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INTERCISA (Dunaujváros) Hungary.

About 46 Roman miles S of Aquincum, on the limes of Pannonia inferior (It.Ant. 245.3), a castrum and vicus at the highest point of the plateau, on the Danube. Its E side, facing the river, was partially destroyed by the collapse of the river bank, but the other three sides are still identifiable from the ground plan. The castrum (175 x 240 m) probably had three gates on the Danube side.

The first camp was built of wood. The fragment of a diploma, issued in 98, has been discovered. The camp was established at the end of the 1st c. A.D. The territory was most probably occupied during the Dacian wars of Domitian and was destroyed during the Jazigo wars in 117-118. The area and vallum of the burned and partially demolished wooden camp were filled in and the stone camp built 20 m back. The stone camp in its first period had smooth, rounded corners, without towers. Its gates were three-quarters recessed, the walls were 1.4 m thick, and a double moat surrounded it. After its destruction ca. 178 at the time of the Marcomannic-Sarmatian wars of Marcus Aurelius, the walls were removed and the stones used for the new building.

The rebuilding of the stone fort must have begun during the years following the end of the wars and the signing of peace in 180. The gates and towers were repaired but no fundamental changes were made in the position of the towers or walls. Inside the camp, however, significant changes took place. One excavation of this period unearthed a house, decorated with frescos and stucco work. There must have been partial destructions during the second period, at the time of the Roxolan attack in 260. There are traces of construction from the Tetrarchic era, but the fundamental changes—fan-shaped towers on the corners, the fan-shaped enclosure of the porta decumana—date from the time of Constantine the Great, between 325-330. This period saw only alterations and repairs on the camp's inner buildings. The remains of several iron helmets were discovered in one of these buildings.

During the 4th c. many repairs were made on the inner buildings. The last of these occurred under Valentinian I. The excavations show no definite proof of the castrum's complete destruction and abandonment. The end of traffic in coins under Valentinian and Gratian does not signify the end of the settlement as well, since its survival can be shown as far as the second and third decades of the 5th c., on the basis of grave excavations.

The vicus, belonging to the wooden camp and to the stone camp's first period, developed S of the castrum. Remains of houses on stakes, of mud walls, frescos, terra sigillata of the Po valley, and coins of the 1st c were discovered here.

After the Marcomannic-Sarmatian wars the settlement grew considerably, even onto the hills N and W of the camp. The vicus, already established S of the camp, developed further. This is where the Mithras sanctuary must have stood. During the 4th c. there were already burials in the cannabae, so that area was no longer used for settlement.

Excavations have uncovered here the largest Pannonian cemetery. Apart from smaller grave clusters N and W of the camp, the majority of graves are to be found S of it. One group is found on both sides of the road leading out of the camp, the other E of this, on the Danube side. Cremation burials, typical of the end of the 1st c. and the beginning of the 2d, are found here. One of the burial customs of the 2d and 3d c. is the placement of ashes in cremation graves. From the beginning of the 3d c. inhumation became general. During the last few years six burials in sarcophagi came to light, with mummified bodies. Two tomb chambers, graves of built stone, and many brick graves have been discovered.

Military occupation can be placed in the last decade of the 1st c. A.D., during the campaigns of Domitian. The camp's garrison was the ala I Thracum veteranorum for a long period during the 2d c. At the end of the 2d c. and during the 3d, the cohors I milliaria Hemesenorum civium Romanorum was stationed in the camp, a troop of 1000 archers, recruited from the Syrian Emesa. They may have been brought here by Marcus Aurelius in 175-76 from the eastern wars, but perhaps later. An inscription antedating the autumn of 183 shows that this cohors participated in the rebuilding of the camp, destroyed under Marcus Aurelius. They can be shown to have been the camp's garrison for over 80 years. The majority of the ca. 500 inscriptions can be attributed to this troop. The membership of the troop was always supplemented from the east.

A significant Syrian settlement developed in the canabae, surpassing both in numbers and riches the natives, who moved into the vicus and its vicinity. The Syrians became the leading social class and preserved their traditions and religious ideas. Among the territory's gods a special place was preserved for Deus Sol Elagabalus and Diana Tifatina, according to local inscriptions, and the cohors' temple was built for the pair in 202.

After the murder of Severus Alexander (A.D. 235) Intercisa's decline coincided with the decline of Pannonia. We hear no more of the Syrian cohors after the middle of the century. An inscription from the last decade of the 3d c. names the numerus Equitum scutariorum as the camp's garrison. The scattered remains of the cohors of Hemesa served in this troop. After the military reorganizations of Diocletian the camp's garrison was the Equites sagittarii. During the ravages of the Sarmatae under Constantine the Great this troop also must have been destroyed because in the third period the rebuilding was done by the cuneus equitum Dalmatarum. One more troop is known in the 4th c., the cuneus equitum Constantianorum, which must have arrived ca. 357.

Since agriculture has destroyed the upper layer, nothing further can be established of the camp's last decades. Repairs made inside the castrum under Valentinian and grave findings indicate that life continued, though somewhat changed, during the second and third decades of the 5th c.

See also Limes Pannoniae.


Intercisa I: “Geschichte der Stadt in der Römerzeit,” Archaeologia Hungarica 36 (1954); Intercisa II: “Geschichte der Stadt in der Römerzeit,” Archaeologia Hungarica (1957).


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