Latin: Deva Victrix
Caerlegion, Caerlleon, Caistor, Chestre
This city was ruled in Arthur’s time, according to Layamon, by Earl Cursalem.
The author of the Middle English Ywain and Gawain contended that Arthur held his court in Chester. In the Elizabethan play The Birth of Merlin, its lord under Ambrosius is Eldol. Launfal defeats an “Earl of Chester” in Chestre’s Sir Launfal.
This city was named Deva in classical times but it was also known as the City of the Legion, as was Caerleon-upon-Usk. R.B. Stoker, in his The Legacy of Arthur’s Chester (1965), argues that Chester, rather than Caerleon, was Arthur’s chief city. G. Ashe suggest that perhaps Arthur’s battle at the City of Legion was fought there, though there might be some confusion with Caerleon.
Chester | 400-600 AD
Chester was established as a Roman fortress, known as Deva Victrix, around 70 AD during the reign of the Roman Emperor Vespasian. It was strategically located on the River Dee, which provided access to the sea and enabled the Romans to control trade anc ommunication routes. Deva Victrix served as a base for the Roman military, particularly the Legio XX Valeria Victrix (Twentieth Legion) and the Legio II Adiutrix (Second Adiutrix Legion).
The Roman presence brought significant cultural and architectural influences to the area. Chester was built in the typical Roman style, with a rectangular layout, a grid of streets, and defensive walls. The city walls, which are largely intact today, were constructed during this period and continue to be one of Chester’s most prominent historical features.
Chester had an amphitheater located outside the city walls, where gladiator games and other public spectacles were held. However, the exact location and extent of the amphitheater have not been conclusively identified through archaeological excavations.
The city of Chester are sometimes called Caer, from the ancient wall that has encircled it for ages.