(Arentsburg) S Holland, Netherlands.
Country seat in the village of Voorburg,
near The Hague, where Roman remains have been found
since the 16th c.: foundations, mosaic floors, tiles, pottery,
glass, jewelry, coins, and bronze and iron objects of all
kinds. The site was first identified with Forum Hadriani
of the Peutinger Table
, after the discovery of a heavy
wall and some stone buildings.
Later several gates were identified, and the W wall
found to be ca. 400 m long, the N wall ca. 200. The E
side could not be located and to the S a wall never existed,
as the W wall ended on the banks of the Vliet canal, which
was probably the Roman Fossa Corbulonis (Tac. Ann
11.20; Cass. Dio 60.30.6). Inside the walls traces of
wooden buildings were interpreted as barracks, and this
time the complex was thought to be an auxiliary fort and
a base of the Classis Germanica identified with Praetorium Agrippinae of the Peutinger Table
. This is incompatible, however, with the distances given by the Peutinger Table
and the Antonine Itinerary
(368.3ff) on the N
road between Lugduno and Noviomagi. Moreover, the
so-called barracks do not resemble ground plans known
elsewhere, the walls and buildings are differently oriented,
and the dimensions far too large for an auxiliary fort.
The military character of Arentsburg is not proved by
the tiles with military stamps, nor do the tiles with the
stamp C(lassis) G(ermanica) P(ia) F(idelis) prove that it
was a base for the fleet. Furthermore, few military objects have been found. The first identification was correct.
Arentsburg is the most important Roman site in W
Holland and the only one where nonmilitary inscriptions
have been discovered (CIL
XIII, 8807-8). Pottery from
the site indicates that some kind of settlement (of the
Cananefates) existed in the first half of the 1st c. It was
enlarged considerably after the Batavian revolt of 69-70,
especially under Domitian, and became the capital of the
civitas Cananefatum. The first stone buildings were probably erected in 120-60. Hadrian gave it the ius nundinarum in 120 or 121, after which it was called Forum
Hadriani. Before 162 it was made a municipium, probably by Marcus Aurelius, and the settlement lasted until
260-70. It was perhaps reoccupied for some time a little
later, as suggested by coins of Gallienus, Postumus,
Claudius II, Constantine, Constantius II, and some late
Roman fibulas. The finds are in the Rijksmuseum voor
Oudheden in Leiden.
J. W. Holwerda, Arentsburg
A. W. Byvanck, Excerpta Romana
II (1935) 204-17; 507-8; III (1947) 144-46; J. E. Bogaers, “Civitas en stad van
de Bataven en Canninefaten,” Ber. Rijksdienst Oud. Bod.
10-11 (1960-61) 263-317MPI
; id., “Forum Hadriani,”
164 (1964) 45-52MI
; id., “Civitates und Civitas-Hauptorte in der nördlichen Germania Inferior,” ibid.
172 (1972) 310-32MPI
B. H. STOLTE