Viminacium - Serbia
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Viminacium - Serbia

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Viminacium (VIMINACIVM) was a major city (provincial capital) and military camp of the Roman province of Moesia (today's Serbia), and the capital of Moesia Superior. The archeological site occupies a total of 450 hectares. The city dates back to the 1st century AD and contains archaeological remains of temples, streets, squares, amphitheatres, palaces, hippodromes and Roman baths.[1] It lies on the Roman road Via Militaris.


History

Remains of Viminacium, capital of the Roman province of Moesia Superior, located on the territory of the village of Stari Kostolac and Drmno, 13 km from Kostolac and about 90 miles southeast of Belgrade. Viminacium was one of the most important Roman cities and military camps in the period from 1st to 4th century. His exceptional strategic importance was reflected both in the defense of the northern border of the Roman empire and in turn of communications and commercial transactions. No less appealing to the Romans was the hinterland of the valley Mlava rich ore and grains. In Roman times the town on the northern side of relying directly on the branch of the Danube, while the western side, touching the walls Mlava rivers. Only in the later period, Viminacium spread to the left bank Mlava. Thanks to the location, land and waterways, Viminacium represented one of those areas where the encounter of cultures between East and West was inevitable. Although these roads were the primary military and strategic function, they are taking place throughout antiquity very lively traffic and certainly contributed to the very Viminacium become prosperous and an important trading and business headquarters. In Viminacium, Roman legion VII Claudia was stationed, and a nearby civilian settlement emerged from the military camp. It received city status in 117 during the reign of Hadrian. In the camp, 6000 soldiers were stationed, and 30-40 lived nearby. In the first half of the 3rd century the city was in full development, as evidenced by the fact that at that time it acquired the status of a Roman colony, and the right to forge local money. Here, in 211, Septimius Severus was proclaimed emperor by his son Caracalla. In the mausoleum and the excavated tombs, the Roman emperor Hostilian was buried, who died in 251.

A legion may have been stationed here as early as Augustus (27 BC-14 AD). In 33/34 AD a road is linked between Viminacium and Ratiaria. Claudius (41-54) garrisoned Viminacium, Oescus and Novae as Camps for the Moesian legions.

The first legion attested at Viminacium was the VII Claudia that came there in 52 AD from Dalmatia.

Emperor Trajan (98-117) is headquartered here during the Dacian Wars. It became a colonia with minting privilege in 239 AD during the rule of Gordian III (238-244) and housed the Legion VII and Legion IV.

It was the provincial capital of Moesia Superior when Soko Banja did not exist. In the late spring of 293-294 Diocletian journeyed through his realm and he re-organized Viminacium as capital of the new province of Moesia Superior Margensis. He registered that the people wrote in Latin, as opposed to Greek in the southern provinces.[4] Viminacium was the base camp of Legio VII Claudia, and hosted for some time the IIII Flavia Felix. It had a Roman amphitheatre with room for 12,000 people.

In 382 it was the meeting place between Theodosius and Gratian amidst the Gothic Wars.

It was destroyed in 441 by the Attila the Hun, but rebuilt by Justinian I. During Maurice's Balkan campaigns, Viminacium saw destruction by the Avars in 582 and a crushing defeat of Avar forces on the northern Danube bank in 599, destroying Avar reputation for invincibility.


Location and excavation

It is located in Stari Kostolac (Old Kostolac) a Serbian town on the Danube river, east of Belgrade. Viminacium was a place where the first archaeological excavation in Serbia was made. It was in 1882, and it was started by Mihailo Valtrović, an architect by profession and first professor of archeology at the College in Belgrade, with the help of 12 prisoners because the state did not have enough resources to provide him with a better work force. His research has continued Miloje Vasić, rebuilt in the seventies of the last century and intensified in the last ten years, and that the area of the Roman city of the Roman legionary camps and cemeteries. Many studies suggest that the camp had Viminacium rectangular plan, measuring 442 x 385 meters, and that is not far from its western wall of civilian settlement in an area of approximately 72 acres. Legionary camp in Viminacium is now in a layer of arable land, so that wealth Viminacium easily accessible to researchers, but, unfortunately, and the robbers.The National Museum in Belgrade and Pozarevac kept some 40,000 items found in Viminacium, of which over 700 made of gold and silver. Among them are many objects that represent the European and world rarities invaluable.

It has been discovered and more than 13,500 graves. Tombstones and sarcophagi are often decorated with relief representations of scenes from mythology or daily life. We have found numerous grave masonry construction. Especially interesting are the frescoes of the 4th century tombs. Fresco with the notion of young women in artistic value of the extreme range of late antique art. During the excavation, an amphitheater, which with its 12,000 seats was one of the largest in the Balkans.

Text: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viminacium

Photo: Virtuelne ture

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