Living by the Coins - Cristian Gazdac - ebook

Living by the Coins ebook

Cristian Gazdac

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After a forty-year gap following the excavations of the 1950s (and even earlier), large archaeological campaigns have been carried out since the 1990s in a quarter (also known as "Spaziergarten", "insula VI"and "Open-Air Museum") of the former "civilian" Roman town of Carnuntum. These new excavations have produced a large quantity of coins. Some of these findings have been published in the monumental volume Numismata Carnuntina - FMRÖ III.2 together with the rest of the coins found at Carnuntum in older collections. The new excavations were carried out according to new methodologies, as nowadays it is a desideratum to create numismatic corpora that should gather as much information as possible about each coin, not only from a numismatic point of view but also from an archaeological one. The aim is to provide more details about both general and specific patterns of the Roman economy, society and history of a residential quarter in a Roman town. Thus, the style of publication of coins - with a large scale of archaeological units (e.g. Roman streets, dwellings public edifices) and their stratigraphy - was chosen in this book in order to provide as much information as possible about each coin; in doing so we try to provide scholars with material and evidence that may help them to obtain a realistic picture of monetary circulation. Similarly, the coin as seen through an archaeological context may serve for a better understanding of the dating of archaeological phases, especially to illustrate when the coin may be useful within an archaeological context, as well as to highlight the pitfalls that one may come across if this artefact is misunderstood within the archaeological picture. We hope that this book will be a useful tool for numismatists, archaeologists, historians and any reader interested in understanding Roman life through coinage.

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CRISTIAN GĂZDAC               FRANZ HUMER

LIVING BY THE COINS

ROMAN LIFE IN THE LIGHT OF COINFINDS AND ARCHAEOLOGYWITHIN A RESIDENTIAL QUARTEROF CARNUNTUM

ARCHÄOLOGISCHER PARK CARNUNTUM. NEUE FORSCHUNGEN 8

Cristian Găzdac and Franz Humer:Living By The Coins.Roman Life in the Light of Coin Finds and Archaeology within a Residential Quarter of Carnuntum. Wien: HOLLITZER Wissenschaftsverlag, 2013

Copy-editing: Paul Delavos, Alison Dunlop (Hollitzer Wissenschaftsverlag, Wien) Layout: Barbara Ebeling Cover photo: www.kovacs-images.com

© HOLLITZER Wissenschaftsverlag, Wien 2013

HOLLITZER WissenschaftsverlagTrautsongasse 6, A-1080 Wien

A division ofHOLLITZER Baustoffwerke Graz GmbHStadiongasse 6-8, A-1010 Wien

www.hollitzer.at

All rights reserved.

Except for the quotation of short passages for the purposes of criticism and review, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form by any means, digital, electronic or mechanical, or by photocopying, recording, or otherwise, or conveyed via the Internet or a Web site without prior written permission of the publisher.

ISBN 978-3-99012-092-7 hbkISBN 978-3-99012-093-4 pdfISBN 978-3-99012-094-1 e-pub

CONTENTS

Introduction

Carnuntum – the Reborn City of Emperors

Numismatic Comments

Abbreviations and Bibliography

Technical Abbreviations

Photo credits

Tables

Tab. 1.

North Street – Site finds by issuers

Tab. 2.

North Street – Site finds by periods

Tab. 3.

South Street – Site finds by issuers

Tab. 4.

South Street – Site finds by periods

Tab. 5.

West Street – Site finds by issuers

Tab. 6.

West Street – Site finds by periods

Tab. 7.

Baths – Site finds by issuers

Tab. 8.

Baths – Site finds by periods

Tab. 9.

“Valetudinarium?” – Site finds by issuers

Tab. 10.

“Valetudinarium?” – Site finds by periods

Tab. 11.

Villa urbana – Site finds by issuers

Tab. 12.

Villa urbana – Site finds by periods

Tab. 13.

House I – Site finds by issuers

Tab. 14.

House I – Site finds by periods

Tab. 15.

House II – Site finds by issuers

Tab. 16.

House II – Site finds by periods

Tab. 17.

House III – Site finds by issuers

Tab. 18.

House III – Site finds by periods

Tab. 19.

House IV – Site finds by issuers

Tab. 20.

House IV – Site finds by periods

Tab. 21.

House V – Site finds by issuers

Tab. 22.

House V – Site finds by periods

Tab. 23.

Coin supply in the 4th century AD in the quarter of the “civilian” town of Carnuntum

Tab. 24.

The quarter of the “civilian” town Carnuntum – Site finds by issuers

Tab. 25.

The quarter of the “civilian” town Carnuntum – Site finds by periods

Tab. 26.

Coins by phases

Graphs

Fig. 1.

Graph of the coins from North Street by issuers

Fig. 2.

Graph of finds/period of the coins from North Street

Fig. 3.

Graph of the coins from South Street

Fig. 4.

Graph of finds/period of the coins from South Street

Fig. 5.

Graph of the coins from West Street

Fig. 6.

Graph of finds/period of the coins from West Street

Fig. 7.

Graph of the coins from baths

Fig. 8.

Graph of finds/period of reign of the coins from baths

Fig. 9.

Graph of the coins from “valetudinarium?”

Fig. 10.

Graph of finds/period of the coins from “valetudinarium?”

Fig. 11.

Graph of the coins from villa urbana

Fig. 12.

Graph of finds/period of the coins from villa urbana

Fig. 13.

Graph of the coins from House I (the hoard is not included)

Fig. 14.

Graph of finds/period of the coins from House I (the hoard is not included)

Fig. 15.

The hoard from House I – issuers and mints

Fig. 16.

Graph of the coins from House II

Fig. 17.

Graph of finds/period of the coins from House II

Fig. 18.

Graph of the coins from House IV

Fig. 19.

Graph of finds/period of the coins from House IV

Fig. 20.

Graph of the coins from House V

Fig. 21.

Graph of finds/period of the coins from House V

Fig. 22.

Graph of the coins from the quarter of the “civilian” town Carnuntum

Fig. 23.

Graph of finds/period of the coins from the quarter of the “civilian” town Carnuntum

Fig. 24.

Graph of the 4th century AD coin supply within a quarter of the “civilian” town Carnuntum

Fig. 25.

Graph of the coin denominations within the quarter of the “civilian” town Carnuntum (Republic to AD 238)

Fig. 26.

Graph of the coin denominations within the quarter of the “civilian” town Carnuntum (AD 238 to AD 284)

Fig. 27.

Graph of the coin denominations within the quarter of the “civilian” town Carnuntum (AD 284 to AD 435)

Fig. 28.

Pie-chart of 4th century AD mint distribution within a quarter of the “civilian” town Carnuntum

Fig. 29.

Graph of the 4th century AD coin supply within a quarter of the “civilian” town Carnuntum

Fig. 30.

Coins by phases: House I

Fig. 31.

Coins by phases: House II

Fig. 32.

Coins by phases: House III

Maps

Map 1.

The Roman Empire pointing out the location of Carnuntum

Map 2.

The virtual Carnuntum

Map 3.

The plan of the “civilian” town Carnuntum

Map 4.

The plan of the quarter under study of the “civilian” town Carnuntum

Map 5.

A detailed plan of the rooms within the edifices of the quarter under study

Map 6.

The quarter of the “civilian” town of Carnuntum, nowadays

Map 7.

House I

Map 8.

The spot of hoard from the House I

Map 9.

House II

Map 10.

The profile through room D of the House II pointing the coin offering

Map 11.

The Mediterranean World in the mid-5th century AD

Catalogues

North Street

South Street

East Street

West Street

Portico

Baths

“Valetudinarium?”

Building east of the “valetudinarium?”

Villa urbana

House I

House II

House III

House IV

House V

Former information centre – today the restaurant Forum Culinarium

Stray finds

Plates

Plate 1.

South Street

Plate 2.

South Street: 1–4; West Street: 5–12

Plate 3.

West Street

Plate 4.

West Street

Plate 5.

Baths: 1–8 the coin deposit; 9–12 coins found in the same layer with the coin deposit

Plate 6.

Baths: 1–5 coins found in the same layer with the coin deposit; 6–12 single finds

Plate 7.

Baths

Plate 8.

Baths: 1–6; “Valetudinarium?”: 7–10; Villa urbana: 11–12

Plate 9.

Villa urbana

Plate 10.

Villa urbana

Plate 11.

Villa urbana

Plate 12.

The hoard from “House I”

Plate 13.

House I: the hoard

Plate 14.

House I: the hoard

Plate 15.

House I: the hoard

Plate 16.

House I: the hoard

Plate 17.

House I: 1–2 hoards; 3–12 single finds

Plate 18.

House I

Plate 19.

House II

Plate 20.

House II

Plate 21.

House II: 1–6; House III: 7–8; House IV: 9–12

Plate 22.

House IV: 1–4; House V: 5–8

INTRODUCTION

After a forty-year gap following the excavations of the 1950s (and even earlier), large archaeological campaigns have been carried out since the 1990s in a quarter (also known as “Spaziergarten”, “insula VI” and “Open-Air Museum”) of the former “civilian” Roman town of Carnuntum. These new excavations have produced a large quantity of coins.

Some of these findings have been published in the monumental volume Numismata Carnuntina – FMRÖ III.2 together with the rest of the coins found at Carnuntum in older collections.

The new excavations were carried out according to new methodologies, as nowadays it is a desideratum to create numismatic corpora that should gather as much information as possible about each coin, not only from a numismatic point of view but also from an archaeological one. The aim is to provide more details about both general and specific patterns of the Roman economy, society and history of a residential quarter in a Roman town.

Thus, the style of publication of coins – with a large scale of archaeological units (e.g. Roman streets, dwellings public edifices) and their stratigraphy – was chosen in this book in order to provide as much information as possible about each coin; in doing so we try to provide scholars with material and evidence that may help them to obtain a realistic picture of monetary circulation. Similarly, the coin as seen through an archaeological context may serve for a better understanding of the dating of archaeological phases, especially to illustrate when the coin may be useful within an archaeological context, as well as to highlight the pitfalls that one may come across if this artefact is misunderstood within the archaeological picture.

We hope that this book will be a useful tool for numismatists, archaeologists, historians and any reader interested in understanding Roman life through coinage.

It would not have been possible to publish such a large amount of numismatic evidence and work without the tremendous, accurate and difficult work carried out over last decades by our colleagues and friends in the field of archaeology to whom we express our gratitude: Christoph Baier, Claudia Behling, Jasmine Cencic, Dagmar Fuchs, Ágnes Alföldy-Găzdac, Nicole Fuchshuber, Armgart Geiger, Andreas Konecny, Dominik Maschek, Matthias Pacher, Beatrix Petznek, Silvia Radbauer, Alexandra Rauchenwald, Barbara Stark, Barbara Weißmann and Ulrike Zeger.

The restoration work was carried out by János Papp (National Museum of Budapest, Hungary) and Kathrin Schmied (University of Vienna, Austria) to whom we also express our gratitude here.

We also want to thank to over seventy Romanian students from the University of ClujNapoca, Romania and eighty seasonal workers, whose efficient work has played an important part in providing us with numismatic material and archaeological information.

We would like to thank the friendly and helpful staff of the Archaeological Park Carnuntum Company and Museum Carnuntinum of the Government of Lower Austria where this book was written.

We are indebted to our colleagues and friends from the managerial department of the POSDRU programme (Cluj-Napoca, Romania) for their generous help concerning the logistics provided while this book was a work in progress.

We are grateful to the GERDA HENKEL Foundation, which has granted one of the authors a fellowship to conduct research whose results have also benefited this book.

CARNUNTUM – THE REBORN CITY OF EMPERORS

Fig. 1. Map of the archaeological landscape of Carnuntum. The shaded area shows the extension of the ancient city (2008)

1. A brief history of the site

The first Roman presence in what is now Lower Austria is connected with the grand scheme of Augustan expansion that planned to create the province of Germania. At the turn of the new era, there was a relatively peaceful situation in Central Europe following the integration of the Pannonian and Dalmatian regions into the province Illyricum and the annexation (without force) of the Celtic kingdom of Noricum. Rome’s attempt to crown the policy of border fortification in the mid-Danube region and along the Elbe by including the Marcomanni, however, resulted in an uprising in the year AD 6. This is known as the‹ so-called Pannonian-Dalmatian uprising, which destabilised Roman rule in today’s Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia, and the Empire was forced to show tremendous military strength. (see map 1)

Despite the impressive strength of the Roman troops, it took three years before the rebels surrendered; however, the armed struggles in Pannonia meant that the Emperor’s plan to conquer the Marcomanni by a projected “war on two fronts”, from the west and from the south, eventually failed. The first mention of Carnuntum as a Celtic town appeared in connection with these military conflicts.1 The exact location of the oldest Roman Carnuntum is still a matter of debate, despite intensive research conducted over the past few years. The most recent excavations on the Braunsberg in Hainburg (Austria), on the Thebener Kogel near Devin (Slovakia), as well as the large number of Celtic coin finds within the city limits of Bratislava (Slovakia) seem to indicate that the Celtic Carnuntum was located somewhere in the area north of the Danube, presumably within Bratislava territory.2 Thus the Danube and the Rhine formed a natural border of the Empire, a border which remained for the following centuries. During the 1st century AD, the northern border was secured with watchtowers and smaller camps situated at regular intervals. The region east of Vienna together with western Hungary became the province of Pannonia at the latest under Emperor Claudius I (AD 41–54). (see map 1)

Fig. 2. The area of the legionary fort Carnuntum (2000)

The archaeological finds indicate that the legio XV Apollinaris erected the first fortified camp on the south bank of the Danube around AD 40 (fig. 2).3 The Carnuntum legionary fortress is the only military camp between Regensburg and Belgrade on which no constructions were built between the Middle Ages and modern times. This makes this camp one of the most important archaeological sites on the Danube limes.4

Fig. 3. Remains of Roman bridgehead fortifications on the Danube at Stopfenreuth, near Carnuntum (1993)

In addition to the legion in the legionary fortress, a cavalry camp was established in Petronell and bridgehead fortifications were constructed (fig. 3) to guard the Danube bridge in Bad Deutsch-Altenburg.5 Although the province Pannonia Superior was located strategically, owing to its position on the insecure mid-Danube limes, it required a massive number of troops. At the end of the 1st century AD, four legions (out of thirty legions throughout the whole Empire) were garrisoned in Pannonia: at Vindobona, Carnuntum, Brigetio and Aquincum. From AD 106 the legio XIV Gemina Martia Victrix was camped at Carnuntum.

Fig. 4. Archaeological landscape of Bad Deutsch-Altenburg (2003)

Fig. 5. Virtual reconstruction of the legionary fort and the the canabae legionis in Bad Deutsch-Altenburg (2006)

The reasons for the fast development of the camp and the civilian settlement in Carnuntum were of a military nature – the military camp located at a high position on the Altenburg Plateau on the south bank of the Danube could easily control the Marchfeld region north of the Danube (fig. 4, 5). Thus Carnuntum played a key role in protecting the fortified Roman border in the mid-Danube region. In addition, the city was located at the junction of two ancient European trade routes: the Danube as a waterway together with the accompanying towpath flowing from west to east and the Amber Road from the Baltic to Italy.6

When the province was divided into Upper Pannonia (Pannonia Superior) and Lower Pannonia (Pannonia Inferior) between AD 103 and AD 107, Carnuntum became the capital of Upper Pannonia and thus the seat of the provincial governor. Aquincum (nowadays Budapest) became the capital of Lower Pannonia.

Fig. 6. Inscription from an amphitheatre naming municipium Aelium Karnuntum

Around AD 124, Emperor Hadrian, the former provincial governor of Lower Pannonia, raised Carnuntum to the status of a Roman municipality (municipium Aelium Carnuntum).7

Previous research had led to the belief that Carnuntum had also suffered massive destruction at the hands of Germanic tribes in this epoch, but the recent excavations have not enabled us to come to any decisive conclusions on this matter.