previous next

CELEIA (Celje) Yugoslavia.

Prehistoric settlement situated on both sides of the right angle made by the river Savinja as it emerges to the SE from the fertile hollow set in the foothills of the Karawanken and so-called Savinjske Alps. It was a Celtic oppidum (the name is pre-Celtic), princely seat with its own mint, a Roman municipium walled by Claudius, and an episcopal see in late antiquity. The city is in the SE part of the territory of Noricum on the road from Aquileia to Carnuntum, which for the prehistoric period can aptly be referred to as the amber road.

The excavations, which include all periods, are made difficult by the presence of modern buildings. The finds are preserved in the local museum. An important sculpture collection includes funerary reliefs with mythological scenes, such as Luna and Endymion, and the rescue of Patrokles' body. Very little is preserved in situ.

The forum has not yet been investigated although its location, in the NW part of the city, is known from chance finds, which included a series of bases for commemorative statues and a row of altars. To the S above the city, the Sanctuary of Norein-Isis and Hercules is preserved on the hillside terrace in the sacred grove along with other oriental sanctuaries. The roads leading up to it were bordered by necropoleis. To the NW are two parallel Christian churches from the 5th and 6th c. They have mosaic floors with donor inscriptions. Bishop Gaudentius, whose metrical epitaph probably dates from the beginning of the 6th c. (AIJ 16), came from Celeia, which was also the native city of T. Varius Clemens, who was appointed ab epistulis imperatorum in the reign of the emperors Lucius Verus and Marcus Aurelius.

Fourteen km W of Celeia, a fortress was built during the Marcomannic Wars (168-173) for Legio II Italica (the village of Ločica presently stands there). Shortly thereafter the legion was moved to Lauriacum. Two km from there in the direction of Celeia a local necropolis was excavated (1st-3d c. near the village of Šempeter ob Savinji). The architectural remains recovered during the excavations were restored and are preserved in situ. They consisted of large aediculae for politically prominent families of Celeia, richly decorated with mythological symbolism.


J. Klemenc, “Izkopavanja na Sadnikovem vrtu v Celju,” Celjski zbornik (1957)PI; id., Rimske izkopanine v Šempetru (1961)PI; V. Kolšek, Celeia, Steindenkmäler (1967)PI; id., Šempeterska nećropola (1971)I; A. Bolta & V. Kolsek, Celjski muzej (1970)I; J. Šašel, “Celeia,” RE Suppl. XII (1970); T. Kurent, Modularna rekonstrukcija edikul v Šempetru (1970); G. Winkler, “Legio II Italica,” Jahrbuch des Oberösterreichischen Musealvereins 116 (1971); J. Orozen, Zgodovina Celja (1971)I.


hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: