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BONNA (Bonn), a town of the Ubii, on the left bank of the Rhine. The sameness of name and the distances in the Itineraries prove the site of Bonna to be Bonn without any difficulty. The Antonine Itinerary and the Table agree in giving 11 Gallic leagues as the distance between Bonna and Colonia Agrippina (Cöln); and as the road along the river is pretty straight, it is easy to verify the distance.

Bonna was one of the towns of the Ubii after this German people were removed from the east to the west side of the Rhine, under the protection of M. Vipsanius Agrippa. Drusus, the step-son of Augustus, when he was sent into these parts by the emperor, made a bridge, probably of boats, over the Rhine at Bonn (B.C. 12, or 11). This seems to be the meaning of the passage in Florus (4.12; and the notes in Duker's edition).

Bonna was an important Roman station. In A.D. 70, some cohorts of Batavi and Canninefates attacked and defeated the Roman commander at Bonna. (Tac. Hist. 4.20.) The narrative shows that Bonna was then a fortified place, or at least the Romans had an entrenched camp there. It was at this time the winter quarters of the first legion (Tac. Hist. 4.25), and it continued to be a military station. under the empire, as is proved by numerous inscriptions. (Forbiger, Geogr. vol. iii. p. 154.) Bonna, in the time of Tacitus, was considered to be in that subdivision of Gallia Belgica which the Romans called Germania Secunda or Inferior (Hist. 1.55). Tacitus mentions (A.D. 70) the first, fifth, fifteenth, and sixteenth legions as stationed in Germania Inferior; and the first, as already observed, he places at Bonna. We may infer that Bonna had been taken and plundered by the Alemanni, and probably other German peoples, from the fact of Julianus, during his government of Gallia, recovering possession of Bonna, and repairing the walls, about A.D. 359. (Ammian. Marcell. 18.2.)

Numerous Roman remains have been found about Bonn, and there is a collection of antiquities there. [p. 1.419]The Ara Ubiorum was probably near Bonna. [ARA UBIORUM]


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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Tacitus, Historiae, 4.20
    • Tacitus, Historiae, 4.25
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