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FLAVIA SOLVA (Steiermark) Austria.

In the SE corner of Noricum ca. 35 km S of Graz. It was on the ancient road which led from Poetovio up through the Mur valley to Ovilava and the Danube limes. A bit off the main roads, the Noric main road in the W and the Amber road in the E, Flavia Solva is mentioned neither in the Peutinger Table nor in the itineraries. The name, perhaps Illyrian, continues in modern river and land names.

According to Pliny (HN 3.146), Flavia Solva was founded by Vespasian (A.D. 69-79) and was called Municipium Flavium Solvense. It never became a colonia as asserted in older literature, nor was it ever a garrison. Being distant from the major traffic arteries, it was historically unimportant. It was a quiet country town with considerable prosperity as evidenced by numerous stone monuments. Flavia Solva suffered heavily during the Marcomannic wars, but experienced toward the end of the 3d c. A.D. a certain renaissance. It was finally destroyed at the beginning of the 5th c.

The town was well situated on an elevated terrace on the right bank of the river Mur, near Klein Wagna, ca. 2 km SW of Leibnitz. Excavations have been supplemented since 1950 by occasional test and emergency digging. Nothing excavated is above ground. A considerable part of the built-up area (ca. 600 x 400 m) is known today. The settlement was not walled in. It consisted of regular house blocks of different sizes, some of which have been excavated. The larger insulae, located in the center, are separated by wide streets crossing at right angles. Strangely enough, there was no sewage system and no aqueduct. A large insula (71 x 60 m) N of the decumanus maximus, formerly identified as a forum, was probably only an elegant villa. No public building at all is known. At the SW edge of the town is the amphitheater (3d c. A.D.); for the arena (80 x 35 m) use was made of a natural basin; its ground plan is still recognizable in the terrain. The roads leading out of the town are paralleled by necropoleis with hundreds of tumuli from the Late Bronze Age to the Marcomannic wars.

More than a hundred stone inscriptions and tombstone reliefs are built into the wall of the court of the nearby castle Seggau, which is thus transformed into an outdoor museum. Other finds from the municipium are in the castle Graz-Eggenberg, which contains an outdoor lapidarium.


Flavia Solva: E. Diez, Flavia Solva. Die römischen Steindenkmäler auf Schloss Seggau bei Leibnitz (2d ed. 1959); id. in EAA 3 (1960) 704f; W. Modrijan, “150 Jahre Joanneum 150 Jahre Forschungen in Flavia Solva,” Schild von Steier 9 (1959-61) 13ffMPI; id., “1900 Jahre Flavia Solva,” Schild von Steier, Kleine Schriften 11 (1971)MPI.

Frauenberg: W. Modrijan, Frauenberg bei Leibnitz. Die Friühgeschichtlichen Ruinen und das Heimatmuseum (1955); Graz-Eggenberg: W. Modrijan & E. Weber, Die Römersteinsammlung im Eggenberger Schlosspark, 1. Tell: Verwaltungsbezirk von Flavia Solva (1965).


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  • Cross-references from this page (1):
    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.24
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