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from Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Altar.
© National Museums Scotland


This stone altar was found at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It was erected by the Vocontian unit between 140 and 155 AD and is dedicated to the goddesses of the Parade Ground.

The inscription reads 'CAMPESTR SACRVM AEL MARCVS DEC ALAE AVG VOCONTIO VSLLM' which translates as 'Sacred to the Goddesses of the Parade Ground, Aelius Marcus, officer in the Augustan Cavalry Regiment of Vocontians, gladly, willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow.'

An altar was a public sign of a worshipper's beliefs in the Roman world. On each is recorded the donor's name as well as that of the deity. Offerings were made in the hollow on the top. The goddesses of the Parade Ground were understandably popular amongst soldiers.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-037-679-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 26
Date: Between 140 and 155 AD
Material: Stone
Dimensions: 690 mm H x 240 mm L x 330 mm W
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Altar to the goddesses of the parade ground erected by a member of the Vocontian unit, from Newstead
  • Curle, J. A Roman frontier post and its people: the fort of Newstead. Glasgow: MacLehose, 1911, pp 140-1, pl. XVII,1. 
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