Bad Homburg v.d.H., Germany.
A Roman auxiliary castellum 20 km S of Frankfurt
a.M. on the level of the Taunus mountain range, near
Bad Homburg v.d.H. During Domitian's war against
the Chatti (A.D. 83-85), the limes was constructed in
the forefield of the legionary camp Mogontiacum (Frontin.
. 1.3.10). In stretches it follows the ridge of the
Taunus mountain range. Auxiliary troops were stationed
in castella on the limes to guard the frontier. One of
these castella was Saalburg; its ancient name is unknown. The oldest fortification was a small wooden
castellum (area 0.6 ha, constructed ca. A.D. 90); its garrison is not known. About A.D. 135 cohors II Raetorum
cR. (equitata?) was stationed here, and at this time a
larger castellum was built over the original one. Its wall
consisted originally of a peculiar wood and stone construction. The interior buildings were of wood. During the second half of the 2d c. a stronger wall of stone and mortar was built. Some of the interior buildings also
were rebuilt in stone, especially the principia and the
The first destruction of the camp probably occurred
in the second half of the 2d century in the battles with
Germanic tribes. The castellum also suffered from the
raid of the Alamanni of 233 but was always rebuilt.
Germanic attacks in the 3d c. were fatal. Together with
the limes, Saalburg was abandoned by the Romans not
later than 260.
The fortifications and the most important interior
buildings of the cohors castellum have been reconstructed
and contain a museum in which the finds from the excavations are exhibited. They give an idea of daily life in a Roman auxiliary castellum.
The reconstructed castellum has the customary rectangular ground plan with rounded corners (area 3.2 ha).
Each of the four sides has a gate. Excavations in the
interior of the castellum have established barracks, stables, and workshops, which completely filled the area. The
buildings were arranged in a strictly geometrical pattern. In front of the main gate of the castellum were
a bath building and a mansio; these ruins are visible. The
remains of a vicus have been excavated; its houses in
front of the gates of the castellum were situated along the
Roman road to Nida (main town of the civitas Taunensium, today Frankfurt a.M.-Heddernheim). Adjoining the village and on both sides of the road was a
necropolis, which is no longer visible. In the vicus were
sanctuaries of Jupiter Dolichenus and Cybele; a mithreum has been reconstructed.
The limes runs for a distance of ca. 200 m N past
the castellum. In its final form (earth wall and trench),
it is fairly well preserved here and can be followed for
many kilometers through the Taunus.
H. Schönberger, The Roman Fort at
; D. Baatz, Die Saalburg, ein
Führer durch das römische Kastell und seine Geschichte