The Via Devana was a Roman Road in England that ran from Colchester in the south-east to Chester in the north-west. Both were important Roman military centres and it is conjectured that the main reason the road was constructed was military rather than civilian. The Latin name for Chester is Deva and it was thus 'The Chester Road'. Colchester was Colonia Victricensis 'the City of Victory' and lays claim to be the oldest Roman city in Britain. The Via Devana had little civilian rationale and the road eventually fell into disuse as it was not possible to maintain extensive public works following withdrawal of the last Roman legion from Britain in 407. As a result, its route is difficult to find today, especially in its more northern reaches. It is omitted from some historians' maps for this reason but most nowadays accept its existence. The undocumented name Via Devana was coined by Charles Mason, D.D., of Trinity College, Cambridge, rector of Orwell, Cambridgeshire, and Woodwardian Professor of Fossils, who compiled a map of Cambridgeshire, published in 1808, long after his death.
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