(Nijmegen) Gelderland, Netherlands.
On the S bank of the Waal and so outside the Insula Batavorum, but still the chief
town of the Civitas Batavorum, which included a strip
of land on the S bank. The name occurs only on the Peutinger Table
; other names, perhaps earlier, are Oppidum Batavorum, Batavodurum (Tac.).
Roman occupation began in 12-9 B.C. when Nero Claudius Drusus used the area as a base for further conquest
of Germania, and dug the canal called the Fossa Drusiana. The building of a legionary camp was started E
of the modern town soon afterwards, but apparently it
was never finished and from the scarcity of finds never
occupied. In the Hunerpark W of this camp was a civil
settlement, and to the E was the settlement identified as
the Oppidum Batavorum. It is not certain whether the
latter was contemporaneous with the surrounding rampart. The two settlements were destroyed in A.D. 70, during the revolt of Iulius Civilis. They were not rebuilt, but between the two, on the unfinished Augustan site, a new
legionary camp was built, presumably at first for the
Legio II Adiutrix but occupied about A.D. 71 by the Legio
X Gemina. Both legions had contributed to the suppression of the Civilis revolt. Legio II crossed to England
with Cerialis in A.D. 71. It is only from Tacitus that we
know of its stay at Batavodurum in 70: no remains of
this legion have been found at Nijmegen, but it probably
began the rebuilding of the camp, later completed by
The first wooden buildings were replaced later by stone
ones. Inscriptions indicate that a vexillatio of Legio X
Gemina quarried tufa in the Brohltal and another cut
limestone from the Norroy quarries. Building activities
continued until ca. A.D. 104, when the legion departed for
the Danube. The camp was then guarded by the Vexillatio
Brittannica, then for a short time by the remains of the
Legio IX Hispana, and after A.D. 120 by a vexillatio of
the Legio XXX Ulpia Victrix. It was abandoned ca. A.D.
175. The remains (ca. 688 x 429 m) consist of ditches
from the three periods (Augustan, early and late Flavian)
with ramparts of earth and wood and traces of wooden
buildings of the first two periods within the ramparts;
in the third period both wall and buildings were of stone.
The Principia, during the late Flavian period, was a complex (94 x 66 m) with an atrium (48 x 38 m), a basilica (48 x 23 m), and a sacellum; it belonged to the type known as Forum with Basilica.
Three of the four gates have been excavated. Other
buildings include officers' houses, barracks, and some
mercantile structures, but the remains of the stone buildings consist only of clay and rubble packing, the bottom layer of the foundations. The rest was removed in mediaeval times. Tile and pottery were made in the
legionary works at the Holdeurn, some 6 km SE of Nijmegen, from ca. A.D. 70-270. During the stay of Legio X new civil quarters were built W of the modern town, which were inhabited until ca. A.D. 270. Perhaps this was
the Noviomagus to which Trajan added his family name
of Ulpia ca. 104, in connection with his military reorganization. Traces of this Ulpia Noviomagus include a Gallo-Roman temple complex, where many objects were found during the 17th c.
About A.D. 270 Frankish tribes broke through the frontiers, ransacked the area and settled in Brabant and the Insula Batavorum, but in the late 3d c. and throughout the 4th the site was controlled by the central power in
Rome, and was fortified. The population in this period
moved to the higher Hunerpark and down to the bank
of the Waal. Some few traces of early Christianization
have been found. Cemeteries from all habitation periods
are known; cremation was used in the 1st-3d c. and inhumation in the 4th. Objects from these tombs are in the Rijksmuseum G. M. Kam.
The foundations of a Roman villa of the 2d-3d c. have
been found near Overasselt, ca. 9 km S-SW of Nijmegen,
and a few 4th c. potsherds may indicate a brief occupation in that period. Another villa near Mook, on a site
called Plasmolen ca. 12 km S-SE of Nijmegen, was also
inhabited during the 2d and 3d c. A few tile stamps of
the Legio X Gemina indicate that building material was
taken from the stores of that legion; perhaps the house
was the residence of an officer. Both villas are a short
distance from the Meuse.
J. Smith, Oppidum Batavorum
(1644-45); id.: J. Smetius, Antiquitates Neomagenses
F. J. de Waele, Noviomagus Batavorum
(1931); id., RE
10 (1936) s.v. Noviomagus; H. Brunsting, Het grafveld
onder Hees bij Nijmegen
(1937, repr. 1974); id., 400 jaar
Romeinse bezetting van Nijmegen
(3d ed. 1969); J. E.
Bogaers, “Civitas en stad van de Bataven en Canninefaten,” Ber. Rijksdienst Oud. Bod
. 10-11 (1960-61) 263-317; id., “Die Besatzungstruppen des Legionslagers von
Nijmegen im 2. Jhdt. nach Christus,” Studien zu den Militärgrenzen Roms BonnJbb
Beih. 19 (1967) 54-76; A.V.
M. Hubrecht, Gids van het Rijksmuseum Kam
(1972) full bibl.