Life under Roman rule – In parts of present-day Hungary (2024)


The Roman Empire covered a large area, including parts of present-day Hungary. There are many still visible remains in the landscape or in museums. In addition to written sources, there are monuments ranging from objects to architecture, pictures and sculptures. This makes it possible to question and compare the significance of the individual sources. In addition, there is the interdisciplinarity, for many insights are only gained by applying scientific but also linguistic and other reference disciplines. Many things from Roman antiquity seem familiar to us at first glance, especially when it comes to concepts such as the state and the republic, but also to things of everyday life. But on closer inspection, the familiarity disappears when it comes to social rules, behaviour and norms. Therefore, there are lots of opportunities to interest and motivate pupils of different ages to learn about history. Selected examples will show how attractive the Roman period in Hungary can be for pupils.

Why ancient history?

In many countries it can be observed that ancient history has been pushed back in the history curricula. At first glance, this is understandable, because history goes on, it does not end. The history of the last hundred or two hundred years is considered indispensable and in many curricula strict attention is paid to ensuring that it does not fall prey to time constraints. Inaddition, the number of lessons is either reduced or history is no longer taught as a subject, but in combination with politics (or a comparable term) and/or geography. The number of hours, on the other hand, is not increased. It is often said that ancient history is too old, too difficult and ultimately too foreign to be given an appropriate place in school education.

Let us first consider the addressees, i.e. the pupils who receive their first history lessons in the early years of lower secondary school. For them, as a rule, everything that does not directly belong to their own present is old. This can be observed particularly well when they are asked to estimate the age of adults. Age differences to classmates who are a few years older or younger are also perceived as serious. Therefore, it hardly matters to the pupils whether they are confronted with history from the second half of the 20th century or from the 1st century AD. In my opinion, the argument ‘too old’ is not used by pupils in the early years of lower secondary school, but by those who think that our present and the modern history can be understood without ancient and older history (Erdmann, 1993, p. 223). But to limit history to the historical explanation of present conditions, problems and conflicts is to limit it to a past history of present conditions. Ancient history, however, belongs inseparably to history and therefore cannot be neglected without serious consequences for history and historical consciousness. Or, to quote Géza Alföldy's vivid comparison: “There is no historical science without ancient history–to eliminate it from its context would be as impossible as trying to learn a language only from the second volume of a dictionary.” (Alföldy, 1973, p. 49).

In response to the argument that ancient history is too difficult for pupils in the first years of lower secondary school, it is always important to structure the learning content in such a way that it corresponds to the respective level of development and learning. For decades, there have been tendencies in historical science to didactically take up aspects of social and mental history, cross-cultural contrasting and projects in cooperation with archaeological findings, which is especially appropriate for the age and understanding structure of these pupils. This will be discussed later.

Ancient history is foreign to all of us, not only to the pupils. This foreignness is not a shortcoming, but an opportunity. The ancient historian Christian Meier has described ancient history as “the next foreign thing” (Meier, 1970, p. 176) located in an almost ideal combination of proximity and distance to our present. The distance to antiquity is so great that when we look at it, the self-evident truths and biases of our culture today become more apparent. By confronting our questions and answers with a culture that is foreign, but not too foreign, many things that seem self-evident to us are called into question (Meier, 1970, pp. 151–181).

Methodological-didactic structuring principles

Since I do not have the entire wording and structure of the valid curriculum in Hungary, but only the translation of a few key words regarding Roman history, I can only name a few methodological-didactic structuring principles which, in my experience, are important for the topic.1 Which structuring principles the teacher applies, how he weights them, is something he can only decide. He will do this not only in view of the curriculum, but also in knowledge of his pupils, whereby it is important to also take their age into account.

Positioning in space

Pupils are usually interested in learning who used to live and rule in their country and what it looked like. The tension between the regional-historical and universal-historical aspects can also be made fruitful. For example, the largest extent of the Roman Empire under Emperor Trajan can be shown on a map. The pupils should then find out which of today's countries lay on the territory of the Roman Empire in imperial times and determine which areas of today's Hungary belonged to the Roman Empire. For younger pupils, it can be helpful to indicate the extent of today's states in dotted lines. They should then indicate which present-day states lie wholly or partly in the territory of the Roman Empire. The requirements for students at secondary level II should be more differentiated.

There is also an interest in finding out who settled the country before the Romans. These were partly Celtic tribes who settled mainly in the western and northern parts of the later Roman province, partly the probably Illyrian-speaking Pannonians (Borhy, 2014, p. 25).

The positioning in space is important. However, it should be noted that it makes sense to implement the above suggestions in lower secondary school, while upper secondary school students can work more independently and in greater depth.

The chronology

It is very important to allow for a chronological orientation in history lessons. That's why it is necessary that the pupils know that after a severe war of conquest (13–9 BC) Pannonia was organised as the northern part of the province of Illyricum. After the suppression of the Pannonian-Dalmatian revolt (8 AD), Pannonia was separated from Illyricum and given its own consular governor. Under the emperors Domitian and Trajan, many limes camps were established along the Danube. The army of Pannonia, with its four legions, was one of the strongest in the Roman Empire from the end of the 1st century AD.

Already during the Year of the Four Emperors (68/69 AD) and at the outbreak of the Marcomannic Wars (167–180 AD), it had become clear what an important role the strategic position of Pannonia in the forefront of Italy and thus of Rome played. The Severan period was then a peaceful and prosperous period in Pannonia, which was also due to the fact that the Severan dynasty came to power with the help of the Pannonian troops and ensured that loyalty to the imperial house was maintained through pay increases.

From the end of the 70s of the 4th century, the importance of Pannonia diminishes more and more. It suffers severe devastation at the hands of the barbarians. Emperor Valentinian dies during negotiations with the Quades in Brigetio (Komárom) in 375 (Borhy, 2014).


The sources for ancient history are not as numerous as for modern and recent history, since much depends on the coincidence of tradition. Sometimes it is only due to a fortunate circ*mstance that we have knowledge of a particular work of historiography or of an inscription. The lack of sources and the fragmentary transmission of many sources is not a deplorable deficiency, but a salutary compulsion to consult testimonies of all kinds and thus to look beyond disciplinary boundaries. Ancient languages and archaeology have a special role to play here.

Remains of Roman buildings

It is a special experience for pupils when they can visit a building that dates back to Roman times without having to travel great distances. The Roman Limes in Hungary is well explored and offers the possibility to visit the preserved foundations of Roman watchtowers or Roman signal towers. The Danube formed the outer border of Pannonia and thus of the Roman Empire. Especially where the river does not cut through rock, but flows through areas with sandy and loess soil, the river bed has shifted over the past 1,500 years due to natural processes, but also as a result of human intervention such as river regulation, intervention in the interest of navigation or the installation of hydroelectric power plants in Austria and Hungary. The occurrence of small forts and bridgeheads on the left bank of the Danube cannot be explained in all cases by changes in the course of the river. Recent investigations have shown that they were deliberately erected by the Romans on the opposite bank. The aim was to prevent enemy crossing of the river (Visy, 1988, pp. 35–36).

An excursion to the still visible nearby wall remains, for example of a watchtower or a small fort, is recommended as an introduction to the study of the Roman period. However, it is not enough to just go there with the pupils; they should also be given the opportunity to do something themselves. For example, they can measure the length and width of the remaining walls. It is also advisable to show a reconstructed ground plan on site so that the pupils can locate the measured wall remains on it. It is also important to point out to the pupils how much the surroundings have changed, which is clearly visible, for example, in the late Roman counter-fortress Contra Aquincum (Budapest–Petőfi Square). The carefully reconstructed projecting towers also make it easy to observe the technique of Roman shell masonry.

If you visit this fort with secondary II students, it is a good idea to also visit the inner-city parish Church, which was built in the southeast corner of the fort. The lower Church still partly shows walls of the Roman fortress Contra Aquincum and the history of the Church is closely interwoven with the Hungarian history. It is a good idea to give these pupils tasks in advance of the visit, which they can then work on in groups and present their results to the other groups during the visit (Visy, 1988, p. 86, image p. 71).

In addition to watchtowers and small forts (burgi), there are also legionary camps for about 5,500 men and many more forts in which auxiliary troops (500 or 1,000 foot or cavalry soldiers) were accommodated. Each of these camps also had a fort bath, which was located outside the camp enclosure. If you have the opportunity to visit such a bath, it is a good idea to discuss the reconstructed ground plan of a bath before the excursion, so that the pupils know that it was not a swimming pool, but a sequence of rooms, from a sweat room (sudatorium) to a warm bath (caldarium) and a cold bath (frigidarium), the latter two were equipped with brick bathtubs. Before you entered the cold bath there was also a lukewarm room (tepidarium) where people could rest, talk or do gymnastics (Erdmann, 2000, p. 45). There were large baths in the legionary camps as well as in the cities (in Latin: thermae). In the legionary camps, the baths were located inside the camp. In large noble houses in a city or in a villa rustica in the countryside, there were also private baths that were only accessible to the inhabitants of the house or of the villa rustica. In addition to personal hygiene, the baths served as a meeting place, where people met acquaintances and friends, but also business partners. People liked to go to the baths frequently.

Playing on the basis of sources

It is precisely through structural remains, but also through objects from past times that are exhibited in museums, that the sensory perception and emotions of the viewer are stimulated. Such efforts are intensified when playing within the structural remains or in a room designed for museum educational activities. With regard to the Roman period, there are certainly sources that are suitable as playing templates. It is quite conceivable and desirable that the players can productively reshape the historical situation given in the text through their own moves.

  1. a)Bathing life in Baiae

Especially for pupils of secondary school level I, it is a good idea to read and discuss the complaint of Seneca the Younger (ca. 4 B.C.–65 A.D.) about the noise pollution in Baiae. There were hot healing springs in Baiae; from the 1st century BC the settlement developed into a popular bathing resort. It should be made clear that Seneca was not only the advisor of Emperor Nero in his early years, but a writer who wrote tragedies, among other things, but also treatises on topics of ethics and moral-philosophical letters to his friend Lucilius. The salutation in each letter is: “Seneca wishes health to his Lucilius”.

…I live directly above a bathing establishment. Now imagine all kinds of sounds that can cause hatred for one's own ears: when stronger men exercise and swing their fists weighted with lead, when they exert themselves or pretend to do so, I hear groans as often as they let out bated breath, hisses and heavy exhalations; … But when a ball player joins in and starts counting the balls, it's over. Now add a brawler and a thief, one who has been caught and one who likes his own voice in the bathroom; …and a lemonade-seller's various praises, and a sausage-seller, and a confectioner, and allthe helpers of the cookshops, selling their wares in a kind of personal tone. (Seneca. epist. mor. 56, 1–2, transl. Rosenbach, 447f.) (Seneca, 1995)

After the text has been read out and discussed, the scene can be acted out, preferably outdoors because of the noise it makes. One should have a speaker who reads out the extract of Seneca's letter to Lucilius. As soon as the strong men are mentioned, two or three students should imitate the sounds mentioned and not stop when Seneca tells of a ball player counting his balls. Then there is bickering and shouting to stop a thief, a bather sings and finally the vendors and waiters praise their goods.

Incidentally, two bathers can also be heard talking, which is why the philosopher Seneca wants to enjoy the warm water in Baiae, but is not pleased by the noise.

  1. b)Daily routine of a Roman pupil

There are inscriptions on stone from all over the Roman Empire; in the west they are often written in Latin, in the east of the Empire in Greek. Frequently, writing was also done with a stylus on wooden tablets whose rectangular recesses were covered with wax. The writing could be erased again and when the wax had become very thin, new wax could be added. However, such writing tablets have only survived under particularly favourable soil conditions. Furthermore, writing was done on papyrus and, since the 2nd century AD, increasingly on parchment. The same applies to the preservation of these materials as to the wooden tablets. The writing finds show that many people in the Roman Empire could read and write. There was no compulsory education in the Roman Empire, but there were primary schools where boys and girls learned to read, write and do arithmetic. School fees were not too expensive because the teacher taught many children. It was often thought that primary school was enough for girls. The school fees for higher schools, where a so-called grammaticus taught, could only be afforded by financially well-off families. The same applied to higher education. Private tutors who taught the children of a family at home were only affordable for wealthy families.

The following text is from a Greek-Latin schoolbook written around 200–210 AD2:

At daybreak I wake up, call my slave and have him open the window. He does so immediately. Istraighten up and sit down at the edge of the bed. I ask for socks and shoes because it is cold. After I put the shoes on, I take a towel. They bring me a very clean one. They bring me water in a pot for my toilet. I pour it over my hands, face, mouth. I rub my teeth and gums. I spit, blow my nose and dry myself as a well-behaved child should.

I take off my nightgown, I take a tunic and put on a belt. I perfume my head and comb my hair. I loop a scarf around my neck. I tie my white tippet over it. I leave the room with my pedagogue and with my nurse to greet Papa and Mama. I greet them both and hug them.

I look for my writing utensils and my writing tablet and give them to the slave. Now everything is ready and I make my way, followed by my pedagogue, through the portico leading to the school.

My comrades come towards me. I greet them and they return my greeting. I come to the staircase and climb the steps very calmly, as befits me. In the vestibule I take off my coat. I stroke my hair with my comb, enter and say, “Greetings, my teacher.” He embraces me and greets me again. The slave hands me a tablet, writing utensils and ruler.

“Greetings, comrades. Make room for me (my bench, my stool!) Move back a little!–Come here!–I had it before you!” I sit down and get to work.

I finish learning my lesson. I ask the teacher to let me go home to eat. He lets me go. I say goodbye to him and he returns my greeting. I return home. I take white bread, olives, cheese, dried figs and nuts. I drink fresh water. After I have eaten, I go back to school. I find the teacher reading. He says, “Get to work!” I have to go to the bath!–Yes, the time has come. I go, take towels and follow my servant. I run to meet those who are going to the bath and say to all and sundry, “How are you? Good bath! Good dinner!” (Marrou, 1977, p. 497f.)

With this longer text, it is recommended that the daily routine of a Roman pupil is partly read aloud, partly narrated and discussed. The pupils should be asked to ask questions while the text is being read or told. They often ask whether the teacher was also a slave and why breakfast was not mentioned. Moreover, it becomes clear in the conversation that it must be a well-off family in a city. In the text, the ideas and expectations of the society of the time are formulated for a pupil from a good family.

If there is the possibility of looking at Roman sculptures and paintings in a museum where Roman clothing can be seen, it is a good idea to discuss them with the pupils and give them the opportunity to put on this clothing themselves. Apart from the toga, this is easy to do, as the clothing was hardly ever sewn, but rather pinned with brooches and held together with a belt. Only the making of the toga requires some sewing skill. If you want to recreate Roman clothing, it is a good idea to use cheap nettle (unbleached cotton) if possible. There are also museums that have a fund of Roman clothing, which they then explain and make available to pupils who come to the museum (Erdmann, 2000, p. 43, pp. 85–88 description and illustrations).

In my experience, it is a good idea for half of the class to act out the text in Roman clothes. This can lead to spontaneous developments outside the text. For example, during one play, when the parents and the pupil's wet nurse had nothing more to do after the text, the wet nurse (slave) became insolent towards her master, the father. He immediately wanted to take her to the slave market and sell her. A fierce battle of words ensued with the mother, who did not want to do without the wet nurse and got her way. The pupils had understood what slavery meant, these people were seen as things that could be sold if they did not behave as the owner expected. In this case, however, the owner's wife proved superior. Afterwards, those who were spectators should act out their daily routine today. Then, this group should also be given the opportunity to slip into Roman clothes. All the pupils can then comment on how they felt in Roman clothes in contrast to their everyday clothes (Erdmann, 1992, pp. 155–162).

Roman history museums

In Hungary, there are smaller and larger museums around towns or Roman sites, such as the Roman Villa Baláca, which are worth visiting, especially as mosaics and wall paintings are often on display. It is advisable that students are informed by their teacher in advance of their visit how the visit will proceed. The pupils should know that they will look at and discuss some finds (such as selected objects, a particular mosaic or wall painting) together, but that they will have enough time afterwards to look at what they are particularly interested in on their own. This can also be combined with the request to draw something that one particularly liked. In the following, only the reconstructed water organ in the Aquincum Museum (2015) will be discussed in more detail.

History and music: the Roman water organ in aquincum

In 1931, Roman wall remains were found during construction work in the urban area of the civil town of Aquincum. The archaeologist Lajos Nagy uncovered the cellar of a building that had fallen victim to a fire. Numerous bronze components of an ancient organ were discovered under the rubble of the cellar (Kaba, 1976, p. 7f.). Fortunately, the dedicatory inscription on a bronze plaque has also survived:

“G(aius) Iul(ius) Viatorinus dec(urio) Col(oniae) Aq(uinci) aedilicius praef(ectus) coll(egii) cent(onariorum)hydram coll(egio) s(upra) s(cripto) de suo d(onum) d(edit) Modesto et Probo co(n)s(ulibus).”


“Gaius Iulius Viatorinus, councillor (decurio) of the Colonia Aquincum, former aedile, head of the collegium of textile merchants donated the water organ to the above-mentioned collegium at his own expense in the consulate of Modestus and Probus (228 AD)” (Kaba, 1976, p. 11).

The Romans knew associations (collegia), which joined together to cultivate sociability, but also to guarantee their members a proper burial and commemoration of the dead. They were usually members of certain craftsmen or merchants, some of whom–as in this case–were also obliged to serve as firemen. The centonarii were manufacturers and sellers of low and medium quality woollen cloth, but also makers of cushions or blankets from old patches or rags, which when wet were used in extinguishing fires (see Rohde (2011) In a fire around the middle of the 3rd century, the fire brigade building was destroyed. The instrument, together with the wooden floor, collapsed into the cellar and remained there under the fire debris until it was discovered. Presumably, the organ was played on festive occasions for about 20 years. Fragments were lost during the Second World War, but archaeologists, musicologists, precision mechanics and organbuilders were able to reconstruct two copies of this find in more recent times (Kaba, 1976, pp. 7–10). One of these specimens can be seen in the Aquincum Museum. On the museum's website you can also hear how the organ sounds (

Whether it was actually a water organ (hydra), as the name on the inscription says, or a bellows organ that existed at the same time, cannot be said with certainty because of the state of preservation. A contemporary organ builder emphasised that the water tank only served to regulate the wind pressure, but did not produce the sound. The mechanic Ctesibios from Alexandria (mid-3rd century BC) is named as the inventor of the water organ. The first descriptions of an organ are found in the first century B.C. and A.D. Today's word organ comes from organum, which originally meant a tool in general (Rühling, 2018, pp. 106f., 113, 115–117). There are also illustrations of organs from Roman times which show that the one from Aquincum was one of the smaller examples and was probably only used indoors.

Suggestions for lessons, also in the museum

If you visit the Aquincum Museum, with pupils from secondary school, you should arrange with the museum that the pupils can listen to sound samples while looking at the organ. Also of interest are the circ*mstances in which the remains were found and illustrations of mosaics showing not only an organ with player but also a tuba player with instrument.

For students of the upper secondary level, it is recommended that the subjects of music and history cooperate. In this way, the subject of music can present the exact principles according to which the Roman water organ functioned, how many pipes and stops the organ of Aquincum had, which tones and scales could be reached. Furthermore, the students should find out from the literature on which occasions the organ and possibly also wind instruments were used. The use of the organ in imperial ceremonies in Byzantium should also be discussed.

Already 50 years before the excavation of the organ, a sarcophagus was found in Aquincum with an inscription containing a poem to the deceased wife Aelia Sabina, who played the water organ. Her husband, who had the sarcophagus made, was a paid water organ player with the II Legio Adiutrix. The inscription dates from the same period as the organ. So it is quite possible that Aelia Sabina played on this organ. Since 1881, this sarcophagus has been in the possession of the Museum Aquincum and a translation of the poem should also be included in the cooperative lessons (Kaba, 1976, p. 42f., Plate XLVII):

  • Here, enclosed in stone, lies the lovely wife Sabina.

  • She was the only one who surpassed her husband in art.

  • Her voice was sweet, she struck the strings with her fingers.

  • Suddenly snatched away, she is silent. Three times ten years her life,

  • Woe with five less yet, then still the months three,

  • Fourteen days more. Eternally she is remembered by the people,

  • How they saw her at the Hydraulis so lovely and playing. Blessed be you who read this, and may the gods protect you,

  • Sing with a pious voice: Aelia Sabina farewell!

  • T(itus) Ael(ius) Iustus, paid water organist of the II legio adiutrix, had this erected for his wife.

Early Christian burial sites in Pécs

In the 4th century, Christianity also spread to Pannonia. Christian communities can be traced in Aquincum around the middle and in the 2nd half of the 4th century. There are not only Christian grave inscriptions, but also entire burial districts and five Christian basilicas, whose walls, as far as the state of preservation allowed, were included in later Church buildings (Borhy, 2014, 150–153).

Sopianae, today's Pécs, which was founded in the 2nd century and developed into an important city in the 3rd century, was the centre of the civil administration of the then province of Valeria in the 4th century. Whether Sopianae was also a bishop's seat in the 4th century cannot be said at present without further excavations.

The early Christian mausoleums and monuments were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. The largest Christian cemetery extended north of the city near the cathedral. Most of the funerary monuments were two-storey structures where the deceased were buried in chambers under the tombs (cubicula), usually in sarcophagi. They have a rectangular floor plan and often have an apse and a barrel vault. The entrance was usually filled with Earth to prevent grave robbers from entering. Above this was the memorial chapel (cella memoriae). This was used for the funerary banquet held in memory of the dead buried here after burial and on certain commemorative days. Only two burial chambers have preserved the foundation walls of the memorial chapel. There are few comparable two-storey burial structures in the Roman Empire. It is unusual that some of the burial chambers in Pécs are decorated with high-quality wall paintings, which are only known from the catacombs in Rome. The so-called Korsós burial chamber has a niche in which a wine jug and a glass are depicted, and the walls are decorated with vines. The wine jug, glass and vines can be both Christian and pagan symbols. Since this burial chamber was probably created towards the end of the 4th century, a number of scholars today assume that the Korós burial chamber is a Christian burial site (, p. 73, p. 70 f. Fig.; Borhy, 2014, p. 154, Fig.137, p. 153).

The Peter and Paul burial chamber is clearly Christian because of its painting. It dates from the middle of the 4th century. Opposite the entrance, the view falls on the apostles Peter and Paul, each pointing to the Christogram in their midst. The paintings on the side walls are damaged, Eve and part of the tree are clearly visible, but Adam only partially, then Daniel in the lions' den (?), Jonah; Noah's ark; Mary with the child ?. The ceiling is painted: A Christogram in the centre, portraits in the four corners; floral ornaments (, p. 69, Fig.68f.; Borhy, 2014, p. 154, Fig. 134, 135). It was not until 1975/78 that an early Christian mausoleum with sarcophagus burials was uncovered, the walls of which are decorated with paintings of biblical themes such as Adam and Eve, Daniel in the lion's den, Noah's Ark.

There is also a cella trichora (chapel with three apses) with wall paintings, which was once painted in the 4th century, but was painted over in the 10th century. Very unusual is the largest tomb building with seven apses (cella septichora). The building remained unfinished when the province of Valeria was abandoned in the 5th century and parts of the population migrated (Borhy, 2014, p.154, fig. 136).

Suggestions for preparing a visit

It is important to prepare students, whether they are secondary I or II, well for a visit. First, check whether and to what extent they are familiar with the stories of the Old Testament and Christian iconography, so that they know what the murals mean. It may be possible to work with the religious education teacher. It would also be important to have good illustrations of the murals in the classroom so that the younger pupils in particular are already familiar with the illustrations or know how to complete them. Furthermore, the pupils should already be familiar with the Christianization of the Roman Empire and know that it was only gradually established. Reconstruction drawings of the cella trichora and septichora are certainly available from archaeologists and can be copied so that they can be viewed before the excursion or shown on site during the excursion.

For secondary school pupils, one could point out that the cella septichora has no parallel known to us, but that there is a comparable building with nine apses in St. Gereon in Cologne.


There is often the opinion that history, especially facts and figures, must be learned. But where is the joy and enthusiasm that the study of history can awaken? In a recently published book, the Festschrift for Joachim Rohlfes, there are two contributions which complain that “the fascination of dealing with the past, its otherness, its difference from the present, in short: the potential sensuality of historical learning” is missing in history lessons (Arand, 2021, p. 65). Another contribution already asks in the title about the “joy of history?” and calls it in the subtitle “a sometimes forgotten but indispensable prerequisite for historical learning” (von Reeken, 2021, p. 79).

After many years of experience with teaching history in schools and teaching history and its didactics at various universities, I can only point out that the possibilities described have not only aroused interest among the pupils and the students of the teaching profession, but have also inspired them to implement these suggestions in their professional lives and to realize their own ideas. I enjoyed transferring the experiences I had in Germany to the Hungarian conditions I know from my own experience.

Conflict of interest

I hereby declare that there was no conflict of interest in writing this essay.

About the author

Erdmann, Elisabeth, Professor emeritus, Dr. Honorary President of the International Society for History Didactics. Main research interests: visual literacy, textbook research, history didactics in international contexts, ancient history, archaeology. Studies in History and Latin at the University of Tübingen; 1965 first, 1967 second examination for teaching in secondary schools, Doctorate at the University of Konstanz in Ancient History 1971, academic employee for the excavations in Old-Paphos/Cyprus. 1967–1968 and 1973–1975 grammar school teacher, 1975–1993 Oberstudienrätin at the Pedagogic University at Freiburg i. Br., for Ancient History and Didactics ofHistory, habilitation in Didactic of History at Dortmund university 1991, guest professor for Didactic of History at Humboldt-University Berlin 1993–1994, from 1994 to 2007 chair for Didactic of History at Erlangen-Nürnberg University.


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  • Rohde, D. (2011, January 15). Review: Jinyu Liu: Collegia Centonariorum. The Guild of Textile Dealers in the Roman West, Leiden/Boston:Brill 2009. In sehepunkte 11 (2011), Nr. 1.[Last accessed 05 Feb 2022].

  • Rühling, S. (2018). Imponieren, Brillieren und Musizieren – Orgelklänge für Gott, Kaiser und den Sport. In F. Daim, D. Heher, & C. Rapp (Eds.), Bilder und Dinge: Studien zur Ausstellung „Byzanz und der Westen. 1000 vergessene Jahre“ (pp. 105123). Mainz: Verlag des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums.

  • Seneca, L. Annaeus (1995). Ad Lucilium epistulae morales I – LXIX. Lateinisch-deutscher Text, vol 3, ed. & transl.: Manfred Rosenbach. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

  • Visy, Z. (1988). Der pannonische Limes in Ungarn. Budapest: Corvina Kiadó.


I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Ágnes Fischer Dárdai, Pécs, for her kindness in translating for me from the current Hungarian history curriculum what is related to antiquity, especially Roman history.


Marrou. 1977, p. 497f. with notes 53–63 has compiled and translated the text from the various versions of the Hermeneuta Pseudodositheana (CGL III 645 § 2; 379, 74f.; 645 § 2f.; 380, 40f.; 646, 2; 637, 3f.; 377, 70; 638 § 7; 646ff; 378, 22f).

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