Ancient Britain – The Ancient Cultures of Britain. Map of Ancient Britain, showing the Celtic tribes, and Roman roads
Even marrying her didn’t influence him to go back to the most powerful city. Even marrying him didn’t influence Decima to move on to Thracia. Within the years, almost nothing happened. Marcus Lucius visited his wife once a year and spent few happy, relaxed days by her side. She welcomed him friendly, open, wistful. He adored her and complemented her in every sentence. Still, he was relieved when he could go back to his friends in the army camp. Even in the minimal time frame of freedom, he trained his body daily and ignored the events his mother organised in his honour. On his way back to the camp, he analysed how to solve the situation. Someone had to edge down. He wasn’t ready to go back to Rome, she wasn’t willing to move so far, far away from her beloved, domestic city. After a few years of serving the empire in Thracia, he politely asked, whether it was possible to be resettled closer to Rome, but still not too close. As he got permission to serve in Brigetio, he was satisfied for the second time. It was only two weeks away from Rome.
The military camp Brigetio was a Roman military camp supervising a part of the Pannonian limes, which was a large section of the Roman Empire’s border. Brigetio was in the area of the northern Hungarian town of Komárom. First, a cohort fort was founded and extended to a military camp towards the end of the 1st Century AD. For strategic reasons, Emperor Claudius had chosen the location due to the crucial proximity to the mouth of Vah and the river Danube. The Vah was the largest tributary of the border section of the North Pannonian area. In the further eastern side of Komarno, the land raised to finally stand up as Gerecse Mountains. Brigetio also was an important road junction laying proudly, calmly on a major military and trade route that wriggled along the Danube and included Carnuntum and Aquincum, just two days away from each other if you were a messenger and four to five days if you were a merchant delivering goods.
In the North part of the horizon of the military camp, the navigable rivers Vah and Nitra flowed from the northern Carpathians. It was more spectacular in contrast to the older cohort fort, and not built right on the banks of the Danube, probably due to the risk of extended river runoffs. However, the river port had been built to use the water as a means of transport. The Roman Danube fleet had a larger, important base in Brigetio. Compared to Ostia, the port was calmer and less chaotic. Marcus Lucius loved visiting it.
Brigetio welcomed its guests with large, proud square gate towers as Porta Praetoria and Porta Decumana, as well as four corner towers at the massive, defensive walls. Then, you could see a rectangular floor plan with rounded corners in the form of playing cards and enclosing walls. In the centre, wooden barracks for four legions and two auxiliary cohorts were exposed, then, Praetorium, the residence of the Commander, and workshop stations, were settled. Not all legions were permanently stationed here. Some came here just for the hallmarks of bricks since the reign of Claudius. However, everybody knew that Britannica milliaria equitata, the first partly mounted double cohort of Britons Roman citizenship with power of 1,000 men, was located there. Originally, the cohort excavated in Britain, but since 89AD, it was assigned to Brigetio. Maybe therefore, Marcus Lucius felt so well there. The British influence reminded him about his stay in Britannia.
Marcus Lucius remembered the sanctuary, where two life-size seated statues of Jupiter and Minerva observed silently, motionlessly the guests of the camp and a soldier’s life. He used to go to the temple regularly. Not, because he was a very religious man, but to get a bit of silence. He became popular there, his merits from Thracia were widely and publicly known, even if he never spoke about it before and even though if his comments were limited to concrete, short answers. Legionnaires liked his easy, straight way of being. Marcus Lucius didn’t use his position to show off and he stayed focussed on his trainings and meetings with soldiers no matter which rank they had.
He used to spend his evenings with his friends. Happiness fulfilled him when he saw Quintus, the old friend from Ostia, and some other known legionnaires. Quintus often visited Brigetio as a message deliverer from Aquincum. From 40 AD, the area was brought completely under Roman control. A military camp like I. Tungrorum Frontonania and the province of Pannonia were built up quite fast. Near the camp, significant civil settlements were created over time. Marcus Lucius had chosen a piece of land free to build a villa and shape a garden with many green herbs and trees. Quintus gladly advised where the best places was for starting a happy, shiny family life.
Before Marcus Lucius came to Brigetio, men used to play the game with Quintus that Marcus Lucius observed so often in Ostia. Quintus was still a good player and won many times. He only lost a few battles, mostly against the higher ranks, which wasn’t a shame. Maybe he even let the other win, because defeating your boss mostly doesn’t look good. When Marcus Lucius appeared, the game nights were cancelled unexpectedly. Professionally and continuously, Quintus didn’t talk about it. Instead, he perfectly directed discussions to funnily enough topics related to Thracia. He made impression of being totally interested in what happened there and how Marcus Lucius became such a prominent, influential figure. Marcus Lucius tried to change the subject, because he didn’t feel comfortable being everybody’s darling.
When he came to Brigetio, he was meant to be the representative of Titus, the military Praefectus castrorum, camp commandant, responsible for the general order. As Marcus Lucius found out quickly, Titus was a good friend of Appius, the best friend of Maximus. Marcus Lucius wondered how Appius came from Britannia to Aquincum. Even, if Appius still didn’t manage to be tribune with his almost 50 years, he was respected and taken seriously at least in the same way as Titus. Even if Appius theoretically held the same rank as Marcus Lucius, even if there were almost 20 years difference between them, but Marcus Lucius felt obligated to honour him properly. It wasn’t easy to keep the rules of being of the same value and level. It was strange for Marcus Lucius and Appius seemed to look at it more relaxed. Maybe it was due to his age. Maybe it was due to his personal attitude.