Some were legionaries, career soldiers who were Roman citizens but the majority were auxiliary troops, men drawn into the Roman military system from across the empire, sometimes voluntarily but often by force. One such man was the 29 –year-old Nectovelius, a ‘Brigantian’ recruited from northern England who died at Mumrills after serving with the Second Thracian Cohort for nine years. During their time on the wall, these men trained, patrolled, worshipped, relaxed and in some cases, died.
Living in the forts alongside these soldiers were a number of civilians: the wives, children and slaves of the commanding officers. We know very little about their lives, but some of their possessions have by chance survived.
Today we know the names of just a handful of the thousands of individuals who once lived along the wall, through inscriptions on altars and tombstones.