Statue base (side)

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from Birrens, Dumfriesshire

Postcard of Statue base (side).
© National Museums Scotland

Statue base (side)

This sandstone base for a statue was found just outside the site of the Roman fort at Birrens in Dumfriesshire. It was erected between 120 and 180 AD to the god Mercury, the god of travel, trade and commerce. He was a particular favourite of Roman soldiers.

This picture shows the side of the altar. The inscription on the front of the altar records its dedication to Mercury. On this side a rosette and cockerel were carved, both symbols of the god.

Mercury was one of a number of deities worshipped by Roman soldiers. In Scotland altars dedicated to him have been found, as well as small portable objects such as statuettes, intaglios (perhaps for rings) and brooches with his picture or symbols.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-190-002-290-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 6
Date: Between 120 and 180 AD
Material: Stone
Dimensions: 790 mm H x 340 mm L x 500 mm W
What: Statue base
Where: Scotland, Dumfriesshire, Middlebie, Birrens
Description: Stone base for a statue of Mercury with a patera and jug in relief on the right hand side, from Birrens
  • Collingwood, R.G. & Wright, R.P. The Roman Inscriptions of Britain Vol. 1: Inscriptions on Stone. Oxford: University Press, 1965, no. 2102, pp 644-5. 
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