The first historical reports of Vindolanda

Joined: August 22nd, 2006, 9:29 pm

May 26th, 2011, 11:00 pm #1

It's easy to miss some of the stuff lurking in the corners here at WeDig. Wanted to take a moment to shine a light on the section on Primary Sources. There I've collected everything I can find on travelers' notes about Vindolanda from the distant past. Nothing is recorded of Vindolanda from the end of Roman Britain until 1702. But the 18th & early 19th centuries were a flurry of activity across all of the Wall region -- and many explorers & antiquarians visited Vindolanda itself.

You can read Dr. Hunter's report of 1702, Horsley's striking commentary from 1725 (published 1732), John Wallis's visit in 1769 -- as well as a number of 19th C writings, and even a few early bits & bobs about the Wall region itself. (Though the Wall was known as a Roman monument throughout the Middle Ages, the first "modern" glimpse of it comes in c. 1540.)

It's fascinating (to me anyway) to see the state of the remains through their eyes, real windows into an otherwise murky & mysterious time in Tynedale.