Poetovio in the Roman era

Ptuj is a major regional centre in the north eastern area of the Štajerska region. It is a modern city of 32,000 with a rich heritage and cultural life. It is the oldest town in Slovenia, with many medieval buildings and monuments; a legacy from affluence and prominence through trade in the Middle Ages, such as the Ptuj castle, churches, city tower, museums and patrician houses. Ptuj was the largest roman town in what is now Slovenia, called Poetovio and has monuments from Roman times: Roman tombstones, altars, mosaics have been excavated, and many are housed in the Ptuj regional museum. There are six Mithraic shrines from 2 and 3 AD. These shrines were dedicated to the god Mithra: the religion originated in Persia. At this time Ptuj was the centre for this cult, Mithraism was widespread throughout the Roman Empire and a rival to Christianity until the fourth century.
The Minorite Monastery, built in the 13th century, was dedicated to teaching and functioned in Ptuj for 7 centuries. The monastery contains a 5,000 volume library of important manuscripts, including a 10th century codex and a original copy of the New Testament (1561 AD), translated into Slovenian by Primož Trubar. This is one of the most valuable documents for Slovenian heritage. Ptuj is renown for traditional events. The centuries old Carnival called Kurentovanje is held. This is an ancient Rite of Spring which coincides with festivities of the Christian pre-Lent period. It is called Pust and celebrated throughout the country. Also prominent in Ptuj's cultural calendar are the famous three annual fairs which originated in the Middle Ages: Juri (24 April), Ožbalt (6 August), and Katarina Fair (25 November). The area around Ptuj, Halože and Slovenske gorice produces some of the best Slovenian wines and has a wine-producing history from pre-Roman times.

Learning activities

1. Send an e-card
Linguistic element: particles
Send an ecard about your holiday in Ptuj

2. Perform a role-play
Linguistic element: verbs - conditional tense
Write a role-play about planning a day with your friend sight-seeing in Ptuj

3. Make a telephone-call
telephone call
Linguistic element: pronouns - demonstrative
Script a telephone call to a friend who wants to know more about the ‘Terme Ptuj - Thermal Spa’

4. Design a brochure
Linguistic element: compound sentences
 Design and script a brochure for visitors to the Ptuj Castle

5. Interview a tourist
Linguistic element: interrogative pronouns
Script an interview with a tourist about their opinion of the city of Ptuj

6. Design a newspaper advertisement
Linguistic element: adjectives
Write and design an advertisement on the many sightseeing attractions aiming at the tourist

Comprehension - reading and responding

Read the text ‘Ptuj - zakladnica tisočletij ‘ from the web site, Slovenia-Official Travel Guide

Answer the following questions in English.
1. When was Ptuj first recorded in history?
2. How many people lived in Poetovio, and why is this number significant?
3. What sort of centre was Poetovio?
4. What is the date of the first city statutes?
5. Why did Ptuj’s economic power decline?
6. In which region is Ptuj based?
7. What does Ptuj offer the tourist?



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Curk, I, Stoletja kletarstvo na Ptuju, Pokrajinski muzej, Ptuj, ca 1990 
Curk, M, In the Footsteps of Roman Soldiers in Slovenia, Ministrstvo za kulturo RS, 1993
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Kozinc, Z, Lep dan kliče, Modrijan, Ljubljana, 2001

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