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The origins of the vicus type settlements:

Rural settlements in Roman Dacia are scarcely researched, and, consequently, less acknowledged than towns and fortresses. The situation is identical for the period before the conquest. All late Iron Age settlements (dated in the Dacian kingdom time) suddenly ceased to exist, their violent destruction being attributed to the Roman conquest. This conclusion is sustained by the chronology of the archaeological finds from the inhabitation and burnt layers, which ends at the end of the 1st century AD, having no Roman material. No case of reconstruction of these dwellings and re-inhabitation at the beginning of the Roman period are known at the moment. This unique situation is specific to Dacia. Further more, no early- Roman period indigenous villages on new locations are currently known.
None of the newly created settlements of Roman colonists or military’s families, merchants and craftsmen who were following the army cover (at least accidentally) any Dacian late Iron Age one. This is another characteristic of the province Dacia. It follows that the Roman epoch brought in Dacia o radical change of the habitation type. The only areas where late Iron Age habitat survives is the province’s periphery, the south and east of Transylvania, where Roman colonization was reduced and where indigenous communities could keep their ancient life style, probably in exchange of some obligations to the Roman army near-by, the only tangible element of the occupation in the region.
In Dacia no native civitates are certified, except for the peripheral regions of the province where they might have been present. The pre-Roman names of the epigraphically mentioned communities don’t indicate a pre-Roman origin of the settlements, no archaeological evidence of indigenous ones in their close vicinity existing. To conclude, these names are not originated in hypothetical Dacian settlements. They are rather local toponyms taken over by the Romans when they established the position of the new settlements.
Dacia’s conquest took place in a war composed of only two campaigns (AD 101-102 and 105-106). Thus, auxiliary units on move, leaving behind their fully-developed satellite villages as the conquest advanced - like in other provinces - are not certified.
Summing up, rural settlements in Roman Dacia regardless of their legal status or economic type have no connection with the late-Iron Age ones. They were founded on uninhabited locations, following different habitation criteria, by newly arrived communities. Two different types of habitat from the province’s country side are generically called rural settlements. In time, some will improve their legal status, becoming towns. The first category comprises the villages settled in the close vicinity of auxiliary or legionary fortresses, called vici militares and canabae respectively. The second group consists of settlements founded by colonists on economic reasons. Legally speaking, the civil rural communities are called vicus (pl. vici), name shared by neighbourhoods of larger settlements or towns. These situations are certified in Dacia by two written sources: vicus Patavissensium (future town Potaissa, occasionally called Patavissa), mentioned by Ulpianus the jurist in Septimius Severus’ time when it had evolved enough to be raised to the urban status, and vicus Pirustarum, mentioned on a wax tablet from Alburnus Maior. The Pirustae were a tribe of Dalmatian miners colonized by Trajan to work the gold mines of western Transylvania. Therefore it is obviously that the real meaning of “district” of this community inside Alburnus Maior territory is evident. In addition, the Dalmatian tribes lived in Dacia in nuclei called kastella (sg. Kastellum) a traditional organization form accepted by the Romans. They are mentioned in Alburnus Maior’s region without being, until now, archaeologically certified, and they were probably another sort of rural settlement.
Pagus (pl. pagi) is the second legal name for villages. It is considered that the term refers to a rural settlement with a higher degree of autonomy. Based on the epigraphic sources it was presumed that a pagus was, legally speaking, some other type of quarter or district of a town, placed at a certain distance from the centre, in the rural territory. This is certified by an inscription (CIL III 1407) which mentions C. Julius Marcianus dec(urio) col(oniae) (Sarmizegetusae) and in the same time praef(ectus) pag(i) Aquensis. Aquae is today’s Călan, approximately 40 km away from Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa. The two ranks, that of dec(urio) col(oniae) (Sarmizegetusae) and that of praef(ectus) pag(i) Aquensis, held by the same person show that pagus Aquensis was, legally speaking, an autonomous district of the colony.

Pagus Miciensis has a very interesting situation. Micia (today Veţel, Hunedoara County) was located on the Mureş Valley, on the road which connected Pannonia with Dacia.

The settlement, amply excavated, was placed in the close vicinity of an important auxiliary fort, therefore being what is generally referred to as a military vicus. Yet, legally speaking, it was a pagus of Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa, just like Aquae, being located inside the colony’s rural territory.

Several inscriptions mention the existence of this pagus Miciensis led by two magistri pagi, therefore enjoying a certain degree of autonomy, as it results from an epigraphic source dated in Septimius Severus’s time (CIL III 1375).
As a final point, the settlements in the vicinity of a legionary fortress were, legally speaking, rural settlements. Two legions are certified at Apulum, (Alba Iulia, Alba County) in Trajan’s time, legio XIII Gemina and legio I Adiutrix, only the first one remaining in place until the end of the province. They both had canabae. An inscription mentions L. Silius Maximus, veteran of the I Adiutrix as magistra(n)s primus in kan(abis) (CIL III 1008=ILS 2476).

Hence, we have a community with a legal status equivalent to the one of a pagus, led by two magistri, one of them being magister primus, assisted by an ordo canabensium (CIL III 1093 = ILS 7140), largely autonomous.

A different inscription from Apulum mentions M. Ulpius Apollinaris praef(ectus) cast(rorum) leg(ionis) XIII Geminae offered the dedication by the conscribti (misspelled in stead of conscripti) et c(ives) R(omani) consist(entes) kan(abis) leg(ionis) eiusd(em) (IDR III/5 438=ILS 9106).

Another inscription, dedicated to Victoria Augusta by a veteran of legio XIII Gemina, L. Iulius Leuganus from Clunia (Hispania Tarraconensis), mentions the community of cives Romani consistentes (IDR III/5 363). Similar situations are known in Moesia Inferior, where cives Romani consistentes in canabis Aelis legionis XI Claudiae (CIL III 7474) are mentioned at Durostorum and veterani et cives Romani consistentes ad canabas legionis V Macedonicae (ISM V 141; 135; 154) formed the community from Troesmis in Antoninus Pius’s time.
The most interesting epigraphic information concerning the population and organization of pagus and vici type settlements come from Potaissa and Micia. In Potaissa two votive inscriptions found in the modern town in 1985 had been offered by cives Romani, a group of Roman citizens through their two magistri, leaders of the community. This is a type of organization specific to the provincial rural Roman environment. They could be a conventus civium Romanorum settled in Potaissa during the first half of the 2nd century AD, before the arrival of the V legion Macedonica , hence a group of civilians.
Beside the above-mentioned inscription, cives Romani consistentes are mentioned in several inscriptions from Micia.

Here they are called veterani et cives Romani. The distinction is made between the civilian colonists and the retired soldiers who were the social and political elite of the rural settlements.

The connection with the road network:

One of the most important documents concerning the relationship between rural settlements and the province’s roads network is Tabula Peutingeriana. The 5th and the 6th segments show three main roads:
1. Lederata-Tibiscum;
2. Dierna-Tibiscum-Sarmizegetusa-Apulum-Potaissa-Napoca-Porolissum;
3. Drobeta-Romula- Arutela-Caput Stenarum- Apulum.

The most important of them is the second one, the imperial road connecting the Danube with the northern border of the province through Banat and western Transylvania, the most resourceful area of Dacia were most of the colonization and urbanization were made. Two of the settlements pointed out in Tabula Peutingeriana are mentioned on a miliarium (milestone) found at Aiton (Cluj County), which refers to the construction of the road in AD 108 by cohors I Flavia Ulpia Hispanorum miliaria civium Romanorum equitata. The milestone is 14,785 km away from Potaissa to Napoca: a Potaissa Napocae m(ilia) p(assuum) X (CIL III 1627). None of the settlements has its legal status mentioned in the inscription, but considering the fact that the road sign was erected in AD 108, they were probably early colonists communities, in a pre-urban faze of development. They were without any question vici. In Napoca’s case, recent excavations identified wooden structures belonging to the first newcomers.
Lederata, Arcidava (Vărădia, Caraş-Severin County), Centum Putea, Bersovia (Berzobia, Caraş-Severin County), Azizis, Caput Bubali, Tivisco (=Tibiscum, Jupa, Caraş-Severin County) are mentioned in segment VII 2 of Tabula Peutingeriana. Bersovia and Azizis are referred to even earlier. They appear in Priscianus’s text which conveys the only known sentence of Trajan’s Commentaries: „ inde Berzobim deinde Aizi processimus”. It might be presumed that these could have been indigenous settlements, but nothing confirms this possibility. Berzobis became soon after the conquest the fortress of legio IIII Flavia Felix. Obviously there were canabae nearby. The fortress is archaeologically certified; the fate of the canabae after the legions departure to Singidunum (Moesia Inferior) in AD 118 is unknown. Likewise auxiliary troupes were stationed at Lederata and Acidava, and they probably had military vici. Their evolution after AD 118 when the troops were withdrawn and the road might have been abandoned is indefinite. Further archaeological excavations are requested in order to validate or infirm this theory.
Tibiscum was also an important military centre with a due vicus. In the 3rd century a municipium is mentioned at Tibiscum.

It was presumed that this one, located only 40 km away from Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa was initially a pagus of the colony, just like Micia. It is believed that the town didn’t originate in the military vicus, which continued its existence, but in a different community, possibly a pagus unconfirmed by epigraphic sources and insufficiently identified in the field.
The following settlements are mentioned on the VII 3 and VIII 1 segments of Tabula Peutingeriana: Faliatis (Taliata), Tierva, Ad Mediam, Pretorio, Ad Pannonios, Gaganis, Masclianis, Tivisco (=Tibiscum), Agnavie, Ponte Augusti, Sarmategte (=Sarmizegetusa), Ad Aquas, Petris, Germizera, Blandiana, Apula (=Apulum), Brucla, Salinis, Potavissa (=Potaissa), Napoca, Optatiana, Largiana, Certie, Porolisso (=Porolissum). Leaving aside towns like Tibiscum, Sarmizegetusa, Apulum, Potaissa, Napoca, we have many civilian settlements, some of which are reminders of the conquest period and the road followed by the emperor (Pretorio=Mehadia, Ponte Augusti=Marga), and military vici. One of the civilian settlements, identified in the field at Zăvoi where an earth and timber legionary fortress and possibly canabae are certified but not yet excavated, is Agnaviae.

Tierva is in fact Dierna (=Orşova, Mehedinţi County), initially an auxiliary fortress and military vicus which evolved into a town. Ad Mediam (Băile Herculane, Caraş Severin County) was a well known spa, marked accordingly on Tabula Peutingeriana. Ad Pannonios (=Teregova, Caraş Severin County) was an auxiliary fortress with a military vicus. Gaganis and Masclianis are difficult to identify in the field, mainly because they are not mentioned by any other source. Ad Aquas or Aquae after Ptolemy can be identified with Călan, Hunedoara County. As we established earlier, it was a pagus of Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa. Further north Petris was localized at Uroiu (Hunedoara County). The name is justified by the andezite and marble quarries in the area; in fact it is possible that here at Petris was the quarries’ administration’ headquarter. Germizera (Germigera, or Germisara as written on inscriptions) is today-Geoagiu-Băi, Hunedoara, a spa just as prized as the others mentioned above.

Carrying on North we have Blandiana (Vinţu de Jos, Alba County), Brucla (Aiud, Alba County), and Salinis (Salinae in Ptolemy’s work, today-Războieni, Alba County). Due to their location on Apulum’s territory they were all rural settlements, either vici or pagi. Salinae owes its name to the salt mines, quite numerous on the Middle Mureş Valley. There was an important auxiliary unit at Războieni, ala I Batavorum miliaria, and an important military vicus, not yet excavated.

It is possible that its name was Salinae, or that another village in the area was called that way. The north-western sector of Dacia is represented on Tabula Peutingeriana by four settlements: Optatiana, Largiana, Certie, and Porolisso. Optatiana (Sutoru, Sălaj County) and Largiana (Românaşi, Sălaj County) were military vici in the vicinity of auxiliary fortresses. Certiae (Certie) was identified at Romita consequently being a military vicus. Finally Porolisso (Porolissum as written on inscriptions and in Ptolemy’s work) was identified through excavations at Moigrad, Sălaj County. Porolissum is the most important defensive point; it is here, in the extremity of the northern limes where the imperial road ends. Two fortresses and several smaller fortifications were identified in the field. The military vicus is well known through archaeological excavations. A new town Porolissum, certified in the 3rd century, was recently located in the field on the opposite side of the fortress on the Pomet hill, which suggests that the town did not emerged from the military vicus but from another community nearby, insufficiently known at the present time. This situation would be similar to the one from Tibiscum.

The last segment of Tabula Peutingeriana (VII 4; VII 5; VIII 1) contains the third main road from Drobeta to Apulum through Romula. It was connected to Moesia Superior through Pontes, over the bridge at Drobeta. Drubetis (=Drobeta), Amutria, Pelendova, Castris Novis, Romula, Acidava, Rusidava, Ponte Aluti, Buridava, Castra Tragana (=Traiana), Arutela, Pretorio, Ponte Vetere, Stenarum, Cedonie, Acidava, Apula (=Apulum) are mentioned on the map; it is an itinerary through southern Dacia. Most of this territory belonged to Moesia Inferior in AD 102. After the reorganization of the conquered land in AD 117-119 most of this region became Dacia Inferior. Amutria (Amutrium in Ptolemy’s work), was probably located at Butoieşti, (Dolj County) and Pelendova at Mofleni-Craiova (Dolj County).Both were civilian settlements. Castris Novis (Castranova, Dolj County), Acidava (Enoşeşti, Olt County), Rusidava (Drăgăşani, Vâlcea County), Ponte Aluti (Ioneştii Govorei, Vâlcea County), Buridava (Stolniceni, Vâlcea County), Castra Traiana (Sâmbotin, Vâlcea County), Arutela (Bivolari, Vâlcea County), Pretorio (Racoviţa-Copăceni, Vâlcea County), Ponte Vetere (Câineni, Vâlcea County), Stenarum (or Caput Stenarum, Boiţa, Sibiu County) are all auxiliary fortresses and consequently military vici. Romula (Reşca, Olt County) was the most important military site in southern Dacia, with several fortresses and vici. One of these communities became a town in Hadrian’s time. The last two mentioned, obviously civilian settlements, Cedonie and Acidava (if not misspelled Sacidaba from the Geographer from Ravenna) are presumed at Guşteriţa (Sibiu County) and Miercurea Sibiului respectively.
In the wax tablets from Alburnus Maior are also mentioned some communities from the area like vicus Pirustarum, Cartum, Deusara, Immenosum Maius, and Resculum, unidentified in the field. If vicus Pirustarum was probably a district of Alburnus Maior, the others were rather rural independent settlements.
Military vici can be presumed in the vicinity of the almost 100 auxiliary fortresses even if only a rather small number of them can be archaeologically identified. Among the best known are the ones from Tibiscum, Micia, Porolissum, Căşeiu, Bumbeşti, Cigmău, and Ilişua.
The vici from Cristeşti (Mureş County) and Micăsasa (Alba County) are two of the most important civilian villages excavated in the province.

The settlements’ functionality

The vici’s location on the main roads of the province led to their economic and commercial development. They were important craftsmanship centers, with numerous specialized workshops, some of them, especially the pottery ones, being thoroughly excavated. The best known pottery centres are the ones from Cristeşti and Micăsasa.

Over 300 terra sigillata moulds were found at Micăsasa, indicating the massive imitation of the Roman luxury pottery. Another important centre seams to be the one from Porolissum, where grey stamped ceramic, highly valued by the barbarians across the frontier was produced. Numerous furnaces used for the production of pottery were discovered at Micia, Tibiscum, Slăveni, and Acidava. Bronze craft workshops are known from Tibiscum (5), Porolissum, Gilău, Ilişua Căşei, Micia, and Slăveni. A workshop specialized in brooches production with hundreds of mould- fragments and unfinished products was recently found in Napoca vicus before the urban phase of the settlement. A glass beads atelier is certified at Tibiscum. The great amount of amphorae inside the vici indicates an intense trade of wine and oil products highly demanded in the rural settlements.
The civilian and military villages were production and trade centres. The ones located on the northern limes held recurrent trade fairs where neighbouring barbarians were granted access. They were also departing points for the commerce to barbaricum. Stationes portorii were to be found at Porolissum and Micia, where the external trade was taxed. A statio of beneficiari consulares is documented on the same northern limes at Căşei in the military vicus. They were charged with missions on the Samus River (today Someş) frontier.

Typical building structures

Among the private buildings, the most common type is the house with narrow façade, its body being deeper expanded to the back. Such houses have been identified at Micia, Tibiscum and Porolissum. Their plan is simple, having 3-4 rooms, sometime a small covered portico with a fronton. At Tibiscum, Porolissum and Bumbesti, there are houses with an inner yard.

At Porolissum the houses are of “Sterifenhaus” (Striphouse) type, with 3-5 rooms and inner yards. Building OL 6 had 5 rooms placed in two rows. Two rooms were provided with a heating system under the floor. The entrance had a veranda and a portico made of 6 columns.

The same type of house is recorded also at Tibiscum. Here the buildings I, II, VI have had porticoes with columns at the entrance, while the buildings VII and X had inner yards. The 7 buildings known at Micia were also of “striphouse” type.

The workshops were generally situated to the periphery of the settlements. So were positioned the tile and brick kilns at Micia, Romula and Slaveni, but sometimes they were placed in the narrow space between the houses, as in Tibiscum.
The public buildings in vici are represented by the baths, at Tibiscum (two complexes), Micia (3 complexes), Ilisua. The baths at Micia were both civilian and military. They were repaired on public money during Septimius Severus reign.

The presence of the legionary tile and brick stamps in the baths ruins, as in Ilisua, for example, demonstrates that some buildings which needed more sophisticated technical methods had been done with the direct support of the construction specialists from the Dacian legions. Another baths complex for thermal waters was at Miercurea Sibiului.

Pools for thermal hot springs are known at Aquae (Calan), Germisara, Ad Mediam (Baile Herculane).

Another public building very frequently built in vici was the mansio (a sort of inn). Such a building, with several rooms, intended for the traveling officials of the provincial administration on duty, seems to be identified at Micia. It has 13 rooms grouped along a long corridor (36 x 6 m). Another mansio could have been in the center of the settlement al Cigmau, as an aerial photograph suggests. Only one large building is known at Cristesti, having four building phases and 16 rooms.
Other public constructions were the temples and shrines. At Tibiscum, in the central area of building III a fragmentary inscription and the oversized marble head of Jupiter have been found, acceptable signs for the hypothesis of a temple. Recently at Praetorium (Mehadia) the temple of Jupiter has been identified. The temples of Liber and Bel, and more recently the temple of Jupiter Dolichenus have been uncovered at Porolissum, on a terrace (“Terasa Sanctuarelor”), slightly outside the core of the settlement, but in the vicinity of the road.

At Iaz, near Tibiscum, was the temple of Apollo and a mithraeum is known at Slaveni.
The most spectacular public buildings were the amphitheaters from Micia and Porolissum. At Porolissum the amphitheatre consisted of timber structures at the beginning, only the arena being contoured by a stone wall. This first amphitheatre belongs to Hadrian’s time. An inscription dedicated to Antoninus Pius, found at Porolissum in 1859, mentions that in A D 157 the amphitheatre was rebuilt (denuo fecit) because it had collapsed being too old (vetustate dilapsum). The arena had 66.5 x 51.80 m. The seats were supported by radial stonewalls with a width of 0.90 m, ended in “T” shape to the exterior. Very interesting, the amphitheatre at Porolissum seems bigger than that of the veteran colony from Sarmizegetusa, having over 5000 seats.

Both building phases are contemporary with the period of the vicus, when the Roman municipium at Porolissum did not exist yet, even if we do not leave out the possible existence of a second nucleus of habitation, where the municipium might have originated from. The amphitheatre was obviously opened to both communities and to the soldiers, as well. The amphitheatre at Porolissum is much bigger than a normal one belonging to an auxiliary fort. The comparison is more suggestive if we consider the amphitheatre from Micia. The arena at Micia had 31.60 x 29.5 m and the seats structures were made all in timber. The building was suited for around 1500 spectators.

The amphitheatres at Porolissum and Micia are military amphitheatres, based on the close analogies and just like the baths they were built by the specialists of the legions, the only ones able to make the regular plans and to raise the building.

Changing in the way of constructing:

Like all vicus type settlements, both those of military character and civilian ones, had their primal origins in the building systems belonging to the first Roman colonists arrived in Dacia, following, many times, the way of building of the army settled recently on a location. The evolution of the building system is based mainly on the improvement of the building materials and on the growing complexity of the buildings. The first timber buildings were barracks for living. At Tibiscum, appeared traces of the wooden walls situated along the road located to the North of the first timber fort. In a second stage, the buildings had a stone base, while the walls were still in wood and clay. The third phase meant a rebuilding on another street grade. The new buildings had stone and brick walls with plaster, and tile roofs.

A first area with dwellings has been uncovered at Napoca, between 1992 and 1994. The Roman buildings had three wooden phases. The first one contained objects, mainly hand made pottery, traditional to the native communities from Noricum and Pannonia. The dating based on brooches chronology is during Trajan’s reign. In the second layer the settlement was provided with wooden barracks. The first two layers correspond to the arrival of the groups of colonists and to their settlement, before the creation of the municipium in Hadrian time, i.e. to that vicus Napoca recorded in A D 108 by the milestone at Aiton. At Micasasa, although there are no large areas uncovered, there is a building with wooden structures in the first layer. It was later rebuilt on stone bases, still having wooden walls, but a tile roof. In the third phase a bigger building with stone walls and plaster was raised, having more rooms, a portico and brick pavement. At the same time it seems that the streets got a regular grid and water pipes were implemented.

Indication of cults

The temples played an important role among the buildings of a vicus. The more important information comes from Tibiscum, Micia and Porolissum. At Tibiscum a temple of Apollo Conservator was discovered. Even if only the underground wall foundations were preserved we learn from the inscriptions that it was rebuilt by a tribune of the cohors I Vindelicorum because it was ruined due to time (vetustate conlapsum restituit).

In Building III the oversized marble head of Jupiter suggests, as we have mentioned already, the existence of a temple.

At Micia, at 1000 m South-West of the auxiliary fort, a temple of the Moorish gods was uncovered. The inscription attests the rebuilding of the temple by Iulius Evangelianus, the praefectus of the auxiliary unit Numerus Maurorum Miciensium, in A D 204; the temple had ruined in time (templum deorum patriorum vetustate conlapsum sua pecunia et opera restituerunt).

It had a pronaos, three naves and three cellae.

At 400 m South-East the fort the excavations have revealed inscriptions, sculptures with the image of Jupiter, bases of columns. The only readable inscription was a dedication to Jupiter Hierapolitanus. At Micia there are also inscriptions to Jupiter Optimus Maximus, raised by the veterani et cives Romani, probably the first colonists arrived.
On the “Terasa Sanctuarelor” at Porolissum a sacred area with several temples was researched. One of them is the temple of Liber Pater.

An inscription to the god Bel appeared also in the area. Among the more important finds we have one pottery vessel ornamented with snakes and scenes connected with the cult of Liber Pater, a statuette of Harpocrates, and a relief with Liber Pater. In the amphitheatre at Porolissun, close to the Western gate a small sacellum dedicated to goddess Nemesis existed, as proven by the inscription found inside.
Recently, in the vicus at Mehadia a temple with three naves and two cellae was trenched. Fragments of stone monuments suggest a temple of Jupiter. The building had 4 construction layers.
Iscriptions indicate other cult buildings, not yet archaeologically known. At Micia, an inscription mentions the temple of Isis, while another one the temple of Sol Invictus.

A unique cult place in Dacia was ara Miciae. Other inscriptions attest at Micia a genius pagi Miciensis, one belonging to a magister pagi, the other two being dedicated by M. Cornelius Stratonicus, augustalis of the colony at Sarmizegetusa, to Domus Divina and to the genius of Micia.


The Dacian country side is scarcely researched, as the Roman one also. No continuity between pre-Roman and provincial settlements can be established for the moment, the later having different locations and habitat types. Further more, autochthonous villages from the Roman epoch do not overlap the Iron age ones. They are located at the periphery of the province.
According to their origin, rural Roman settlements from Dacia can be divided into military and civilian ones. The former category consisted of military vici and canabae and the later of civilian vici and pagi. In what the local administration was concerned, the canabae were led by two magistri and an ordo canabensium, while the pagi by praefecti or magistri; This indicates a high degree of administration. Roman citizens and veterans enjoyed privileged status, being the elite of the settlements.
Tabula Peutingeriana is a very important source in what the rural history of Dacia is concerned: it mentions the settlements which existed on the track of the three main roads of the province. Only a fraction of them have been identified on the field at the moment. The settlements’ close connection with the road network favored their economic development. Some of the vici were prosperous crafts centers, like the ones from Cristeşti and Micăsasa, specialized in pottery. Bronze craft workshops are known from Tibiscum (5), Porolissum, Gilău, Ilişua Căşei, Micia, and Slăveni. A workshop specialized in brooches was recently identified at Napoca, dating from the pre-urban phase of the settlement. These settlements, particularly the military vici from the northern limes , were not only production centers but markets for the trade with barbaricum also.
In what the vici’s architecture is concerned, there were two main types of construction, the private and the public ones. The house with narrow façade, and body expanded to the back is the most common accommodation. Sterifenhaus” (Striphouse) houses, with 3-5 rooms and inner yards were also identified. The workshops were usually grouped on the periphery of the settlements. As for the public buildings, baths like the ones from Tibiscum, Micia, Ilişua, and Miercurea Sibiului, mansions like the ones identified at Micia and Cigmău and temples like those from Porolissum and Tibiscum were identified.. The most spectacular buildings in Dacia’s countryside are the military amphitheatres from Porolissum and Micia. The construction system in the province evolved as the settlements developed.
The spirituality was represented by both votive inscriptions and temples like the ones from Porolissum, Micia, and Tibiscum.

Coriolan Opreanu, Mihaela Mihalachi
Illustrations and maps: Mihaela Mihalachi, Coriolan Opreanu

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