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The Crossing from Gaul to Britain Iter I Iter II Iter III & Iter IV Iter V Iter VI Iter VII Iter VIII Iter IX Iter X Iter XI Iter XII Iter XIII Iter XIV Iter XV The Maritime Itinerary

The Antonine Itinerary - Iter 1

From Bremenio (High Rochester, Northumberland)

To Praetorio (Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire)

The Antonine Itinerary De situ Britanniae - an 18th Century Hoax The Peutinger Table The Ravenna Cosmography Ptolemy's Geography The Notitia Dignitatum

Rivet, A.L.F. & Smith, Colin (1979); The Place-names of Roman Britain; B.T. Batsford Ltd., London


Itinerary Text



a Gessoriaco de Gallis

From Boulogne, of the Gauls

Ritupis in portu Britanniarum

to Richborough of the Britains

stadia numero ccccl

450 Stades (56.25 Roman miles)

The British section of the Antonine Itineraries begins with the sea crossing from Boulogne to Richborough.

The wording of this section of the Itinerary, assuming that it has been copied accurately over the centuries, is one of the most crucial of the entire manuscript, as “Britanniarum” in both the title and in the text is plural. This indicates that it is referring to more than one British province, and must therefore date from after the division of Britain into two provinces under Septimius Severus in about 197 AD (Rivet & Smith, 1979, p. 154).

The stated distance of 450 stadia may at first seem high, the most direct route between Boulogne and Richborough being about 44 miles, ie 350 stadia. However, given the need to navigate hazards in the Channel, it is probably a reasonable estimate and Bede, writing in the early eighth century  makes it clear that this was the accepted distance “for people crossing….(to) Ritubi Portus, ……….from Gessoriacum……is 50 miles, or as some writers have it, 450 stades” (Historia Ecclestiastica Gentis Anglorum I, I).

Entry written and compiled by Mike Haken, last updated: 11 November 2017