About 93 miles from London, in Gloucestershire, on the River Churn.is the market town of Cirencester.
In Roman times the town bore the name "Corinium" thought to have associations with the British tribe, the Dobunni, and referred to by Ptolemy in 150AD when he wrote:
"...Next to these (the Silures) are the Dobuni, and their town Corinium 18*00 54° 10"
Ptolemy's Geography (early-2nd C.)
From a small vicus settlement Corinium grew to become the second largest city in Roman Britain covering an area of 240 acres and home to around 12,000 inhabitants. Houses and civic buildings were of a high standard and outside the town itself an impressive amphitheatre was built.
The streets were laid out in a grid pattern and a market place called a forum was built. The forum was lined with shops. It also had a kind of town hall called a basilica.
Cirencester was evidently the base for an auxiliary cavalry unit, as two tombstones have been unearthed here, both belonging to troopers from separate cavalry regiments.
"Dannicus, trooper of the Indian Wing in the turma_ of Albanus, with 16 years service, a citizen of the Raurici._ Fulvius Natalis and Flavius Bitucus organised [this memorial] as stipulated in his will. He lies here."
1.A squadron or troop of cavalry numbering thirty-odd horsemen under the command of a decurion.
2.A tribe from the upper Rhine valley in Germania Superior. Their capital city was Augusta Raurica, now known as Augst on the Rhine in northern Switzerland.
Today, thanks to the creation of a magnificent Museum that took two years to build at a cost five million pounds it is possible to experience what life must have been like as a Roman.
A life-size model of a Roman cavalry soldier impresses one as he gazes impassively at visitors to the Museum.
A notice informs us that:
Here spread over two floors one can view some of the wondrous mosaics discovered through the town, including the famous Hare Mosaic.