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
Roman roads were physical infrastructure vital to the maintenance and development of the Roman state, were built from about 300 BC through the expansion and consolidation of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. They provided efficient means for the overland movement of armies and civilians, the inland carriage of official communications and trade goods. Roman roads were of several kinds, ranging from small local roads to broad, long-distance highways built to connect cities, major towns and military bases; these major roads were stone-paved and metaled, cambered for drainage, were flanked by footpaths and drainage ditches. They were laid along surveyed courses, some were cut through hills, or conducted over rivers and ravines on bridgework. Sections could be supported over marshy ground on piled foundations. At the peak of Rome's development, no fewer than 29 great military highways radiated from the capital, the late Empire's 113 provinces were interconnected by 372 great roads; the whole comprised more than 400,000 kilometres of roads, of which over 80,500 kilometres were stone-paved.
In Gaul alone, no less than 21,000 kilometres of roadways are said to have been improved, in Britain at least 4,000 kilometres. The courses of many Roman roads survived for millennia. Livy mentions some of the most familiar roads near Rome, the milestones on them, at times long before the first paved road—the Appian Way. Unless these allusions are just simple anachronisms, the roads referred to were at the time little more than levelled earthen tracks. Thus, the Via Gabina is mentioned in about 500 BC. In the Itinerary of Antoninus, the description of the road system, after the death of Julius Caesar and during the tenure of Augustus, is as follows: "With the exception of some outlying portions, such as Britain north of the Wall and certain provinces east of the Euphrates, the whole Empire was penetrated by these itinera. There is hardly a district to which we might expect a Roman official to be sent, on service either civil or military, where we do not find roads, they reach the Wall in Britain.
A road map of the empire reveals that it was laced with a dense network of prepared viae. Beyond its borders there were no paved roads. There were, for instance, some pre-Roman ancient trackways in Britain, such as the Ridgeway and the Icknield Way. For specific roads, see Roman road locations below; the Laws of the Twelve Tables, dated to about 450 BC, required that any public road be 8 Roman feet wide where straight and twice that width where curved. These were the minimum widths for a via. Actual practices varied from this standard; the Tables command Romans to build public roads and give wayfarers the right to pass over private land where the road is in disrepair. Building roads that would not need frequent repair therefore became an ideological objective, as well as building them as straight as possible in order to build the narrowest roads possible, thus save on material. Roman law defined the right to use a road as liability; the ius eundi established a claim to use an footpath, across private land.
A via combined both types of servitutes, provided it was of the proper width, determined by an arbiter. The default width was the latitudo legitima of 8 feet. Roman law and tradition forbade the use of vehicles except in certain cases. Married women and government officials on business could ride; the Lex Iulia Municipalis restricted commercial carts to night-time access in the city within the walls and within a mile outside the walls. Roman roads varied from simple corduroy roads to paved roads using deep roadbeds of tamped rubble as an underlying layer to ensure that they kept dry, as the water would flow out from between the stones and fragments of rubble, instead of becoming mud in clay soils. According to Ulpian, there were three types of roads: Viae publicae, praetoriae or militares Viae privatae, glareae or agrariae Viae vicinales The first type of road included public high or main roads and maintained at the public expense, with their soil vested in the state; such roads led either to a town, or to a public river, or to another public road.
Siculus Flaccus, who lived under Trajan, calls them viae publicae regalesque, describes their characteristics as follows: They are placed under curatores, repaired by redemptores at the public expense. These roads bear the names of their constructors. Roman roads were named after the censor who had ordered their reconstruction; the same person served afterwards as c
The ballista, plural ballistae, sometimes called bolt thrower, was an ancient missile weapon that launched a large projectile at a distant target. Developed from earlier Greek weapons, it relied upon different mechanics, using two levers with torsion springs instead of a tension prod, offering much greater efficiency over tension-based weaponry; the springs consisting of several loops of twisted skeins. Early versions projected heavy darts or spherical stone projectiles of various sizes for siege warfare, it developed into a smaller precision weapon, the scorpio, the polybolos. The early ballista in Ancient Greece was developed from two weapons called oxybeles and gastraphetes; the gastraphetes was a handheld crossbow. It had a composite prod and was spanned by bracing the front end of the weapon against the ground while placing the end of a slider mechanism against the stomach; the operator would walk forward to arm the weapon while a ratchet prevented it from shooting during loading. This produced a weapon which, it was claimed, could be operated by a person of average strength but which had a power that allowed it to be used against armoured troops.
The oxybeles was a bigger and heavier construction employing a winch, was mounted on a tripod. It was used as a siege engine. With the invention of torsion spring bundle technology, the first ballista was built; the advantage of this new technology was the fast relaxation time of this system. Thus it was possible to shoot lighter projectiles with higher velocities over a longer distance. For an oxybeles, the rules of a torsion weapon demanded that the more energy could be stored, the thicker the prod and the heavier the projectile had to be to increase the amount of stored energy delivered to the projectile; the earliest form of the ballista is thought to have been developed for Dionysius of Syracuse, c. 400 BC. The Greek ballista was a siege weapon. All components that were not made of wood were transported in the baggage train, it would be assembled with local wood. Some were positioned inside large, mobile siege towers or on the edge of a battlefield. For all of the tactical advantages offered, it was only under Philip II of Macedon, more so under his son Alexander, that the ballista began to develop and gain recognition as both a siege engine and field artillery.
Historical accounts, for instance, cited that Philip II employed a group of engineers within his army to design and build catapults for his military campaigns. There is a claim that it was Philip II - with his team of engineers - who invented the ballista after improving Dionysius's device, an oversized slingshot, it was further perfected by Alexander, whose own team of engineers introduced innovations such as the idea of using springs made from strung coils of rope instead of a bow to achieve more energy and power when throwing projectiles. Polybius reported about the usage of smaller, more portable ballistae, called scorpions, during the Second Punic War. Ballistae could be modified to shoot both spherical and shaft projectiles, allowing their crews to adapt to prevailing battlefield situations in real time; as the role of battlefield artillery became more sophisticated, a universal joint was integrated into the ballista's stand, allowing the operators to alter the trajectory and firing direction of the ballista as required without a lengthy disassembly of the machine.
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. This included the great military machine advances the Greeks had made, as well as all the scientific, mathematical and artistic developments; the Romans'inherited' the torsion-powered ballista, which had by now spread to several cities around the Mediterranean, all of which became Roman spoils of war, including one from Pergamum, depicted among a pile of trophy weapons in relief on a balustrade. The torsion ballista, developed by Alexander, was a far more complicated weapon than its predecessor and the Romans developed it further into much smaller versions, that could be carried; the early Roman ballistae were made of wood, held together with iron plates around the frames and iron nails in the stand. The main stand had a slider on the top, into. Attached to this, at the back, was a pair of'winches' and a'claw', used to ratchet the bowstring back to the armed firing position.
The slider passed through the field frames of the weapon, in which were located the torsion springs, which were twisted around the bow arms, which in turn, were attached to the bowstring. Drawing the bowstring back with the winches twisted the taut springs, storing the energy to fire the projectiles; the bronze or iron caps, which secured the torsion-bundles were adjustable by means of pins and peripheral holes, which allowed the weapon to be tuned for symmetrical power and for changing weather conditions. The ballista was a accurate weapon, but some design aspects meant it could compromise its accuracy for range; the maximum range was over 500 yards. The Romans continued the development of the ballista, it became a prized and valued weapon in the army of the Roman Empire, it was used, just before the start of the Empir
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
The Antonine Wall, known to the Romans as Vallum Antonini, was a turf fortification on stone foundations, built by the Romans across what is now the Central Belt of Scotland, between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. Representing the northernmost frontier barrier of the Roman Empire, it spanned 63 kilometres and was about 3 metres high and 5 metres wide. Lidar scans have been carried out to establish the length of the wall and the Roman distance units used. Security was bolstered by a deep ditch on the northern side, it is thought. The barrier was the second of two "great walls" created by the Romans in what the English once called Northern Britain, its ruins are less evident than the better-known Hadrian's Wall to the south because the turf and wood wall has weathered away, unlike its stone-built southern predecessor. Construction began in AD 142 at the order of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, took about 12 years to complete. Antoninus Pius never visited Britain. Pressure from the Caledonians may have led Antoninus to send the empire's troops further north.
The Antonine Wall was protected by 16 forts with small fortlets between them. The soldiers who built the wall commemorated the construction and their struggles with the Caledonians in decorative slabs, twenty of which survive; the wall was abandoned only eight years after completion, the garrisons relocated back to Hadrian's Wall. In 208 Emperor Septimius ordered repairs; the occupation ended a few years and the wall was never fortified again. Most of the wall and its associated fortifications have been destroyed over time, but some remains are visible. Many of these have come under the care of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius ordered the construction of the Antonine Wall around 142. Quintus Lollius Urbicus, governor of Roman Britain at the time supervised the effort, which took about twelve years to complete; the wall stretches 63 kilometres from Old Kilpatrick in West Dunbartonshire on the Firth of Clyde to Carriden near Bo'ness on the Firth of Forth. The wall was intended to extend Roman territory and dominance by replacing Hadrian's Wall 160 kilometres to the south, as the frontier of Britannia.
But while the Romans did establish many forts and temporary camps further north of the Antonine Wall in order to protect their routes to the north of Scotland, they did not conquer the Caledonians, the Antonine Wall suffered many attacks. The Romans called the land north of the wall Caledonia, though in some contexts the term may refer to the whole area north of Hadrian's Wall; the Antonine Wall was shorter than Hadrian's Wall and built of turf on a stone foundation, but it was still an impressive achievement. It was a simpler fortification than Hadrian's Wall insofar as it did not have a subsidiary ditch system behind it to the south, as Hadrian's Wall did with its Vallum; the stone foundations and wing walls of the original forts on the Antonine Wall demonstrate that the original plan was to build a stone wall similar to Hadrian's Wall, but this was amended. As built, the wall was a bank, about four metres high, made of layered turves and earth with a wide ditch on the north side, a military way on the south.
The Romans planned to build forts every 10 kilometres, but this was soon revised to every 3.3 kilometres, resulting in a total of nineteen forts along the wall. The best preserved but one of the smallest forts is Rough Castle Fort. In addition to the forts, there are at least 9 smaller fortlets likely on Roman mile spacings, which formed part of the original scheme, some of which were replaced by forts; the most visible fortlet is Kinneil, at the eastern end of the Wall, near Bo'ness. There was once a remarkable Roman structure within sight of the Antonine Wall at Stenhousemuir; this was Arthur's O'on, a circular stone domed monument or rotunda, which may have been a temple, or a tropaeum, a victory monument. It was demolished for its stone in 1743. In addition to the line of the Wall itself there are a number of coastal forts both in the East and West, which should be considered as outposts and/or supply bases to the Wall itself. In addition a number of forts farther north were brought back into service in the Gask Ridge area, including Ardoch, Strageath and Dalginross and Cargill.
Recent research by Glasgow University has shown that the distance stones, stone sculptures unique to the Antonine Wall which were embedded in the wall to mark the lengths built by each legion, were brightly painted unlike their present bare appearance. These stones are preserved in the University's museum and are said to be the best-preserved examples of statuary from any Roman frontier. Several of the slabs have been analysed by various techniques including portable X-ray fluorescence. Tiny remnants of paint have been detected by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Several of the distance slabs have been scanned and 3-D videos produced. There are plans to reproduce the slabs, both digitally and in real physical copies, with their authentic colours. A copy of the Bridgeness Slab has been made and can be found in Bo'ness, it is expected that lottery funding will allow replicas of distance markers to be placed along the length of the wall. The wall was abandoned onl
Fall of the Western Roman Empire
The Fall of the Western Roman Empire was the process of decline in the Western Roman Empire in which the Empire failed to enforce its rule, its vast territory was divided into several successor polities. The Roman Empire lost the strengths that had allowed it to exercise effective control over its Western provinces. Increasing pressure from invading barbarians outside Roman culture contributed to the collapse; the reasons for the collapse are major subjects of the historiography of the ancient world and they inform much modern discourse on state failure. Relevant dates include 117 CE, when the Empire was at its greatest territorial extent, the accession of Diocletian in 284. Irreversible major territorial loss, began in 376 with a large-scale irruption of Goths and others. In 395, after winning two destructive civil wars, Theodosius I died, leaving a collapsing field army and the Empire, still plagued by Goths, divided between the warring ministers of his two incapable sons. Further barbarian groups crossed the Rhine and other frontiers, like the Goths were not exterminated, expelled or subjugated.
The armed forces of the Western Empire became few and ineffective, despite brief recoveries under able leaders, central rule was never consolidated. By 476 when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustulus, the Western Roman Emperor wielded negligible military, political, or financial power and had no effective control over the scattered Western domains that could still be described as Roman. Barbarian kingdoms had established their own power in much of the area of the Western Empire. While its legitimacy lasted for centuries longer and its cultural influence remains today, the Western Empire never had the strength to rise again; the Eastern Empire survived, though lessened in strength remained for centuries an effective power of the Eastern Mediterranean. While the loss of political unity and military control is universally acknowledged, the Fall is not the only unifying concept for these events. Since 1776, when Edward Gibbon published the first volume of his The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and Fall has been the theme around which much of the history of the Roman Empire has been structured.
"From the eighteenth century onward," historian Glen Bowersock wrote, "we have been obsessed with the fall: it has been valued as an archetype for every perceived decline, hence, as a symbol for our own fears." The Fall is not the only unifying concept for these events. The Fall of the Western Roman Empire was the process; the loss of centralized political control over the West, the lessened power of the East, are universally agreed, but the theme of decline has been taken to cover a much wider time span than the hundred years from 376. For Cassius Dio, the accession of the emperor Commodus in 180 CE marked the descent "from a kingdom of gold to one of rust and iron", while Gibbon began his narrative of decline from the reign of Commodus, after a number of introductory chapters. Arnold J. Toynbee and James Burke argue that the entire Imperial era was one of steady decay of institutions founded in republican times, while Theodor Mommsen excluded the imperial period from his Nobel Prize-winning History of Rome.
As one convenient marker for the end, 476 has been used since Gibbon, but other key dates for the fall of the Roman Empire in the West include the Crisis of the Third Century, the Crossing of the Rhine in 406, the sack of Rome in 410, the death of Julius Nepos in 480. Gibbon gave a classic formulation of reasons, he began an ongoing controversy by attributing a significant role to Christianity in the Western Roman Empire's fall, no longer accepted by modern Roman historians. However, he did give great weight to other causes of internal decline as well and to the attacks from outside the Empire; the story of its ruin is obvious. The victorious legions, who, in distant wars, acquired the vices of strangers and mercenaries, first oppressed the freedom of the republic, afterwards violated the majesty of the purple; the emperors, anxious for their personal safety and the public peace, were reduced to the base expedient of corrupting the discipline which rendered them alike formidable to their sovereign and to the enemy.
Alexander Demandt enumerated 210 different theories on why Rome fell, new ideas have emerged since. Historians still try to analyze the reasons for loss of political control over a vast territory. Comparison has been made with China after the end of the Han dynasty, which re-established unity under the Sui dynasty while the Mediterranean world remained politically disunited. From at least the time of Henri Pirenne scholars have described a continuity of Roman culture and political legitimacy long aft
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