Knowing the Roman imperial mints: I - Treveris.

December 29, 2016

The ancient Roman city of Treveris corresponds to the present Trier, in the west of Germany, very close to the border with the duchy of Luxembourg. It was founded in 16 BC, reigning Octavius Augustus in Rome, with the name of Augusta Treverorum: translatable by Augusta of the Treveris, demonym related to the celtic tribe that dominated the area at the arrival of the Romans and that had been submitted by Julius Caesar forty years ago.


Photos 1 and 2.- The famous Porta Nigra in Tréveri. It was built around 180 AD, serving as access to the city from the north. Later it was used as a church, which explains its excellent state of conservation and too why an apse was added on its eastern flank. Photo 1 corresponds to the outer facade of the building, photo 2 to the inner one.


The new city rapidly gained great economic, political and cultural importance, acting henceforth and for centuries as the main focus of Romanization of the northern third of Gaul. From the administrative point of view was elevated to the condition of capital of the border province of Gallia Belgica. Its heyday occurs in the Late Empire, when barbarian pressure on the Rhine frontier forces the emperors to derive large amounts of resources to the north of Gaul, which were distributed from Treveris. In fact, the Caesar Constantius Chlorus would place his capital in Treveris, as would his son Constantine I after his proclamation in Eboracum (York). Consequence of such election was the construction of majestic buildings in the city destined to satisfy the needs of the emperor and his court. Such a building program would change the old landscape of the city, undoubtedly somewhat provincial, for other much more sublime and sophisticated, which would lead the contemporaries to nickname to Treveris "the Second Rome."