The impact of Rome on socio-economic life along the Lower Germanic Limes: blessing or curse?
By way of his Gallic Wars, Julius Caesar had successfully expanded the border of the Roman Empire up to the river Rhine. The native tribes that inhabited the area were now submitted to Roman rule and their territories became part of Rome’s world empire. The central purpose of this paper is to find out to what extent the Roman domination of the Lower Germanic Limes transformed the socio-economic landscape of this region in the long term (from the Late Iron Age until the Late Antique period). Did population and urbanization grow? What changed in the way and the intensity in which the natural landscape was exploited? Was there economic growth and, if so, are there also indications that per capita incomes rose? Did such improvements also extend into the lower strata of society, or were they confined to a relatively small elite, only leading to increased inequality? What was the role of the Roman army, the taxation system, infrastructural developments, and other aspects of the Roman political economy? To what extent did variation between subregions exist and how should this be explained? In finding answers to these questions, I will bring together a wide variety of (archaeological) studies in order to better understand the impact of the Roman conquest in this particularly well researched part of the Roman World.
Craftwork in Roman Cologne
Ella Magdalena Hetzel
For more than a hundred years, a vast amount of evidence regarding the flourishing craftwork production of the Roman period has been secured and documented within the urban center of Cologne. This abundance of archaeological source material determines how the economic situation looked like. In that purpose archeological evidence concerning economic clusters will be discussed.
In the archeological magazines of Cologne a wealth of sources for economic evidences is stored. These findings indicate pottery production, glass manufacturing, metal and wood working as well as the processing of animal and agricultural products. Overall 44 pottery workshops and 10 secondary glass huts have been documented. Furthermore, there are scattered features, which correlate to non-ferrous metal industry, processing of marble inlays, production of glue and manufacturing of animal bones as well as bakery production.
In the analysis various economic topics will be treated, which all require different approaches. The research project will deepen the scientific debate connected to the economic structures of the Imperium Romanum. By means of the doctoral thesis modernist opinions will be strengthened and further developed. Through elaboration of single economic curves as well as a view on framework conditions, precise and meaningful results on the economic development will be supported.
Supplying Novae. The logistic network for provisioning the legio I Italica
Understanding army logistics is important for understanding the Roman army and the Roman limes as such, and in the case of Novae especially regarding the fundamental and dual role of the Danube as a border and a transport route.
Novae, like other camps and smaller garrisons had been built for specific reasons and the geographical conditions and their influence on supplying the legio I Italica there had been taken in consideration.
The development of Novae and the whole province Moesia Inferior is testimony of planning which included a thorough analysis of what was and was not available in the province and whether stable coordination of army supplies by trained personnel was possible.
I will show the different types of products and raw material required for building and maintaining Novae and its garrison, dividing them into groups by provenance: things produced or acquired on the spot, those available somewhere within the province and such that had to be imported from far away. A welcome addition are the epigraphic finds related to provisioning the first Italic legion. This will result in an outline of the logistic network set up by the Roman army at Novae.
On the relationships between Romans and locals in eastern Black Sea littoral: brown clay amphoras discovered in the fort of Apsarus
Amphoras constitute 80 % of the excavated artifacts in Apsarus, Roman fort in Gonio, close to Batumi. They were found in separate settings in the cultural levels dated to the 1st-3rd centuries AD. Several types of amphoras can be distinguished including so-called Brown clay amphoras produced in local manufactures.
According to the mouth shape this type of amphoras are divided into 4 variants, and to the toe, into 3 subvariants. New discoveries enable to research the date, origin and evolution of the brown clay amphoras, particularly the one with a ridge on the neck. The copper coins minted on the name of Nero which have been discovered together with this type of amphoras, are an important clue for the dating. Most of researchers link this type of amphoras genetically with Colchian amphoras of Hellenistic period, since the clay is similar, as the petrographic analyses prove.
Nowdays, only ten complete amphoras and several hundred of bottoms have been found. These vessels are found in another points of eastern Black Sea littoral at great extent and are known in southern and northern Black Sea areas as well.
A small kiln which, most probably, produced this type of amphoras was discovered in SW part of fort in 1998. The date of this construction is the second half of 2nd century AD and the first half of 3rd century AD.
Patterns of urban settlement on and behind the Danube Limes – a geographical perspective
The study of the urban system of the Balkan and Danube provinces has brought to light a dim pattern in the distribution of the urban settlements in the frontier zone – ca. 50 km of the right bank of the Danube. Along certain sections of the frontier, towns tend to appear at distances of a day’s walk from the Limes road, whereas along others, they are pinned on the frontier. It is tempting to relate this ordering of the urban settlements to the presence or absence of double towns on the frontier; a variation that had been most likely preconditioned by the variable population density and agricultural potential of the land behind the Limes. What inferences can be made on the basis of these distributions? In this paper we shall bring together a number of indications that point out the close connections between the civilian and military sector in the frontier zone. These have been found in the chronology of evolution of the urban system, the coincidence between the founding dates of the civilian towns and the establishment of the Flavian Limes; the epigraphic evidence of the activities of the urban elites in the frontier zone; the spatial patterns in the frontier zone discussed in the preceding paragraph and the quantitative properties of the urban system in the frontier provinces, showing clear signs of a higher level of integration between the garrison and civilian towns. These scattered clues from the urban geography of the Middle and Lower Danube provinces seem to suggest a stable flow of people, goods and capital between the civilian and military sector. Some, but not all of the demographic aspects of this relationship – the recruitment of citizen-soldiers, the settling of veterans – are fairly obvious, but their economic side has remained desperately under-researched. More archaeological evidence of the levels of productivity in the civilian towns in the frontier zone is needed, before this model can be embraced wholly. Nevertheless, it remains a plausible interpretation of the urban infrastructure in the lands along the Danube in the 2nd and early 3rd centuries AD.
Patrimonium caesaris in the Danubian provinces I-III century p.C
The aim of the contribution is to point to the different testimonia relating to the imperial estates in the Danubian provinces of Pannonia, Moesia and Dacia during the first three centuries p.C. The study based on the epigraphical or literary evidence will enrich the general studies relating to the patrimonium caesaris. Highlighting the people and the nature of the estates will further improve the knowledge of the organization of the imperial management as well as the impact on the local and the provincial economy in this part of the Roman Empire.
Supplying the Roman Army on the limes of Dacia Porolissensis
Felix Marcu, George Cupcea
In 2017, the Romanian Scientific Authority began the financing of the project called „The Rural Environment of Dacia Porolissensis. Habitat, logistics and supply on the Northern Frontier”. The subject covers many aspects, in the registries of settlements, people, economy and production, supply and, not last, the military, which is the dominant factor on the Dacian northern frontier. The aim is to obtain a functional model of the deployment, function, structure and supply methods of the Roman rural food enterprises.
The idea of this project came in the context in which qualitative research of the Roman society is prevailing in the international academic milieu, trying to decrypt issues more and more enigmatic, as it is the food supply. Roman agriculture, and implicitly food supply was a matter of very small importance in Romanian archaeology, this being one of the departments where we practically are significantly left behind.
In this regard, the more archaeological approach that we propose will have also its limitations. Reliable archaeological evidence itself is very limited, as only about 10% of the total reported sites have been investigated, and not even those in a satisfactory manner. Excavation however, is not our approach. We are proposing an entirely non-invasive investigation, that will stretch on different departments, from field-walking and geophysical surveys to epigraphic analyses. The modern methods of remote sensing, beginning with aerial photography and satellite imagery, till the more thorough and resourceful methods of geophysical surveys, can offer us a great deal of information on these remote and forgotten sites. The final effort will be made to put all the information together in an attempt of developing an extensive rural map of Dacia Porolissensis (villae, villages, farmsteads).
Feeding the extensive army of Dacia Porolissensis must have been a challenging management issue, and this is what we are attempting to at least partially understand.
Comments on the trade in the Late Roman Period
In the late Roman period, finds of camel bones on sites along the Danube are recorded. However, they are single but important monuments. According to the author, thanks to them we have a clear source of information about caravans going from the Middle East to the West.
The praefectura annonae along the limes: A comparation of the administrative structures of the Praefectura annonae along the limes provinces
Juan Manuel Bermúdez Lorenzo
The supply of the army stationed along the various borders of the Roman Empire was ensured from the capital by the supra-provincial structure that headed the praefectus annonae. This idea was already proposed by Remesal in his work on the annona militaris. In this work Remesal studied the characters involved in German limes. In this communication I intend to compare the existence or absence of this administrative structure at different borders throughout the Roman Empire and during the first three centuries of our era. In doing so, we will take the available epigraphy into account. Overall, we want to see if this part of the administration governed from the City has a similar way of proceeding in all the territories conquered by Rome or if it is limited to the Renanodanubian limes.
The Entry Gate of Luxuries in the Province of Dacia; Imports from Lezoux to Micia (Veţel, Hunedoara County, Romania)
Ionuț Bocan, Catalina Mihaela Neagu, Mihaela Simion, Decebal Vleja
The Roman settlement at Micia (which is called nowadays Vețel, Hunedoara County, Romania) is situated on the left bank of the Mureș River, near the modern town Deva, in the neighbourhood of the Vețel village. From geographical point of view, the settlement from Micia is situated on the western border of the Upper Dacia province, on the middle reaches Mureș River.
After the Roman conquest of Dacia, most of the products available at that time were imported into the newly established province. This is clearly the case of terra sigillatta, among which the most notable are the imports from Lezoux, Rheinzabern and Westerndorf.
The officinae from Central Gallia are best represented in the imports from the settlement at Micia. Thus, the centre of Lezoux is the place of origin of the largest part of terra sigillata discovered. Most of them belong to vessels with relief decoration.
These finds have a special place within the framework of archaeological discoveries due to the fact that the stamps and the decorative details offer the possibility to identify the workshop in which the object was manufactured, such element being significant in establishing the relative chronology. The analysis was made upon a set of 97 pieces: 62 of that had been discovered during the archaeological campaigns carried out between 1976 and 1986 in the Roman camp at Micia. The rest of 35 had been discovered during the archaeological campaigns undertaken in the civil settlement (1983, 2013–2016).
The objects are now part of National History Museum of Romania collections.
Frontier glass: a recipe and production technology for Romano-British glass bangles in the northern British frontier zone
Tatiana Ivleva, Matt Phelps
The paper discusses a specialised artefact type that provides information on glass technology, the origin of sources and the dynamics of trade and exchange in the frontier region of Roman Britain. This artefact is a Romano-British glass bangle, a rigid ring shaped adornment made of coloured glass, produced and use in Britain from the mid-first to late second century AD. Eleven fragments of Romano-British glass bangles have been analysed more than 60 years ago, and since then no attempt has been made to rectify the findings (Stevenson R. 1954-56. ‘Native bangles and Roman glass’ PSAS 88, 216-218). We have conducted non-destructive variable pressure SEM-EDX analysis on 34 fragments from various sites in northern England, Vindolanda, Corbridge, and Chesters Roman military forts, and various native and Roman military sites in southern Scotland. The aim of the analysis was to determine the composition of major and minor elements in glass to understand the manufacturing technology, nature of the colourants and opacifiers, and ascertain the origins of the glass, either local production or imported Roman glass. Comparative analysis of glass fragments from various sites in the northern frontier zone of Roman Britain gave possibility to determine whether one can speak of similar recipes used for the production of glass bangles in similar colours across the northeast of England and southeast of Scotland. This provides us with the information on the trade in glass and production of various glass objects in the frontier section in the outskirts of the empire.
Les bénéficiaires des gouverneurs et les stations douanières en Mésie Inférieure
Je suivrai en détail le regroupement station de bénéficiaires-station de douane en Mésie Inférieure, en essayant de voir si c’est spécifique pour la province et d’établir, dans la mesure du possible, une chronologie de cette dualité. Finalement, je vais discuter les possibles tâches des bénéficiaires dans ce contexte.
New evidence of brick production at Viminacium
Saša Redžić, Ivana Kosanović, Mladen Jovičić, Ljubomir Jevtović
During a few decades long period of excavations at Viminacium, a great number of brick kilns has been found, which testify of a highly developed industry of brick production at this site. The kilns have been mostly discovered at the territory of the southern city’s necropolis, at the Pećine site, where a production center, consisting of three kilns with a shared porch, has been excavated. A lesser number of brick kilns has been found west and east of the city. During the rescue excavations in 2017, relatively near to the site of this production center, a new brick kiln was uncovered. This newly found kiln represents one of the biggest and best preserved brick kilns at Viminacium so far. The firing chamber, vaulted firing port and grill kiln have been preserved almost entirely and also the greatest part of the furnace chamber. In the layers within the kiln, as well as in the construction itself, lots of bricks with the stamp of the VII Claudia legion and a few examples with this inscription in cursive writing have been found. Next to the kiln, a big pit has been excavated, which represents the mine for the extraction of clay used in the brick-making. According to the small finds, the kiln is dated to the 2nd century.
Circulation of Provincial Coins »Provincia Dacia« at the Territory of Present-Day Serbia
Mirjana Vojvoda, Adam Crnobrnja
The lack of bronze coins of the senate issues in circulation in the Danubian and Balkan provinces at the start of the 3rd century was especially pronounced and was probably the main reason for opening the provincial mint in Viminacium in 239 and subsequently in Dacia in 246. Opening this two mints represented the official way for temporarily solving the problem in the functioning of the Empire’s monetary system. However, it seems that the two newly founded mints had different roles. As shown by comparative analyses of monetary finds of these two mints, issues of Viminacium were intended for broader circulation, while issues of the province of Dacia seem to have been minted solely for the needs of the domicile province
Relatively small presence of Provincia Dacia issues at territory of present-day Serbia, nevertheless shows that they had certain significance in monetary circulation in this part of Roman empire.
Some thoughts about the spread and origin of Wooden artifacts found in Roman contexts in the Netherlands and elsewhere
In the Netherlands, wooden artifacts of non-native origin are common finds, both in the Roman province south to the Rhine as well as in the North, known as the province of the Frisia. Based on research of the wood species and on woodmaking traditions, these artifacts are most certainly not made by local craftsmen. Similar artifacts, almost identical in wood use and appearance, are also known from Roman sites elsewhere. For example, in Great Britain, France and Germany. The category of wooden finds contains among other things combs, music instruments, Pyxides (small woodturned containers) and sometimes undefined objects. What they all have in common, is that they were imported and produced elsewhere in the Roman empire.
Where did these artifacts come from? And how did they manage to reach the different places in the Roman empire and the region of the Lower Germanic Limes? Does the import have any impact on native craftmenship, does the import increase the knowledge of woodtechnology in local societies?
Research on wood use and production techniques makes it possible to gain insight into the wide network of trade in the Roman empire, into different aspects of craftmenship and the differences between native and ‘imported’ Roman traditions.
Evidence of cheesemaking in lower Pannonia and upper Moesia
Ivana Ožanić Roguljić, Angelina Raičković
Evidence of cheese making at sites in lower Pannonia and Upper Moesia are shown in the typical ceramic molds for cheese. We have no written evidence about cheese production in Pannonia and Moesia, and the cheese itself or the woven strainers are archaeologically invisible. We can thus learn about cheese-making exclusively from ceramic fragments. The finds of vessels that we consider to be strainers/molds for cheese allow us to reckon with a production that must have satisfied at least the local demands for this product. It is known that the Emperor Hadrian lived the life of a regular soldier for a while (SHA, Hadrian X, 2) and enjoyed “larido, caseo et posca”. This source gives us an evidence that cheese was part of soldier’s diet, and most the soldiers were probably able to produce the cheese by themselves. The production of good-quality cheese is considered an art even today, and the case was the sa¬me with the Romans and the process itself has not undergone substantial changes. Experiments that follow guidelines from Collumela and other authors show similarities with the cheese making known from ethnology and from the way cheese is made in farms of today.