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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 924355

Hob Uid: 924355
Location :
West Sussex
Chichester
Chichester
Grid Ref : SU8610004900
Summary : Probable site of Roman temple to Neptune and Minerva evidenced by inscription found 1723 and tile bonded structure found in 1967 and 1976
More information : (SU861049 sited from fig 4 auth 3)
Temple. A 1st century dedication in stone to Neptune and Minerva was found in 1723. A wall running N and E said to have been found at the same time were possibly those of a temple to which the stone belonged. The stone is now let into the wall of the portico of the council chamber. (1)

No further information. (2)

In February 1967 a shallow service trench dug in front of no 70 North Street discovered a tile-bonded structure that may have been part of the foundations for a flight of steps approaching the podium of the temple (3)

A tile-bonded wall was found in North Street during the cutting of a surface water drainage trench in November 1976. The wall was constructed of flints in mortar and was 0.8m wide. It was aligned N-S and was in alignment with the Roman Street. A wall 0.45m wide joined it at right angles on the east side. The feature was noted in front (west) of no. 71. North Street and must be the same wall as that observed in 1967 in a service trench opposite no 70. The wall is very close to the point where the Cogidubnus inscription was found in 1723 and is very likely to be part of the temple of Neptune and Minerva.(4)

The Cogidubnus inscription is one of the most famous in Britain and was found in 1723 at the corner of North Street and Lion Street, when a cellar was being dug. The stone is of Purbeck Marble and the left-hand portion is missing. It was broken into four pieces during recovery and has been joined together with cement, not very skilfully. The stone was acquired by the then Duke of Richmond and restored at Goodwood, where it was kept for some years. It is now mounted on the wall outside the Council House in North Street, only a few yards from where it was found. As recorded in RIB 91 the text reads:

(N)EPTUNO ET MINERVAE
TEMPLUM
(PR)O SALUTE DO(MUS) DIVINAE
(EX) AVCTORITAT(E) TI(BERI) CLAUD(I)
(CO)GIDUBNI R(EGIS) LEGA(TI) AVG(USTI) IN BRIT(ANNIA)
(COLLE)GIUM FABROR(UM) ET (Q)UI IN EO
(SUN)T D(E) S(UO) D(EDERENT) DONANTE AREAM
...ENTE PVDENTINI FIL

'To Neptune and Minerva, for the welfare of the Divine House by the authority of Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, King, Imperial Legate in Britain, the guild of smiths (or shipwrights) and those therein gave this temple from their own resources, ...ens, son of Pudentinus, presenting the site'. (5)

One problem with the Cogidubnus inscription is the reading of line 5. As a British client-king Cogidubnus would seem to have been granted senatorial rank and in that position he would have become legatus Augusti, imperial legate in Britain. However, there is no instance of any other legatus Augusti not a senator. It seems hardly conceivable that Claudius could have conferred such a rank on a British King, however loyal and co-operative.
Many scholars have tried to give an explanation of this legateship, however it could be that line 5 of the inscription may be incorrectly interpreted.
Only two other inscriptions are known to contain the title rex magnus, both from Heliopolis. The first concerns either Agrippa 1 or his son Agrippa 11 and the second Sohaemus, King of Emesa and Sophene at the time of Nero. It is argued that Cogidubnus may have been a refugee at the imperial court in Rome and that he may have been brought up there, and if this supposition is right he could have become acquainted in Rome with the future 'great kings' Agrippa 1 and 11 and Polemo 11. It may well be that when Cogidubnus returned to the ancestral domain, the tribal area of the Regni as client-king according to oriental ideas he may have indeed been a rex magnus.
The inscription is dated conventionally to the pre-Vespasianic period (pre 69), but Bogaers argues that it may date to the reign of Titus (79-81) (6)








Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : The Archaeology of Chichester City Walls (Chichester Papers no. 6) 1957 (A E Wilson)
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Source Number : 2
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : F1 PAS 28-MAR-1971
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Rule M. Lion Street. The Temple of Neptune and Minerva in Down A. and Rule M. 1971 Chichester Excavations 1 Chichester Civic Society Excavations Committee (50-2)
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Source Number : 4
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Chichester Excavations 3 1978 17 (A Down)
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Source Number : 5
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Down A 1988 Roman Chichester Chichester Phillimore (21-22)
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Source Number : 6
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Britannia 10 1979 243-254 (J E Bogaers)
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Roman
Display Date : Roman
Monument End Date : 410
Monument Start Date : 43
Monument Type : Temple, Inscribed Stone
Evidence : Sub Surface Deposit, Find

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SU 80 SE 101
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, LION STREET/LIBERAL PARTY HQ
Activity type : EXCAVATION
Start Date : 1967-01-01
End Date : 1967-12-31