A journey back in time through forests and Celtic remains
(Tataryn CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikicommons)
The Treveri readily adapted to Roman civilisation, adopting some Mediterranean practices in cooking, clothing and decorative arts as early as the Roman occupation of the Titelberg in 30 BCE. In addition, the Romans introduced viticulture in the Moselle valley, resulting in a profitable and remunerative activity that persists to this day. In general, the archaeological documentation attests to the rural development of the Treveri, especially during Roman rule, and continued prosperity until the 3rd century CE. Together with the neighbouring Remi, the Treveri can be credited with a significant innovation in Roman technology: the “vallus”, a machine pulled by horses or mules for harvesting grain.
However, with the weakening of the Western Roman Empire’s borders and complications in managing such a vast kingdom, the territories of central Europe were targeted by the Germanic population pushing in from Scandinavia.
Around the middle of the 3rd century, devastating invasions of Germanic troops ravaged the territory of the Treveri. At the same time, the phase of magnificent tomb building and long-distance trade by the Treverians merchants gradually came to an end. During the late period of the Gallic Empire, Augusta Treverorum was probably its capital. Individual groups of Franks and Alemanni sacked the metropolis soon after the death of Emperor Aurelian in 275 CE but also devastated the rest of the Treverians’ territory.
The Celtic-Romans were progressively subjugated and assimilated, ushering in a new long period characterised by the succession of dominions and kingdoms spreading across central Europe. From this context of hostility, the Otzenhausen fort remains an essential memorial to that period of Celtic prosperity.