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from Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Altar.
© National Museums Scotland


This sandstone altar was found at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It was used for worship to Jupiter, the father of the gods, between 140 and 160 AD.

The inscription translates as 'To Jupiter, Best and Greatest, Gaius Arrius Domitianus, centurion of the 20th Legion Valeria Victrix, gladly, willingly, and deservedly fulfilled his vow.'

The idea of a contract between human beings and the gods was central to Roman religious practice. Offerings to the gods were made in temples and shrines devoted to particular deities. These offerings included altars, such as this one.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-001-442-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FV 46
Date: Between 140 and 160 AD
Material: Stone
Dimensions: 1260 mm H x 460 mm L x 500 mm W
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Roman stone altar dedicated to Jupiter, from Newstead
  • Collingwood, R.G. & Wright, R.P. The Roman Inscriptions of Britain Vol. 1: Inscriptions on Stone. Oxford: University Press, 1965, no. 2123, pp 652-3. 
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