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
Branoduno, garrisoned by a
equites Dalmatae Branodunenses.
Gariannonor, garrisoned by a
equites stablesiani Gariannonenses.
garrisoned by a cohors i Baetasiorum (previously in north
garrisoned by a legio ii Augusta (previously at Isca Silurum).
garrisoned by a numerus Abulcorum (unknown otherwise).
PortumAdurni, garrisoned by a numerus
exploratorum (unknown otherwise).
With this list of nine we may compare the chain of
Roman forts reaching from the Wash to Spithead, of which remains
(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).