Venta Icenorum

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Remains of the defences

Venta Icenorum, probably meaning "Town of the Iceni", located at modern-day Caistor St Edmund in the English county of Norfolk, was the civitas[1] or capital of the Iceni tribe, who inhabited the flatlands and marshes of that county and are famous for having revolted against Roman rule under their queen Boudica (or Boadicea) in the winter of 61 AD. The name Venta is Brittonic, meaning 'town' or 'meeting-place'.[2]

The town itself was probably laid out, and its first streets metalled, approximately in the first half of the second century.[3]

The town, which is mentioned in the Ravenna Cosmography,[4] and the Antonine Itinerary,[5] was a settlement near the village of Caistor St. Edmund, some 5 miles (8.0 km) south of present-day Norwich, and a mile or two from the Bronze Age henge at Arminghall. It lies on the River Tas. The embankments of Venta Icenorum can still be seen at Caistor today.

The ruins (British National Grid ref TG230034) are in the care of the Norfolk Archaeological Trust and managed by South Norfolk District Council.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Ptolemy, Geography 2.2
  2. ^ Ranko Matasović. "wentā" in: Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic. Indo-European Etymological Dictionaries Online. Edited by Alexander Lubotsky. Brill, 2014. Brill Online. July 24, 2014. < http://iedo.brillonline.nl/dictionaries/lemma.html?id=17429 >
  3. ^ The Urban Plan of Venta Icenorum and its Relationship with the Boudican Revolt. William Bowden. Britannia / Volume 44 / , pp. 145-169. Published by The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0068113X13000184. Published online: April 2013. "it is much more likely that the earliest metalled streets were laid out at some point in the second century, probably during its first half. We know that at least one of the main streets of the grid (the North-West Street) was not formalised until the late second century at the earliest and so it can reasonably be argued that the street plan developed more gradually. Consequently the earliest lay-out of the town was smaller than that covered by the streets at their greatest extent. http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext?type=6&fid=9038691&jid=BRI&volumeId=44&issueId=-1&aid=9038690 accessed 19th November 2013.
  4. ^ Ravenna Cosmography (British section)
  5. ^ Antonine Itinerary (British section)

Coordinates: 52°35′01″N 1°17′27″E / 52.5835°N 1.2909°E / 52.5835; 1.2909