Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium

Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium

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Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium was the name of the Roman colony in the Rhineland
Rhineland
Historically, the Rhinelands refers to a loosely-defined region embracing the land on either bank of the River Rhine in central Europe....

 out of which the German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 city of Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

 developed.

It was the capital of the Roman province
Roman province
In Ancient Rome, a province was the basic, and, until the Tetrarchy , largest territorial and administrative unit of the empire's territorial possessions outside of Italy...

 of Germania Inferior
Germania Inferior
Germania Inferior was a Roman province located on the left bank of the Rhine, in today's Luxembourg, southern Netherlands, parts of Belgium, and North Rhine-Westphalia left of the Rhine....

and the headquarters of the military in the region. With the administrative reforms under Diocletian
Diocletian
Diocletian |latinized]] upon his accession to Diocletian . c. 22 December 244  – 3 December 311), was a Roman Emperor from 284 to 305....

, it became the capital of Germania Secunda
Germania Secunda
In the early fourth-century Notitia Dignitatum, Germania Secunda , situated along the Lower Rhine and administered by a Consularis, was the name under the Dominate of Germania Inferior, a military border territory which had been established under the Flavian reorganization of the Roman Empire, out...

. Many artifacts from the ancient city survive including the arch of the former city gate with the inscription 'CCAA' which is today housed in the Romano-Germanic Museum.

Oppidum Ubiorum, Ara Ubiorum and Apud Aram Ubiorum


A Germanic tribe known as the Eburones
Eburones
The Eburones , were a Belgic people who lived in the northeast of Gaul, near the river Meuse and the modern provinces of Belgian and Dutch Limburg, in the period immediately before it was conquered by Rome. They played a major role in Julius Caesar's account of his "Gallic Wars", as the most...

 had originally inhabited the present-day Cologne Lowland. But they were wiped out in a war of reprisal carried out by Gaius Iulius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

. In 38BC, the Germanic tribe known as the Ubii
Ubii
thumb|right|350px|The Ubii around AD 30The Ubii were a Germanic tribe first encountered dwelling on the right bank of the Rhine in the time of Julius Caesar, who formed an alliance with them in 55 BC in order to launch attacks across the river...

 who inhabited the right bank of the Rhine were resettled to the lands in the Cologne Lowland vacated by the Eburones by the Roman General Marcus Vispanius Agrippa. This brought the Ubii within Roman-occupied territory.

The Ubii chose an island in the Rhine as the central location of their settlement area. The island was a natural rise that was protected from flooding. The location of the settlement no longer exists today but it roughly comprises the area between the areas of the Heumarkt and the Alter Markt sections of the old city of Cologne. The settlement can be dated by archeological finds to the first half of the 1st century AD. By this time the typical Roman grid-style street plan was already in use. The settlement’s assumed name is probably Oppidum Ubiorum (Settlement of the Ubii). The Roman epoch of the history
History of Cologne
The History of Cologne, Germany's oldest major city, can be broken into several periods.- Roman period :In 39 BC, the tribe of the Ubii entered into an agreement with the Roman forces and settled on the left bank of the Rhine. Their headquarters was Oppidum Ubiorum — the settlement of the Ubii, and...

 of the city of Cologne begins with this oppidum.

During the rule of Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

 (30BC to 14AD), the Ara Ubiorum (Altar of the Ubii) was constructed within the city limits. This altar was possibly foreseen as the central place of worship for a greater Germanic province which would comprise lands across the Rhine which remained unconquered at this point. The noble Segimundus is mentioned as the priest of the Ara in the year 9AD. He was from the family of Arminius
Arminius
Arminius , also known as Armin or Hermann was a chieftain of the Germanic Cherusci who defeated a Roman army in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest...

, leader of the Cherusci
Cherusci
The Cherusci were a Germanic tribe that inhabited parts of the northern Rhine valley and the plains and forests of northwestern Germany, in the area between present-day Osnabrück and Hanover, during the 1st century BC and 1st century AD...

. After Arminius' defeat of Publius Quinctilius Varus
Publius Quinctilius Varus
Publius Quinctilius Varus was a Roman politician and general under Emperor Augustus, mainly remembered for having lost three Roman legions and his own life when attacked by Germanic leader Arminius in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest.-Life:His paternal grandfather was senator Sextus Quinctilius...

 in the same year at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
Battle of the Teutoburg Forest
The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest took place in 9 CE, when an alliance of Germanic tribes led by Arminius of the Cherusci ambushed and decisively destroyed three Roman legions, along with their auxiliaries, led by Publius Quinctilius Varus.Despite numerous successful campaigns and raids by the...

 the plans for a greater German province were largely set aside. However, the altar itself retained some of its importance as the city is mentioned as “Ara Ubiorum” in many inscriptions.

Between 9 and 30AD the area of present-day Cologne was mainly a garrison. Legion I Germanica and the Legion XX Valeria Victrix were stationed nearby. The place of the initial Roman Castra
Castra
The Latin word castra, with its singular castrum, was used by the ancient Romans to mean buildings or plots of land reserved to or constructed for use as a military defensive position. The word appears in both Oscan and Umbrian as well as in Latin. It may have descended from Indo-European to Italic...

 was known as Apud Aram Ubiorum (At the Altar of the Ubii).

The headquarters of Germanicus
Germanicus
Germanicus Julius Caesar , commonly known as Germanicus, was a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and a prominent general of the early Roman Empire. He was born in Rome, Italia, and was named either Nero Claudius Drusus after his father or Tiberius Claudius Nero after his uncle...

 were located in Cologne from 13AD to 17AD when he was recalled by Tiberius
Tiberius
Tiberius , was Roman Emperor from 14 AD to 37 AD. Tiberius was by birth a Claudian, son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla. His mother divorced Nero and married Augustus in 39 BC, making him a step-son of Octavian...

. After the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, Germanicus made efforts to stabilize the border region and to plan and carry out new offensives against the Germanic tribes located on the right bank of the Rhine. With the death of Augustus in 14AD the legions garrisoned in Cologne mutinied with the aim of establishing Germanicus as emperor. These legions probably united in mutiny with those from Vetera
Xanten
Xanten is a historic town in the North Rhine-Westphalia state of Germany, located in the district of Wesel.Xanten is known for the Archaeological Park or archaeological open air museum , its medieval picturesque city centre with Xanten Cathedral and many museums, its large man-made lake for...

 stationed at their summer garrison in Castrum Novasium
Neuss
Neuss is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located on the west bank of the Rhine opposite Düsseldorf. Neuss is the largest city within the Rhein-Kreis Neuss district and owes its prosperity to its location at the crossing of historic and modern trade routes. It is primarily known...

. Germanicus however remained loyal to Tiberius who was heir to the throne. He impeded the legions from declaring him emperor and at the same time placated the mutinying legions through generous concessions.

The Legio I was later garrisoned in Bonna present-day Bonn
Bonn
Bonn is the 19th largest city in Germany. Located in the Cologne/Bonn Region, about 25 kilometres south of Cologne on the river Rhine in the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, it was the capital of West Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government of united Germany from 1990 to 1999....

 and the Legio XX was garrisoned in Castrum Novaesium near present-day Neuss
Neuss
Neuss is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located on the west bank of the Rhine opposite Düsseldorf. Neuss is the largest city within the Rhein-Kreis Neuss district and owes its prosperity to its location at the crossing of historic and modern trade routes. It is primarily known...

.

Promotion to Roman colony


Agrippina the younger
Agrippina the Younger
Julia Agrippina, most commonly referred to as Agrippina Minor or Agrippina the Younger, and after 50 known as Julia Augusta Agrippina was a Roman Empress and one of the more prominent women in the Julio-Claudian dynasty...

 was born in 15AD in Cologne. She was the daughter of Germanicus and the wife of the Roman Emperor Claudius
Claudius
Claudius , was Roman Emperor from 41 to 54. A member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, he was the son of Drusus and Antonia Minor. He was born at Lugdunum in Gaul and was the first Roman Emperor to be born outside Italy...

. She succeeded in convincing Claudius to elevate her birthplace to Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (Colony of Claudius and Altar of the Agrippiner). This gave Colonia the status of 'city' under Roman law and a Roman colony had many more imperial rights than an oppidum. At this time the city had some 30,000 inhabitants and became the administrative capital of Germania Inferior
Germania Inferior
Germania Inferior was a Roman province located on the left bank of the Rhine, in today's Luxembourg, southern Netherlands, parts of Belgium, and North Rhine-Westphalia left of the Rhine....

. Before this time it was not a province, but an occupied area controlled and administrated by the military (exercitus Germaniae inferioris).

Until 70AD the city had a strong city wall that was ca. 8 meters in height and 2.5 meters wide. However, the remains of the Roman city wall that can still be seen today are from the 3rd century AD. The unwalled portions of the city were equal to a square kilometer. Its most important stele
Stele
A stele , also stela , is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected for funerals or commemorative purposes, most usually decorated with the names and titles of the deceased or living — inscribed, carved in relief , or painted onto the slab...

s and grave goods
Grave goods
Grave goods, in archaeology and anthropology, are the items buried along with the body.They are usually personal possessions, supplies to smooth the deceased's journey into the afterlife or offerings to the gods. Grave goods are a type of votive deposit...

 are preserved in the Romano-Germanic Museum.

The year of four emperors and Batavian revolt


In 68 AD, the death of Emperor Nero
Nero
Nero , was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68, and the last in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Nero was adopted by his great-uncle Claudius to become his heir and successor, and succeeded to the throne in 54 following Claudius' death....

 caused a succession crisis in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. This led to a civil war throughout the empire. The Roman Senate
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

 installed Servius Sulpicius Galba
Galba
Galba , was Roman Emperor for seven months from 68 to 69. Galba was the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, and made a bid for the throne during the rebellion of Julius Vindex...

 as emperor, but he was quickly murdered by another contender for the throne Marcus Salvius Otho
Otho
Otho , was Roman Emperor for three months, from 15 January to 16 April 69. He was the second emperor of the Year of the four emperors.- Birth and lineage :...

 who had the backing of the Praetorian Guard
Praetorian Guard
The Praetorian Guard was a force of bodyguards used by Roman Emperors. The title was already used during the Roman Republic for the guards of Roman generals, at least since the rise to prominence of the Scipio family around 275 BC...

. Meanwhile the legions stationed in Colonia called for their commander Aulus Vitellius
Vitellius
Vitellius , was Roman Emperor for eight months, from 16 April to 22 December 69. Vitellius was acclaimed Emperor following the quick succession of the previous emperors Galba and Otho, in a year of civil war known as the Year of the Four Emperors...

 to be crowned as emperor. Vitellius marched on Italy at the head of the better part of the Rhine legions. He defeated Otho’s troops at the First Battle of Bedriacum
Battle of Bedriacum
The Battle of Bedriacum refers to two battles fought during the Year of the Four Emperors near the village of Bedriacum , about from the town of Cremona in northern Italy...

 in which Otho himself was killed.

A power vacuum occurred on the now undefended Rhine border. The Batavians
Batavians
The Batavi were an ancient Germanic tribe, originally part of the Chatti, reported by Tacitus to have lived around the Rhine delta, in the area that is currently the Netherlands, "an uninhabited district on the extremity of the coast of Gaul, and also of a neighbouring island, surrounded by the...

 rose and advanced on the empire from the Northeast of Germania Inferior. The majority of the inhabitants of Colonia remained Ubii and they had not become fully romanised. They quickly sided with the Batavians. However, when the Batavians demanded that the city wall be torn down, the inhabitants of Colonia again sided with the Roman Empire.

Vitellius was overthrown eight months later by Titus Flavius Vespasianus
Vespasian
Vespasian , was Roman Emperor from 69 AD to 79 AD. Vespasian was the founder of the Flavian dynasty, which ruled the Empire for a quarter century. Vespasian was descended from a family of equestrians, who rose into the senatorial rank under the Emperors of the Julio-Claudian dynasty...

 whose troops feared reprisals for having previously recognized Otho as emperor. Vitellius was killed and his body thrown into the Tiber
Tiber
The Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flowing through Umbria and Lazio to the Tyrrhenian Sea. It drains a basin estimated at...

.

Capital of the province Germania Inferior


With the founding of the province Germania Inferior under Domitian
Domitian
Domitian was Roman Emperor from 81 to 96. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.Domitian's youth and early career were largely spent in the shadow of his brother Titus, who gained military renown during the First Jewish-Roman War...

 in 89 AD, the commander of the Legions of Lower Germania Colonia became the provincial governor. The seat of the provincial governor was located in Colonia. In 80
80
Year 80 was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Augustus and Domitianus...

 AD water supply was built, the Eifel Aqueduct
Eifel Aqueduct
The Eifel Aqueduct was one of the longest aqueducts of the Roman Empire.The aqueduct, constructed in AD 80, carried water some from the hilly Eifel region of what is now Germany to the ancient city of Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium . If the auxiliary spurs to additional springs are included,...

, one of the longest aqueducts of the Roman Empire, which delivered 20,000 cubic metres of water to the city every day. Ten years later, the colonia became the capital of the Roman province of Lower Germany Germania Inferior with a total population of 45,000 people. The Rhine fleet was stationed south of the city at Alteburg. The fortress itself was destroyed in attacks by the Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 in 276 AD. This area was later named Alte Burg from which come the present day names "Akteburger Wall" and "Alteburger Platz".

With the elevation to provincial capital, Colonia was no longer a military base. The legions of the province were stationed in Vetera II near Colonia Ulpia Traina
Xanten
Xanten is a historic town in the North Rhine-Westphalia state of Germany, located in the district of Wesel.Xanten is known for the Archaeological Park or archaeological open air museum , its medieval picturesque city centre with Xanten Cathedral and many museums, its large man-made lake for...

 (near present-day Xanten), Novaesium and Bonna. The name of the city varied usage over time. In the 4th century AD it was known as Colonia Agrippina, it was shortened to "Colonia" sometime after the 5th century.

Late antiquity and the end of Roman rule


In 260
260
Year 260 was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Saecularis and Donatus...

 AD Postumus
Postumus
Marcus Cassianius Latinius Postumus was a Roman emperor of Batavian origin. He usurped power from Gallienus in 260 and formed the so-called Gallic Empire...

 made Cologne the capital of the Gallic Empire
Gallic Empire
The Gallic Empire is the modern name for a breakaway realm that existed from 260 to 274. It originated during the Roman Empire's Crisis of the Third Century....

 which included the German and Gallic provinces, Britannia and the provinces of Hispania. The Gallic Empire lasted only fourteen years. By the 3rd century, only 20,000 people lived in and around the town. In 310
310
Year 310 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Andronicus and Probus...

 AD, Emperor Constantine I
Constantine I
Constantine the Great , also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine and co-Emperor Licinius issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all...

 had a bridge over the Rhine constructed; this was guarded by the castellum Divitia (nowadays "Deutz"). In 321 AD Jews are documented in Cologne. When exactly the first Jews arrived in the Rhineland area can not be established anymore and the Cologne community claims to be the oldest north of the Alps.

Colonia was pillaged several times by the Franks in the 4th century and the city finally fell to the Ripuarian Franks
Ripuarian Franks
Ripuarian Franks is a distinction of the Frankish people made by a number of writers in the Latin language of the first several centuries of the Christian Era...

 in 459 AD. Two lavish burial sites located near the Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church in Cologne, Germany. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne and the administration of the Archdiocese of Cologne. It is renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture and is a World Heritage Site...

 date from this time of late antiquity.

See also

  • Roman governors of Germania Inferior
    Roman governors of Germania Inferior
    This is a list of Roman governors of Germania Inferior . Capital and largest city of Germania Inferior was Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium , modern-day Cologne....

  • History of Cologne
    History of Cologne
    The History of Cologne, Germany's oldest major city, can be broken into several periods.- Roman period :In 39 BC, the tribe of the Ubii entered into an agreement with the Roman forces and settled on the left bank of the Rhine. Their headquarters was Oppidum Ubiorum — the settlement of the Ubii, and...

  • History of the Jews in Cologne
    History of the Jews in Cologne
    The history of the Jews in Cologne is documented from the year 321 AD, almost as long as the history of Cologne. Because of this historical continuity, today’s Jewish synagogue community calls itself the "oldest Jewish congregation North of the Alps"....


External links

  • www.colonia3d.de, computer aided animations and renderings of CCAA by Köln International School of Design
    Köln international school of design
    The Köln International School of Design is an institution of the Cologne University of Applied Sciences and offers an interdisciplinary study program in the field of design...