Statue base

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from Birrens, Dumfriesshire

Postcard of Statue base.
© National Museums Scotland

Statue base

This stone base for a statue was found just outside the site of the Roman fort at Birrens in Dumfriesshire. It has an inscription dedicating it to the Emperor and the god Mercury. The base dates from between 120 and 180 AD.

The inscription translates as 'To the deity of the Emperor and the god Mercury, the worshippers of his guild set up this statue under the charge of Ingenuius Rufus, and willingly and deservedly fulfilled their vow.'

There was an state religion throughout the Roman empire. The emperor himself was worshipped, as were the three major state gods of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. Mercury, the god of travel, trade and commerce, was also popular amongst Roman soldiers.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-037-665-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FV 7
Date: Between 120 and 180 AD
Material: Stone; inscribed
Dimensions: 790 mm H x 290 mm L x 370 mm W
What: Altar
Where: Scotland, Dumfriesshire, Middlebie, Birrens
Description: Altar to Mercury and the deity of the Emperor, from Birrens
  • Collingwood, R.G. & Wright, R.P. The Roman Inscriptions of Britain Vol. 1: Inscriptions on Stone. Oxford: University Press, 1965, no. 2103, p 645. 
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