limes


limes
/luy"mees/, n., pl. limites /lim"i teez'/.
1. a boundary, esp. the fortified border or frontier of a country.
2. (cap.) See Siegfried line.
3. an ancient Roman frontier fortification.
[1530-40; < L limes; see LIMIT]

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(Latin; "path")

In ancient Rome, a strip of open land along which troops advanced into unfriendly territory.

It came to mean a Roman military road, fortified with watchtowers and forts. An example of this construction was the continuous system of fortifications and barriers extending 345 mi (555 km) along the Roman frontier in Germany and Raetia. Hadrian's Wall also served as a limes. Though not impenetrable, the limites allowed the Romans to control communications along frontiers and deterred raiding parties. In the eastern and southern empire, limites were often used to guard caravan routes.

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Latin“path” plural  limites 
 in ancient Rome, originally a path that marked the boundary between plots of land. Later it came to refer to roads along which troops advanced into unfriendly territory. The word, therefore, came to mean a Roman military road, fortified with watchtowers and forts. Finally, limes acquired the sense of frontier, either natural or artificial; towers and forts tended to be concentrated along it, and the military road between them was often replaced by a continuous barrier.

      The limes as a continuous barrier can best be seen in Great Britain and Germany. The Rhine (Rhine River) and Danube rivers (Danube River) were adopted from AD 9 as the natural frontiers of the Roman Empire. Later in the 1st century the Romans extended their control into the Black Forest area; under the emperors Hadrian (117–138) and Antoninus Pius (138–161) a limes was established, consisting of a continuous nine-foot palisade running, in its final form, more than 300 miles across the angle between the two rivers. The palisade was later replaced by stone and earthen walls. The Alemanni broke through the limes about 260, and the Roman frontier was withdrawn to the Rhine and Danube once more. The limites in Great Britain were Hadrian's Wall, built of stone between the Rivers Tyne and Solway and, farther north, the turf wall of Antoninus Pius between the Rivers Forth and Clyde.

      The limes as a system of fortifications was employed on other frontiers during the 2nd century AD and assumed various forms according to the differing geographical and military conditions. In what is now Romania a limes of Trajanic-Hadrianic times has been traced in the Dobruja area; lines of forts to the east and west of this area, however, do not appear to have been linked by ramparts. In Anatolia a continuous barrier was neither practicable nor necessary, as the Romans controlled the roads and river crossings. In Syria, however, an elaborate limes system was established, not only to control the mobile native population and the caravan routes but also for defense against Parthian or Sāsānian attacks. The main part of this line held until the Arab conquest in the 7th century. Control of nomads was also necessary in North Africa. The network system of roads, forts, and watchtowers was adopted, but the defenses also included a continuous barrier, a ditch, and either a stone or an earthen wall. The collective remnants of these limes were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • LIMES — (Life and Medical Sciences Bonn) ist ein Institut und Wissenschaftszentrum an der Rheinischen Friedrich Wilhelms Universität Bonn. Gemeinsame Forschungsschwerpunkte der dort ansässigen Arbeitsgruppen sind die Untersuchung von Stoffwechsel… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • limes — [ limɛs ] n. m. • 1925; mot lat. « chemin; frontière » ♦ Hist. Zone frontière d une province de l Empire romain. Le limes fortifié de Numidie. On écrirait mieux limès. ● limes nom masculin (latin limes, passage) Sous l Empire romain, ligne… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • LIMES — (лат. грань), термин, обозначающий ту дозу токсина, которая в смеси с определенным (измеряемым в антитоксических единицах) количеством соответствую 12» щего антитоксина вызывает одну из следующих четырех реакций: 1.Limes Null, L0 то… …   Большая медицинская энциклопедия

  • limes — LÍMES s.n. Sistem de apărare folosit de romani, care consta dintr un zid de piatră sau dintr un val de pământ, construit la graniţele provinciilor. – cuv. lat. Trimis de LauraGellner, 24.05.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  límes s. n Trimis de siveco, 10.08 …   Dicționar Român

  • limes — lȋmes m DEFINICIJA 1. mat. granična vrijednost (oznaka lim) [limes niza; limes funkcije] 2. pov. stražarnicama, utvrdama, nasipima ili zidom utvrđena granica Rimskog Carstva [panonski limes duž Dunava] 3. psih. prag osjeta 4. općenito, granica,… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Limes [2] — Limes (lat., »Grenze«; Pfahlgraben, Landwehr), ein ca. 550 km langer, unter Domitian (81 bis 96) begonnener, römischer Grenzschutz gegen die freien Germanen, ursprünglich mehr zur Sicherung gegen Räuber und Schmuggler als zur kriegerischen… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Limés — País      España Comunidad autónoma …   Wikipedia Español

  • LIMES — omnis publico it ineriserviebat, adeoque quot limites, per quos iter populo praebebatur, tot publicae viae fuêre. Sed nec unum genus earum, nec una fuit latitudo: aliae pedes 60. aliae 40. aliae 30. aliae 20. aliae 12. aliae 8. latitudinis… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Limes — (lat.), 1) Grenze, Quergang durch die römischen Filiale von Osten nach Westen; daher 2) L. imperii romani, die befestigte Grenz u. Vertheidigungslinie der Römer in Deutschland vom Niederrhein bis zur Donau. Dieselbe war gegen 70 deutsche Meilen… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Limes [1] — Limes (lat., »Grenze«), in der Mathematik soviel wie Grenzwert (s. Grenze) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon


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