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THE ROMAN LEGIONARY FORTRESS, GENERIC MODEL OF TERRITORIAL ORGANIZATION

Part 2 Dissertation 2008
Ion Mincu University of Architecture and Urbanism Bucharest Romania
This paper is a study of the generic model of the roman legionary fortresses. From Great Britain to Iraq, or from the Netherlands to the North Africa, the roman legionary fortresses followed the same set of operating principles, improved and enriched through time. However, no plan of a legionary fortress was found identical elsewhere, even when built in the same period. It is hard to say what the cause was for the variations of the plan, knowing that the topography of the place was chosen or modified according to the demands of castrametation.
The dissertation will be structured in three parts. In the first part we will show how the layout of the Roman legionary fortresses combines functional criteria together with geometric constructions and religious rituals. These two important features brought forth the first generic model of territorial organization known in the colonized provinces of the Roman Empire. It proved to be so efficient that it was applied to the foundation of the new civil settlements called coloniae.
The second part will focus on the application of the legionary fortress pattern to the coloniae. We will also point out the extent to which the presence of a legionary fortress close to a roman settlement helped its economic development. Many of these communities with legionary origins endured through Medieval into modern times.
In the last part, we will see how this common cultural heritage has been preserved and used. None of the sites of the former legionary fortresses have been the subject of any contemporary architectural intervention. This is why we will analyze some projects that enhanced archaeological sites of the Roman civil architecture.
Finally, we will emphasize the importance of the legionary fortress at Potaissa among the legionary fortresses in the Roman Empire, and from among the ones in Roman Dacia, as well. We will also try to figure out the guidelines of the project for the archaeological park from the analysis of the generic model of the Roman legionary fortresses.




The present dissertation was chosen to represent our school in this year President’s Medals Students Awards Competition. It was highly appreciated not only for its specific approach to the diploma project theme, but also for the importance of comparing different sites of roman legionary fortresses allover Europe.

Tutor(s)
Stefan Ghenciulescu
2008
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