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Mogontiacum (Mainz)


This old photo shows the size of the piers.
This old photo shows the size of the piers.
Mogontiacum: Roman city, capital of Germania Superior, important military base, modern Mainz.
 
History Photos

Bridge

Dendrochronologically, we can be certain that the wood used to build the bridge of Mainz was cut in 27 CE. The bridge can not be much younger. It was almost certainly built on the site of an earlier, pontoon bridge, because the bridgehead (called Castellum Mattiacorum) was already there for about a quarter of a 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)
Modern reconstruction of the bridge at Palzem (Luxemburg). Archeon, Alphen aan de Rijn (Holland). Photo Jona Lendering.
The twenty-one piers that supported the bridge spanned about four hundred meters and were placed at a distance of nineteen meters. They measured 18 x 7 meters. (This is comparable to the Roman bridge at Cuijk.) The road across the river must have been at least twelve meters wide, which means that there were two lanes in both directions. This photo shows a modern reconstruction of a similar, but smaller, bridge at Palzem in Luxemburg; the reconstruction is in the Archeon park.

Medaillon showing the bridge at Mainz. Copy in Mainz' Landesmuseum, from an original at Lyon (France). Photo Marco Prins.
To keep the bridge intact, repairs were needed about four times in a century. They were extreme expensive, but a good connection across the Rhine was also important.

Already in Antiquity, the bridge of Mainz was recognized as a monument. This medaillon, made during the reign of the emperor Constantius I Chlorus (293-306), who visited the city several times to fight against the Alamans, shows the bridge. The original object is now in Lyon; this photo shows a copy in the Landesmuseum in Mainz.


History Photos
Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2006
Revision: 21 August 2008
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