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 Geschichte Bayerns > Review > Bavaria in Roman Times
Bavaria in Roman Times

For more than 500 years, vast regions of today's Bavaria belonged to the Roman Empire. They formed part of the Roman province of Raetia, later known as Raetia secunda, with its capital of Augusta Vindelicum - today's Augsburg.

The Romans developed the area methodically, setting up military bases, large settlements and towns, and creating a complex network of roads. Towns today such as Kempten (Cambodunum), Regensburg (Castra Regina) or Passau (Batavis) all date from this time. Augsburg was an important traffic intersection, and the most important early connection to Italy, the Via Claudia, passed through Kempten.

It was during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian (117-138) that the province of Raetia prospered the most. The Limes Raeticus border wall was built at that time to protect it. The first traces of Early Christianity date to around 320.

In the years that followed Raetia was attacked repeatedly by Germanic tribes. In around 500, Roman rule in Raetia came to an end. Roman colonisation had provided a great deal of inspiration, however: stone architecture, thermal baths, glass production and wine cultivation all continued. The Latin alphabet and numerous Latin words were also retained during early medieval times.