But the fall of Calleva and the fall of Næodunum are alike matters of inference. Geography shows that Calleva fell in the northern march of Cerdic, and the most speaking of all Roman relics, the treasured and hidden eagle, abides as a witness of the day when our fathers overthrew it. Næodunum seems to have undergone no such overthrow as those wrought by the Hun, the Avar, and the Saxon.
As a rule, the site has been identified with that of Calleva Atrebatum; but the proofs are scanty, and the identification must be regarded as a doubtful one. I have already ventured to suggest that the word may contain the root Silva, as the town is situated close upon the ancient borders of Pamber Forest. The absence of early forms, however, makes this somewhat of a random shot.
That old grey, crumbling wall of ancient Calleva, crowned with big oak and ash and thorn and holly, and draped with green bramble and trailing ivy and creepers how good a shelter it is on a cold, rough day!
The names which the two places now bear respectively illustrate the rules of French and English nomenclature. Silchester proclaims itself by its English name to have been a Roman castrum, but it keeps no trace of its Roman name of Calleva. But Næodunum of the Diablintes follows the same rule as Lutetia of the Parisii.
It has, indeed, been suggested by doubters, that these graffiti were written by immigrant Italians, working as labourers or servants in Calleva. The suggestion does not seem probable. Italians certainly emigrated to the provinces in considerable numbers, just as Italians emigrate to-day. But we have seen above that the ancient emigrants were not labourers, as they are to-day.
He took Calleva and Cunetio, and put the people to the sword, and took much gear from those wealthy cities; then he stole through the great forest by night and came to Palladun, which was a rich town builded upon the top of a great hill. He thought to take this unawares, but it was well watched and well armed, and he strove to break into it and was kept about it for some days.
They are less common than in many other provinces, and they abound most in the military region. But they appear also in towns and country-houses, and some of the instances are significant. The town site that we can best examine for our present purpose is Calleva or Silchester, ten miles south of Reading, which has been completely excavated with care and thoroughness.
At present philologists do not seem able to speak with certainty on this point. All this must have contributed to the reintroduction of Celtic national feeling and culture. The circumstances of the discovery show that this pillar belongs to the very latest period in the history of Calleva.
The opposite of this has occurred at Calleva; here the rural house has been used, with scarcely a change, to form a town. We see the Roman street-plan introduced in surroundings which are not properly urban. The outward expression of the civilised municipal system jostles against a provincial and rural life.
Christopher carrying our Lord, and, below, a mermaid and fish. Silchester is about four miles to the south-east by winding ways that lead over the hills of the Hampshire border. The traveller who comes prepared to find the actual ruins of the Roman Calleva spread before him will be grievously disappointed.