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the Celtic element; nor do we believe, as some do, that the Latin language was ever the language of this country,—that is, spoken by the great mass of the people; but of this more hereafter, when we come to speak of the state of this part of Britain during the early part of the Anglo-Saxon period of our history. All that can be said of the greater part of Britain at this period must be founded upon conjecture, not a good guide at the best of times, but in the present case a guide upon which very little reliance can be placed.
We have stated above all that we have been able to glean from the records of the past relating to Mancunium, and its founders and inhabitants. The town had enjoyed comparative peace and prosperity under the protection of its Frisian garrison, but the time had at length arrived when a great change was to take place in the history of Britain, and in this change Mancunium was to have its full share. Rome had performed its part in the world's history. Effeminacy and luxury had sapped the foundations of the empire, and the days of its existence were numbered. Hordes of barbarians under different names, issuing from the unknown regions of the north and east had depopulated the fairest provinces of the empire, and a torrent of Goths, Vandals, and Alans, under the celebrated Alaric, had inundated the plains of sunny Italy. It became necessary to recall the troops from the extremities to defend the heart of the empire, and the soldiers who had been stationed in Britain, fought and triumphed at the battle of Pollentia. After the retreat of Alaric the British forces seem to have returned to the island, and to have driven back the Picts, who had taken advantage of their absence to plunder the northern parts of Britain. But within a few years, the German nations bursting into Gaul spread devastation from one extremity to another; and the legions in Britain, being cut off from all communication with the emperor Honorius, determined to elect an emperor for themselves. The purple was bestowed upon Marcius, one of their officers, who soon lost his life in a sedition of the soldiery. Gratian, the next object of their choice, only reigned four months, when he fell like his predecessor. This dangerous preeminence was, however, still an object of competition. Constantine, a soldier in the ranks, with no other pretensions than his name, offered himself to their suffrages. He was elected, led
the legions to Boulogne, and with the assistance of some Roman troops, which lay dispersed in the neighbourhood, cleared the province of the barbarians. He was, however, subsequently beheaded at Arles, by the command of Constantius, who commanded the forces of Honorius.
While Constantine was in Gaul, Britain had been the theatre of an important revolt. The legions having been removed the country was left defenceless, and as it had been no part of the Roman policy to train the Britons to habits of self-defence and self-government, they were found lamentably wanting in both. The Picts and Scots rushed into the country from the north and west, and meeting with little or no opposition spread ruin and desolation on every side; many of the Roman towns and stations being completely destroyed. Mancunium is thought to have suffered severely during these inroads. By degrees, however, the old courage of the Britons seemed to return. They determined to reject an authority that could afford them no protection. They deposed the Roman magistrates, proclaimed their independence, took up arms, and with the spirit of freemen drove the barbarians from their territories. When the intelligence reached Ravenna, Honorius, the legitimate emperor, wrote to the states of Britian to provide for their own defence, and by this he is thought to have released them from their allegiance. Britain was thus free once more, but jealousy and mistrust soon threw the country into a state of anarchy, and all traces of popular government speedily disappeared. To add to their misfortunes the Picts and Scots resumed their inroads, and the country soon became one scene of war and tumult. Several battles were fought; but it seems hopeless to identify their sites or the dates at which they took place. At this time the Britons solicited, but in vain, the protection of Ætius, the Roman general in Gaul; others, under Vortigern, one of their kings, had recourse to an expedient, which, however promising it might appear in the outset, proved in the result most fatal to the liberties of their country. They called in the Saxons to aid them in fighting their battles, and with the landing of these adventurers the Roman period of our history terminates.
The Roman remains which have been discovered from time to time on the site occupied by the ancient Mancunium, though
not numerous, are by no means few, and consist, as in other places, of altars, inscribed stones, coins, dishes, pieces of pottery, lachrymatories, portions of weapons of warfare, and other articles, more or less mutilated. The first on record is an inscribed stone, which Camden informs us was, in his day, in the Earl of Derby's park at Aldport, and bore the following inscription :- CANDIDI FIDES. XX. IIII., which has been read, Centurionis Candidi Fidesii annorum viginti mensium quatuor.' He also gives us another inscription, which he states was copied for him by Dr. Dee, the celebrated mathematician, &c.; it is to the following effect:- COHO. I. FRISIN Ɔ MASAVONIS P. XXIII., which Horsley renders, "Cohors prima Frisengensium centurioni Marco Savonii stipendiorum viginti trium." Speaking of these two inscriptions, Horsley says, 'If these copies be rightly taken, the former looks like a sepulchral inscription for a centurion. The xx most probably expresses the number of years he lived; the iiii either the number of months or else of days,-the number of months being quite effaced. The other also refers to a centurion, and seems to be an honorary monument erected to him by the whole cohort. Hollingworth, in his Mancuniensis, states that, in 1612, an inscribed stone was found under the root of an oak in the river Medlock, near Knott Mill, whence it was removed to the garden at Hulme Hall. The inscription is as follows:-FORTVNAE CONSERVATRICI L. SENECIANIVS MARTIVS LEG VI VICT, which may read, 'Fortunæ conservatriei Lucius Senecianus Martius Centurio Legionis Sexta Victricis,'—To Fortune the Conservator Lucius Senecianus Martius, Centurion of the Sixth Legion, the Victorious. The sixth legion here mentioned was stationed at Eburacum (York) for a long period. Dr. Stukeley mentions a gold Otho and a large Roman ring of gold as found at Castlefield. In 1765, a number of antiquities of various kinds was found on the banks of the Roman castrum, consisting of urns, wrought earthen vessels, a fibula, or brooch, several coins, and a lachrymatory of black glass. Outside the fosse, or vallum, several urns and vessels were found, one of which was inscribed 'Advocisi.' When deepening the channel for the Duke of Bridgewater's canal, a Roman bulla of gold was brought to light, which was transferred to the museum of Sir Ashton Lever, at Alkrington Hall, but its local habitation is now unknown. In 1771, the foundations of several
of the buildings of the station were discovered at the southeastern and south-western points of the camp in Castlefield; and in 1808, the workmen employed in cutting the tunnel for the Rochdale canal, near the spot where it joins the Duke of Bridgewater's canal, found, embedded in clay and sand, a number of Roman dishes of pewter. Other discoveries were made in 1821, in the same locality; but all preceding ones were eclipsed by those made in the years 1828-32, during which extensive excavations were made on a portion of the site once occupied by the Roman station. While the works were in progress, the workmen found a large number of antiquities, prominent among which was a Roman votive altar, raised by a standard bearer of the Prætorian legion, in fulfilment of a vow which he owed to his emperor. The altar, which is of the red sandstone prevalent in the district, measures two feet four inches in height. A portion of the inscription was unfortunately broken off, but the letters which remain are remarkably perfect, and have been read as follows: 'nius Imperatori olim signifer Legio vexillationis Prætorianæ et Noricor solvit votum libens libentissime merito.' A short time previous to the discovery of this altar, while digging on the opposite side of the Medlock to Castlefield, a coffin was found, which appears to have been of oak, enclosed in a casing of red earthenware, and when first opened contained some bones, which, as soon as they were exposed to the air, crumbled to dust. Besides these, there were found a small leaden bust of a female, four inches high, and supposed to have served as a household divinity; a piece of solid pottery, about five inches in length by two in thickness, with the face of an animal, probably a lion, at one extremity; fragments of a bowl of red pottery, ornamented with a representation of a deer-hunt; fragments of another bowl, decorated with human figures; scme bowls and cups of dark coloured pottery, without any ornamentation; a small oblong tile inscribed FCXXVV; spear heads, and an axe head, which we take to be Saxon; a copper brooch; a copper hinge; probably belonging to a spur or a helmet; a stylus of iron, seven inches and a half long, used for writing, and often made use of as an instrument of punishment, and as a weapon of offence or defence; a bronze bulla, two inches in diameter, and a copper bulla; a small metallic stand, three or four inches high, apparently intended to hold a medal or coin; an
ornament of copper almost in the form of a cross; some small copper ornaments; a circular metallic brooch, inlaid with stones; a quantity of beads, formed of paste or earth; a large number of metallic rings, apparently remains of a coat of mail; small broken pieces of metal, which seem to have been parts of buckles, spear-heads, sword-handles, &c.; a fragment of a Roman inscription; and a large number of coins, chiefly of Vespasian, Antoninus Pius, Hadrian, Nerva, Domitian, Vitellius, and Constantine, several of which were in good preservation, but the greater number were illegible.