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shield

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1893,1213.1

  • Description

    Copper alloy shield boss. Decorated with motifs which include the four seasons, one in each corner; an eagle clutching an olive branch, with military standards at each side; Mars, god of war, above the boss; and a bull below. The bull was the emblem of the 8th legion Augusta and an inscription, LEG VIII AVG, shows that the shield belonged to a soldier in that legion.

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  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 300 millimetres
    • Width: 260 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        left side of panel
      • Inscription Language

        Latin
      • Inscription Content

        >IVLI MAGNI IVNI DVBITATI
      • Inscription Translation

        The property of Junius Dubitatus, of Julius Magnus' century.
      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Language

        Latin
      • Inscription Content

        LEG VIII AVG
      • Inscription Translation

        The Eighth Legion Augusta.
  • Curator's comments

    Shield boss of Junius Dubitatus

    Roman Britain, early 2nd century AD
    Found near the mouth of the River Tyne in 1867

    This is the bronze centre panel from a wooden legionary shield of curved rectangular shape. It has been decorated with punched and incised designs that are enhanced by the application of a tinned surface to the background. The effect would have been of golden-coloured figures on a silver-coloured background.

    The motifs include the four seasons (one in each corner); an eagle clutching an olive branch (on the central circular boss), with military standards at each side; Mars, god of war, above the boss; and a bull below. The bull was the emblem of the 8th legion Augusta. A detachment of that legion served in Britain under the emperor Hadrian (reigned AD 117-38). The inscription above the standards, LEG VIII AVG, shows that the shield belonged to a soldier in that legion. In fact, we know his name because he marked it on the left edge of the panel with a pointed tool: IVL MAGNI IVNI DVBITATI, which translates as 'the property of Junius Dubitatus, of Julius Magnus' century'.

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  • Bibliography

    • R I B II, 3, No. 2426.1, pp. 48-9 bibliographic details
    • Hobbs & Jackson 2010 p. 48, fig. 36 bibliographic details
    • Hobbs & Jackson 2010 p. 48-49, fig. 37 bibliographic details
    • Roman Britain 1964 p. 67, fig. 35 bibliographic details
    • Hobbs & Jackson 2010 p.44 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G49/dc6

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited:
    2014 17 Jul-12 Dec, South Shields, Arebeia Roman Fort and Museum, Tyne Shield Boss
    2001 11 Jun-8 Aug, South Shields, Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum, Shipwrecked: Finds from Herd Sand
    1975 18 Sep-31 Oct, Lancaster, Scott Gallery, Pendle College, Romans in the North
    1975 8 Jul-14 Sep, Castle Barnard, Bowes Museum, Romans in the North
    1975 17 May-29 Jun, Kendal, Abbott Hall Museum and Art Gallery, Romans in the North
    1975 12 Apr-11 May, Durham Light Infantry Museum, Romans in the North

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1893

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number

    1893,1213.1


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Object reference number: BCB65739

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