Xanten: Vetera II


Xanten: city on the Lower Rhine, close to the Roman legionary base Vetera and the ancient city called Colonia Ulpia Traiana.

Map of the settlements at Xanten
Map of the settlements at Xanten

After the Batavian Revolt and the destruction of Vetera I, the old camp was never used again. Instead, after the Romans had restored order, XXII Primigenia built a new legionary base to the east of the first one. The second legion that used to be part of the garrison of Germania Inferior was stationed at Nijmegen, closer to the Batavians.

The new fortress, now known as Vetera II, was later occupied by VI Victrix in the first quarter of the second century. Unfortunately, it will never be excavated, because the Rhine has changed its course and now passes the site of Vetera II. However, sometimes, ancient objects are found in the river. The presence of a large cemetery and a sanctuary of Hludana have been ascertained.

Rhine, More or less the site of Vetera II

From the second quarter of the second century to 275, when the Franks occupied Germania Inferior, the second Castra Vetera was used by XXX Ulpia Victrix. (When the Romans restored order, the legion was transferred to the former civil settlement of Colonia Ulpia Traiana.)

The name of Vetera lives on in the modern place name Birten, a small village south of Xanten.