President’s Address

Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. XXIII (1891), map, pp. 25-101.


R.N. Worth Esq., F.G.S.

Prepared by Michael Steer

The Devonshire Association’s Presidential Address was presented at its July 1891 Tiverton meeting. It focused, in the words of President Worth, on “one of the most obscure epochs of Devonian life - the period of Roman occupation. In delivering it the author attempted to distinguish between “what is really known and what is merely inferred - between the statements of authorities, who are few; and the words of speculators, who are many”. Geologist and Historian of the City of Plymouth Richard Nicholls Worth, the Association President for 1891 was the father of Richard Hansford Worth who followed in his father's footsteps becoming a renowned literary authority on Dartmoor. President Worth’s obituary is available in GENUKI. The Presidential Address, from a copy of a rare journal can be downloaded from the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

Ladies and Gentlemen, - Dr. Bennet, Bishop of Cloyne, concludes his essay on "British and Roman Roads and Stations," in the Devonshire volume of the brothers Lysons, in these words:
  "It is to be lamented that so extensive a county, inhabited at all times by an active and industrious people, and of late years, in particular, illustrated by the labours of many ingenious men, should still have such a cloud hanging over the period of its early history. A few insulated camps with no remains in them, and detached pieces of road (the end and beginning of which are equally unknown) form the sum of its Roman antiquities; and of the stations and cities which it once contained, Exeter only, and perhaps Holland Bottreaux, have been fixed with any degree of certainty."
   I take this as the keynote of the address which it is my duty and privilege to deliver, as President of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, Literature, and Art. Of necessity my theme was either geological or historical. But although the last words are as yet very far from being spoken on the fascinating study of Devonian geology, Mr. Hudleston's discourse at Tavistock reaped all the current harvest. Gleanings after him are insufficient for the humblest sheaf; and the coming crop, though full of controversial promise, is hardly beyond its seed-time. Turning, therefore, perforce to history, it seemed to me that I could render our literature no better service, than by craving your attention for a while to a re-examination and re-statement of the evidence touching one of the most obscure epochs of Devonian life - the period of Roman occupation. I shall try to keep continually before you the distinction between what is really known and what is merely inferred - between the statements of the authorities, who are few; and the words of the speculators, who are many. The picture shall be as complete as I have skill to make it ; but there shall be no confusion - wittingly - between the clear outline and the dotted interspace.

Roman Devon — Contemporary Authorities.

  The association of Rome with Britain, from the first inroad under Julius Caesar to the final abandonment under Theodosius, covers something less than five centuries. Throughout there are only eleven contemporary writers who can be held to refer directly to what is now Devon and Cornwall. If we do not claim the Cassiterides, there are but half a dozen. If we eliminate those whose allusions are disputed, we are reduced to four. So slight is the purely historic foundation upon which we have to build. The four are:
   (a) Diodorus Siculus, who, writing about 44 B.C., tells us :
  "They who dwell near that promontory of Britain which is called Belerium are singularly fond of strangers, and, from their intercourse with foreign merchants, civilized in their habits. These people obtain the tin by skilfully working the soil which produces it ; this, being rocky, has earthy veins, in which, working the ore and then fusing, they reduce it to metal; and when they have formed it into blocks shaped like knuckle bones they convey it to a certain island, lying off Britain, named Ictis ; for at the low tides, the intervening space being laid dry, they carry thither in waggons the tin in great abundance."
  (b) Solinus (circa 80 A.D.), who mentions the Dunmonii, the dwellers in this western region.
   (c) Ptolemy the Greek geographer, who, about A.D. 120, states that the westernmost people of Britain are the Dunmonii; whose chief towns are Voliba, Uxela, Tamare, Isca, and Second Augustan Legion; in whose territory are the outlets of the rivers Cenion, Tamarus, Isaca, and (doubtfully) Alaenus; and connected with whose country are Vexala estuary, Hercules promontory, Antivaestum promontory or Bolerium, and Damnonian promontory or Ocrinum.
   (d) Heracleota, who, towards the end of the third century, mentions the promontory Damnium.
   Our second class is completed by the addition to the former of the (e) Antonine Itinerary, and the (f) Peutingerian Table, Each of these gives us Isca Dunmoniorum, or Isca of the Dunmonii, in which we might have fondly thought that the most perverse antiquarian imagination could not fail to identify Exeter. The Itinerary names another Roman station, Moridunum - fifteen miles from Exeter eastward; and the Peutingerian Table a place called Bidumo, commonly held to be a corruption of Moridunum, also fifteen miles from Exeter, but westward. The Itinerary has been variously placed in the second and in the fourth centuries, but is probably of the earlier date; the Peutingerian Table is a mediaeval copy of a fourth-century map, whereof a fragment only of the part relating to Britain remains, and is here reproduced.


Peutingerian Table Map

   Excluding allusions to the Cassiterides these are absolutely all the definite contemporary historical or topographical references to this part of Britain during our Roman epoch.
   Including the Cassiterides we add: (g) Strabo, bom about 54 B.C., who indeed may claim to rank with the foregoing on the score of a statement - quoting Posidonius - that tin was carried from Britain to Marseilles. According to him the Cassiterides were ten in number, one being desert, but the others
  "inhabited by men in black cloaks, clad in tunics reaching to the feet, and girt about the breast; walking with staves and bearded like goats. They subsist by their cattle, leading for the most part a wandering life. And having metals of tin and lead, these and skins they barter with the merchants for earthenware and salt and brazen vessels."
   (h) Pliny born A.D. 23, who may follow Strabo to the first group on the score of his remarks touching tin in Britain; while an obscure reference to two islands called "Scandiam, Dumnam," may point in the same direction. Citing Timaeus Pliny refers to Ictis as Mictim ; but, as we shall see hereafter, makes confusion worse confounded.(1).
   (i) Avienus, about the latter end of the fourth century, who names the Oestrymnides as the tin islands, and embodies allusions to the voyage of Hamilco to the Cassiterides.
   (j) Aelius Aristides (c, A.D. 160) who, referring to "that great island opposite the Iberians" (which can be no other than Britain) avers
   "expeditions of all kinds perpetually pass into it, and return at convenient seasons. Thousands also of nobles and private persons frequently go over thither."
   And finally:
   (k) A bilingual inscription at Angora, in Asia Minor, which declares that British princes sought the protection of Augustus. It is imperfect but seems to suggest a distinction between the monarchs of Britain, Dunmonia, and Wales. The Greek version reads, as given in the Monumenta Historica Britannica: —
   And the Latin: —
   Julius Caesar does not name the Dunmonii, but inferentially suggests, as we shall see more at length hereafter - that they, like the Veneti, were skilled in shipbuilding. It is in this western region, too, that he seems to place the masters of Druidism whom his Gaulish students were accustomed to visit.
   Earlier than the period under review we have the bare mention of the Cassiterides by Herodotus {c, 445 B.C.); notes on the Cassiterides by Pytheas in his voyage to Britain (330 B.C.); the naming by Aristotle (c. 350 B.C.) of Albion and lerne ; and an allusion to tin mines in Britain by Polybius (c. 160 B.C.). Something later than the Saxon invasion we get the topographical statements of the anonymous geographer of Ravenna, whose exact date is still matter of controversy, and who gives a list of twenty-five towns in Devon and Cornwall.(2)
   We can stretch our original authorities no further.
   Hence we know absolutely nothing from first-hand record of the presence of the Romans in Devon and Cornwall When they came, how they came, what they did, when they went, is one absolute blank - a vivid contrast with our abundant contemporary information touching the Roman wars with the Silures, the Iceni, the Brigantes; in Anglesey, along the line of the Great Wall, right away to the Grampians. This strange silence has impressed various enquirers in various ways. Some picture "dira Dunmonia” too wild and waste to tempt a conquest. Some, with Polwhele, hold that the Dunmonii surrendered at discretion, scantly striking one blow for freedom. Some, with Beale Poste, think the Dunmonii "retained their nationality under their native princes unmolested."Some, of bolder strain, proceed to fill the gap, and tell the picturesque tale of crushing attack and heroic defence; of a campaign headed by Vespasian; of a subjugation so complete from the beginning that, while other parts of the island were in periodical revolt, the Dunmonii, once brought beneath the yoke, never raised their heads again. Such tales are good enough as samples of historical romance, but they have not the slenderest claim to be regarded as sober history.

Julius Caesar.

   Caesar's first expedition to Britain, August B.C. 55, was a failure. In less than a month he was glad to return to Gaul.
   His second invasion, in the following year, was so far successful that he won sundry battles, and received the submission of Cassivellaun. But in less than two months we find him back in Gaul again; and he left no garrison behind. To call this a conquest, even of the comer of Britain which was penetrated, is a misuse of language. It was little more than a reconnaissance in force, and Rome speedily estimated the affair at its proper value.
   With these facts before us, we are prepared to find Caesar's descriptions of Britain and of its inhabitants to be mainly hearsay (3). His declaration that Kent was the most civilised portion of the isle we accept as true - that is, of the part with which he was acquainted. So when he states that the island was well peopled, full of houses built after the manner of the Gauls, and abounding in cattle. He was in a position to know that some of the islanders used bronze money. He might have ascertained for himself that the Weald produced iron (in maritimis ferram). But when he declares that the provinces remote from the sea yielded tin (nascitur ibi plumhum album in mediterraneis regionibus) it is clear that he is writing of matters altogether beyond him : and that he neither knew where the tin was found, nor how it reached the Continent, though raising a fair presumption that some was brought for transport to the coast opposite Gaul (4). Nor can we unhesitatingly accept, as a universal fact, his assertion that the British bronze was all imported, since we find the Romans at a later date working the copper mines in Anglesea, of which there is no reason to suppose them the discoverers.
    Caesar, in short, knew as little of Britain as a man possibly could know, who merely paid a couple of hurried visits covering in all ten weeks, and who did not get more than seventy miles from the coast. Before he came hither he had known nothing, for he writes:
   "Almost none but merchants resort to that island, nor have even they any knowledge of the country, except the sea coast and the parts opposite to Gaul. Having therefore called together the merchants from all parts they could neither inform him [Caesar] of the largeness of the island, nor what or how powerful the nations were that inhabited it, nor of their customs, art of war, or the harbours fit to receive large ships." (5).
   We may indeed reasonably suspect that these merchants knew much more than they were inclined to tell. Be that as it may, Caesar's ignorance is clear; and this is all that concerns us.
   The most important consequences to Britain of the invasions of Caesar and of his operations in Gaul were indirect. They led to the planting of Gaulish and Belgic settlements along the coasts of the Channel, which gradually worked their way, wedge-like, inland, and drove the elder inhabitants north and south and west. (6).
   For nearly a century, however, after Caesar's departure Britain, so far as we know, was unvexed by Roman arms. An expedition planned by Augustus is said to have been abandoned on payment of an easy tribute. Maurus Servius Honoratus, commenting on a passage in the third book of the Georgics, avers indeed that Augustus conquered Britain; and the late Mr. W. H. Black collected other passages from Latin poets, seemingly pointing in this direction. But history is silent. There can have been no conquest in the literal sense of the word ; and there may be no firmer ground for the belief than the childish vaunt of Caligula, when he carried back shells gathered from the Gaulish beach to Rome, in proof that he had mastered the ocean. That the feeling between the Romans and the British at this time was friendly, we gather from the release of the soldiers thrown upon the British coast by the disaster to the fleet of Germanicus, A.D. 16. The Angoran inscription certainly declares that British princes sought the protection of Augustus.

The Roman Conquest.

   The true conquest of Britain began when Claudius sent Aulus Plautius hither, A.D. 43. That emperor celebrated the conquest in the following year, after spending sixteen days in the island, when he was not much nearer its attainment than Caesar. Customary history has done the Britons scant justice. Not until the seventh campaign of Agricola, forty years after the first Claudian inroad, was the bulk of the island brought under Roman sway. The further North was never subjugated, as the wall of Hadrian and the Antonine rampart attest. For centuries the Britons continued the unequal struggle. Given the opportunity, there was always the will. Nowhere did the Romans meet with more determined and prolonged resistance. We must discount the statements that Bonduca slaughtered 80,000 of the Roman soldiers and their allies, and that Suetonius put as many Britons to the sword; but it is clear that Nero nearly lost the country. Well-nigh every emperor had his revolt, or revolts. Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, Commodus - each had to maintain himself in Britain by force of arms. The Britons never knew when they were beaten; and if the effective conquest of the island is to be gauged by cessation of hostility, the work took just a century and three quarters, from the landing of Aulus Plautius to the death of Severus and the treaty with Caracalla.
   Then peace reigned for some threescore years, until Britain became the special prize of contending claimants for the imperial throne, and rival factions made it their battleground. The revolt quelled by Victorinus under Probus may have been largely patriotic; but the fighting of Carausius, Allectus, Constantius Chlorus, and Constantine, and the campaign of Magnentius, were mainly dynastic. With the decay of the Roman power, the incursions of the northern tribes drew proof that in some parts of the land at least the old spirit was not dead: and when the Saxons descended on our shores, the stoutest resistance offered was by the descendants of the men who had been the chief opponents of the Roman sway.

The Roman Advent in the West.

   If we ask what share our corner of Britain played in all this, written history, as we have seen, gives no direct response. We read of campaigns against the Catuvellauni, the Trinobantes, the Belgae, the Iceni, the Silures, the Cangi, the Brigantes, the Ordovices, the Atrebati, the Caledonii, and others ; and the wars in the North receive abundant illustration. But the Dunmonii are nowhere found. There is indeed an inscription on the Great Wall naming the "Civitas Dunmon” as "having done something in connection with the building of that structure worthy of special commemoration''; and this has been thought to refer to the western Dunmonii. In truth, however, the Dunmonii thus commemorated were close at hand.
   That excellent antiquary, Mr. J. Davidson, father of our much-lamented colleague, Mr. J. Bridge Davidson, thought that the south-western parts of Britain had:
   "been conquered during the first nine years of the Emperor Claudius, prior to the year 50, the date of the arrival of Publius Ostorius Scapula, [and] that, having been subdued daring the period comprised within that portion of the history [of Tacitus] which is lost, they were subsequently to that time in alliance with Rome.'' (7).
   Undoubtedly Mr. Davidson was right thus far. Any fighting between the Romans and the Dunmonii must have come within this period, or have been too insignificant for notice.
   We have already seen Polwhele suggesting that the Dunmonii submitted to the Roman yoke without much opposition. Beale Poste (regarding Dunmonia as the first organized state in the island) held that the Dunmonii
   "retained their nationality under their native princes…. They enjoyed their territory unmolested by the Romans as far as we know, and there is no record in ancient authors that there was ever a Roman garrison among them."


   There is indeed a passage in Suetonius commonly held to refer to Devon, if not to CornwalL He says of Vespasian that he:
   "Tricies cum hoste conflexit Duas validissimas Gentes, superque viginti oppida, et insulam Vectem Britanniae proximam, in ditionem redegit, partim Auli Plautii Consularis legati, partim Claudii ipsius ductu."
  In other words, that Vespasian fought thirty battles, subdued two most powerful peoples, twenty towns, and the Isle of Wight close to Britain - a distinction between the island and the main worthy of remembrance.
   This is every whit we have on contemporary authority touching Vespasian's campaign; but it has been assumed that the Dunmonii were one of the two nations conquered.
   Thus Hoker, in his Antique Description and Account of the City of Exeter (8) ---
   ''It was also called Augusta. Of this Name there were divers Cities so named by the Romans; but this only was named Augusta Britannorum, and so called (as some think) by the Romans at the Conclusion of the Peace made at the Siege of this City, between King Arviragus and Vespasian, Colonel of the Roman Army under Claudius Augustus. The Britons in their Tongue or Language do call this City by sundry names; the first and eldest in Remembrance is Penhulgoile that is to say, the prosperous chief Town in the Wood, as doth appear by Geoffery of Monmouth, and Ponticus Virunnius. It was also called Pennehaltecaire that is, the chief City or Town upon the Hill, as doth appear in a Traverse between the Bishop, Dean, and Chapter of this City, of the one Party, and the Mayor, Bailiff, and Commonalty of the other Party, concerning their Liberties. But the names which the Cornish People do at these Presents remember and retain are specially three, Pennecaire, Caireruth, Caireiske. Pennecaire signifieth, and is to say, the chief City. Caireruth signifieth the red or reddish City, so called and taking the Name of the Ground and Soil whereupon it is situated, which is a red Earth. Caireiske is the City of Iske, being so called of the River."
   In the Exeter volume of the "Historic Towns" series, Mr. Freeman expresses some lingering faith in the story:
   "There is no history of Isca. We have no record to tell us either when the peninsular hill came under the power of the Roman or when it passed away from his power. But other evidence shows that the occupation came at an early stage of Roman dominion in Britain. The soil of Exeter has supplied Roman coins in abundance, and they go back to the days of Nero and Claudius … Vespasian, indeed, while still only an officer of Claudius or Nero, fills a great part in local legend. Exeter by the name, not of Isca, but Penholtkeyre, was the most ancient of the cities of Britain before the incarnation of Christ. 'A city walled and suburb to the same, of the most reputation, worship, defense, and defensible of all these parties.' The alleged name is a singular mixture of Welch and English; but something must have given rise to it. The legend tells how, after the death of Claudius, Arviragus threw off the Roman yoke; how Vespasian, sent to win back the land, was beaten back by the British king; how he landed at Totnes, made his way to Penholtkeyre, besieged the city, but being again baffled by Arviragus, betook himself, by way of Bordeaux and Eoine, to the easier conquest of Jerusalem…. There was a real Arviragus somewhat later, in the time of Domitian, but it is more likely that the name was put in by some improver of the story than that any historical campaign between him and Vespasian lurks in the legend. But legend and coins alike connect the names of Isca and Vespasian, and the slight notices that history gives of his British exploits may lead us to believe that it was he who, while Claudius reigned, made Isca an outpost of Eome. But this is as far as we dare go."
   Prebendary Scarth in his Roman Britain (9) has a strangely uncertain sound. In one place he avers that Vespasian conquered the Belgae and Dunmonii; in another he suggests that his victories were over the Belgae and the Regni (with the Durotriges), and adds:
"We are left in uncertainty whether these conquests reached into Devonshire among the Damnonii."
   Now the whole superstructure of this assumed Vespasian conquest is really built on no sounder foundation than the pardonable pride of Hoker, developing the statement of Geoffrey of Monmouth, that Vespasian sailed to the Totnes shore (Totonesium litus), and marched upon Kairpenhuelgoit, "which is called Exeter" (quae Exonia vocatur).
  The late Mr. Kerslake dealt a crushing blow at the integrity of this myth. Suetonius gives no clue to the locality of the conquests of Vespasian beyond the statement that the Isle of Wight formed part of them. Mr. Kerslake pointed out that the words quae Exonia vocatur are probably the gloss of an "editor" of Geoffrey; and that even if traceable to Geoffrey they do not occur in the original Welsh chronicles, Brut Tysilio and Brut Gr. ab Arthur, whence he drew. All these say is that Vespasian marched upon Kairpenhuelgoit. How then did Exeter get into the narrative? Assuredly not by tradition, running through ten centuries and more. The answer lies in the statement that Vespasian landed at Totnes, and the identification of the Vespasian Totnes with the Totnes which we know. But the Totnes of the elder chronicles is not a town at all. It is the Totnes "shore" - litus in Latin, traeth in Welsh. Even this is short of the limits of corruption. In its earliest form the word is not even Totnes, but Talnas (as in the account of the landing of Brutus in the Brut Tysilio), Mr. Kerslake suggested Christchurch Haven as Ptolemy's estuary of Alaunus, the British Talnas, and the place whence Vespasian advanced on Kairpenhuelgoit, or Caer Pensaulcoit, which is precisely represented in modem English by Penselwood, on the borders of Somerset and Dorset.
   "All that the Roman historians say is, that Vespasian, on his expedition from Germany to Britain, under Claudius, A.D. 47, fought thirty battles, and subdued two most powerful peoples or nations, more than twenty towns, and the Isle of Wight dose to Britain. The British narrative ... is, it will be seen, perfectly consistent with and complementary of this. It adds to these details, that Vespasian with a large fleet first attempted to land at Thanet - Rutupia; but being repelled by the British King or General, Gweyrydd, with a numerous army, sailed - westward as the Roman story shows, landed at a port of which the name has been shewn above to be unfortunately obscured by corruption, and thereby misplaced, but which was certainly famous through succeeding ages ; and marched to and besieged a city called Penhuelgoit, or Pensauelcoit, the capital, no doubt, of one of the two powerful nations." (10).
   Mr. Kerslake claimed "Pen Pits" as the shrunken vestige of this ancient "metropolis." The suggestion has been warmly controverted; but General Pitt-Rivers, Mr. Kerslake's chief opponent, candidly admits:
   "There is nothing in the result of my investigation which either favours or disproves the supposition that the spot may have witnessed some such concerted action of independent tribes at the time of Vespasian's invasion." (11).
   In my view of the matter Totnes would rather be a substitution for Talnas than a corruption; since there seems good reason to regard the original Totnes as the title of a district rather than a town, possibly preserving an older name for this western promontory - certainly than Dunmonia, it may be than Britain. If Vespasian had landed at Totnes town, Exeter would be Kairpenhuelgoit without doubt.
   It is not only that there is no contemporary authority for the assumption that Vespasian conquered the Dunmonii. There is no authority at all; and the balance of testimony inclines the other way. We have, however, conclusive evidence that the Belgae were one of the two nations subdued. The lead mines of the Mendips were worked under Claudius; they must therefore have passed into Roman hands at this date. The proof is the finding of pigs of lead at Wookey, Blagdon, and Charterhouse, bearing the names of Claudius, Britannicus, and Vespasian. The Isle of Wight was a connecting-link between the Belgae and the Regni, and the latter were in all likelihood the second people. Between the Regni and the Dunmonii lay the comparatively unimportant Durotriges. The line running N.W. and S.E. along the Mendips and the course of the Stour was a good natural frontier, when the Parret flowed through unreclaimed marsh lands, and the Dunmonii therefore held a position of considerable strength. Mr. Elton links Dunmonii and Durotriges as occupants of the western peninsula, from the Land's End to Southampton Water, and from the New Forest to the neighbourhood of Ischalis, or Ilchester, and the valley of the Parret.
   “It is probable that these Damnonian tribes were isolated from their eastern neighbours by a wide march of woods and fens." (12).
   Most unlikely therefore is it that Vespasian could have included their conquest, with that of the Belgae and the Isle of Wight, in one campaign.
   We find a further clue in the statement of Tacitus (13), that Ostorius Scapula, after defeating the Britons by his light cohorts, drew a line of fortresses by way of frontier "cintesque castris Antonam et Sdbrinam fluvius cohibere parat.” The second river is the Severn. Where shall we seek the Anton? The Avon, say some; but Anton is not Avon. If the Upper or Lower Avon be meant, the idea does not commend itself as a point of practical warfare. The Salisbury Avon might serve; of that more anon.
   The Nen is another hypothesis: but the Nen is put out of court by the attitude of the Iceni - for a line from the Nen to the Severn would have included them in the Roman territory - even were there any authority for the identification, which there is not. The Anton, however, is perfectly well known as the earlier and still alternative name of the Test, which falls into the head of Southampton Water. One of the branches is the Anton yet, we find it disguised also in Hampton and Hantonshire, whence Hampshire - and surviving clearly in the familiar Hants. Ptolemy preserves it in Trisanton - his name for the great tidal reach stretching from Southampton to the sea. As Mr. Kerslake showed, a line drawn from the Test at Southampton to the Severn would cut off the whole western promontory - Dunmonia and the Durotriges. So in effect would a line from the Wiltshire Avon. One of the two we must take. And if any such line were the effective Claudian frontier under Ostorius Scapula, either the conquests of Vespasian did not extend further westward, or they must have been lost in the interim. Of the alternative there is no suggestion anywhere. (14).

British Civilisation.

   The initial error of the earlier inquirers into the dawning history of Britain, lay in the assumption that the Roman conquest was the triumph of civilisation over barbarism. That is the Roman side of the story. The British is not upon record. The Spanish invaders of Mexico had the same idea; but they threw Christianity into the scales. Such conclusions are very much matters of definition. Gunpowder apart and considering the use they made of the means at their command, Montezuma and his subjects were every whit as brave, as intelligent, as industrious, as skillful in the arts they practiced, as well ordered in the public and private relations of life, as Ferdinand and the Spaniards. In many things they had the advantage - their postal system for example. The British and Roman standards of manhood and society differed; but it does not follow of necessity that the one was barbarian and the other civilised. We have replaced an Eastern civilisation in India by a Western. But to speak of the dominions of the Great Mogul as having been peopled by barbarians would be ridiculously untrue. There is much in the progress of Roman rule in Britain to remind us of the extension of British sway in Hindostan.
   The Britons had not the same strong central government, the same iron discipline, as the Romans. They drew their levies from a narrower area. They were simpler in their habits than the average Italian citizen: but they had manhood and womanhood enough to maintain the unequal contest almost without cessation for a century; and further on to assert an independence under Carausius and Allectus: for it was British support that maintained these emperors on the throne they seized. The British war chariots; the masterly defensive engineering displayed in the fortification of their chief towns; their superiority in ship-building; their mining skill - these are tokens of civilisation, not of barbarism. Granted that the Britons had no literature (though Caesar surely ranks the intellectual status of his Druids high enough); that they had not sapped their energies by effeminate living; that the special immoralities charged upon them were not those in fashion in the Imperial city; that their ideas of religion were grim and bloody! The history of the ancient world yields abundant proof that races may attain a high degree of moral and physical - even intellectual - culture without the common use of letters. Luxury is ever the deadliest foe of true civilisation. As to religion, even were the Druids all that Caesar and the elder antiquaries pictured them, assuredly the Roman pantheon and ritual could claim no superiority.
   But we must discriminate. Primitive Britain was peopled by many tribes with many characteristics. Elements of the barbarism of the Stone Age may have lingered on to Caesar's time, though even Stone Age folk wore their barbarisms with a difference. There were degrees of civilization, too, among the little nations - to use the old phrase - of varying origin, occupation, and manner of life, which had supplanted them. Things close to the eye may be seen least clearly. How often do we recognize the lingering traces of the tribal distinctions of these far-back days, in the strongly-marked differentiation of the men and women of this county or of that, influences which struck their roots into the island-life ages before the Caesarian epoch flourish with us yet. And where lies our authoritative standard of present-day civilization? Do we find it in the dull apathy of some remote agricultural village - in the bustle of some great manufacturing town - in the eager rush for gold of the City - in the misery and squalor of the East - in the ease and luxury of the West? Yet all these things go to make up modern England. Whatever progress and whatever civilization existed in pre-Roman Britain were doubtless more evenly diffused from their various centres than with us; and so far, therefore, the change has not been all a gain.
  The picture (15) drawn by Mr. Elton is that of "petty tribes, prosperous nations in miniature, already enriched by commerce, and rising to a homely culture," crushed by disciplined legions and an infinite levy of auxiliaries, who "gained a province to ruin it by a slow decay." And this is perfectly accurate, if we keep in mind that the crushing was a lengthy process, and never wholly complete. I hardly follow him so thoroughly in my next citation from his fascinating volume. We must allow some discount for the natural dislike of natives of Southern Europe to our ruder seasons; and for the self-esteem which led the invaders to take all the credit of improvements to themselves. "The island, when it fell under the Eoman power, was little better in most parts than a cold and watery desert. According to all the accounts of the early travellers the sky was stormy and obscured by continual rain, the air chilly even in summer, and the sun during the finest weather had little power to disperse the steaming mists. The trees gathered and condensed the rain; the crops grew rankly but ripened slowly, for the ground and the atmosphere were alike loaded with moisture. The fallen timber obstructed the streams, the rivers were squandered on the reedy morasses, and only the downs and the hill-tops rose above the perpetual tracts of wood….. The work of reclaiming the wilderness began in the day of Agricola. The Romans felled the woods along the lines of their military roads; they embanked the rivers, and threw causeways across the morasses, and the natives complained that their bodies and hands were worn out in draining the fens and extending the clearings in the forests.''(16).
   Nor can I reconcile with this gloomy view the pretty picture quoted by Mr. Elton from Mr. Barnes of early Britain at the end of summer.
   "The cattle are on the downs or in the hollows of the hills. Here and there are wide beds of fern or breadths of gorse, and patches of wild raspberry with gleaming sheets of flowers. The swine are roaming in the woods and shady oak glades, the nuts studding the brown-leaved bushes. On the sunny side of some cluster of trees is the herdsman's round wicker house, with its brown conical roof and blue wreaths of smoke. In the meadows and basins of the sluggish streams stand clusters of tall old elms waving with the nests of herons. The bittern, coot, and water rail are busy among the rushes and flags of the reedy meres. Birds are ‘churming' in the wood-girt clearings, wolves and foxes slinking to their covers, knots of maidens laughing at the waterspring, beating the white linen or flannel with their washing bats: the children play before the doors of the round straw-thatched houses of the homestead, the peaceful abode of the sons of the oaky vale. On the ridges of the downs rise the sharp cones of the barrows, some glistening in white chalk or red with the mould of a new burial, and others green with the grass of long years! (17)
   Yet what need have we of quotation or controversy! There are landscapes on Dartmoor that have seen no material change since Roman times; there are scenes on the coast of Devon that have varied in no essential feature. We can very fairly judge of the accuracy of much of this Roman wailing with our own eyes; and for the rest may bear in mind that the appreciation of the wilder beauties of Nature (as Lord Monkswell pointed out at Ilfracombe (18) was quite beyond either Greek or Roman.

The Bronze Age.

   But our survey is to be particular, not general. Our concern is with this western peninsula. The status of the Belgae, the Iceni, the Silures, the Brigantes, imports us less than that of the Dunmonii. And here we are met at the outset by a remarkable fact. Cornwall and Devon supplied the bulk of the tin - at one time possibly the whole - for the bronze users of Europe. Some, no doubt, came from the East in very early times, as now; but we cannot trace where the two streams of traffic met. It has become rather the fashion of late (and fashion runs in literary clothing as well as in bodily raiment) to assume that the tin islands of the earliest topographers and historians of the Greek and Roman world - the Cassiterides - were not associated with Britain, but with Spain. To me all the evidence seems on the other side.(19). And this being so, and Devon and Cornwall being the only parts of Britain in which tin is found, they stand forth in the very dawn of history, as the special source of this rarer ingredient in the manufacture of bronze for the whole of Europe. Unquestionably there is tin in Spain, and a little in France and elsewhere on the Continent; and some of these sources were wrought by the Romans, if not earlier. But ever the Cassiterides (or in later days Belerium - surrendered on all hands to western Cornwall) are named as the centre of the tin trade. This made M. Wibel suggest that the civilization of the Bronze Age sprang from western Britain; and inspired M. Fumet to advance the hypothesis of an independent Bronze Age civilization in the West, contemporary with the Bronze Age of the East, before the arrival of the Kelts.
   We have no plummet that will sound the Bronze Age depths. Only this we know. At Carnon and at Pentuan in Cornwall there are remains of ancient stream-works more than thirty feet below the present sea level, which cannot have been wrought with sea and land in their present relative positions. We further know that no such change of level has occurred within historic times, and that, whenever it took place, it was slow and gradual, I have suggested elsewhere that these mining operations date back, nearly, if not quite, to our local mammoth period. The arguments are too long for reproduction; but I have seen no reason for abandoning my conclusion. This would give to our Bronze Age an almost fabulous antiquity.
   An age of metals is necessarily an age of progress ; and however slow the progress of the Bronze Age may have been, it lasted long enough for great advances. Mr. Evans held that the use of iron was introduced into the southern parts of Britain not later than the fourth or fifth century B.C., and that by the second or third the use of bronze for implements had practically ceased.
   The discovery of an ancient cemetery near Mount Batten, investigated by Mr. Spence Bate, F.R.S., yielded conclusive evidence touching the breadth of the pre-Roman civilization of Dunmonia. Mr. Bate treated the interments as Romano British; but the leading characteristics of the articles found have been pronounced by Mr. Franks and other antiquaries to be late Keltic. Instead of being in any sense Roman, they were the final types of British pre-Roman progress, though not necessarily of supreme antiquity, nor free from foreign influence. The finds included bronze mirrors, bronze bracelets ornamented with enamel, bronze fibulae and rings, a dirk with a bronze sheath, a bronze cup; fragments of a glass bowl, of black, red, and yellow or drab, pottery; and the much-corroded remains of articles of iron - including portions of a pair of shears or scissors, of blades of knives, and of other things of doubtful purpose. At times, too, in crevices of the limestone rock at Batten gold and silver British coins have been found, presumably of similar date. Such a burial-place and such contents bespeak civilization. The mirrors are the most important feature of the discovery. They are elegantly ornamented on the back; differ widely from bronze mirrors of Roman make; and in type are very rare. Kindred mirrors, however, have been found at Balmaclellan, near Bedford, and Sandwich; and in graves at Trelan Bahow, St. Keverne, Helston - an important item in the local evidence.

The Dunmonii

   Mr. Elton assigns to the Dunmonii of Caesar's time "a superiority of culture which distinguished them from the inland tribes." Of the practical side of this he gives conclusive proof.
   “The Damnonians had the advantages of trade and travel. It appears from a passage in Caesar's Commentaries that their young men were accustomed to serve in foreign fleets, and to take part in the Continental wars. The nation had entered into a close alliance with the ‘Veneti’ or people of Vannes, whose powerful navy had secured the command of the Channel. A squadron of British ships took part in the great sea-fight which was the immediate cause of Caesar's invasion of the island; and his description of the allied fleet shows the great advance in civilization to which the southern Britons had attained. ‘The enemy’, he said, had a great advantage in their shipping : the keels of their vessels were flatter than ours, and were consequently more convenient for the shallows and low tides. The forecastles were very high, and the poops so contrived as to endure the roughness of those seas. The bodies of the ships were built entirely of oak, stout enough to withstand any shock or violence. The banks for the oars were beams of a foot square, bolted at each end with iron pins as thick as a man's thumb. Instead of cables for their anchors they used iron chains. The sails were of untanned hide, either because they had no linen, and were ignorant of its use, or, as is most likely, because they thought linen sails not strong enough to endure their boisterous seas and winds.'' (20).
   Who and what were these Dunmonii? They first appear in history by name in the pages of Solinus and Ptolemy. Early writers make sad havoc of their designation. They are Dunmonii, Dumnonii, Danmonii, Damnonii, and in Saxon mouths become Donmonii and Domnonii. Such is their name on the tongues of others. What they called themselves and their country may have been very different. Even modem explorers and annexers are not always so successful in their renderings of native - not to say barbaric - words, that we should ascribe infallibility in such matters to the ancient. But unquestionably the name had a native basis. As Mr. Elton remarks,
   "there were Damnonians or Dumnonians not only in Cornwall and Devon, but all over Central Scotland, from the sea shore of Galloway to the mouth of the Tay. The limits of a third Damnonia can be traced in the midland and western parts of Ireland." (21).
   I gather that he regards these spots as so many homes of the same race ; but is not that too wide an inference to draw from a mere identity of name, which might be as reasonably founded in a similarity of conditions? If the word means merely "mountain dwellers," all is explained ; and we need hardly doubt that its etymology is Keltic, since in later days the western Dunmonii distinctly accepted the term as their proper designation.
   Camden offered two suggestions for its origin:
   "If it be not derived from the inexhaustible mines of Tinn, found in those parts and call'd by the Britains Moina [and so implies as much as a hill of mines, for which it hath been always more famous, than for any other thing ; if I say it be not derived from thence], it probably comes from dwelling under the mountains." (22).
   Professor Rhys (23) is aggravatingly indefinite, stating a possible derivation from domno-s "probably the same as the 0. Irish domun, world," which might have meant the smaller world of the tribe before taking a wider sense; and supplying another explanation from the Welsh word deofn (for an older dumn- or dubn-), deep. But, as the Professor frankly adds, "this is all guesswork" - a remark which has a very wide bearing upon etymological dissertations.
   We can have no exact knowledge of the local name of the Dunmonii. Dun, however, is the Kornu-Keltic word for a hill ; which we see in din = a heap, mound, fortified hill, or fortress; and in dinas = a fortress. We find it too in other branches of the Keltic, as din in Welsh; dinn, duan, or dun in Irish ; dinn in Gaelic. It is the same word that appears in Latinized Keltic placenames, as dinium or dunum. Is it needful to seek further? The Dunmonii unquestionably did dwell on high places, in hill fortresses; as remains of their earthworks abundantly attest. All that the term, in the West or elsewhere, appears to have implied, was that those to whom the Romans gave it were mountaineers. This is paralleled by Camden's etymology of Durotriges - the name of the tribe inhabiting Dorsetshire.
   "Dwr, which in British signifies water, and Trig, an inhabitant, as if one should say, dwellers by the Water or Seaside."
   Here our help from Professor Rhys consists in a suggested equation with the Irish Dartraighi. But dwr and trig, or their equivalents, are undoubted Kornu-Keltic. Why then go afield for that which is lying on the threshold ?
   Attempts have been made to find a derivation for the second syllable of Dunmon, as in Camden's moina. It may well be argued that the inflected dunum would answer every purpose. Or maen = stone, plural meyn, may be suggested. Or taking dun in its more limited meaning of a fort, the mon may be thought to represent the word for mountain, which we find in Kornu-Keltic as menedh, in Welsh as mynydh, in Irish and Gaelic as monadh, and in Gaelic also as monedh. This, however, is of minor importance compared with the identification of the dun.
   The latter point is by no means trivial, if the derivations here suggested hold good. The form of Keltic spoken in Dunmonia at the dawn of the historic period, was that which lingered on in Cornwall to the early part of the last century - a phase of Kymric or Welsh - the Brythonic of Professor Rhys, the speech of the second wave of Keltic invaders; though he declares that the remains of the Dunmonic tongue in old inscriptions and epitaphs "leave us in no kind of doubt that the Dunmonii were of the earlier Kelts or Goidels." The hypothesis of Professor Rhys is, that the Kelts of Dunmonia were in part the ancestors
   “of the Cornish folk, and that since the Ogam inscriptions of Devon and those of allied date in Cornwall were cut, they must have changed their language from a Goidelic to a Brythonic one."
   But the inscriptions are, roughly, of the sixth century, and we are dealing with a far earlier period. There are distinct traces of Irish influence in the West about the date of these memorials, and Irish influence would supply all the Goidhelic features required. (24).
   The Dunmonii were a mixed race. Professor Rhys in his map of Keltic Britain shows the western peninsula, from the Lands End to the frontier line of the Stour and Mendips, in the possession of the Goidhels or Gaels of his first Keltic wave, with a trace of their Iverian predecessors running through central Cornwall across the Tamar. But this is necessarily a partial view. It is unlikely that modern Devonians bear any strain of primitive Palaeolithic cavedweller blood. Remains of the later Stone Age, however, are too extensive and too general to make it probable that the Neolithic folk have wholly disappeared. Barrows reveal that here as elsewhere a longheaded race were intruded upon and largely dispossessed by a roundheaded, in whom we may probably identify the earlier Kelts. Between that epoch and the dawn of recorded history stretches the vast Bronze Age, affording ample time for a liberal amalgamation. of the Goidhels and their predecessors before the second - the Brythonic or Kymric- Keltic wave - pulsed over from the Continent, in its turn driving the Goidhels into remote comers and mountain fastnesses.
   How far this process had been carried in Dunmonia by the Roman advent we may judge by the fact that the speech had become Brythonic;(25) and that the old Welsh (as Mr. Elton says) may be treated as the parent not only of modern Welsh, but of the Keltic tongues of Cornwall, Strathclyde, and Brittany. This to my mind is conclusive that in Dunmonia, at the Christian era, the Gaelic or Goidhelic element had been absorbed, though we have the great authority of Professor Rhys on the other side.
   Even yet, though distinctions of speech save of dialect have well-nigh died out, there are to be identified in the more Keltic parts of this country remnants of a short blackhaired stock, different from the tall light Kelts. These (as Mr. Elton has shown(26) are not merely found in ancient Siluria, in Cornwall, and partially in Devon, but in Ireland, the Western Isles, the Midlands, and the Fen Country; indeed generally, where physical conditions afforded shelter to the fragments of a weak and beaten race. There was small racial difference between the Dunmonii and the Silures. The pages of history teem with the struggles of the latter. "No disaster or loss of leaders was sufficient to break their obstinate spirit." Why is the record of Dunmonia such an utter blank?

Roman Remains in Devon.

   Thus far we have done little more than clear the ground. But although written history is silent as to when and how the Romans reached Dunmonia, it is certain that they did so. We enquire therefore for material vestiges to help us on our way. Prebendary Scarth remarks:
   "By degrees the Roman Conquest extended from the estuary of the Thames to that of the Severn, and extended over Cornwall, forming what was termed the province of Britannia Prima. Over every portion of this we find Roman roads and the remains of elegant villas, as well as Roman camps, maritime fortresses, and stations along the lines of road.'' (27).
   But this is far too wide a generalization. It is true of Somerset; it is not true of Devon; still less is it true of Cornwall That county has revealed no Roman villa; Devon with certainty only two. Cornwall has no Roman station ; Devon but two. In fact, there are energetic antiquaries who deny our claim to either. As to Roman "camps," they cannot muster half a dozen in both counties, in the vaguest sense ; and these, with one possible exception, are casual and unimportant. Moreover, there is no indisputable evidence of Roman roads, save in the merest comer of the Devonian area.(28).
   Fertile imaginations have indeed run riot in the construction of Roman evidences. Perhaps the finest illustration is supplied by the Rev. H. J. Whitfeld in his Rambles in Devonshire. There is a spot called Portbridge near Waddeton, on the Dart, with a little earthwork on the hill above. That is all Mr. Whitfeld has for material; but he gives us the fullest details of the decay of the "Roman town" with whose gate he assumes the bridge was originally connected; and he is quite familiar with the conditions of the vanished "burgh”. As a romance it is ingenious; the mischief is, the hasty reader is apt to take this sort of thing for history.
   The contrast between Somerset and Devon in the matter of Roman relics is very striking. It is not merely that traces of the Romans have been found in 150 distinct localities in the former county, independently of roads and doubtful "camps." We have forced upon us abundant testimony of their quiet business occupation in every part of Somerset, and of its general absence in Devon. Somerset boasts the important Roman city of Bath - seat of wealth and luxury - and the equally definite, though not so extensive, Roman town of Ilchester. There are pavements and foundations of upwards of forty Roman villas and buildings, some of great extent and magnificence — the ruins of that at Littleton covering 30 acres. There are traces of Roman mining operations for lead on the Mendips, with pigs of lead raised and stamped by them; and, possibly, for iron on the Brendon Hills. There are sites of sundry Roman potteries with perfect kilns, and refuse ware by the hundred cartloads. There are Roman embankments against the Severn Sea. Roman coins are found in abundance, and moulds for casting them. Burial urns are common. Miscellaneous articles of Roman use are many and varied. The material evidence points conclusively to the widespread peaceful presence of the Roman - patrician and plebeian - in every comer of Somerset. And what seems so significant is that the villas come close to our border and there stop, with two exceptions only in the eastern corner of Devon, not far beyond the frontier - mere shadows of the magnificence of their neighbours.
   Take for example the singularly beautiful tesselated pavements of Wadeford, near Chard ; or the still more characteristic pavements unearthed at East Coker in 1753 (ascribed to Devon in error then, with the ascription repeated by Mr. Gomme in his Gentleman’s Magazine Library). Here was depicted - besides other subjects -
   “a woman lying in full proportion with an hour-glass under her elbow, and a flower-pot in one hand; over her head an hare flying from a greyhound, just catching her in his mouth ; at her feet a bloodhound in pursuit of a doe just before him."
   The meagre ornament of the tesselated pavements of Exeter makes a very sorry figure by the side of works like these ; and that of the villa at Holcombe in Uplyme seems to have been poorer still. Of the other Devonian villa, at Hannaditches, near Seaton, we know nothing in this regard. It was not much, if at all, beyond a farmplace.
   The paucity of Roman dwellings in Devon is very noteworthy. Prebendary Scarth writes:
   "Villas are numerous in the more western parts of Somerset, and especially in Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Dorsetshire, Hampshire (Isle-of- Wight), Sussex, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Kent, Essex, Lincolnshire, and Yorkshire; also remains of villas are found in Shropshire and South Wales." (29).
   These were localities thoroughly under Roman influence and control. There the Roman country gentleman satisfied his rural tastes; and they were probably in their degree as Romanized as upland Italy itself. Devon offered few attractions to this class; Cornwall none at all. Mr. Gomme is quite accurate when he says,

"No pavement or other indication of settled occupation has been found in Cornwall".

The Romans in Cornwall.

   All that is really known of the Romans in Cornwall will be found in the Journal of the Royal Institution of that county, where the papers of the late Dr. Barham, the late Mr. N. Whitley, and the Rev. W. lago, bring to a focus the facts ascertained by previous enquirers, and the results of the latest investigations.(30).
   The whole may be summarized in few words. There is no trace in Cornwall of a Roman road; there is no structural work that can be assigned a Roman origin; there is no evidence that the Romans ever wrought the tin mines - such evidence as never fails us in the lead mines of Somerset and Derby, the copper mines of Anglesey, and iron mines elsewhere.
   Roman coins indeed have been found at various points, at times in quantity, suggesting the buried capital of a little trading post. There are two "camps," at Tregaer, near Bodmin, and Bosence, near St. Hilary, which have yielded undoubted proof of Roman occupation ; and similar remains have been found at St. Minver, near Padstow. The most noteworthy relics are two Roman inscribed stones - one at Tintagel, the other at St. Hilary, both dating in the early part of the fourth century, bearing the names of the Emperors Constantine and Licinius. And since Constantine was active in British affairs there seems no more probable suggestion than their connection with the march of a small Roman force into the further West, by whom the earthworks at Tregaer and Bosence were occupied. Such commemorative pillars were frequently erected by or for these joint rulers.

Roman Stations in Devon.

   Two sure historic links, and only two, connect Rome and Devon - Ptolemy and the Antonine Itinerary. Indeed, Ptolemy alone gives an uncertain sound. He simply mentions names which the author of the Itinerary sweeps into the Roman net. This document is anonymous, and its date is disputed; but it was probably written in the reign of Hadrian or of Severus, either early in the second century or in the opening of the third. The point is only important to us in its bearing on the date of the Roman occupation of Devon, for whenever the Itinerary was written Exeter was in Roman hands. It names Isca Dumnuniorum as a Roman station, with Moridunum preceding; and though sundry attempts have been made to prove that Isca of the Dunmonii (the Romans added the inflective a to the original uisq) is not Exeter (in other words, that Isca is not Isca, or that Dunmonian Isca lay outside Dunmonian territory), they may be dismissed with briefest note. The last attempt in this direction - that of Mr. Gordon Hills - was conclusively answered by our late lamented member, Mr. J. B, Davidson.
   Isca Dumnuniorum occurs in both the 12th and 15th Iters. In the 15th, which covers the route from Silchester to Exeter, we have : Calleva - 15 miles - Vindomi - 21 miles Venta Belgarum - 11 miles - Brige - 8 miles - Sorbioduni - 12 miles - Vindogladia - 8 miles - Dumonovaria - 36 miles - Muriduno - 15 miles - Isca Dumnuniorum. Some of these distances will not work out for the modem sites identified with the places named; but the document is obviously very defective, and the distances between Durnonovaria (Dorchester), Moridunum (whichever of the chief claimants to that disputed station we take), and Exeter, are as exact as could be reasonably desired.
  The 12th Iter gives the same stations from Calleva to Isca Dumnuniorum (save that the distance between Brige and Sorbiodunum appears as nine miles instead of eight), and then continues: Leucaro, Nido, Bomio, Iscae Leg. II. Augusta, Burrio, Gobannio, Magnis, Bravinnio, Viroconio. Isca Augusta is accepted as Caerleon-on-Usk = Isca Silurum ; and it is generally thought that some confusion has arisen in this Iter by reason of the two Iscas.(31) Bishop Clifford, however, held that this 12th Iter described a circuitous route from Silchester by Exeter to Caerleon and on to Wroxeter, and carried the road between the two Iscas through Somerset, suggesting Hembury as Leucarus.


   Whether Bishop Clifford's view of the route be taken or not (and I am afraid the hypothesis will hardly stand the test of enquiry), Hembury is one of the claimants for the site of Moridunum, and, as I think, the strongest. In early days Hembury Fort was a place of enormous strength, and Honiton not improbably now represents the elder community. Sarum is not the only ancient town which for greater convenience stepped from the hill into the valley. Reading Moridunum in Keltic form as Mor-y-dun, and taking Mor to mean the "sea," Moridunum was placed by most of the early antiquaries at Seaton - Bennet, Borlase, Camden, Gale, Hoare, Musgrave, Salmon, and Stukeley, agreeing in that view. Further, we have had Eggardun, near Dorchester, Horsley ; Topsham, Baxter ; Dumpdon, Heineken ; Honiton, J. B. Davidson ; Salcombe Regis ; and High Peak, Sidmouth. One of the first to suggest Hembury (where an iron bar was once found) was Mr. J. Davidson; and Mr. P. 0. Hutchinson agreeing in that view, expanded it at our Crediton meeting by regarding the station as represented by the two-mile long promontory from Hembury Fort to Bushy Knap inclusive. In truth there was never anything to commend Seaton save the idea that Mor meant "sea." The analogies are all in favour of an inland site, and as Maur-y-dun is quite legitimately read the "great hill fort," etymology favours Hembury as strongly as Seaton. Moreover, it was long since shown that Morden actually survives as a manorial name near Hembury: but all we really know is, that this station lay between Durnonovaria and Isca, and that the traveller reached it fifteen miles before he came to Exeter.
   Here the Peutingerian Table does not help us. At first hand a good fourth-century authority for Isca, it is silent as to Moridunum. It shows, however, a road running west from Exeter, and a certain Ridumo thereon at fifteen miles distance ; and it has been supposed that by this Moridunum is meant. But the character of the map can best be judged from the reproduction.


   We return therefore to the Antonine Itinerary, Its special value for us is not merely the identification of Exeter as a Roman station, but the clear indication afforded that the city was not only in Roman hands, but had been held long enough to have fallen into place as part of the great Roman governmental scheme. Hence, although Vespasian as general was not concerned, Exeter must have been occupied by the Romans somewhere between the middle of the first century, A.D., and the date of the Itinerary - probably within fifty years of Vespasian, certainly within a hundred and fifty. It may indeed have been settled under Agricola. And assuredly no danger could have been apprehended from the Dunmonian quarter, when Hadrian was devoting all his energies to wall-building and fighting in the North.(32).
  We know nothing of Exeter before its Roman days. We assume that it had a British origin, but the assumption is inferential. No traces of Keltic occupation are recorded; and for all that we have to the contrary, the city might be as purely of Roman foundation as it is of Roman plan. But the position was important. It was served by the tidal headway of the Exe. It commanded the ford carrying the great western road across that river - call it the Fosseway, Ikenild, or what you will. The presence of Eastern coins much older than the Roman intercourse cannot be dismissed as casual or unimportant. (33). The existence of a British Exeter is therefore a necessary article of historic faith. Still it could hardly have ranked with such great tribal strongholds as Hembury, or Cadbury, or Clovelly Dikes. The area of Roman Exeter indeed is some 100 acres; but this is far beyond the size of any local British settlement; and the configuration of the ground suggests that Keltic Exeter was much smaller. At best it could only have stood in the second rank of Dunmonian towns. The physical features of the site have been modified. A bold peninsular ridge dominated the marshes along the river, rising on the north-east into the volcanic hill of Rougemont. Here then stood the British strength, commanding, like a mediaeval castle, the road sweeping by its flank. Under the Romans the town overflowed from the hill to the peninsula; the road became the main thoroughfare of the city; and Exeter in most literal phrase "the gateway of the West."
   From Roman days, then, the real importance of Exeter springs. The Roman city, replacing the British fort, was the final westward outpost of Roman civilization. Perchance for a while the two stood side by side; as in later times the city had both its Keltic and its Saxon quarters. Some may see indication of this in the association by Ptolemy of Isca Dunmoniorum and the station of the Second Augustan Legion, to which he gives the same longitude, and a latitude differing by ten minutes only. But these ten minutes are ten too much; and since it is abundantly clear that the Second Legion occupied the Silurian Isca we may dismiss the suggestion without more ado. The fifth-century Roman army list known as the Notitia, ignores Dunmonia; and there is no historical evidence of the presence of a garrison at all.
   The walls apart, indeed, the Roman relics found at Exeter are singularly barren of warlike features. Quiet occupation seems indicated by the remains of buildings, by the traces of interments, by the enormous heaps of potsherds, by the exceptional finds of coins. Commercial aspects are far more prominent than military. The Exe seems in some way to have been treated as the Dunmonian boundary; and Exeter to have played the double part of a frontier outpost and a fiscal centre. The full tide of traffic to and from the West, with its tin mines, flowed through the city gates along the accustomed road. Customs authority could be exercised, and tribute levied, with the greatest ease. Under such conditions wider commercial importance would necessarily develop. Thus were the foundations laid of the business activity which has never since deserted the capital of the West. Capacity for defence dictated the sites of the older British towns. Exeter, strong by nature, stronger still in its artificial ramparts, haunted by traders from all parts of the civilized world, became a great emporium; and has never lost this character.
   There is just one other ray of historic light. It comes from what might seem an unlikely source - one of the controversial works of Tertullian (adv. Judæus).
   "Et Britannorum, inacessa Romanis loca, Christo vero subdita.”
   In the opening years, therefore, of the third century there were parts of Britain, not under Roman rule, where Christ was truly followed. This was not true of the really barbarous regions of the North. But there is no part of the island to which we can more fairly apply the statement than Dunmonia. It is difficult, indeed, to see what other meaning the sentence could have, though probably Wales might be included in the category.
   Contemporary Record, which Record alone is truly authoritative, finally deserts us here. Further authentic information touching Roman Devon must be gathered only from Material Vestiges. We may group these under three heads, (a) Traces of Residence, (b) Traces of Communication, (c) Traces of Art and Industry

Traces of Roman Residence.

   The first head has been already dealt with to cover Isca and Moridunum, and the villas of Holcombe and Hannaditches. Probable evidence of Roman settlement was afforded also by the discovery, in 1882, at Stonehouse, of a little cemetery, presumably of Roman origin. And that - the so-called "camps" excepted - practically exhausts this branch of our subject. Upon "camps" firsts and "roads" second, the most headstrong guessworks touching Roman Devon have been reared.
   I have said aforetime that no antiquarian error has caused more mischief, than the unfounded belief that the vast majority of ancient earthworks were ever "camps" in the modem acceptation of that term. If we begin our enquiry by mistaking towns for fortifications, the further we go the wider from the mark we get. "Defence not defiance" might have been the motto of the tribes who crowned our heights with ditch and rampart, well-nigh as truly as of the modern volunteers. Their cities, set on hills, could not be hid. The need of protection in a country thickly inhabited by rival peoples was ever present. The rampart was as necessary as the house. But its main purpose after all was less fighting than living; and although great central strongholds were provided against times of set conflict, the number and disposal of the so-called "camps" are not tokens of the severity of a campaign, but of the extent and industry of settled inhabitancy. As links in the chain of proof, even at the cost of some repetition, take Maiden Castle, Old Sarum, Exeter. Maiden Castle, replaced by Roman Dorchester, has no history - nothing but its bounding cincture. Old Sarum invests its giant ramparts with the memory of the day when the city left their guardianship and descended into the plain. Deserted, it is not forgotten; nor are its ancient features wholly lost. But Keltic Exeter was neither replaced by the Roman nor abandoned in the early Middle Ages, and the changes wrought by centuries of occupation have well-nigh obliterated all traces of relationship to its kin.
   Most of these ancient sites have been long deserted; but many a parish, or village, or hamlet yet continues, directly or indirectly, from these grass-grown mounds. Without question, for example, the Skrinkhills is the parent of Tiverton. We read this in the names of parishes - as Ashbury, Bigbury, Berry Pomeroy, Berry Narbor, Broadhembury, Burrington, Clannaborough, Cookbury, Kentisbury, Modbury, Payhembury, Roborough, Thornbury, Ugborough, Wembury, Wolborough. Or in manors, villages, hamlets, and farms - as Balbury (Lydford), Battisborough (Holbeton), Berry (Shebbear), Blackborough (two – Bradninch and Kentisbere), Borough (Northam), Burraton (Bishops Clist), Burrington (Pennycross), Burrow (Bratton Clovelly), Burrows (Monkokehampton), Halsbury (two - Burrington and Parkham), Horsborough and Sherborough (Morthoe), Jedborough (Hemyock), Kennbury Exminster), Kinterbury (St. Budeaux), Mambury (East Putford), Maynbergh (High week), Thornbury (Egg Buckland), Okenbury (Ringmore),Puttsborough (Georgeham),Sadborough (Thorncombe),Sherborough (Sutcombe), Wickaborough (Berry Pomeroy), Whitborough (Kingskerswill), Wibbery (Alverdiscott), Yardbury (Colyton). Nearly fifty of the manors named in Domesday give "bury" proof of continuing some Keltic or Saxon "strength."
   There are existing remains in Devon of some two hundred of these ancient earthworks (Mr. J. Davidson mentions more than thirty within twenty-five miles of Axminster alone), with evidence in name or record of nigh as many more. And just as in modern days we range from the tiny hamlet to the spreading city, so these, their old-time predecessors, vary in size from the eighth of an acre to eighty acres and above. Of one hundred and twenty tested a third had an area of one acre and under only; another fourth had between one and two acres; a further sixth ranged between two acres and five. Only a fourth were over five acres; and but half of these were over ten. The skill with which some were fortified is very remarkable; and has again and again excited the admiration of modern military engineers(34).
   The number, size, and structure of these earthworks do not point, then, to barbarism, but to civilization. But there is not one in the county to which a Roman origin can unhesitatingly be assigned. Polwhele had a glimpse of this when he argued from the paucity of Roman evidence that the Dunmonii had surrendered without any considerable resistance. The few earthworks that have been counted Roman have superiority over their kin neither in size nor plan. Quite the contrary. Clovelly Dikes, or the "Dichens," covers twenty acres of ground; has a triple rampart fifteen to twenty-five feet high; ditches ranging from twenty to forty paces wide; and exterior defences. There is not the slightest authority for giving this great work to the Romans; and no western  “camp" that can with any shadow of argument be claimed for them is worthy for a moment to be named with it.
   There are indeed sundry earthworks in Devon which have been regarded as Roman because of their rectangular or assumed rectangular form - notably at Bishops Nympton, Buckland Brewer, Countisbury, Eggesford, North Molton, and Bradbury (North Lew). But only two of these have any real claim to such regularity of outline - Eggesford and Bradbury; and the most important of the series - Countisbury - has no claim at all. At Eggesford the situation is dead against the Roman hypothesis, and the enclosure may well be of much later date. Bradbury is distinctly rectangular but has only one entrance instead of the usual Roman four; and no definite Roman relics have been found there. The occurrence in the vicinity of such names as Chester Moor, Scob Chester, and Wick Chester does indeed seem to give strong countenance to the Roman hypothesis ; but even so the work is no more than an exploring expedition might readily have raised en route.
   Chester, or its variants caster and cester, in place-names, is indeed generally held to indicate a Roman origin, and is the commonest of our Roman test words. But all we can really predicate with certainty concerning it is, that it comes from the Latin castra, and that it was applied by the Saxons to certain non-Saxon earthworks. It does not occur in the Roman names of Romano-British towns or cities; and was probably introduced into the language through ecclesiastical influence. No doubt it frequently indicates a Roman site; but it is further used in a far wider sense to include ordinary enclosures of quite other than Roman type. Thus in some parts of Scotland "circular fortifications" are called chesters; and the term is also applied in southern Scotland, singly or in combination, to farm places and the like. In Gaelic it is used as the mere equivalent of "camp." (35). Such a use would be very uncommon with us; but then we have no clue to the period when these rural Devonian chesters received their names; and there is not only the possibility, but a strong probability, that the usage of the South of Scotland, and I may add of the North of England, has somehow got transplanted to the West. We have distinct traces of northern influence in such placenames as Fingle Bridge and Becky Falls; and we need feel no surprise therefore at the appearance of the northern application of chester. Add to this the chance of the Bradbury enclosure being of much later origin, and even of other than warlike purposes, and the case for its Roman origin is by no means conclusive. The most liberal verdict must be"not proven."
   The impress of the Roman is far more plainly seen in traces of his presence or occupation in such undoubted British towns as Berry Head, Cadbury, Hembury, and Milber Down.
   If we could confidingly accept all that we are told, Berry Head, next to Exeter and Moridunum, must have been the chief centre of Roman influence in Devon. Large quantities of Roman coins are said to have been found there early in the last century; and abundant remains of Roman masonry are stated to have been demolished in the opening years of the present to make way for the modern rampart. Unfortunately, nothing can be traced of the coins; and the existence of Roman masonry - teste the enquiries of Mr. Henry Woollcombe - clearly springs from imagination, rather than authority. Caesar tells us that the Veneti were accustomed to place their towns on "the edge of promontories, or upon points of land that ran out into the sea." The Veneti and the Dunmonii were in close association; and this is precisely the manner in which the so-called "cliff castles" of Cornwall were formed, by ramparts cutting oflf the seaward ends of headlands. Such a rampart crossed Berry Head long before the advent of the Romans: and there is no reason for suggesting that they had anything to do with a reconstruction; or that the modem general who, calling the old vallum Roman made it so, possessed the slightest antiquarian qualifications. Mr. Henry Woollcombe was of a different opinion; and the Rev. Mr. Lyte, who had firm faith in the Roman idea, was only able to advance scant evidence in support. Still, while we cannot admit that Berry Head was in any real sense a Roman settlement, it has afforded undoubted proof of Roman presence.
   The finds at Cadbury, assuming that the results enumerated were Roman, do not necessarily carry us beyond peaceful intercourse. Seeing, however, that bronze celts were customarily classed as Roman a century since, in the absence of the articles a slightly sceptical attitude may be pardoned.
   Here is clearly the place to note an ingenious hypothesis by Dr. Hurly Pring. Could it be established, the Roman origin of most of our older towns would be proven. The fallacy lies in the assumption - near of kin to that with which we have next to deal - that pre-Roman Britons were unacquainted with gates. Yet, as we have seen, they had magnificent town walls !
   The suggestion occurs in Dr. Pring's paper on "The Ancient Name and Office of Port-reeve." Accepting the view of Professor Stubbs, "that the word port in port-reeve is the Latin porta [not portus] where the markets are held," Dr. Pring argues,
   "that in most, if not all, of the cities or towns in which the ancient office of Port-reeve ... is found to exist, there also, at a very early period, must have existed a wall, dyke of earth, stockade, or circumvallation of some kind, and also gates" 
   adding further that there are many towns which
   "may not be able to boast a Roman name, or even bear the Roman stamp of chester or caster, and yet by their possession of the name of Port-reeve the important fact must be held to be established that they had a Roman existence."

Ancient Roads.

   We pass on to our next section. . The second most fruitful source of pseudo-Romanism is the belief that the ancient use of the word "street" implied the existence of a Roman way. This sprang from the twin assumption that the Anglo-Saxons always used the word to mean a paved road; and that paving was beyond the powers or desires of Teuton or Kelt. We must, however, in any case have more than the mere existence of the "word" to sustain such a fabric; for the Saxons called a main road a street, quite apart from its origin or construction, as Watling Street, and Ermin Street, and Akeman Street, attest Nay, they applied the term to the Milky Way!(36). All that the use of the word by them indicates is importance or antiquity. And it is curious to note, that while no road in the kingdom bespoke more trouble or care than the Fosseway, that great road is not called a street, although Stratton-on-Fosse is found.
   Some antiquaries have even treated "way" as a Roman test word. Yet there is proof that paving was practised by both British and Continental Kelts; and raised causeways through marshes were known among both Gauls and Germans. Sir R. Colt Hoare, in Wiltshire, traced many ancient paved roads directly into British villages; and the central trackway on Dartmoor, the continuation of the western high road from Somerset towards the Land's End, is formed with considerable skill. Mr. R Burnard, who has followed it some eighteen miles, has described it as ten feet wide, and in its most perfect portion consisting of a bed of stones two to two and a half feet deep (37). There has never been the faintest suggestion that the Romans had aught to do with this.
   So Mr. C. W. Dymond, F.S.A., in a paper on the Abbots Way at Glastonbury, a wooden corduroy road of high antiquity, now buried in the marshes, sustains the theory of the pre-Roman embankment of the Somersetshire levels (38), and brings cogent argument in proof. Folk who could embank a marsh could form a road; and folk who could carry on mining operations were competent for either.
   I need hardly stay to point out that if the occurrence of "street" in a place-name is to be pressed into this service the antiquity of its use must be proven. If it cannot be carried back before the Conquest, it is worthless for such a purpose. Some antiquaries almost seem to assume that the word has been obsolete ever since; or at least such an assumption is necessary to make their arguments hold water.
   Two very ancient roads entered Devon from the eastward. There was the coast road, which the Romans used as their route between Durnonovaria and Isca Dunmoniorum, via Moridunum, and which somehow, from the antiquaries of the pre-scientific school, got the name of the Ikenild, without, as Mr. R. W. Cotton has shown, the slightest justification. And there was the main line of the Fosseway, joining the other from Somersetshire, somewhere near Moridunum. The united road passed through Exeter, continued in a direct line over Haldon to the ford of the Teign near Chudleigh, crossed Dartmoor as the Great Central Trackway to the vicinity of Tavistock, took the lowest ford on the Tamar, probably at or near Tamara, and finally passed along the backbone of Cornwall to Mounts Bay.
  There were several minor roads. Some branched from Exeter, others traversed the northern and the southern regions of the county. Unquestionably there was also a northern route into Cornwall; and there must have been a southern, crossing the Tamar at what is now Saltash Passage. But in these early days ferries were avoided whenever possible, and main lines of traffic ran by fords
   This is one of the reasons why the older towns on navigable rivers are so rarely seated near their mouths, and so commonly, as at Exeter and Totnes and Chudleigh, at the chief fording -place towards the estuary. The material means of communication must have been adequate to the special needs and groupings of the centres of population. Towns and roads of some sort are necessary correlatives.
   Several of the ancient roads of Devon were well marked, especially on the Fosseway route. There was Marwood's Causeway in Yarcombe, a quarter of a mile long, crossing a flat, boggy part of the hill. There was a causeway at Street, in Rockbeare. Alphington Causeway, from the ford of the Exe, was another important work; and about the middle of the last century it was remarked of the continuation through Kenn:
   "Not bolder remains in the kingdom of such ways exist than from the passage over the Exe through Kennford to Newton. It appears with a high crest most part of the way."
   Near Totnes an ancient road was raised, and partly paved; and there was a paved road between Clovelly Dikes and Clovelly Glen.
   That Roman travellers used such ancient ways is certain ; but with one exception, to be dealt with presently, no road, either in Devon or in Cornwall, shows the slightest trace of Roman handiwork. These roads were originally claimed as Roman by the enthusiastic antiquaries of the last century; mainly, as we have seen, because the Britons were held too barbarous to have invented them: and Roman in the popular view they have remained. If the Britons could not make them, the Romans were the inevitable alternative. Dr. Borlase made up his mind that Stratton meant "Street-town," and that a "street-town" must be on a Roman road. So he mounted Stratton church tower to look for this Roman road, and presently saw three! Unluckily we cannot be content to gaze through eyes of faith like his.
   Stratton indeed has been the sheet-anchor of the Cornish Romists from the days of Carew down (39). There has rarely been a more signal example of misplaced confidence; for Stratton is merely a corruption of an earlier name. It occurs in Domesday as Stratone, which might serve; but we find it nigh two centuries earlier in quite another form - in Aelfred's will, wherein he leaves to Eadweard land at Straetnaet, in Triconshire; Straetnaet being Stratton, and Triconshire the current Saxon name for Cornwall, which partially survives yet in the Hundred of Trigg and the Deaneries of Trigg Major and Trigg Minor.
   These spurious etymologies are most misleading. Another antiquary claimed the "Romansleigh ridge" as the line of a Roman road, simply on the score of its prefix. It was a simple bull. This "Roman" is an Irish-Cornish bishop = Rumon, patron saint of Romansleigh parish.
   Fosse (40) again has been pressed into the service ; but fosse, as the dialectic vossy is applied to causeways elsewhere, which no one has dreamt of calling Roman; as, for example, the raised tidal road across the creek at Newton Ferrers, which has no other name than "the Voss."
   Such are the flimsy warp and woof whereof the Devon-Roman road fabric has been woven. But we must not be too hard on the elder antiquaries. Even in the present day we are told on high authority, to regard the stele erected in honour of Constantine at St. Hilary, in Cornwall, as a Roman milestone, though it gives neither name of place nor distance. The proof seems to work out thus: The stone must be a Roman milestone, because it lies near a Roman road. The road must be a Roman road because it runs near a Roman milestone. Q.E.D.
   Now while the Romans, as a rule, greatly improved the old British roads used by them, and opened new routes to suit their needs, here in the West they seem to have been mainly content with the trackways found ready to hand. The relations of the Fosseway and the so-called Ikenild, and their branches, to the sites of ancient earthworks, show their pre-Roman origin. Nor can we be absolutely sure that we have Roman improvements in "Marwood's Causeway," the Alphington Causeway, and their kin. Works of this kind were frequently undertaken as acts of mediaeval piety, and short of record or of clear structural proof, some room for doubt must always remain.
   There seems, however, indisputable evidence of Roman road-making in Devon at one point - the only work of a permanent character which can be definitely assigned to the Romans west of Exeter.
   Teign Bridge was rebuilt in 1815, and Mr. P. T. Taylor contributed to the proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries (41) an account of certain discoveries then made. The bridge removed was a rough two-arched structure of grey limestone. This had been partially built on the springs of a five-arched bridge of red sandstone, of excellent workmanship. Below the first and third arches of the red bridge rhomboidal frames of oak were discovered bedded in loose stones and gravel These Mr. Taylor regarded as the basis of an earlier wooden bridge. Finally, underneath this framework, at the third arch, were the piers of a fourth bridge of fine white freestone, ashler-laid, standing on wooden platforms. Mr. Taylor held that the grey limestone bridge was sixteenth-century work, the red sandstone bridge thirteenth century, the wooden bridge as old as the Conquest, the white freestone bridge Roman.
   Dealing with these facts at the Newton Abbot meeting of the Association Mr. J. B. Davidson(42) inclined to give the grey limestone bridge to the seventeenth century ; was enabled by the aid of Bishop Lacy's registers to assign the red sandstone bridge its proper date of 1434; and produced strong evidence that the wooden bridge was built about 1084 - the Hundred, which in 1085-6 was mentioned as Tanebridge, being called Taintona in 1083-4. He accepted the Roman origin of the white freestone structure, for he suggested that the older route from Exeter over Haldon by Chudleigh was taken because "the site of Chudleigh Bridge was then just above the. head of the tide-flow of the river Teign"; and that when this was found inconvenient, the deposits in the valley having accumulated and forced the sea back,
   "the Roman engineers thought it worthwhile to effect a lower crossing over the Teign, and thus amongst other things get a shorter route to Totnes."
   At the same meeting of the Association Mr. E. W. Cotton considered the point in his paper on “Some Ancient Roads in South Devon," (43) and held that both the timber framework and the white freestone piers were Roman - "a timber framework on stone piers," being "really the most common form of the Roman bridge." If so, the change of name indicated by Mr. Davidson might point to a repair which had brought the dilapidated structure into use again.
   Whatever the exact detail of the explanation, we find that there was a bridge at Teignbridge when Domesday was compiled, to which it is more easy to give a Roman origin than any other. Moreover, this earliest bridge was led up to by a paved causeway ten to twelve feet wide; and we further have the authority of Mr. Taylor that about the year 1812 a widening of the modern causeway revealed pavements and traces of old buildings in every direction.
   We can only speculate as to when this work was done; but we may well believe it to have been far on in the Roman occupation, when a more convenient access to the southern parts of Devon than the mountain road across Dartmoor afforded was desired. It looks much more like the improvement of an old route than the formation of an absolutely new one, cutting off the detour by Chudleigh. The probable date in such case would be early in the fourth century, just when the soldiers of Constantine and Licinius seem to have made their march into Cornwall. Mr. E. W. Cotton sums up thus:
   "On the whole it may be considered to be not improbable that Teignbridge was the farthest point to which the Romans had completed their strictly military way in this direction; because to this point the road from Exeter had, so far as may be determined from the remains, the characteristic rigid and decided aspect of the roads over which the legionaries were accustomed to march . . . Beyond the valley of the Teign the road unmistakeably takes a different character and is less pronounced. The Roman engineers may have been baffled by the nature of the country, which is not likely; but the road follows the devious winding and irregular course, which is more characteristic of a British trackway, as if it were an adaptation of such an earlier way rather for commercial than for military traffic."

Objects of Roman Art and Industry.

   This brings us to our third and last head of material evidence - objects of Roman art and industry. These are chiefly coins.
   The testimony of coins needs cautious handling. In the vast majority of cases we cannot be sure of the date of their deposit. Lacking this mere casual occurrence has no historic value. The coin may or may not have lain where it is found from Roman times. It may or may not have dropped from Roman hands. In many parts of Africa and Asia there are European productions which no Europeans ever carried thither. We may be perfectly sure that many Roman coins passed into British custody, and that some must have found their way by this means to their long resting-places. With hoards the case is different. And the cumulative evidence of individual finds in one locality may take rank as positive proof. Most of the discoveries of Roman coins in Devon come under one of these two heads. Still, we are bound to encourage a spirit of wholesome scepticism. Nor must we forget that, even if fully authenticated, the simple occurrence of coins is merely evidence of presence, not of occupation. For a practical folk no people ever developed the faculty of losing money like the Romans. They seem hardly to have taken a walk without dropping some of their loose cash. In all probability there has been no single year since the Romans left that Roman coins have not been found at Exeter; and even yet the chances are that a pit could not be dug six feet deep near the centre of that city without gleaning some such pecuniary reward.
   The need of caution will be further recognised when it is seen that, outside Exeter, there are not a dozen places in Devon yielding Roman vestigia other than coins. Moreover, we must bear in mind that some unintentional dispersion of money is inevitable round every civilised centre of industry and traffic; and that no reasonable hypotheses of the condition of Dunmonia during the Roman era could exclude the circulation of Roman currency in native hands.
   There must have been many unrecorded discoveries of Roman coins in the county; but it is significant that those which are known group themselves distinctively in special spots and districts. Thus, to the east of Exeter, among the hill-forts of the Dorset border, in seaside towns like Seaton and Sidmouth and Lympstone, and at various points near the line of the great western road, coins have been found in some score of localities. They likewise occur on and near the continuation of this road, as at Kenton, Haldon, Hennock, Bovey, Ilsington, and Ashburton, with one find on the west of Dartmoor at Whitchurch. We get them sparingly and casually, save at Kingskerswell (possibly Berry Head), between this line and the coast at Teignmouth, Torquay, and Paignton. In and about Plymouth they have been found, only once in quantity (the Compton Gifford hoard), in some dozen places. But throughout the whole of the South Hams we have merely a small cluster at Bigbury and a stray example at North Huish. We trace them up the Exe Valley, at Cadbury, Bickleigh, Tiverton, Bampton, and eastward over the Somerset border, to a hoard at Wiveliscombe. They occur in the valley of the Creedy at Crediton, Poughill, Woolfardisworthy, Morchard Bishop, further north at East Worlington, and further west at South Tawton. Here and there they range from Somerset over the Devon Exmoor, with a stray example of the later emperors as at Instow and Bideford. And this is the whole story. The west of the county is barren; the north and centre nearly barren: the eastern and southern coasts, and their back country, with the valleys of their leading rivers - the Exe and Creedy and Teign and Bovey - have all but a monopoly.
   Another point not without meaning is the method of association. As a rule, the groups represent chiefly the earlier or the later emperors. Only here and there, as at Exeter, does one period run into the other, and suggest continuity of evidence or intercourse. Reasoning on such lines must be tentative. Coins, as a rule, circulate long after the men and women whose effigies they bear have passed away. When, however, we get coins of the same reigns specially grouped together in different localities, some kindred factor does seem to be indicated. At least, the point has to be considered. And so, when we find, as we do find, that the great western hoards, whether in Devon or in Cornwall or in Somerset, are chiefly of the lower empire, we are bound to suggest that there was some common motive for this widespread contemporaneous hide and seek. The belief in the security of private property could not have been very firm.
   The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which assigns the cessation of the Roman rule in Britain to the year 409, says that in 418
   "the Romans collected all the treasures that were in Britain ; and some they hid in the earth, so that no one has since been able to find them ; and some they carried with them into Gaul.''
   The date given is quite near enough to lead us to connect certain of the hoards with some such general action.
   Thus looked at, we find that the coins of the Exe Valley belong chiefly to the earlier group until we reach the hoard at Wiveliscombe, which is of the lower empire ; that those of the Creedy Valley are also early ; that those of Haldon and southern Devon come mainly in the same category, the chief exceptions being the hordes of Kingskerswell, Bigbury, and Compton, and the coins found at Bovey ; that the North Tawton find is of the lower empire; and that the east of Devon, like Exeter, yields coins of all periods of the Roman occupation, the hordes of Musbury following the general rule of being of the later group.
   There is in this, it seems to me, ample proof of intercourse - with Exeter as a centre - from the earliest period that can be assigned to the advent of the Romans in Devon - say the latter part of the first century : but that when we reach the fourth century we find ourselves also in the presence of scattered Roman settlements, possibly, in the main, of an individual character, yet so far connected as to be moved by a common feeling of insecurity.

Departure of the Romans.

   The departure of the Romans from the island did not directly affect its material prosperity. It is instructive to note how Britain had grown in exterior estimation. Upon the failure of the abortive expedition of Caesar the island was regarded as not worth the trouble of conquest. The Romans were not only pugnacious but practical. They hoped that Britain would be their Indies, and at first expectation was defeated. But the resources of the country were soon better known. Marcianus Heracleota, who flourished about the end of the third century, lauds Albion in glowing terms. It contained thirty-three nations, fifty-nine celebrated towns, forty noble rivers, fourteen lofty promontories, one notable chersonesus, five spacious bays, three notable harbours.
   Gildas, who wrote in the sixth century, by his praises of the land and his censure of its inhabitants, quaintly recalls the lines -
   "Where every prospect pleases, And only man is vile."
   "It is enriched by the mouths of two noble rivers, the Thames and the Severn, as it were two arms by which foreign luxuries were of old imported, and by other streams of less importance. It is famous for eight-and-twenty cities (civitatibus) and is embellished by certain castles, with walls, towers, well-barred gates, and houses with threatening battlements built on high (more literally): twenty-eight cities and some castles, the high-reared menace of whose walls, embattled turrets, gates, and dwellings was fixed upon strong heights, and gathered further strength therefrom], and provided with all requisite instruments of defence. Its plains are spacious, its hills are pleasantly situated, adapted for superior tillage, and its mountains are admirably calculated for the alternate pasturage of cattle, where flowers of various colours, trodden by the feet of man, give it the appearance of a lovely picture. It is decked like a man's chosen bride, with divers jewels, with lucid fountains and abundant brooks wandering over the snow-white sands; with transparent rivers flowing in gentle murmurs, and offering a sweet pledge of slumber to those who recline upon their banks; whilst it is irrigated by abundant lakes, which pour forth cool torrents of refreshing water." (44).
   The History of uncertain date, commonly assigned to Nennius, enumerates, not twenty-eight cities, but thirty-three ; and it is curious that neither is Exeter among them nor any Dunmonian town, unless Cair-teim be Ptolemy's Tamara (?). The omission of Isca is very remarkable. Can it be possibly corrupted into "gusteint"?
  These cities, as identified by Dr. Giles, but more than doubtfully to my mind in several cases, are:

"gurcocAnglesey (?).
"guorthegemUnknown (Vortigern).
"segeintSilchester (elsewhere said to be Carnarvon, from the river Seiont).
"guin truisNorwich or Winwick.
"daun or dauriDoncaster or Dorchester.
"guentWinchester, or Caerwent, Mon.
"colonColchester, or St. Colon [!], Cornwall
"guorconWorren or Woran, Pembroke.
"teimTeign-Grace [!]
"celemionCamalet, Somerset.
"loit coitLincoln.

Dunmonia would seem to have taken the lead in the defence of the independence of Britain after the departure of the Romans. Nennius and Gildas are the only contemporary or quasi-contemporary authorities; and Nennius is scant of information, while Gildas is confused. Thus much, however, may be made out. When Britain was left to itself two parties were formed. Of one Vortigern was the head - a pure-bred Briton, king of the Dimetae; of the other, according to Nennius, Ambrosius was chief, half Roman by the mother's side and son of the Dunmonian monarch - himself the great king among the kings of Britain. Gildas makes Ambrosius a member of the Roman nation, descended from parents "adorned with the purple." Yet he calls him also a son of Constantine of Dunmonia, which is odd, seeing that the only direct reference of this primitive and melancholy father of British history to the West of England is the declaration with regard to oath-breach -
   ''of this horrid abomination Constantine, the tyrannical whelp of the unclean lioness of Dunmonia is not ignorant."
   Geoffrey of Monmouth again, or his authorities, makes Constantine, king of Britain after the departure of the Romans, a brother of Aldroen, king of Armorica; marries Constantine to a lady descended from a noble Roman family ; and gives him three sons - Constans, Aurelius Ambrosius, and Uther Pendragon. Aurelius, elected king, defeats and burns Vortigern in the town of Genoreu, and with the aid of allies from Armorica repels the Saxons.
   But to go further would be to travel beyond my present purpose. The object of these later citations is served when they have shown that Dunmonia had not lost its nationality during the Roman occupation. Obscured that nationality may have been, but it was never extinguished.

General Conclusions.

   The conclusion of the whole matter, as it seems to me, is this: Prior to the Roman invasion Dunmonia, understanding by that term Devon and Cornwall, up to the natural frontier formed by the marshes of the Parret and the hilly region of western Dorset, was one of the most highly civilised parts of Britain. Tin had been raised here for the manufacture of bronze from a time, even then, of fabulous antiquity. Commerce had flourished, not merely with the Continent, but with the East, long ere the dawn of recorded history. Intercourse with adventurous strangers had increased chances, extended knowledge, widened sympathies, elevated aims. The skill of the natives was not limited by such simple mining operations as remained unchanged in the remoter nooks of our moorlands within living memory. The Dunmonii had learnt to work in bronze and iron with ease and taste; they were able potters; they shared with their allies across the Channel the capacity of building better craft than formed the Roman fleets.
   They were a numerous as well as a cultured people - so numerous that herding and farming must have prospered to maintain the needed food supply. Fenced hamlets and villages were frequent among the wide-spread woodlands. Fortified towns dotted the hills, so great and strong that vast cinctures yet remain to rouse our wonder and compel our admiration. "Good Lord!" exclaims that sober peripatetic, old Leland, as he gazes upon Camalet,
   "what deep ditches, what high walls, what precipices are here ! In short I look upon it as a very great wonder, both of art and nature."
   These centres of population were linked by well-worn trackways. The men who could raise such ramparts; who could dam the salt-marshes of adjacent Somerset; who could form stream-works, with their banks and ditches, pits and leats - such men were clearly able to make and maintain roads: nor could any people have reached thus far on the march of civilisation without them. (I wonder, however, what would be thought of our status as a civilised nation if we had to be judged by the shortcomings of certain Highway Boards.)
   In this corner of the island the Romans found a race numerous and skilful, civilised, well capable in numbers and in natural resources of self-defence, habituated to strangers, profiting by commerce. That race was never conquered; for history is silent, and material record blank. Men who shared the blood of the gallant Silures would not submit lightly to a foreign yoke. But the Romans did not tolerate the absolute independence of anybody. Hence the position of Dunmonia during the Roman occupation must have been near akin to that of a tributary state in India at the present day. There would be an acknowledgment of suzerainty - little more than nominal; a certain rendering of tribute - inevitable when Rome seized control of the great western road or roads ; such an amount of formal occupation as we see in the presence of a resident and his staff at the court of a native Hindoo prince; the occasional passage to and fro of a small force for some special purpose - perchance to communicate direct with the chiefs of the subordinate tribes between whom, from all contemporary analogy, we must assume that an area so extensive as Devon and Cornwall was divided. Beyond this simply the periodical visit of the Roman trader - a welcome guest - or his constant presence in some favoured locality. And this is all, nay, more than all, that we have a right to predicate. Possibly there was some little friction in establishing these relations : if so it was slight and quickly over ; while the position taken by the Dunmonii immediately on the departure of the Romans, shows that their autonomy could not have been seriously affected.
   Such is the picture I would sketch of Roman Devon. So far as its outlines are historical, or sustained by reasonable interpretation of attested fact, I suggest it for consideration. These are its only claims to notice; but I trust you will not think that either your time or my own has been wasted, in this effort to delineate more clearly and more accurately than of old, the passing phases of one of the most obscure, most interesting epochs, in the history of our beloved Devon.

(1)    The passage runs:- "Ad eam Britannos vitilibus navigiis corio circumsatis navigare. Sunt qui et alius prodant, Scandiam, Dumnam, Bergos.” This Scandiam Dumnam is suspiciously like one of the Ravennat's readings for Isca - Scadumnumorum.

(2)    Vide Trans. Devon, Assoc, xvii. 355-366.

(3)    Vide Commercaries, lib. v.

(4)    I cannot follow Professor Rhys through this passage from his Celtic Britain (pp. 47, 48): "If there was any direct trade in tin between the tin districts of Britain and the Loire it must have been utterly unknown to Caesar, which is not likely to have been the case had it existed. Besides the fact that the Dumnonii had no coinage of their own[?], nor appear to have made much use of money at all, strongly suggests the inference that they lived practically much further from the commerce of the south of Europe than did the British people to the east of them ; however fond they may have been of strangers, they would seem to have bartered their tin mainly for the trinkets of the Mediterranean and other such ornamental rubbish as a barbarous people is wont to delight in. But this must not be understood to prove that there was no communication between the Dumnonii and the nearest part of Gaul during the Venetic period; in fact, Dumnonia was probably the part of Britain in which the Gaulish students of Druidism mentioned by Caesar usually landed. Possibly, however, this communication is not to be regarded as being then of very old standing”.

(5)    Op. cit, lib. iv.

(6)    It needs no argument to displace the baseless fabric of tbe tradition that Caesar visited Lydford, thus noted by Browne-
   "They told me in King Caesar's time 
   The walls were built of stone and lime."

(7)    British and Roman remains in the Vicinity of Axminster, 43, 44

(8)    Brice’s edition, 2, 3

(9)    Page 53.

(10)    Kerslake's Primaeval British Metropolis, 78, 79.

(11)    Report on Pen Pits, 12, 13.

(12)    Elton's Origins of English History, 229, 230.

(13)     Book xii.

(14)    If the upper waters of the Anton were the starting point, the route might be nearly that of the Wansdyke.

(15)    Origins of English History

(16)    Origins 218. 

(17)    Notes on Ancient Britain 53.

(18)    Presidential Address, Trans. Dev. Assoc, xi.

(19)    Vide Note A: The Cassiterides.

(20)    Origins, 230, 231.

(21)    Ibid, 228.

(22)    Britannia, Gibson's ed. i. 2. 

(23)    Celtic Britain.

(24)    Mr. T. Kerslake has extended the area of "the ancient kingdom of Damnonia" by tracing remains of Keltic hagiology in church dedications in various western counties. He finds such dedications in South, Mid, North, and East Devon, at various points in Somerset and Dorset, and even in Wilts and Gloucester. I doubt whether it is safe to assume in all cases an extension of secular power on such slender data. The ecclesiastical influence is clear enough. But in any case, we need not seek further than the importance assumed by Dunmonia after the departure of the Romans, for their origin. (Vide Brit, Arch, Assoc. Journal, xxxiii.)

(25)    Professor Rhys suggests that Britain is named from the Brythonic Kelts ; that their name of Brython is connected with brethyn cloth; and that Brython therefore meant a clothed or clad people, as distinct from a naked race. These he thinks were probably not Kelts, but some aboriginal continental tribe, as the Brythons brought their name with them.

(26)    Origins, 137, 138. 

(27)    Roman Britain, 213.

(28)    I make no allusion to the forgery foisted by Bertram on the fair fame of Richard of Cirencester, beyond this passing statement. It seems to me that Bertram started with the idea of summarizing Ptolemy and other ancient authorities, and was then tempted by hypothesis into imposition.

(29)    Roman Britain, 161.

(30)    Vide Note F: Romans in Cornwall.

(31)    Ptolemy muddles them still worse. Have the two blunders some common origin?

(32)    Vide Note C: Roman Remains in Exeter.

(33)    One of the most important features of the discovery of "Phoenician and Greek coins" at Exeter was the depth at which they were found - even below the line of the so-called Ikenild. Captain Shortt saw as many as fourteen or fifteen copper coins of the Ptolemies dug up from a depth of twenty feet - and mentions eight of Ptolemy Soter. The chief discovery of Greek coins in Exeter was in 1810, in making the sewer between Fore Street, Broadgate, and North Lane. Coins of the Ptolemies and Syria were largely associated with Imperial Greek and many bezants of the Lower Empire. Kindred association has been noted near Broadgate, as in 1823. And in 1838 a hoard of Greek and Egyptian coins was found in a field at Poltimore, in a locality similarly productive on other occasions. Still the manner in which these Egyptian coins are grouped with others of far later date makes it unsafe to rely too much upon them as contemporary commercial evidence. Coins sometimes remain current for centuries; and even in the present day a hoard of small late Roman have been circulated in the village where they were found as farthings!

(34)    Vide Note E: Earthworks.

(35)    Confer Jamieson’s Scottish Dictionary.

(36)    So in the Middle Ages, and largely now, by a street is simply meant a road bounded by houses - paving being a non-essential element.

(37)    Trans, Dev. Assoc, xxi. 431-6.

(38)    So there was reclamation from the sea long before the Romans came, in Kent

(39)    Survey of Cornwall,117

(40)    Really a ditch or trench, but used in the same double sense as dyke. It occurs in Welsh, Gaelic, Erse, and Armoric.

(41)    Archæologia, xix. 308.

(42)    Trans, Dev, Assoc, xvi. 444-452.

(43)    Ibid, xvl 453-79

(44)    Gildas, Giles's translation.