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Epona in the Military

Here is a list of all the military units who are known (from inscriptions), or assumed (e.g. from a fort where a single unit was stationed) to have made dedications to Epona.


Legio I Adiutrix

Duklja 2 (Montenegro, Yugoslavia) [AE 1933, 0076]

Legio II Adiutrix Pia Fidelis

Vác (Pest, Hungary) [CIL III, 3420]

Legio II Augusta

Auchendavy (Strathkelvin District, Strathclyde Region, Scotland, United Kingdom) [RIB 2177] [1]

Legio IIII Flavia Felix

Sarmizgetusa (Hunedoara, Romania) [CIL III, 07904] [2]

Legio VII Gemina

Roma 15 (Roma, Italy) [CIL 06, 31175] [3]

Legio XI Claudia Pia Fidelis

Kastell Abritus (Razgrad, Bulgaria) [AE 1993, 01370 ] [4]

Legio XXII Primigenia

Mainz 2 (Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany) [CIL XIII, 11801] [5]

Naix (Meuse, Lorraine, France) [CIL XIII, 4630]

Solothurn (Solothurn Canton, Switzerland) [CIL XIII, 5170] [6]

Thil-Châtel (Côte d'Or, Bourgogne, France) [CIL 13, 05622]


Ala I Batavorum
(probable) Războieni-Cetate (Ocna Mureş, Alba, Romania) [Blăuţă]
Ala I Tungrorum Frontiana

Ilisua (Cluj, Transylvania, Romania) [CIL II, 788]

Ala I Singularium Pia Fidelis

Pförring (Bayern, Germany) [CIL III, 5910 and 11909; ILS 4830]

Cohors novae Severianae Gordianae Surorum sagittariorum

Szentendre (Pest County, Hungary) [AE 1973, 0438]

Cohors I Hispanorum milliaria equitata
(probable) Maryport (Cumbria, England, United Kingdom) [7]
Cohors II Treverorum

(probable) Zugmantel (Hessen, Germany) [AE 1973, 0438]

Imperial Horse Guard

Equites Singulares Augusti

Roma 3 (Roma, Italy) [CIL 06, 31140]

Roma 3b (Roma, Italy) [CIL 06, 31141]

Roma 4 (Roma, Italy) [CIL 06, 31142]

Roma 5 (Roma, Italy) [CIL 06, 31143]

Roma 6 (Roma, Italy) [CIL 06, 31144]

Roma 7 (Roma, Italy) [CIL 06, 31145]

Roma 8 (Roma, Italy) [CIL 06, 31146]

Roma 10 (Roma, Italy) [CIL 06, 31148]

Roma 11 (Roma, Italy) [CIL 06, 31149]

Roma 15 (Roma, Italy) [CIL 06, 31175]

Roma 17 (Roma, Italy) [CIL 06, 31174]

Thessaloníki (Thessaloníki, Kentrikí Makedhonía, Greece) [Speidel pp.72-74, 141, plate 19]

By far the largest group of Epona dedications (11 from Rome), plus one uninscribed but securely attested sculpture, comes from the Equites Singulares Augusti, and from the list above it seems that ex-members (kept on as drill masters, customs officers, consular staff, etc) attached to other units were also frequent dedicants when attached to other units (indicated thus).

A further characteristic of this group is the large number of co-dedications.

So, at this stage of studies, it looks as if the emperors horseguard was the main unit that produced the spread of Epona dedications through the empire.

It is not clear whether the same or a different mechanism produced the spread of uninscribed artefacts, in particular the predominantly non-military, sidesaddle Epona depictions from east-central Gaul.


1. The dedicant, Marcus Cocceius Firmus, is thought to have been an ex-member of the Equites Singulares Augustii. Besides this altar to many of the deities honoured by them, he also raised altars to Diana and Apollo [RIB 2174], the Guardian Spirit of the Land of Britain (Genio Terrae Britannicae) [RIB 2175], and to Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Victory and to the well-being of "our emperor and his family" [RIB 2176]. On the carreer of Marcus Cocceius Firmus, see [Birley]

2. The dediacant, Viator, was an exercitor, and a detached member of the Equites Singulares Augusti. See timeline notes on this inscription, dated to 105-118 CE.

3. The dedication is to to the Genius of Equites Singulares and Epona, making it highly likely that the dedicant was a member or ex member of the Equites Singulares.

4. The dedicant was a beneficiarius consularis attached to the legion.

5. The dedicant was Syrian, demonstrating again that the Gaulish origin of Epona did not preclude worship by any inhabitant of the Empire.

6. The dedicant was immunis consularis, attached to the consular staff.

7. This unit is attested by other inscriptions at Maryport, where it arrived with Hadrian in 123. An anepigraphic sidesaddle Epona in local red sandstone is assumed to have been produced by this part-mounted unit, rather than the later Cohors I Delmatarum who were stationed there. The first commander of Cohors I Hispanorum Equitata was Marcus Maenius Agrippa, a personal freind of Hadrian. See timeline notes on Maryport


L' Année Épigraphique (AE), yearly summary of inscriptions

Birley, E. (1935) "Marcus Cocceius Firmus: An Epigraphic Study". Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland LXX pp.363-377.

Blăuţă, C. (1990). Relief votiv dedicat Eponei descoperit la Razboieni-Cetate / Relief votif consacré à Epona découvert à Razboieni-Cetate. Studii şi Cercetări de Istorie Veche şi Arheologie 41 pp. 83-85.

Collingwood, R.G.; Wright, R.P. (1965) The Roman Inscriptions of Britain (RIB). Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum (CIL), 15 volumes

Dessau, Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae (ILS), Titvli sacri et sacerdotvm. Nvmina Galliae et Britanniae.

Speidel, M. P. (1994). Riding for Caesar: the Roman Emperors' Horse Guards. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-76897-3