Imágenes de páginas

The Military Antiquities of the Romans in North Britain, and particularly their ancient System of Caftrametation, illustrated from Vestiges of the Camps of Agricola existing there : Honde his March from South into North Britain is in fome Degree traced. Comprehending also a Treatise, wherein the ancient Geography of that part of the Isand is rettified, chiefly from the Lights furnished by Richard of Cirencester. Together with a Description of the Wall of Antoninus Piui, commonly called Grime's Dyke. To which is added, an Appendix, containing detached Pieces. The Whole being accompanied with Maps of the Country, and Plans of the Camps and Stations, &c. By the late William Rov, F. R. S. F. S. 1. Major-Generul of his Majesty's Forces, Deputy Quartcr- Mafter-General, and Co. lonel of the Thirtieth Regiment of Foot. Folio. 51. gs. Boards. White. 1793. THOUH this splendid publication, which does honour to

1 the state of the arts in this country, bears a title thus extensive, it is nevertheless confined to the northern parts of this island; and indeed, with one or two exceptions, to Scotland only, where the Roman camps are more entire than in the more cultivated regions. Amid some conjectures rather overstrained on the situation of some Roman towns, or forts, mentioned by ancient writers *, and a visible want of erudition, in abscribing almost all the Roman camps in Scotlandto Agricola, while the invasions of Lollius Urbicus, Severus, &c. are forgotten; the author has nevertheless displayed great industry, and no mean talents. The Society of Antiquaries deserve great praises for the publication of this work, which being that of a man highly accomplished in military science, and executed with considerable labour and skill, cannot but be considered as an acquisition both to the geographer and the antiquarian.

It consists of a prefatory introduction, stating the circumstances that gave rise to the undertaking, the objects ile author had in view from it, and the order in which he designs to treat his subjects. Of the first it is mercy suggested, that an inquiry into antiquity is one of the most natural subjects of human curiosity, and that it is no less consistent with the order of things, that the inquiries of an individual should be more immediately directed in the line of his own profeilion. Hence general Roy's predilection for the military antiquities of his native country, a subject, which, as applying to the means of its defence, may be said to poffers a degree of importance not always annexed to the labours of the antiquary.

• In his map, genera! Roy las placed the Horefii in Angus, instead of Fife, and has g ven us a fi o cious town Alaterva, a vame ridiculousy derived fron in inicripriin MA atribus bietervis, as if there Mutres (probably the German divinities of a Gema: icy un, had any connectoin with the name of the town. Sce many Mures in Grule 's and other colodlivas of inscriptions. Rev. C. R. N. AR. (XI.) Jane, 1797.

• The

· Tle nature of a country, he observes, will always, in a great degree, determine the principles upon which every war there must be conducted. In the course of many years a morally country may be drained; one that was originally covered with wood may be laid open; or an open country may be afterward enclosed : yet while the ringes of mountains, the long extended vallies, and remarkable rivers, continue the same, the reasons of war cannot essentially change. Hence it will appear evident, that what, with regard to situation, was an advantageous post when the Romans were carrying on their military operations in Britain, must, in all efTential respects, continue to be a good one now; proper allowances being made for the difference of arms, and other changes which have taken place between the tiro periods. ... It is from reflections of this sort that military men, when they perceive the vestiges of ancient Roman works, are natuurally led

to endeavour to find out the reasons by which that people were · guided in conducting their wars; and as far as these are found to agree with the general principles depending on the local situation of the country, and with the particular circumstances related in history, they thereby attempt to trace the movements of the Roman armies.'

The public monuments of Roman grandeur which exist in the present day, our author observes, have resisted the injuries of · time through the folidity of their construction, and the great du-'

rability of the materials of which they were originally composed. But although the case be otherwise with regard to their military works, which, as may be supposed, were formed of much flighter materials, no part of their vast empire, not even Italy, furnishes so striking a variety of these remains as are to be

found in Britain, many of them too in an exceedingly perfect · state. Of these military works the author distinguishes two

kinds ; first, the castra sativa, or field redoubts, now found in a more entire state from their having been originally constructed of more durable materials, and calculated for the maintenance of a garrison; secondly, entrenchments of a flighter and more temporary nature, thrown up for occasional defence only, when the Roman army, which sometimes conlisted of 30,000 or 40,000 men, found them necessary to their safety during a stay of only a few days, or, on some occasions, of a fingle night only. The former are very evident, and go under the general name of Roman camps in this country; but the latter, for obvious reasons, are more difficult to trace. In our author's apprehension, indeed, it is a matter of astonishment tuat inele inouid be at all difiinguithed after a lapfe of so many centuries. North Britain, however, furnithes many teftimonies of this fact; a circumstance that our author is disposed to at

tribute to the flow progress of cultivation in that quarter of the • kingdom; an opinion u hich, indeed, appears greatly supported by · protability.

. . . . . To

To his knowledge of North Britain, and the relative situation of its different parts, general Roy's employment in the conduct of a public work, between the years 1747 and 1755, appears to have been conducive in a very material degree. Nor were his views on this subject less extended by the information communicated by lieutenant general Melvili, who, when a captain in the 25th regiment, effected the discovery of the Roman camps supposed to have been occupied by Agricola's army, in Strathmore, of which an account is given in Mr. Gough's edition of Camden’s Britannia. These particulars are followed by an account of the temporary camps, found adjoining to the station in Strathallan, similar to those in Strathmore, and supposed to have been occupied by the same army.

After an interval of eight years, during which the author was engaged in tracing the movements of modern armies, the accidental discovery of a camp in the south west of Scotland, became the stimulus to farther inquiries. Hence, in the autumn of 1764, a camp of the true kind was found at Cleghorn, in Clydesdale, and soon after, one exactiy like it, at Lokerby, in Annandale. These two being of the smaller dimensions, seemed to prove that one division at least of Agricola's army, or of some other that used a form of caftrametation agreeing with his, had marched by this road. The routes by which the Roman army penetrated into Scotland from the northern countries of England, became evident from these discoveries; in addition to which may be noticed, the traces of military entrenchments, found about three miles north of Perth, on the east bank of the Tay, which shews the passage of the whole army over that great river.

From the information our author had thus acquired, he conceived the possibility of clearing up two points on which anti. quaries had exceedingly disagreed, namely, as to the ancient system of castrametation of the Romans, and the march of Agricola into Caledonia.

To a more correct knowledge of the Roman history and geography of Britain in general, more particularly the northern part of it, general Roy remarks, the work of Richard of Cirencester, diícovered in Germany or Denmark, and since published, has very essentially contributed. Conceiving it necessary to avail himself of these important lights, he was induced not only to extend his plan, but also to make some changes in its arrangement. What farther relates to this elaborate under{aking, we tind very well explained in the following words of The author :

At first nothing historical was intended, excepting the tranfactions of that short, but inerenting period, comprehending Agricola's campaigns In o.der, however, to render the work less defective

than than otherwise it must have been, and that the mind might keep face with the progress of the Romans in extending their conquefts northward, and thus be gradually led to the chief thing proposed, there seemned to be propriety in giving a concise account of their affairs here, from the first invasion of Julius Cælar, to the time when Agricola took the command. This, of course, forms the first his. torical period; the second comprehends Agricola's campaigns only, as extracted from Tacitus; and the third, from his recall by Domitian to the final dereliction of the island by the Romans, was judged equally necessary, to sliew that it was probably in a great measure owing to the short and precarious pofTefsion they had of North Britain, and to the almost continual wars they were engaged in with the natives, that the ancient geography of this part of the island is not so well ascertained as that of South Britain, which they had completely conquered, and whereof they enjoyed an uninterrupted porsession during a series of many year3. This abridged history is comprised in the first book : as nothing new is offered in it, therefore, the authors from whom it is borrowed are not mentioned on every occasion ; which will easily appear without always quoting them. With regard to the points of chronology, they are in general taken from Horsley, who seems to have deduced them with sufficient accuracy.

• The second book relates entirely to tre original institution of the Roman roilitia, and their ancient system of castrametation; being the first with regard to the order of compilation, as formerly mentioned; and as in illustrating the method of encan ping the Roman armies, from the lights furnished by the ancients themselves, some new points are attempted to be established; therefore the authorities, when neceffary, are constantly quoted.

• In the third book is given a short descriptive account of the face of the country of North Britain in general, and of the temporary Roman camps existing there; hence the actual strength of Agricola's army is ascertained. And this ultimately leads to another chief thing proposed, viz. a commentary on the campaigns of that Roman general ; whercin h?s movenients are traced, as far as the ves.. tiges of his remaining canıps, compared with the circumstances related by Tacitus, do furnish any probable light. And as plans of these camps are referred to in the description, thence will appear the great similarity between them and those delineated by Polybius, particularly that of two consular armies united within the same intrenchment, whereby the temporary castrametation of the Romans will be farther illustrated. But here it seems necessary to observe, that though a considerable part of these plans were made from accurate neafurement, yet this was not always the całe ; it being impossible, now and then on a journey, to find tinc, or constantly to be proved, with the necessary instruments for taking exact plans. Some of them were, therefore, done by common pacing only ; and as the same fort of fidelity seems neceffary in pian-drawing as in history, in order not to mislead, therefore, such as are taken after


this slighter method are called sketches, to distinguish them from those that were measured with precision, though it is hoped, that even the Nightest kind will be found not to depart essentially from the truth.

* The fourth book relates chiefly to the ancient geography of North Britain, which is here attempted to be rectified, principally from the lights furnished by Richard of Cirencester. It contains a summary account of the discovery and general arrangement of Richard's work, together with such extracts from him, as more immediately respect North Britain. Then follows a description of the Roman military ways, leading from the north of England into Scotland, with some account of the mile-stones they seem to have made use of in Britain. Next in order is a commentary on Richard's work, as far as relates to the three northern provinces, Valentia, Verpasiana, and Caledonia ; wherein the ancient names of places, and itinerary distances, on such of Richard's routes as extend into North Britain, are compared with the modern names assigned to these places in the commentary, and their relative distances in English and Roman miles, measured on a good map of the country. Plans or sketches of the several stations are likewise referred to, where the same distinction, with regard to exactness, is to be observed, as mentioned in the camps, Sections top of these works, are sometimes added to their plans; which, nevertheless, are only to be considered in the general sense, as helping to give a juster idea of the situation and nature of the work, without any intention that they should be depended upon, with regard to the real comparative heights.

• The last chapter o this book contains an account of the wall of Antoninus Pius, commonly called Grim's Dyke, running along the neck of land between the Forth and the Clyde; accompanied with a general plan of the wall and isthmus, and particular plans and feétions of the forts that now exist upon it.

In addition to this, it is only necessary for us to say, that several detached pieces, which tend to throw light on the several subjects discussed in the work, are given in an Appendix; after which follows a series of splendid, and (as it appears from the testimony of those entrusted with the publication) accurate engravings, executed in a style suitable to so magnificent a work, and amounting, in the whole, to the number of fisry-one.

The Count de Villeroi ; or, the Fate of Patriotism: a Tragedy

820. 25. 6d. Cadell. 1794. THIS is professedly a party play: the author declares in his

1 Preface, that he thinks it the duty of every man at the present conjuncture to give some proof of his attachment to government, and with this view he has produced the present performance. We cannot help saying, we hope writing of plays will not come to be a common mode of thewing a person's loyalty ; por can we acquiesce in the author's position, that the goodness

« AnteriorContinuar »