(Alba Iulia) Romania.
important center of Roman Dacia. The name, linked
with the name of the Dacian tribe Apuli is mentioned
in ancient sources (Ptol. 3.8, Tab.Peut
Older archaeological excavations, the material discovered in the course of construction in the modern town,
and especially the hundreds of inscriptions have documented the history of the two ancient towns that developed here. Their situation on the fertile land around the
Mureş river, at the crossroads of several highways, and
not far from the gold-bearing mountains, contributed to
Legio XIII Gemina was stationed here, from the Roman conquest until the Aurelian withdrawal in the 270s.
The camp of the legion on the river Mureş, at the place
called Cetate (Fortress) today, was built of stone. The
camp (600-750 x 500-400 m; ca. 24-30 ha) was destroyed
to build various mediaeval structures, especially the 18th
c. fortress on the same site.
South of the camp, farther up to the Mureş river, in
the present Partoş district, the legion dug canabae, mentioned epigraphically from the time of Trajan until the
time of Marcus Aurelius (CIL
III, tab. cer. XXV) when
the settlement there became the Municipium Aurelium
III, 986). Under Commodus it became
colonia Aurelia Apulensis. An inscription of 253 in honor
of Volusianus, the son of emperor Trebonianus Gallus,
calls the town col(onia) Aur(elia) Ap(ulensis) Chrisop(olis).
The ruins of this town were preserved until the middle
of the 19th c. Among the many buildings, some paved
with mosaics, a long edifice (49.90 x 14.65 m), used for
handicraft workshops was discovered.
Parallel with this town a second town developed to
the N, E, and SE of the camp. It became a municipium
under Septimius Severus (CIL
III, 976, 985, 1051) and
coexisted with the colony Aurelia Apulensis. Its name
was col(onia) nova Apule(n)s(is) and it was mentioned in the year 250 in an inscription in honor of Trajan, called “Restitutor Daciarum” (CIL
There were baths, temples, a Mithraeum, the residence
of the governor(?), streets, aqueducts, buildings. Inscriptions mention: temples, porticos, basilicas, public
wells, none of which remain.
After the administrative reforms made by Hadrian
(in 118-120), the governor of Dacia Superior had his
residence in Apulum. He was also the commander of
Legio XIII Gemina; after the administrative reform of
Marcus Aurelius in 168, this was the seat of the governor
of the three Dacias, Legatus Augusti pro praetore
The importance of handicrafts is attested by the great
quantity of ceramics, oil lamps, metal objects, and tiles
and bricks bearing the seal of the Legio XIII Geinina
and often accompaned by the name of the head of the
workshop. Inscriptions testify to the existence of collegia:
collegium fabrum, centonariorum, nautarum and dendrophorum. Treasuries, coins that attest an uninterrupted monetary circulation until the 4th c., money
bags, and inscriptions all prove the commercial activity
of this place. The inhabitants of the towns were granted
Recent archaeological discoveries have identified two
Roman necropoleis. A variety of religious cults existed
according to inscriptions and remains of sculpture, and
Aesculapius and Hygieia seem to have been the patron
deities of the town.
The epigraphic and sculptural material is on display in
the lapidarium of the regional museum in Alba Iuhia.
C. Daicoviciu, “Aşezarea autohtonă de
la Apulum,” Studii si Cercetări de Istorie Veche
(1950) 225-28; I. Berciu et al., Cetatea Alba Iulia
(1968) 8-13; M. Macrea, Viaţa în Dacia romană
125-28; A. Popa & I. A. Aldea, “Colonia Aurelia Apulensis Chrysopolis,” Apulum
10 (1972) 209-20.