July 01, 2020

Franconia and the big Wall - Das Frankenland und die große Mauer




Oh, those Romans, what have they ever done for us? Back in the first and second century a.D. they conquered Northern Europe, and in order to do that properly, they built roads for easy travel. They invented a heated floor system, had saunas and washrooms, water and wastewater management, they brought us the art of entertainment and education, as well as sanitation and healthcare. The Romans seemed to have liked it a lot in Southern Germany, they came to stay, they gave us the vineyards, and it is wine region up to today.

Was haben die Römer je für uns getan? Im ersten und zweiten Jahrhundert nach Christus eroberten sie Nordeuropa, und da sie schon mal dabei waren, bauten sie auch gleich Straßen, um das Reisen zu vereinfachen. Sie erfanden die Fußbodenheizung, hatten Saunen und Badehäuser, Wasser- und Abwassermanagement. Sie brachten uns Kunst, Kultur und Bildung, Hygienestandards und Gesundheitswesen. Die Römer mochten wohl das Leben in Süddeutschland, sie kamen, um zu bleiben und brachten Weinreben mit, welche die Gegend heute noch prägen.

Limes hiking trail marker
Limes remnants at Burgstallwald near Gunzenhausen

But the Germanic tribes wanted their freedom more and sent the Romans from whence they came. Our ancestors then discarded all hygienic standards, preferred to live in the dirt, welcomed diseases and embraced the primitive lifestyle of the dark middle ages when religions then successfully wiped out almost all remnants of Roman civilisation.

Doch die Germanen wollten lieber ihre Freiheit und schickten die Römer dorthin, wo sie herkamen. Unsere Urahnen ließen sodann alle hygienischen Standards abschaffen, bevorzugten es, wieder im Dreck zu leben und sagten Hallo zu Krankheit und primitivem Lebenswandel. Dann kam das finstere Mittelalter und die Religionen zerstörten noch fast den ganzen Rest römischer Zivilisation.


Roman Castra Abusina

Thanks to a rekindled interest in Roman culture during the Renaissance in the 16th century we are still able to visit and admire a few archaeologic sites and reconstructions of Roman architecture.

Dank eines wiedererwachten Interesses für die römische Kultur in der Renaissance, so um das 16. Jahrhundert dürfen wir heute die verbliebenen archäologischen Fundorte und Gebäude-Rekonstruktionen erleben und bewundern.


Roman fort Biriciana, Weißenburg

I admit it, I am obsessed with Roman history and fascinated by their technical accomplishments and inventive spirit. Ok, some of their knowledge had likely been obtained (stolen) from the Greek and some North African cultures but yet they were great inventors and architects themselves.

Ich gebe zu, dass ich fast schon besessen von römischer Geschichte bin. Mich faszinieren die damaligen technologischen Errungenschaften und der Erfindungsgeist, auch wenn manches auch nur von anderen Kulturen, wie der griechischen (z.B. die Badekultur) oder der nordafrikanischen, übernommen (geklaut) wurde.


Roman Bath House (Therme) in Weißenburg

Naturally, while in Franconia we had to follow the the lines of the UpperGermanic Rhaetian Limes, the boundary that marked the outer border of the Roman empire, not a defence line but more a borderline allowing thru-traffic and trade.

So war es klar, dass wir während unseres Aufenthaltes im Frankenland dem Obergermanisch-Raetischen Limes folgen würden, der Außengrenze das damaligen Römischen Reichs, die weniger der Verteidigung diente, sondern eher eine Begrenzungslinie war, die die Durchreise und auch Handel erlaubte.


Reconstructed brick watch tower at Erkertshofen
Reconstructed wooden watch tower at Burgsalach

Oh, those Romans...
Oh, diese Römer...

6 comments:

  1. Interesting that some of the better parts of Toman occupation weren’t kept…

    It looks like you now have your bicycles.

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    1. Blame it on religions, Richard. It's far easier to intimidate people that plaques are punishment from a higher being than for lack of hygiene ;-)
      Yep, bicycles will be coming along more often now that the tow bar has been mounted on the van.

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  2. Nice pics of the Roman infrastructure SonjaM, re the pic with the multiple square blocks that you captioned: Roman Bath House (Therme) in Weißenburg....was there an explanation as to why some of the blocks are of different height?

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    1. They were supposedly once all the same height with the same amount of bricks, Dom, because they were meant as a pillar with a floor on top. I believe this is the way they reconstructed it from remaining blocks to make it more interesting looking, however an obsessive compulsive mind (like myself) would like them to be evened out.

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    2. Another example of history rewritten to suit someone’s agenda....

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    3. It's probably better to be preserved like this than completely lost like many other cultural artefacts that have been destroyed or re-used for other purposes. That's what people seem to do...

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