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CASTRUM RAURACENSE (Kaiseraugst) Aargau, Switzerland.

Late Roman fortress on the S bank of the Rhine adjoining Augusta Raurica, 12 km upstream from Basel (Not.Gall. 9.9). The site was fortified under Diocletian or more probably Constantine, ca. A.D. 300, to protect the bridge at Augusta Raurica. Under Valentinian I the fort was rebuilt and a bridgehead was constructed on the N bank at Wylen by the Legio I Martia (stamped tiles). About the middle of the 4th c. a church was erected inside the fort. A bishop is recorded here in 434-44, 615, and 618. In 401, the garrison was recalled to Italy, and the fortress taken over by the local population. Cemeteries explored on the Roman highway along the river to the E indicate that the site was inhabited until well into the 8th c.

The plan of the fort is still reflected in the village and its main road: trapezoidal with its base (284 m) along the river to the N (S side 261 m; E 176; W 170; area 3.6 ha). Only one section of the N wall has been found, but the W and S walls are partly preserved. There were 16 rectangular towers (av. width 7 m) ca. 20 m apart. Much material from Augusta Raurica was reused in the foundations. The upper walls were concrete, faced with small squared masonry; tile bands were used only on the inside facing. The S gate had three passageways, and the W gate survives. The berm was 17 m wide, and the moat outside it 10 m wide. Inside the fort a granary (34.5 x 17.5 m) and probably two drill halls (30 x 15 m), have been identified. The church (17 x 11 m) had a wide apse, and a baptistery and a small bath are built against the N wall of the fortress. The bridgehead at Wylen (44.5 x 26 m) had three projecting round towers on each long side.

Finds are in the museum in Augusta Raurica, including a Late Roman silver treasure found in the fort.


K. Böhner, “Spätrömische Kastelle und alamannische Ansiedlungen in der Schweiz,” Helvetia Antiqua, Festschrift Emil Vogt (1966) 307-16P; R. Laur-Belart, Führer durch Augusta Raurica (4th ed. 1966) 165-72MPI; id., Der spätrömische Silberschatz von Kaiseraugust (4th ed. 1966)I; id., Die frühchristliche Kirche mit Baptisterium und Bad in Kaiseraugst (1967)PI; R.-M. Swoboda, “Neue Ergebnisse zur Geschichte des Castrum Rauracense,” Jb. Schweiz. Gesell. f. Urgeschichte 57 (1972-73) 183-91P.


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