ONCE UPON A TIME ...
About 500 years ago a
farmer found a bronze statue of a youth under the summit of the Magdalensberg.
This statue belonged to a city which was built by the Romans about 50 B.C. The
Celts had made their tools and weapons out of the Noric
For the production of iron you need ore which the
people found in the area around the city and especially near the place which
today called Hüttenberg. The citizens could afford
a lot of luxurious things,
because trading iron made them very rich.
But by 50 A.C. the people
left the city, because life on this high mountain was too exhausting. They built
at the Zollfeld a new city called Virunum.
people are still
excavating on the Magdalensberg. To get to the
beautiful and ancient houses you have to dig through many layers of soil.
Why do you think
life on a mountain was so exhausting?
A CUT ABOVE THE REST
In Roman times
the famous Noric iron was mined and worked in
Carinthia. At that time the iron was well-known all over the world.
The iron was so famous that the Romans conquered the
Kingdom of Noricum about 15 B.C. in order to own the very important
Tools made from Noric ironThe Romans
needed iron for the production of knives,
sickles, weapons and other utensils. Then these goods were sold at a special
Roman writers we nowadays know how expensive Noric iron was. From a Roman novel
about rich families in Rome we know that they used knives made of Noric iron
because they were the best to cut things.There is even a
series of coins on which the emperor Hadrian
praised Noric iron.
Hve a look at the glass case showing
the different knives in the iron-museum!
Guess how many knives there are!
Which instruments do we still use today?
BUSINESS AS USUAL
Even in Roman times you could
go shopping. This was easy and also great fun, due to the stores, that
were directly on the streets or on the pavement. There were stores, but “Standln”, just like the ones that can be seen on markets
were more common. In many countries people sold their handmade articles.
Most stores were a
combination of private property, shop and workshop.
All the stores were open for the whole day until
dusk. You also could go shopping on holidays. There
were no window displays, but they used the door-frames as an advertising area.
The range was great. Goods from all over the world
were offered. But you had to go to different stores to get different articles.
There were great mega-stores as well. After having
bartered about the price you could buy the article. Bargaining was one of the
most popular pastimes.
If you just think about our
flea-markets, you will be able to imagine what it was like in those days.
Going to Pot
Earthenware goods - TERRA SIGILLATA
There were two kinds of
clay. If you look at the display case, you will know for sure how
you can tell the difference.
Receptacles which were made here have a grey to
black colour. In Upper and Middle Italy they are
yellowish to brown/red.
All kinds of big and smaller bowls, jars, bottles
and plates were produced.
The crockery made from “terra sigilate” was
a very high qualitiy. It was red, shiny and therefore easy to
clean. In the
middle of the bowls and plates you can find a stamp with the name of the head
of the firm.
Take paperplates and make a stamp
with your name on it out of a potato. Now you can put insignia branding on the
Choose a genuine Roman Christian
name for yourself.
This is how
Cellar for storing amphorae
The Romans knew how to enjoy life. Just as today
good wine and food were a part of that
enjoyment. The main meal “latine -cena” was
taken in the afternoon and was eaten in a lying position using their fingers.
that time they didn’t know about sugar, so they
sweetened their food with honey which was plentiful.
Vinum (wine), oleum (olive oil) and
garum (a fishsauce for seasoning) were imported. It was transported and
stored in amphores.
Don’t you want to try an easy, fasty
recipe from Apicius, the cookbook author of the ancient times?
And now bon appetit. Now taste it and enjoy
the old Romans did AB OVO AD MALUM. That means that they didn’t have a soup for
starters like we have, but mostly they had eggs (latine:
ovum=egg; think of the word oval). For dessert, like
today, they had fruits (latine: malum=apple).
THE WRITING ON THE WALL
The rich Romans often decorated their houses with
mural paintings. The centre of this handicraft
was the city of Pompeji near Naples.
Lime dust and buttermilk, this formed the foundation of this
work. When you are doing a fresco, you are working on a wet wall.
The finished picture is covered
On the fresco you can see a
dancer. She seems to move in a graceful way.
her hair, she is wearing a “mitra”. A “mitra” is a small cap which is worn by
female worshippers of the god Dionysos. Dionysos is the Greek god of wine and
the Romans called him Bacchus. The god of wine had a “Thyrsos-staff”, on the
of it is a pine cone as a symbol of fertility.
You are a
champion (latin: maximus
- the greatest). Ask your parents,
friends and relatives what a fresco is. Then you can
show them what you know!
Look at the picture of
Dionysos/Bacchus. What is on the top of his “Thyrsos-staff”?
This was how the fresco painters worked
THIS IS A BUST
Marble was and is a
preferred building material
and it was taken from quarries of the surrounding areas.
You can make many things
out of marble: busts,
columns, stairs, statues and decorations.
What do you think s a marble bust?
It is a sculpture that shows the human head with the
shoulders and the whole breast.
Imagine yourself as an artist. Imagine that the
marble bust of an angry man should be made to look amusing. What
do you have to change? Watch angry and amusing
TAKE ME TO YOUR LEADER!
For praying or celebrating a mass, we go to the
church. The Romans worshipped their gods in
Yes, you are right: I said gods. There were three
very important principal gods. The others were responsible for various small,
less important things.
For every god, there are two names. The first one,
is the Roman one, the second name, in brackets is Greek.
start with the chiefgods:
the most important one, father of all gods. He hurled lightning and thunder
bolts. His symbol was the lightning- bolt.
Zeus’ wife, the goddess of marriage and family.
Minerva (Pallas Athene):
The goddess of wisdom and truth. Her symbol: the owl.
There are lots of gods and
goddesses, but you may already know some of them.
The next time you go shopping in
Austria, you’ll find some of them as names of products,
e.g. Ceres (coconut oil), Diana
(rubbing alcohol), there is a shop called Merkur etc.
Hope you enjoy this “holy” shopping!
And now the rest of them:
god of the sea. His symbol is the trident.
god of the underworld. Down there he lives and rules with his wife Proserpina
god of war, very bloodthirsty. His festivals used to be quite gory. His symbol:
goddess of beauty and love.
god of music, arts and healing. The god with the bow. His symbol: The lyre.
goddess of hunting and wild animals. Her favourasing animal: the hind. Her
symbol: the bow and arrow.
the divine messenger, god of merchants and thieves. His characteristics: winged
shoes and a winged helmet.
the god of craftsmen, particularly of blacksmiths. His symbol: the hammer and
goddess of fertility, she showed the people how to cultivate the land.
god of wine, fertility and festivals (which couldn’t take place without him
his gifts). His symbol: the grapes
goddess of the fireplace. Her symbol:the fire.
The ancient sight of the temple
was the seat of the Roman administration. If you go up the stairs you come to
the podium (tribunal); it belonged to the administration. On the podium sat the
judge and the advisers, administered justice, announced prescriptions and taxes,
and took the votes.
The Roman law
today is still one of the most important elements of the western culture. Many
names came from the Latin language
A POPULAR BLOKE!
presentation of the young man from the 16th century
The young man of
Magdalensberg has already had to withstand a
The Greeks imagined the young man to be an Olympic
winner, because he was taller than the average Greek and naked, like an
The Romans also liked the good-looking youth and so Roman sculptors
copied it, from the Greek original.
Two merchants from the Italian port of Aquileia brought the
statue to the city on Magdalensberg where the local inhabitants worshipped
it as an imagine of Mars Latobius (=god of war), in a temple on top of
When the city was deserted, the poor guy was buried
and forgotten, until about 500 years ago in
1502, when a farmer found the statue while he was working on his field on one of
the southern slopes. The youth was first taken to Salzburg, by the Archbishop of
Salzburg and later taken to Spain, where he vanished in 1860.
Luckily, before the journey to Spain, a copy was
made of the statue and this is the one that we can see in the museum of
art-history in Vienna.
The statue of the youth that we can see in the
excavation-museum is a copy of the Viennese one.
During the 1st century
B.C. people used to be about 1,55 m to 1,60
m tall. Can you guess how tall the Olympic winner is?
Take a closer
look at the right thigh of the young man. You can see two Roman names.Which two
people signed their names here?
Actually agriculture didn’t take place on the mountain itself but all around it. This work was very
honourable and a farmer was definitely more respected than for eg. A trader. A
farmer’s position in society was very high.
If you have a close look you’ll find showcases, in
which plates filled with nuts, peas and rye were kept without air.
People always believe that roman meals were very extravagant
but actually it was quite simple: a lot of grain
and vegetables. Things we see as obvious today
actually didn’t exist at that time: tomatoes, potatoes, maize, etc.
Bread was the most important nutrition source.
With the following recipe and some
skill you can soon enjoy it just like Romans did:
The Romans were not just
very good commanders,
but also excellent builders.
In many places in Europe today there can be seen a variety of buildings which
tell us about their culture and building -style. The
Romans especially were famous for their arch-
They’ve used many lightweight
building boards, like today Ytong. People
able to order these plates in the size they needed. In Peratschitzen near
Kühnsdorf there was such a tuff-manufacturing.
Tuff had place the advantage that it was easy to
produce and transport.
As you know, the transporting once wasn’t
as easy as it is today because there were no trucks or rail. Everything had
transported by horse- or donkey carts.
Because the Romans were good builders, there was
a good system of streets in the roman empire, and therefore the delivery was
The word “street” comes as with many other words in the German and English
language from the Latin.
The old Romans often liked to have a bath. They
therefore often liked to go to public baths, the so called “therms”. These
were luxurious baths, open to
the public. One could spend one’s free time by having a bath doing gymnastics,
reading, eating in the park and so on.
In every bath were different compartments: Cold
bath, warm bath, hot bath, sweethbath and so on. The heating was interesting.
It started from the floor, the so-called Hypokaustenheating, and over the
where, through hollowed-out bricks, warm air could stream in.
Nowadays men return to the ancient bathing culture
and build similar thermal bathes. Like Bad Kleinkirchheim, Warmbad Villach, Bad
Bleiberg and so on.
Visit these places or take brochures
in travel agencies and you can begin to imagine, how popular such a day in the
therms must have been.
tombstones of the VETTIUS brothers and of Vettia prima
A roman family
not only consisted of father, mother and children, but also of slaves. The
father (lat. pater) had a duty to protect the family. He had the patria
potestas. Every member of the family had to honour, respect and listen to him.
The mother (lat. mater) was in charge of the
home and the slaves. In wealthier families the children were mostly taught by
Greek slaves and not by their parents. Even around the turn of this century it
was also common to us to have a French Gouvernante or an English Nanny.
In ancient times slaves
were not human beings or
possessions, but things. They were often called “instrumentum vocale”.
know the word “instrument” and the vocals a, e, i,
o and u. So slaves
were working things with a voice. They had no rights. If they did their work
probably, they could be freed.
So now you know that
in Latin the word for slave was servus, maybe you will think about whom you great
the word “Servus”.