Station: [11] The Roman Period in Dotzheim

M: The Roman emperor Severus Alexander ruled from 222 to 235 AD. And the oldest datable evidence of a settlement on the site of present-day Dotzheim – known as the Fortunatus Stone – is from that very first year of his reign: 222 AD. Maybe you’ve noticed the replica of this unremarkable stone on the little square outside the museum. If not, be sure to look out for it later.

A drawing on the wall here recreates the stone’s original appearance, along with its Latin inscription. It’s a votive altar, obviously dedicated to one of the Roman deities by two farmers, Fortunatus and Seius. Because it mentions Emperor Severus Alexander, the Fortunatus Stone can be dated to the year 222 AD.

F: It’s thought that Fortunatus and Seius lived on one of the Roman estates that had grown up outside the gates of Wiesbaden – called Aquae Mattiacorum in ancient times. There is evidence of several such estates on the site of present-day Dotzheim. They supplied the Roman city with agricultural produce.

M: The Dotzheim site has been continuously inhabited since the third century AD – that’s verifiable. But it was only in the 19th century that people started searching for evidence of this long history. The Fortunatus Stone, for example, was discovered in 1824, not far from here, in Dörrgasse. The driving force behind these archaeological investigations was the local pastor at the time, Johann Christian Reinhold Luja. Pastor Luja was in charge of the parish of Dotzheim from 1818 to 1836, and made a significant contribution to Dotzheim’s and Nassau’s local history. Many of his finds are now part of the collection of Nassau antiquities at Wiesbaden’s city museum. Several coins, shards of pottery , game tokens and even a leather glove from Roman times are on display here.

F: Take as much time as you like to study our Roman exhibit. Afterwards, please move on into the next room, which deals with the history of Dotzheim from the Middle Ages to modern times. You’ll even be meeting Pastor Luja again…