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LIMES PANNONIAE (the Yugoslav Sector)

The fortification system on the frontier of the Roman Empire had already been organized in Pannonia along the right bank of the Danube in the time of Claudius. The archeological investigations on the Yugoslav part of the Pannonian limes to the present time are insufficient to determine as precisely as has been done in the N (cf. A. Mócsy, Pannonia, RE IX [1962] col. 632ff, with biblio.) the stages of building and rebuilding of the military camps in the first centuries A.D. However, as a result of the systematic surveying and excavating of several sites in the last two decades (Teutoburgium, Bononia, Cusum, Acumincum, Burgenae, etc.), it is possible to reconstruct the fortification scheme of defense and to identify the places which protected the frontier for ca. 300 km, from Ad Militare in the N to Taurunum in the SE. Since the Danube was in itself an efficient natural frontier, the limes in Pannonia consisted of a series of individual fortifications (castella, turres, specula, etc.) built on strategically favorable sites within view of each other to ensure easy communication and signaling. The road connecting these fortifications was solely of military importance and was documented from the archeological finds and from the milestones. The road followed the bank of the Danube, except from Ad Militare to Teutoburgium, where it ran inland due to an alluvial and swampy zone along the river bed. From N to S downstream on the Danube, the following important fortifications have been documented on the Yugoslav part of the Pannonian limes:

Ad Militare (Batina).

An important fortress on the hill called Gradina, the temporary residence of Cohors II Asturum et Callaecorum. In the 4th c. A.D. a division of the Flavian cavalry—equites Flavienses—was stationed here. Also documented are a civil settlement, a cemetery, and many incidental finds—a milestone, brick stamps, etc.

Ad Novas (Zmajevac).

A castellum (ca. 150 x 120 m), on the site Gradina. It was an important crossroads from which a road leads through Sopiana to the S. In late antiquity Auxilia Novensia and equites Dalmatae were stationed here. Incidental finds include building material, brick stamps (Legio IV Herculia), implements, arms, pottery, coins. Two golden scabbards from the period of the great migration and a gold coin of Theodosius II were found here. A necropolis with built tombs is also documented.

Teutoburgium (Dalj).

One of the most important fortresses situated close to a brick factory in the village Dalj. The first army units stationed here were ala II Hispanorum et Arvacorum and ala praetoria civium Romanorum. The Notitia Dignitatum mentions Teutoburgium as the seat of the prefect of the Legio V Herculia and later of cuneus equitum Dalmatarum and of equites promoti. Excavations in 1966 unearthed architectural remains, arms, implements, pottery, coins, etc., dating from the 1st to the 4th c.

Cornacum (Sotin).

A small fortress on a steep hill on the banks of the Danube, the tribal capital of Cornacates. Brick stamps (exercitus Pannoniae inferioris, Legio VI Herculia) were found here. In late antiquity cuneus equitum scutariorum and equites Dalmatae are mentioned here. Arms, pottery, coins, etc., were found here.

Cuccium (Ilok).

A small fortress almost completely destroyed, where mediaeval fortress was built later. According to Notitia, it was the residence of cuneus equitum promotorum and equites sagittarii. The remains of an aqueduct, inscriptions, and small objects have been discovered.

Bononia-Malata (Banoštor).

An important fortress which served as a port for Sirmium on the Danube. Here also there was a bridge over the river. The site was excavated in 1965 and 1970-71. The remains of houses dated 1st-4th c., baths, an Barly Christian church with cemetery are well preserved. Architectural remains and objects from the migration period (5th-6th c.). According to Notitia, Bononia was the residence of some units of Legio V lovia. The fortress and the settlement Onagrinum on the left bank of the Danube, opposite Bononia, protected the bridge over the Danube. Architectural remains of military and civil buildings together with numerous and various archeological material were found there.

Cusum (Petrovaradin).

A smaller fortress destroyed to build a mediaeval castle. The residence of equites Dalmatae. A milestone indicating the mileage from Malata to Cusum XVI milia passuum was discovered as well as other archeological material.

Acumincum (Stari Slankamen).

An important castellum on Gradina hill, civil settlement, and necropolis. In the time of the Domitian wars against the Dacians and Jazigi, the Cohors I Cantabrorum was stationed here. According to Notitia cuneus equitum Constantium and equites sagittarii were also here. Excavations have uncovered several Roman buildings (1st-4th c.). On the site called Dugorep, close to Gradina part of fortification with strong circuit walls was discovered.

Rittium (Surduk).

A larger fortification (300 x 400 in), on the Gradina hill. Architectural remains, pottery, and other small finds were discovered, as well as two arae dedicated to Jupiter Dolichenus and brick stamps (Cohors II Asturum and Cohors II Ituraeorum). In late antiquity this was the residence of equites Dalmatae.

Burgenae (Novi Banovci).

An important fortification (500 x 600 m), the residence of Cohors I Thracum civium Romanorum, civil settlement, necropolis. In late antiquity, according to Notitia, cuneus equitum Constantianarum, a part of Lagio V Iovia as well as equites Dalmatae were stationed here. The site has been excavated.

Taurunum (Zemun).

A fortress, the residence of several units of Legio VII Claudia. Brick stamps (exercitus Pannoniae, classis Flavia Pannonica) arms, implements, pottery, and coins were found here. According to Notitia, equites promoti were stationed here in the 4th c.

In addition to these sites, archeological investigations have been conducted at other fortifications. For the order of importance of the material, we mention here: Kneževi vinogradi, Nemetin, Šarengrad, Neštin, Rakovac, Čortanovci.


J. Klemec, “Limes u Donjoj Panoniji,” Limes u Jugoslaviji, I (1961) 5-34; id., “Der Pannonische Limes in Jugoslawien,” Quintus Congressus Internationalis Limitis Romanis Studiosorum (1963); D. Pinterović, “Limesstudien in der Baranja und in Slawonien,” Archaelogia Iugoslavica 9 (1968); D. Dimitrijević, “Istraživanje rimskog limesa u istočnom Sremu, s posebnim osvrtom na pitanje komunikacija,” Osiječki zbornik 12 (1969).


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