Roman Rhineland

The Roman Rhineland - Directed by Beverly Berg

Vergilian Society Summer Tour - June 30-July 13, 2019

This is a program for those interested in Roman military life (always a source of fascination to our students), the worship of Mithra, and frontier studies. The centerpiece is Trier in the Mosel Valley, with its major monuments from the time of Constantius and Constantine. Our visit there will be bookended by visits to Roman sites and museums along the Neckar and Rhine rivers, including Heidelberg, Mainz, home to a Roman legion, and Cologne, the city named for the Younger Agrippina. The program uses Germany’s excellent train system, so participants need to be good walkers and light travelers. Overview: 2 nights Bad Homburg, 3 nights Heidelberg, 3 nights Trier, 3 nights Cologne, 3 nights Bingen.

Saturday, June 29: Participants depart the U.S.

Sunday, June 30: Participants arrive in Frankfort, take a train (45-minute ride) from the airport to the spa town of Bad Homburg where they meet the director. Those who arrive early enough will join director for an exploration of the charming town and the palace of the Hesse princes. Welcome dinner for all in Bad Homburg.

Monday, July 1: After morning class, we visit the Saalburg. This auxiliary fort has been recreated on its ancient foundations, complete with walls, headquarters, and granaries. It includes a museum of military life.

Tuesday, July 2: Morning train to Heidelberg. We visit the Heidelberg archaeological museum, which includes a relief of Mithras, and enjoy a walking tour of this famous university town.

Wednesday, July 3: Train ride along the picturesque Neckar River to Osterburken, where an outpost was located on the line of the forward border created in the time of Antoninus Pius. Visit to the Roman baths, the local museum, and the remains of the ancient fort.

Thursday, July 4: Excursion to the Karlsruhe archaeological museum, with an excellent collection of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman antiquities. Afternoon in Ladenburg, one of the few German towns in which Roman remains are still scattered through the streets.

Friday, July 5: Morning at the picturesque castle of Heidelberg. Afternoon train to Trier along the lovely Saar River.

Saturday, July 6: In Trier. We visit the Cathedral and Cathedral Museum, housing portraits from the time of Constantine, his so-called Basilica (a reception hall), and the Roman north gate, still four stories tall.

Sunday, July 7: Trier’s outstanding archaeological museum with its vast collection depicting Roman provincial life, art, and religion, the amphitheater, and the Viehmarkt baths.

Monday, July 8: Trier’s Imperial Baths, the Barbara Baths, and the Roman bridge. Afternoon train along the beautiful Mosel valley to Cologne.

Tuesday, July 9: Excursion to Aachen to see the chapel of Charlemagne, modelled on the octagonal San Vitale of Ravenna, and visit to the splendid cathedral treasury and the Couven house museum.

Wednesday, July 10: In Cologne, we visit the archaeological museum with its extraordinary collection of Roman glass, and trace the foundations of the ancient walls and the Roman governor’s palace, as well as viewing Cologne’s famous gothic cathedral.

Thursday, July 11: Train along the Rhine to Bingen near Mainz. We visit the Bingen historical museum, with a set of 67 Roman surgical instruments, and coverage of the twelfth century mystic Hildegard of Bingen. Late afternoon visit to the Roman aqueduct of Mainz.

Friday, July 12: We visit Boppard, site of an auxiliary fort, the best-preserved Roman fortification in Germany, and take a boat ride on the Rhine.

Saturday, July 13: Day in Mainz including the Roman theater, the new museum of Roman shipping preserving the remains of five ancient Rhine boats, the new excavations of the Isis sanctuary, and the Romanesque cathedral.

Sunday, July 14: Departure. The earliest direct train from Bingen to Frankfort airport arrives at about 6:30 a.m

Cost: $2,795, $350 single supplement. Included: hotels, breakfasts, three dinners, entry fees, all ground transportation except transfers from airport to Bad Homburg and Mainz airports.

Please contact the director at as soon as you develop an interest, and sign up through the Vergilian Society website. Because we use hotels in the holiday season, we will begin reservations as soon as the group reaches critical mass, so you should sign up and pay deposit as soon as possible.