Corinium Dobunnorum

Corinium Dobunnorum

Corinium Dobunnorum

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Corinium Dobunnorum was the second largest town in the Roman province of Britannia. Today it is known as Cirencester, located in the English county of Gloucestershire.


A Roman fort was established at Corinium, in the friendly territory of the Dobunni tribe, about a year after the Roman conquest of Britain. The local centre continued at the oppidum at Bagendon until the early AD 60s. However, by the mid-70s, the military had abandoned the fort, and the place became the Dobunni's civitas or capital.

Town development

Over the next twenty years, a street grid was laid out and the town was furnished with an array of large public stone buildings, two market places and numerous shops and private houses. Development continued until the fourth century. Three main roman roads met in Corinium, underscoring the importance of the town. These were the Fosse Way, Akeman Street and Ermin Street.

Public buildings

The forum and basilica were bigger than any other in Britain, apart from that in Londinium. The basilica was decorated with beautifully carved Corinthian capitals, Italian marble wall veneers and Purbeck marble mouldings. Unfortunately, it was built over the ditch of the old fort and the walls cracked and sank, forcing a major rebuilding project in the mid-2nd century.

There appears to have been a cattle market adjoining the forum with a market hall and several butchers' shops. No public baths have been identified, but there may possibly have been a theatre. A system...
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