VETERA AND COLONIA ULPIA TRAIANA
and Xanten) Kreis Moers, Germany.
A double legionary camp on a glacial moraine: just opposite
the Roman side of the mouth of the Lippe (Vetera I)
and to the E on an adjoining lower terrace (Vetera II).
On the site of Vetera I the first camp had been constructed before 12 B.C. and had two successors, under Tiberius and Claudius. Probably under Nero, Vetera I
(902 x 621 m) was constructed of stone for the Legio V
Alaudae and the Lagio XV Primigenia. It was besieged
and destroyed during the rebellion of the Batavi in A.D.
69-70 (Tac. Hist
. 4.22f, 28-30, 34-36, 60). After the
victory of Civilis in 70 (Tac. Hist
. 5.14-18), Vetera II
was built, closer to the Rhine, for one legion. From ca.
120 until at least Diocletian times the Legio XXX Ulpia
Victrix was garrisoned here. The canabae legionis were
located E and SE of Vetera I and probably W of Vetera
II. The usable land of the legion extended to the E, W,
and S. A civilian settlement, which developed ca. 3 km
NW of the camp in Late Augustan or Tiberian times,
was elevated by Trajan to the status of colonia and completely rebuilt. Large parts of the town were destroyed
by fire before 160, including the forum; they were soon
rebuilt with imperial help (CIL
XIII, 8036 and 8643).
The town still existed in the 4th c.; evidence found in
the baths points to a violent end.
One third of Vetera I has been explored. In front of
the defensive wall (3 m thick) of sun-dried bricks with
wooden facing are two V-shaped trenches. On both sides
of the via principalis, oriented E-W, were colonnades.
In either half of the camp a legion was stationed; both
legions shared the principia and the quaestorium. On each
side of the principia was an accommodation for the
praetorium. The military tribunes and perhaps also the
prefects lived in peristyle houses. Near the W gate a
valetudinarium was located. Vetera II was destroyed by
a flooding of a branch of the Rhine in the Early Middle
Ages. Divers have discovered ruins, and dredging has
disclosed small finds.
The Colonia Ulpia Traiana (83 ha) was laid out as
a rectangle, the direction of its E side determined by
its proximity to a branch of the Rhine. So far, eight
gates and doors have been found in the town wall. To
the SE of the town center a temple was situated within a
large open area, probably the capitol. Another temple
seems to have stood near the harbor gate. In the W half
of the colonia were large baths (105 x 107 m), serial
in arrangement, and an extensive palaestra, opposite
which were probably warehouses and an imposing building the size of two building quarters. In three other sections rows of elongated rectangular houses were discovered, often with shops for craftsmen. In the SE corner
of the town wall was an amphitheater. Originally a wood
and stone structure, it was rebuilt in stone in the 2d c.
Almost all finds are at the Rheinisches Landesmuseum
in Bonn; a few at a museum in Xanten.
Vetera: H. Lahner, Vetera
H. v. Petrikovits, “Vetera,” RE
VIII A (1958) 1801-34;
id., “Die Lagionsfestung Vetera II,” BonnJbb
; H. v. Petrikovits, Die Innenbauten römischer
Legionslager in der Prinzipatszeit
Colonia Ulpia Traiana: P. Steiner, Xanten
1911); H. v. Petrikovits, “Die Ausgrabungen in der
Colonia Traiana bei Xante,” BonnJbb
152 (1952) 41-157; H. Hinz, Xanten zur Römerzeit
(3d ed., 1967)MPI
G. Binding & C. Rüger in Rheinische Ausgrabungen
(1971); C. Rüger, BonnJbb
172 (1972) 293ff.
H. VON PETRIKOVITS