The Main Limes called the Nasser Limes, was built around 90 A. D. and, as part of the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes, formed the frontier of the Roman Empire in the area between the present day villages of Großkrotzenburg and Bürgstadt. In this section the limes adjoined the River Main, which forms a natural boundary for about 50 kilometres here, so "Main" refers to the river. In order to secure the riverbank, it was sufficient to erect free-standing towers backed up by the forts of the units stationed nearby. However, of the many watchtowers that stood along the Main, to date only one south of Obernburg am Main has been identified. On the other bank of the Main was the uninhabited Spessart, a wooded hill range which, like the Odenwald which borders it to the south-west, was interesting for the Romans because of its timber. In inscriptions, there are reports of the logging vexillationes of the 22nd Legion, which were stationed in Obernburg and Trennfurt. In the majority of forts, settlement activity continued after the fall of the limes, why, as in Obernburg Niedernberg and Großkrotzenburg, they are now located below the medieval village centres.
In Grosskrotzenburg, Hainstadt and Obernburg, Alamannic artefacts were discovered. North of the Main the limes runs through the marshy terrain of the Schifflache and Bulau before linking up with the Wetterau Limes. At the crossing of the Main at Großkrotzenburg a Roman bridge has been identified from post sockets. In the south it extended in its early period to Wörth; the exact start point of the Odenwald Limes has still not been identified. When the Odenwald Limes was abandoned in the 2nd century A. D. by Antoninus Pius and the establishment of the newer limes in the Bauland, the Main Limes was extended, because the forts in Trennfurt and Miltenberg were added. Because little remains of the forts, Roman artefacts are displayed in local museums such as Obernburg Romand Museum, Miltenberg Municipal Museum, Aschaffenburg Diocesan Museum and Großkrotzenburg Museum. Several fort sites such as Obernburg and Stockstadt have a rich collection of stone monuments. Dietwulf Baatz, Fritz-Rudolf Herrmann: Die Römer in Hessen.
Lizenzausgabe der 3rd edition, 1989, Hamburg, 2002, ISBN 3-933203-58-9. Bernhard Beckmann: Neuere Untersuchungen zum römischen Limeskastell Miltenberg-Altstadt. Verlag Michael Lassleben. Kallmünz, 2004, ISBN 3-7847-5085-0. Bernd Steidl: Welterbe Limes – Roms Grenze am Main. Begleitband zur Ausstellung in der Archäologischen Staatssammlung Munich, 2008. Logo, Obernburg, 2008, ISBN 3-939462-06-3. Kurt Stade: Die Mainlinie von Seligenstadt bis Miltenberg mit einem Nachtrage zur Abt. B Nr. 33 Kastell Stockstadt. In: Ernst Fabricius, Felix Hettner, Oscar von Sarwey: Der obergermanisch-raetische Limes des Roemerreiches. Abt. A, Strecke 6, pp. 3–70. Britta Rabold, Egon Schallmayer, Andreas Thiel: Der Limes. Die Deutsche Limes-Straße vom Rhein bis zur Donau. Verein Deutsche Limes-Straße, K. Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart, 2000, ISBN 3-8062-1461-1
The Limes Germanicus was a line of frontier fortifications that bounded the ancient Roman provinces of Germania Inferior, Germania Superior and Raetia, dividing the Roman Empire and the unsubdued Germanic tribes from the years 83 to about 260 AD. At its height, the limes stretched from the North Sea outlet of the Rhine to near Regensburg on the Danube; those two major rivers afforded natural protection from mass incursions into imperial territory, with the exception of a gap stretching from Mogontiacum on the Rhine to Castra Regina. The Limes Germanicus was divided into: The Lower Germanic Limes, which extended from the North Sea at Katwijk in the Netherlands along the main Lower Rhine branches The Upper Germanic Limes started from the Rhine at Rheinbrohl across the Taunus mountains to the river Main along the Main to Miltenberg, from Osterburken south to Lorch in a nearly perfect straight line of more than 70 km; the total length was 568 km. It included 900 watchtowers; the weakest, hence most guarded, part of the Limes was the aforementioned gap between the westward bend of the Rhine at modern-day Mainz and the main flow of the Danube at Regensburg.
This 300-km wide land corridor between the two great rivers permitted movement of large groups of people without the need for water transport, hence the heavy concentration of forts and towers there, arranged in depth and in multiple layers along waterways, fords and hilltops. Roman border defences have become much better known through systematic excavations financed by Germany and through other research connected to them. In 2005, the remnants of the Upper Germanic & Rhaetian Limes were inscribed on the List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as Frontiers of the Roman Empire, with lower Limes being placed on the tentative list in 2011, aiming to extend the world heritage site to the whole limes; the Saalburg is a reconstructed museum of the Limes near Frankfurt. The first emperor who began to build fortifications along the border was Augustus, shortly after the devastating Roman defeat at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 AD. There were numerous Limes walls, which were connected to form the Upper Germanic Limes along the Rhine and the Rhaetian Limes along the Danube.
These two walls were linked to form a common borderline. From the death of Augustus until after 70 AD, Rome accepted as her Germanic frontier the water-boundary of the Rhine and upper Danube. Beyond these rivers she held only the fertile plain of Frankfurt, opposite the Roman border fortress of Moguntiacum, the southernmost slopes of the Black Forest and a few scattered bridge-heads; the northern section of this frontier, where the Rhine is deep and broad, remained the Roman boundary until the empire fell. The southern part was different; the upper Rhine and upper Danube are crossed. The frontier which they form is inconveniently long, enclosing an acute-angled wedge of foreign territory between the modern Baden and Württemberg; the Germanic populations of these lands seem in Roman times to have been scanty, Roman subjects from the modern Alsace-Lorraine had drifted across the river eastwards. The motives alike of geographical convenience and of the advantages to be gained by recognising these movements of Roman subjects combined to urge a forward policy at Rome, when the vigorous Vespasian had succeeded Nero, a series of advances began which closed up the acute angle, or at least rendered it obtuse.
The first advance came about 74 AD, when what is now Baden was invaded and annexed and a road carried from the Roman base on the upper Rhine, Straßburg, to the Danube just above Ulm. The point of the angle was broken off; the second advance was made by Domitian about 83 AD. He pushed out from Moguntiacum, extended the Roman territory east of it and enclosed the whole within a systematically delimited and defended frontier with numerous blockhouses along it and larger forts in the rear. Among the blockhouses was one which by various enlargements and refoundations grew into the well-known Saalburg fort on the Taunus near Bad Homburg; this advance necessitated a third movement, the construction of a frontier connecting the annexations of AD 74 and AD 83. We know the line of this frontier which ran from the Main across the upland Odenwald to the upper waters of the Neckar and was defended by a chain of forts. We do not, know its date, save that, if not Domitian's work, it was carried out soon after his death, the whole frontier thus constituted was reorganised by Hadrian, with a continuous wooden palisade reaching from Rhine to Danube.
The angle between the rivers was now full. But there remained further fortification. Either Hadrian or, more his successor Antoninus Pius pushed out from the Odenwald and the Danube, marked out a new frontier parallel to, but in advance of these two lines, though sometimes, as on the Taunus, coinciding with the older line; this is the frontier, now visible and visited by the curious. It consists, as we see it today, of two distinct frontier works, known as the Pfahlgraben, is a palisade of stakes with a ditch and earthen mound behind it, best seen in the neighbourhood of the Saalburg but once extending from the Rhine southwards into southern Germany; the other, which begins where the earthwork stops, is a wall, though not a formidable wall, of stone, the Teufelsmauer.
The Roman army was the terrestrial armed forces deployed by the Romans throughout the duration of Ancient Rome, from the Roman Kingdom to the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, its medieval continuation the Eastern Roman Empire. It is thus a term that may span 2,206 years, during which the Roman armed forces underwent numerous permutations in composition, organisation and tactics, while conserving a core of lasting traditions.. The Early Roman army was the armed force of the Roman Kingdom and of the early Republic. During this period, when warfare chiefly consisted of small-scale plundering raids, it has been suggested that the army followed Etruscan or Greek models of organisation and equipment; the early Roman army was based on an annual levy. The infantry ranks were filled with the lower classes while the cavalry were left to the patricians, because the wealthier could afford horses. Moreover, the commanding authority during the regal period was the high king; until the establishment of the Republic and the office of consul, the king assumed the role of commander-in-chief.
However, from about 508 BC Rome no longer had a king. The commanding position of the army was given to the consuls, "who were charged both singly and jointly to take care to preserve the Republic from danger"; the term legion is derived from the Latin word legio. At first there were only four legions; these legions were numbered "I" to "IIII", with the fourth being written as such and not "IV". The first legion was seen as the most prestigious; the bulk of the army was made up of citizens. These citizens could not choose the legion. Any man "from ages 16–46 were selected by ballot" and assigned to a legion; until the Roman military disaster of 390 BC at the Battle of the Allia, Rome's army was organised to the Greek phalanx. This was due to Greek influence in Italy "by way of their colonies". Patricia Southern quotes ancient historians Livy and Dionysius in saying that the "phalanx consisted of 3,000 infantry and 300 cavalry"; each man had to provide his equipment in battle. Politically they shared the same ranking system in the Comitia Centuriata.
The Roman army of the mid-Republic was known as the "manipular army" or the "Polybian army" after the Greek historian Polybius, who provides the most detailed extant description of this phase. The Roman army started to have a full-time strength of 150,000 at all times and 3/4 of the rest were levied. During this period, the Romans, while maintaining the levy system, adopted the Samnite manipular organisation for their legions and bound all the other peninsular Italian states into a permanent military alliance; the latter were required to supply the same number of troops to joint forces as the Romans to serve under Roman command. Legions in this phase were always accompanied on campaign by the same number of allied alae, units of the same size as legions. After the 2nd Punic War, the Romans acquired an overseas empire, which necessitated standing forces to fight lengthy wars of conquest and to garrison the newly gained provinces, thus the army's character mutated from a temporary force based on short-term conscription to a standing army in which the conscripts were supplemented by a large number of volunteers willing to serve for much longer than the legal six-year limit.
These volunteers were from the poorest social class, who did not have plots to tend at home and were attracted by the modest military pay and the prospect of a share of war booty. The minimum property requirement for service in the legions, suspended during the 2nd Punic War, was ignored from 201 BC onward in order to recruit sufficient volunteers. Between 150-100 BC, the manipular structure was phased out, the much larger cohort became the main tactical unit. In addition, from the 2nd Punic War onward, Roman armies were always accompanied by units of non-Italian mercenaries, such as Numidian light cavalry, Cretan archers, Balearic slingers, who provided specialist functions that Roman armies had lacked; the Roman army of the late Republic marks the continued transition between the conscription-based citizen-levy of the mid-Republic and the volunteer, professional standing forces of the imperial era. The main literary sources for the army's organisation and tactics in this phase are the works of Julius Caesar, the most notable of a series of warlords who contested for power in this period.
As a result of the Social War, all Italians were granted Roman citizenship, the old allied alae were abolished and their members integrated into the legions. Regular annual conscription remained in force and continued to provide the core of legionary recruitment, but an ever-increasing proportion of recruits were volunteers, who signed up for 16-year terms as opposed to the maximum 6 years for conscripts; the loss of ala cavalry reduced Roman/Italian cavalry by 75%, legions became dependent on allied native horse for cavalry cover. This period saw the large-scale expansion of native forces employed to complement the legions, made up of numeri recruited from tribes within Rome's overseas empire and neighbouring allied tribes. Large numbers of heavy infantry and cavalry were recruited in Spain and Thrace, archers in Thrace and Syria. However, these native units were not integrated with the legions, but retained th
Roman military engineering
The military engineering of Ancient Rome's armed forces was of a scale and frequency far beyond that of any of its contemporaries'. Indeed, military engineering was in many ways institutionally endemic in Roman military culture, as demonstrated by the fact that each Roman legionary had as part of his equipment a shovel, alongside his gladius and pila. Fabri were workers, craftsmen or artisans in Roman society and descriptions of early Roman army structure attributed to king Servius Tullius describe there being two centuriae of fabri under an officer, the praefectus fabrum. Roman military engineering took both routine and extraordinary forms, the former a proactive part of standard military procedure, the latter of an extraordinary or reactionary nature; each Roman legion had a military legionary fort as its permanent base. However, when on the march in enemy territory, the legion would, after a day's marching, construct a fortified camp or castra, requiring as raw materials only earth and timber.
Camp construction was the responsibility of special engineering units to which specialists of many types belonged, officered by architecti, from a class of troops known as immunes since they were excused from or immune from, regular duties. These engineers would requisition manual labor from the soldiers at large as required. A legion could throw up a camp under enemy attack in as little as a few hours. Judging from the names, they used a repertory of camp plans from a set textbook, selecting the one appropriate to the length of time a legion would spend in it: tertia castra, quarta castra: "a camp of three days", "four days", etc; the engineers built bridges from both timber and stone depending on required permanence, time available etc. Some Roman stone bridges survive to this day. Stone bridges were made possible by the innovative use of the keystone to allow an arch construction. One of the most notable examples of military bridge-building in the Roman Empire was Julius Caesar's Bridge over the Rhine River.
This bridge was completed in only ten days and is conservatively estimated to have been more than 100 m long. The construction was deliberately over-engineered for Caesar's stated purpose of impressing the Germanic tribes, who had little experience of engineering, to emphasise that Rome could travel wherever she wished. Caesar was able to cross over the completed bridge and explore the area uncontested, before crossing back over and dismantling the bridge. Caesar relates in his War in Gaul that he "sent messengers to the Sugambri to demand the surrender of those who had made war on me and on Gaul, they replied that the Rhine was the limit of Roman power"; the bridge was intended to show otherwise. Although most Roman siege engines were adaptations from earlier Greek designs, the Romans were adept at engineering them swiftly and efficiently, as well as innovating variations such as the repeating ballista; the 1st century BC army engineer Vitruvius describes in detail many of the Roman siege machines in his manuscript De Architectura.
When invading enemy territories, the Roman army would construct roads as they went, to allow swift reinforcement and resupply, as well as a path for easy retreat if necessary. Roman road-making skills are such. Michael Grant credits the Roman building of the Via Appia with winning them the Second Samnite War; the Roman army took part in building projects for civilian use. There were sound reasons for the use of the army in building projects: that if they weren't directly engaged in military campaigns, the legions were unproductive, costing the Roman state large sums of money, but the involvement of the soldiers in building works, kept them not only well accustomed to hard physical labour, but kept them busy, since it was the held belief that busy armies weren't plotting to mutiny, whereas idle armies were. Of both military and civilian use was the construction of roads within the boundaries of the Empire, in which the army was involved, but so too were soldiers put to use in the construction of town walls, the digging of shipping canals, the drainage of land, harbours in the cultivation of vineyards.
In some rare cases soldiers were used in mining work. They were skilled in conducting mining operations such as building the many aqueducts needed for prospecting for metal veins, in methods like hydraulic mining, the building of reservoirs to hold the water at the minehead, it is that they were capable of building and operating mine equipment such as water mills, stamp mills and dewatering machines. It is that they were involved in exploiting gold resources such as those at Dolaucothi in south west Wales, it was developed soon after conquest of the region under Frontinus, the local auxiliary troop came from north-west Spain, a country where gold mining developed on a large scale in the early part of the first century AD. The knowledge and experience learned through such routine engineering lent itself to any extraordinary engineering projects required by the army, it is here that the scale of Roman military engineering exceeded that of any of its contemporaries in both imagination and scope.
One of the most famous of such extraordinary constructions was the circumvallation of the entire city of Alesia and its Celtic leader Vercingetorix, within a massive length of double-wall – one inward-facing to prevent escape or offensive sallies from the city, one outward-facing to prevent attack by Celtic reinforcements. This wall is estimated to have been over 20 km long. A second example would be the massive ramp built using thousands of ton
Technological history of the Roman military
The technology history of the Roman military covers the development of and application of technologies for use in the armies and navies of Rome from the Roman Republic to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The rise of Hellenism and the Roman Republic are seen as signalling the end of the Iron Age in the Mediterranean. Roman iron-working was enhanced by a process known as carburization; the Romans used the better properties in their armaments, the 1,300 years of Roman military technology saw radical changes. The Roman armies of the early empire were much better equipped than early republican armies. Metals used for arms and armor included iron and brass. For construction, the army used wood and stone; the use of concrete in architecture was mirrored in Roman military technology in the application of a military workforce to civilian construction projects. Much of what is described as Roman technology, as opposed to that of the Greeks, comes directly from the Etruscan civilization, thriving to the North when Rome was just a small kingdom.
The Etruscans had invented the stone arch, used it in bridges as well as buildings. Some Roman technologies were taken directly from Greek civilization. After the absorption of the ancient Greek city states into the Roman Republic in 146 BC, the advanced Greek technology began to spread across many areas of Roman influence and supplement the Empire; this included the military advances that the Greeks had made, as well as all the scientific, mathematical and artistic developments. However, the Romans made many significant technological advances, such as the invention of hydraulic cement and concrete, they used such new materials to great advantage in their structures, many of which survive to this day, like their masonry aqueducts, such as the Pont du Gard, buildings, such as the Pantheon and Baths of Diocletian in Rome. Their methods were recorded by such luminaries as Vitruvius and Frontinus for example, who wrote handbooks to advise fellow engineers and architects. Romans knew enough history to be aware that widespread technological change had occurred in the past and brought benefits, as shown for example by Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia.
That tradition continued as the empire absorbed new ideas. Romans thought of themselves as practical, so small-scale innovation was common; the traditional view is that their reliance on a plentiful slave labour force and a lack of a patent or copyright system have both been cited as reasons that there was little social or financial pressure to automate or reduce manual tasks. However, this view is being challenged by new research that shows they did indeed innovate, on a wide scale, thus the watermill had been known to the Greeks, but it was the Romans who developed their efficient utilisation. The set of mills at Barbegal in southern France were worked by a single aqueduct, which drove no fewer than 16 overshot mills built into the side of a hill, they were built by the army and supplied flour to a wide region. Floating mills were used to exploit fast flowing rivers; the Romans used water power in an unexpected way during mining operations. It's known from the writings of Pliny the Elder that they exploited the alluvial gold deposits of north-west Spain soon after the conquest of the region in 25 BC using large-scale hydraulic mining methods.
The spectacular gold mine at Las Medulas was worked by no fewer than seven long aqueducts cut into the surrounding mountains, the water being played directly onto the soft auriferous ore. The outflow was channelled into sluice boxes, the heavier gold collected on rough pavements, they developed many deep mines, such as those for copper at Rio Tinto, where Victorian mining developments exposed the much earlier workings. Dewatering machines, such as Archimedean screws and reverse overshot water wheels, were found in situ, one of, on show at the British Museum. Another fragmentary example was recovered from the Roman gold mine at Dolaucothi in west Wales, is preserved at the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff; the army were at the forefront of development of gold mines, since the metal was imperial property, developed the Dolaucothi mines from the outset by establishing a fort there, known as Luentinum. They had the expertise to build the infrastructure of aqueducts and reservoirs, as well as control production.
The period in which technological progress was fastest and greatest was during the 2nd century and 1st century BC, the period in which Roman political and economic power increased. By the 2nd century, Roman technology appears to have peaked; the Romans advanced military technology and implemented it on a massive scale. From a few early models of ballista from Greek city-states the Romans adopted and improved the design issuing one to every century in the legions. To facilitate this organization, an engineering corps was developed. An officer of engineers, or praefectus fabrum, is referenced in armies of the Late Republic, but this post is not verifiable in all accounts and may have been a military advisor on the personal staff of a commanding officer. There were legion architects. Ensuring that constructions were level was the job of the libratores, who would launch missiles and other projectiles during battle; the engineering corps was in charge of massive production prefabricating artillery and siege equipment to facilitate its transportation Roman military engineering Roman aqueducts Roman technology Sanitation in ancient R
Roman infantry tactics
Roman infantry tactics refers to the theoretical and historical deployment and maneuvers of the Roman infantry from the start of the Roman Republic to the fall of the Western Roman Empire. The article first presents a short overview of Roman training. Roman performance against different types of enemies is analyzed. A summation of what made the Roman tactics and strategy militarily effective through their long history is given below, as is a discussion of how and why this effectiveness disappeared; the focus below is on Roman tactics - the "how" of their approach to battle, how it stacked up against a variety of opponents over time. It does not attempt detailed coverage of things like army equipment. Various battles are summarized to illustrate Roman methods with links to detailed articles on individual encounters. For in depth background on the historical structure of the infantry relevant to this article, see Structure of the Roman military. For a history of Rome's military campaigns see Campaign history of the Roman military.
For detail on equipment, daily life and specific legions see Roman legion and Roman military personal equipment. Roman military tactics and strategy evolved from that typical of a small tribal host seeking local hegemony, to massive operations encompassing a world empire; this advance was affected by changing trends in Roman political and economic life, that of the larger Mediterranean world, but it was undergirded by a distinctive "Roman way" of war. This approach included a tendency towards standardization and systematization, practical borrowing and adapting from outsiders, flexibility in tactics and methods, a strong sense of discipline, a ruthless persistence that sought comprehensive victory, a cohesion brought about by the ideal of Roman citizenship under arms - embodied in the legion; these elements waxed and waned over time. Some key phases of this evolution throughout Rome's military history include: Military forces based on heavy citizen infantry with tribal beginnings and early use of phalanx-type elements Growing sophistication as Roman hegemony expanded outside Italy into North Africa and the Middle East Continued refinement and streamlining in the period associated with Gaius Marius including a broader based incorporation of more citizenry into the army, more professionalism and permanence in army service Continued expansion and sophistication from the end of the republic into the time of the Caesars Growing barbarization and weakening of the heavy infantry units in favour of cavalry and lighter troops Demise of the Western Empire and fragmentation into smaller, weaker local forces.
This included the reversal of status of infantry in the Eastern Empire. Cataphract forces formed an elite, with infantry being reduced to auxiliaries. Numerous scholarly histories of the Roman military machine note the huge numbers of men that could be mobilized, more than any other Mediterranean power; this bounty of military resources enabled Rome to apply crushing pressure to its enemies, stay in the field and replace losses after suffering setbacks. One historian of the Second Punic War states: "According to Polybius, the total number of Roman and allied men capable of bearing arms in 225BC exceeded 700,000 infantry and 70,000 cavalry. Brunt adjusted Polybius’ figures and estimated that the population of Italy, not including Greeks and Bruttians, exceeded 875,000 free adult males, from whom the Romans could levy troops. Rome not only had the potential to levy vast numbers of troops, but did in fact field large armies in the opening stages of the war. Brunt estimates that Rome mobilized 108,000 men for service in the legions between 218BC and 215BC, while at the height of the war effort Rome was able to mobilize 230,000 men.
Against these mighty resources Hannibal led from Spain an army of 50,000 infantry and 9,000 cavalry... Rome’s manpower reserves allowed it to absorb staggering losses yet still continue to field large armies. For example, according to Brunt, as many as 50,000 men were lost between 218BC and 215BC, but Rome continued to place between 14 and 25 legions in the field for the duration of the war. Moreover, as will be discussed below, Roman manpower allowed for the adoption of the so-called "Fabian strategy", which proved to be an effective response to Hannibal’s apparent battlefield superiority. Put the relative disparity in the number of available troops at the outset of the conflict meant that Hannibal had a much narrower margin for error than the Romans." See Roman military personal equipment and Roman legion for more information on equipment, individual legions and structure A legionary carried around 27 kilograms of armour and equipment. This load consisted of armour, a sword, called a gladius, a shield, two pila and 15 days' food rations.
There were tools for digging and constructing a castra, the legions' fortified base camp. One writer recreates the following as to Caesar's army in Gaul: Each soldier arranged his heavy pack on a T or Y-shaped rod, borne on his left shoulder. Shields were protected on the march with a hide cover; each legionary carried about 5 days worth of wheat, pulses or chickpeas, a flask of oil and a mess kit with a dish and utensil. Personal items might include a dyed horsehair crest for the helmet, a semi-water resistant oiled woolen cloak and breeches for cold weather and a blanke
The Wetterau Limes is the name given in the field of historical research to that part of the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes which enclosed the region that became known as the Wetterau in the German state of Hesse. During the two campaigns of the Roman Emperor Domitian against the Chatti, the Romans began to cut swathes of open ground through the dense forests of today's Hesse, in order to prevent their columns from being ambushed. On the crest of the Taunus mountain range, such a swathe served as a surveillance route. After the end of the Chatti Wars, the Romans began to secure these conquered regions east of the Rhine with a limes - a line of forts, fortlets and palisades; the forest road was guarded by wooden watchtowers to ensure continuous observation. This ensured that the southern slopes of the Taunus mountains and the fertile and strategically important Wetterau became part of the Roman Empire. In addition to the establishment of this frontier, Domitian turned the two Germanic military territories of Upper and Lower Germanian into Roman provinces.
In spite of this rather modest conquest, he was subsequently celebrated in Rome with great pomp as a triumphator and coins were minted with the ambitious claim Germania capta. The propaganda nature of this policy is evinced by the fact that in the narrow province of Upper Germania there were hardly any Germanii, the area was populated entirely by Celts; the long-held conviction that the Neckar-Odenwald Limes was erected at the same time as the Wetterau Limes after the Chatti wars, is now regarded as having been rejected. Although there were Roman military outposts on the eastern side of the Rhine from the seventies, the border running along the Odenwald-Neckar Line to Donnstetten is now dated by most sources as having not been erected before 98 AD; the state of preservation of the limes is poor due to the heavy agricultural use of the Wetterau. Only a few sections on the foothills of the Taunus, at Echzell and east of Hanau are visible above ground. In the early days of limes research, this situation meant that the eastern Wetterau section remained undiscovered.
This was not disproved until the 1880s by excavations of the Hanauer Geschichtsverein under Albert Duncker and Georg Wolff. Like the other sections of the Upper German-Raetian Limes, the Wetterau Limes was reinforced and expanded. In the eastern Wetterau the dates when the individual forts were first built are not uniform, it is clear that there was a defensive line from Oberflorstadt via Heldenbergen and Hanau-Mittelbuchen to Hanau-Salisberg The forts on the line further east from Marköbel via Rückingen to Großkrotzenburg were not built until the time of Trajan. The neighbouring Taunus line was reinforced in the second half of the second century by the numerus forts of Holzhausen, Kleiner Feldberg and Kapersburg; the further expansion of the limes defences to the north of the Wetterau was in order to protect its fertile soils on the one hand and to meet the high demand for the supply of the troops stationed on the limes and legion camps in Mainz. Archaeobotanical studies have calculated that an annual requirement of 3,034 tons of grain and 10,371 tons of hay were required to supply for the north-facing bulge of the limes in the Wetterau.
The end of the Wetterau Limes came in the year 259-260 AD, when Rome abandoned all areas to the east of the Rhine. Thus, for example, the pottery trade, once flourishing in the Wetterau came to a standstill. Imports of pottery from the Rhineland dominate archaeological collections from the second third of the 3rd century. Bricks found in the area do not seem to have been fired as they used to be. More and more older building material was used instead. Hypocaust heating was replaced by much simpler heating pipe systems. From the border area, there are other interesting finds which shed further light on the period of the limes; this includes the treasure of Ober-Florstadt, concealed during the course of Germanic invasions in AD 233. In 1603, the inscription of a collegium iuventutis was discovered in the area around Altenstadt Roman Fort; this may have been a unit set up to act as a local militia. Kapersburg Roman Fort was reduced during its last days. There is evidence of a local unit, a numberus nidensium, raised in the civitas capital of Nida-Heddernheim.
Lochmühle Fortlet Kapersburg Roman Fort Ockstädter Wald Fortlet Kaisergrube Fortlet Am Eichkopf Fortlet Langenhain Roman Fort Hunnenkirchhof Fortlet Butzbach Roman Fort Degerfeld Fortlet Dicker Wald Fortlet Holzheimer Unterwald Fortlet Hainhaus Fortlet Arnsburg Roman Fort Langsdorf Fortlet Feldheimer Wald Fortlet Inheiden Roman Fort Auf dem Wingertsberg Fortlet Massohl Fortlet Auf der Burg Fortlet Haselheck Fortlet Echzell Roman Fort Lochberg Fortlet Staden Fortlet Ober-Florstadt Roman Fort Stammheim Fortlet Altenstadt Roman Fort Auf dem Buchkopf Fortlet Marköbel Roman Fort Langendiebach Fortlet Rückingen Roman Fort Neuwirtshaus Fortlet Großkrotzenburg Roman Fort The following museums have a permanent exhibition on the Wetterau Limes or individual sites along it: Saalburg Museum, Bad Homburg Wetterau Museum, Friedberg Butzbach Municipal Museum Limes Information Centre at Hof Graß Echzell Local History Museum Heuson Museum, Büdingen Erlensee-Rückingen Local History Museum Schloss Steinheim Museum Großkrotzenburg Museum Limes Dietwulf Baatz and Fritz-Rudolf