The Roman army recruited soldiers from all over the empire. It you were a citizen you could join the legion but if you were from the provinces and did not have citizenship you could join the auxiliaries. Most of the soldiers who were stationed on Hadrian’s Wall were auxiliaries.

We know which auxiliaries were stationed at Vindolanda and a few who were stationed at Magna because we have found artefacts such as writing tablets and stone inscriptions with their names and requirements on them.

Here is an example, a strength report writing tablet that gives the following: ‘18 May, net number of the First Cohort of Tungrians, of which the commander is Iulius Verecundus the prefect’.

Altar dedicated to Jupiter Dolichenus set up by the prefect of the Fourth Cohort of Gauls, Sulpicius Pudens.

This map shows not only where the soldiers who were stationed at Vindolanda and Magna were from but also some information about the Emperor Hadrian and where he travelled.

Vindolanda

  1. Roman Vindolanda
  2. Ninth Cohort of Batavians – From a large island in the Rhine-Meuse Delta near the modern city of Nijmegen, The Netherlands. At Vindolanda c. AD 90- 105
  3. First Cohort of Tungrians – from modern Belgium near the city of Tongeren. At Vindolanda c. AD 85-90 and c. AD 105-130
  4. Second Cohort Nervian – From northern Gaul, now parts of Belgium and France. At Vindolanda c. AD 140-160.
  5. Fourth Cohort Gauls – From Gallia Lugdunensis, now modern France with their capital city at Lugdunum (Lyon). At Vindolanda c. AD 213-300.
  6. Vardulli Cavalry – From Northern Spain, the current Basque region. At Vindolanda with the First Cohort of Tungrians c. AD 105-130.

Magna

  1. Second Cohort Dalmatia – From modern Croatia neat the modern city of Split.
  2. First Cohort of Hamian Archers – From Hama in the Orontes valley in northern Syria.

 

Travels with Hadrian

The emperor Hadrian spent most of his time traveling around his empire. We know that he visited the Wall while under construction.

Blue = Hadrian never visited

Green = Hadrian quite likely visited

Yellow = Hadrian visited