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ROMULA-MALVA (Reşca) Dobrosloveni, Olt, Romania.

The most important urban center of Dacia inferior and capital of the province (Tab. Peut. and the Geographer of Ravenna). Malva, the Geto-Dacian toponym of the city, means bank. Located on the Olt (Alutus) river bank, Romula belonged to the limes Alutanus. Under Hadrian, veterans colonized the former Geto-Dacian village, settling in this rich farm area. It is during this period that it was given its Roman name. Today, the site of the ruins of Romula is also called Antina.

Two quadrilateral camps defended the city, both of which are still unexplored. The stamped bricks show that the permanent garrison was Cohors I Flavia Commagenorum (2d c.) and, later, the numerus Surorum sagittariorum (2d-3d c.). The civil fortifications show three stages of development. In the era of Trajan and Hadrian, a quadrilateral wall consisting only of the fossa and the agger, enclosed an area ca. 250 by 300 m. This is where the first colonists took shelter. This earthen fortification was reinforced by a protecting wall 2 m thick in the beginning of the 3d c. In a third stage, the civil agglomeration and military center were surrounded, over an area of 64 ha, by an outer wall. An inscription on the N gate of this wall mentions the building, manu militari, of this irregular polygonal fortification in 248, under Philip the Arab. Other texts tell of the participation in these works of the legions VII Claudia, XXII primigenia, and the numerus Sur. sagitt. Its remains are still visible. Hastily erected under the menace of a Gothic invasion, it has no towers. Some sections of the city were not included in the fortifications, and near its N gate was a large villa suburbana. At the end of the reign of Antoninus Pius, Romula-Malva appears as a municipium and capital of Dacia inferior, but it apparently acquired this rank under Hadrian. Its promotion to the rank of colonia probably occurred under Septimius Severus.

In 248, Philip the Arab as restitutor reconfirmed this rank by calling it “colonia sua.” From all appearances, the city suffered greatly as a result of the Carpic invasion of 245-47. Excavations have succeeded in finding the remains of a few important public buildings. At the beginning of the 20th c. the principal baths of the city were excavated; 11 rooms remained, decorated with marble, mosaics, and paintings. The water supply, as well as the supply for part of the city, was assured by a large underground aqueduct, 5 km long, which supplies the drinking water for the present village of Frăsinetul de Pădure. Another large building (14.4 x 25.7 m) contained three halls of imposing proportions and was identified as the curia of the city. The central sewer of the city, which emptied the waste waters into the Teslui river, was built of brick and was 1.7 m high. The four necropoleis were on the roads leading to Sucidava, Acidava, Castra Nova, and Slăveni.

Owing to the fertility of its farm land and its position on an important crossroads, Romula was prosperous. Among its religious monuments, the gods of the field and pasture held first place. Potters' ovens and brickworks have been found, as well as studios for gem engraving. Jasper, onyx, and cornelian were imported.

The inscriptions on the handles of amphorae and terra sigillata vases are proof of importation of wines, oils, and luxury vases from the Orient, Gaul, the Rhine Valley, Pannonia, etc. To judge from its inscriptions, the population included Dardanian colonists and veterans of E origin. The local pantheon included Atargatis, Iupiter Turmasgadis, Dea Dardanica, Mithra, the Danubian Rider-Gods, Isis, Serapis, Cybele. However, the patron goddess of the city was the goddess Fortuna. Greek or Latin verses, occasional or used as epitaphs, have been discovered and the Palmyran alphabet was also employed. The Carpo-Gothic invasions of the period of Gallienus-Aurelian destroyed this flourishing city, and in the 4th c. only a village remained.

The material from excavations is in the museums in Caracol, T. Severin, and Bucharest.


CIL II, 1180 = ILS 1403; CIL III, 8023-30, 8031 = ILS 510; 8032-37; 8075, 45-46; 14486-89; AnÉpigr (1914) 120; (1939) 28; (1940) 13-14; (1957) 188, 334; (1959) 318.

L. F. de Marsigli, Description du Danube (1744) 69; G. Tocilescu, Fouilles et recherches archéologiques en Roumanie (1900) 94-96; V. Pârvan, “Ştiri nouă din Dacia Malvensis,” ACRMI 36 (1913); D. Tudor, Monumente inedite din Romula, I-II (1938-40); id., “Sextus Iulius Possessor în Dacia,” Omagiu lui C. Giurescu (1944) 523-31; id., “Colonia Romula într-o nouă inscripţie,” Rev. Univ. Cuza şi Instit. Pol.-Iaşi 1 (1954) 293-312; id., Romula (1967); id., Oltenia romană (3d ed., 1968) 185-202, 331-34; id., Oraşe (1968) 342-56; H. Nesselhauf, “Sex. Iul. Possessor,” Madrider Mitteilungen 4 (1963) 180-84; F. Vittinghoff, “War die Kolonie Malva mit Romula (Reşca) identisch?” Acta Musei Napocensis 6 (1969) 131-47; M. Babeş, “Zu den Bestattungsarten im nördlichengräbersfeld von Romula, Ein Beitrag zur Grabtypologie des römischen Daziens,” Dacia, N5 14 (1970) 167-206.


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