Stanstead Abbotts Local History Society

Regina of the Catellavauni.

Wife to Burates Born in Syria.

Impact of visitors; At South Shields there is a tombstone from a husband showing love for a wife who shared his travels.

Originally from the 2,000 year-old Roman Hadrians Wall nearby, it's dedicated to Regina a freed-woman of the Catavellauni Tribe. It is in Latin-Palmyrene text. It was created by her husband Burates, his regiment was one of the most notable auxiliary regiments in Britain. A unit of bowmen recruited from the Hamian tribesmen of Syria 3,000 miles away, the only regiment of archers known to have been stationed in Britain, they probably came over with the Claudian invasion of AD43.

What of it? Well isn't it amazing that such a minor discovery can spark off a trail of imagination?

The Catellavauni were from Hertfordshire. Their ancient pre-Roman tribal base at Braughing spread to Stanstead Abbotts and beyond and to imagine the appearance of these well-travelled foreigners in our Village is interesting but to find evidence that one fine soldier marries someone from this area makes it so exciting but then to have a name of one of our Hertfordshire girls from 2,000 years ago too! Well, WOW!


Regina Tombstone.

From the collection of Arbeia Roman Fort and Museum in South Shields, Tyne and Wear.

This tombstone shows Regina sitting with her jewellery box. Regina came from southern Britain and was the slave, and later the wife, of Barates from Syria.