Carnuntum (Carnous, Καρνους, in Ancient Greek according to Ptolemy) was a Roman legionary fortress (castrum legionarium) and headquarters of the Pannonian fleet from 50 AD. After the 1st century, it was capital of the Pannonia Superior province. It also became a large city of 50,000 inhabitants. Its impressive remains are situated on the Danube in Lower Austria halfway between Vienna and Bratislava in the Carnuntum Archaeological Park extending over an area of 10 km2 near today’s villages of Petronell-Carnuntum and Bad Deutsch-Altenburg.
In Roman times Carnuntum had a history as a major trading centre for amber, brought from the north to traders who sold it in Italy; the main arm of the Amber Road crossed the Danube at Carnuntum.
As Aelium Carnuntum, the capital of Pannonia Superior, it was made a municipium by Hadrian. Its importance is indicated by the fact that Marcus Aurelius resided there for three years (172–175) during the war against the Marcomanni, and wrote part of his Meditations there. Also Septimius Severus, at the time governor of Pannonia, was proclaimed emperor there by his soldiers (193), to replace Emperor Pertinax, who had been murdered. In the Severan dynasty (193–235) Carnuntum experienced an economic boom, the canabae reaching their maximum size. Caracalla elevated it to colony status as Septimia Colonia Aurelia Antoniana. During the reign of Gallienus, the Pannonians rebelled by electing the usurper Regalianus, who established a mint with coins depicted him and his wife Sulpicia Dryantilla. He was killed shortly afterwards by his own soldiers, probably at Carnuntum.
In 308, during the Civil wars of the Tetrarchy, the Emperor emeritus Diocletian chaired a historic meeting there, the Conference of Carnuntum, with his co-emperors Maximian and Galerius, to solve the rising tensions within the tetrarchy. It brought about freedom of religion for the Roman Empire.
In 374, it was destroyed by Germanic invaders, the Quadi and Iazyges. Although partly restored by Valentinian I, it never regained its former importance, and Vindobona became the chief military centre. During the Barbarian Invasions, Carnuntum was eventually abandoned and used as a cemetery and source of building material for building projects elsewhere. Eventually, its remains became buried and forgotten.
The remains of the civilian city extend around the village Petronell-Carnuntum. There are several places to see in the city: Roman city quarter in the open-air museum, palace ruins, amphitheatre, and Heidentor.
The Roman city ruins are exposed in the open-air museum directly in the present village. One of the ancient houses, called the House of Lucius, has been rebuilt using traditional techniques. It was opened to the public on 1 June 2006. The forum was next to the palace ruins, also referred to as the large public baths.
Some way outside the city was a large amphitheatre, which had room for about 15,000 spectators. A plate with an inscription found at the site claims that this building was the fourth largest amphitheatre in the whole Roman Empire.
Between 354 AD and 361 AD, a huge triumphal monument was erected next to the camp and city. Contemporary reports suggest that Emperor Constantius II had it built to commemorate his victories. When the remains of Carnuntum disappeared after the Migration Period the monument remained as an isolated building in a natural landscape and led Medieval people to believe it was the tomb of a pagan giant. Hence, they called it Heidentor (‘Heathens’ Gate’ or ‘Pagans’ Gate’).
The only remaining building of the fortress is an amphitheatre, located just outside the fortress. Today, a small adjacent museum shows the history of gladiators.
The archaeological museum Carnuntinum, which is situated in the village of Bad Deutsch-Altenburg on the river Danube, exhibits important archeological finds from the ancient city.
The collections of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection
Collection of Greek Antiquities
Kelten Römer Museum Manching
Vor über 2000 Jahren befand sich in Manching eine der größten und bedeutensten Keltenstädte Mitteleuropas. Ca. 100 Jahre nach deren Niedergang ließen sich die Römer hier nieder, um im heutigen Ortsteil Oberstimm ein Militärlager zur Grenzsicherung zu errichten.
Das kelten römer museum manching präsentiert einzigartige Funde aus über 100 Jahren archäologischer Ausgrabungen der weltweit am besten untersuchten Keltenstadt sowie des römischen Kastells und lässt den damaligen Alltag der Menschen – für Groß und Klein – greifbar nah erleben.
The history of Weißenburg is generally traced back to the Roman fort that was built in the area towards the end of the first century. The settlement, which included Thermae, lay on the border of the Roman Empire and on the Tabula Peutingeriana from the 4th century it had the name Biriciana. Germanic tribes destroyed the fort and settled in what is still the city centre. The first mention of the name Weißenburg is in a deed dating from 867. The city became the seat of a royal residence during the reign of the Franks and according to legend, Charlemagne stayed there to supervise the construction of Fossa Carolina.
The Pompejanum is situated on the high bank of the river Main in the city of Aschaffenburg, in the Lower Franconia region of Bavaria. It is located within sight of Schloss Johannisburg. The Pompejanum is surrounded by a small mediterranean garden, first created in the 19th century when the building was constructed. The Pompejanum was commissioned by King Ludwig I and built in the years 1840-1848 according to the plans of the court architect Friedrich von Gärtner. The Pompejanum was not intended as a royal villa, but as a demonstration that would allow art lovers in Germany to study ancient culture. The building is a symbol for the enthusiasm for antiquity in the 19th century. The villa is a replica of a domus (or town house) in ancient Pompeii, the so-called House of Castor and Pollux (Casa dei Dioscuri), so named after a wall drawing, which was found in the entrance area of the ruined building.
Die Antikensammlung im Erd- und Untergeschoss von Schloss Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel, bietet einen faszinierenden Überblick über die vergangenen Kulturen im Mittelmeerraum. Die umfangreichen Sammlungsbestände reichen von der Bronzezeit über die Blütezeit Griechenlands bis zum Imperium Romanum. Die rund 800 Exponate – darunter etwa 60 Skulpturen – zeigen die Entwicklung verschiedener antiker Kulturen. Zu sehen sind Funde aus ägyptischer, minoisch-mykenischer, griechischer, etruskischer und römischer Zeit.
Neben dem berühmten »Kasseler Apoll« zeigen zahlreiche Objekte der griechischen Vasenmalerei Szenen der antiken Götterwelt. Waffen, Gefäße und Bronzefiguren zeugen von der Kunstfertigkeit der Etrusker. Bedeutend sind auch die Funde der Kasseler Grabung auf der Insel Samos aus dem Jahr 1894. Die Objekte der römischen Kaiserzeit gehören größtenteils zum historischen Sammlungsbestand, darunter bedeutende Marmorporträts und viele Gegenstände des Alltagslebens. In den vergangenen Jahren konnte zudem die Sammlung griechischer und römischer Münzen ausgebaut werden.
The Saalburg is a Roman fort located on the main ridge of the Taunus, northwest of Bad Homburg, Hesse, Germany. It is a cohort fort, part of the Limes Germanicus, the Roman linear border fortification of the German provinces. The Saalburg, located just off the main road roughly halfway between Bad Homburg and Wehrheim is the most completely reconstructed Roman fort in Germany.
Shortly after the two enclosures, around AD 90, a simple wood-and-earth fort was built to house a numerus. A numerus was a unit of auxiliary troops consisting of 2 centuriae and numbering about 160 men. There is some evidence that the troop stationed at this fort was a numerus Brittonum, i.e. a unit from Britain, but this is not entirely clear.
Late in the reign of Hadrian, c. AD 135, the numerus fort was replaced with a much larger (3.2 hectare) fort for a cohort, a unit of about 500 men. The new castle was reoriented to face the growing Roman city of Nida (now Heddernheim). Originally, it had dry-built wood-and stone walls, which were replaced in the 2nd half of the 2nd century with mortared stone walls and an earthen ramp (147 × 221 m). The reconstructed fort is based on that third and last architectural phase, but reminders of the second phase are visible in the retentura (the back of the fort). Part of the second-phase defensive ditch has also been restored and can be inspected there.
Interior of the assembly hall
The cohort fort was occupied by the Cohors II Raetorum civium Romanorum equitata (2. partially mounted Raetian cohort with Roman citizenship), a partially equestrian 500-men infantry unit, probably under the command of the legionary headquarters at Mogontiacum (modern Mainz). The cohort had initially been stationed at Aquae Mattiacorum (Wiesbaden), had then been moved to the Butzbach fort (ORL 14) and finally to the Saalburg.
The fort existed in that form and with that occupancy until the fall of the German limes in c. AD 260. During the intervening period, the name of the unit is repeatedly mentioned in stone inscriptions, as are the names of some of its commanders.
In the early 3rd century, the situation along the limes became increasingly unsettled. A preventative war under Caracalla, who marched against the Alamanni and their Chatti allies from Raetia and Mogontiacum in AD 213, lowered the Germanic pressure on the border only temporarily. The town of Nida (capital of the regional civitas) was given a defensive enclosure around that time. Already around 233, the Alemanni entered Roman territory again; further major incursions took place in 254 and 260. Eventually, all areas east of the Rhine were lost during the major political and economic crisis of the mid-3rd century. In the course of these events, the Saalburg fort appears to have been abandoned deliberately and without military action.
After the abandonment of the Upper Germanic Limes, the fort was used as a quarry.
Internal courtyard of the principia
The Saalburg in its final architectural phase, in the form reconstructed today, as a cohort fort typical for this part of the limes, a 147 by 221 m rectangle with 4 gates.
The 3.25 m interior was enclosed by a double ditch and a mortared defensive wall; its external face was whitewashed and painted with a trompe-l’œil pattern of ashlar blocks. On the inside, an earthen ramp was placed along the length of the wall, to enable defenders to access the top. The corners were rounded and not crowned with towers, but all four gates were flanked by two towers each.
The fort was oriented in such a way that its main gate, or porta praetoria faced south-south-east, that is away from the limes but towards Nida. The central structure of the fort was a large principia, a central plaza surrounded by housing or offices for the higher officers, which was flanked by a roofed hall for assemblies of the fort’s garrison. The praetentura (front part of the fort) contained the praetorium (the fort commander’s residence) to the west of the via praetoria, and a large horreum (grain store) to its east. The rest of the fort’s interior, today a park-like area of grass and trees, should be visualised as packed with further buildings: stables, magazines, workshops and, of course, the actual troop quarters, subdivided into contubernia. Two such troop barracks have been reconstructed in the southeast part of the fort. For the general arrangement and terminology of Roman fort architecture, see Castra.
Main gate – foundations and basements of the vicus visible on the left
The Saalburg is not only the most consistently reconstructed limes fort, it is also the only one to have had its vicus (adjacent civilian settlement) partially excavated and preserved. The parts of the vicus visible today are located mostly to the south of the fort, on both sides of the road that linked it with Nida, the regional capital and base of further garrison behind the border.
The village begins immediately outside the main gate, where the ruins of a mansio (an official hostel) and, behind it, of a bath for the soldiers were found. These are followed along the road by the preserved basements and foundations (partially reconstructed) of residential houses and of – as believed in the time of the excavations – a mithraeum, a shrine to the Mithras, a deity popular among the Roman army.
The fort’s bath was relatively large and quite elaborately designed to have all the main features of Roman Thermae. It has an apodyterium (changing room), a frigidarium (cold bath), two tepidaria (lukewarm baths’, a caldarium (hot bath) and a sudatorium (sauna). The complex was heated from the praefurnia (firing places); and all rooms except the apodyterium and frigidarium were served by a hypocaust system (underfloor and wall heating).
Archaeologists assume that the overall complex (fort and vicus) housed a population of up to 2,000 (500 soldiers, 1,500 civilians).