came alike to be styled ‘Litus Saxonicum,’ the
shore infested by the Saxons.6 The need for permanent
land-defence was acute. It was met by the appointment of two high
officers, the ‘Comes litoris Saxonici per Britanniam,’ commanding
nine forts and their garrisons on the coast of Britain, and the’ Dux
tractus Armoricani in litore Saxonico,’ who guarded the opposite
shores of Gaul. Here we are concerned only with the former. His command
is described in the ‘Notitia Dignitatum,’ a book which enumerates
the officials and troops of the Roman Empire at the end of the fourth
and beginning of the fifth century. According to the ‘Notitia,’ the
forts and garrisons were as follows :—
garrisoned by a numerus Fortensium (unknown otherwise).
garrisoned by a milites Tungrecani (recruited in northern Gaul).
garrisoned by a numerus Turnacensium (recruited in northern Gaul).
Branoduno, garrisoned by a equites
Gariannonor, garrisoned by a equites
garrisoned by a cohors i Baetasiorum (previously in north Britain).
garrisoned by a legio ii Augusta (previously at Isca Silurum).
by a numerus Abulcorum (unknown otherwise).
PortumAdurni, garrisoned by a numerus exploratorum
With this list of nine we may compare the chain of Roman
forts reaching from the Wash to Spithead, of which remains actually
(1) Brancaster, in north—western Norfolk, on the south
beach of the inlet called Brancaster Harbour, near the mouth of the
Wash. It is a nearly
6 The expression has been
taken by Kemble and others to mean ‘the shore inhabited by the Saxons.’
But there is neither proof nor probability that these sea-robbers began
to settle thus early. That stage belongs rather to the fifth century.
Nor need such a phrase denote settlement. The ‘French Shore’ in
Newfoundland is not the shore inhabited by the French. Camden wrote ’comes
qui litora contra Saxones tuebatur.’ Guest, ii, 153, agrees (but
invents a term Limes Saxonicus). Lappenberg started or
popularized the other view (Orig. Celt).