Pannonia

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Pannonia is an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia. Pannonia was located over the territory of the present-day western half of Hungary with parts in Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Contents

Name

Julius Pokorny derived the name Pannonia from Illyrian, from the Proto-Indo-European root *pen-, "swamp, water, wet" (cf. English fen, "marsh"; Hindi pani, "water").[1]

History

Its original inhabitants were the Pannonii (Pannonians), a group of tribes akin to Illyrians. From the 4th century BC it was invaded by various Celtic tribes. Little is heard of Pannonia until 35 BC, when its inhabitants, allies of the Dalmatians, were attacked by Augustus, who conquered and occupied Siscia (Sisak). The country was not, however, definitely subdued until 9 BC, when it was incorporated into Illyricum, the frontier of which was thus extended as far as the Danube.

In AD 6, the Pannonians, with the Dalmatians and other Illyrian tribes, revolted, and were overcome by Tiberius and Germanicus, after a hard-fought campaign which lasted for three years. After the rebellion was crushed in AD 9, the province of Illyricum was dissolved, and its lands were divided between the new provinces of Pannonia in the north and Dalmatia in the south. The date of the division is unknown, most certainly after AD 20 but before AD 50. The proximity of dangerous barbarian tribes (Quadi, Marcomanni) necessitated the presence of a large number of troops (seven legions in later times), and numerous fortresses were built on the bank of the Danube.

Some time between the years 102 and 107, between the first and second Dacian wars, Trajan divided the province into Pannonia Superior (the western), and Pannonia Inferior (the eastern) portion. According to Ptolemy, these divisions were separated by a line drawn from Arrabona (Győr) in the north to Servitium (Gradiška) in the south; later, the boundary was placed further east. The whole country was sometimes called the Pannonias (Pannoniae).

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