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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. I


IMIPERATC~OERSAI RIT. ITO. CELIO. HADKIANO ANTONINOA.U G. Pro. PATRIP. ATRIB. Although the Roman military causeway-o which some fragments still remain--from Brittano dunum to Alterva (i.e. from Dunbar ta Cramond passed close to it, the Castle rock never appear! to have become a Roman station; and it is suf ficiently curious that the military engineers of thc invaders should have neglected such a strong an( natural fortification as that steep and insulatec mass, situated as it was in Valentia, one of thei six provinces in Britain. Many relics of the Romans have been turnec up from time to time upon the site of Edinburgh but not the slightest trace has been found to indicatc that it was ever occupied by them as a dwelling place or city. Yet, Ptolemy, in his ? Geography,? speaks of the place as the Casfrum alaturtz, ??2 winged camp, or a height, flanked on each sid< by successive heights, girded with interinediatt valleys.?? Hence, the site may have been a nativt fort or hill camp of the Ottadeni. When cutting a new road over the Calton Hill, in 1817, a Roman urn was found entire; anothei (supposed to be Roman), eleven and a half inches in height, was found when digging the foundation of the north pier ol the Dean Bridge, that spans a deep ravine, through which the Water ol Leith finds its way to the neighbouring port. In 1782 a coin of the EmperoI Vespasian was found in a garden of the Pleasance, and is now in the Museum of Antiquities ; and when excavating in ROMAN URN FOUND AT THE DEAN. (Frwtn th Anfiqnanan Museum.) St. Ninian?s Row, on the western side of the Calton, in 1815, there was found a quan?tity of fine red Samian ware, of the usual embossed character. In 1822, when enlarging the drain by which the old bed of the North Loch was? kept dry, almost at the base of the Castle rock, portions of ar. ancient Roman causeway were discovered, four feet below the modem road. Another portion of a Roman way, composed of irregular rounded stones, closely rammed together on a bed of forced soil, coloured with fragments pf brick, was discovered beneath the foundations of the Trinity College Church, when it was demolished in 1845. The portions of it discovered in 1822 included a branch extending a considerable way eastward along the north back of the Canongate, towards the well-known Roman road at Portobello, popularly known as ? The Fishwives? Causeway.? ? Here,? says Dr. Wilson, ?we recover the traces of the Roman way in its course from Eildon to Cramond and Kinneil, with a diverging road to the importanttown and harbour at Inveresk, showing beyond doubt that Edinburgh had formed a Zink between these several Roman sites.?? Within a few yards of the point where this road crossed the brow of the city ridge were built into the wall of a house, nearly opposite to that of John Knox, two beautifully sculptured heads of the Emperor Septimius Severus and his wife Julia. These busts, which Maitland, in his time (I~so), says were brought from an adjacent building, Wilson the antiquary conjectures were more probably found when excavating a foundation; but under the causeway of High Street, in 1850, two silver denarii of the same emperor were found in excellent preservation. These busts were doubtless some relic of the visit paid to the colony by Septimius Severus, for Alexander Gordon, in his ? Itinerarium Septentrionale,? published in 1726, says :-? About this time it would appear that Julia, the wife of Severus, and the greatest part of the imperial family, were in the country of Caledonia; for Xephilin, from Dio, mentions a very remarkable occurrence which there happened to the Empress Julia and the wife 3f Argentocoxus, a Caledonian.?? Passing, however, from the Roman period, many listant traces have been found of people who lwelt on, or near, the site of Edinburgh, in what may be called, if the term be allowable, the preiistoric period. In constructing the new road to Leith, leading iom the centre of Bellevue Crescent, in 1823, several stone cists, of circumscribed form, wherein :he bodies had been bent double, were found; ind these being disposed nearly due east and west, were assumed, but without evidence, to have been .he remains of Christians. In 1822 another was ound in the Royal Circus, buied north and south ; he skeleton crumbled into dust on being exposed, ill save the teeth. During the following year, 1823, several mde tone coffins were discovered when digging the oundations of a house in Saxe Coburg Place, near ;t. Bernard?s Chapel. One of them contained two irns of baked clay, from which circumstance it was #upposed that this was a place of interment, at the ieriod when the Romans had penetrated thus far
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