Saturday, June 13, 2009

Amphitheater at Isca


In September 2006, I visited the Roman fortress Isca at Caerleon in Wales. It was for many years home of the legendary Legio II Augusta. When II Augusta landed in Britain in AD 43, the unit was already a century old. There is much to learn about the life in and around Caerleon, of which this amphitheater is a distinct reminder.

The Roman legionary fortress of Isca was founded in about 74 or 75, during Julius Frontinus' campaigns against the Silures, a tribe situated in what is today South Wales. It served from the time of its foundation until the late 3rd century AD as the base of the Legio II Augusta, which moved from Gloucester in about AD 75. Numismatic and ceramic evidence sealed within the building levels of the amphitheater structure indicate that it was constructed soon after AD 77-78.

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