Antonine period
© Ron Embleton

Antonine period

Roman Britain

Antonine period
Antonine period ©Ron Embleton
138 Jan 1 - 161

Antonine period

Corbridge Roman Town - Hadrian

Quintus Lollius Urbicus was made governor of Roman Britain in 138, by the new emperor Antoninus Pius. Antoninus Pius soon reversed the containment policy of his predecessor Hadrian, and Urbicus was ordered to begin the reconquest of Lowland Scotland by moving north. Between 139 and 140 he rebuilt the fort at Corbridge and by 142 or 143, commemorative coins were issued celebrating a victory in Britain. It is therefore likely that Urbicus led the reoccupation of southern Scotland c. 141, probably using the 2nd Augustan Legion. He evidently campaigned against several British tribes (possibly including factions of the northern Brigantes), certainly against the lowland tribes of Scotland, the Votadini and Selgovae of the Scottish Borders region, and the Damnonii of Strathclyde. His total force may have been about 16,500 men.


It seems likely that Urbicus planned his campaign of attack from Corbridge, advancing north and leaving garrison forts at High Rochester in Northumberland and possibly also at Trimontium as he struck towards the Firth of Forth. Having secured an overland supply route for military personnel and equipment along Dere Street, Urbicus very likely set up a supply port at Carriden for the supply of grain and other foodstuffs before proceeding against the Damnonii; success was swift.

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