- Museum number
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
- 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'.
- On display (G49/dc6)
- Exhibition history
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
- Acquisition date
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number