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BRIGETIO (Szöny) Komárom, Hungary.

Legionary camp site, cannabae, and municipium on the N frontier of Colonia Pannonia, on the banks of the Danube and 38 km E-NE of Györ. Until 214 it belonged to Pannonia superior, after Caracalla's rearrangement of the borders in 214, to Pannonia inferior. Its name is frequently mentioned in documents of antiquity.

The military and economic significance of the camp and the settlement is due to their strategic location at the convergence of land and water routes of critical importance. The camp insured the defense of the province across the Vág valley, while the town was one of the main points on the limes road along the Danube.

In its topographic arrangement the settlement is typical of the camps and their attached military or civilian towns along the Rhine and Danube. The camp was adjacent to the cannabae on the S and W, later to the military town, and ca. 1.5 km farther W was the civilian settlement. The two sections of town were separated by cemeteries. On the borders of both towns significant remains of industrial quarters were discovered (pottery, bronze-smelting, glassmaking).

At the intersection of the roads was the castrum: in the E-W direction the limes road along the Danube crossed it, at its S gate the road began which led E—a few hundred meters from the gate—towards Aquincum and W towards the inner settlements of the province. Because of these roads, Brigetio was in touch with all of the more significant towns of the two Pannonias. Along the S route, leading to Aquincum, ran Brigetio's aqueduct, which brought the waters of the warm springs of Tata to Brigetio.

Comparatively few buildings can be identified. In the military town the remains of the amphitheater are clearly visible, along the S road a Mithraeum and a Dolichenum were discovered. Inscriptions mention more sanctuaries, but they cannot be located.

Across the camp, on the N bank of the Danube, somewhat farther E, a countercamp was situated: Celemantia (Leányvár, Iža-Czechoslovakia). The two camps were connected by a bridge.

The history of the camp and settlement begins with the Roman occupation of Pannonia. The first auxiliary camp must have been built in the middle of the 1st c, E of the legionary camp. There are no records of the rebuilding of the camp in stone. Building of the camp was begun ca. A.D. 100 by the vexillatio of three legions. Construction was finished in 101 by the Legio XI Claudia, Brigetio's garrison till 106 when they were relieved by the Legio XXX Ulpia Victrix from Germania, which also added to the construction. This camp, however, is not yet identical with the final camp of Legio I Adiutrix, which formed Brigetio's later garrison. It was located farther E with a different orientation. This camp was probably abandoned because of the river floods. Legio I Adiutrix arrived in 119 at the latest, and they built the final stone camp.

The camp's area (540 x 430 m) is square in plan. Gate and tower plans were square and were never changed. The lime-covered walls 2 m wide were bordered on the inside by a turf walk. Of its four gates the porta decumana can be established as having a double gate, but the E and W gates must also have been double. On the N side, facing the enemy, the gate had a single opening but was of a more massive construction than the porta decumana. Through the porta praetoria a well-built road and channel led to the Danube.

Many periods can be identified in the camp's construction. The first destruction occurred during the Marcommannic wars of Marcus Aurelius, probably between 169-72. During the rebuilding that followed, three sides of the camp walls were made thinner while the N wall—facing the enemy—was left intact. The second and complete destruction of the camp occurred during the Tetrarchy. In the subsequent rebuilding some significant changes were made in the ground plan. Also, the walls were less strongly constructed, and the gates are not as massive as during previous periods. On the evidence of the tile stamps it can be established that even Valentinian I carried out some construction in the camp, but probably very little. This period ended sometime after his death, but the exact date of the camp's final destruction is not known.

The fortress Celamantia (175 x 176 m) had gates guarded by indented, square towers, and there were towers also at the rounded corners and at half-points between gates and corner towers. Its garrison was a section of Legio I Adiutrix. Its periods agree with the main periods of the legionary camp. The camp was abandoned in the 4th c.

The camp housed many troops. In the 1st c. there is definite proof of the presence of Cohors I Britannica milliaria C.R. (ca. A.D. 80), the ala milliaria Flavia Domitiana CR. (after 80), the ala I Pannoniorum Tampiana (around 90). In the same period Cohors I Alpinorum Equitata was there. At the beginning of the 2d c. Cohors I Itureorum sagittariorum, then the ala I Hispanorum Arvacorum came. The latter stayed until the middle of the century with Legio I Adiutrix. In the second half of the century, some vexillatio of Legio XIIII Gemina and Legio IV Flavia were there. Cohors I Thracum was there at the beginning of the 3d c.; during the time of Philip the Arab a vexillatio of Legio II Augusta came; sometime during the middle of the 3d century, the ala Osrhoen. sagittariorum.

Brigetio was also support for the military fleet of the Danube. Seals prove the role of C/lassis F/lavia H/istrica (CIL III, 11415); the inscription mentions a trierarchia of classis Flavia Pannoniae (CIL III, 4319).

Of the two settlements that developed next to the military camp, the military town played the more significant role. Not only was it larger than the civilian town farther W, but it was most probably the one that gained the rank of municipium from Septimius Severus or Caracalla, and later, but still during the 3d c., the rank of colonia. The name of the municipium and its office holders is mentioned on numerous inscriptions. One of these (CIL III, 11007) mentions municipium Antoninianum. The colonia is mentioned on only one inscription (CIL III, 4335). An adjunct of city life in Brigetio is the appearance of various professional and religious associations. Among these are mentioned the collegium centonariorum, the collegium iuventutis, the collegium opificum and the collegium culturum Iovis.

From the 1st to the mid 2d c. the population of Brigetio consisted mainly of the soldiers' families, most of whom were of Italian or of W Pannonian origin. There were inhabitants also of Illyrian-Azalus origin but they played an unimportant role. Following the destructions of the Marcomannic wars the population changed. Settlers came from S and W Pannonia and Orientals from Syria (in many cases from Commagene). During the late 2d c. and early 3d many of the city's leaders were Syrian. It was during this period that Brigetio became one of the leading economic and cultural centers in the area of the limes. Stone carving, monument raising, and construction reached its peak. Large, decorated sarcophagi were made and many temples and public buildings were erected. From the mid 3d c., during the years of the anarchic rule of the soldier-emperors, decline began. There are again some remains of inscriptions from the age of the Tetrarchy, but they give little opportunity for study of the history of the town and its population.

Religious life at Brigetio is fairly well documented. In addition to the worship of the major Roman gods, there remain proofs of the cult of Silvanus—of local Pannonian origin—and of Oriental deities; Magna Mater and Baltis, Mithra and Iuppiter Dolichenus. The temples of the two latter gods stood next to each other near the camp. The healing deities (Aesculapius, Hygieia, Apollo, Nymphae) were worshiped and an inscription mentions the erection of a portico near Fons Salutia.

Among the objects found in Brigetio some sarcophagi and stone carvings are comparatively significant by provincial standards. Some of these are imported, some products of local workshops. A relief depicting Mithras tauroktonos is of outstanding interest.


I. Paulovics, “Funde und Forschungen in B. Laureae Aquincenses II,” Diss. Pann. 2.11 (1941) 118ff (previous bibliography); L. Barkóczi, “Brigetio,” Diss. Pann. 2.22 (1951) (summary of investigations to 1944); id., Antiquitas Hungarica (1949) 67-77; id., Folia Archaeologica 13 (1961) 95-115; id., Acta Antiqua Acad. Scient. 13 (1965) 215-57; TIR, L: 34 (1968) 40.


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