Jürgen TRUMM

(Kantonsarchäologie Aargau, Switzerland)


  • Presentation of streets and places inside and outside the roman legionary fortress of VINDONISSA
  • Discussion of the function of the so-called <forum> and of long-distance roads running across a roman military camp.

Abstract: During the last three decades, vast rescue excavations at the roman site of VINDONISSA (today Windisch and Brugg, Kanton Aargau, Switzerland) have yielded a lot of new archaeological data.

Based on this data, a new plan of roman Vindonissa as well as a new model of the site had been created.

This new look on Vindonisa is a good starting point for a new consideration of the roman road system.

Inside the fortress, the hierarchy of the main streets (via principalis, via praetoria, via decumana, via sagularis) as well as their faith in late-antiqity and Middle Ages is in question. Outside the fortress, the main road running across the roman legionary fortress (via principalis) was at the same time a section of the main road through roman Switzerland – how did that work in practice? Should we expect a sort of diversion, so that all the civil trafic was routed round the military area?

Furthermore, new excavations inside the so-called <forum< brought new light to this large building. There are similar features near the roman legionary camps of Nijmegen, Mirebeau, Carnuntum and Burnum, mostly attached to a nearby amphitheatre. What was the function of these buildings, surrounding a large open area?  Are there other roman terms (campus, ludus, palaestra) that could replace the problematic term <forum>?

Keywords: VINDONISSA, legionary fortress, forum, streets