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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

Pastscape Mon. 236074 (2017); Vindonium;  [Accessed 27 October 2017]

Pastscape Mon. 1050582 (2017); Moridunum; [Accessed 27 October 2017]

Pastscape Mon. 1156660 (2017); Gittisham Roman Fort ; [Accessed 3 November 2017]

Rivet, A.L.F. & Smith, Colin (1979); The Place-names of Roman Britain; B.T. Batsford Ltd., London (2017) Moridunum ;  [Accessed 27 October 2017]

Talbert, Richard J. A.  (2010); Peutinger Map: seamless whole, in color, with overlaid layers ;available online at; [accessed 11 September 2017 ]

Toller, H. S. (2014); The Roman road from Dorchester to Exeter; Proceedings of the Devon Archaeological Society, Vol. 71 pp. 103-130


Itinerary Text

Itinerary Distance

Modern name

Actual Roman Miles


Margary route number


Item a Calleva Isca Dumnoniorum, m.p. cxxxvi (also, from Silchester to Exeter, 136 miles)



Wheatsheaf Inn




should read m.p.xii

Venta Velgarum

m.p. xxi





should read m.p.xi


m.p. xi





should read vi


m.p. viii

Old Sarum




should read m.p.xviii


m.p. xii





should read m.p.xxii


m.p. viii





should read m.p.xviii


m.p. xxxvi





should read m.p. xxxxi

Isca Dumnoniorum

m.p. xv




RR 4f

Itinerary total

m.p. cxxvi

As Rivet pointed out (Rivet & Smith 1979 p.178), this route, as the last entry on the land itinerary, would have been on the last manuscript and therefore subject to more rubbing and damage than the other sheets, so it is no surprise that it has suffered from the most corruption. The first obvious issue is that the stages add up to 126 miles, not the 136 as stated. The last stage, Moridunum to Isca (Sidford to Exeter) is confirmed as m.p. XV by the Peutinger Table (Talbert, 2010), but all the other stages appear to need some sort of amendment.

Due to the erroneous distances listed in all manuscript copies of this Iter, the first stage, Vindomis, or Vindonium, has been claimed to be on the direct road from Silchester to Chichester, at Neatham but, as there is no known road linking Winchester to Neatham, this seems unlikely. Much more likely is that it lay on the road from Silchester to Winchester, RR42a. As has been seen in other Iters, mistaking ‘ii’ for ‘v’ is an understandable and fairly common error. If we assume that happened here, the distance from Calleva to Vinomi becomes xii miles, which agrees well with the actual 12 miles to the poorly understood settlement at Wheatsheaf Inn, North Waltham (Pastscape Mon. 236074) discovered in 1969. Removal of an x from the next distance to Venta (Winchester) brings the measurement down to eleven, which allowing for a town zone works extremely well with the actual distance of 12 miles. As Rivet points out (Rivet & Smith 1979, p.180), Iter XII records the distance from Silchester to Winchester as 22 miles, so we could perhaps reduce the first stage again so that both stages are m.p. xi  (N.B. - an overlong upwards tail on an ‘i’ could easily lead to it being read as a ‘v’).

Another simple error, mistaking an ‘x’ for an ‘v’, made the distance for the next stage five miles more than the true distance of six miles from Winchester to the Roman settlement of Brige. The next three stages are all missing an ‘x’ needed to bring them up to near the correct distances, so Brige to Sorviodunum (Old Sarum) now reads m.p. xviii, the true distance being 18 miles, Sorviodunum to Vindocladia (Badbury) would now read m.p. xxii, against a true distance of 23 Roman miles, and Badbury to Durnovaria (Dorchester) would now be m.p. xviii, as opposed to the true distance of twenty miles. All the amendments so far are relatively straightforward, if numerous, because the locations of the sites and the routes of the roads are well known.

The location of the next stage, Moriduno (Moridunum), was not known to Rivet, although he speculated that it might be near Sidford, believing that the ‘mori’ element of the name meant that it must have been near the sea. Unfortunately, no Roman site is known near Sidford, and it is is not on the Roman road between Dorchester and Exeter. More recently, it has been suggested that the ‘mori’ element implies an association with inland water, not the sea (, 2017). Another possibility for Moridunum was proposed after excavations in 1990 and 1992 revealed a vicus associated with the Roman fort at Woodbury, just south of Axminster. This site, mainly for lack of an alternative, quickly became thought by some to be Moridunum (Pastscape Mon. 1050582) The problem with Woodbury, however, is the distances. Recent work by the late Hugh Toller finally established the route of the road between Dorchester and Axminster (Toller, 2014) so we can now measure distances along the road with reasonable accuracy. Both this Iter and the Peutinger Table agree that the distance from Isca to Moridunum is 15 miles. The distance from Isca to Woodbury is actually 29 Roman miles, and it seems highly unlikely that both documents would be so far out independently of each other. In addition, Woodbury is 28 miles from Dorchester along RR4f, and it is hard to see a simple explanation for how XXVIII could have become XXXVI. It seems, therefore, that both Sidford and Woodbury can be discounted.

There is, however, another much neater solution ( 2017). In 1998, a Roman fort at Pomeroy Wood, Gittisham, just west of Honiton, Devon, was excavated in advance of road widening of the A30 (Pastscape Mon. 1156660).  Whilst the fort appears to have been shortlived, the civilian settlement shows evidence of occupation until the 4th century on either side of the main Roman road from Dorchester to Exeter (RR4f) and, crucially, they are 15.5 Roman miles from Exeter and 41.5 Roman miles from Dorchester. The mileage of Moridunum to Dorchester is given as m.p. xxxvi , 36 miles. The scribe perhaps misread an ‘x’ for a ‘v’; the distance should have read xxxxi, a perfect fit for the true distance of 41.5 miles. There can therefore be little doubt that the site at Pomoroy Wood, Gittisham, is the missing stage of Moridunum.

The total distances of the corrected stages now add up to 143 miles, so it would appear that the Iter’s given total distance of 136 miles, being seven miles short, must also contain an error. One possibility is that another ‘x’ has been mistaken for a ‘v’, which would leave the original total as cxxxxi, 141 miles, still two miles short. Given the sheer number of errors we already known about, probably due to difficulties scribes had in reading the last and most rubbed and worn manuscript, it is possible that two extraneous ‘i’s may have appeared, most probably in the entries for Venta to Brige, and Brige to Sorbiodunum. If so, that would take the original entry for Venta to Brige down to five miles, one less than the actual six. As we would expect a town zone around Venta, this now makes sense. Similarly, the distance for Brige to Sorbiodunum, where we might also expect a town zone, would reduce to seventeen, one less than the actual eighteen Roman miles. This is is all highly speculative, but would reduce the sum of the corrected stages to 141 miles, the same as the corrected total.

Entry compiled by Mike Haken, last updated: 3 November 2017    

The Antonine Itinerary - Iter XV