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MAGNA (It. Ant. p. 484; Geogr. Ravenn.).


A town or station in Britain, the site of which is now occupied by Kenchester, in Herefordshire. In both of the above works the word is in the plural form, Magnis, most probably for Magnis Castris. Indeed, the extraordinary extent of the place, as ascertained by its remains, renders this suggestion more than probable. The walls, now almost entirely destroyed, enclosed an area of from 20 to 30 acres. Leland, speaking of Kenchester, says:--“Ther hath ben fownd ‘nostra memoria lateres Britannici; et ex eisdem canales, aquae ductus, tesselata pavimente, fragmentum catenulae aureae, calcar ex argento,’ byside other strawng things.” The tesselated pavements, mentioned by Leland, have, of late years, been partially laid open. The only lapidary inscription which appears on record, as discovered at Kenchester, is a fragment with the name of the emperor Numerian; but coins and miscellaneous antiquities are still, from time to time, ploughed up.


A station in Britain, on the line of the Roman Wall, mentioned in the Notitia; it also occurs in Geog. Ravenn.; and probably on the Rudge Cup, as Maiss. Its site is that of Carvoran, a little to the S. of the Wall, on a high and commanding position near the village of Greenhead.

There seems but little doubt of Carvoran being the site of this Magna; although, unlike many of the Notitia stations on the Wall, its position has not been identified by inscriptions. The Notitia places at Magna the second cohort of the Dalmatians. At least two inscriptions found here mention the Hamii, but none name the Dalmatians. The Hamii do not appear to be recorded in any other inscriptions, and they are not mentioned by that name in the Notitia. Hodgson (Roman Wall and South Tindale, p. 205) considers that these auxiliary troops were from Apamenia in Syria, at the confluence of the Orontes and Marsyas, 62 miles from Aleppo, which is still a large place, and called Hamah, and, in ancient times, Hama. This conjecture seems feasible, as the Notitia mentions the Cohors Prima Apamenorum as quartered in Egypt; and also as some altars dedicated to the Syrian goddess have been discovered at Carvoran. [C.R.S]

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