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Bill Thayer

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Collecting all the individual castra entries on pp105‑108 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.

p105 Castra Equitum Singularium: the barracks of the equites singulares, a select corps of cavalry organized about the end of the first century as a bodyguard for the emperor. Some remains of these barracks were found in 1885 in the Via Tasso, just north-west of the Scala Santa, consisting principally of the wall of a large rectangular court, in which were niches and in front of the niches inscribed pedestals (BC 1885, 137; Ann. d. Inst. 1885, 235; PT 131). These inscriptions and others found near by (CIL VI.31138‑31187) mention castra priora and castra nova or nova Severiana, and one MS. of the Notitia reads castra eq. sing. II. There were, therefore, two barracks, the later apparently erected by Severus, but they were probably adjacent structures, or even parts of the same building (HJ 246; DE II.2148). Other fragments of walls that probably belong to the castra have been found in front of the Lateran (BC 1913, 72‑74).

Castra Font(anorum): an uncertain reading of an inscription (CIL VI.70) known only from Gudius, and of unknown provenience. Cf., however, ib. 30855.

Castra Lecticariorum: mentioned only in Reg. in Region XIV and in the Breviarium, otherwise unknown.

Castra Misenatium: barracks occupied by sailors from the imperial fleet stationed at Misenum, who were detailed for service in the city, especially in the Colosseum and naumachiae (RE III.2638; Jord. II.116; Hist. Aug. Com. 15). These barracks were between the thermae Traianae and the via Labicana, where inscriptions relating to them have been found (CIL VI.1091; IG XIV.956 B 15). The name occurs on a fragment (5) of the Marble Plan, and in the Regionary Catalogue in Region II.

It is uncertain whether we should assign to them a long row of small chambers in brickwork of the same size and plan which runs also the north side of the via Labicana between the thermae of Titus and the church of S. Clemente (LF 30; NS 1888, 727; HJ 302). Numerous concrete foundation walls were cut in making a drain from S. Clemente to the Colosseum in 1912‑1914, when the mithraeum and the house under the church were successfully freed from water (see Nolan, Basilica of S. Clemente 250, and the series of photographs of the sections of the drain then prepared — for private circulation — a copy of which is in the library of the British School at Rome).

(p106) Castra Peregrina: see separate page.

(p107‑108) Castra Praetoria: see separate page.

Castra Ravennatium: * mentioned only in the Breviarium of the Regionary Catalogue, and in the Mirabilia (10), where they are said to have been on the right bank of the Tiber (cf. LP XVII.1). These barracks evidently were for the use of sailors from the imperial fleet at Ravenna (HJ 647; BC 1914, 391; DuP 58), who were detailed for special duty in the city. (Cf. Castra Misenatium.) The name was preserved in that of the church of S. Stephanus Rapignani near S. Crisogono (HCh 483). The mediaeval survivals of the name are dealt with in BC 1927, 85‑93, where it is also noted that the sailors were buried on the Via Aurelia (their tombs were found in the Villa Doria Pamfili), so that their barracks were probably on the intramural portion of the road.

Castra Silicariorum, Castra Tabellariorum, Castra Victimariorum: mentioned only in the Breviarium of the Regionary Catalogue. Their location is unknown, but like the castra Lecticariorum they were evidently the headquarters of special corps whose functions are indicated by their names.

Castra (Urbana): barracks constructed by Aurelian in campo Agrippae (Chron. 148; Not. Reg. VII), and spoken of in connection with his temple of Sol. Although urbana is not found in either source, it is probable that these castra were those of the cohortes urbanae, previously quartered in the castra Praetoria (Sym. Ep. IX.57; Dig. XLVIII.5, 16 (15) 3; CIL VI.1156). They were probably close to the Forum Suarium (q.v.), somewhat north of the campus Agrippae, and just east of the temple of Sol. Cf. NS 1909, 430; BC 1915, 176, 346 (a dedication by the tenth cohors urbana Antoniniana to Caracalla?); CIL VI.31248 a.

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Page updated: 12 Dec 09