Emergence of Civitas capitals in Pannonia

See this text in

Political structure before the Romans in Pannonia

From the 5th century BC., during the 4th-3rd century B.C. Celtic tribes settled down in the territory of the Carpathian basin. The names of the first settled tribes are not known. The scordiscus tribe appeared in the beginning of the 3rd century B.C., after 279 BC., in the territory of the confluence of the Danube and the Sava. In the 2nd century BC., their territory extended to the Dalmatian coast and to the western border of Thracia. The Pannonian and the Dardan tribes were under their authority as well. Their Balcan hegemony came to its end in the 80’s BC., when they were defeated by Scipio Asiagenus. At this time they drew back to the region of Syrmia, where we meet them in time of the roman conquest.

In 191 BC., from Italy expelled boius tribe migrated to the Danube (Strabon V,1,6,) and they established their zone of power on the NW-part of the Carpathian basin, which meant loose alliance of different Celtic tribes and ethnic groups. This alliance was ceased by the Dacians’ conquest between 60-50 BC.

In 45 BC. the boii retreated to NW-Pannonia, after the victory of the Dacian leader, Boirebistas and the region, which was ruled by them, became - in the written sources mentioned - deserta boiorum. At this time, names of different tribes appear in the sources, which lived under the boius supremacy: in the Danube bend the Eravisci, to south from them the Hercuniates, to NE from the Danube bend (in the Barbaricum) the Osi, Cotini, Anartii, Taurisci.

The Pannonians, who gave the latter name of the province, were for the first time mentioned by the written tradition (Polybios frg. 64=122) in the middle of the 2nd century BC. The praeceltic group, related to the Illyrians, lived in the NW-part of the Balkans, and occupied a large territory between the Drava and the Dardans, resp. the Illyrians living in Dalmatia. On the streght of the descriptions of Appian and Strabon (Illyr.14.22) they were divided into several tribes, but only two of them, the Breuci and the Andizetes lived in the territory of the latter Pannonia. Till the end of the 2nd century BC, they were under scordiscus authority, and probably set themselves free in the beginning of the 1st century BC. In the 60’s BC, they already ruled the valley of the Sava. It is known by Appian (Illyr.22.) that: „ the Pannonians don’t live in towns, but at their relations in villages and homesteads, they haven’t got common councils and common leaders, who stand be the head of them.” The fact, that Segestiké (the latter Siscia) was several times mentioned in the written sources as a town in the territory of the Pannonians, which was trying to be occupied in 156 B.C., and 119 B.C., and only in 35 BC. was taken by Octavianus, is inconsistent with Appian’s description. Before immediately to the roman conquest, in the region of the Central-Danube the following ethnic groups could be found: east from the Danube bend the Osi, above them the Cotini and the Anartii. The Tisza-river (Parisus) was the frontier between the territory of the Dacians and the Celts. The Boii lived in the territory of the Lajta-river, south from them the Taurisci (in the vicinity of Nauportus) and the Breuci between the Drava and Sava. The region of the present Syrmia was occupied by the Scordisci. At the time of Caesar’s death there wasn’t such a state, which could have been dangerous opponent of Rome. The tribes, living in the territory of Pannonia, were organized into civitas peregrinae, after Pannonia’s conquest, nor later than the Pannonian tribes’ rebellion (about 10 A.D.). Some name of the civitas pergrinae with roman origin shows, that they were artificially established by the Romans and they weren’t original units of tribes. These names are known by the place-lists of Pliny (NH III, 48) and Ptolemaios. The gravestones and military diplomas provide more information about the location of tribes.


Native predecessors in Pannonia

As neither it is known much about the centres of civitates – on the one hand it is not known where they situated, on the other hand because of the lack of researches – nor the antecedents can not be in detail discussed. In the middle of the 1st century B.C., in the time of the Dacian-wars, in the territory of the latter Pannonia several fortified, high-altitude settlements were established, which could have corrasponded to the centres of civitates.

The most well-investigated civitas in Pannonia is the civitas Eraviscorum. Both Pliny (NH III, 148) and Ptolemaios (Geogr. II, 15, 3) mention it in the list of the province’s ethnic groups. The name of the civitas, from the end of the 1st century A.D., and the beginning of the 2nd century AD. on several grave-insciptions can be found. Their names in the sources are Eravisci and Aravisci, on their coins they appeared in form of Iravisci and Ravis(ci)

The territory of the civitas Eraviscorum stretched from the Danube bend to the northern part of the Hegyhát, it was separated from the civitas Azaliorum by the ranges of the Pilis and Vértes, in their southern vicinity there was the civitas of the Hercuniates, which occupied the region of the Mecsek and the Hegyhát.

According to the viewpoint of the up-to-date researches, it can be imagined that the eravisci arrived in the territory of the latter Pannonia together with the boii, and they took possession of the Danube bend in the course of the development of the boius’ sphere of power. According to another theory, the tribe crossed the Danube from its northern bank to the territory of the latter civitas in course of the migrations after the Dacian victory in the middle of the 1st century BC. The region between the Danube and the Hills of Buda, because of its favourable geographical site, could be the centre both of the Romans and of the eravisci, which is rightly searched in the attraction-area of the latter centre of the province, Aquincum. On the Gellért-hill, a fortified settlement of refugium character was established to utilizing the good possibilities of river crossing and the advantages of the high-altitude location. On the southern slope of the Gellért-hill, square dug-in houses with rounded corners, waste pits and remains of a factory site were found. The potter-quarter was built at the safest part of the hill, but far away from water and clay resource, which can be probably explained by the Dacian threat. The oppidum could have named after the Celtic supreme god, Teutanus, and it didn't have the name civitas Eraviscorum.

Simultaneously with the oppidum, or not much later, settlements on the flatland at the right river side of the Danube, in larger or smaller distance from each other were established. The settlement of Tabán in the territory of the present Budapest, on the Gellért-hill; the settlement of Lágymányos relatively close to the hill and the settlement of Békásmegyer, north from Aquincum are known owing to the excavations. Their existence in the time of the Marcomannian-wars can not be documented.

On the strength of the extremely moderate finds, it is supposed, that the settlement of the Gellért-hill after fire, was systematically evacuated by the romans. The inhabitants were settled down on the flatland, in the vicinity of the given up, earlier ala-camp of the Víziváros and to south from it. It was frequent to settling native inhabitants in the territory of an earlier military camp or a vicus in Britannia and in Germania Superior as well, where the limes was gradually moved forward. In this way established settlements were directed by duumvir and ordo and sometimes the status of municipium was given as well. The vicus around the ala-camp of Budapest-Víziváros, was not given up by the rearrange of the army, on the contrary, on the basis of the excavated ruins it can be stated, that the vicus was changed into a comparatively extensive settlement, with regular system of roman streets and insulae. To 124 AD., when Aquincum got the status of municipium, this settlement was the most important in this region and it is supposed, that Aquincum with the status of vicus was under its supremacy (RIU 1256). On the basis of inscriptions, which in large number and in the same territory were found, it is proved, that the territory of the civitas was subordinated to the municipium after 124 AD. But the centre of the civitas also existed after the establishment of Aquincum and it depended on Aquincum in a close legally form and a precisely stated way. Their office-holders could have been the members of the ordo of Aquincum, from their Aelius name it is concluded that they got civic rights in the time - or after - of Hadrian. It is proved by an altar from Intercisa, erected for the salvation of the civitas Eraviscorum (RIU 1066). The altar was erected by P. Aelius Septimus and P. Aelius Decoratus, who had the highest status of the municipium, namely decurio and arm(…) c(ivitatis) Er(aviscorum). The ARM abbreviation can be ar(e)m(agos), the celtic name of the princeps. Already in the time of the roman conquest, the princeps were the members of the council, consisted of the civitas’ richest and most noble people, who were the earlier leader group of the tribe. On the basis of the burying, the vicus of the Víziváros was given up in the 4th century AD.

The special position of the civitas Eraviscorum among the pannonian civitates is proved by the fact, that under roman authority, coins with inscription RAVIS were minted in the 20’s BC. The right of minting was in hand of the tribe’s aristocracy. The names on gravestones of the latter romans with eraviscus origin show, that the concept of inheritance was not known. It relates to the existence of the common properties with Iron-Age origin. On the basis of the names it is proved, that the eravisci spoke Celtic language.

Teutanus, the supreme god of the Celtic eravisci, became absorbed in Iuppiter in the imperial period, then after the conquest, altars and statues were erected with collective name. On the strength of the Iuppiter Optimus Maximus Teutanus altar-stone (CIL 10418) and several cult-object uncovered in 1888, the native centre of cult was for long thought to be on the Gellért-hill. However, on the basis of more finds and the comparisons of Carnuntum-Pfaffenberg, today it is probable that, the cult-centre was situated to north from the oppidum, in the territory between the earlier ala-camp and canabae, on the present Szépvölgyi road. The earliest uncovered object was set up by T. Flavius Titianus augur for the salvation of the emperor and the civitas Eraviscorum (CIL 10418), in the time of Philippus Arabs’ reign (244-249 A.D.). The latest altar, erected for I.O.M.T., is known from 288 A.D., and on a two years earlier altar-stone the fines Eraviscorum was still mentioned. So it proves the legal existence of the civitas in the end of the 3d century A.D., but in this time, it can be treated only as a cultic community.


Foundation of the civitas capitals in Pannonia

The tribes, living in the territory of Pannonia, were organized into civitas peregrinae, after Pannonia’s conquest, nor later than the Pannonian tribes’ rebellion (about 10 AD.). Some name of the civitas pergrinas with roman origin shows, that they were artifically established by the romans and they weren’t original units of tribes. The list of place-names written by Pliny (NH III, 48), was compiled relying upon a sheet from the Augustan-period, so it can be referred to the earliest period. Slightly latter was the list of Ptolemaios made, in which can not to be found some civitas mentioned by Pliny (Serretes, Serapilli, Catari, Belgites, Arabiates), but these are supposed to fade into the territories of another civitates. The gravestones and military diplomas provide more information about the location of civitates.

We know not much about the centres of the civitas peregrinae. In some case, the name of the centre is known (e.g. Cornacum), but their location, apart from some exception, can be more or less positioned. If the latter municipium was established in the place of the civitas-centre, it can be considered a unique case, as the Mun. Latobicorum, Mun. Iasorum, Mun. Halicanum, Cibalae, Bassiana, Mun. Volg[…] or the Mun. Faustinianum.

The civitas Catariorum was established along the Sava, in the vicinity of Emona, but it could have been ended by the foundation of Emona. The civitas Latobicorum was between Emona and Neviodunum, its centre became municipium in the Flavian-period. The civitas Varcianorum, which became the municipal territory of the later Andautonia, was situated between the Mun. Latobicorum, Neviodunum and Andautonia. From these names of the civitas peregrinae can be concluded for the names of the people living there before the roman conquest. The Pannonians living in the vicinity of Siscia, were organized into the civitas Colapianorum, which is considered a typical roman name-making, because the name of the civitas was formed from the name of the Kulpa river. The civitas of the Oseriates was situated between the civitas Colapianorum and the civitas Breucorum, east from the civitas Breucorum, in the vicinity of Cibalae was the civitas of the Cornacates. Cornacum was its centre, the civitas was named after that, and it can be probable that, it became the municipium of Cibalae. The civitas Amantinorum was located in the middle of Syrmia, but it could have ended by the foundation of Sirmium. Next to them, in the vicinity of the Sava’s mouth, was the civitas Scordiscorum, its centre was the predecessor of Bassiana’s municipium.

The civitas of the Serapilli and the Serretes situated along the Drava, probably in the vicinity of Poetovio. From the latter one could be formed the municipium of Halicanum. The latter Mun. Iasorum supposed to be the centre of the earlier centre of the civitas Iasorum, its territories reached to the two sides of the Drava, on the middle reach of the river. The region of the Drava’s mouth was occupied by the Andizetes. The territory of Mursa could have probably formed from their civitas. The northern part of Pannonia was occupied by the civitas Boiorum (in NW) and the civitas Azaliorum (in the middle and NE). The frontier between the two civitas could be the lower reaches of the Raba. The centre of the civitas Boiorum is not known, its territory was many times eroded by the foundation of Savaria and Scarbantia. Their region could have faded into the territory of Carnuntum. The civitas Azaliorum became the territory of Brigetio. The civitas of the Arabiates situated along the upper reaches of the Raba, from which the name of the civitas was made.

 The territory of the civitas Eraviscorum stretched from the Danube bend to the northern part of the Hegyhát, it was separated from the civitas Azaliorum by the ranges of the Pilis and Vértes. Their centre could have been in the vicinity of Aquincum. On the basis of the inscriptions in connection with the civitas and the municipium, found in large number, it can be proved that, the territory of the civitas was under the latter municipium’s authority. In their southern vicinity was the civitas of the Hercuniates, which occupied the region of the Mecsek and the Hegyhát. Their centre is not known, but the Municipium Volg[…], mentioned by an inscription from Intercisa, could have been its follower.


Wooden phases – conversion to stone


Typical buildings in Pannonia

In the centres of the civitates there are not public buildings in compliance with the roman organisation. In the case of the Mun. Faustinianum, Cibalae, Bassiana, Mun. Halicanum and Mun. Iasorum we can conclude that they could be the predecessors of the latter municipium. From these only the system of Bassiana’s settlement is known, but only after the foundation of the roman city, where in the middle of the settlement, a group of building reminiscent of a forum can be identified.


A closed forum is known from Aquae Iasae, one of its ends with the temple of the Capitolium’s triad.
Aquincum: at the crossing of the two main, wide streets there is a building, which supposed to be a forum, but the touchstones, characteristic of the fora, are missing. The area of the forum consisted of several buildings separated from each other: on the north the curia and the basilica, on the east the tabernae and on the south the big, public bath were built. The macellum was built in the middle of the 3rd century AD.
The system of Bassiana’s settlement is known by only air photographs, on the basis of them, in the middle of the settlement, a group of building reminiscent of a forum can be identified (Pic.II.5.3.).
The excavation of Gorsium’s forum is the result of the latest years. On its end a temple, served for the aims of the emperor’s cult, was uncovered.
The forum of Scarbantia was covered with large, square slabs, at one of its end the temple of the Capitolium’s triad was built.
From Canabae a large squere with peristylium is known, which could have been a forum or a macellum. Its second period is 139X115 m, and its southern side is closed by a 7,3 m wide building (a basilica?).
The building closed by walls in the centre of Poetovio can be identified as a forum or macellum.
In Sirmium a square covered with slabs was found, which could have been the earlier forum.



Identifing a basilica in Pannonia is rather uncertain. Forum or basilica are known from Aquincum, Canabae and Siscia.




- Aquae Iasae, as its name shows, was a significant bathing resort in the roman period. A large bathcomplex was excavated there.

- In the ci vic town of Aquincum, six bath was found up to this moment, which were built along the layout of the canals of the principal roads. We know the ground-plans of three of these baths: the so-called "great bath", the so-called "double-bath" -where frigidarium, tepidarium and caldarium are situated doubled around a large central yard -and the so-called "northern smaller bath". A palaestra could probably belong to the first two baths. The bath excavated in the canabae/legio-camp  is among the earliest buildings excavated in Pannonia

- A large bath building, the so-called Palastruine is well known among Carnuntum's public buildings. It was built in the beginning of the 3rd century and contained collegium rooms as well. It is possible, that after its deline in the end of the 3rd century, it was rebuilt as a palace.

- The big bath of Sirmium can be identified by the thermae Liciniae known from the inscription.

- We know a big public building from Sophiane, which could be a bath.

-  In Gorsium, a building built in the 4th-5th century was excavated, which could function as a bath.

-  We know other baths from Municipium Latobicorum, Siscia.


In Aquincum, south from the southern city wall, a building built together with bath was excavated, which was probably functioned as a guesthouse as well. It can be identified as a mansio or deversorium.

Theatre, amphitheatrum

We know very few theatres from Pannonia, but some amphitheatrum was excavated, which played an important role in the entertainment of the Romans. Presumably -because of the lack of theatres -performances were also held there.

- We know amphitheatrums both from the civic town and canabae in Aquincum. The amphihteatrum in the civic town built between 130-132, was situated outside the northern city wall, and had a capacity of 4-6000 spectators (1). The soldier's amphihteatrum situated outside the city wall, south from it, but in an in-built area. It was much bigger than that of the civic town with a capacity of 13000 spectators (2) Beside both of the amphitheatrums there could stand a Nemesis-sanctuary (3).


- According to old air photographs, the amphitheatrum of Brigetio was situated north from the legio-camp. Its existence was proved by the engraving of Marsigli and a recently found inscription.

- North from the legio-camp in Carnuntum, a smaller amphitheatrum was excavated with the capacity of 6000 spectators. The first amphihteatrum was built of wood, later, under Marcus Aurelius, it was rebuilt of stone. We know the Nemesis-sanctuary beside both of the amphihteatrums.

- On the basis of air photographs, in the outskirts of Gorsium, an amphitheatrum stood.

- In Savaria, in the hill west from the town, a theatre or an amphihteatrum could stand.

- We know an amphiteatrum with a capacity of 6000 spectators and also a Nemesis-sanctuary from Scarbantia as well. 


- We know numerous sanctuaries of gods and goddesses from Aquincum. The large-sanctuary stood in the central building of the forum area, which originally could be the temple of the Capitolium’s triad, but after its reconstruction in the Severan-age, it served the imperial cult. The sanctuary of Fortuna Augusta (see the Aquincum map) was also excavated in the forum area connected to the great bath. We know from this town, inscriptions, sculptural mementoes referring to the sanctuary of Silvanus, Epona, Diana and Minerva. Beside the amphitheatrum, a small Nemesis-sanctuary was excavated (see the Aquincum map). In the eastern edge of the town a typical round sanctuary came into light, which indicates the amalgamation of the local Celt ic traditions and the Roman temple- building traditions. The numerous terracotta Venus-statues indicate that the sanctuary was in connection with fertility-cult. In Aquincum, the cult of Mithras was significant.Up to this moment, four of his temples were excavated in the territory of the civic town, and we also know a sanctuary of him, from the territory of the soldier's camp. In the second half of the 4th century, an early Christian double- basilica was built in the eastern part of the town. Opposite to the legio-camp, in the Danube island several sanctuaries were excavated in the governor's palace, which was built in the 2nd century.

- We know a Nemesis-sanctuary from Carnuntum, which stood near the entrance of the soldier's amphitheatrum. In Pfaffenberg, east from the legio-camp, a complex from the time of Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius was excavated, which consisted of several sanctuaries and cultic buildings. On the basis of statue fragments, it could be the temple of the Capitolium’s triad.

- In the outskirts of Poetovio, a complex of sanctuaries was excavated, which consisted of a Mithras-sanctuary, the temples of Venus-Vulcanus and Fortuna. Near the forum, a Iuppiter-sanctuary was also excavated.

- We know that Savaria was the significant sanctuary area of the Isis-cult, and a Iuppiter Dolichenus and a Mercurius-sanctuary is also known from here.

- We know the sanctuaries of the Capitolium’s triad from Aque Iasae, Scarbantia and Savaria; and on the basis of an altar stone, a capitolium can be identified from the forum area of Aquincum and Brigetio.

- We know a basilica decorated with wall paintings from a significant early Christian cemetery area in Sopianae.

- The large temple excavated in Gorsium was probably a Templum Provinciae, the main sanctuary of the imperial cult in lower Pannonia, where the provincial assembly, the concilium provinciae met.


Indication of legal status in Pannonia

The supervision of the Pannonian civitates established after the conquest was in the hands of one of the officers - the primuspilus of the legio or the commander of the auxiliary forces -of on of those corps which stationed in the area. His rank was praefectus civitatis. We know Antonius Naso who was the primuspilus of the legio XIII Gemina which stationed in Poetovio in the age of Claudius, and that he was the praefectus of the civitas Colapianorum (ILS 1349). L. Volcacius Primus was the praefectus of the cohors I Noricorum, and he also supervised the ripa Danuvii, the civitas Boiorum and the civitas Azaliorum during the first years of the reign of Vespasian (ILS 2737). It is imaginable, that there were civitas liberas or foederatas, above which there was no military praefectura.

Under the Flavii or Trajan the civitates gained autonomy, and the earlier military supervision was abandoned. Instead of this, the praefectus was elected from the members of the aristocracy (principes). The inauguration of these praefectus was connected with the granting of civil rights. The civitas Boiorum could gain autonomy in the Falvian-age, which was in connection with the admission of the aristocracy of the boii to the circle of the Roman citizens. We know a greater number of civilians from the Flavian-age in some south and west Pannonian civitas, e.g. T. Flavius Proculus pr(inceps) praef(ectus) Scord(iscorum).

The Flavii gave the rank of municipium to two South-Pannonian civitates: the Mun. Flavium Latobicorum and Andautonia. The former was formed from the territory of civitas Latobicorum, and the princepses of the abandoned civitates became the decurios of the new town, which was connected with the granting of civil rights in large scales here as well. The name of the town in the later inscriptions is Neviodunum. Andautonia was established in the territory of the civitas Varcianorum. The town leadership consisted partly of aboriginals and also of Italian entrepreneurs.

Those settlements which gained the rank of municipium under Hadrian, were situated in the territory of civitas peregrinae. Hadrian presumably municipialised the civitas as well when establishing the municipium.The municipiums, formed from civitas peregrinae were Mun. Iasorum, Cibalae and Bassiana. The predecessor of the Mun. Iasorum is the civitas Iasorum, around halfway from Siscia and Mursa. The territory of Cibalae belonged to the civitas Cornacatium, the centre of it, Cornacum, was situated close to Cibalae. Bassiana was established halfway between Sirmium and Singidunum, in the territory of the civitas Scordiscorum. Their ordo was set up from the aristocracy of the civitas peregrina.

Besides the Municipium Aelium Aquincum established by Hadrian, the civitas Eraviscorum existed until the 3rd century. In the 1st century it was governed by princepses, whose name was decurio under Traianus. The autonomy of the civitas is indicated by the fact that they minted their own money within the Roman empire in the early times . The decurios disappeared during the age of Hadrian, a tabularius and an arm(…) is known from the inscriptions. The decurios of the municipium came from the territory of the civitas, so there should be some stronger dependency relationship between the two settlements. The leading of the civitas was presumably handed over to the ordo of the municipium, and the territorially independent civitas only had some clerks who did the administration work. The clerks of the civitas could be the members of the ordo in Aquincum, they could received their rank (on the basis of their Aelius name) under the leadership of Hadrian. No later than in the age of Caracalla every legal and administrative difference was abandoned between the two community, probably, it only existed as a cultic community in the 3rd century.

Indication of the inhabitants in Pannonia

Most of the population of the civitas peregrinae were consisted of aboriginals, headed by a tribal leader stratum. In the beginning, the administration of the towns was in the hands of army officers who stationed nearby. Their rank was praefectus civitatis. At the end of the 1st century, these praefecturae were ceded to the aboriginals chosen from the leaders of the civitates, their name remained the same. Besides the praefectus, a corporation body also functioned which consisted of the persons of high rank from the civitas. They were called princeps. On the basis of an inscription, we can conclude that the praefecti rised from the body of the numerous princeps.

In the course of the development of the country, foreign people constantly appeared, mainly merchants and veterans. Some of the civitates received the rank of municipium in the 1st-2nd century, to which a certain number of Roman civic was needed. This number was assured by the settled foreigners, veterans and the stratum of the town leaders who had Roman civic rights. Their number was increased by the granting of civil rights in the Flavian-age.

We don't possess data on the inner organisation, territorial or social dividing of the civitates. On the basis of an earlier inscription, we know that the Amantini were organised into the clans.

Indication of cults in Pannonia

As we don’t know the civitas centres, we cannot say much about their religious life. Contary to the western-european provinces, the biggest sanctuaries wer established for the official Roman gods and they did not reconstructed the cult places of the aboriginal population into sanctuaries. On the basis of the finds from the 1st and 2nd century, it can be stated that the Pannonian religion is totally of Roman origin, the traces of the religion of the aboriginals can hardly be revealed. The aboriginals did not set up altars for their gods and did not identified them with Roman gods.

The altars set up for Danuvius and Savus by the settled Romans were adressed to the local god named “genius loci” in the Roman religion and they cannot be connected to the local aboriginal population. We have knowledge of Iuppiter Optimus Maximus Teutanus on the basis of inscriptions from the end of 2nd century-3rd century. He was praised in the territory of the civitas Eraviscorum. Teutanus could be the main god of the eravisci, who after the Roman conquest merged with Iuppiter Optimus Maximus. We have know detailed knowledge of his early cult, he himself appears on the inscriptions rather late, the earliest existing reference to him appears in an altar stone from 182 AD. His altars were set up for the salvation of the Caesar in power and for the welfare of the civitas Eraviscorum by the leading clerks of the Aquincum municipium or colonia. Many inscriptions contains the exact date of the setting up: "ante diem III idus Iunais", that is the 11th of June. This altar stones were originally erected in the presumed centre of the civitas, on the side of Gellért-hill. Although the inhabitants had already been removed from the highlands to the lowlands, their cult centre probably remained on the hillside.

Fragments of a cult similar to the one in Gellért-hill were found in the heights near the colonia and legio-camp of Pfaffenberg. Pfaffenberg was situated near Carnuntum which was in the territory of the Celtic boii. Some fragmented altar stones with inscriptions were found in the "Sacer Mons Karnuntinus”, which were erected for the local main god, Iuppiter Optimus Maximus K(…) in various yeary but always on the 11th of June. The decoding of the K(…) is still a problem to be solved, it can be imaged that it was Karnuntinus similarly to the name of the colonia, but it can be the name of a local aboriginal god not yet known.

 The 11th of June is the celebration day of Matrialia according to the roman calendar written by Ovidius (Fasti 6, 473-648), but the inscriptions have nothing to do with this. There are various explanations for its significance. It can be connected to the main god of the Celtic aboriginal, such an explanation is more likely which states that it is connected with the foundation of the town of Aquincum and Carnuntum. Both of the towns received the status of a municipium under Hadrian, and in the case of Aquincum, we know that the inscriptions were set up by the officers of the city.

According to the I.O.M Teutanus inscription (CIL III 10418) the one who set up the altar was an augur. The Historia Augusta mentiones "Pannonian augurs" several times, who are not identical to the municipial augurs of Italian origin. According to some opinions, who set up the inscriptions was the late successor of the Celtic druids and vateses. The druidism was pursued by the Roman Empire in the West, but it can be imagined that it was let to spread in Pannonia. It seems that the besides the auguratio, the task of the vicar mentioned in the inscriptions was the worship of the local main god (Teutanus?) and the Caesar.

According to other opinions, the office mentioned in the inscriptions does not mean an aboriginal augur, but the duumvir of the colonia of Aquincum, who served as an augur as well.

The Egyptian Isis-cult exercised in Savaria were brought to West-Pannonia by the Aquileian settlers. The worship of Iuppiter Dolichenus was brought here by the legios of Trajan and Hadrian who fought in the east. The earliest mentioning of this in the West was found in an inscription from Carnuntum. The Mithas cult -very significant in Pannonia -appeares in the age of Antoninus Pius for the first time; later it spreads in the area of Carnuntum and Aquincum . The mementoes appearing in the Severan-age in a greater number continue the tendency mentioned above. In the cults, both the names of Gods and their iconography are Roman, local features do not appear in them. After Iuppiter Optimus Maximus, Silvanus had the most relics. The golden age of his cult can be dated to the Severan-age. Some of the features of his cult can be connected to the fertility cult of the pre-Roman age, but it does not have such typical features that could not be found in Italy as well. As his worship only appears in the 3rd century, his cult cannot be traced back to a pre-Roman god. Only occasionally can we find a non-Latin word about him in the inscriptions, so we cannot draw conclusions. It is imaginable that Silvanus was created by the settled foreigners for Pannonia, which is rich in forests and hills. In one of the places of the Silvanus-cult, altars dedicated to Vidasus and Thana goddesses appeared. We have no knowledge of these goddesses from any other sources, and also the name of Genius Ciniaemus and Minitra appears only once. It seems that the Pannonian cult of Sedatus, Iuppiter Optimus Maximus Teutanus, Epona or Mars Latobicus was brought by the foreigners, since there is no such characteristic in them which could refer to local precedents.

Only one cult is known, which possibly came into existence in Pannonia, the cult of the cult of the so-called “god-couple on horseback” of the Danube-region. Its golden-age can be dated to the second half of the 3rd century. The centre of the lead -and marble -boards loaded with symbols and names of gods is the Syrmia, from where it spread to the Balkan, to Pannonia and Dacia.




Alföldy 1960 = Alföldy G., Pannoniciani augures. Antik Tanulmányok 7 (1960).

Bodó 2003 = Bodó S. (Hrsg.), Forschungen in Aqincum 1969-2002. Aquincum Nostrum II.2. 2003. Budapest 2003.

Aquincum 1995 = Istenek, katonák, polgárok Aquincumban. Kiállítás az Aquincumi Múzeum megnyitásának 100. évfordulója alkalmából Budapest 1995.

Kovács 1999 = Kovács P., Civitas Eraviscorum. Antaeus 24(1999) 278-295.

Mócsy 1962 = Mócsy A., Pannonia. In: PWRE IX. Stuttgart 1962, 515-776.

Mócsy 1974 = Mócsy A., Pannonia and Upper Moesia. A History of the Middle Danube Provinces of the Roman Empire. London – Boston 1974.

Mócsy 1975a = Mócsy A., Pannonia a korai császárság idején. Budapest 1975.

Mócsy 1975b = Mócsy A., Pannonia a késői császárkorban. Budapest 1975.

Mócsy-Fitz 1990 = Mócsy A./ Fitz J. (szerk.), Pannonia régészeti kézikönyve. Budapest 1990.

Aquincum 2000 = Ókeresztény emlékek Aquincumban. A BTM Aquincumi Múzeumának kamara kiállítása a Millenium alklamából. Budapest 2000.

Póczy 1999 = Póczy K., Iuppiter Optimus Maximus Teutanus Aquincumban. In: Gaál A. (szerk.), Pannoniai kutatások. A Soproni Sándor Emlékkonferencia előadásai (Bölcske, 1998. október 7.). Szekszárd 1999, 201-223.

RCP 1998 = Religions and Cults in Pannonia. A Szent István Király Múzeum Közleményei. Ser. A. No. 33. Székesfehérvár 1998.

Soproni 1990 = Soproni S., Előzetes jelentés a bölcskei késő római ellenerőd kutatásáról. Communicationes Archaeologicae Hungariae 1990, 133-140.

Zsidi 2002 = Zsidi P., Aquincum polgárvárosa. Budapest 2002.

Zsidi 2003 = Zsidi P./ Magyar M., Fürdőépület az aquincumi polgárváros déli városfalán kívül. Aquincumi Füzetek  9 (2003) 69-85.