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SIRMIUM (Sremska Mitrovica) Yugoslavia.

The modern city covers the site of Sirmium on the Sava river, ca. 76 km W of Belgrade (Singidunum). The Roman town was founded in the late 1st c. B.C. on the site of an earlier Pannonian settlement. It is mentioned first in history in accounts of the Pannonian-Dalmatian rebellion of the 1st c. A.D. It became a colony under the Flavian emperors and remained for centuries one of the most important cities on the Danubian frontier. It was frequently the headquarters for military operations and was visited by the emperors Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus, Maximinus, and Gallienus. Four emperors of the 3d c. were born in Sirmium or the vicinity: Trajan Decius, Aurelian, Probus, and Maximian.

Sirmium was the residence of the governor of Lower Pannonia and later was the capital of Illyricum. An important mint was founded here by Constantine I. The city was an ecclesiastical center and several church councils were convened here during the 4th c. The Huns destroyed the city in the mid 5th c. but it was restored to the Byzantine empire in the mid 6th c. Sirmium fell to the Avars after a long siege in 582.

Excavations have revealed a number of ancient monuments and have considerably expanded our knowledge of the ancient city. Among the more recent discoveries are a part of the imperial palace (4th c.) and the hippodrome attached to it. The hippodrome, between 350 and 400 m in length, was built shortly after 315 and, after one major rebuilding, fell into disuse before the end of the century. Parts of the foundations for the seats, a cryptoporticus, the spina, and the raceway have been found.

Sections of the city wall and two large cemeteries have been cleared. Near the center of the city the public horreum (4th c.), a large, rectangular structure with square piers, and part of the baths of Licinius have been excavated.

Artifacts from recent excavations are in the Museum of Sremska Mitrovica; some earlier finds, including a mosaic of the late Roman period, are in the Vojvodina Museum in Novi Sad. The Sremska Museum is built above a large private dwelling (4th-5th c.) and a mosaic with geometric patterns is preserved in situ within the museum courtyard. Frescos from the same dwelling have been restored and are displayed nearby along with a Roman ship, numerous inscriptions, and architectural pieces.


Sremska Mitrovica publ. by the Museum of Sremska Mitrovica, 1969; E. Ochsenschlager & V. Popović, Sirmium. Archaeological Investigations in Syrmian Pannonia IMPI and IIPI (1971-72). Vol. I contains a general survey of the history of the city and the excavations as well as the publication of the non-

Christian inscriptions; II deals with various aspects of the new excavations. J. WISEMAN

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