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VALKENBURG S Holland, Netherlands.

Castellum of cohors III Gallorum on the left bank of the Old Rhine, a few km from its mouth, identified by tabellae ceratae found on the site. The need for a stronghold in this N outpost of the empire was probably linked with Claudius' plan for an invasion of Britain in A.D. 43.

The first fort (132 x 108 m), probably built in A.D. 40, was surrounded by ditches and by earthworks strengthened with wood and topped by a palisade. There were towers on the long sides, double towers at the rounded corners, and a gate on each side except to the SW. Inside the camp the via principalis, between the NW and SE gates, divided the stronghold into a retentura, backed by the unbreached rampart, and a praetentura, entered by the porta praetoria which led to the river. Left of the via praetoria was a peristyle house for the commander. The function of the complex to the right of the via praetoria is uncertain, but it may have been occupied by a detachment of cavalry. In the central section of the retentura were the headquarters of the cohors and the sanctuary; here also the vexilla were kept. To E and W were eight barracks, each of which held 60 soldiers, while the officers' dwellings lined the via principalis. This force of 500 men constituted a cohors quinaria.

Castellum was replaced in A.D. 42 by a similar camp (Ia), perhaps because of flooding. The burned layer which covers castellum II (44-45) may indicate a disastrous raid by the Chauci, and III (47-69) may be a rebuilding by Corbulo after his victory over the invaders. Near this fort the Praetorium Agrippinae of the Peutinger Table probably stood, contemporary with the castellum of Traiectum. Castellum III was destroyed in 69 in the rebellion of the Batavi and the Canninefates. Cerialis crushed the revolt, and in 70 or shortly thereafter rebuilt the camp (IV); this phase is believed to have lasted through the Flavian period, but identification of the various buildings must remain conjectural.

Castellum v, more solidly constructed, may have contributed to the military efforts of Trajan or may have repulsed renewed attacks by the tribes in the century of the Pax Romana. A tile stamped with the legend SVB DIDIO IVL. cos recalls the consul Didius Iulianus, governor of the Provincia Belgica (178) and new attacks by the Chauci (170-74). Castellum VI (122 x 140 m) was built largely of stone; only the barracks were timber. This camp may date from the reign of Septimius Severus at the end of the 2d c., but there is no positive proof. Excavations have revealed no evidence of a violent final destruction. The small military force may have been shifted to other service towards the end of the 3d c.


A. E. van Giffen, “De Romeinse castella in de dorpsheuvel te Valkenburg aan de Rijn (Z.H.) (Praetorium Agrippinae),” Jaarverslag van de Vereeniging voor Terpenonderzoek 33-37 (1948-53); W. Glasbergen, “42 n.C. Het eerste jaartal in de geschiedenis van West Nederland,” Jb. Kon. Ned. Ak. Wetenschappen (1965-66) 1ff; id., De Romeinse castella te Valkenburg Z.H. De opgravingen in de dorpsheuvel in 1962 (1972) (former date 42 now corrected to A.D. 40), bibl.; id. & W. Groenman, The Pre-Flavian Garrisons of Valkenburg Z. H. (1974); W. A. van Es, De Romeinen in Nederland (1972) 66-69; J. E. Bogners & C. B. Rüger, Der nidergermanische Limes, Materialien zu seiner Geschichte (1974) 40-43.


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