The Info List - Carnuntum

(Καρνους, Carnous in Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
according to Ptolemy) was a Roman Legionary Fortress or castrum legionarium and also headquarters of the Pannonian fleet from 50 AD. After the 1st century it was capital of the Pannonia Superior
Pannonia Superior
province. It also became a large city of 50,000 inhabitants.[1][2] 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.


1 History

1.1 Military History

1.1.1 Legio XV Apollinaris 1.1.2 Legio X Gemina 1.1.3 Legio VII Gemina 1.1.4 Legio XIV Gemina

1.2 History of the City

2 Today

2.1 Civilian city 2.2 Heidentor 2.3 Fortress 2.4 Gladiator
school 2.5 Museum Carnuntinum

3 In fiction 4 Gallery 5 References 6 External links

History[edit] Military History[edit] Carnuntum
first occurs in history during the reign of Augustus
(6 AD), when Tiberius
made it his base of operations as a Roman fort in the campaigns against Maroboduus (Marbod). Legio XV Apollinaris[edit] Significant Romanisation occurred when the town was selected as the garrison of the Legio XV Apollinaris
Legio XV Apollinaris
before 14 AD.[3] A few years later, it became the centre of the Roman fortifications along the Danube
from Vindobona
(now Vienna) to Brigetio
(Ó-Szőny). According to Tacitus,[4] the emperor Claudius ordered the governor of Pannonia "to have a legion with an auxiliary on the bank of the Danube" to protect the losers of a dispute between Germanic tribes (the Quadi
and Marcomanni) and deter the victors from the temptation to invade Pannonia. To this period (about 50 AD) belongs the auxiliary castrum of a cavalry ala 1.5 km south-west of the legionary fortress.[5] The legion was sent to Syria and possibly Armenia by Nero in 62 or 63. In 71 AD, after several campaigns, the Legio XV Apollinaris
Legio XV Apollinaris
returned to Carnuntum
and rebuilt its fortress. The legion fought in the Trajan's Dacian Wars
Trajan's Dacian Wars
the main body of the legion remained in Pannonia. In 115 war with Parthia
broke out and the legion was sent to the east. Legio X Gemina[edit] Legio X Gemina
Legio X Gemina
was sent to Carnuntum
for a few years from about 63 AD.[6] During the brief reign of Galba
(68-69), it was transferred back to Hispania. Legio VII Gemina[edit] Legio VII Gemina, newly founded by Galba
in 68 AD, was allocated to Carnuntum
until about 71 AD after his defeat by Vespasian.[7] Legio XIV Gemina[edit] In 117/8 AD,[8] Carnuntum
became the permanent quarters of Legio XIV Gemina where it stayed for three centuries until the frontier collapsed in 430. History of the City[edit] 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 the capital of Pannonia Superior
Pannonia Superior
it was made a municipium by Hadrian (Aelium Carnuntum). Its importance is indicated by the fact that Marcus Aurelius
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
Severan dynasty
(193-235) Carnuntum
experienced an economic boom, the canabae reaching its maximum size. Caracalla
elevated it to colony status as Septimia Colonia Aurelia Antoniana.[9] During the reign of Gallienus, the Pannonians rebelled by electing the usurper Regalianus
who established a mint whose coins depicted him and his wife Sulpicia Dryantilla. He was killed shortly afterwards by his own soldiers probably at Carnuntum.[10][11] In 308 during the Civil wars of the Tetrarchy
Civil wars of the Tetrarchy
the Emperor emeritus Diocletian
chaired a historic meeting (the conference of Carnuntum) with his co-emperors Maximian
and Galerius
in Carnuntum
to solve the rising tensions within the tetrarchy.[12][13] 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,[14] 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.

Map of Roman legions in 50 AD: Legio XV Apollinaris
Legio XV Apollinaris
at Carnuntum

Today[edit] The "Archaeological Park Carnuntum" comprises three sites:

Museum, Heidentor and amphitheatre near Petronell Excavations in the garden of Petronell Castle Museum Carnuntinum

Civilian city[edit]

Remains in Carnuntum
- amphitheatre

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 4th largest amphitheatre in the whole Roman Empire. Heidentor[edit] 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
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" (pagan gate). Fortress[edit]

Remains of the fortress - amphitheatre

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. Gladiator
school[edit] In September 2011 aerial photographs and ground-penetrating radar led to the discovery of the typical contours of an ancient Roman gladiator school to the south of the Roman settlement, a ludus rivaling the Ludus Magnus
Ludus Magnus
school and covering an area of some 3,350 square yards (0.280 ha).[15] This approach of aerial photography and modern remote sensing has allowed for a detailed virtual recreation of the gladiator school.[16] The aerial photographs used in the recreation were acquired with a radio-controlled Microdrone md4-1000 quadrocopter, which captured a sufficient amount of photographs to create an overlap among them. Then, using a technique called Structure from Motion (SfM), a 3D model of the school was calculated using the sharpest images.[17] The school, along with the amphitheater, was located outside of the town's walls. The school had training grounds, bathing facilities, an assembly hall and dormitories for the gladiators. The school also had a courtyard which housed a training area for gladiators. The school was attached to an open campus which was most likely used for chariot races.[18] Museum Carnuntinum[edit]

Museum Carnuntinum

The archaeological museum Carnuntinum, which is situated in the village of Bad Deutsch-Altenburg
Bad Deutsch-Altenburg
on the river Danube, exhibits important archeological finds from the ancient city. In fiction[edit] Völkisch author Guido von List
Guido von List
was so impressed with the ruins that he based his first novel on the subject. Another novel, Household Gods, by Harry Turtledove
Harry Turtledove
and Judith Tarr, is set in Carnuntum
during the reign of Marcus Aurelius. In Frank Tallis' crime novel Vienna
Blood both Guido von List
Guido von List
and his novel Carnuntum
appear, together with an eponymous opera based on the novel.


The palace ruins near Petronell

The ruins of a Roman public bath at Petronell-Carnuntum

Heidentor (so-called "Pagan Gate")

Scale Model of Carnuntum
in Roman times

Scale Model of Carnuntum
in Roman times (amphitheatre and region outside city walls)

Tombstone of Titus Calidius Severus, centurion of the Fifteenth Legion, depicting a horse, centurion's helmet and armour, found in Carnuntum

Statue of the god Jupiter Dolichenus


^ Sutter Fichtner, Paula (2009). Historical Dictionary of Austria. Scarecrow Press. p. 54–55. ISBN 9780810863101.  ^ Beattie, Andrew (2010). The Danube: A Cultural History. Oxford University Press. p. 109. ISBN 9780199768356.  ^ http://www.livius.org/articles/legion/legio-xv-apollinaris/ ^ Tacitus, Annals, XII, 29.2 ^ J. Fitz, The Danubian provinces, in History of the Greeks and Romans, vol. 16 The principles of Rome. From Augustus
to Alexander Severus, Milano 2008, p. 495. ^ http://www.livius.org/articles/legion/legio-x-gemina/? ^ http://www.livius.org/articles/legion/legio-vii-gemina/? ^ http://www.livius.org/articles/legion/legio-xiiii-gemina/ ^ J. Fitz, The Great Age of Pannonia. Budapest 1982, p. 14 ^ J. Morris, AHM Jones and JR Martindale, The prosopography of the later Roman Empire, Cambridge University Press, 1992, p. 273, ISBN 0521072336 ^ Temporini, Hildegard and Wolfgang Haase, Aufstieg und Niedergang römischen der Welt, Walter de Gruyter, p. 852, ISBN 3110049716 ^ Zosimus, New History, II, 10, 4 ^ Santo Mazzarino, The Roman Empire, Rome-Bari 1973 vol.II, p. 598 ^ Ammianus, Stories, XXX, 5.2 ^ George Jahn. "Unique Roman gladiator school unearthed". MSNBC. AP. . ^ BBC News: James Morgan, "Roman 'gladiator school' recreated virtually" ^ "The Amphitheater of Carnuntum-Towards a complete 3D model using airborne Structure from Motion and dense image matching". academia.edu.  ^ "The discovery of a gladiatorial school at Carnuntum". academia.edu. .

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Carnuntum". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.  External links[edit]

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Archaeological Pa