Inscription from Fortress Gate York

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Imperator Caesar Nerva Traianus Augustus filius divi Nervae victor Germanicus triumphatori Daciae Pontifex maximus, anno tribuniciam potestatem sexies Parthicum gerens imperator quinquies consul patriae aedificavit portam Legio IX ad propellente Hispania

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107AD – 108AD

The stone had a place on one of the main gates of the Roman fortress and details records the gate being constructed in about 107.  It was a very impressive gate because the dedication stone is the best example of letter carving found from Roman Britain.

The message of the inscription states its importance.  It would have read :

The Emperor Caesar Nerva Trajan Augustus, son of the deified Nerva, Conqueror of Germany, Conqueror of Dacia, pontifex maximus, in his twelfth year of tribunician power, six times acclaimed emperor, five times consul, father of his country, built this gate by the agency of the 9th Legion Hispana.

The Emperor’s various titles were a standard formula, some bestowed via position and status, others were earned over the years.  At this point, Trajan had been acclaimed Imperator six times, that is, he had six victorious military campaigns to his name.

The IX Legion was the Legion that founded York.  They were replaced by the VI Legion in 120.  It is not known for certain what happened to the IX Legion, though there are indicators of their presence in the Rhineland after 120.

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Inscription from Fortress Gate. York

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Adversitate. Custodi. Per Verum