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Schwäbisch Gmünd - Freimühle: name of the site of a Roman fort along the Raetian limes.

Roman fort at Freimühle
Roman fort at Freimühle
The limes castle of Freimühle (northwest of modern Schwäbisch Gmünd) is very small: 55 x 55 m. It was a little bit behind the palisade that constituted Rome's northern frontier.

Immediately to the west of the Freimühle fortlet is a brook called Rotenbach. This was the boundary between two Roman provinces: east of it was Raetia, west of it was Germania Superior. It is tempting to assume that Freimühle was in some sense related to this boundary. Maybe its soldiers inspected travelers between the two provinces.

About 50 meters to the southeast, the remains of a bathhouse have been identified. Its presence suggests that the fortlet was not dependent on the next fort, Schirenhof, which is surprising, because the two settlements were within sight of each other.

Freimühle, rooftile
Freimühle, rooftile
Roof tiles with the inscription COhoRs Prima RaETorum prove that the unit that occupied this small fort was, at least at some point in the history of Freimühle, the Cohors I Raetorum, which was also based in nearby Schirenhof.

To the south of the fortlet was a small civil settlement. The next limes castle to the west is Lorch in Germania Superior; to the east, in Raetia, is Schirenhof.

This page was created in 2005; last modified on 30 March 2014.