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Cohors Primae Hamiorum Saggitariorum

The First Cohort of Hamian Bowmen

Perhaps the most notable auxiliary regiment in Britain, a unit of bowmen recruited from the Hamian tribesmen of Syria, the only regiment of archers known to have been stationed in Britain. They very likely took part in the Claudian invasion of AD43. They are the known Hadrianic garrison of Carvoran. The unit was moved to Bar Hill on the Antonine Wall during its second occupation period c.AD158, and returned to Carvoran c.163-166, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. They were stationed at some time in the Housesteads fort on Hadrian's Wall, though their period of occupation at Housesteads is unknown.

Evidence for the Cohort in Britain

  1. Burn 100; CIL XVI.65; military diploma dated July 17th AD122.
  2. CIL VII.1195; privilegia militvm, dated September 16th AD124.
  3. L'Année Épigraphique 1997.1779b; diploma dated c.AD126.
  4. L'Année Épigraphique 1997.1001; diploma dated 27th February AD158.
  5. Carvoran (RIB 1778 altar AD136-138; 1792 altar AD163-166; 1810).
  6. Housesteads (uninscribed tombstone of an archer; c.2nd century).
  7. Bar Hill (RIB 2166/2167 altars; 2172 tombstone of prefect).