Alexandru Flutur

Clădirile comandamentului din castrul de legiune traianic de la Berzobis / Headquarters Buildings in the Trajanic Legionary Fortress at Berzobis

Jan. 1, 2011

legionary fortress
roman military architecture
headquarters building
Legio IIII Flavia Felix



The fortress of legio IIII Flavia Felix at Berzobis (Berzovia, Caraş–Severin county) was most likely founded between the Dacian wars and functioned until the start of Hadrian`s reign, when the legion left Dacia (see note 2). Archaeological excavations carried out in principia over 1998–2005 identified three construction periods: two in timber and one in stone. We may estimate that the first timber building included as follows: basilica 42.50 × 8.50 m – and armamentaria rooms (NW corner) – 3 × 4 m. In phase II, basilica measured approx. 46.30 × 8 m and the room excavated in armamentaria, 2.50 × 4 m. Traces of two rooms: 3.60 × 4 m, 2.70 × 4 m respectively were found on the cross-hall south side. The basilica front is suggested by holes of strong posts, about 40 cm thick, inserted at 1.30 m depth from the ancient humus. No wall prints (foundation ditches) were identified in-between these posts; most likely, there was a board wall, as in Inchtuthil case. It seems these phase I posts were preserved for the timber building II. At 60–100 cm distance from the posts line, a ca. 20 cm deep, 50–60 cm wide trench was identified, serving presumably as drainage. The layout of the stone headquarters building overlay almost entirely the foundation trenches, the stone being removed in the XVIII century when the Habsburg administration displaced the old village to its current location. The following areas were distinguished: aedes principiorum + aerarium (10.30 × 10 m); rooms A = 6.15 × 10.30 m, B = 5.90 × 10.30 m, hall C = 2.15 × 10.30 m, D = 6.80 × 10.30 m (D1 = 6.80 × 4.25 m, D2 = 6.80 × 5.75 m). Basilica measures 51 × 14 m between the foundation trenches. Still, the building width, given by the rear range of rooms, is 63 m. An outer porticus probably existed, since a stone base bound with cement (70 × 90 cm) that might have belonged to a pilaster was found on its south side, in connection with a reduction of basilica sizes. Additionally, the measurements of the following sectors may be proposed: inner courtyard – 27 × 49 m –, armamentaria galleries – 5.30 m wide (the first room on the north side would be 5.30 × 4 m) – and the internal portico with depth of 4.60 m. k e overall sizes of the stone HQ is presumed to be of 63 × 90 m. The research of the legionary fortress at Berzobis provides a very clear image of the military architecture under Trajan. The headquarters buildings there are representative for the start of the 2nd century AD, however they are within the framework of implementing the layout of this building type (see Diaconescu 2008) in Principate fortresses.