Dedicated to the military history and civilization of the Eastern Roman Empire (330 to 1453)

"Time in its irresistible and ceaseless flow carries along on its flood all created things and drowns them in the depths of obscurity."

- - - - Princess Anna Comnena (1083–1153) - Byzantine historian

Friday, July 22, 2016

Roman - Byzantine Fortress of Sucidava

Sucidava fort Archaeological site in Romania.

Protecting the Roman Balkans

Sucidava is the complex late Roman fort dating from the 2nd to the 6th century AD, which had a strategic, economic and commercial importance and was situated opposite the Roman colony of Oescus (Gigen, Bulgaria). 
Before the Roman conquest, Sucidava was an important political and administrative center of the Daina tribe of Suci. The late Roman fort of Sucidava was built in the reign of Emperor Gallienus and was in use between the 3th and the 6th century AD.
After 275 AD Sucidava was a permanent military fortification, where parts of units from the V legion Macedonica were in garrison. After 324 AD the headquarter (praefectura) of the legion V Macedonica was established here. Inside the fort a large building with heating system and a paleo-Christian basilica dating from the 6th century AD was discovered.
Roman Troops manned forts along the Danube.

Near the fort there are remains of the 2400 m long bridge, which was built over the Danube in the period of the Emperor Constantine and inaugurated in 328 AD. The late Roman fort was included in the province of Dacia Ripensis as the most northern bastion of the new Late Roman province.
Systematic excavations from 1936 to 1964 at the site of Sucidava (Sykibida Procopius), situated 3 km west of modern Corabia on the north bank of the Danube, have brought to light the remains of a fortified civilian settlement of 25 ha and, at a distance of only 100 m to the south-east, the remains of a separate citadel measuring about 2 ha.
Emperor Maurice
(r. 582 - 602)
Roman troops pulled out
of the fort in 600AD.
There is also a secret underground fountain which flows under the walls of the town to a water spring situated outside. 
The civilian settlement evolved on the site of a Roman garrison at the end of the 2nd century, or the beginning of the 3rd century A.D., while the citadel was built by Constantine the Great (324-337); a stone bridge connecting the citadel with Palatiolon (ancient Oescus), on the other side of the Danube, was constructed simultaneously. 
The coins found at Sucidava site show an uninterrupted series from Aurelian (270-275) to Theodosios II (408-450). In the mid-5th century the Sucidava site suffered from attacks by the Huns, but was again restored, probably under Emperor Justin I or by Emperor Justinian l (527-565). 
On the basis of the numismatic profile, the Byzantine garrison seems to have departed from Sucidava around A.D. 600.
Near the fort there are remains of the 2400 m long bridge, which was built over the Danube in the period of the Emperor Constantine and inaugurated in 328 AD.

Foundation of the church, the first Christian church north of the Danube.

Entrance to the fort's well.

A well in the fort. From a tourist:
"The clay pot is supposedly original. The guide was happy to offer us a drink."

Sucidava, Roman fortress on the Danube

The Roman Limes System
The Latin word Limes was initially used by the ancient Romans to indicate the limit between two areas, for example - the limit between two pastures. Even so, several ancient authors used this word, referring to the frontiers of the Roman Empire. Historians of today use this term in a wider sense, to describe the defense system, diplomatic and military issues, but also economic, religious and other issues involved.
The Roman Empire Limes has known its greatest expansion in the A.D. 2-nd century, having a length of over 5000 km. It was reaching from the Atlantic shores of Scotland, cutting across Europe, touching the Black Sea and continuing on to the Red Sea, travelling through North Africa to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
The frontiers were a symbol of the power, ambition and culture of the Roman Empire, promoting the Roman way of life, all across the Empire.
Today, the signs of the Limes are to be found in the built walls, ditches, earthen ramparts, castra, fortresses, signal towers and civilian settlements.
The limes physical structure differs along its path, from the walls, earthen ramparts, palisades, to the rivers, desert, and mountains. And so, its purpose also differs, across time, the limes was a control area and point of passing the information, commerce area and migration, as well as an area with a defensive role.
See more:

(Danubian Limes)      (danubelimesbrand)      (panacomp.net)      (sucidava)

(Sucidava)      (superlative-fortress)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Limes very porous , like US-Mexican border .Didn`t stop barbarians to came into the Empire , and f*** things up .
Only Israel got real Limes to stop incursions , and even that not for sure .
Berlim Wall is another matter . They try to stop east germans citizens to flee to West Berlim , not the oposite .
Nobody see israelis climb the walls on Israel-Gaza and Israel- West bank borders to step into Gaza or the West Bank .
Roman Legions overstrecht by Empire dimension. Neverdless they made a good work when they stay in the inner core of romans citizens conscription .