or Eburacum or Eburaco (York) Yorkshire, England.
A legionary fortress and colonia. (Ptol. Geog
. 2.3.16; It
. 466.) The revolt
of the Brigantes against their pro-Roman Queen Carturandua deprived the Roman province of Britain of a
friendly buffer state on the N, and in the emergency the
governor and commander in charge Pet. Pius Cerialis
advanced Legio IX Hispana from its base at Lincoln to
a position on the E bank of the Ouse. Roman remains still
standing are the W corner tower of the 4th c. fortress
and the curtain wall facing the river in the Museum
gardens, portions of the 4th c. NW wall in the garden
of the Public Library and off Exhibition Square, and the
2d c. E corner tower behind the Merchant Taylors' Hall
in Aldwark. Most of the fortress lies some 6 m below
modern ground level and is covered by later buildings,
but the modern streets are based on the fortress plan:
Petergate is the via principalis, and Stonegate the via
praetoria. Portions of a large headquarters building have
recently been discovered below York Minster, and there
are foundations of a 4th c. bath house below the Mail
Coach Inn in St. Sampson's Square.
The original fortress, covering some 200 ha, had an
earthen rampart faced with turf; it was later strengthened by Julius Agricola, who constructed a clay rampart
faced with turf which probably had wooden interval
towers. Under Trajan the three British fortresses were
rebuilt in stone; the rebuilding of York can be dated to
107-8 by an inscription found in King's Square and now
in the Yorkshire Museum. This is the last dated record
of Legio IX (though mortaria stamps found at Nijmegen suggest that it was moved to the Lower Rhine); ca.
120 it was replaced by Legio VI Victrix. In the early
3d c. the emperor Severus made Eboracum his headquarters, and died here in A.D. 211. He strengthened the
defenses of the fortress with a stone wall 1.8 m thick,
and the barrack blocks within the fortress seem also to
have been rebuilt in stone at this time. There was another rebuilding at the end of the 4th c. by Constantius I,
who also died here. The towers were replaced by projecting bastions; towards the end of the century the defenses
became neglected and the protective ditch was used by
Very little is known of the history of the colonia on
the W bank of the Ouse, though the inscription on the
altar dedicated by M. A. Lunaris to the Guardian Spirit
of Bordeaux shows that it existed as a colony by A.D. 237.
There was a Temple of Mithras (altarpiece in the Yorkshire Museum) and a Temple of Serapis. Outside the
colonia lay the cemeteries.
S. Wellbeloved, Eburacum
(1842); S. N.
(1925) 176ff; I. A. Richmond, Arch
(1946) 74ff; for headquarters building under York
Minster, see JRS
11 (1921) 102.
G. F. WILMOT