THE TEMPLE OF DEVS SOL INVICTUS FROM NAPOCA. CONTRIBUTION TO THE TOPOGRAPHY AND HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT TOWN Cover Image
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TEMPLUL LUI DEVS SOL INVICTUS DE LA NAPOCA. CONTRIBUŢIE LA TOPOGRAFIA ŞI ISTORIA ORAŞULUI ANTIC
THE TEMPLE OF DEVS SOL INVICTUS FROM NAPOCA. CONTRIBUTION TO THE TOPOGRAPHY AND HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT TOWN

Author(s): Coriolan Horaţiu Opreanu
Subject(s): History
Published by: Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai
Keywords: Napoca; Roman religion; Devs Sol Invictus; altar; Maximinus Thrax;

Summary/Abstract: The author edits an unknown inscription found in Cluj-Napoca (ancient Roman colony of Napoca), street Crisan 21, outside the Roman walls, at about 300 m from the Northern gate. It is a limestone fragmentary altar, well carved, dedicated to Deus Sol Invictus, probably by the soldiers of an auxiliary cavalry unit. The unit is identified with ala I civium Romanorum, recorded in Dacia by the military diplomas from 14 October 109 and 17 February 110 and later in Lower Pannonia in the military diplomas from AD 157, then at Teutoburgium and finally in the fort at Intercisa till AD 176. The later history of the unit is not known. The inscription is dated after AD 236 using the epithet Maximiniana, reconstructed by the author in the preserved last two rows of the text. It is known the war of the emperor Maximinus Thrax with the Free Dacians from the North in AD 236, when he got officially from the Senate the title of Dacicus Maximus, first time after Trajan. This war can be related with the history of Roman Napoca, as recent excavations uncovered in Deleu street few Roman buildings having several construction stages. The last floor of building C2 is dated by two coins from Philippus Arabs, while the previous one corresponds with a destruction layer. In the floor, inside a pit was found hidden from Antiquity a pot having inside 1268 Roman silver coins. The last coin in the hoard was issued by Severus Alexander in AD 235. The author considers is very probable that the hidden of the hoard and the destruction of the buildings of Napoca to be identified with the war of Maximinus Thrax with the barbarians from the North. The Roman military unit mentioned in the text was either still in the army of Lower Pannonia and brought to Dacia in the expeditionary force of the emperor, either in the 3rd century was already moved in the army of Dacia Porolissensis. The altar was found in 1997, by the owner, Mr. I. Pop, when excavated in the yard of his property, together with another bigger one which was too heavy to be moved, so it was built in a wall raised to support the upper garden. A third fragment of inscription was lost meantime. The author of the study found also in the garden a fragment of Roman tile. He concluded there was an ancient building, the temple of Deus Sol Invictus, possible Mithras, situated outside the Roman town along the Roman road going to Porolissum.

  • Issue Year: 54/2009
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 127-140
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Romanian