Colchester Archaeological Trust
MISCO Report 02: summary
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'The Roman temples of Colchester', in 'Temples, Churches and Religion: Recent Research in Roman Britain' (ed Warwick Rodwell, BAR British Series 77
by Philip Crummy
Date report completed: 1980
File size: kb
Significance of the results:
Keywords: temples, church, religion
By Romano-British standards, the known temples of Colchester comprise a large and varied group of religious buildings. These include the massive Classical- style Temple of Claudius, seven Romano- Celtic temples, one, perhaps two, small rectangular temples and a possible martyrium. The temples at Sheepen and Gosbecks form parts of important native sanctuaries on the sites of the two key centres of pre-Roman occupation. The distribution of the four, perhaps five, temples at Sheepen indiates that probably more temples are still to be found on the site and that here was a Tempelbezirk of substancial proportions. At Gosbecks, the elaborate and large temple precinct and its associated theatre point to an important religious focus of the Trinovantes in post- Conquest times.
To outline adequately present knowledge and interpretations of these buildings and their precincts would take up much more space than is available here and therefore only brief summaries are given, the emphasis being on unpublished aspects. A consolidated bibliography for the temples is given at the end of the article. The numbering system is an extension of Lewis' (1996).