(Bregenz, capital of Vorarlberg) Austria.
Situated on the SE bay of Lake Constance,
the settlement was first mentioned by Strabo (4.206
belonged to the province Raetia and is listed by Ptolemy
(2.12.3) among the towns of that province. It marked the
most important intersection of roads near Lake Constance: here the road from Gaul via Basel intersected
that leading from the S (Mediolanum) across the Alps.
From here the road went via Cambodunum to the provincial capital Augusta Vindelicum. Consequently, Brigantium is mentioned repeatedly in antiquity (It.Ant
. 237, 251, 258, 259, etc.; Tab.Peut
. 3.5). The significance
of the place is evidenced by the fact that Pliny (9.63
even calls Lake Constance lacus Brigantinus (lacus Brigantiae in Amm. Marc. 15.4.1).
The Celtic oppidum is thought to have been on the
rise of the old town, whereas the Roman settlement
stretched out over the terrace called Ölrain, ca. 30 m
above the shore of the lake. It was an open town which
developed on both sides of the wide main street, but it
was also a planned settlement with rectangular insulae.
The public buildings were apparently situated mainly
along the lakeside edge of the terrace, while the private
ones and the quarter for craftsmen were on the opposite
side of the street. On the terraces toward the lake were
single buildings (villas, etc.). The forum (97 x 55 m)
departed from the customary arrangement in that the
capitol did not face the forum but was located offside.
Great baths had been constructed on the main street SW
of the forum. In addition, numerous public and private
buildings have been uncovered although their exact function is not easily determined. Outside the town to the NE
is the principal necropolis, one of the largest Roman
cemeteries of Raetia. The more than 1300 graves (1st c.
to 4th) indicate through their furnishings the solid wealth
of a town that must have had a certain importance as a
trade center; an inscription speaks of negotiatores
Brigantium possesses the oldest inscription of Raetia—an inscription from A.D. 4-14 commemorating Drusus
the Younger. In Early Imperial times there were earthworks on the SW Ölrain (time of Tiberius); up to the
days of Claudius a cavalry unit was garrisoned there; it
was eventually shifted to the Danube.
When ca. A.D. 260 the limes collapsed, the border of
the empire retracted to Lake Constance, making Brigantium a frontier town. The lower settlement gradually
moved to the level of the fortified upper town. Later it
became from time to time the headquarters for the commander of the Lake Constance fleet (Not.Dign
It is not known whether Brigantium had the status
of a municipium. The only visible remnants of Roman
Brigantium are a wall in the Protestant cemetery and a
part of the Roman pier. The numerous finds are in the
Vorarlberg Landesmuseum in Bregenz.
R. von Scala, Archiv für Geschichte
und Landeskunde Vorarlbergs
10 (1914) 29ff; A. Hild,
Jahrbuch des Vorarlberger Landesmuseumsvereins
; B. Saria in EAA
2 (1959) 170ff; E.
Vonbank, in L. Franz & A. Neumann, Lexikon ur- und
frühgeschichtlicher Fundstätten Österreichs