Verulamium was the third-largest city in
Roman Britain. It was sited in the southwest of the modern city of St Albansin Hertfordshire. A large portion of the Roman city remains unexcavated, being now park and agricultural land, though much has been built upon (see below).
Before the Romans, it was known as
Verlamion, (meaning 'settlement above the marsh') the capital of the Catuvellaunitribe. The settlement was established by their leader Tasciovanus. In this pre-Roman form, it was among the first places in Britain recorded by name. It was built beside the River Ver.
The Roman settlement was granted the rank of "municipium" in c.
AD 50, meaning its citizens had all the rights of a citizen of Rome. It grew to a significant town, and as such received the attentions of Boudicaof the Iceniin AD 61, when Verulamium was sacked and burnt: the black ash layer has been recorded by archaeologists, thus confirming the Roman written record. It grew steadily —by the early 200s it covered an area of about 125 acres (0.5 km²), behind a deep ditch and wall.
Verulamium had a forum,
basilicaand a theatre, much of which were damaged during two fires, one in AD 155 and the other around AD 250. One of the few extant Roman inscriptions in Britain is found on the remnants of the forum; see Verulamium Forum inscription. The town was rebuilt in stone rather than timberat least twice over the next 150 years. Occupation by the Romans ended between 400 and 450.
There are a few remains of the Roman city visible, such as parts of the
city walls, a hypocauststill in situ under a mosaic floor and a theatre, which is on land belonging to the Earl of Gorehambury - as well as items in the Museum (below). More remains under the agricultural land nearby which had never been excavated were for a while seriously threatened by deep ploughing.
The city was quarried for building material when medieval St Albans was founded; indeed, much of Norman abbey was constructed from the remains of the Roman city, with Roman brick and stone visible. The modern city takes its name from Alban, a citizen of Verulamium, or Roman soldier, who was condemned to death in the 3rd century for sheltering a
Christian. Alban was converted by him to Christianity, and by his death became the first British Christian martyr.
There is a museum in
Verulamium Park(adjacent to St Michael's Church) which contains much information about the town, both as a Roman and Iron Agesettlement, plus Roman history in general. The museum was established following the excavations carried out by Mortimer Wheeler and his wife Tess Wheeler. It is noted for the large and colourful mosaics, and many other artefacts such as pottery, jewellery, tools and coins from the Roman period. Many were found in formal excavations but some, particularly a coffinstill containing a male skeleton, were unearthed nearby during building work. It is considered one of the best museums of Roman history in the country and has won an architectural award for its striking domed entrance.
Since much of the modern city and its environs is built over Roman remains, it is still not uncommon to unearth Roman artefacts several miles away. A complete tile
kilnwas found in Park Street some six miles from Verulamium in the 1970s, and there is a Roman mausoleum in Rothamstead Park five miles away.
Within the walls of Verulam, which he took for the name of his Barony, Sir
Francis Bacon, the essayist and statesman, built a refined small house that was thoroughly described by the 17th century diarist John Aubrey; no trace of it is left, but Aubrey noted "At Verulam is to be seen, in some few places, some remains of the wall of this Citie" (see the illustration).
asteroid 4206 Verulamiumwas named in honour of the ancient city.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Verulamium — fue la tercera ciudad en importancia durante el periodo de ocupación romana de Inglaterra. Sus restos se encuentran junto a la actual ciudad de St Albans en el condado de Hertfordshire, en un terreno agrícola. Restos de la muralla de la ciudad de … Wikipedia Español
Verulamium — Verulamium, so v. w. Verolamium … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon
Verulamĭum — Verulamĭum, s. Saint Albans 1) … Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon
Verulamium — fue la tercera ciudad en importancia durante el periodo de ocupación romana de Inglaterra. Sus restos se encuentran junto a la actual ciudad de Saint Albans en el condado de Hertfordshire, en un terreno agrícola. Antes de los romanos, la ciudad… … Enciclopedia Universal
VERULAMIUM — vulgo Werlan, locus in Anglia olim celebris, ubi postmodum monasterium S. Albani conditum. Hîc Synodus, A. C. 446. contra Pelagianos, et ab Offa Merciorum Rege A. C. 793. et 794. concilia celebrata sunt … Hofmann J. Lexicon universale
Verulamium — Reste der Stadtmauern Detail einer Wandmalerei aus einer der Wo … Deutsch Wikipedia
Verulamium — 51° 45′ 00″ N 0° 21′ 14″ W / 51.75, 0.353889 … Wikipédia en Français
Verulamium — /ver yoo lay mee euhm/, n. ancient name of St. Albans. * * * ▪ ancient city, England, United Kingdom also called (Celtic) Verlamio or Verlamion pre Roman and Romano British town in the territory of the Catuvellauni, across the River Ver … Universalium
Verulamium — /vɛrəˈleɪmiəm/ (say veruh laymeeuhm) noun ancient name of St Albans … Australian English dictionary
Verulamium — /ver yoo lay mee euhm/, n. ancient name of St. Albans … Useful english dictionary