Points of interest
Current limitatio grid
A Roman cadastre in the region of Cassel was already identified by Fran�ois Jacques in the 1980's. The Rue de Bourbourg near Staple and Wallon-Cappel
François Jacques, Témoins de cadastres romains dans la région de Cassel , Revue du Nord, n° 272, 1987
Parike - Roman road
Metalled road with NNW orientation
Ref. S. Vandecatsye, S. De Clercq, "De grenzen van projectarcheologie. Archeologie en het Fluxystracé Brakel-Haaltert."
Oude Gentbaan - Attested Roman road
Metalled road with NNW orientation. Attested at three locations.
Ref. M. Rogge, "Een bijdrage tot de studie van het Gallo-Romeinse wegennet in de streek tussen Schelde en Dender."
2nd half 3rd century
Ref. J. Deschieter, "Third century military activity in and near the Roman vicus at Velzeke (Belgium)"
Bavay (Bagacum Nerviorum)
Capital of the civitas Nerviorum.
location ? no obvious presence of gallic settlement; roads ? at least some of the roman roads are originally gallic (ref bavay -Tongeren: burial, http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/bspf_0249-7638_1921_num_18_7_13287# ; http://hanwide.unblog.fr/2012/10/21/des-menhirs-a-famars/
Kohoorstraat / Molen-Te-Veel - presumed Roman road.
Ref. N. VAN LIEFFERINGE, N. DE BROUWER, L. BEECKMANS, "Gallo-Romeinse bewoning in Geraardsbergen", artikel in Gerardimontium, nr 228, 2009
Aatse Heirweg - presumed Roman road.
The Roman road Bavay - Tongeren (Via Belgica)
This road is part of what 20th century historians called the Via Belgica, the main east-west artery of the province of Belgica, connecting Cologne to Boulogne-sur-Mer.
Although the term Via Belgica is grammatically correct, Roman roads were more often named after their builder, and, occasionally, after their destination.
As a consequence, a Roman most probably would have interpreted Via Belgica as a road leading to, and not through the province.
There are a number of indications that this road already existed before the Roman conquest :
Along the road, numerous Bronze age and Iron age burial mounds and archaeological sites were found.
The road follows largely the watershed between the Scheldt and Meuse river basins. This is not unusual for prehistoric roads that had to rely on natural drainage.
There is a notable variety in morphology. In the Civitas Nerviorum, the Roman engineers took great care in calibrating the road into three straight line sections.
In the Civitas Tungrorum, however, the current road reflects far more the original organic course of the former prehistoric road.
The Remi and their capital
During the Gallic wars, the Remi opted to avoid the confrontation with Caesar's legions. They allied themselves with the Romans and remained
loyal during the entire length of the war. As foederati - free allies - they formally remained independent, but in reality they became stongly exposed to Romanisation. Durocortorum, the oppidum of the Remi, was chosen as the capital of the new Roman province of Belgica.
The gallic oppidum was transformed into a typical Roman town with its streets laid out in an orthogonal grid.
The forum, the heart of any Roman town, was built astride the two main axes, the decumanus maximus and the kardo maximus, and the
intersection of these axes was situated within the compounds of the forum.
Traffic was diverted around the forum. This layout is not unusual for early Roman towns. In later town layouts the forum often occupies one or more blocks beside the DM and KM and
traffic is allowed to cross the town along the straight line of the decumanus or kardo.
The decumanus maximus extended over 40 km to the north-east and served also as a reference to divide the countryside. As a consequence, in the Civitas Remorum,
the rural centuriation has the same orientation as the urban grid.
Traces of this centuriation are still reflected in the border between the Marne and Ardennes departments.
The border also shows us that the centuriation presumably had a 10 x 10 actus grid.