The Slovenia Times

Poetovio Travels 2000 Years Back in Time


As visitors have been able to observe some 1,300 actors from Slovenia and abroad acting out their Ancient Roman duties from Thursday evening on, the festivities will culminate today with a parade in the town centre.

Later in the day, the Roman Senate session will take place, followed by a Roman funeral. Meanwhile, some 50 children are enjoying a special three-day camp designed especially for them, head organiser Andrej Klasinc told the press ahead of the festival.

The entertaining programme will continue on Sunday, when the festival closes with Roman games, which are expected to be watched by several thousand visitors.

"The Roman Games are becoming an internationally renowned event, which will become even bigger after it joins the medieval towns network in the coming years," Klasinc said as he announced the construction of a permanent Ancient Roman camp in Poetovio, as Ptuj was named by the Romans.

"Based on our experience, we will begin building a permanent Roman camp this year, and it will open to visitors next year," he added.

Archaeological evidence show that the Ptuj area was settled already in the Stone Age. It was settled by the Celts in the late Iron Age, while the first Romans came to set up camp around year 15 BC.

The town was used as a military base-camp for the Legio XIII Gemina legion, one of Julius Caesar's key units in Gaul and in the civil war.

The town was named Poetovio by Emperor Trajan in 103 AD, when he granted it city status. The town boasted 40,000 inhabitants at the time.

It had its own mint, customs and tax services, and housed up to 10,000 legionaries. In its best days, Ptuj was the biggest city in the region.

Settled along the famous Amber Road trading route, Poetovio represented a vibrant trading hub and welcomed large number of travellers.

As a Roman city it prospered most in the second and third centuries. The town was burnt down by the Huns around 450, which meant the end of its Roman days.


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