List grade: 1
List number: 1116382
Tyne & Wear HER: 5266
Wikipedia: Antenociticus
Post code: NE15 6QP
Grid ref: NZ2171264673

Benwell Temple of Antenociticus


"The fort at Benwell, which was occupied throughout most of the Roman period by the cavalry regiment ala I Asturum, is no longer visible. It's site is covered on the north side by a Victorian reservoir and to the south by 1930s housing. Sixty metres east of the site of the fort, however, is the temple of Antenociticus, which once stood within the civilian settlement outside the fort. To the south is another associated site, the only permanent crossing of the Vallum earthwork to be seen on the line of Hadrian's Wall." (English Heritage)

In Romano-British worship, the local god Antenociticus, also recorded as "Anociticus" at the same temple site in Benwell, was possibly worshipped as source of inspiration and intercession in military affairs.

Centres of worship

Antenociticus appears at only one site in Britain, the fort of Condercum, on Hadrian's Wall, where three altars to the god were found within the ruins of a small temple. This god is not mentioned on any known Roman altarstones from the continent, and is therefore thought to be a native British deity. The fact that the god is revered at Benwell (1327 Num Aug, 1328, 1329 [c.AD175-7]) by a legionary legate, the tribune of an auxiliary infantry cohort and the prefect of an auxiliary cavalry ala, lends credence to this assumption, and perhaps proves that the god was not transferred here as the patron deity of an auxiliary regiment.

The sandstone head of the statue of Antenociticus was discovered in 1862 at the temple in Benwell. A torc can be seen around the neck, and the hair on the head curls forward so as to resemble two horns. Parts of the lower leg and forearm of the statue were also found, indicating that a life-sized statue of the god once stood in the temple.

The small temple of Antenociticus stands in the vicus (civilian settlement) outside Benwell (Condercum) Fort, one of 13 permanent forts added to the line of Hadrian’s Wall during its construction. The temple was built in about AD 178-80, probably to mark the promotion of the Roman cavalry prefect who dedicated one of three altars in the temple to Antenociticus. It is thought Antenociticus was possibly worshipped as a source of inspiration and intercession in military matters. Antenociticus is not mentioned at any other Romano-British site or on any inscriptions from the Continent, hence his identification as a local deity.

The head of Antenociticus and the temple altars, formerly displayed at the Museum of Antiquities at Newcastle University, can now be seen at the Great North Museum in the same city of Newcastle.

Archaeologists have speculated that a similar sandstone head, unearthed at Binchester Roman Fort near Bishop Auckland in 2013, may also be of Antenociticus.

Ross, A (1967): Pagan Celtic Britain: Studies in Iconography and Tradition. Chicago Publishers; New edition of Revised edition (15 Jan 1996)

Text from Wikipedia, available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (accessed: 26/08/2016).
Visit the page: Antenociticus for references and further details. You can contribute to this article on Wikipedia.
from http://www.english-heritage...
Benwell Roman Temple - English Heritage
- Includes a detailed history and research about the temple.

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West End Stories: The Roman God of Benwell - Antenociticus

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Wall Mile 6

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Wall Mile 6

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Wall Mile 6

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Tyne and Wear HER(5266): Benwell, Condercum Fort, Temple of Antenociticus
- "The temple of the Celtic god Antenociticus lay east of the fort between rampart and vallum. It was discovered in 1862. It measured 7m x 4.8m with thick stone ...

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Wall Mile 6: Benwell

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The stone head of Antenociticus
- "The stone head of Antenociticus - the local god found near Condercum in Benwell , west Newcastle upon Tyne, on display in the Hadrian's Wall gallery. Discovered in 1862, at a ...

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from http://romaninscriptionsofb...
RIB 1327. Altar dedicated to Antenociticus and to the Divinities of the Emperors
- Referenced article and translation: "To the god Antenociticus and to the Divinities of the Emperors Aelius Vibius, centurion of the Twentieth Legion Valeria Victrix, willingly and deservedly fulfilled his vow."

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from https://historicengland.org...
TEMPLE OF ANTENOCITICUS - List Entry
- "Vicus temple. Circa 180 AD. Sandstone rubble with ashlar facing. Small rectangle in plan with south apse; walls stand about half-metre high. Doorway in east wall. Apse contains base of ...

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(Roman) Temple of Antenociticus (3)

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(Roman) Temple of Antenociticus (2)

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(Roman) Temple of Antenociticus

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