On a bay of the
Danube opposite which old roads from the N approached
the river. The town, belonging to the province of Noricum, is mentioned only in the Notitia Dignitatum
(equites sagitarii, Lentiae) and 34.38 (Praefectus legionis secundae Italicae partis inferioris, Lentiae). This
testifies to the military role of Lentia in Late Classical
times. On the one hand, it was a defense outpost opposite the route of invasion from the N; on the other,
it was a link in the chain of fortifications on the river
frontier. In the first half of the 1st c. there was an
auxiliary earthworks within the area to be used later
for the theater. The ground plan is trapezoidal (78.5 x
79.0 m; 87.6 x 79.9 m). Later (under Hadrian?), it was
replaced by a larger stone castellum, only parts of which
have been excavated. The earliest garrison mentioned
is Ala I Pannoniorum Tampiana Victrix (ca. A.D. 200).
The center of the settlement was W of today's main
artery Hauptplatz-Innere Landstrasse. Since the Roman
area was completely built over by the modern city, Classical remains were discovered only during reconstruction
of sections destroyed in WW II. Besides dwellings
(some with cellars, some with timber frame construction), in the old sector of the town is a sacred precinct.
Of this a mithraeum is known with numerous offerings
(reliefs, inscriptions, coins, etc.); also a “temple of
the two gods,” and finally a capitolium, with a Gallo-Roman peripteral temple in the vicinity. The so-called
Römerberg NW of the old quarter does not seem to have
been a settlement center, and it is questionable whether
St. Martin's on the Römerberg includes Late Roman
parts. In the W of the town, on the Freinberg, where the
Celtic oppidum Lentia is supposed to have been, foundations of a building of uncertain use have been found.
The largest of the known necropoleis is the one located in the S (near the Kreuzschwestern) from the 1st
and 2d c. It contains, almost exclusively, graves showing evidence of cremation, which suggests a relatively
prosperous population. Only small groups of graves
with skeletal remains have been found, mainly along
the Lentia-Ovilava road.
The finds are in the Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum in Linz.
R. Noll, Der römische Limes in Österreich
21 (1958) 50ff; L. Eckhart in EAA
4 (1961) 645ff;
P. Karnitsch, Die Linzer Altstadt in römischer und vorgeschichtlicher Zeit
; id., Die Kastelle von