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Helinio (Oostvoorne?)


Detail of map of Germania Inferior. Design Jona Lendering.
The location of Helinio (51)
Germania inferior: small province of the Roman empire, situated along the Lower Rhine. This webpage is part of a series of short descriptions of villages in Germania inferior. An overview can be found here.

In 173, the Chauci, a tribe that lived in what is now called Groningen and Ostfriesland, and was well-known for its sea-faring qualities, attacked what is now called Flanders. The governor of Gallia Belgica, Didius Julianus, defeated them. The Roman government responded by building several forts along the coast of what is now Zuid-Holland, Zeeland and West-Vlaanderen.

Because the sea has been active in the third century, the castle at Oostvoorne, which guarded the estuary of the Meuse, must be sought somewhere off the coast. Its ruins have been seen in 1752. The name Helinio is known from the Peutinger map.

Because the remains survived for centuries, it is likely that the fort was at some stage replaced by a heavily fortified castle, and we may assume that this happened in the fourth century. 

Edge of Empire. The book Arjen Bosman and I wrote about Rome's Lower Rhine Frontier.
Edge of Empire. The book Arjen Bosman and I wrote about Rome's Lower Rhine Frontier (order; review)



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