Aurelius Victor, de Csesaribus, cap. Undertaking greater things than
xx. 18 (ed. Pichlmayr, 1892). Mon. these [exploits before narrated in this
Hist. Brit., I., lxxi. chapter], Severus, after subduing the
His majora aggressus [Severns] enemy, fortified Britain, so far as it
Brittaniam quoad ea utilis erat, pulsis was of use, by a wall drawn across the
hostibus, muro munivit per transversam island to the very ocean on each side,
insulam ducto utrimque ad finem oceani.
[Some editors, instead of the MS.
"quoad ea utilis," have "quod ea
utilis" and "quae adeo utilis."]
In the second passage ascribed to Aurelius Victor there is a complete change
of terms and an important addition to the information, the wall being called a
vallum, and said to be 32 miles long. It is, however, uncertain who wrote the
Epitome now to be quoted.
Aurelius Victor, Epitome, cap. 20. Severus drew a vallum in Britain for
Mon. Hist. Brit., I., lxxi. 32 miles from sea to sea.
Hie [i.e., Severus] in Britannia
vallum per triginta duo passuum millia
a mari ad mare deduxit.
The next Roman witness is Eutropius, who wrote about a.d. 375, and who
uses words almost identical with those of the Epitome attributed to Victor. But
he, or his copyists, make the wall 132 miles long.
Eutropius, lib. viii., cap. 19 (ed. Severus had his last war in Britain,
Droysen, 1879). Mon. Hist. Brit., I., and in order to fortify the annexed
lxxii. provinces with every security, he drew
Novissimum bellum in Brittania a vallum for 132 miles from sea to sea.
habuit [Severus] utque receptas pro-
vincias omni seeuritate muniret vallum
per exxxii. millia passuum a mari ad
mare deduxit. [The older editions
print '1 xxxii." which is the reading in
Mon. Hist. Brit. The MSS. vary as
to the numeral, but exxxii. has far the
Those who favour the opinion that all these passages refer to the Scottish wall
lay stress on the fact that the Epitome and Eutropius, as in the earlier editions,
are the oldest witnesses as to the length of the vallum ascribed to Severus, and
that, therefore, their testimony is superior to that of later authors. [Their two
statements are, however, obviously borrowed, either one from the other, or both
from a common source. The quotations to follow are also obvious copies, so that
the whole reduces itself to one often-repeated statement. E. H.]
A little later, perhaps, than Eutropius, St. Jerome, translating and continuing
Eusebius, repeats the statement of Eutropius.
Eusebii Pamphilii Chronicorum inter- [In the 11th year of Severus, a. d. 207]
prete Hieronymo, lib. ii. (ed. Sehoene, Clodius Albinus, who had made himself
1866, ii., p. 177). Mon. Hist. Brit., Emperor in Gaul, having been slam at
I., lxxxi. Lyons, Severus carried the war across,
Clodio Albino qui se in Gallia against the Britons, where, in order to
CaesaremfeceratapudLugdununi inter- make the annexed provinces more
fecto Severus in Brittanos bellum trans- secure from barbarian incursion, he
fert ubi ut receptas provincias ab in- drew a vallum for 132 miles from sea
cursione barbarica faceret securiores to sea. [In the 18th year, a.d. 211]
vallum per exxxii. passuum millia a Severus died at York in Britain,
mari ad mare duxit. . . . Severus
moritur Eburaei in Brittania.
Paulus Orosius, who wrote about a.d. 417, describes the work as a great fosse
and a very strong vallum, 132 miles long.