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Altar

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from near Mumrills, Stirlingshire

Altar
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This stone altar was found near the site of the Roman fort at Mumrills in Stirlingshire when building the Edinburgh to Glasgow railway. It was carved sometime between 140 and 165 AD.

The inscription on the altar records that Valerius Nigrinus, an officer in the Tungrian cavalry regiment, set up the altar dedicated to Hercules Magusanus. This regiment included soldiers recruited from southern Germany, who brought with them their own gods, such as Hercules Magusanus.

Roman religion was tolerant and flexible. Deities who were not part of normal Roman beliefs were readily adopted and worshipped. On the frontier, such as Scotland, soldiers also worshipped local gods and goddesses.

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