CIMRM 839, 840, 841, 842, 843 - The Rudchester altars, Hadrian's Wall, Britain


CIMRM 839 (RIB 1398)
CIMRM 841 (RIB 1395) (Drawing is erroneous)
CIMRM 842 (RIB 1396)
CIMRM 843 (RIB 1397) 1

The PLV site gives the inscriptions as follows, which are more up-to-date than the CIMRM:

Arch. Ael. 4.

See CIMRM 838, the Rudchester Mithraeum.

Note that Rudchester is also given as "Rutchester" in 19th century literature, and is the site of ancient Vindobala2.

Surridge's drawing.

In August 1844, workmen for a local farmer were engaged in extracting stone from a mound of earth on Hadrian's Wall, which covered the remains of the way-station of Vindobala. They discovered five altars "on the outside of what had been the walls of the station". Three of these, the most complete, were extracted in November 1844 and taken to Otterburn Castle; the other two were removed on 18 December and taken to the Newcastle society of antiquaries. In 1845 the finds were published in Archaeologia Aeliana, with a plate.3 Four of the altars bore inscriptions; the fifth was smaller and uninscribed.

A drawing of the four inscribed altars was published by Thomas Surridge in 1853.4

A table of which item is which would seem useful:

CIMRMArch. Ael.SurridgeRIB
839Fig. 1 (with both sides)Fig. 2RIB 1398
841Fig. 3 (with top)Fig. 1RIB 1395
842Fig. 2Fig. 4RIB 1396
843Fig. 4Fig. 3RIB 1397

In Archaeologia Aeliana 4, p.14, the following description is given of the fifth altar, not mentioned by Vermaseren:

Further excavations took place in the 1950's.5

CIMRM entry

See also:

CIMRM 839 - A head from the excavations. From Rudchester.com.


1These images and details from the Per Lineam Valli site. Further photos may be found at Rudchester.com.
2More information on Vindobala here.
3This account is given in Archaeologia Aeliana volume 4, 1846, p.6ff.
4Thomas Surridge, Notice of Roman inscriptions discovered at Rudchester, Newcastle 1853, p.25.
5J.P. Gilliam, I MacIvor & E Birley. 1954. 'The Temple of Mithras at Rudchester'. Archaeologia Aeliana (4th series) XXXII, 176-219. I have not been able to consult this item. See also J. Toynbee in JRS XLIV, 1954, p.88 and fig. 11, here.

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