Skip to content
BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access October 18, 2018

The Garrison of the Roman Fort at Porolissum (Dacia). The Analysis of the Tile-Stamps

  • Coriolan Horatiu Oprean EMAIL logo
From the journal Open Archaeology


The author is dealing with the tile-stamps found in the Roman auxiliary fort at Porolissum attempting to establish which of the many units recorded on tile-stamps stayed in garrison at Porolissum. The author of the present article is arguing his own hypothesis on the subject, based on his own excavations at Porolissum and on all the data gathered from the scientific literature. He finally proposes two tables and a graph that correlate all the information on the troops known from the tile-stamps and stone inscriptions, establishing which of them were in garrison at Porolissum and which were only temporarily attached for building activity. At the same time he sets in chronological order the tile-stamps, demonstrating that the three units which built the headquarters building and the gates of the fort (coh III, L VII GF, L III G) were brought to the Porolissum area late in Hadrian‘s reign, to build in stone the fort and other military facilities in the limes area of Porolissum. The permanent garrison of the fort was composed during the 2nd century AD of two infantry auxiliary units, cohors I Brittonum and cohors V Lingonum, while a third one, numerus Palmyrenorum was probably lodged in a smaller fort situated 500 m away, on the Citera Hill. In the third century, cohors V Lingonum was still there, cohors I Brittonum also for Caracalla‘s time (even not recorded by any later inscription, but, at the same time, not attested in another fort), while the smaller Citera Hill fort was out of use and the numerus Palmyrenorum Porolissensium was moved inside the big fort from Pomet Hill. The author is concluding that the garrison of the military site Porolissum was not changed during the Roman rule in Dacia, all the other tile-stamps found belonging to units brought mainly during the 2nd century to built the military facilities of this strengthened sector of the frontier.


Breeze, D.J., Dobson, B., & Maxfield, V. (2012). Maenius Agrippa, a chronological conundrum. Acta Classica, 55, 17-30.Search in Google Scholar

Diaconescu, A. (2004). Statuaria majoră în Dacia romană (Unpublished doctoral Dissertation). Babeș-Bolyai University. Cluj-Napoca.Search in Google Scholar

Dobson, B. (1978). Die Primipilares. Entwicklung und Bedeutung, Laufbahnen und Persönlichkeiten eines römischen Offiziersranges. Köln: Rheinland-Verlag.Search in Google Scholar

Dolata, J., Mucha, H.J., & Bartel, H.G. (2010). Mapping find spots of Roman military brick stamp in Mogontiacum (Mainz) and archaeometrical analysis. In A. Fink, B. Lausen, W. Seidel, A. Ultsch (Eds.), Advances in data analysis, data handling and business intelligence (pp. 595-604). New York: Springer.Search in Google Scholar

Doudin-Payre, M. (1986). Le diplôme militaire de Drobeta: à propos des consules de 179 ap.-JC. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 62, 259-262.Search in Google Scholar

Gudea, N. (1989). Porolissum. Un complex arheologic daco-roman la marginea de nord a Imperiului Roman, I (Cercetări și descoperiri arheologice până în anul 1977). Zalău.Search in Google Scholar

Gudea, N. (1996). Porolissum. Un complex arheologic daco-roman la marginea de nord a Imperiului Roma, II. Vama romană. Monografie arheologică. Contribuții la cunoașterea sistemului vamal din provinciile dacice. Cluj-Napoca.Search in Google Scholar

Gudea, N. (2001). Die Nordgrenze der römischen Provinz Obermoesien. Materialien zu ihrer Geschichte (86-275 n. Chr.). JahrRGZM, 48, 3-118.Search in Google Scholar

Kurzmann, R. (2006). Roman military brick stamps: a comparison of methodology. Oxford: Oxbow.10.30861/9781841719757Search in Google Scholar

Macrea, M. (1957). Apărarea graniței de vest și nord-est a Daciei pe timpul împăratului Caracalla. Studii şi Cercetări de Istorie Veche, 8(1-4), 215-251.Search in Google Scholar

Marcu, F. (2004). Military Tile-stamps as a Guide for the garrisons of several forts in Roman Dacia. In L. Ruscu, C. Ciongradi, R. Ardevan, C. Roman, C. Găzdac (Eds.), Orbis antiquus. Studia in honorem Ioannis Pisonis (pp. 570-594). Cluj-Napoca: Nerea Mia.Search in Google Scholar

Opreanu, C.H. (2013). Corrigenda Porolissensia (I). Cohors III la Porolissum. Acta Musei Porolissensis, 35, 179-191.Search in Google Scholar

Opreanu, C.H. (2015). Caracalla and Dacia. Imperial visit, a reality or only rumour? JAHA, 2(2), 16-23.Search in Google Scholar

Opreanu, C.H. (2015a). A detachment of legio VII Gemina at Porolissum. When and why?. Dacia N. S. 59, 299-309.Search in Google Scholar

Opreanu, C.H. (2016). Relationship of temples of Deus Invictus Serapis at Sarmizegetusa and of Apollo at Tibiscum with emperor Caracalla. Studia UBB Historia, 61(1), 80-99.Search in Google Scholar

Opreanu, C.H. & Lăzărescu, V.A. (Eds.). (2016). Landscape archaeology on the northern frontier of the Roman Empire at Porolissum. An interdisciplinary research project. Cluj-Napoca: Mega Publishing HouseSearch in Google Scholar

Opreanu, C.H., Lăzărescu, V.A., & Ștefan, D. (2013). Noi cercetări la Porolissum. Analele Banatului, 21, 83-106.Search in Google Scholar

Petolescu, C.C. (2001). Auxilia Daciae. București: Ars Docendi.Search in Google Scholar

Piso, I. (2000). Les légions dans la province de Dacie. In Y. Le Bohec, C. Wolf (Eds.), Les légions de Rome sous le Haut Empire (pp. 205-225). Lyon: De Boccard.Search in Google Scholar

Piso, I. (2001). Studia porolissensia (I). Le temple dolichénien. Acta Musei Napocensis, 38(1), 221-237.Search in Google Scholar

Piso, I. (2004-2005). Studia porolissensia (II). Acta Musei Napocensis, 41-42(1), 183-188.Search in Google Scholar

Piso, I. (2005). Die cohors III Campestris in Porolissum. In F. Beutler (Eds.), “Eine ganz normale Inschrift”...änliches zum Geburtstag von Ekkehard Weber. Festschrift zum 30. April 2005 (pp. 325-332). Wien: Österreichische Gesellschaft für Archäologie.Search in Google Scholar

Piso, I. & Benea, D. (1984). Diploma militară de la Drobeta. Acta Musei Napocensis, 21, 111-124.Search in Google Scholar

Piso, I. & Benea, D. (1984a). Das Militärdiplom von Drobeta. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, 56, 263-295.Search in Google Scholar

Piso, I. & Deac, D. (2016). Inscriptiones Daciae Romanae. Appendix I. Inscriptiones laterum Musei Zilahensis. Cluj-Napoca: Mega Publishing House.Search in Google Scholar

Piso, I. & Marcu, F. (2016). Inscriptiones Daciae Romanae. Appendix II. Inscriptiones laterum Musei Napocensis. Cluj-Napoca: Mega Publishing House.Search in Google Scholar

Tóth, E. (1978). Porolissum. Das Castellum in Moigrad. Ausgrabungen von A. Radnóti, 1943. Budapest: Ungarisches Nationalmuseum.Search in Google Scholar

Vass, L. (2014). Contribution to the knowledge of bone and antler bow lath production from Roman Dacia. In S. Cociș (Ed.), Archäologische Beiträge. Gedenkschrift zum hundersten Geburtstag von Kurt Horedt (pp. 99-120). Cluj-Napoca: Mega Publishing House.Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2017-11-17
Accepted: 2018-03-29
Published Online: 2018-10-18
Published in Print: 2018-10-01

© by Coriolan Horatiu Oprean, published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

Downloaded on 10.12.2023 from
Scroll to top button