(Augsburg) Bavaria, Germany.
On the broad spit between Wertach
(Virdo) and Lech (Licca). No pre-Roman Celtic settlement seems to have existed there. The oldest Roman finds
come from Oberhausen, a W suburb of Augsburg. Thousands of early Roman objects, in part military, were
found 2 km NW on the other side of the Wertach and
outside the area of the later city. This is supposedly the
location of a legion area camp of Augustan times, built
after the Alpine campaign of Drusus and Tiberius in 15
B.C. It existed from ca. 10-5 B.C. until A.D. 17 at the latest. The garrison consisted probably of one or two legions. When the camp was given up in early Tiberian times, the area between the two rivers was extensively
settled. During this time there was probably at first a
garrison in the area of the later provincial capital. Under
Claudius at the latest, Augusta became the provincial
capital of Raetia. The legal status of Augusta in the 1st
c. A.D. is still obscure; it probably corresponded to a civitas (of the Vindelici). The concept colonia (Tac. Germ
41: splendidissima Raetiae provinciae colonia) is therefore probably not used in the strict sense of municipal
law. Only under Hadrian did Augsburg acquire the status
of a Roman municipium. At this time the municipal
fortifications were probably completed. After the transfer
of a legion under Marcus Aurelius to Raetia (Legio III
Italica to Castra Regina), Augusta remained the seat of
the legatus Augusti pro praetore. The town was damaged
extensively during the Allemanic invasions in the 3d c.
A.D. After the Diocletian reform, Augusta remained capital of the province Raetia Secunda, and became perhaps,
in the 4th c., the seat of the bishop for this province.
The fate of the town and of the Roman population in the
5th and 6th c. is largely unknown. Continuity of the
Christian cult is confirmed through literary sources. The
martyr Afra (died 304) was buried in the Roman necropolis on the Via Claudia near the present Church of
SS. Ulrich and Afra. Venantius Fortunatus (A.D. 565)
still found active veneration of the saint there.
The supposed legion camp of Augustan times was located W of the Wertach, 2 km N of the town area proper.
No traces of the camp have been discovered so far but
there have been several thousand finds of bronze, iron,
and ceramic, which in part belonged to the equipment of
the Roman legionnaires. The 380 coins and Italic terra
sigillata suggest dating between 10-5 B.C. and A.D. 17.
Recently the existence of a legionary camp has been
questioned and different interpretations—though not fully
convincing—of the finds have been offered. The extent
of the settlement in the area of the Roman town between
Wertach and Lech is difficult to judge since the Roman
strata lie as deep as 7 m under today's level. Post Roman,
mediaeval, and modern buildings were superimposed and
caused partial destruction. No buildings above ground
exist today. The division of the town does not correspond
to the customary schematic insula system. It was evidently oriented along the major roads coming from the
S (Via Claudia) and W. Probably those two roads
formed the major axes of the decumanus and cardo. The
total area of the settlement (ca. 800 m square) was fairly evenly built up by the middle of the 1st c. At this
time wooden buildings were predominant and a strong
palisade as part of the town's fortifications is said to have
existed. These were gradually built up in stone in the
late 1st and above all in the 2d c. A.D. (especially under
Hadrian), the time of the town's greatest prosperity. To
this period perhaps belongs also the town's stone wall,
large parts of which can be followed to the W. Here is
the only gate that has been discovered, with two rectangular towers. There is no trace of such public buildings as forum, temple, theater, amphitheater. A sizable
bath building was found in the N (Georgenstrasse). Parts
of presumably public buildings (temple?) were found in
the NE (Pettenkoferstrasse). In various places all over
town, buildings ascribed to several periods were found,
usually living quarters, but also small temples, warehouses, etc. A large house with a peristyle, probably
from Hadrian's time, S of the cathedral, had been rebuilt several times. In this vicinity, under the remains of
the Church of St. John (pulled down in the 10th c.) is a
baptistery which is Early Christian; the exact dating is,
however, not known.
In Late Roman times the town was evidently completely resettled, at least Late Roman finds occur in the
whole town area. It may be assumed that the fortified
district was reduced to the area of the later bishopric,
as in other Roman towns in the Gallic-Germanic area.
The existence of Early Christian cult buildings can be
assumed although archaeologically not proven. They are
supposed to have been in the vicinity of the cathedral
near St. Stephan and outside of the town to the S near
the Roman necropolis.
The Römische Museum (Dominikanerkirche) contains
all Roman and post-Roman finds from Augusta. A number of Roman inscriptions and sculptures are to be seen
on the so-called Roman Wall of the Cathedral.
Oberhausen: G. Ulbert, “Die römische
Keramik aus dem Legionslager Augsburg-Oberhausen,”
Materialhefte z. Bayer. Vorgeschichte
14 (1960); K.
Kraft, “Zum Legionslager Augsburg-Oberhausen,” Aus
Bayerns Frühzeit. Fr. Wagner z. 75. Geburtstag
139ff; W. Hubener, “Die röm. Metallfunde von Augsburg-Oberhausen,” Materialhefte & Bayer. Vorgeschichte
Augusta Vindelicum: F. Vollmer, Inscriptiones Baiuariae
(1915) No. 95ff; F. Wagner, “Neue Inschriften
aus Raetien,” Ber. RGKomm
. 37-38 (1956-57) No. 21ff;
L. Ohlenroth, “Zum Stadtplan der Augusta Vindelicum,”
32 (1954) 76ff; id., Bayer. Vorgeschichtsbl
21 (1956) 256ff; 22 (1957) 179ff; W. Hübener, “Zum
römischen und frühmittelalterlichen Augsburg,” Jahrb.
. 5 (1958) 154ff; W. Schleiermacher, Augusta
Vindelicum. Germania Romana I. Römerstädte in