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SOPIANAE (Pécs) Hungary.

A Roman town lying under the center of the present town.

Rooms (4 x 4 m and 4 x 6 m) were found in the ruins of a Roman palace (ca. 50 m long). The foundations of nearly 50 Roman buildings have been unearthed and at a distance of 50 m the walls of still other, large Roman buildings were found, among others a bathing pool with pipes (5 x 5 m), remains of a hypocaust, white marble veneer, remains of frescos, and nearly 1000 coins of the 2d, 3d, and 4th c. (in the Pécs museum). The ruins of a municipal building (75 x 150 m), built in the first half of the 2d c., has been found. About 500 m S of this another building complex (30 x 17 m) of the same era was discovered. The ruins of the Roman town were used as cemeteries by the end of the 4th c.

The location of the cemetery of the 2d c. is not known but the cemeteries of the 3d and 4th c. lay to the N and E of the town. In the 3d c. graves were found rich golden jewelry, bracelets, glass, pottery, coins, etc. Decorated and painted ancient Christian burial chambers and numerous (ca. 300) graves found in their vicinity make the cemetery of Sopianae the largest ancient Christian cemetery in Pannonia. Continuous burial in it can be traced from the third decade of the 4th c. to the beginning of the 5th. Written documents do not mention a bishop's seat, but on the basis of its Christian relics, it can be assumed that a bishopric was established here in the 4th c. From the middle of that century it is probable that the Arian heretic movement was as strong in Sopianae as in the rest of Pannonia.

The Roman population survived in the city into the 5th and 6th c.


J. Koller, Prolegomena in historiam episcopatus Quinqueecclesiarum (1804)P; G. Gosztonyi, A pécsi ókeresztény temetőMPI; F. Gerke, “Die Wandmalereien der neugefundenen Grabkammer in Pécs,” Neue Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte des 1. Jahrtausends 1 (1952) 115-37PI; id., Die Wandmalereien der Petrus-Paulus-Katakombe in Pécs (1954) 147-99PI; F. Fülep, Sopianae római kori emlékei (1963)MPI.


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