Full Version: Roman fortifcation terms in German
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I am new to this forum and looking for a bit of technical translating help. I have been crawling through material on the Limes, and there are some terms that have given me problems. Military fortification terms seem to have been left out of most English-Deutsch dictionaries.
One is a "Mauerzug" It is used several times during the description of Kastell Buch, and refers to a short section of some type of internal wall.

Secondly is the word "Umwehrung" Is this a generic term for the entire defensive wall system, or does it refer solely to the berm at the base of a wall complex?

Any help would be appreciated

"Mauerzug" simply means "wall", literally it would be translated as "course of wall" or "length of wall".

"Umwehrung" simply means parapet or fortification and could be used to refer to the complete system of wall, berm and ditch or to the wall alone but not to the berm alone.
....maybe this one helps :
A multilangual thesaurus with most of the technical terms needed.


Thanks to the both of you.
I discovered the Limes several years ago when a cousin showed us Kastell Pfünz. Even though I was a history major and had two courses on Roman history, I had never heard of the Limes until then. Since that time, I have become hooked on them, and have been fortunate to be able to visit many of the sites and museums from Bayern bis Xanten.
There is virtually no material in English on them, and as a learning exercise in both history and German, I have been translating the material on the Limes from Wikipedia. The challenge is often tying to determine with which dependent phrase goes the verb in some of your impossibly long German sentences
Since these articles are well footnoted, I am assuming that they are generally accurate, but at the same time, it appears that they are taken selectively mostly from works of Planck or Baatz, and becasue of that there is sometimes a seeming lack of continuity. [this was an impossibly long English sentence]
I can order books from Germany. Could either of you recommend which books by the above authors might cover significant areas of the Limes, but at the same time, give more details as to the archeological methodology and the findings?

Noch einmal vielen dank für die Hilfe.

Quote:There is virtually no material in English on them,
Sadly, British publishers don't see this as an opportunity. They will only consider books with "Secret" or "Mystery" in the title. :roll:

Quote:Could either of you recommend which books by the above authors might cover significant areas of the Limes, but at the same time, give more details as to the archeological methodology and the findings?
Ideally, you should have Dietwulf Baatz's classic Der Römische Limes. Archäologische Ausflüge zwischen Rhein und Donau, but it seems to change hands for silly money these days.

Otherwise, I'd recommend the whole series of "Die Römer in ..." books: e.g., Die Römer in Baden-Württemberg: Römerstätten und Museen von Aalen bis Zwiefalten (bang up-to-date), Die Römer in Bayern (I believe there's now a new edition?), Die Römer in Hessen (an absolute classic), ... Some are out-of-print: maybe they can still be obtained in local bookshops in the various regions?
Quote: I have been translating the material on the Limes from Wikipedia.

Go to ... cher_Limes

They are doing an excellent job.
rgilbert:2cg9cc78 Wrote:There is virtually no material in English on them,
Sadly, British publishers don't see this as an opportunity. They will only consider books with "Secret" or "Mystery" in the title. :roll:

Perhaps the Authors could oblige by Modifying a second Edition and adding the words "Mystery of the Eastern Roman "Limes , to the Titles from now on? Or "Secrets of....) :mrgreen:
To D.B. Campbell and Eleatic Guest;

Actually the Baatz Classic to which you referred is avaialbe through, at a reasonable cost, which is less than the shipping. I read German very slowly, so it will take a while, but thanks for the information.

As to the Limes material on Wikipedia, I am quite familiar with it. As it is footnoted, I am assuming that it is accurate. Here in the hinterlands of Amerca, it is the only material to which I do have access. My perception though is that it is greatly condensed, and I want to go further.

Thanks to all for the replies.

as nowadays the research on the limes is going on, all interested should perhaps have a look at these publications: ... id=368&L=0 ... anguage=en

Thanks for the additional information. Speaking of new material - has anyone actually seen the construction at the Kleinkastell Pohl? I wish that the website would post more pictures of construction rather than of people. The web site is saying that it will be a perfect reconstruction. Any comments?

Vielen Dank für die Informationen. Sprechen von neues Material - hat jemand tatsächlich den Bau am Kleinkastell Pohl gesehen? Ich wünsche, dass die Website würde mehr Bilder von Bau post, statt von Menschen. Die Website sagt, dass es eine perfekte Rekonstruktion werden. Jegliche Kommentare?

Quote:... the construction at the Kleinkastell Pohl? ... Any comments?
Sounds interesting. I wasn't aware that anything had been discovered in the interior (which wouldn't bode well for a "perfect reconstruction").
That's why I am curious. The archeological results in 1903 were "unsatisfactory" and it was reported to be of earth-wood construction, with a turf wall topped with a palisade. The images on the web site shows a berm topped with a stone parapet, and stone or at least plastered structures. I guess it might be possible that computer imaging might not be able to depict a wooden palisade. Just looking for comments from someone who might be close to site.
Have a look here:

"Der vollständige Nachbau der militärischen Anlagen wird nach den Grabungserkenntnissen der Reichslimeskommission vor Ort und als Umsetzung aktueller Forschungen zur Limesarchitektur an anderen Orten des obergermanisch-raetischen Limes und weiterer Limeslinien des römischen Reiches sowie unter Heranziehung literarischer, epigraphischer und bildlicher Quellen ausgeführt."
Actually they don´t say, that everything is build upon exclusively the results of the excavation there, but also because of the actual archeological research on the limes.
....I had a look.
Well, -- what can I say after looking at their "virtual" reconstruction there: a wooden tower with an outward gallery, plastering and plaster-painting ?! Hmm ...... :roll:
They claim something like "application of recent findings" ?!
Well, it seems more like what the Rhein-Lahn-Presse (here: link from old RAT) unvoluntarily joking (?) wrote:
"Camp at Pohl: Building like in the times of the Kaiser" (that is NOT Franz Beckenbauer but Willy II ! :mrgreen: )
They're referring to the first reconstruction of the Saalburg here before WW 1 -- the feats of which have not remained undisputed in the course of time.
Taking a closer look at least towards the "virtual" reconstruction of the watchtower, the Rhein-Lahn-Presse may have hit the nail dead center here.
Why so ??
As mentioned here: link from old RAT and depicted also there (thanks D.B. !) is what a wooden watchtower should look like -- according to most recent research.
There has been thorough research on it and most of it should have been accessible at least to scholars already before 2010.
Moreover, although the material shown at Michelstadt was specifically referred to the Odenwald-Limes, there is no adverse proof against transferring the results also to the forward line of wooden (!) watchtowers of the ORL(Obergermanisch-Rätischer-Limes= the forward line) --with the depicted one on our website coming from Rainau-Buch at the ORL, based on research by Siegbert Huther (hopefully Dr. Siegbert Huther by now !) and was built ~ 8 years ago.
(I can't remember whether Dr. Jens Dolata, the archeologist depicted several times on the Pohl-website, has been at Michelstadt or not. He is also not on the list of the members of the Deutsche Limeskommision published here: [url:31nauz7e][/url] --- hard times for archeologists ?! :mrgreen: )
Some of the data on the timetable of the limes conferred on the Pohl-website are also disputable, it seems.
In that light -- some of the informations/illustrations given on the Pohl website are quite a mouthful -- or may we hope that they improve upon their plans while building ?
(Ahhhh.....exact reconstruction....shtonk !!!! :mrgreen: )
With more projects like that coming upon us, the question arises: Quantity before quality ?


These are very interesting comments. I read the material on the Colloquium on the rearward German Limes. Were some of the wooden towers plastered, and are you suggesting that the turm at Pohl was plastered? Obviously there is ongoing revision as to what a wooden tower looked like. The illustrations at the Rheinbrohl museum depict the early watchtowers as simple houses on stilts, which is similar to the reconstruction at Wp 1-8. Is this reconstruction type also now suspect?
After more careful reading, it seems that the RLK listed, with a question mark, Wp 2-23 as a wooden tower, and the map shows a ringgraben that would have been typical for a wooden tower. The material also says that a structure in the northern corner of the fort was an earlier stone tower, with the implication that it was torn down when the fort was built. If this supposition is correct, and the stone towers replaced the wooden towers in the time of Antonius Pius, then it seems that there would not have been any towers associated with the fort. Your comments would be appreciated.
In regards to the construction techniques from the colloquium, could it be determined if the clapboards were sawn or riven? Technical translation problems arise, but I think it would probably be “gespaltern”
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions. It is greatly appreciated.

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