SREMSKA MITROVICA (Town) SERBIA
Sirmium, now Mitrovitz; an important city in Pannonia Inferior, situated on the left bank of the Savus. It was founded by the Taurisci, and under the Romans became the capital of Pannonia, and the headquarters of all their operations in their wars against the Dacians and the neighbouring barbarians (Amm. Marc. xvii. 13; xix. 11).
Singidunum (Belgrade) Yugoslavia. Roman town was on the high cliff overlooking the confluence of the Sava and Danube.
This strategic position had been occupied as early as the Neolithic period, and
the Roman castrum itself lies above the remains of a Celtic settlement. The city
of Belgrade and the Fortress of Kalemegdan, whose mediaeval, Turkish, and modern
ramparts were built above the Roman walls, now occupy the original site of the
castrum and settlement.
Legio IV Flavia was stationed at Singidunum in the late 1st c. A.D. and traces of the walls of its camp are visible in the upper fortress of the Kalemegdan. The town had been founded earlier in the century. The Roman Danubian fleet was also stationed here after being transferred from Viminacium, and a bridge was constructed across the Sava below the fort. Singidunum became a municipium in 169 and a colony in 239. The city suffered in the Gothic and Hunnic invasions of the 4th and 5th c. and came under Slavic control in the late 6th c.
Parts of walls belonging to the original castrum and to structures within the fort have been revealed under and near the W wall of the upper fortress of the Kalemegdan. The ancient city spread S at least as far as the present Republic Square. The main cemetery of Singidunum lay farther S and many graves were discovered during the construction and later repair of the parliament building. Graves have also been found in other parts of the city. The most significant early structure yet found is a Roman temple, only partially excavated, which was discovered beneath the foundations of the national bank on July 7th Street.
The Museum of Military History in the Kalemegdan presents an informative display of weapons and armor that belonged to the inhabitants of the site of Singidunum, and other Serbian towns, from prehistoric times to the present, as well as models and drawings of ancient fortifications. The National Museum of Belgrade on Republic Square is the largest museum in Yugoslavia and contains many of the discoveries from Belgrade as well as from other sites in Yugoslavia.
J. Wiseman, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Dec 2005 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
SREMSKA MITROVICA (Town) SERBIA
Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica) Yugoslavia. The modern city covers the site of Sirmium on the Sava river, ca. 76 km W of Belgrade (Singidunum). The Roman town was founded in the late 1st c. B.C. on the site of an earlier Pannonian settlement. It is mentioned first in history in accounts of the Pannonian-Dalmatian rebellion of the 1st c. A.D. It became a colony under the Flavian emperors and remained for centuries one of the most important cities on the Danubian frontier. It was frequently the headquarters for military operations and was visited by the emperors Trajan, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus, Maximinus, and Gallienus. Four emperors of the 3d c. were born in Sirmium or the vicinity: Trajan Decius, Aurelian, Probus, and Maximian.
Sirmium was the residence of the governor of Lower Pannonia and later was the capital of Illyricum. An important mint was founded here by Constantine I. The city was an ecclesiastical center and several church councils were convened here during the 4th c. The Huns destroyed the city in the mid 5th c. but it was restored to the Byzantine empire in the mid 6th c. Sirmium fell to the Avars after a long siege in 582.
Excavations have revealed a number of ancient monuments and have considerably expanded our knowledge of the ancient city. Among the more recent discoveries are a part of the imperial palace (4th c.) and the hippodrome attached to it. The hippodrome, between 350 and 400 m in length, was built shortly after 315 and, after one major rebuilding, fell into disuse before the end of the century. Parts of the foundations for the seats, a cryptoporticus, the spina, and the raceway have been found.
Sections of the city wall and two large cemeteries have been cleared. Near the center of the city the public horreum (4th c.), a large, rectangular structure with square piers, and part of the baths of Licinius have been excavated.
Artifacts from recent excavations are in the Museum of Sremska Mitrovica; some earlier finds, including a mosaic of the late Roman period, are in the Vojvodina Museum in Novi Sad. The Sremska Museum is built above a large private dwelling (4th-5th c.) and a mosaic with geometric patterns is preserved in situ within the museum courtyard. Frescos from the same dwelling have been restored and are displayed nearby along with a Roman ship, numerous inscriptions, and architectural pieces.
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