on publication of the final book in the trilogy, Eboracvm, Carved in Stone. The Eboracvm trilogy spans the thirty five year period from the expulsion of the Celtic villagers inhabiting the York site, to the building of the fortress in stone. The story is told through the eyes of three generations of Roman and Celtic families whose fate, over this period, grew indelibly intertwined.

As an historic novel it is unique, in that there are no evil villains or extremely daring heroes. The characters are people such ourselves with all our strengths and failures, sometimes tragic and sometimes darkly humorous, and always with a practical realism that evolves when people are forced into situations that are often beyond their control. The three books have been extremely well received, often surprisingly so. When Graham finished the first novel in the series, he thought it would be a male read. The female readership has been equally overwhelming. Perhaps it is because the women in the novels often have their blades honed a tad sharper than their men….

Graham is currently involved in writing several commercial articles that stem from his career as a chartered accountant. He is also charting out a novel with a tentative title of Diaspora, The Temple. The book focuses upon the Judaea-Rome conflict of 66 A. Written in a vein similar vein to Eboracvm, the conflicting perspective will be threefold: An assortment of characters such as we might find today will be the reluctant heroes and the slightly tarnished villains.

As in Eboracvm, their actions will sometimes include the snafus and inadvertent triumphs that we all encounter, along with a good lacing of hard romance and dark humour….

Graham Clews

Born in York, England, in , Graham emigrated to Canada in with his family and met his wife Marie in high school. They have been married for forty-eight years, and have three children. Graham articled in Edmonton with one of the root firms of KPMG, and obtained the professional designation of Chartered Accountant in His professional career spanned more than forty years.

During the first four years he worked in industry, employed by corporations rather than a public accounting office. A desire to live in the country moved Graham and Marie to Westlock in , and he returned to public accounting. Graham and Marie also operated a farm in the Westlock area, small by Alberta standards: Over the years, he has also operated a home manufacturing plant, building log homes in some of the remotest parts of Alberta, and served as co-chairman of a publicly traded gold company after a bitter proxy fight.

The laminated boulder clay, sometimes capped with sand or gravel, which formed the sub-soil under the greater part of the fortress, was not always stable, and foundations occasionally subsided when stone began to be used for building. It is not known if the site was occupied before the Romans came in Evidence exists for the presence of Bronze-Age man in the neighbourhood fn. There is as yet no archaeological evidence for a native Iron-Age occupation. The dyke formerly existing across the morainic ridge on Heslington Hill might be linked with the well-known dykes of east Yorkshire for which an Iron-Age date is generally postulated, but both date and purpose of the structure are obscure.

The evidence for a pre-Flavian Roman occupation cannot be lightly dismissed. Many Claudian coins have been found at York; elsewhere similar finds have been interpreted as evidence of pre-Flavian occupation fn. The finding of apparently Claudian pottery is harder to explain away. By 47 or 48 a temporary frontier was established behind the Trent and Severn. An alliance with the Brigantes on their northern flank enabled the Romans to concentrate on attacking Wales and to subdue the revolt of Boudicca without interference from the north.

The usefulness of this alliance depended on the strength of the pro-Roman rulers of the Brigantes and it was necessary to prop up their power from time to time. More evidence is required before it can be said with any degree of confidence that such a post existed. By 69 it was clear that the Brigantian alliance was unreliable.

The story of the struggle for power within the tribe is well known and has recently been reassessed.


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  • Eboracvm: The Fortress by Graham Clews.

The only course open was the annexation of the whole territory and accordingly when Rome's own dynastic troubles were over Petillius Cerialis, the new governor of Britain, led his old legion, the Ninth, out from Lincoln into Yorkshire in The result of this campaign, as Tacitus obscurely puts it, was to involve the great part of the Brigantes in war or defeat— magnamque Brigantium partem aut victoria amplexus est aut bello.

Some time in the course of that campaign the legionary fortress was moved from Lincoln to York. Excavations undertaken between and fn. It occupied the site on the north-east bank of the Ouse that was to remain in legionary occupation until the end of Roman rule. In spite of S. Miller's arguments for a reduction in the size of the fortress in the 4th century fn. The 1st-century defences have now been found on three sides and there is strong presumptive evidence that they also existed on the fourth.

Its long axis ran from north-east to south-west with the main gate porta praetoria central to the south-west side and facing the river crossing. It can be assumed that the gates on the other sides occupied the same positions as in the later stone fortress, and that the two lateral gates were on the sites of the later Bootham Bar and King's Square, south-west of the centres of their sides.

The length of the sides is 1, ft. The defences of the first period excavated in Coney Street fn. The bank was 16 ft. It has not been possible to make an accurate estimate of the height of the defences but the slightness of the existing remains suggests that it did not exceed 10 ft. At an unknown date but still within the Flavian period this first rampart was rebuilt. The new rampart, of the same width as the first and at least 7 ft.

This new bank, like its predecessor, was built of clay although in places, as on the northwest side, the material was probably sand strengthened at back and front by courses of turf.

Eboracvm: The Fortress - Graham Clews - Google Книги

It may have supported a timber palisade but evidence for this has not been revealed. Remains of a timber interval tower have been found on the south-west side of the fortress.

Sufficient details have not been recovered to reveal its plan entirely. Stout wooden posts had been erected in a thick bed of turf. In the turf was a considerable quantity of early Flavian pottery. This would be consistent with an Agricolan date for the tower. The tower belonged entirely to the second period of the defences; those of the earlier period had been completely removed from its site. An Agricolan date would explain the renewal of the defences as a replacement—after a decade of use—of the rough green wood of the first defences by seasoned and carpentered timbers.

Miller at the east corner are better explained as belonging to a timber corner tower than to a timber palisade. Outside the fortress must have been the amphitheatre, public baths, and the canabae or extramural settlement that accompanied every fortress to provide for the non-military needs of the soldiers.

In the absence of systematic excavation the canabae cannot be traced in detail. Early pottery associated with substantial timber buildings was discovered in near the site of the Old Railway Station on the south-west side of the river fn. The evidence of early burials in the Micklegate area fn. This road, which divided, beyond Tadcaster, for Chester, the Pennines, and the south through Castleford, left the porta praetoria , crossed the river at the site of the medieval Guildhall and ran approximately along the line of Toft Green, Blossom Street, and The Mount and thence along the morainic ridge.

An altar dedicated to Silvanus by a cornicen of the Ninth shows that there were shrines among the graves. There was ample room for expansion on the east side of the river in two areas: In the first of these we should naturally expect the first civil site, all the more so because the primary approach to the fortress from Lincoln via Petuaria Brough on Humber ran this way. A road has been traced along the Hull road to Walmgate Bar, whence its course was probably directed along the south-west side of the fortress to the river crossing.

First-century burials along this road have been found at Lamel Hill, fn. On the north-west side of the fortress a road approached from Clifton and made direct for the river crossing. A second road left the north-west gate and may eventually have joined the other. Sporadic 2nd-century occupation material fn. This development was not maintained and from the 3rd century onwards the whole area beyond St. Mary's was given over to cemeteries. The topography of 1st-century York may be summarized in this way. On the north-east bank of the Ouse lay the legionary fortress enclosed by earth and timber defences.

In front of the main gate of the fortress was a river crossing upon which converged roads from Chester, Lincoln, and the north. Along these roads lay cemeteries and, nearer the fortress, the beginnings of urban development. The nucleus of this civil settlement has not yet been discovered: Fortress and town are likely to have contained buildings constructed almost entirely of wood.

There is further, though slight, evidence from epigraphic sources for this period. The presence of the Ninth Legion is vouched for by tomb inscriptions and by stamped tiles. The origines of two soldiers are given on their tombs, Vienne Isere in south Gaul fn.

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There are also two stamped bronze plates in Greek dedicated by a secretary, called Demetrius. He has been identified with the Demetrius mentioned by Plutarch who met him at Delphi in 83 or 84, newly returned from intelligence work in northern Britain. The beginning of the 2nd century was marked by a firm consolidation of the military area in Roman Britain under Trajan.

Earth and timber defences were replaced by stone at Caerleon in 99 fn. Another change occurred in the early 2nd century: Both the precise date and significance of the change are uncertain. The Ninth was in York in —9; the Sixth had certainly replaced it by the middle of the 2nd century as is known from Ptolemy fn. This view has been challenged and a later date suggested for its departure from York, fn. They do, however, prove that the legion was not, as has been suggested, 'annihilated' fn. The fortress that the Sixth Legion took over is only imperfectly known. As has been said, its defences may still have been those of the earlier earth and timber fortress with the addition of stone towers and gates.

Nothing is known about the gateways but they were presumably faced with magnesian limestone like the block on which the Hadrianic inscription was carved.


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More is known about the towers. The foundations of the east corner tower and of the interval tower immediately to the north-west have been recovered; both were internal. Such foundations could have accommodated a tower with sides and back nearly 20 ft. The superstructure had been completely replaced by a succeeding tower. As with the angle tower, the superstructure had been replaced and only the foundations remained. These, like those of the corner tower, were of clay and cobble but in this case were 4 ft.

The stone wall which was associated with these towers was found by S. Miller near and on the east corner. The wall found by Miller had been built immediately in front of the 1st-century earth rampart. It was about 5 ft. Its foundations were weak and consisted of cobbles run with mortar; the clay beneath it was strengthened where necessary with piles.

In one place there had been considerable settlement and it is probably this weakness of the foundations rather than a deliberate under-cutting by the Maeatae fn. At the corner, the foundations have a slightly different angle of curve from that of the later wall, and both here and where they have been found on the south-east side, they have been left in front of the later wall to give it additional support. The internal buildings of the fortress were also rebuilt in stone in the early 2nd century.

A long range of buildings of this period built into the rampart on the north-west side was excavated by Miller and were probably store buildings. Sampson's Square were found the stables belonging to the small cavalry detachment that formed part of every legion. Nothing is known of the sites of the other main buildings but their position may be guessed from what is known of the typical plans of other legionary fortresses.

The streetplan is fairly certain. From the south-west gate— the porta praetoria —the via praetoria followed approximately the line of Stonegate: The via principia , running at right angles, followed the line of Petergate and again its metalling has been found. Massive column bases found near the west end of St.

Part of its metalling and of a colonnade on its south-east side have been found under the Treasurer's House. The military activity in the north under Antoninus Pius and the disturbances in the opening years of the Emperor Commodus probably had their repercussions at York but they do not seem to have left archaeological trace. The withdrawal of troops from Britain in by the governor Albinus to support his claims to the imperial throne led to the disastrous incursion of the Maeatae from the north.

At York it was necessary to rebuild the fortress defences completely and this work was probably finished by the time Severus arrived in Considerably more is known about the Severan defences than about their predecessors. It is to this period that the remains exposed at the east corner of the fortress, adjacent to the Merchant Tailors' Hall, belong. They survive to the base of the parapet and it is possible therefore to reconstruct their whole arrangement. The wall was 6 ft. It was faced externally with neat blocks of magnesian limestone with narrow joints; internally, the facing was of dressed stone but less neat.

At the base of the wall was a chamfered plinth and a projecting cornice ran along the top below the parapet. The core was a strong concrete of rubble and cement. The difference in width between the bottom and the top of the wall was in places accomplished by a series of narrow off-sets on the inside, but elsewhere fn.

The work was done in sections by separate working parties: Miller was fortunate enough to locate the junction of two such sections north-west of the east corner.

Romano-British antiquities

On top of the surviving wall there was almost certainly a parapet with a platform behind it. If a width of 2 ft. This would be a little narrow for a rampart walk and it was therefore supplemented by a cobbled walk running about 6 ft. This cobbled walk survives and can be seen adjacent to the north-east corner tower.

The east corner tower rested on the foundations of its predecessor and, like it, was internal. The slightly different curve of the new curtain wall placed the tower walls on a different line from the earlier tower foundations on which they stand: The lower part of the new tower walls, covered by the 1st-century rampart bank, consists of a core faced internally and externally with rough undressed blocks of oolitic limestone. Above the level of the rampart bank the external face is dressed. The side walls are 14 ft. The tower was hollow except for the bottom 3 ft.

The basement was floored with concrete, was only 5 ft. There was an entrance to the tower above from the rampart walk but insufficient details have survived to say anything about the arrangements of the upper part of the tower. The basement was subsequently filled in, possibly to support the heavier artillery of the later empire. To the Severan period or the early 2nd century belongs the gatehouse in St.

Helen's Square whose plan can be reconstructed from remains found at various dates from the 18th century onwards. Only half the gate has been observed but it may be assumed that it was symmetrical. Massive foundations, 11 ft. The building was about 85 ft. There were two arched entrances 15 ft. On either side were guard chambers with internal dimensions of 12 by 18 ft. Later alterations have complicated and obscured the plan, making it difficult to interpret.