Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus

Last updated

Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus (or Togidubnus, Togidumnus or similar, see naming difficulties) was a 1st-century king of the Regnenses or Regni tribe in early Roman Britain.

Contents

Chichester and the nearby Roman villa at Fishbourne, believed by some to have been Cogidubnus' palace, were probably part of the territory of the Atrebates tribe before the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43. Cogidubnus may therefore have been an heir of Verica, the Atrebatic king whose overthrow prompted the emperor Claudius to invade. After the conquest the area formed part of the civitas of the Regnenses / Regni, possibly Cogidubnus' kingdom before being incorporated into the Roman province. The public baths, amphitheatre and forum in Silchester were probably built in Cogidubnus' time.

Sources

In Tacitus's Agricola , published c. 98, where his name appears as "Cogidumnus" in most manuscripts although they can be considered as copies, and "Togidumnus" in one, [1] he is said to have governed several civitates (states or tribal territories) as a client ruler after the Roman conquest, and to have been loyal "down to our own times" (at least into the 70s). [2]

He is also known from an inscription on a damaged slab of marble found in Chichester in 1723 and datable to the late 1st century. As reconstructed by J.E. Bogaers, [3] it reads (reconstructed parts in square brackets):

Chichester Inscription Chichester inscription.jpg
Chichester Inscription


TEMPLVM
[PR]O·SALVTE·DO[MVS]·DIVINA[E]
[EX]·AVCTORITAT[E·TI]·CLAVD·
[CO]GIDVBNI·R[EG·MA]GNI·BRIT· [4]
[COLE]GIVM·FABROR·ET[·Q]VI·IN·E[O]
[SVNT]·D·S·D·DONANTE·AREAM

[5]

Which translates as:

To Neptune and Minerva, for the welfare of the Divine Temple, by the authority of Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, great king of the Britons, the guild of smiths and those in it gave this temple at their own expense ...ens, son of Pudentinus, presented the forecourt.

Another fragmentary inscription, reading [...]GIDVBNVS, was found at the Gallo-Roman town of Mediolanum Santonum (modern Saintes, south-west France), although it is unlikely this refers to the same person.

Naming difficulties

In the Chichester inscription, the first two letters of the king's native name, given in the genitive case, are missing. It is usually reconstructed as "Cogidubnus", following the majority of manuscripts of Tacitus, but some, including Charles E Murgia, [6] believe "Togidubnus" is the more linguistically correct form as a Celtic name. The Roman names "Tiberius Claudius" indicate that he was given Roman citizenship by the emperor Claudius, or possibly by Nero, and probably not, as has been suggested, that he was related to Claudia Rufina, a woman of British descent whose marriage to Aulus Pudens in Rome in the 90s is mentioned by the poet Martial. [7]

He is nearly contemporary with Togodumnus, a prince of the Catuvellauni tribe mentioned by Dio Cassius, [8] and the similarity of their names has led some, including Dr Miles Russell of Bournemouth University [9] and the distinguished archaeologist professor Barry Cunliffe of Oxford University, [10] to suggest that they may be one and the same, thereby making the Fishbourne king a son of Cunobelinus and brother of Caratacus. However the sources do not appear to support this: according to Dio, Togodumnus was killed in 43 in the early stages of the Roman conquest of Britain, while Tacitus says that Cogidubnus remained loyal to Rome as a client king into the later part of the 1st century. It is of course not unusual for two people to have similar names (cf. Dubnovellaunus). As the Chichester inscription supports Tacitus, Cunliffe's interpretation would appear to imply an error in Dio's Roman History or in its transmission, and some, including John Hind, have argued that Dio misinterpreted his sources as reading that Togodumnus had died when he had merely been defeated. [11]

Villa at Fishbourne

Barry Cunliffe (who was the archaeologist who uncovered Fishbourne) has put forward the theory that Fishbourne Roman Palace was Cogidubnus's royal seat. Certainly the early phase of the palace, which dates to around AD 65, could have belonged to him or to one Tiberius Claudius Catuarus, whose inscribed gold ring was found in excavations close by. Miles Russell, however, has suggested that, as the main constructional phase of the palace proper at Fishbourne seems to have been in the early AD 90s, during the reign of the emperor Domitian who built the Domus Flavia, a palace of similar design upon the Palatine Hill in Rome, Fishbourne may instead have been built for Sallustius Lucullus, a Roman governor of Britain of the late 1st century. [12] Lucullus may have been the son of the British prince Adminius. [13]

In fiction

Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus appears in the Cambridge Latin Course Books II and III, and lives in the Palace of Fishbourne mentioned above. He falls ill during the book and moves to Bath as he believes the sacred baths can cure him of his illness, but he meets Salvius. In the books, he is in the middle of a conspiracy against his life, headed by the wicked Salvius and the Emperor Domitian. He dies under house arrest in the spring of 83, after being ill for some time, and his will is recreated by Salvius in order to give himself the Palace of Fishbourne.

He is also the central character in Mark Patton's novel, An Accidental King, [14] and a minor character in Douglas Jackson's novel, Claudius. [15]

He is the father of the central characters of They of Rome [16]

He is a minor character in Lindsey Davis's novels, A Body in the Bath House . [17] and The Jupiter Myth . [18]

He is the first person protagonist in Linda Proud's novel, Chariot of the Soul, [19] in which he describes his education in Rome, studying Stoicism with Seneca, and his return to Britain charged with the mission of persuading the tribal kings to not resist the invasion of the Romans.

Sources

Related Research Articles

Agrippina the Younger Roman empress and member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty (AD 15-59)

Julia Agrippina, also referred to as Agrippina the Younger, was a powerful Roman empress and one of the most prominent and effective women in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Her father was Germanicus, a popular general and one-time heir apparent to the Roman Empire under Tiberius; and her mother was Agrippina the Elder, a granddaughter of the first Roman emperor Augustus. She was the younger sister of emperor Caligula, the niece and fourth wife of emperor Claudius who succeeded Caligula, and the mother of emperor Nero, who succeeded Claudius.

Caligula Third Roman emperor from AD 37 to 41

Caligula, formally known as Gaius, was the third Roman emperor, ruling from AD 37 to 41. The son of the popular Roman general Germanicus and Augustus's granddaughter Agrippina the Elder, Caligula was born into the first ruling family of the Roman Empire, conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Germanicus's uncle and adoptive father, Tiberius, succeeded Augustus as emperor of Rome in AD 14.

Roman conquest of Britain Invasion of Britain by the Romans

The Roman conquest of Britain was a gradual process, beginning in AD 43 under Emperor Claudius and being largely completed by 87 when the Stanegate was established as the northern frontier.

Fishbourne Roman Palace

Fishbourne Roman Palace is in the village of Fishbourne, Chichester in West Sussex. The palace is the largest residential Roman building discovered in Britain and has an unusually early date of 75 AD, around thirty years after the Roman conquest of Britain.

Caratacus 1st-century AD British chieftain of the Catuvellauni tribe

Caratacus was a 1st-century AD British chieftain of the Catuvellauni tribe, who led the British resistance to the Roman conquest.

Aulus Plautius 1st century AD Roman politician and general, provincial governor and suffect consul

Aulus Plautius was a Roman politician and general of the mid-1st century. He began the Roman conquest of Britain in 43, and became the first governor of the new province, serving from 43 to 46.

Atrebates Belgic tribe

The Atrebates were a Belgic tribe of the Iron Age and the Roman period, originally dwelling in the Artois region.

Catuvellauni Celtic tribe

The Catuvellauni were a Celtic tribe or state of southeastern Britain before the Roman conquest, attested by inscriptions into the 4th century.

Regnenses British tribe of the Iron Age and Roman era

The Regnenses, Regni or Regini were a civitas of Roman Britain. Their capital was Noviomagus Reginorum, known today as Chichester in modern West Sussex.

Togodumnus was king of the British Catuvellauni tribe, whose capital was at St. Albans, at the time of the Roman conquest. He can probably be identified with the legendary British king Guiderius.

Caledonians

The Caledonians or the Caledonian Confederacy were a Brittonic-speaking (Celtic) tribal confederacy in what is now Scotland during the Iron Age and Roman eras. The Greek form of the tribal name gave rise to the name Caledonia for their territory. The Caledonians were considered to be a group of Britons, but later, after the Roman conquest of the southern half of Britain, the northern inhabitants were distinguished as Picts, thought to be a related people who would have also spoken a Brittonic language. The Caledonian Britons were thus enemies of the Roman Empire, which was the occupying force then administering most of Great Britain as the Roman province of Britannia.

Sallustius Lucullus was a governor of Roman Britain during the late 1st century AD, holding office after Gnaeus Julius Agricola, although it is unclear whether he was the immediate successor or if there was another unknown governor in between. Lucullus has been described as "an enigma", as the only definite fact known about him is Suetonius' report that the emperor Domitian had him executed for allowing a new type of lance to be named after him.

Adminius, Amminius or Amminus was a son of Cunobelinus, ruler of the Catuvellauni, a tribe of Iron Age Britain. His name can be interpreted as Brittonic *Ad-minios, "he who is very tender".

The Roman client kingdoms in Britain were native tribes who chose to align themselves with the Roman Empire because they saw it as the best option for self-preservation or for protection from other hostile tribes. Alternatively, the Romans created some client kingdoms when they felt influence without direct rule was desirable.

The site of the Claudian invasion of Britain in AD 43 is a matter of academic debate. Although it is generally believed that the force left from Gesoriacum (Boulogne), it is possible that part of the fleet sailed from near the mouth of the Rhine. And while Rutupiæ is often stated as the site of the landing, there are equally plausible arguments in favour of a landing further west along the south coast of Britain.

Claudia Rufina was a woman of British descent who lived in Rome c. 90 AD and was known to the poet Martial. Martial refers to her in Epigrams XI:53, describing her as "caeruleis [...] Britannis edita". He praises her for her beauty, education and fertility.

<i>Cambridge Latin Course</i> Series of textbooks published by Cambridge University Press

The Cambridge Latin Course (CLC) is a series of textbooks published by Cambridge University Press, used to teach Latin to secondary school students. First published in 1970, the series is in its fifth edition as of April 2019. It has reached high status in the United Kingdom, being the most successful Latin course in the country and used by 85% of Latin-teaching schools.

Noviomagus Reginorum human settlement in United Kingdom

Noviomagus Reginorum was Chichester's Roman heart, very little of which survives above ground. It lay in the land of the friendly Atrebates and is in the early medieval-founded English county of West Sussex. On the English Channel, Chichester Harbour, today eclipsed by Portsmouth Harbour, lies 4.5 miles (7.2 km) to the south.

Chichester inscription

The Chichester inscription, Chichester stone or Pudens stone is an inscription on a damaged slab of marble, found in Chichester in 1723 and datable to the late 1st century.

Council House, Chichester

The Council House is a municipal building in North Street, Chichester, West Sussex, England. It is a Grade II* listed building.

References

  1. RIB 91. Altar dedicated to Neptune and Minerva: https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/91
  2. Tacitus, Agricola 14
  3. J. E. Bogaers (1979) "King Cogidubnus in Chichester: another reading of RIB 91", Britannia 10, pp. 243-254
  4. The fifth line of the inscription was formerly reconstructed to read R[·LEGAT·AV]G·IN·BRIT ("king and imperial legate in Britain"), but this is now considered a misreading.
  5. RIB 91. Altar dedicated to Neptune and Minerva, https://romaninscriptionsofbritain.org/inscriptions/91
  6. Charles E Murgia (1977) "The Minor works of Tacitus : a study in textual criticism", Classical Philology 72, p.339
  7. Martial, Epigrams XI.53, ed. & trans. D. R. Shackleton Bailey, Harvard University Press, 1993
  8. Dio Cassius, Roman History 60
  9. Miles Russell (2006) Roman Britain's Lost Governor, Current Archaeology 204, p 630-635; Miles Russell (2006) Roman Sussex Tempus, p 33-43; Miles Russell (2010) Bloodline: The Celtic Kings of Roman Britain Amberley, p 100-112, 140-146
  10. Barry Cunliffe (1999), Fisbourne Roman Palace, Tempus
  11. J. G. F. Hind, "A. Palutius' Campaign in Britain: An Alternative Reading of the Narrative in Cassius Dio (60.19.5-21.2)", Britannia Vol. 38 (2007), pp. 93-106)
  12. Miles Russell (2006) Roman Sussex p 97-148
  13. Norman Hammond, "Whose busts are they?", The Times , 31 July 2006, retrieved 31 August 2006; Miles Russell (2010) Bloodline: The Celtic Kings of Roman Britain p 161-177
  14. Mark Patton, An Accidental King, ISBN   978-1-908910-87-5
  15. Douglas Jackson, Claudius, ISBN   978-0-593-06062-9
  16. Lois M. Parker, They of Rome, ISBN   0-8127-0308-1
  17. Lindsey Davis, A Body in the Bath House, ISBN   0-7126-7854-9
  18. Lindsey Davis, The Jupiter Myth, ISBN   0-09-929840-6
  19. Linda Proud, Chariot of the Soul, ISBN   978-1-907651-13-7