Event from the year 69


he Roman historian Tacitus mentions Petoviona in his Historiae as the site of an important meeting in the historic year of 69, when three candidates were contenting for the title of the emperor after Nero’s death. This is deemed to be the first time Ptuj was mentioned in written records. 

»Poetovionem in hibernia tertiae decimae legionis convenerant. Illic agitavere placerente obstrui Pannoniae Alpes, donec a tergo vires universae consurgerent, an ire comminus et certare pro Italia constantius foret (Tacit 3.1).«

They had come together at Petoviona, the winter quarters of the Thirteenth legion. There they discussed whether they should guard the passes of the Pannonian Alps until the whole mass of their forces could be raised behind them, or whether it would not be a bolder stroke to engage the enemy at once and struggle with him for the possession of Italy (Translation by C. H. Moore).

The meeting of Illyrian legions in Petoviona was an important turning point, where the commander of the Seventh legion Marcus Antonius Primus convinced other legion commanders to support Vespasian in his claim. Marcus Antonius Primus commanded all the military actions that helped Vespasian ascend to the throne. Roman historians named the event the military coupe in Petoviona.

In 2019, Ptuj is celebrating 1950 years since it was first mentioned in written records. The city will celebrate this big anniversary with four main and a number of accompanying events.