Forum Hadriani was the northern-most Roman city on the European continent and the second oldest city of The Netherlands. It was located in the Roman province Germania Inferior and is mentioned on the Tabula Peutingeriana, a Roman road map.
The site Forum Hadriani formed the nucleus of the civitas of the Cananefates, who lived west of the Batavians. It was situated along the Fossa Corbulonis or Corbulo-canal. This waterway was established about 47 CE by the Roman general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, forming an important shortcut between the rivers Rhine and Meuse. After the Batavian Rebellion, in which they participated, the Cananefates became loyal allies of the Romans.
In 121 emperor Hadrian made a long voyage along the northwestern border of the empire, during which he visited the Cananefate town. He gave the town his own name, Forum Hadriani (Hadrian’s Market). An alternate name, maybe the only official name, was Municipium Aelium Cananefatium (Aelius being the family name of Hadrian). The shortened version of this name, MAC, has been found engraved in a couple of Roman milestones found in the neighbourhood.
About 270 CE, after several plagues and attacks by Saxon pirates, the Romans abandoned Forum Hadriani.
In 1771 a bronze right hand was excavated during garden work on the estate Arentsburg. This hand was used by Étienne Maurice Falconet as model for the equestrian statue of Peter the Great, The Bronze Horseman. The first scientific excavations at the site of Forum Hadriani were carried out by Caspar Reuvens, between 1827-1833. Reuvens held the first professorship Archaeology ever, worldwide. Reuvens died before he could publish his findings. More excavations were done between 1908 and 1915 by Jan Hendrik Holwerda, he published the results of Reuvens together with his own discoveries in a comprehensive monograph in 1923.References:
Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.
Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.
The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.
In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.
The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.
The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.