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.
- Height: 300 millimetres
- Width: 260 millimetres
Inscription Positionleft side of panel
Inscription Content>IVLI MAGNI IVNI DVBITATI
Inscription TranslationThe property of Junius Dubitatus, of Julius Magnus' century.
Inscription ContentLEG VIII AVG
Inscription TranslationThe Eighth Legion Augusta.
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'.
On display: G49/dc6
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
Britain, Europe and Prehistory
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Object reference number: BCB65739
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