As a condition of capitulation to the Romans British tribes would be asked to contribute auxiliary soldiers to fight in Roman Empire border areas. In Scotland troops from the Belgium/Dutch and German areas of the Rhine were used to fight against the Caledonians and in Europe troops from Britain appear to have been concentrated on the Rhine and Danube. Troops were never deployed in their home areas.
In Roman eyes, there was no distinction between tribes in Britain – recruits from Scotland would have been British. Some of the units below were raised in the time of Agricola and it crossed my mind that some of them may have been raised in conquered Scotland but it is mere speculation. The diagram below shows the location of funeral inscriptions of British soldiers.
A further map showing British-style brooches, likely but not guaranteed to have been taken abroad by British units show a similar pattern.
Britsh Auxiliary Units
Each unit would have been around 500 men ( 480 to be precise) Many units were raised in Britain after 75 AD during the time of Agricola to be stationed in Germany, Holland and Belgium replacing units destroyed after the Batvian revolt. The recruitment of troops and their placement reflected the various wars and incursions from other peoples. Naming conventions changed over time and honorific titles may be added after successful battles such as “pia fidelis”.
|Cohors I Britannica milliaria c. R. equitata||85 AD||Romania, Germany|
|Cohors I Brittonum milliaria||85 AD||Romania|
|Cohors II Brittonum||98 AD||Romania|
|Cohors III Brittonum equitata veterana||100 AD||Romania|
|Cohors III Augusta Nerviana (Pacensis milliaria?) Brittonum||115 AD||Romania|
|Cohors VI Brittonum equitata pf.||96 AD||Germany (116 AD)|
|Cohors I Aelia Brittonum milliaria equitata||138 AD||Austria (238 AD)|
|Cohors I Ulpia Brittonum (this may be the same unit as above)||80 AD||Austria|
|Cohors II Flavia Brittonum (this may be the same unit as above)||100 AD||Bulgaria|
- Ivleva, Tatiana. (2011). British Emigrants in the Roman Empire: Complexities and Symbols of Ethnic Identities. Theoretical Roman Archaeology Journal. 132. 10.16995/TRAC2010_132_153.
- The untold story of emigration and object mobility from Roman Britain Tatiana Ivleva
- Roman brooches around and across the British limes Fraser Hunter, National Museum of Scotland
- Recent Roman Iron Age metalwork finds from Fife and Tayside, 2008, Fraser Hunter
- Matei-Popescu, Florian & Țentea, Ovidiu. (2018). Auxilia Moesiae Superioris. NATIONAL MUSEUM OF ROMANIAN HISTORY
- Holder, Paul A. “Exercitus Pius Fidelis: The Army of Germania Inferior in AD 89.” Zeitschrift Für Papyrologie Und Epigraphik 128 (1999): 237–50. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20190538.
- Holder, Paul A. “Auxiliary Units Entitled Aelia.” Zeitschrift Für Papyrologie Und Epigraphik 122 (1998): 253–62. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20190277.