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AQUAE MATTIACAE (Wiesbaden) Germany.

Capital of the Civitas Mattiacorum, the town took its name from the hot springs described by Pliny (HN 31.20) and mentioned by Martial (Ep. 14.27). The name was first mentioned in an inscription on a milestone from Mainz-Kastel (Castellum Mattiacorum) A.D. 121-22. Before that, a series of military installations is known: 1) A lookout post from the time of Germanicus' campaigns, A.D. 14-16, known through pottery finds. 2) A camp of the Claudian period, established probably in A.D. 40 and destroyed in 68-69, known from finds and the remains of buildings. 3) From the time of Vespasian, various citadels, the latest a stone-built one under Domitian, abandoned in 121-22: it was garrisoned by Cohors II Raetorum and Cohors IV Delmatarum.

The economic center of the vicus Aquae Mattiacorum was the baths, built ca. 89-90, a combination of baths and spa, with four shallow pools and private cells. Diana Mattiaca was revered as the goddess of healing. Temples to Jupiter Dolichenus, Mithras, and Sirona, and a schola for negotiatores civitatis Mattiacorum are known through inscriptions and foundations.

After the fall of the limes in 259-60, the population fell off sharply. In the 4th c., under Valentinian I, Wiesbaden is believed to have formed the center of a fortified bridgehead for Mainz. The only remnant from the Roman period is the so-called Heidenmauer, ca. 500 m long and set with engaged-towers. It cut through the vicus, excluding the baths. Since it could be circumvented at both ends, it may in fact be a part of the unfinished citadel. The necropoleis of the vicus lie on the roads leading out from the citadel built under Domitian, particularly on the road to Castellum Mattiacorum, the second vicus of the civitas. At least two districts of the town are known, vicus Vetus and vicus Melonionorum. Among its public buildings, a large bath complex has been excavated. Castellum Mattiacorum remained in Roman hands at least until the beginning of the 5th c., according to a coin hoard with coins from the end of the reign of Constantine III (A.D. 408). The hoard probably represents the paymaster' s treasury from a military detachment.


ORL B, 30-31; H. Schoppa, “Aquae Mattiacorum und Civitas Mattiacorum,” BonnJbb (1972).

In preparation. H. SCHOPPA

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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 31.20
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