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Moenus - the ancient river Main

From 105/110 the river Main, Lat. MOENUS, functioned as river boundary for a part of the Upper German Limes. The antique name comes from ancient written sources (Aur. Vict., Caes. 21,2).The river served not only defensive purposes; it was also an extremely important transportation route for supplies. The Main was the most important connection into free Germania for the Roman province Germania superior.

The ancient Main had many bends and meanders, and looked very different from today's regulated river. Fluvial plains varied with narrow break-throughs, as with the Main break-through between Spessart and the Odenwald at the "Mainknie" (Main knee). The Roman complexes of military architecture, forts and watchtowers with civil settlements and cemeteries, lay on the elevated terraces and were protected from flooding.

Geologically, the region is characterised by red sandstone, a material that is still quarried and is easy to work with.

Literature:
Steidl 2008, 81ff.

Watchtowers and shipping along the Main in Roman times, between Obernburg and Wörth a. M.
1
Model of a patrol boat, special exhibit "Limes World Heritage Site - Rome's Frontier at the Main" (2008)
2
The Main at Bürgstadt with a dock for ships
3
Regulation of the Main at Niedernberg
4
The Main at Großkrotzenburg
5
Power plant, Trennfurt
6
Oak post from the Roman bridge Großkrotzenburg in the Saalburg Roman Fort
7
1 Watchtowers and shipping along the Main in Roman times, between Obernburg and Wörth a. M. © Archäologische Staatssammlung München, Zeichnung Christoph Haußner, München 2 Model of a patrol boat, special exhibit "Limes World Heritage Site - Rome's Frontier at the Main" (2008) © Boundary Productions, Photo Eric Dobat 3 The Main at Bürgstadt with a dock for ships © Boundary Productions, Photo Eric Dobat 4 Regulation of the Main at Niedernberg © Boundary Productions, Photo Eric Dobat 5 The Main at Großkrotzenburg © Boundary Productions, Photo Eric Dobat 6 Power plant, Trennfurt © Photo Eva Kuttner, Linz 7 Oak post from the Roman bridge Großkrotzenburg in the Saalburg Roman Fort © Saalburgmuseum

Bavarian State Conservation Office Landesstelle für die nichtstaatlichen Museen & Bavarian State Archaeological Collection with the support of the Bayerische Sparkassenstiftung