LUXEMBOURG

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A bronze statue of Jupiter from the Treveran region









                                                                   Religion




 
The Treveri were originally polytheists, and following the Roman conquest many of their gods were identified with Roman equivalents or coupled with Roman gods. Among the most important gods worshipped in Treveran territory were Mercury and Rosmerta, Lenus Mars and Ancamna, Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Apollo, Intarabus, and Minerva.  Among the deities unique to the Treveri were Intarabus, Ritona, Inciona and Veraudunus, and the Xulsigiae.

In Roman times, three important pagan temples in the immediate vicinity of Trier alone are well-known: the extensive Altbachtal temple complex, the nearby temple Am Herrenbrünchen, and the important Lenus Mars Temple on the left bank of the Moselle. Inscriptions attest to the existence of a Treveran cult to Rome and Augustus, but its temple site is uncertain; Wightman suggests that the temple Am Herrenbrünchen would be suitably located, while Metzger argues that it can only have been a poorly-known fourth temple in the city – the so-called Asclepius Temple not far from the bridge over the Moselle.

The Altbachtal complex has yielded a wealth of inscriptions and the remains of a theatre and over a dozen temples or shrines, mostly Romano-Celtic fana dedicated to native, Roman, and Oriental deities. Outside of the city, many sacred sites are known; they are typically enclosed by a wall. Among these may be mentioned the temple of Apollo and Sirona at Hochscheid, that of Lenus Mars on the Martberg by Pommern, the temple and theatre of Mars Smertrius and Ancamna at Möhn, and a mother-goddess sanctuary at Dhronecken.

First the imperial cult and then Christianity rose to prominence in Augusta Treverorum. Constantine had a Christian church built close to his palace, and the city became the seat of a Christian archbishopric during the second half of the third century.  Under Constantine I the city became an important centre for the diffusion of Christianity.

Jerome, Athanasius of Alexandria and Martin of Tours all lived and worked in Trier during the 4th century, while Ambrose was born there.

In the time of Gratian, the Altbachtal complex was "not so much given up as deliberately destroyed" (p.229); cult statues were smashed, and some temples were secularized and made into homes.
The present-day cathedral has its origins in a 4th-century double church.

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                                                         Material culture





The territory of the Treveri had formed part of the Hunsrück-Eifel culture, covering the Hallstatt D
and La Tène A-B periods (from 600 to 250 BCE).

During the century from 250 to 150 BCE, the area between the Rhine and the Meuse underwent a drastic restructuring as some crisis forced most signs of inhabitation onto the heights of the Hunsrück. Following this crisis, population returned to the lowlands and it is possible to speak with confidence of the Treveri by name. Much of the Treveran countryside seems to have been organized into rural settlements by the end of the 100s BCE, and this organization persisted into Roman times.

Even before Roman times, the Treveri had developed trade, agriculture and metal-working. They had adopted a money-based economy based upon silver coins, aligned with the Roman denarius, along with cheaper bronze or bronze-lead coins. Trade goods made their way to the Treveri from Etruria and the Greek world; monetary evidence suggests strong trade links with the neighbouring Remi. Iron ore deposits in Treveran territory were heavily worked and formed part of the basis for the area's wealth.

Before and for some time after the Roman conquest, Treveran nobles were buried in chamber tombs which were covered with tumuli and filled with sumptuous goods including imported amphorae, weaponry and andirons.

The Treveri adapted readily to Roman civilization, adopting certain Mediterranean practices in cuisine, clothing, and decorative arts starting as early as the Roman occupation of the Titelberg in 30 BCE.
As early as 21 CE, according to Greg Woolf, "the Treveri and the Aedui [were] arguably those tribes which had undergone the greatest cultural change since the conquest" (p.21).

The Romans introduced viticulture to the Moselle valley (see Moselle wine). In general, the archaeological record attests to ongoing rural development and prosperity into the 3rd century CE.  The many individual Treveri attested epigraphically in other civitates may attest to the development of a Treveran commercial network within the western parts of the Empire.

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                                                     Medieval Luxembourg (963 – 1477)
 




Early settlements in the area of today Luxembourg City before the 10th century with the church Saint-Saveur, today St.Micheal, built in 987The history of Luxembourg properly began with the construction of Luxembourg Castle in the Middle Ages. It was Siegfried I, Count of Ardennes who traded some of his ancestral lands with the monks of the Abbey of St. Maximin in Trier in 963 for an ancient, supposedly Roman, fort by the name of Lucilinburhuc. Modern historians explain the etimology of the word with Letze, meaning fortification which might have referred to either the remains of a Roman watchtower or to a primitive refuge of the early Middle Ages.

Around this fort a town gradually developed, which became the centre of a small but important state of great strategic value to France, Germany and the Netherlands. Luxembourg's fortress, located on a rocky outcrop known as the Bock, was steadily enlarged and strengthened over the years by successive owners, among others the Bourbons, Habsburgs and Hohenzollerns, which made it one of the strongest fortresses on the European continent. Its formidable defences and strategic location caused it to become known as the ‘Gibraltar of the North’.

The Luxembourgish dynasty provided several Holy Roman Emperors, Kings of Bohemia, as well as Archbishops of Trier and Mainz. From the Early Middle Ages to the Renaissance, Luxembourg bore multiple names, depending on the author. These include Lucilinburhuc, Lutzburg, Lützelburg, Luccelemburc, Lichtburg, among others.

Luxembourg remained an independent fief (county) of the Holy Roman Empire until 1354, when the emperor Charles IV elevated it to the status of a duchy. At that time the Luxembourg family held the Crown of Bohemia, but the duchy was usually possessed as appanage by a separate branch of the family.

In 1437 the imperial Luxembourg family became extinct in the male line. At that time, the duchy and castle were held by the Bohemian princess Elisabeth of Gorlitz, Duchess of Luxembourg, a cadet granddaughter of emperor Charles IV, who however was childless, and in 1440 made a treaty with her powerful neighbour Philip II, Duke of Burgundy that Philip would administer the duchy and would inherit it after the Duchess Elisabeth's death, which occurred in 1451 – Philip however accelerated things by expelling Elisabeth in 1443.

The heirs of the main Luxembourg dynasty were not happy with the arrangement the Burgundians had made, and managed at times to wrest the possession from Burgundy: the Habsburg prince Ladislas the Posthumous, king of Bohemia and Hungary (d 1457) held the title in the 1450's, and after his death, his brother-in-law William of Thuringia (1425 to 1482) held (or at least claimed) it from 1457 to 1469.

In 1467, Elisabeth, Queen of Poland, the last surviving sister of Ladislas, renounced her right in favour of Burgundy by treaty and some concessions, since the possession was next to impossible to hold against Burgundian actions. After being captured by Philip of Burgundy in 1443 and ultimately from 1467 to 1469, the duchy became one of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands. With the marriage of Mary of Burgundy in 1477 all the Netherlands provinces, including Luxembourg, came under Habsburg rule in the person of her husband Maximilian, and later and their son Philip the Handsome.

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Coat of arms of the Counts,
Dukes and Grand Dukes of
Luxembourg

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