(Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia).
The limes played a decisive role in the life of
the Empire's NE border province, Pannonia: the life
and history of the province are inseparable from the history of the limes. During the 1st and 2d c. the limes was
important in furthering Rome's expansionist policies. In
the 3d and 4th c. it played an increasingly defensive
role. Its development was actually completed during the
4th c. when a seemingly impenetrable chain of fortifications—consisting of new camps, numerous small forts,
guard towers, and bridgeheads—was built on the banks
of the Danube.
The building of the limes began during the 1st c., following the Roman conquest, with temporary earth and
timber camps to protect the major crossings of the
Danube. During the last third of the 1st c. the camps
were rebuilt in stone, and in the sections between them
the system of auxiliary field camps was developed. The
rebuilding in stone of the whole system took place at the
end of Trajan's reign and at the beginning of Hadrian's.
The fortifications of the limes were heavily damaged during the barbarian invasions of the second half of the 2d
and 3d c., but they were always rebuilt after the wars.
During the rebuilding at the beginning of the 4th c., the
camps were reinforced with large bulwark towers. On
the most vulnerable stretches new camps and bridgeheads
were added, and during the last third of the century
defense was strengthened with the erection of dozens of
guard towers. Probably under Constantine there was dug
in the forefront of the limes, at the border of the Sarmatian settlement, a skein of trenches under Roman supervision, connecting at either end with the Danube limes,
to insure the stone fortress system along the Danube.
The limes of Pannonia lost its defensive role and significance during the first decades of the 5th c. following
the Hun invasion; the fortresses were abandoned and
slowly fell into ruin.
The heart of the fortress system was in the four legionary camps of the territory, all of them built on the N
front. Vindobona (Vienna) was the headquarters of the
Legio X Gemina, Carnuntum (Deutsch-Altenburg) of
the Legio XIV Gemina, Brigetio (Szöny) of the Legio I
Auditrix, Aquincum (Budapest) of the Legio II Auditrix. The most completely excavated among them is the
camp of Carnuntum (400 x 450 m), but there have been
significant excavations at the sites of the other camps
Most of the auxiliary camps have now been identified.
Naming them in the order in which they line the Danube
as it flows towards the sea, they are Cannabiaca (Klosterneuburg), Ala Nova (Wien-Schwechat), Aequinoctium
(Fischamend), Gerulata (Oroszvár-Rušovce), Ad Flexum
(Magyaróvár), Quadrata (Barátoföldpuszta), Arrabona
(Győr), Ad Statuas (Ács-Vaspuszta), Ad Mures (Ács-
Bum-bunikut), Celamantia (Leányvár), Azaum (Almásfüzitő), Crumerum (Nyergesujfalu), Tokod, Solva
(Esztergom), Esztergom-Hideglelőskereszt, Castra ad
Herculem (Pilismarót), Visegrád, Cirpi (Dunabogány),
Ulcisia castra (Szentendre), Göd-Ilkamajor, Budapest-March 15 Square, Budapest-Albertfalva, Campona (Budapest-Nagytétény), Matrica (Százhalombatta), Vetus
Salina (Adony), Intercisa (Dunaujváros), Annamatia
(Baracs), Lussonium (Dunakömlőd), Alta Ripa (Tolna),
Alisca (Őcsény), Ad Statuas (Várdomb), Lugio (Dunaszekcső), Altinum (Kölked), Ad Militare (Batina), Teutoburgium (Dalj), Cornacum (Šotin), Bononia (Banoštor),
Castellum Onagrinum (Begeć), Rakovac, Cusum (Petrovaradin), Acumincum (Slankamen), Rittium (Surduk),
Burgenae (Novi Banovci), Taurunum (Zemun). The
auxiliary camps built during the 2d c. usually were regular in ground plan, rectangular, measured ca. 150-175
by 200-250 m, and were surrounded by a double trench.
The camps built during the 4th c. had an irregular base,
and were built mostly on elevations or mountain tops.
Significant excavations have been made in the camps at
Cirpi, Ulcisia castra, Albertfalva, Budapest-March 15
Square, Campona, Vetus Salina, and Intercisa.
The early remains of the chain of guard towers between the camps are still unknown. The location of the
wooden guard towers, depicted on Trajan's Column, has
not yet been found. Only a few of the stone guard towers
built in the 2d and 3d c. are extant, but a comparatively
large number of inscribed building slabs from the time
of Commodus have come down to us. More is known
about monuments of the 4th c., especially about those
in the era of Valentinian I. The guard towers vary in
ground plan, some being round, others 10 m square. The
bridgeheads and small square fortresses represent still
another variation in ground plan. The best-known guard
towers are on the section around Carnuntum and Brigetio-Aquincum. Many of these also have been excavated.
See also Limes Pannoniae (Yugoslav sector) for Ad
Militare, Teutoburgium, Cornacum, Bononia, Cusum,
Acumincum, Rittium, Burgenae, Taurunum.
E. Fabricius, “Limes,” PWRE
Mócsy, “Pannonia,” PWRE
9 (Suppl.); A. Graf, Übersicht der antiken Geographie von Pannonien
Der römische Limes in Österreich; Limes u Iugoslaviji
I (1961); S. Soproni, “Limes Sarmatiae,” Archaeologiai