previous next

NOVAESIUM (Neuss) Germany.

The legionary camp and civilian settlement were on the left bank of the Rhine. Camp A, more than 6.5 ha in area, seems to have been built at the beginning of Augustus' campaign against Germania (12 B.C.). Camp B (ca. 40 ha) seems not to have been of great importance to judge from the inside buildings. Only after Varus' defeat and under Germanicus was a very large camp (C) established with substantial buildings inside and with a capacity possibly of several legions. Under Claudius the Legio XVI was transferred to Novaesium, defeated in the fighting against Civilis, and disbanded after the suppression of the revolt of the Batavi (A.D. 70). The camp, which had been burned down in the Batavi revolt, was rebuilt by the Legio VI victrix, and existed until after A.D. 104 as a legionary camp. An auxiliary camp was maintained within the area of the closed legionary camp in the 2d and 3d c. The camp was possibly used once again in the 4th c. Novaesium is mentioned for the last time in 388.

So far, 10 chronologically successive camps have been investigated (A-F, H1-3, and I), also small remnants of the settlement outside the fortifications, parts of the civilian settlement N of the military area, and numerous graves. Camps A to H2 had walls made of wood and earth. Inside, wooden buildings occur in Camp C, stone buildings probably no sooner than in Camp H2. The camp of the Legio VI victrix (H3) has been excavated fairly completely. Its stone ramparts surrounded a rectangle 432 by 570 m (24.7 ha). The most important streets had colonnades. In the middle of the camp was the forum, behind it the praetorium or the quaestorium. The baths W of it seem to have been a later addition. A valetudinarium is situated SW of the principia. Other buildings (a fabrica, horrea, schola) were in the praetentura, another horreum in the retentura. The billets accommodated ten legionary cohorts and one auxiliary unit. North of the main street were quarters for the tribuni militum, N of these barracks for an auxiliary unit.

West of Camp H3 traces of the Canabae legionis were found, including a sacred area. In late Constantinian times a cult cellar was constructed here for the taurobolium of the cult of Kybele. West of the settlement, outside the fortifications, was a civilian settlement, which is now under the old part of modern Neuss. Adjoining it to the W was the necropolis of the civilian town, which extended to the modern railroad station. On the E border of the necropolis was a mausoleum, probably of the 3d c. A.D. and more likely pagan than Christian. The finds are either at the Clemens Sels-Museum in Neuss, or at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum in Bonn.


C. Koenen et al., “Novaesium,” BonnJbb 111-12 (1904); H. v. Petrikovits, Novaesium. Das römische Neuss (1957); id., Das römische Rheinland (1960) 17ff, 129ff; id. & G. Müller, “Die Ausgrabungen in Neuss,” BonnJbb 161 (1961) 449-85MPI; G. Müller, in Das Clemens-Sels-Museum Neuss (1962) 8-13; H. Borger, “Die Ausgrabungen an St. Quinn zu Neuss,” Rheinische Ausgrabungen 1 (1968) 192-95, 204-6.

On the troops: E. Ritterling & E. Stein, Die kaiserlichen Beamten und Truppenkörper im römischen Deutschland (1932); G. Alföldy, Die Hilfstruppen der römischen Provinz Germania inferior (1968). On the finds: Novaesium I-IV (= Limesforschungen, hrsg. Römisch-Germanische Kommission 6ff [1967ff] in press).

H. v. Petrikovits, Die Innenbauten römischer Legionslager in der Prinzipatszeit (1975).


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