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Isurium Brigantum

Roman floor mosaic depicting the Romulus and Remus myth. Discovered at Aldborough and exhibited at Leeds City Museum.

Isurium or Isurium of the Brigantes (}

}}: Isurium Brigantum) was a Roman fort and town in the province of Britannia at the site of present-day Aldborough in North Yorkshire, England, in the United Kingdom.[1] Its remains—the Aldborough Roman Site—are in the care of English Heritage.

The Roman road through the town formed a leg of both Dere Street—connecting Eboracum (York) to the Antonine Wall—and the Roman equivalent of Watling Street, which here connected Eboracum with Luguvalium (Carlisle). The modern village retains part of the Roman street plan and the church stands on the site of the forum.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Archaeology 2
  • Aldborough Roman Site 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

History

Isurium Brigantium, one of the northernmost urban centres of the Roman Empire[2] was probably founded in the late first century or early second century. The Roman civitas was the administrative centre of the Brigantes tribe, the largest and most northernly tribe in Roman Britain.[3] Roman towns such as Exeter, Leicester, Chichester and Canterbury had the same status as Isurium.[4]

Tacitus recorded that Isuer was the seat of Venutius, king of the Brigantes who was usurped from power by his wife, Cartismandua and her lover Volucatus at the beginning of the first century. Cartismandua welcomed the Romans who perceived little threat from the Brigantes and the Roman army focused its occupation to the south of Brigantium.[5] When Venutius and his followers began to attack Briganti centres towards the end of the first century, the Roman army pushed further north. Tacitus reports the final subjugation of the Brigantes came about by Julius Agricola in 79 AD. who then constructed Isurium.[6]

Its name is believed to be derived from the Latin name of the river Iseur now the River Ure. It is likely there was a Briganti settlement at Isurium before the Roman invasion. There are many prehistoric sites along the A1 corridor which partially follows the route of Watling & Dere Streets. There are three ancient standing stones in Boroughbridge known as the Devil's Arrows a mile distant from the site.[7]

There is in fact no archaeological evidence to suggest that there was a Brigantium settlement called Iseur, the most likely Iron Age settlement is Stanwick further north near Richmond where Cartimandua had her base. Isurium probably became a civilian settlement between the Roecliffe fort(see below) and the River Ure during the last part of the first century. The Civitas Capital was probably established in about 160 A.D.

It was supposed that Isurium was the site of a 1st-century Roman fort where Watling and Dere Streets crossed the River Ure. Excavations in 1993 located two forts at Roecliffe near Boroughbridge and 1st-century finds at Aldborough most likely come from a related civilian site. Isurium Brigantum had substantial buildings from an early period; probably by the early 2nd century. Bank and ditch defences were erected later. Stone walls and four gates were added in the mid-3rd century. The visible remains are a small fraction of the Roman town. Isurium flourished for the next hundred years, with the building of elaborate private homes with fine decorative mosaic floors. In the middle of the 4th century, bastions were added to its defences and general unrest across the Empire seems to have affected the town's prosperity.

There is little evidence of occupation after the end of Roman rule in Britain and by the 7th century the Anglo-Saxons had taken over the area.

Archaeology

The 16th-century antiquary John Leland noted, "There be now large feeldes, fruteful of corn, in the very places where the howsing of the town was; and in these feeldes yereley be founde in ploughing many coynes of sylver and brasse of the Romaine stampe—Ther also have been found sepulchres, aqaue ductus tessalata paviamenta &.c."".[8] Two centuries after Leland, Daniel Defoe wrote "Not so much ruins, especially not above ground".[9]

In 2011, geomagnetic scanning revealed the existence of an amphitheatre, emphasising Isurium's importance as a major Roman town.[10]

Aldborough Roman Site

Aldborough Roman Site is in the care of English Heritage and consists of a stretch of the massive town wall with its defensive towers and two in-situ mosaic pavements, once part of a Roman townhouse. A display of archaeological finds from the site are on display in the museum providing an insight into the lives of Roman civilians in its most northern capital.

References


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p
  1. ^
  2. ^ Dobinson, C. (1995 (revised reprint 2012)) Aldborough Roman Town. English Heritage. p.1
  3. ^ "The Brigantes". Roman-Britain.org. 24 October 2007.
  4. ^ (Dobinson 1995, p.3)
  5. ^ Fletcher, J. S. (1901) "A Picturesque History of Yorkshire: Being an Account of the History, Topography, and Antiquities of the Cities, Towns and Villages of the County of York, Founded on Personal Observations Made During Many Journeys Through the Three Ridings, Volume 3"
  6. ^ Tacitus: "Agricola" c.98 AD
  7. ^ new.archaeologyuk.org/.../583_Yorkshire%20Henges%20Booklet%20(general).pdf
  8. ^ Toulmin Smith, L (ed.) — (1964) The Itinerary of John Leland: In Or about the Years 1535-1543, Parts I to [XI]
  9. ^ Defoe, D. A Tour Thro' The Whole Island of Great Britain, Divided into Circuits or Journies (1724–1727)
  10. ^

External links

  • English Heritage: Aldborough Roman Site
  • A national theatre of the north is found on summit of Studforth Hill in Aldborough

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