Comparative Studies of Ideas and Cultures (3rd level)

Millenia between the Adriatic and the Danube

Course code: 20

Year of study: Without

Course principal:
Assoc. Prof. Jana Horvat, Ph. D.


Workload: lectures 60 hours, seminar 30 hours

Course type: general elective

Languages: Slovene, English

Learning and teaching methods: lectures, discussions classes


Course Syllabus


At least a passive understanding of German, English, Italian, and French is recommended.


Content (Syllabus outline)

Various aspects of the Roman advance into central Europe and the Balkans are discussed. The course presents the great changes that appeared with Roman occupation in settlement, urbanization, religion, economics, and society. The differences between regions in the acceptance and transfer of Roman influences are analysed. The indigenous culture at the beginning of the Roman period is also discussed.


Romanization can be divided into two phases: the phase before official or stable inclusion into the Roman state, and the phase after this. First, the chronological issues between the second century BC and the second century AD are discussed.


The small material culture of indigenous groups in the south-eastern Alps (Caput Adriae, the area along the Soča River, the Taurisci, and the Norici) is presented, as well as Roman material culture and its influence on the indigenous material culture. Emphasis is placed on those groups of material that have important chronological, cultural, and historical implications.


Research on trade presents one of the most important sources for understanding the economic development of the Roman Empire. The trade connections of the Late Republican and Early Imperial periods are discussed, such as long-distance trade in the Mediterranean area as well as the trade routes from Italy to central Europe.


An important set of questions is connected with the Roman army. Literary sources are compared with archaeological remnants (fortifications, epigraphic sources, and small material – e.g., military equipment).


1. First contacts with the Roman world in the second century BC:

  • Historical sources
  • Archaeological sources


2. The first century BC: before stable inclusion into the Roman state and the period of occupation:

  • Chronological problems in the second and first centuries BC
  • Small material culture of the indigenous groups in the south-eastern Alps (Caput Adriae, the area along the Soča River, the Taurisci, and the Norici)
  • Roman material culture of the Late Republican and Augustan periods and its influence on indigenous material culture
  • Trade connections of the Late Republican and Augustan periods (long-distance trade in the Mediterranean area as well as trade from Italy to central Europe)
  • Differences between regions
  • The Roman army of the Late Republican and Augustan periods


3. Early Imperial period:

  • Chronology
  • Introduction of new administrative organization
  • Changes in settlement
  • Urbanization
  • Roman material culture and special regional features
  • Trade
  • The army.



  • Archäologische Forschungen zu den Grabungen auf dem Magdalensberg 1-14. Kärntner Museumsschriften, Klagenfurt, 1967-2003.
  • Bernardini, F. et al. 2015. Early Roman military fortifications and the origin of Trieste, Italy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America [Online ed.], March 2015, vol. 112, no. 13, str. E1520-E1529.
  • Božič, D. 1999. Die Erforschung der Latènezeit in Slowenien seit Jarh 1964. Arheološki vestnik 50: 189-213.
  • Creighton, J. D. in R. J. A. Wilson ur. 1999. Roman Germany. Studies in cultural interaction. Journal of Roman archaeology, Supp. ser. 32, Portsmouth.
  • Cuscito, G. ur. 2009. Aspetti e problemi della romanizzazione. Venetia, Histria e arco Alpino orientale, Antichità Altoadriatiche 68, Trieste.
  • Demetz, S. 1999. Fibeln der spätlatène- und frühen römischen Kaiserzeit in den Alpenländern. Frühgeschichtliche und provinzialrömische Archäologie, Materialien und Forschungen 4, Leidorf.
  • Die Ausgrabungen auf dem Magdalensberg 1980 bis 1986. Magdalensberg-Grabungsbericht 16, Klagenfurt 1998.
  • Dolenz, H. in K. Strobel ur. 2019. Chronologie und vergleichende Chronologien zum Ausgang der Römischen Republik und zur Frühen Kaiserzeit, Kärntner Museumsschriften 87, Klagenfurt.
  • Horvat, J. 1997. Sermin. Opera Instituti Archaeologici Sloveniae 3, Ljubljana.
  • Horvat, J. 1999. Roman Provincial Archaeology in Slovenia Following the Year 1965: Settlement and Small Finds. Arheološki vestnik 50: 215-257.
  • Horvat J. 2015. The consolidation of Roman authority in the hinterland of the northern Adriatic. V: Y. Marion, F. Tassaux (ur.). AdriAtlas et l´histoire de l´espace adriatique du VIe s. a.C. au VIIIe s. p.C.: actes du colloque international de Rome (4-6 novembre 2013), Bordeaux, 273-291.
  • Horvat, J. in A. Bavdek 2009. Okra. Vrata med Sredozemljem in Srednjo Evropo = Ocra. The gateway between the Mediterranean and Central Europe. Ljubljana 2009.
  • Istenič, J. 2018. Roman bronze helmets from the Republican period and the Early Principate in Slovenia, Arheološki vestnik 69: 277-334.
  • Istenič, J. 2019. Roman military equipment from the river Ljubljanica / Rimska vojaška oprema iz reke Ljubljanice, Katalogi in monografije 43, Ljubljana.
  • Istenič, J., B. Laharnar, J. Horvat ur. 2015. Evidence of the Roman army in Slovenia = Sledovi rimske vojske na Slovenskem. Ljubljana: Narodni muzej Slovenije.
  • Martin-Kilcher S. 2011. Römer und gentes Alpinae im Konflikt – archäologische und historische Zeugnisse des 1. Jahrhunderts v. Chr. V: G. Moosbauer, R. Wiegels (ur.), Fines imperii – imperium sine fine?, Osnabrücker Forschungen zu Altertum und Antike-Rezeption 14, Rahden, 27-62.
  • Miškec, A. 2003. The Early Romanisation of the Southeastern Alpine Region in the Light of Numismatic Finds. Arheološki vestnik 54: 369-379.
  • Slapšak, B. 2003. O koncu prazgodovinskih skupnosti na Krasu. Arheološki vestnik 54: 243-257.
  • Šašel, J. 1992, Opera selecta. Situla 30, Ljubljana.
  • Šašel Kos, M. 1997. The End of the Norican Kingdom and the Formation of the Provinces of Noricum and Pannonia. V: B. Djurić, I. Lazar ur. Akten des IV. internationalen Kolloquiums über Probleme des provinzialrömischen Kunstschaffens, Situla 36, Ljubljana: 21-42.
  • Šašel Kos, M. 2000. Caesar, Illyricum, and the hinterland of Aquileia. V: G. Urso (ur.), L’ultimo Cesare, Roma: 277-304.
  • Šašel Kos, M. 2005. Appian and Illyricum, Situla 43, Ljubljana.
  • Tassaux, F. 2004. Les importations de l’Adriatique et de l’Italie du nord vers les provinces danubiennes de César aux Sévères. V: G. Urso ur., Dall’Adriatico al Danubio, Pisa: 167-205.


Objectives and competences

The notion “Romanization” describes the complex processes of fusing Roman-Mediterranean and indigenous cultures. Depending on the historical background, inclusion into the Roman state had different effects in different regions. It could represent a breakdown or continuity. The Roman state was very adaptable and had great power of integration. The aim of this course is to present the complicated gradual changes from the third century BC to the first century AD in central Europe and the Balkans. This represents the period from the first contacts of the indigenous population with the Romans to inclusion into the Roman state, the stabilization of Roman authority, and assuming various aspects of Roman culture. Important topics such as military history, administrative organization, trade and transport connections, and chronology are included in this course.


Intended learning outcomes

Intended learning outcome is a written paper in the form of a scientific article.



Long written assignment (70 %), presentation (20 %), final examination (written/oral) (10 %).


Archaeological Analyses of Iron Age Non-Ceramic Finds

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


Archaeology of Early Medieval Period

Assoc. Prof. Benjamin Štular, Ph.D.,


From Small Archaeological Finds to History

Assoc. Prof. Janka Istenič, Ph.D.,


Interdisciplinary Research of Archaeological Sites

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,



Assist. Prof. Maja Andrič, Ph. D. ,


Roman Towns between the Adriatic and the Danube River

Assoc. Prof. Jana Horvat, Ph. D.,



Assoc. Prof. Jana Horvat, Ph. D.,


The Neolithic and Eneolithic Periods in the Northern Adriatic

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


The Pile-Dwelling Period in the Southeastern Alpine Region

Assoc. Prof. Anton Velušček, Ph.D.,


Tool Hoards of the La Tène and Roman Periods

Assoc. Prof. Jana Horvat, Ph. D.,