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Augusta Raurica

Augusta Raurica


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Augusta Raurica is a well-preserved Ancient Roman site near Basel in Switzerland. Founded in 15 BC, Augusta Raurica grew into a thriving colonia by the mid-1st century with a population of over 20,000 people. Amongst its sites remaining today, Augusta Raurica has a 50-row theatre, the remains of several public and private buildings as well as a maze of underground Roman sewers connected to a main pump room.

Augusta Raurica history

Led by Roman senator Lucius Munatius Plancus, the Romans founded the colony of Augusta Raurica around 44 BC, naming the settlement for the local Gallic tribe, the Rauraci. However, it was not until 15 BC when successful colonisation happened, owning to Emperor Augustus‘ conquest of the central Alps.

The city was founded on a high plateua near to the river Rhine and at the base of the Juna Mountains, establishing a frontier against the unconquered Germania. The Romans therefore built strong defences at Augusta Raurica; establishing a castrum at the base of the mountains, and the city was defended by steep slopes on the north, east and western sides.

By the 2nd century AD, Augusta Raurica was a thriving trading centre and capital of the local Roman province. With an estimated population of 20,000 people, Augusta Raurica exported smoked pork and bacon throughout the empire. As a typical Roman city, Augusta Raurica also possessed features such as an amphitheatre, forum, some smaller forums, an aqueduct, public baths, a variety of temples and the largest theatre north of the Alps.

A powerful earthquake damaged a lot of the city in 250 AD and shortly after, Alemanni Germans or some pillaging Roman troops destroyed Augusta Raurica. What remained of the city relocated to a fortress on the Rhine, Castrum Rauracense. By 1442, the descendants of these communities were divided along the rivers, one half becoming Habsburg territory and the other Swiss. Both became Switzerland after Napoleon defeated the Habsburgs in 1803.

Augusta Raurica today

Today, the excavated Augusta Raurica and later Roman castrum are heritage sites of national significance. The ruined settlement is open to the public, and visitors can see the modest remains of the amphitheatre, aqueduct, the forum with a temple to Jupiter and basilica, as well as the impressive remains of the theatre.

While much of the built up commercial area is yet to be excavated, you can still see the remains of a bakery, potter and tile kiln. Nearby, you can also stop inside the Roman Museum which houses Augusta Raurica’s most important finds, the highlight being the treasure of Kaiseraugst: a treasure hoard found in 1961 belonging most likely to a commander. The museum also includes a reconstructed Roman house to illustrate daily life.

Getting to Augusta Raurica

For those driving, Augusta Raurica is an 18 minute drive along the A3 from Basel. There is parking on the other side of the road opposite Augusta Raurica. If you are travelling by public transport, the S1 train from Basel SBB Station leaves every 30 minutes and takes 23 minutes to reach Kaiseraugst, an 11 minute walk from Augusta Raurica.


Roman History in Switzerland

We were taken to Augusta Raurica by my cousin and her husband when we were visiting Basel. We were not aware of the ruins until they told us about them. It was amazing to find such a well-preserved area in the middle of Europe. We spent a few hours exploring the Amphitheatre, housing and work areas. The preservation group have done a wonderful job of showing the life and history of the area. A must see for anyone visiting the area.

This is a nice place to walk around and look at. It is quite large so it is more of a place to walk around on a nice day rather then spend time inside. Bring a picknick, there are many places to eat, relax in the shade and take a break fro m looking at ruins when the kids get bored.

Of course if you visit Rome and then Augusta Raurica. it will looks a bit empty. But the place is nice for a quite walk.

Augusta Raurica just outside Basel used to be one of the biggest if not the biggest roman settlement north of the Alps. There is still lot to see. It has a museum, an Amphitheater where concerts are played once in a while and a big roman festival in August with roman soldiers, gladiators, shops (tents actually), food stands and much more.

This is an awesome site to visit. You don't necessarily think of Roman ruins when you think about Switzerland but this adds to your trip tremendously. Take a couple hours to explore the ruins and museum.

Roman ruins in Switzerland. Have visited Augusta Raurica twice now. Once for the annual Roman Festival (Römerfest Augusta Raurica) they have every August and just the other day.
The festival was excellent. Well spread out, and lots to see. Had gladiator battles, cavalry chases, a legionaries march and loads of informative and interactive stalls.
Only downside was that I was with the family and was fun, but it was so hot and there was next to no shade so we had to leave early enough. Also it was quite crowded and a little difficult to get a good view of the activities at times.

Went back last week, as we wanted to see what the animal park was like.
Well it was rubbish. A few birds was all that was there to see when we were visited, and it wasn't worth the effort to trek from the station to see such a small park. Embarrassingly bad!

So with that we decided that we might as well have a look at the roman ruins and all. See whats it like when the festival is not on!
So we walked a bit in the direction of the museum, and saw the Theater, which was impressive enough to see, and something we didn't get to see last time out.
Got to see the forum temple and the Roman house again which was a different experience sans crowds, nice and pleasant, with the long grass and gentle breeze.

I did want to check out the sewers as it looked cool but we were getting tired. After a few hours of walking we decided to call it a day.

Overall when taking the two visits into account, I think the Roman Festival is definitely worth checking out. Its fun and has a lot to see and do. But on a day with nothing special on at Augusta Raurica I think I'd pass.


Ancient Rome’s German, Swiss legacy preserved

“Bloody gladiator fights took place here,” read the brochure greeting tourists to the Roman amphitheater in Trier, Germany’s oldest city.

They still do, but with a lot less blood.

More than 1,500 years after its demise, the Roman Empire remains a vibrant part of modern-day Trier. Near the borders of France, Luxembourg and Belgium, today’s city of 105,000 was once the administrative capital of the Western Roman Empire and with its monolithic architecture became known as Roma Segunda — the Second Rome. The Romans brought to Trier a high standard of living, exquisite artwork and their famed architectural and engineering skills.

In northern Europe, on an arc from the Alps to the North Sea, in what was once called northeast Gaul and Upper Germania, the remnants of Roman civilization and empire still are easily found.

Trier, on the Moselle River, and Augusta Raurica just across the Rhine River from Germany in Switzerland, are two of the best-preserved and most important Roman cities, much more than provincial posts. With ancient buildings, active archaeological excavations and unearthed silver and gold hoards, both places are designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visits include the famous vineyards of the Moselle and of the Rhineland, both established by the Romans.

Resident gladiator Jan Krueger steps into antiquity each week from May to October at Trier’s Roman Amphitheater. Wearing loincloth and sandals, he leads testosterone-fueled classes for men wanting to learn firsthand about the physical stamina needed by Roman gladiators — those showmen who participated in life-and-death dramas in front of emperors and an audience of thousands.

In Roman Trier’s 4th century heyday, 20,000 would fill the amphitheater seats to watch presentations featuring chariots, exotic animals, music and battles by gladiators. Some were slaves or prisoners of war and others servants who learned the life-or-death, hand-to-hand combat style.

The reconstructed theater at Augusta Raurica held 10,000 people in its heyday in AD 200. Besides entertainment, the theater also was used for political and religious gatherings. The town had a separate amphitheater where gladiators performed their deadly combat. — Augusta Raurica Museum

“It doesn’t matter if I die or not,” was the attitude of these fighters, said Krueger. In fact, gladiators would pay homage to the emperor when entering the arena by saying, in Latin, “We, who are about to die, salute you!” Many went to what were deemed honorable deaths before the audiences, some were freed, while others retired from competition as ancient-style sports heroes.

Krueger’s students (about eight at a time) are generally young or middle-aged men seeking a taste of adventure, and who are willing to suffer cuts and bruises while trying to achieve a thumbs-up performance. Thankfully, they all return home in one piece after “feeling history itself on your own body.”

This isn’t for the fainthearted. Krueger displayed some of the heavy equipment used by students: daggers, defensive shields, leggings made of horse hair, iron helmets, cargo-type nets to trap opponents and tridents resembling pitchforks.

Demonstrating what used to be a fight to the finish, instructor Jan Kruger leads one of his gladiator classes in Trier as tourists watch in the Roman amphitheater. — Trier Tourism office

His classes range from Gladiator for a Day sessions costing $200 to a $4,000 personalized “Extreme Gladiator” program (with hotels and dinners) lasting three grueling days, starting with blunted replicas before the real weapons come out.

From Trier’s amphitheater it’s a short walk to the Imperial Baths, a massive gathering place with separate hot and cold bathing areas, and an intricate maze of tunnels with furnaces that heated the water to 104 degrees. A predecessor to a modern “spa day,” bathers could relax in either cold or hot water, get massages or have body hair removed and skin cleaned using scrapers, pumice or fermented urine.

Many of Trier’s masterpieces of Roman architecture remain integral parts of the city, such as the imposing Porta Nigra, or black gate. Adjacent to the tourist office, it is the largest preserved city gate in the ancient world. Close by is the Imperial Throne Room, or Basilika, which served the Emperor Constantine as an audience hall. It, too, is built on a grand scale: more than 220 feet long, 90 feet wide and 108 feet high. The building survives as the largest single indoor space left from ancient times. Today, it is used as a Protestant church.

The story of Trier is brought together at the city’s Rheinisches Landesmuseum, where treasures such as floor mosaics, grave monuments and the largest collection of Roman gold coins, discovered in the 1990s, are on display.

About 350 miles southeast of Trier, on the Rhine River, is the Roman settlement of Augusta Raurica, a short ride by train or bus from Basel, Switzerland.

This, too, is an important Roman site, but unlike Trier, the abandoned town lies in a rural setting that has been painstakingly brought back to its glory days. From its start as a border outpost on the Rhine through its role as a political and cultural center, Augusta Raurica showcases everyday life in a thriving Roman town.

Much of the history, based on archaeological finds, focuses on the lives of those in the upper classes, many of whom were Celts who were granted Roman citizenship.

Highlight of the on-site museum is the Kaiseraugst silver treasure, one of the most important finds from late antiquity. It is composed of 270 silver artifacts, which include platters, spoons and coins. It wasn’t until 1962 that the items, believed to be hidden quickly from invaders, were found after a chance excavation.

An Achilles plate is one of 270 Roman artifacts composing the Silver Treasure unearthed at the Augusta Raurica Roman town in Switzerland. — Augusta Raurica Museum

As in Trier, Augusta Raurica features a functioning amphitheater where gladiators once performed, and next to the Rhine are the remains of a bathhouse. Presented in a walking tour amid fields underlain with streets and homes of antiquity, there is a magnificent outdoor theater, still in use, that looks out on the site of a temple. Much of the civic center, or forum, lies underneath a large field. At one end are the remains of the circular curia, where a council of 100 men sorted out the town’s affairs

Evidence found near today’s parish church indicates there was a Christian community here going back to the time when Emperor Constantine the Great recognized Christianity as a religion in AD 313. In AD 380, it became the Roman state religion.

Visitors walking through the Roman ruins of Trier and Augusta Raurica, where 1.6 million artifacts from excavations are warehoused, need to pay a debt of gratitude to those who meticulously have put together the story of these centers of Roman power.

Something as simple as unearthed fish scales, or seeds, can be proof that the Romans living in these cities enjoyed mackerel or dates from the Mediterranean. Each had a heavy wine trade that was the precursor to today’s nearby vineyards.

And there are not-to-be-forgotten ghosts calling out, as this inscription on a tombstone found at Augusta Raurica shows:

“To the memory and the eternal remembrance of Eusstata, the sweetest wife ever lived (65 years)

“Amatus (her husband) set this stone.”

If you go

Getting there: Trier is a three-hour train ride from the Frankfurt Airport. Along the way, trains travel through both the scenic Rhine and Moselle river valleys. The city is a good base for trips to nearby Luxembourg. Historic Highlights of Germany

(www.historicgermany.com) helps set up traveler excursions to Trier and 12 other cities in Germany having strong historical and cultural offerings. Through a partner, it is offering a four-day “Cities of the Rhine and Moselle” that includes a day in Trier, accommodation and rail travel for under $110 per person a day.

Gladiator School (In German):

Local information: Most of the Roman architectural sites and the Landesmuseum are within the central city and are easily reached by walking from the city’s tourism office next to the Porta Nigra.

Tourist Information: Trier has information on Jan Krueger’s gladiator school, accommodations, events and restaurants.

Rheinisches Landesmuseum: Trier’s archeological museum displays treasures from the Roman era.

Getting there: Close to Basel, Switzerland, on the Rhine River, the museum and the unearthed town with its Roman architecture and monuments is a short ride by train or Bus No. 51 from Basel. You can also arrive from Basel by excursion boat on the Rhine. Museum exhibits include the Silver Treasure, Roman art and craftwork and an upper-class Roman house. Admission is charged. Walking the grounds is free.

Regional information: The Basel Tourism office has information on accommodations, attractions transport and restaurants. Sold at hotels and by the tourism office, a BaselCard is a one-stop pass to local transit and museum discounts, including Augusta Raurica.


Jewish Life in Late Antiquity: From Colonia Agrippina to Augusta Raurica

Thanks to the order of a Roman Emperor from 321 CE that allowed the municipal council of the Roman colony at the site of modern-day Cologne to compel Jews to service, we know that Jews were part of late Roman society in the northern European provinces at least 17 centuries ago. A tiny ring of similar age bearing a menorah was unearthed in the Roman town of Augusta Raurica in modern-day Switzerland bears further testament to the presence of Jews in the late Roman Empire in Europe.

But what was life like in these outposts of the Empire? How did Jews relate to their pagan and Christian neighbors, and how do we know? As Leo Baeck Institute explores this history in the Shared History Project, we are pleased to convene three experts on late antiquity for a discussion of the archeological and historical evidence surrounding Jewish life in ancient Rome, the social and political structure of late Roman Society, and the role the Jews played in particular.

Dr. Thomas Otten is the founding director of MiQua – LVR-Jewish Museum in the Archeological Quarter of Cologne. After studying pre- and early history, classical archaeology and ancient history, he managed the Rhenish Association for Monument and Landscape Conservation before heading the department of conservation and preservation at the public monument agency in the Ministry of Construction of North Rhine-Westphalia from 2006 to 2016. Between 2010 and 2015 he curated archaeology exhibitions on behalf of the federal state. He lectures at the Institute of Archaeology of Cologne University.

Prof. Werner Eck was Professor of Ancient History in the University of Cologne from 1979 to 2007. He earned a PhD in Ancient History from the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg. He is a leading expert on the history of the Roman Empire, and he was awarded the Max Planck Prize for International Research for “for pioneering insights in the history of the Roman Empire.” He was a member of the Institute for Avanced Study in Princeton from 1983–84, and at the Sackler-Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Tel Aviv from 1999–2000. He is Dr. h. c. of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and one of the co-editors of the Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae, a multi-lingual corpus of the inscriptions from Alexander to Muhammad in Israel.


Índice

Na margem sul do Reno, o sítio estende-se nos territórios das comunas de Augst - Augusta Ráurica - e de Kaiseraugst, no eixo de comunicação que liga Roma à Germânia, pelo Passo de São Bernardo, Avêntico, a atual Avenches, Solodurum, a Soleura atual e Windisch, e as suas ligações com Augusta Raurica através da Garganta do Taubenloch. Por outro lado o Rio Reno também favoreceu o comércio e as ligações com o resto do vale.

Devido ao terreno, a localidade estava dividida em três partes junto ao rio os artesãos e comerciantes, a meio da colina as residências, e no cimo da colina o campo militar, construído por volta do ano 270.

Segundo a inscrição em um túmulo, Lúcio Munácio Planco fundou em 44 a.C. em Basileia a Colônia Ráurica. Por volta do ano 200 contava-se cerca de 20 000 habitantes, número superior ao de Avenches. Mesmo sem nunca ter tido um papel muito importante a nível económico e de comunicações, sua "idade de ouro" ocorreu entre o fim do século I e metade do século III, quando quase tudo que circulava entre o Baixo e o Alto Reno passava por Augusta Raurica.

Em 1582 Andreas Ryff e Basile Amerbach o Jovem fizeram escavações na ruína do teatro, o que faz deste sítio o primeiro campo de investigação arqueológico a Norte dos Alpes, e a Sociedade de História e de Arqueologia de Basileia foi encarregada destas pesquisas em 1839, chegando a comprar a zona do teatro romano do sítio em 1884 para impedir qualquer depreciação, o que aliás tem continuado a fazer pois com a ajuda da fundação Pro-Augusta, e mesmo pelo Cantão de Basileia-Campo, continuam a comprar parcelas.

Augusta Raurica possuía todas as infraestruturas de uma colónia romana uma Cúria, ao lado de uma Fórum Romano, e o Anfiteatro. A cidade e as redondezas mostram uma mistura de típica de cultura romana e autóctone. Encontraram-se em seis templos galo-romanos que formavam uma verdadeira cintura na periferia ocidental da cidade, e existem inscrições, esculturas e cerâmicas relacionadas com os sacerdotes do culto imperial, flâmines augustais (flamines Augustales) -, com inscrições das numerosas divindades invocadas.


Ancient sites similar to or like Augusta Raurica

Located in north-west Switzerland beside the river at Kaiseraugst, a short distance to the east of Basel. Plans to build and operate the power plant were the subject of increasingly high-profile controversy over many years. Wikipedia

Part of the Roman Republic and Empire for a period of about six centuries, beginning with the step-by-step conquest of the area by Roman armies from the 2nd century BC and ending with the decline of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. Smoothly integrated into the prospering Empire, and its population assimilated into the wider Gallo-Roman culture by the 2nd century AD, as the Romans enlisted the native aristocracy to engage in local government, built a network of roads connecting their newly established colonial cities and divided up the area among the Roman provinces. Wikipedia

City in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine. Switzerland's third-most-populous city with about 180,000 inhabitants. Wikipedia


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Ad Arma! Römisches Militär des 1. Jahrhunderts n.Chr. in Augusta Raurica. Forschungen in Augst, Band 28

Taken as a whole, the archaeological finds from the site of Augusta Raurica, 1 near Basel, are among the most meticulously excavated, inventoried, preserved, displayed, and (now) published remains of the ancient Roman world. Eckhard Deschler-Erb [ED-E] conceived the idea for the present volume during his work at the Castrum Rauracense located in the lower town area (Kaiseraugst) of Augusta Raurica. 2 In Ad Arma!, ED-E expands his review of military finds to the entire municipal area and a total of 872 objects.

The book’s introduction (11-13) sketches the history of the research and states its aims and methodology. The next part, “Analysis of Finds” (14-73), is divided into sections and subsections as follows:

Offensive weapons: artillery, heavy javelins ( pila), spears ( iacula/hastae), arrows, swords, and daggers.
Defensive equipment: helmets, shields, greaves, and chain- and scale-mail.
Belt and apron parts.
Cavalry tack: pendants, bridle parts, saddle parts, and riders’ equipment.
Additional equipment: clasps, “buttons,” and a fragment of an unidentifiable metal fitting. Signaling instruments: (the mouthpieces of) various horns ( tuba, lituus, cornu, bucina).

The descriptions in each category are enhanced by many photographs and detailed line drawings, charts showing distribution of finds by dates, and 327 footnotes mostly directing the reader to discussions of the same or similar items in the archaeological literature.

The book’s next two sections (74-104) evaluate the finds in the context of the history of Augusta Raurica. In particular, ED-E draws on his carefully compiled time-distribution patterns to disclose periods of peak military presence (reigns of Tiberius, Nero, and to a lesser extent the Flavians). He also plots find concentrations spatially, with many maps and charts, insula by insula in the lower town and the central upper town (Augst) and certain of its suburbs. ED-E also makes interesting and judicious inferences about social and economic conditions of life as they evolved over time in this provincial city.

No less than nine concordances (111-123) enable users to (a) consult or cross-refer to other works 3 treating a specific item, (b) identify the location of finds held in collections 4 outside the Rmermuseum Augst, (c) compare catalogue numbers in the present volume with their museum inventory numbers, (d) associate catalogue numbers with find-complex (assemblage) numbers and inventory years, (e) ascertain dates of objects by five termini ante quos (A.D. 30, 50, 70/75, 110, 150), and (f) position any item by date within an insula or region.

A bibliography and list of illustration credits (124-127) is followed by a catalogue of all the finds (128-189). For each item, the following are provided: inventory number plate and/or illustration number in Ad Arma! find-complex number precise find spot by region and insula (broadly and sometimes narrowly fixed) dates of any ceramics and coins in the same find-complex dimensions and weight as well as type (spear point, buckle, etc.) and material a short description present repository citation of any previous publication.

The book concludes with forty-five pages of plates showing excellent line drawings (by Stefan Bieri) of every object in either 1:2 or 2:3 scale. A forty-sixth plate is a topographical plan of the whole site with region and insula numbers indicated.

This is a worthy and handsome installment in the Forschungen in Augst series its high production values extend to an attractive four-color cover illustrating a Roman legionary soldier in full battle gear. By his painstaking survey of archaeological finds, ED-E has fleshed out the military and in part even civil life in an important Roman outpost with extraordinary clarity and exactitude. His book will satisfy the needs of students and specialists alike.

1. See The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, s.v. Augusta Rauricorum ( http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.04.0006%3Aid%3Daugusta-rauricorum), and Alex R. Furger and Paula Zsidi (edd.), Out of Rome, Augusta Raurica / Aquincum: Das Leben in zwei römischen Provinzstädten (Basel 1997), with review at http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/1998/98.6.13.html.

2. See Eckhard Deschler-Erb, et alii, Das frühkaiserzeitliche Militärlager in der Kaiseraugster Unterstadt, Forschungen in Augst, Band 12 (Augst 1991).

3. E. Deschler-Erb (note 2 above) A. Kaufmann-Heinimann, Augst: Die römischen Bronzen der Schweiz 1 (Mainz 1977) id., Neufunde und Nachträge: Die römischen Bronzen der Schweiz 5 (Mainz 1994) S. Fünfschilling, “Römische Altfunde von Augst-Kastelen,” Interne Augster Arbeitspap. 2 [unpublished] (Augst 1993) S. Deschler-Erb, Beinartefakte aus Augusta Raurica: Rohmaterial, Technologie, Typologie und Chronologie. Forschungen in Augst, Band 27 (Augst 1998).

4. Historisches Museum Basel Schweizerisches Landesmuseum Zürich Sammlung Frey, Kaiseraugst.


And the next one?

If only the Basel-Reinach fault is responsible for earthquakes around Basel, then the recurrence time is likely around 2000 years and Basel has plenty of time to prepare. Too much time, probably: politicians are not easily interested in events more than one election cycle in the future. All politics is short term. After all, the children who may be affected can’t currently vote – politicians who chase the children’s votes tend not to do well. But if more faults are involved, then the recurrence time cannot be used to predict the next event, as a different fault may fail next. In that case, the next such earthquake could happen at any time. That raises (or rather uplifts) the question: How well prepared is Basel?

A sobering assessment done in 2012 suggested, not that well. The assessment modeled an M6.6 earthquake near Basel, and predicting significant impacts:

  • Between 1,000 and 6,000 fatalities
  • 60,000 injuries
  • 1,600,000 people homeless in the short term (yes, you noticed that right: for some reason it is twice the number of inhabitants)
  • damage to half of all buildings, with property damage exceeding 50 billion of that most stable of currencies, the Swiss Franc.

Such an event could seriously damage Switzerland’s stability, serious enough to expect that the politicians will go for the political solution: decide more study is needed. After all, it may go away.


Cuntegn

Tenor l’inscripziun sepulcrala dal chau d’armada da Caesar Lucius Munatius Plancus è vegnida fundada ina colonia en il territori dals Rauracs probablamain ils 21 da zercladur da l’onn 44 a.C. Da quel temp n’han ins però pudì cumprovar fin uss nagins chats. Igl è pussaivel che la colonia numnada n’ha betg pudì vegnir realisada – en consequenza da la guerra civila ch’è prorutta suenter la mort da Caesar – ubain che la colonia da Plancus n’è betg vegnida fundada sper Augst, mabain a Basilea (Basilia).

Ina colonisaziun romana durabla ha però pir gì lieu suenter la conquista da las Alps Centralas sut l’imperatur Augustus l’onn 15 a.C. Il pli vegl chat ch’ha pudì vegnir cumprovà fin qua cun agid da la dendrocronologia deriva da l’onn 6 a.C.

L’inscripziun da fossa da Munatius Plancus inditgescha sco num da la colonia be a moda generala ‹Colonia Raurica›. In’inscripziun fragmentara dal temp dad Augustus menziunesch ina Colonia P[aterna](?) M[unatia](?) [Felix](?) [Apolli]naris [Augusta E]merita [Raur]ica. Sco ch’il term ‹Emerita› mussa – premess che la reconstrucziun da l’inscripziun è correcta – sa tractavi d’ina colonia da veterans.

Abstrahà da questa perditga rudimentara chatt’ins emprimas cumprovas segiras dal num Augusta pir tar il geograf Ptolemaeus vers 150 s.C. (en furma greca sco Augústa Rauríkon, quai che correspunda al num latin Augusta Rauricorum).

Cun quai sa metta Augusta Raurica en retscha cun pliras autras colonias ch’èn vegnidas fundadas dal temp dad Augustus. Igl existan numnadamain anc duas ulteriuras impurtantas basas dal plan da conquistas dad Augustus che portan il surnum da l’imperatur: Augusta Praetoria al pe sid dal Grond Son Bernard, oz Aosta, ed Augusta Vindelicum, oz Augsburg, sco avantposta vers il Danubi. Questas trais Augustae enserran las Alps occupadas dad Augustus en furma d’in triangul, il qual drizza sia vasta basa dal Cumbel dal Rain fin al Danubi vers la Germania betg occupada.

En il decurs da las exchavaziuns èsi sa mussà che la citad giascha sin ina planira auta, betg lunsch davent dal Rain. Il flum Ergolz ed il Violenbach han maglià or da la terrassa in triangul, dal qual la basa sa chatta a l’ur nord dal Giura ed ha ina ladezza da ca. 1 km. Il ‹piz› dal triangul guarda vers il Rain situà en il nord e furma in chau che sa numna Kastelen e che regorda pia ad in chastè (castellum). La distanza da la basa fin al punct da culminaziun dal triangul mesira medemamain radund 1 km. Sin questa surfatscha auta ch’è circumdada en il vest, en il nord ed en l’ost da rievens spundivs han ins erigì la citad. Las indicaziuns da l’architect dal plan da la citad, il qual aveva concepì il plan orizontal e l’extensiun da la citad, han ils geometers transponì sin la cuntrada. A mintga edifizi public impurtant han ins attribuì sia plazza. En emprima lingia vala quai per il tempel dal dieu principal Jupiter cun l’altar grond davant il punct central sontg, a partir dal qual è vegnida concepida la rait da vias. Per quest intent han ins l’emprim tratg tras il triangul ina lingia longitudinala che deviescha da la direcziun nord per 36° vers vest per lung da quella è vegnida construida la via principala da la citad. Parallel tar questa lingia longitudinala han ins concepì ulteriuras vias en ina distanza da mintgamai 55 meters. Alura è l’axa longitudinala vegnida sutdividida en 16 parts tuttina grondas che mesiran mintgamai 66 m (225 pes romans). Ils puncts da tagl han ins collià a 10 vias traversalas. Uschia è resultada ina rait da vias rectangulara e quartiers da citad da ca. 50 sin 60 meters. La via è vegnida munida cun in fundament solid da glera e da mintga vart supplementarmain cun foss d’aua. Las vias principalas disponivan en pli da vias da peduns cuvertas ch’eran spartidas dal traffic tras retschas da colonnas.

Ils cunfins da la Colonia Raurica na sa laschan betg pli fixar cun tutta segirezza. Ins emprova da deducir quels or da la retrospectiva cun prender en mira l’extensiun da l’Augstgau dal temp medieval tempriv. Tenor quai avess la colonia tanschì davent da Basilea dal Rain si fin a la sbuccada da l’Aara, alura da l’Aara si fin a la sbuccada da la Sigger sutvart Soloturn, da qua fin a la Lüssel e silsuenter per lung da la Birs puspè fin a Basilea. Questa supposiziun para però da correspunder be parzialmain a la realitad. Tenor perscrutaziuns pli novas dependevan numnadamain bains purils cun buls da quadrels da las legiuns da Vindonissa er administrativamain dal champ da legiunars da Vindonissa, oz Vindisch (AG). Tals bains tanschan però sur il Bözberg fin a Frick ed en la val vischina dal flum Sisseln, la quala vegn cunfinada en il vest tras la Mumpferfluh che croda andetgamain vers il Rain. Or da las relaziuns geograficas po perquai vegnir concludì che la Colonia Raurica tanscheva en l’ost fin al Mumpf dad oz (mons firmans = muntogna da finiziun, da cunfin). Interessantamain sa chattava en quest lieu medemamain in’insla dal Rain cun in’autra colonia romana che correspunda a la citad odierna da Bad Säckingen (l’etimologia da quest num stat en connex cun la provinza Maxima Sequanorum dal temp da Diocletian il bratsch dal Rain situà en il nord, il qual sparteva l’insla da la terra franca tudestga, è vegnì emplenì l’onn 1830). En il vest vegn, sco gia menziunà, ad esser stà staziunà in post da duana en vischinanza da la sbuccada da la Birs sper Basilea. Fossas a cremaziun dal temp preroman ch’èn vegnidas chattadas il 1937 sper la baselgia da Neuallschwil laschan supponer ch’in tal post sa chattava er sper il stradun al nord che maina en direcziun da l’Alsazia (vers Blotzheim).

Tut en tut cumpigliava la Colonia Raurica uschia il chantun Basilea, la part inferiura dal Fricktal (AG) e la part orientala dal Giura situà en il chantun Soloturn. Quai dat in territori da radund 700 km².

Suenter sia fundaziun è il lieu sa sviluppà ad ina citad romana cun radund 10 000 fin 15 000 abitants, pia da dimensiun considerabla per las relaziuns al nord da las Alps. Dal temp da la pli gronda fluriziun – durant il lung temp da pasch dal prim al terz tschientaner – disponiva Augusta Raurica da tut quai che tutgava tar la vita romana. Igl aveva in teater, in amfiteater, in forum principal, divers forums pli pitschens, in aquaduct, divers tempels e plirs bogns publics. Ed er il mastergn fluriva: uschia fimentav’ins per exempel schambun e charnpiertg per l’export en autras parts da l’Imperi roman.

Vers l’onn 250 ha in grond terratrembel destruì considerablas parts da la citad. Vitiers èn vegnidas pli tard ulteriuras destrucziuns tras invasiuns dals Alemans e/u da truppas romanas sblundregiantas dal temp da la crudada dal Limes. En consequenza da quai èn sa furmads dus novs abitadis, ils dus Augst: d’ina vart la colonia marcantamain pli pitschna situada sin la collina dal castel dad Augst, da l’autra vart l’impurtanta basa Castrum Rauracense situada al Rain e munida cun in mir da citad. Quests dus novs abitadis furman quasi l’origin dals dus vitgs dad oz, Augst e Kaiseraugst.

A l’entschatta han omadus vitgs però furmà in’unitad sut il num Augst e sa chattavan en l’Augstgau. L’onn 1442 èn ils dus lieus alura vegnids spartids per lung dals flums Ergolz e Violenbach. Il territori situà al vest dal cunfin ha vinavant fatg part dal domini da Basilea ch’è s’allià il 1501 a la Veglia Confederaziun. L’onn 1833 è Augst daventà ina part dal chantun Basilea-Champagna.

La part dal Frickgau situada en l’ost dal cunfin Ergolz e Violenbach – il territori da Laufenburg – è vegnì sut domini habsburgais. Per pudair differenziar meglier ils dus lieus, è quest ultim vegnì numnà uss – pervi da l’appartegnientscha al Sontg Imperi roman – Kaiseraugst. Quest lieu è pir vegnì il 1803 tar la Svizra, suenter ch’ils territoris habsburgais en la regiun eran ids a perder en rom da las Guerras da coaliziun.

L’amfiteater dad Augusta Raurica è vegnì erigì l’onn 200 s.C. e purscheva plazza a 6000 aspectaturs. Ma gia suenter 70 onns è l’amfiteater ì en decadenza. Ozendi serva l’amfiteater restant (ch’è vegnì reconstruì al lieu original) sco tribuna al liber per concerts e festas popularas. En pli han ins installà ina preschentaziun multimediala.

Ina gronda part dals edifizis romans è vegnida perscrutada e conservada tras exchavaziuns. Igl èn quai en emprima lingia edifizis publics:

  • il teater, il qual furma in’unitad architectonica cun
  • il tempel sin il Schönbühl
  • il forum principal cun il tempel da Jupiter, la basilica ed il lieu da reuniun dal cussegl da la citad
  • l’amfiteater, dal qual èn però sa mantegnidas restanzas be rudimentaras
  • l’aquaduct che provediva Augusta Raurica nà da Liestal cun aua da baiver (or dal flum Ergolz) quel sa lascha visitar en il Heidenloch a Liestal ed en il nordost da Füllinsdorf.

Vitiers vegnan divers edifizis privats (ina taverna, ina pasternaria, ina vaschlaria e furns da brischar quadrels) sco er in tschancun dals chanals d’aua persa. Radund 80 % dal territori ch’era surbajegià dal temp dals Romans n’han ins percunter betg anc perscrutà. Augusta Raurica vala sco citad romana il pli bain mantegnida al nord da las Alps, damai ch’i n’è sa sviluppada sin ses territori nagina citad medievala u moderna. En vastas parts da la vischnanca dad Augst regia in scumond da bajegiar ordvart rigid. Lubientschas da bajegiar vegnan be concedidas a moda restrictiva e suenter vastas examinaziuns archeologicas. Tenor la politica d’exchavaziun vertenta duain parts dad Augusta Raurica vegnir conservadas sapientivamain en la terra per generaziuns futuras.

Ils pli impurtants chats, per exempel il stgazi d’argient da Kaiseraugst u la statuetta da Victoria [2] , èn vegnids rendids accessibels a la publicitad en il Museum roman ad Augst, ensemen cun in edifizi sper il teater ch’è per part vegnì reconstruì.


Watch the video: Evening Walk at Augusta Raurica. Basel, Switzerland (June 2022).