Tue, 2010-09-14 21:16
27. May 2010
This was a frontier city, separated only by the river from the endless dense and dark Germanic woods where dangerous barbarians lived their peasant existence.
Publius Quinctilius Varus had lost his legions there. But not here – here was culture, were the baths, the lavatories and the temples, the craftsmen and the merchants. Goods from all corners of the Roman empire were on display, and the streets were clean, with a subterranean drainage system. Close to the waters edge, next to the harbor stood a large temple, a white shining symbol of Roman civilization, clearly visible to the barbarians from the other edge of the broad stream.
The city, founded after 70 AD, was home to more than 10.000 citizens, most of them former legionaries, who after 25 years of service, received land and the Roman citizenship. In 110 AD emperor Traian made the city a Roman colonia, the highest status of a Roman city, and renamed the city after himself. For nearly 200 years it became the second most important commercial post in Germania Inferior, until it was run over by Germanian tribes in 275 and again at the beginning of the 5th century. The city was given up, and over time all remains on the surface disappeared, most of the stones of the pagan temples, laboriously assembled over centuries, were reused for the christian churches of the nearby Xanten.


51° 40' 6.5388" N, 6° 26' 42.2484" E