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CARNUNTUM (Καρνοῦς), an ancient and important Celtic town in the north of Pannonia, on the southern bank of the Danube. Extensive ruins of the place are still visible near Haimburg, between Deutsch-Altenburg and Petronell. Even before Vindobona rose to eminence, Carnuntum was a place of arms of great importance to the Romans; for the fleet of the Danube, which was subsequently transferred to Vindobona, was originally stationed there, together with the legio xiv gemina. In some inscriptions we find it stated that the town was raised to the rank of a colony, and in others, that it was made a municipium. (Orelli, Inscript. Nos. 2288, 2439, 2675, 4964; Vell. 2.109; Plin 4.25.) The town appears to have reached its highest prosperity during the war of the Marcomanni, when the emperor M. Aurelius made it the centre of all his operations against the Marcomanni and Quadi, on which occasion he resided there for three years, and there wrote a portion of his Meditations. (Eutrop. 8.13.) Carnuntum also contained a large manufactory of arms, and it was there that Severus was proclaimed emperor by the army. (Spartian. Sever. 5.) In the fourth century Carnuntum was taken and destroyed by German invaders, in consequence of which the Danubian fleet and the fourteenth legion were transferred to Vindobona. (Amm. Marc. 30.5.) It was, however, rebuilt; and in the reign of Valentinian, [p. 1.523]who made there his preparations against the Quadi; it seems to have quite recovered from the catastrophe, for it again became the head-quarters of the fourteenth legion. The town does not seem to have been finally destroyed until the wars against the Magyars, in the middle ages. Whether the fort Carnus mentioned by Livy (43.1) is the same as Carnuntum, or a place in Illyricum, cannot be determined.


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