One piece of solid epigraphic evidence has been discovered: “Decebalus Luci(i) (filio)”, found on a small golden plate in a pool in Roman Germisara (Geoagiu-Băi).
Opreanu, Coriolan Horaţiu. The North Danube Regions from the Roman Province of Dacia to the Emergence of the Romanian Language (2nd-8th A. D.).
Christianity of the Free Dacians (Romanian only) by Aurora Petan (In my opinion this is the upper part of a candle holder from a church (WMN)
La Chitila exista urme de locuire din cele mai vechi timpuri, din paleolitic pana in epoca moderna. S-au mai facut sapaturi si in anii `80, dar santierul a fost redeschis in anul 2001.
"In perioada dacica, locuitorii acestei zone erau pastori si agricultori, se ocupau cu torsul si impletitul, cu cioplitul lemnului si cu pescuitul", spune profesorul Boroneant. "Agricultura inflorea si ea, datorita pamantului umed, fertil, din preajma raului Dambovita si a mlastinilor formate de el. De altfel, cursul Dimbovitei era navigabil la vremea aceea, favoriza legaturile de schimb cu regiunile de deal si munte, dar si cu bazinul dunarean. Locuitorii din asezarea de la Chitila aveau o organizare militara si aliante cu alte populatii." Deci o asezare in toata regula, in plina dezvoltare, capabila sa produca surprize...
"In ultimii ani, sapaturile s-au axat intr-un punct din partea de nord a sitului arheologic, pe un ostrov colmatat al Colentinei, la est de calea ferata Bucuresti-Ploiesti. Aici locuiau daci liberi sau carpo-daci, iar asezarea este datata in perioada sec. II-V d.Cr. S-au dezvelit mai multe locuinte, in interiorul carora s-au gasit fragmente ceramice lucrate cu mana si cu roata olarului, unelte agricole si de pastorit, podoabe de bronz, argint sau sticla, dar si monede romane, caci comunitatea de la Chitila folosea moneda romana in relatiile de schimb." Dar marea surpriza descoperita in sapaturile arheologice reprezinta o enigma, deocamdata nedezlegata: niste oase de animale, acoperite cu o scriere necunoscuta.
Mesaje pe oase de animale
In incaperea de la parterul Observatorului Astronomic din Bucuresti, care serveste drept birou profesorului Boroneant, se afla o masa invechita, iar in fata ei un rand de scaune invelite intr-un plus ponosit, parca esuate acolo dintr-un cinematograf de cartier. De partea cealalta a mesei, arheologul manuieste cu multa grija niste oase. La prima ochire, nu zaresc pe ele decat niste zgarieturi. La cea de-a doua insa, bagheta vrajita a arheologului imi deschide ochii. "In 2001, cand am descoperit primele oase de acest fel, am crezut ca e vorba de o simpla ornamentatie. In 2003, cand am scos la suprafata mai multe oase cu incizii, am ajuns la concluzia ca este vorba de o scriere. Era evident ca nu putea fi vorba de simple zgarieturi rezultate din curatarea carnii de pe oase. De altfel, ele au fost descoperite in interiorul locuintelor, alaturi de obiecte de uz casnic si podoabe. Predomina oasele cu suprafete mari, care ofereau spatiu pentru scriere, in special mandibule de cal, dar si de la alte animale domestice sau vanate. Suprafata era intai pregatita: se netezea prin slefuire cu o bucata de gresie, apoi se lustruia cu o bucata de piele, cu o tesatura sau cu o bucata de lemn de esenta moale. Dupa aceea, se aplicau
impunsaturi succesive cu un obiect metalic ascutit, iar aceste impunsaturi formau semnul. Se scria, probabil, de la stanga la dreapta, caci se vede dupa inclinatia semnelor. Adesea, osul este scris pe doua fete sau chiar pe trei. In mai multe cazuri, se observa doua straturi de scriere: o scriere mai veche, care s-a tocit sau a fost stearsa, si o scriere mai noua, aplicata deasupra celei vechi, dupa ce osul a fost din nou lustruit. Apar chiar si imagini, cum e de pilda chipul din profil al unui barbat, asemanator cu unele reprezentari de pe monede, sau monograme. Semnele apartin unei scrieri necunoscute, ele nu par sa fie nici grecesti, nici romane, nici rune gotice. Se combina intr-o maniera deosebita, apropiindu-se de insemnarile numite raboaje. Dacii liberi de la Chitila cunosteau si alfabetul latin, caci am gasit fragmente de scriere in acest alfabet pe o bucata de ceramica autohtona. Dar scrierea de pe oase este cu totul aparte. Astfel de mesaje au fost probabil insemnate si pe obiecte de lemn, care nu au supravietuit timpului." In fata unei descoperiri atat de socante, nu poti decat sa izbucnesti intr-o avalansa de intrebari: Cine a scris acele texte pe oase? In ce limba? Ce a vrut sa transmita? Privesc cu mare atentie inciziile: impunsaturile succesive sunt extrem de regulate, semnele se leaga unele de altele intr-un mod tainic, uneori mai stranse, alteori mai departate, uneori mai inalte, alteori marunte. Linii, carlige, ovaluri... Nu exista nici o indoiala ca aceste insemnari sunt intentionate, facute cu mare grija, nu simple zgirieturi accidentale. Bucatile de oase au capatat luciu de la folosirea indelungata. Dar ce folosire? Erau trecute din mana in mana? Care era rolul acestor inscriptii? "Poate e vorba de rememorarea unor evenimente ale comunitatii, ori poate se scriau diverse mesaje. Poate aveau caracter magic, sau poate doar unul profan, de simplu raboj. Nu putem sti inca, in acest stadiu al cercetarilor. Este posibil sa fie vorba de o scriere dacica, locala, folosita doar de initiati. Asezarea de la Chitila era una de daci liberi, neromanizati. Au trecut pe aici si sarmatii, si gotii, dar e putin probabil sa le apartina lor aceasta scriere. Oricum, nu e vorba de rune. Este o scriere autohtona. Da, oricat de socanta pare aceasta afirmatie, se pare ca dacii scriau si aveau si o scriere proprie. Iar aceasta scriere de pe oase aduce mult cu unul din tipurile de scriere de pe tablitele de plumb de la Sinaia." Intr-adevar, pe tablitele de plumb de la Sinaia (considerate falsuri, de catre cei mai multi cercetatori romani), exista mai multe tipuri de scriere, cea mai frecventa fiind scrierea bazata pe alfabetul grecesc. Totusi, intre acestea se afla si o scriere misterioasa, prezenta doar pe frontoanele templelor si care pare sa fie cea mai veche forma de scriere din aceste placi. Semnele acestei scrieri se aseamana cu semnele de pe oasele de la Chitila, dar deocamdata nu putem sti care este mesajul transmis de aceste texte, caci scrierea aceasta ne este total necunoscuta. Unde putem gasi cheia descifrarii acestor mesaje? Mai exista astfel de scrieri in alte parti? "Da, semne pe oase s-au mai gasit si in Basarabia si e posibil sa existe si in alte locuri, dar arheologii, de regula, nu acorda mare importanta oaselor, nu stau sa vada ce e pe suprafata lor. In ce priveste osul ca suport de ornamentatie, m-am gandit in primul rand la cultura Schela Cladovei, care ne-a furnizat multe piese ornamentate, dar intr-o alta tehnica decat cea a impunsaturilor, si in epoci mult mai indepartate. Totusi, scrierea de la Chitila pare sa aiba radacini stravechi, caci poate fi comparata cu semnele scrierilor neolitice europene, cu semne care insotesc unele reprezentari rupestre din arealul geografic al traco-getilor si cu alte materiale arheologice ce provin din sudul Dunarii."
Sceptrul din bronz de la Chitila, cea mai veche dovada a crestinismului din Campia Romana (III-V d Cr) (Could be rather the superior part of a candelabra-a candel holder of a christian church. It is decorated with the old Dacian motif of the fir tree-bradutz- NWB)
Povestea s-ar putea incheia aici, in asteptarea unui alt vrajitor care sa descante semnele si sa descifreze mesajele pe care inteleptii de acum doua mii de ani din Chitila au vrut sa le transmita pana la noi. Dar mai e ceva de spus... Intre obiectele descoperite de profesorul Boroneant in campania de sapaturi din 2001, se numara si un sceptru de bronz ornamentat cu motive in bradut, datat in sec. Iii-V d. Cr, care constituie cea mai veche dovada a crestinismului in Campia Romana. Avand forma de glob, in care se infigeau, deasupra o cruce, iar dedesubt un baston, piesa seamana izbitor cu sceptrele reprezentate pe unele monede de epoca si chiar cu o reprezentare a lui Constantin cel Mare, care tine in mana un astfel de sceptru. Cui putea sa apartina acest insemn crestin? Cu siguranta unei capetenii locale, poate un preot cu rang inalt. "Motivul in bradut este stravechi si se regaseste si pe coifurile dacice de la Poiana Cotofenesti, Agighiol, Portile de Fier si Peretu, fiind atestat in continuare, in secolele Ii-V si urmatoarele. Forma de glob a sceptrului face parte din traditia dacica a arealului si este atestata si prin sceptrul descoperit in mormantul dacic de secol Iii de la Peretu, avand chiar "stramosi" mai indepartati, in sceptrele din piatra si lut din epoca pietrei si bronzului, in special cele din cultura Tei." Deci, un sceptru cu radacini dacice, apartinand unei capetenii crestine! Iar acest ierarh este, foarte probabil, unul din autorii misterioaselor texte de pe oase.
Din motive greu de inteles, descoperiri senzationale precum cele facute de profesorul Boroneant sunt trecute sub tacere in lumea stiintifica romaneasca. Colegii il privesc cu suspiciune (la fel se intampla si cu tablitele de la Tartaria), asemenea profanilor care nu vad si nu cred in alta realitate decat cea pe care au invatat-o la scoala. Dar nu conteaza ce cred ei acum. Istoria va cerne lucrurile si timpul va aseza la locul cuvenit fiecare descoperire.
Ostrovul de la Chitila
Astazi, punctul arheologic de la Chitila-Ferma are o soarta trista. Inainte de `89, aici existau livezi cu pomi fructiferi - ciresi, caisi, meri si pruni - care apartineau gospodariei de stat. Dupa `89, terenul a fost vandalizat de rromi. In apropiere, ei au improvizat un abator pentru traficul ilegal de carne, iar zona sitului arheologic a fost impanzita cu oasele de la acest abator, care atrageau multime de caini vagabonzi si infestau zona. In 2006, cei care au cumparat in preajma terenuri au transportat pamant din sit, pentru a-si umple fundatiile vilelor. Si, odata cu pamantul, au ingropat si vestigii nepretuite. Insa dincolo si in paralel cu aceasta lume in descompunere, lipsita de repere si de credinta, se afla, pentru cei care au ochi sa vada si suflet sa cuprinda, lumea dacilor liberi, cu mesajele lor misterioase si sacre, cu viata lor aproape de Dumnezeu.
The Romanization of Dacia and the birth of a Daco-Roman people can be considered the first stage in the long process of the formation of the Romanian people, but this stage did not end in 275. Excavation of settlements and cemeteries vouches for the continuance of the native population. For example, a large necropolis in Potaissa’s cemetery shows by pottery dated after 271 that the natives stayed when the Romans left; in Napoca, coins of Tacitus (275-276), and of Crispus (son of Emperor Constantine the Great, appointed Caesar in 317) also show that it continued thereafter; in Porolissum Roman coinage began to circulate again under Valentinian I (364-375); in Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa the native stayed, eking out a miserable existence, as the pathetic attempt to fortify the amphitheater shows Therefore, the formation of the Romanian people continued until the early 6th century, as long as the empire, still in power along the Danube and in Dobrudja, continued to influence the territory north of the river. The continual circulation of people and goods across the river and back certainly facilitated this.
As the Emperor Galerius is said to have complained, the Danube was perhaps the most difficult frontier of the Roman Empire of all: apart from its great length, much of it was unsuited to the kind of warfare in which the Romans excelled. The Romans kept enclaves on the north bank of the Danube even after the official abandonment of Dacia Traiana province. For example, Aurelian retained the bridgehead camp at Drobeta; in Desa an inscription shows that there was a detachment of the Legio XIII Gemina on station between 275 and 305; coins show that after the end of Roman Dacia Dierna lived on till the reign of Arcadius (383-408). During 294-5, Diocletian, who had earlier established advance bases across the Danube along the 200-mile (c. 320-kilometer) sector of river flowing due south from Aquincum (Budapest, Hungary), continued the inspection and reorganization of the defences, traveling from Sirmium (Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia) to Ratiaria, then east to Durostorum (Silistra, Bulgaria). His new installations served to protect the main crossing points, to act as lookout stations and bases for river patrols, and to allow the transfer of strong forces across the river Danube.
Under Constantine the Great, Sucidava also got a new lease on life: in 328, he built a bridge across the Danube here. In the spring of 336, the emperor led his armies above the arc of the lower Danube, defeated many of the Gothic tribes, and reestablished a Roman province in the region which allowed him to add the title Dacicus Maximus to his victory titulature as the 30th anniversary of his rule in the Roman Empire was nearing its climax in the summer of 336. The bridge built at Sucidava lasted less than 40 years: the Emperor Valens (364-378) was unable to use it for his expedition north of the Danube against the Goths in 367. But the citadel continued in use until Attila the Hun destroyed it in 447.
On the territories north of the Danube, earlier arrivals (the Quadi, Carpi, Bastarnae and Sarmatians) were under growing pressure from the Vandals in the north, and the Goths and the Gepids in the north east and east. Outnumbered and penned into ever smaller areas by the new migrants, they invariably burst into Roman territory whenever its defenses were weak, mixing threat with supplication, respectfully seeking living space in the Empire, then warning of desperate invasion if it was not granted. Eventually, the surviving Carpi were settled to the west of their original homeland in the newly created Pannonian province of Valeria, while the Bastarnae were settled at Thrace. But the Carpi were far from being annihilated or incorporated within the Roman Empire: those who remained outside the Empire were evidently styled Carpodacae (“Carps from Dacia”). In 334, the majority of the Sarmatians asked Constantine to allow them to settle peacefully south of the Danube.
Repertoire of Fortifications from the Northern Part of the Lower Danube Roman Limes in Late Roman Age
by Dorel Bondoc
Based on the latest research in the domain, the present paper is meant to update on the question of the Roman Empire domination north of the Danube, after Aurelian's withdrawal. In view of the desired updating, a fixed repertoire of the late Roman fortifications situated on the left bank of the big river has been drawn up; it is divided into two separate parts: the first one, corresponding to the end of the 3rd century and the beginning of the 5th while the second one corresponds to the end of the 5th and the 6th century. The repertoire also includes the fortifications of the Danube isles. The military quarters which interested these fortifications have not been included and will be analysed on a different occasion.
For the first period, the repertoire comprises a total of 31 fortifications presented in the geographical order from the west to the east as follows: Cenad, Pancevo, Constantia - ContraMargum (Kuvin), Sapaja, Banatska - Palanka, Vrsac, Tibiscum (Jupa), Pojejena, Moldova Veche, Gornea, ContraRegina, §viniþa, Dubova, Dierna (Orsova), Praetorium (Mehadia), Ducepratum (Ada-Kaleh), Transdiana (The Banului Isle), Drobeta-Theodora, Puþinei, Hinova, Tismana-Batoþi, Izvorul Frumos, Ostrovul Mare, Izvoarele, Alba, Lucus/Lucum, Desa, Bistre?, Sucidava-Sykibida, Turris, Turnu-Mágurele, Dafne-Marisca, Pietroasele, Piua-Pietrii, Barboºi, Aliobrix, Tyras.
13 of these are already mentioned in the literary and epigraphical sources: Constantia-Contra Margum, Tibiscum, Contra Regina, Dierna, Praetorium, Ducepratum, Transdiana, Drobeta-Theodora, Sucidava-Sykibida, Turris, Dafne, Aliobrix, Tyras, din care doar 7 au fost localizate pe teren în mod cert (Tibiscum, Dierna, Praetorium, Ducepratum, Transdiana, Drobeta-Theodora, Sucidava-Sykibida).
25 of the same have been identified with certainty, by archaeological digging or informative research: Pancevo, the Sapaja isle, Vrsac, Tibiscum, Pojejena, Gornea, §vini?a, Dierna, Praetorium, Transdiana, Drobeta-Theodora, Pu?inei, Hinova, Tismana-Bato?i, Izvorul Frumos, Ostrovul Mare, Izvoarele, Desa, Bistreþ, Sucidava-Sykibida, Turnu-Mágurele, Pietroasele, Piua-Pietrii, Barboºi, Aliobrix.
Four fortifications have been hypothetically identified, judging by the construction remains, the military stamps or the coin circulation in the late Roman age: Cenad, Banatska-Palanka, Moldova Veche, Dubova.
Two of these (Alba and Lucus) have been inferred (indirectly attested) by recourse to the literary sources.
Of the 25 fortifications identified with certainty, it could be noticed that in 5 cases the old castrae were used (Tibiscum, Pojejena, Praetorium, Drobeta-Theodora, Desa), the remaining twenty being new constructions.
From a strategical standpoint it can be noticed that the majority of the fortificatins have counterparts on the southern bank of the Danube: Pancevo-Singidunum, ContraMargum-Margum, Banatska Palanka- the Sapaja isle-Laederata, Pojejena-Pincum, Moldova Veche-Cuppae, Gornea-Novae, ContraRegina-Regina, §vini?a-Boljetin, Dubova-Hajducka Vodenica, Dierna-Transdierna, Ducepratum-Sip, Transdiana-Diana, Drobeta-Transdrobeta, Izvorul Frumos-Egeta, Ostrovul Mare-Mihailovac, Izvoarele-Aquae, Alba-Transalba, Lucus-Translucus, Desa-Ratiaria, Bistre?-Cebrus, Sucidava-Oescus, Turnu Mágurele-Asamum, Dafne-Transmarisca, Piua Pietrii-Carsium, Barboºi-Dinogetia, Aliobrix-Noviodunum. Although it is undeniably true that the north-Danube fortifications regarded as a whole represent mere extensions in the Barbaricum zone of such constructions as the ones to the south of the big river,in whose absence they could not have existed at all, it is still provable that they represented the lower Danube limes in the late Roman age, together with the access roads for the troups and the earthworks (Lat.: valla). A good number of them are situated in the vicinity of some rivers' mouths: Pancevo- the Timiº river, Banatska Palanka and the Sapaja isle- on the Caraº and Nera rivers, Pojejena-the Radina river, Gornea- the Cãuniþa river, Dubova- the Morilor stream, Dierna- the Cerna river, Drobeta-on the Topolniþa river, Bistreþ- on the Desnãþui river, Turnu Mãgurele- on the river Olt, Dafne- the Argeº river, Piua Pietrii- on the Ialomiþa, Barboºi- on the Siret, Tyras- on the Dniestr. Under the circumstances, it is obvious that they also served for preventing the potential invasions along the valleys of these rivers.
It can be noticed that the corresponding fortifications of the Moesia Prima province and in part of the province Dacia Ripensis (up to Dorticum) are more frerquent than the ones of Oltenia and Muntenia. This could be explained by recourse to several factors: the state of the art in research in general , the existence of some foederati (the Goths), the resistance of the defence system east of Dorticum and the increased safety level of the naval transport on the Danube as compared to the one in the Iron Gates area, so much more vulnerable, the earthworks (valla) in the region of the Danube plain and the south of Moldavia.
The fortifications which are situated at greater distances from the Danube (at Cenad, Vrsac, Tibiscum, Praetorium, Puþinei, Pietroasele), reflect extremely well a certain military and political situation existing in the former Dacia, namely the superiority of the Empire in respect to the barbarians, which had been the case ever since the time of Constantine the Great (324/332). Two of these fortifications, i.e. Praetorium and Puþinei, seem to have been the outposts of Dierna and Drobeta, respectively, which denotes the exceptional importance of the latter.
In the present research stage it is not possible to confirm a Dacia restituta, as claimed by some archaeologists. As for the possibly reiterated take over by the Empire of certain territories to the north of the Danube, it is out of the question before the time of Constantine the Great.
The Typology, Forms and Constitutive Elements of the Fortifications
No exhaustive study of the fortification typology to the north of the Danube during the late Roman period can be undertaken in the current research stage, since the layout of all the fortifications is not known. Part of the known layouts ( those of Pancevo, Constantia-Contra Margum, Sapaja, Tibiscum, Pojejena, Gornea, Dierna, Praetorium, Ducepratum Transdiana, Drobeta, Puþinei, Hinova, Tismana-Batoþi, Izvorul Frumos, Izvoarele, Desa, Bistreþ, Sucidava, Turnu-Mágurele, Pietroasele, Piua Pietrii, Barboºi) come from Marsigli, and only a small number of these were thoroughly and scientifically drawn. The literary and epigraphical sources further complicate this situation in so far as they use different terms: castra, castella, praesidia, burgi, monopyrgia, while modern historiography has adopted the term quadriburgium to refer to the fortifications of the period from Diocletianus to Constantine the Great. Reviewing the existing information and considering the construction particularities, we assume that the following typology could be outlined:
I - the castra type fortifications are big forts, quadrangular in form, with or without corner towers protruding from the precinct. In this type are also included some old castrae refurbished in the 4th century (Tibiscum, Pojejena, Praetorium, Drobeta, Desa) with three out of their four gates blocked, as well as new constructions (Puþinei, Tismana-Batoþi, Izvorul Frumos, Izvoarele, Bistreþ, Pietroasele, Piua Pietrii).
II - fortifications of the quadriburgium type: completely new constructions, approximately square in outline, small-sized, provided with square or round corner towers protruding from the precinct. The access to them was through a single gate generally situated on the southern side. This type includes the following fortifications: Pancevo, Sapaja, Gornea, Dierna, Ducepratum, Hinova.
III - triangular fortifications; they are new constructions with round corner towers protrunding from the walls. The earthworks of Constantia-ContraMargum and Transdiana belong here.
IV - irregularly polygonal fortifications large in size, with corner and median towers protruding from the precinct. The Sucidava fortification is of this kind. V -surveillance and signalling fortifications (i.e., towers); they are entirely new constructions as well, reduced in size, having no defence function. §vini?a, Turnu-Mágurele, Barboºi and maybe Turris are to be included here.
The Construction or Reconstruction and Repair Phases
The following construction phases can be established, taking into consideration the fortifications on the southern bank of the big river:
1. Gallienus-Aurelian; although not recorded by the literary sources, this phase was archaeologically ascertained at Drobeta, where the old castrum was refurbished and at Sucidava, where the first military fortification (viz. the inside precinct wall) was erected .
2. The first tetrarchy (Diocletian's); the quadriburgium type fortifications erected near the Danube, rectangular in their layout and small-sized: Pancevo, Gornea, Dierna, Ducepratum, Hinova. It is similarly to this epoch that the following can be circumscribed: Banatska-Palanka(?), Pojejena, Transdiana, Tismana-Batoþi(?), Ostrovul Mare(?), the refurbishing of Drobeta and the repairs within the precinct of the military part of Sucidava.
3. Constantine the Great and his followers; this is the culminating period in the fortification of the Danube's left bank and new constructions of relatively big dimensions are raised. There appear surveillance towers, too. This phase includes: Constantia-ContraMargum, Sapaja, Vrsac, Tibiscum, Moldova-Veche(?), §viniþa, Dubova(?), Praetorium, Drobeta (its refurbishment), Puþinei, Izvoru Frumos, Izvoarele, Desa, Bistreþ, Sucidava (the exterior precinct wal), Turris, Turnu Mãgurele, Dafne, Pietroasele, Piua Pietrii, Barboºi, Aliobrix.
4. Valentinian I - Valens; this construction phase comprises repairs to the old fortifications. In the current research stage no new fortifications are known. Special mention should be made of the Cenad fortification's refurbishment.
5. Theodosius I; this phase is characterised mainly by the refurbishment of the fortifications destroyed or affected by the events of the year 378.
6. Arcadius - Theodosius II; it is the last phase, to be detected so far only at Sucidava. Repairs are now made throughout the limes in view of the impending invasion of the Hunes.
The End of the Fortifications
To establish the fortifications' end it is necessary to analyze the information offered by the literary sources, the stratigraphical data, the form, the size and construction elements for each and ever citadel. The geo-strategic position can provide logical arguments in this respect, and the circulation of coins can only be used very restrictively.
It is necessary to take into account first the two events that shook the whole lower Danube limes namely, the attacks of the Goths in the wake of the 378 catastrophe at Adrianopole, when Valens himself loses his life and the invasions of the Hunes in the first half of the 5th century, when the entire lower Danube limes is disaffected. Now it was that the fortifications situated beyond the Danube could not resist the Gothic shock of 378 - 379. The fortifications on the immediate banks of the Danube which were affected by this critical situation will be refurbished in part, their existence being thus pushed further in time, until the end of the 4th century or the beginning of the next one. But there are also some fortifications that ceased to exist irrespective of these chronological landmarks.
By and large, the following cessation dates can be established for the fortifications:
- Piua Pietrii, Barboºi and Aliobrix cease to exist in the middle of the 4th century;
- Pojejena(?), Turnu Mãgurele and Pietroasele are given up in 365;
- in 378/379 it is Cenad, Vrsac, Tibiscum, Moldova Veche, Praetorium, Puþinei, Tismana-Batoþi, Ostrovul Mare that are renounced;
- the end of the 4th century sees the end of Gornea, §vini?a, Dierna, Alba, Lucus, Bistre?, Dafne;
- the first half of the 5th century marks the end of Pancevo, Constantia-Contra Margum, Sapaja, Banatska-Palanka, ContraRegina, Ducepratum, Transdiana, Drobeta, Hinova, Sucidava. It appears that the destruction of these fortifications occurred in two stages: 441 and 447, when the Hunes devastate the line of the Danube up to Ratiaria at first, only to extend afterwards up to the Black Sea.
This chronogy might be modified in future, if the new research will demand it. A brief review is also provided in the paper, with rigorous pro and con arguments, of the earthworks (valla) found in the Banat and Criºana region or the northern part of Brazda lui Novac, plus the earthworks in southern Moldavia, which were erected and used in the period from Constantine the Great's reign to Valens's.
It is generally accepted that in the 4th and 5th centuries the old roads of the 2nd and 3rd centuries were used; this hypothesis is supported by the discovery of military posts in Banat and Celei. All the north-Danube roads used in the 4th and 5th centuries are ancillary ones to the strategic road of the Danube limes which traversed the southern bank of the big river.
In this period, special stress was laid on the Danube fleet which supplanted terrestrial transportats along the big river. After the lower Danube limes was made impracticable by the Hunes in the first half of the 5th century, the Empire returns to the Danube line beginning with Emperor Anastasius (in Scythia, Moesia Secunda, Dacia Ripensis) and continuing with Justinian (Moesia Prima). In what follows, the paper presents the second part of the north-Danubian fortification repertoire, which includes from the west to the east the following: Sapaja, Litterata, Recidiva, Ducepratum, Transdiana, Theodora, Ostrovul Mare, Sykibida and Dafne, although the literary sources also mention a number of others lacking in names. There are no proofs attesting that further new constructions were erected as well.
There are no fortifications in the north-Danube section of Scythia. In general, the fortifications were restored according to the older layout and dimenions. The opus mixtus construction continued to be used, but it is specified that the use of bricks predominates. The corner and median towers remain outside the precict, sometimes with modified forms. The appearance of the churches and the tombs is only documented at Sucidava.
In the current stage of research, the annexation by the Empire, in the 6th century, of a north-Danubian land strip that ran all along the big river's bank is not attested. The Roman domination was present, however, on the northern bank of the Danube, in the close vicinity of the big river. Special attention seems to have been conceded to the Banat region: of the 9 known fortifications, 6 belong to this sector. Novela XI mentions this in particular, and the general Priscus considers it to be a Roman land. The end of the fortifications should be considered to occur some time before the year 602. The fall of the Sirmium fortress under Avarre attacks seems to have represented an ill omen and, consequently, a serious threat to the entire lower Danube limes. For all the fact that the limes was disrupted in various stages, it continued in existence under the attacks of the Slavs and the Avarres, and under the circumstances of Phokas's revolt. There is no information whatsoever regarding any potential civilian settlements in the vicinity of the fortifications. If it is a fact that some older roads could continue to be used in this period, although the transport on the Danube seems more probable, the situation of the great earthworks (vallae) is quite different, as they became practically useless now, under the altered circumstances. There is no certified information either as to the construction of any bridges over the Danube.
The material presented is accompanied by two maps corresponding to the two parts of the repertoire.
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As a matter of fact, earlier and more recent investigations have disclosed numerous direct proofs of the existence of the Daco-Roman population in Dacia in the centuries following the retreat by Aurelian from Dacia in spite of the Goths and Huns invasions. They belong to archaeology and their number is increasing in direct proportion to the intensification of the investigations. As is natural, continuity was probably more intense and is easier to detect in the areas near the Danube, considering the presence of the Roman Empire along the northern shore of the river beginning with Constantine the Great. Thus, it has been fully proved in the Banat, on the basis of written records as well as by archaeological discoveries. Here, the products of late Roman origin and imperial coins from the period after Aurelian until the 6th century are present in almost all localities known from the Roman period, sometimes even in the ruins of the old buildings.In the rural areas, particularly in the eastern regions of Dacia, a popular culture was formed already in the Roman period, in which the traditions of the autochthonous Dacian culture combined with Roman cultural forms. With this popular culture the Daco-Romans embarked upon the new historic evolution opened up by the liberation of Dacia from the domination of the Roman state.
A comprehensive survey of the archaeological finds considered to indicate the persistence of a Romanized population in the territory of former Dacia Traiana is Problema continuit|Ûii în Dacia în lumina arheologiei Õi numismaticii (The Problem of Continuity in Dacia in the Light of Archaeology and Numismatics) by D. Protase, Bucharest, 1966. In the Foreword to this monograph, the author states that we have collected and selected here all the archaeological and numismatic material published or yet unpublished which was known to us up to 1964-1965. According to the Preface written by C. Daicoviciu, Protase´s monograph is
... a systematic and critical presentation of the concrete proofs of the persistence of the Dacian and the Daco-Roman populations in the territory of our present socialist country, which is the fundamental premise of the autochthoneity of the Rumanians in their several thousand year old fatherland.
Protase gives a detailed presentation of what he calls Athe vestiges of the Daco-Romans in Dacia between 271 and 450 AD (pp. 103B198). In the intro-duction to this chapter, the following statement is made:
Emphasizing that the problem of continuity is not resolved by admitting only fragmentary remains of the Romanized population in Dacia, C. Daicoviciu showed convincingly that the Rumanian people could have been formed only by the survival en masse of the north-Danubian Roman population and by its development in uninterrupted contact with the Roman element south of the Danube, and supported (alimentat|) continually by them.
Protase´s monogaph is of great value, because it gives a systematic and exhaustive presentation of the archaeological finds existing up to the mid 1960s considered to prove Daco-Roman continuity. In the decades after the publication of this monograph, very much new material was excavated in Rumania. It would take too much space to discuss these; only some of these more recent finds will be used here. The nature of all the discoveries is essentially the same, in the sense that the material shows traits characteristic of Roman products, Roman provincial traditions, Roman style, etc.
The ethnic attribution of the different sites is mainly based on the style of the objects, often earthenware, and, in the case of the cemeteries, also on funeral rites and rituals. For each site, the relevant text will be quoted or summarized below. In the Foreword to his monograph (p. 10), Protase mentions that he in general adopted the opinions of the authors who described the material in question.
The possibilities of establishing the period in which the different settlements and cemeteries were in use are in many cases fairly good, since the style of the material contents often shows elements characteristic of a certain period. The maximum time span during which the different settlements and burial sites might have been in use is shown in Figures 2 and 3 (p.232) according to data compiled from the above-mentioned monograph by Protase.
Settlements and cemeteries where archeological remains attributed to Daco-Romans were described. (On the basis of D. Protase, Problema continuitatii în Dacia în lumina arheologiei si numismaticii, 1966, pp. 104B 132.)
The Roman earthenware and the late changes easily observed in their forms and style, the supply caves similar to those found in the Daco-Roman settlement at Obreja, as well as the absence of Gothic or Sarmatian culturalelements justify the attribution of this settlement from the 3rd to the 4th centuries at Archiud to the provincial population to which probably groups of free Dacians were added, in the second half of the 3rd century.
...fragments of bottles and of black earthenware of Roman style, similar to those discovered at Sucidava, in the cultural stratum of the 4th and the 5th centuries AD. The coins of silver and bronze form a continuous series from Nerva until the period of Constantine, and thus confirm the life of the Romam population in this settlement also after Aurelian.
The earthenware, mostly made by hand, rarely on the wheel, is of grey colour, porous or fine, fragments of red vases are rare. Regarding the forms, grey jars (dolia) of the Roman provincial tradition predominate, as well as different kinds of grey-blackish pots without a handle and usually without ornaments. Among the few pieces of earthenware, there is none of the Sântana de MureÕ-Cerneahov type, while the forms and the techniques show the powerful tradition of provincial Roman pottery (puternice tradiÛii ale ol|riei romane provinciale).
The pottery preserves to a large extent the style of the provincial Roman pottery, but shows at the same time non-Roman technical and ornamental elements, specific to the period immediately after the abandonment of Dacia by the Romans.
Most numerous are the vases of Roman provincial tradition, grey and red, but fragments of vases showing the style of the Sântana de Muresh-Cerneahov culture, as well as Dacian vases are also found. As shown by the material contents, elements from the Sântana de Muresh culture penetrated to this settlement during the second phase of its existence.
In one of the cavities, a comb made of bone with a curved back was found, with characteristic rivets, and decorated on both sides with the usual concentric circles.
The earthenware from this settlement includes some red-yellow fragments of the Roman style, numerous fragments of grey, fine vases with a metallic shine and sometimes with shiny, geometric patterns, pieces of large, grey jars (dolia), decorated by strips of curly lines; and there is an appreciable quantity also of grey-blackish pieces, made by hand or on the wheel.
On the basis of the earthenware and the comb mentioned above, the settlement is dated to the 4th-5th centuries and is considered to have belonged to the Daco-Roman population.
This settlement was inhabited during the Roman domination and also after, in the 4th century,
...which is proved by a fibula of the type with onion heads, found among the pottery of the best Roman provincial style. The continuation of the settlement in the 4th century is also indicated by some grey, fine fragments, with patterns achieved by polishing, and also by the information that after the first World War, some coins (now lost) were found which, according to the description given by the villagers who discovered them, seem to be from the period of Constantine.
...red and grey provincial Roman pottery and a large bronze coin of Commodus. Other objects discovered in this settlement are: a Denar of Vespasian, a funeral lion, and two rings of Roman type, one of silver with an inlaid stone and another of gold, decorated by two granulated triangles (the stone is not preserved), and also grey and red earthenware of strikingly Roman style. There is no grey earthenware of metalllic shine in this settlement.
In some sections, only GREY earthenware of Roman style is found, no red. This would be the only indication of the continuation of the settlement after the Roman retreat from these areas, until the end of the 3rd century.
During the Roman period, Racari was a vicus on the way to become a town.A Roman camp built of stone was found there.
...in the period after Aurelian, but probably not before Constantine the Great, the doors of the camp were blocked by barbarian walls and over the wall of enclosure, which has fallen into ruins, a wall of earth mixed with old debris was erected, at some places 2.5 metres high. Within the old military camp cabins were dug and huts of wood were constructed from which Tocilescu collected a rich archaeological material which dates from the 4th to 6th centuries (fibulae, objects of bronze, and pottery) specific to this late period, which is deposited, still not published, in the National Museum of Antiquities. Regarding the period of Roman domination in Dacia, the coins found in the camp start with Vespasian and end with Decius, and then, after a pause of some decades, the bronze coins of Diocletian, Constantine I and his son, Valens, Theodosius II and Justinian I appear.
The archaeological excavations made in the former capital of Roman Dacia revealed modest but incontestable vestiges of the poor, local population who, after the retreat of the Roman authorities, sought shelter among the ruins of the old town. In Sarmizegetusa, finds suggest that the forum and some buildings were used, for the needs of a shabby life, also AFTER Aurelian retreat.
During the excavation made in 1960, at the bridge of Pipoc@, a cavity was emptied which contained pieces of Roman bricks, a bronze fibula with the legs inverted below, as well as fragments of grey vases, intensively burned, with a surface of metallic shine. On the basis of the pottery and the fibula, the cavity dates from the 4th century AD. To the same period belongs a hut, on the side of a kiln with a cover of burned clay, fastened on the bank of the Secash.
From the limited number of excavations made so far, one may conclude on the basis of the uninterrupted succesion of the remains of material culture, that the autochthonous element continued to exist here during the Roman occupation and that a Daco-Roman population was present here also after the retreat by Aurelian.
A settlement inhabited during the Roman domination in Dacia and attributed to the Dacians was found on the territory of this village in 1963.
...Roman provincial pottery was discovered, associated by fragments of vases made by hand of rough paste of dark grey colour, some of them showing ornaments specific to the late Dacian La Tène.
In our opinion, the settlement in Sic continued to exist also after the abandonment of Dacia by the Romans, until the beginning of the 4th century. This is definitely indicated by the numerous fragments of vases made by hand of a rough paste characterized by the cut off (right) or arched form of the base, and the absence of ornamentation.
Soporul de Câmpie:
A small settlement used during a short period, probably in the second half of the 5th century. Fragments of vases of a greyish black colour, mostly without ornamentations, were found there.
The presence of the huts from the 5th century in the territory of the old, abandoned, Daco-Roman cemetery proves that its inhabitants did not know that the place was once used as a cemetery, and that they came from an other place, possibly from an adjacent area. Without having at present more exact material proof, the facts that these huts form a small group, are situated in a remote region and lack material characteristic of the migratory peoples, are valid indications that they belonged to some elements of the indigenous population.
A settlement from the period of Roman domination and, possibly, also from the times following the official abandonment of the province.
A fragment of a silver fibula, dated to the 4th century, with the inscription Quartine vivas! was found there (cf. below, p. 180).
In the years from 1898 to 1915, five tombs of inhumation were discovered
[...] among many other tombs with inventaries from the 11th to the 13th centuries, equipped with sarcophagi made of RE-USED Roman bricks. In the tombs, bracelets of the Roman style, bronze fibulae of the type Awith onion-heads@, necklaces of characteristic forms and two bronze-coins of Constantine I (306B337) were found.
The tombs, partly deranged by the burials in the 11th to the 13th centuries, are found in the territory of the former Roman town Apulum, in its very centre, and obviously date from the times following the retreat of the Romans from Dacia. The funerary inventary and particularly those two coins of Constantine I found IN THE TOMBS indicate that these are from the 4th century AD. The uniformly Roman style of the tombs and the total absence of any foreign element exclude their attribution to a migratory population.
Thus, as pointed out also by Kurt Horedt, the public buildings in the centre of the Roman town had lost their original function and were now used as cemeteries. Horedt summarized in 1982 the signs of life in the former Roman towns in Transylvania, stating that one finds a uniform, although fragmentary picture, determined by the same kinds of finds.
A cemetery of cremation, which dates from the second half of the 4th century (and possibly to the beginning of the 5th). This is the largest cemetery from the period following the abandonment of Dacia Traiana by the Romans. It was found in Bratei, 7 kilometers east of Mediash, on the bank of the river Târnava Mare. This cemetery is considered particularly significant:
Of particular significance in proving the continuation of the Daco-Roman population is the cemetery at Brateiu, along the Tîrnava Mare, a cemetery of cremation dated to the time span between 380 and 454...
Therefore, it will be described in some detail. But first, a survey over the material remains found at Bratei:
As on several sites in Transylvania, remains from many different periods and populations, from the neolitic to the 13th century inclusive, were excavated at Bratei. The following survey is based on the article by R. Harhoiu, in Dictzionar de istorie veche a României, edited by D.M. Pippidi, 1976, pp. 99B102.
Settlement No. 1 (4thB6th centuries AD). Pottery made on a wheel (a development of Roman pottery) and by hand (of Dacian origin), and a small quantity of fine, grey earthenware, indicating the presence of a Germanic element. Settlement No 2, in four levels:
(a) 4thB6th centuries, of the same character as settlement No 1.
(b) 6thB7th centuries, showing traits of the IpoteshtiB-Ciurel-Cândeshti culture.
(c) 7thB8th centuries, showing traits of the first phase of the Dridu culture.
(d) 12thB13th centuries; pottery made on a wheel; agricultural and other kinds of tools; vases and cooking vessels of the Petchenegs.
Celtic tombs from the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC.
Cemetery No 1, 4thB5th centuries (see below).
Cemetery No 4, similar to the preceding .
Cemetery No 3, 6thB7th centuries, with 300 tombs of inhumation; Gepidic.
Cemetery No 2, 8th century, showing the rite of cremation (85% of the tombs) as well as that of inhumation (15%). Considered to have belonged to the first phase of the Dridu culture.
Cemetery No 1 was described by Ligia Bârzu in a monograph published in 1973. The following survey is mainly based on this monograph.
Between the years 1959 and 1969, 353 tombs were excavated in this cemetery; another 100 were destroyed in 1970, in the course of work on this site, which now is a sandpit.
The cemetery is 72 meters long and 55 meters wide. At the beginning, the tombs formed regular rows, but this order was not always kept. Tombs placed one upon the other are especially frequent in the middle of the cemetery. This may be explained by the custom according to which members of one family were buried near to one other; after some time, space was no longer sufficient for this practice.
The funeral rite was cremation. The cavities in which the remains were laid down are of different types:
Ritually burned cavities are found in 270 cases (77.5%). Most of these tombs are rectangular or oval, but two are almost entirely round and one is cross-shaped.
Not burned are the cavities of 78 tombs (22.5%). Sixtyone of these are oval or rectangular, 9 are round, 6 are bottle-shaped and one is conical.
The size of the cavities is the following: length, 120 B 150 (180) cm, bredth, 40 B 60 cm, depth (measured from the original surface), 20 B 50 cm.
Orientation in space: in a north to south direction are placed 78% of the burned cavities of rectangular or of oval shape, and somewhat more than half of the cavities which are not burned. Twenty-two percent of the burned cavities and less than half of those not burned are placed in an east to west direction.
Contents of the tombs
A large amount of animal bones were found in these tombs. The figures given by Ligia Bârzu are based on the analysis of 220 tombs (about 63% of all) made in 1966 and 1969. Most of the bones belong to big, domesticated animals, the number of which is estimated by L. Bârzu as follows: 349 oxen (Bos taurus), 120 porcs, 77 animals like sheep and goats and 27 horses. Other animals are rare: there were 3 dogs, 4 deers, and one wild bore (Sus scrofa ferus).
I. Made on a wheel.
a. Of rough paste.
1. Pots, of Roman origin, also found in the Sântana de Muresh culture.
2. Large storing vessels are found in almost all tombs. They are known from the Roman period and also from the Sântana de Muresh culture.
3. Bowls, very frequently found also in sites of the Sântana de Muresh culture.
4. Amphorae are more numerous than the bowls. In the Sântana de Muresh culture, amphorae are rare. According to L. Bârzu (p. 39), This form is provincial Roman and represents the realization of the red Roman amphorae in a grey paste, of a late period. They indicate, according to the same author, that workrooms which preserved the techniques of the Roman provincial pottery existed in Transylvania in the 4th century.
5. Jugs B a small number of fragments were found.
b. Of fine paste.
This type is represented less (about 15%) than the pottery made of a rough paste. The Bratei cemetery reveals in this respect a different situation as compared to the sites of the Sântana de MureÕ culture. The forms are largely the same as those in the group made of a rough paste. They must be products of local workshops, which thus produced pottery Aof purely Roman tradition in the 4th century and in the first 2 or 3 decades of the 5th. The pots and the bowls, as well as the jugs are similar to those found in the Sântana de Muresh culture, but the jugs are also found in Roman cemeteries.
c. Imported earthenware.
About 5% of the pottery found at Bratei were imported. These vessels were made of a fine paste, burned red; there also are enamelled vessels, mostly amphorae and jugs. These were probably made in Pannonia, a province well-known of the production of enamelled vessels in the 4th century. At Bratei, there is a large variety of forms, while in the Sântana de Muresh culture, the amphorae prevail. This is considered another indication suggesting that the population at Bratei was different from that of the Sântana de Muresh people.
II. Earthenware made by hand.
Although present in almost all tombs, this type is not found in very large amounts. According to differences in the paste and the burning, 3 types may be distinguished. Regarding forms, the pot without handles is most frequent; there is also the censer (catzuia) and the lid. The censer is of typical Dacian tradition:
These forms are of the most authentic Dacian tradition and confirm, in the possibly most certain way, the Daco-Roman character of the cemetery at Bratei.
One form of these vessels, of Roman origin, shows an ornamentation usual in the pottery of the free Dacians who migrated to Transylvania from the west. The significanec of this kind of pottery at Bratei is that it shows a clear influence from the free Dacians:
Regarding the similarities between this type of earthenware and that made by hand in the culture of the western Dacians, we believe that it is not wrong to affirm that one may regard in it a substantial contribution from the group Cip|u AGîrle@.
2. Pieces of metal
These are few in the cemetery No 1 at Bratei. There are pieces made of iron, silver, and bronze. Objects of iron include farming implements, handicraft utensils and other tools, one weapon, fusaiols, fibulae, clasps, etc. One entire plough-share and a fragment was also found; they are of the type of the provincial Roman style of Pannonia. Sickles are of the type found among the free Dacians as well as in the Roman world. Of some joiners tools, one is known from the material remains of the free Dacians, the rest from the Roman Empire. Of the awls, one variant, of Roman origin, as well as most of the fusaiol-s are also found in the Sântana de MureÕ culture. Only 19 fibulae were found at Bratei. All are of the type Awith the leg inverted below@; most of them have counterparts in the Sântana de MureÕ culture or in the territory of present day Hungary. The same is true about 8 clasps of iron.
3. Objects of glass
All objects of glass were imported; they are quite numerous. There are vases, bracelets and pearls. The vases are of several types, most of which have counterparts in Western Europe, in the Sântana de MureÕ culture and/or in the territory of present day Hungary. One of the centres of production of these vases was Cologne, but they were also made in Pannonia; those found at Bratei were most probably imported from that province. Pearls are also of several types, and almost all have counterparts in the Sântana de MureÕ culture and/or in Hungary (from the Hunnish period). Certain types were widespread in Europe, and are characteristic of the Abarbarian@ world of the 4th century (Bârzu Cemet p. 72).
4. Objects made of bones; tiles and bricks
These are mostly combs varying in size from 5.2 x 5.2 cm to about 10 x 8 cm. Combs of this kind are characteristic of some late Roman settlements and cemeteries and particularly of the area of the Sântana de Muresh-Cerneahov cultures (p. 74). The number of tiles and of bricks is quite high. They are made of a very rough paste and are bulky. These tiles are different from the classical Roman tiles by the quality of the paste, the burning as well as by the bulkiness (p. 75). Ligia Bârzu assumes that their presence in this cemetery indicates the existence of an older settlement in the vicinity, from which those who used the cemetery took the tiles.
(End of the detailed report on the Bratei cemetery; the description of the other cemeteries continues.)
Roman sarcophags were re-used; material remains are scarce, but a Christian symbol (a plain cross), nails, and a pair of ear-rings indicate that these tombs date from the period after the Roman era.
In the territory of former Napoca and in present day Manashtur, 3 km from the centre of the town, a total of 26 Roman coins from the period after the Roman domination in Dacia (up to the end of the 4th century) were found.
Not far from the place of a villa rustica, about 12 urns of cremation were found in 1961 during work on a thermo-electric power station. Only one tomb could be saved, the others were destroyed during the work. The urn preserved from this tomb, now in the Museum of Archaeology in Cluj, is described as follows:
Made on a wheel, of red-yellowish paste, with a rounded rim and a supporting
Bezid 2nd 2 of 3rd, and 4th
Sântana de Muresh; free Dacians Roman provincial cultural influences@
Chilia 2nd 2 of 3rd+
free Dacians, powerful Roman influence@
5 tombs of inhumation
Dacians and Daco-Iazyges
of other ethnic character
Comolau end of 3rd - 4th century +
Mediash end of 3rd +
1 urn of cremation
Reci 4th century +
1 tomb of inhumation
Sântana de Muresh or Daco-Carps
Staneshti 2nd 2 of 3rd
1 urn of cremation
Table 9. Settlements and cemeteries where archaeological remains of free Dacians and other non-Roman populations, who migrated to the territory of former Dacia Traiana after 250-75 AD, were found. (On the basis of D. Protase, Problema continuit|Ûii în Dacia în lumina arheologiei Õi numismaticii, 1966, pp. 104B132.)
ring on its base, the urn preserved is a pot without handles, which in shape,colour, and paste technique, continues the series of the red Roman pots from the time of the province, and has close analogies in the cemetery at Soporul de Cîmpie. [...] A certain degeneration in the making of the paste, as compared to the red Roman provincial pottery, may be observed in the case of the urn from Iernut.
Lechintza de Muresh:
A tomb from around 300 AD:
The urn, made beyond doubt in the Roman pottery-workshops at CristeÕti, contained cremated human bones and a silver fibula with the head made of a semicircular plate, and the leg inverted below. Analogous to some samples from the Gothic inhumation cemetery at Sântana de MureÕ, it represents one of the earliest of this type of fibulae. [...] The funeral rite and the style of the urn are clearly Roman provincial, which shows that the deceased belonged to a community of Daco-Roman population, in spite of the Gothic fibula, which came from the east.
Before the First World War, in the territory of the Roman municipium [...] among the ruins of a Roman building equipped with a hypocaust, A. Buday discovered 17 tombs of inhumation, of which 6 were boxes of bricks connected by mortar and 11 without a sarcophag, the deceased having been laid down directly in the cavity. The tombs, most of which were plundered and scattered, did not contain any objects. [...] The assumption that they date from the period after the retreat by Aurelian which is supported only by the fact they were found among the ruins of a building from the 2nd or the 3rd century, encounters real and multiple difficulties.
A tomb with the skeleton of a man was discovered there in 1958. The pottery found in this tomb is described as follows:
...fragments of vases made by wheel, of fine or porous paste and well-burned; of red-yellowish or dark-grey colour. Among the fragments of vases there is also a rim which, as suggested by its form, seems to originate from a grey fruit-dish, of the kind known from the settlements of Roman Dacia.
According to the coin of Philip the Arab, the tomb is from the second half of the 3rd century AD, but according to the fibula, it must date from around 300. The contention that the deceased belonged to a community of Daco-Romans, as indicated by the pottery, whose forms and techniques strongly resembled the Roman forms and techniques, appears entirely justified.
Two tombs of cremation, which date beyond doubt from a period when the Roman camp was abandoned, possibly the second half of the 3rd century or more probably the first half of the 4th. These tombs, as suggested by the funeral rites and the vase made by hand, may belong to some elements of the Romanized provincial population, who stayed on in the eastern part of Dacia, abandoned by the Romans.
On a hill called EprestetÅ, on the eastern shore of the Olt, two tombs, one of cremation and the other of inhumation, were discovered in 1959. This type of tomb of cremation was usual in Dacia Romana, being found also at Apulum, Porolissum, MoreÕti, SebeÕ, and CinciÕ. The cemetery at Bratei, from the 4th century (see above), is of the same type. It is not found in areas which remained extra provinciam. Because of this, we consider the tomb at EprestetÅ to have belonged to a Daco-Roman, a supposition supported also by the style of the earthenware.It is uncertain whether this tomb is really from the period after the abandonment of the province by the Romans:
If the fragment of the grey, polished vase, with a net-pattern, really belonged to the inventary of the tomb, then this must be dated to the end of the 3rd century or, more probably, to the first half of the following century, in any case, after the retreat of the Romans from this region.
Soporul de Câmpie:
Three urns of cremation were discovered in the territory of this village in 1960, but only one of them was preserved (without its contents), the others were destroyed and lost.
The urn which was recovered, 0.34 m high, without handles, was made on a wheel, of fine, hard and resistent paste, without a metallic polishing. In the Daco-Roman cemetery (2nd to 3rd centuries) discovered at ACuntenit@, this kind of pot is not found. According to its form and style, which shows strong reminiscenses of the Roman provincial pottery, the urn may date from the end of the 3rd century AD, after the official abandonment of the province. [...] The funeral rite of cremation and the style of the urn suggest that those buried here were Daco-Romans.
3. OBJECTS OF CHRISTIAN CHARACTER IN POST-ROMAN DACIA
It seems that Dacia Traiana did not take part in the large-scale spread of Christianity during the 3rd century, which characterized the Balkan provinces and also Gallia, Britannia, and the Iberian peninsula. (In the western Asian and northern African territories of the Roman Empire, the new religion had been propagated effectively already before 200 AD.) Discussing the causes of this, Protase stresses the importance of the fact that the socio-economic structure of Dacia Traiana was different from that of other Roman provinces; it was closer to the barbarian form of life in free Dacia than to a system of a Roman community. Other factors, according to Protase, may have been the stronger supervision exercised by the authorities in this remote province as compared to other regions, and also the interruption of contacts with Asia Minor in the mid-second century.
Protase considers that the significance of the objects of Christian character from the 4th century is that they can be used as a testimony of the theory that a numerous Roman population existed in Dacia after Aurelian, the fact is pointed out that, in the 4th century, Christian communities appeared along the Danube and that dioceses were founded in the Danubian provinces: in Marcianopolis, Naissus, Sirmium, Siscia, Durostorum, Tomis, etc. The gains of territory north of the lower Danube in the 4th century, during the reign of Constantine the Great are said to have made the propagation of Christianity in the regions north of the lower Danube possible.
Protase described ten objects of Christian use. Some more important data about these are given in table 10. (Protase omits objects found along the Danube, which may have been imported there during the years of domination by the Empire and are therefore not relevant in this context.)
The style of these objects is similar to those made in the period in question in Italy, northern Africa, the Balkan provinces and Pannonia; they were, afar from
being local products, imported from some of these provinces.
Protase assumed, as other Rumanian archaeologists, that the owners of these objects were ADaco-Romans. Protase gives the following arguments in favour of his opinion:
(1) All objects of Christian use from the 4th century were found in the territory of the former province of Dacia Traiana. It is true that two inscriptions were found also in Slovakia, but only one of these can be accepted as having been Christian, and they belong to Pannonia Romana, from where they may have been imported to Slovakia in a late period. Three objects of Christian character were found on the Great Hungarian Plain, but
...they are objects of precious metal and may have reached the places in question from the region of the Danube in Pannonia either as a result of the offensive of Constantine the Great or in connection with a possible Roman occupation of some areas on the northern side of the river during the same period.
(2) Without exceptions, the Christian relics from post-Roman Dacia were discovered in large urban centres (Apulum, Napoca, Potaissa, Ampelum) or rural settlements (Biertan) during the times of the Roman occupation in Dacia. On the other hand, they are (with the exception of the lamp from Dej) grouped in the central and in the southwestern parts of intra-Carpathic Dacia [...] where Roman life, in all its manifestations, reached the greatest development in the era of the province, and where no Gothic archaeological complexes from the period after the abandonment by Aurelian were found so far. On the other hand, unequivocally Christian objects are totally absent from the eastern parts of Transylvania, north of the Tîrnava Mare and in the upper valleys of the Olt and the MureÕ, where archaeological remains of the Goths are more frequent.
The vestiges of Christianity from the territories of the old province can in no case belong to the newly arrived Goths, and the assumption that they were left by some elements who came later from the Empire is plainly contradicted by the fact that they were discovered in former Roman towns and rural settlements. The only reasonable conclusion is that they belonged to some communities of Daco-Roman population which remained in their territories atfer 271 and which, by their Roman provincial life style constituted a favourable medium for the propagation of the new religion in Latin shape in a simple, popular form, without any higher ecclesiastic organization.
4. ROMAN COINS FOUND IN POST-ROMAN DACIA TRAIANA.
As in the case of the objects of Christian use, Protase excludes from the discussion coins found along the Danube (in the Banat and in Oltenia) since these territories were for some periods also after 271 AD occupied by the Empire.
The circulation of coins between 271 and 450 AD was subject to considerable fluctuation, by which three periods may be distinguished:
(1) 271-305 AD. The number of coins is very low, in absolute numbers as well as compared to the period of Roman domination. According to Preda, 60 finds were made in entire Rumania, i.e., about 17 finds for each decade of the period. The total number of coins from this period is somewhat more than 100. Two thirds of the finds were made in the area of the former Roman province and one third in areas which remained extra provinciam.
(2) 306-392 AD. The circulation of Roman coins increases sharply. Most finds are from the period of Constantine the Great, who occupied an area north of the lower Danube (cf. above, p. 154). Most of the coins were made in Siscia and in Sirmium. From this period, which ends with the Hunnish invasion, almost 300 isolated bronze coins were found in Transylvania. Ten hoards of coins, which were either entirely accumulated during this period or whose accumulation ends in this period were found in Transylvania, 19 in the Banat, and 2 in Oltenia. The total number of discoveries from this period is, according to Preda, Aabout 200" approximately 26 for each decade.
(3) 393-450 AD. The number of coins is much lower than it was during most of the 4th century. The proportion of gold coins increased. Thus, in Transylvania, at least 11 isolated gold coins, 11 isolated bronze coins, and about 30 gold coins in hoards were found. In the Banat, the number of gold coins is about 5, that of bronze only small and there are an unspecified, low number of gold coins in hoards. In Oltenia, about 40 isolated bronze coins, no gold, and about 480 bronze coins in hoards were discovered. However, the finds from Oltenia are almost exclusively from the surroundings of Sucidava and belonged to the soldiers of the Roman garrison stationed there.
The gold coins are considered to have been owned by the peoples who dominated the country B the Goths, the Gepidae, the Huns B representing tribute paid to them by the Roman or the Byzantine Empire. In the following, the circumstances will be summarized which, according to Protase,
...may be used as valid arguments in favour of the continued existence, in the territories north of the Danube and in the interior of the arch of the Carpathian mountains, of the Daco-Roman peoples, who always maintained monetary commercial contacts with the Romano-Byzantine world.
(1) The coins were found throughout a large territory and not restricted to some areas with one particular population: Athe attribution of the coins to a population which did not occupy the entire territory of the former province is a priori excluded.@
(2) In general, the Goths did not put bronze coins in their tombs, although a few such cases are known, for example, at Cerneahov. Several hoards of gold and silver (but no bronze) coins were found among the material remains of the Goths.
The bronze coins with a small, almost negligible intrinsic value, were used in the first place by the autochthonous population, accustomed from earlier times to the advantages of a commerce based on an exact monetary system, and to a lesser extent by the Goths, who appreciated not the coins as such but the precious metal it contained.
(3) The coins were mainly found in the vicinity of Roman camps, urban centres, rural settlements, or in places where vestiges from the Romans were found, or in settlements and cemeteries of the autochthonous population founded at the end of the 3rd century or in the 4th century. However, on the same page, Protase states that Alate Roman coins found in places where no kinds of remains from the 2nd and the 3rd centuries or from the following period are mentioned in the literature, are numerous. This may, according to Protase, in many cases be explained by our lack of knowledge of such remains because of lack of archaeological investigations in the places in question.
(4) Regarding the hoards of coins hidden in the 4th century, it has been pointed out rightly that there are some among these which by their particular composition may contribute the the solution of the problem of Daco-Roman continuity in Dacia.These are the hoards which IN A CERTAIN PROPORTION comprise silver and bronze coins also from the times after Aurelian. In fact, IF we exclude the import of these hoards from the Empire to the Daco-Roman territories and IF we do not take some reservations regarding their INTEGRITY or the UNITY of some of them into account, we have a group of hoards with a probatory value for Daco-Roman continuity. We talk about the generally known hoards of coins from Hunedoara, Pasul Vîlcan, Reghin (?), NireÕ, OrÕova, and Borlova.
These hoards contain mostly denarii from the 1st to the 3rd centuries and, after a gap, a few coins of bronze from the first half of the 4th century.
The successive owners of such monetary estates, transmitted from generation to generation within the same family or population, could not have been others than the autochthonous elements, people who lived in Dacia Romana and remained in their settlements after the abandonment by Aurelian.
To another group of hoards belong those which were accumulated exclusively during the 4th century and contain mostly bronze (and a few silver) coins.
It must be admitted that these, either because they are small, (Bran-Z|rneÕti, Sarmizegetusa, Ungurei, etc.), or because they were buried in places where no traces of Goths, Iazyges, or of Romano-Byzantine domination were shown, also belonged to the autochthonous population. The hoard which contains 15 pieces of bronze found at Cip|u in a hut which belonged to the settlement of the free Dacians who came from the west of the country confirms in general the view that the small hoards represent monetary collections of the autochthonous population.
The total volume of the monetary circulation does not seem to have been sufficient to satisfy the needs of the economy and it must be assumed that exchange in natura was used extensively in the entire period between 271 and 450 AD.
5. THE LATIN INSCRIPTIONS
Two objects from the the 4th century AD with Latin inscriptions were found in Transylvania:
(1) An ex voto, made of a tabula ansata of bronze, with the inscription in three lines:
(Ego, Zenovius, votum posui ´I, Zenovius, have placed [this] present´), and a disc of bronze with the monogram of Jesus Christ (X + P). It was found in 1775 in the woods and fields, about 3 miles from Biertan, nearMediaÕ (Hung. Medgyes), together with fragments of a jar and a tureen of bronze. Made in the Roman Empire, these objects probably belonged originally to a bronze chandelier from an altar. The significance of this find is, according to C. Daicoviciu, as follows:
This Donarium cannot have been placed in Biertan for any other reason than the existence there of a Christian community around the sanctuary of a Christian cult place. Who were these Christians, is a question which must be discussed in more detail. In the first place, the Latin language used in the votive inscription gives us an answer sufficient in itself: the believers spoke Latin, i.e., [they are] ROMANS or ROMANIZED people. But these could not, in the heart of Transylvania, have been other than the Daco-Roman population who stayed on in spite of the order of retreat given by Aurelian.
Even if we would admit (in excessive prudence), that a Gothic Christian community existed at Biertan, we ask why Zenovius wrote the inscription in Latin and not in Greek, if he was a missionary from the Orient, or in the Gothic language, if he was a local Goth? The answer is easy to give: because he either was a Daco-Roman himself, or because he addressed himself to his believers in a language which they knew and spoke. These believers, even if they were Goths or only Goths (chiar dac| erau goÛi sau numai goÛi) could, however, know this language only from their subjects living in the region of Biertan.This also leads us to the only valid historical conclusion: the admission of the existence of a Daco-Roman population speaking Latin, which adhered to the Christian faith in Dacia Superior after Aurelian.
In Istoria României. Compendiu, 1974, these ideas are presented again:
...settlements and cemeteries of the Daco-Roman tradition, from the 4thB6th centuries AD, for example Bratei, Biertan, etc. These are rural settlements of a population of farmers who used pottery of Roman provincial or Dacian tradition, bread ovens, Romano-Byzantine coins and the Latin language. In this context, the bronze inscription from Biertan is very important which, besides the monogram XP, shows the Latin text EGO ZENOVIVS VOTVM POSVI. We conclude from this that at Biertan, not far from Mediash, a Christian community was constituted in the 4th century, using the Latin language, to which a person called Zenovius gave a chandelier with his name.
In Ancient Civilization of Romania, by E. Condurachi & C. Daicoviciu, 1971, (p. 179), the following may be read about the Donarium:
We now have a whole series of remains bearing witness to the continued existence of a population of Daco-Roman stock throughout the whole of the former province of Dacia Traiana. [...] ...only a Daco-Roman population could have produced the various objects of Christian use which are dated to the same century B for example the lucernae or, even more strikingly, an ex-voto (Plate 123) bearing the monogram of Christ and the inscription ego Zenovius votum posui.
(2) The arch of a silver fibula, later changed to a ring, discovered in 1865 in the Muresh valley at Vetzel, west of Alba Iulia. It shows the inscription: QUARTINE VIVAS; it does not contain Christian features.
Epoca bronzului; Epoca migraţiilor (sec. III - VI);
Punct Militari - Câmpul Boja
Colectiv Mircea Negru (MM Bucuresti)
Cod RAN 179132.29
The archaeological site from Bucharest, Militari quarter, Câmpul Boja Street was discovered by C. S. Nicolaescu Plopsor at the beginning of third decades of 20th century. There were made archaeological diggings in three stages: 1958, 1960-1961 (conducted by Vlad Zirra), 1978-1985 (conducted by Mioara Turcu) and 1994, 1996-1999, 2001 (conducted by myself). This archaeological site contains settlements from the Neolithic (Boian culture), Bronze Age (Glina culture, Militari cultural group and Tei culture), Early Iron Age, 2nd-1st centuries BC, 3rd century, AD, 6-7th centuries, 10-11th centuries and 18-19th centuries. In the autumn of 2001, the archaeological diggings were concentrated in the D sector from the west part of the site. There discovered three pits of 3rd century AD (Gr. 27-29) and a dwelling from the 6th century AD. Also, there were found pottery fragments of the Tei culture from the Bronze Age. The pottery vessels of the culture were made of fine or coarse paste. The first category contains blackish color vessels decorated with incised motifs. The other one contains red-light color vessels decorated with alveoled cordons. Two of the pits (Gr. 27-28) were conical and the other one was biconical (Gr. 29). They contains hand-made and wheel-made pottery fragments, burned clay and woods fragments, animal bones. In Gr. 28 was found a bronze fragment of buckle In the 3rd century level a coin emitted in the Hadrian rule was found. I mention that it is very used, and can not support the dating of the settlement earlier that it was dated (middle and third quarter of the 3rd century AD). The dwelling B 24 had a trapezoidal form with rounded corners. In one corner it had a kitchen kiln excavated in the earth. It contains hand-made and wheel-made pottery, calcite stones, burned clay and woods. The pottery supports the dating of this dwelling in the 6th century AD.
Note Bibliografice 1. Mircea Negru, Cristian F. Schuster, Dragos Moise, Militari-Câmpul Boja. Un sit arheologic pe teritoriul Bucurestilor, Bucuresti, 2000, 357 p. 2. C. F. Schuster, în M. Negru, C. F. Schuster, D. Moise, op. cit, p. 35, pl. 38:2, 4. 3. Eugen Chirila, Nicolae Gudea, Vasile Lucacel, Constantin Pop, Das Romerlager von Buciumi, Cluj, 1977, pl. LXXI: 1-2, 15, 21. 4. M. Negru, în M. Negru, C. F. Schuster, D. Moise, op. cit., p. 130-134. 5. Multumim domnului Viorel Petac de la Cabinetul Numismatic al Academiei Române, pentru identificarea acestei monede. 6. Vlad Zirra, Gheorghe Cazimir, Unele date ale sapaturilor arheologice de pe Câmpul Boja din cartierul Militari, CAB, 1, 1963, p. 51, fig. 15. 7. Ibidem, fig. 15:12. Bibliografie: 1. M. Negru, C. F. Schuster, D. Moise, Militari-Câmpul Boja. Un sit arheologice pe teritoriul Bucurestilor, Bucuresti, 2000, 357 p. 2. M. Negru, Descoperiri arheologice la Bucuresti-Militari "Câmpul Boja", în: Bucuresti - Materiale de Istorie si Muzeografie, 14, 2000 3. I. Poll, M. Negru, Studiu de compozitie asupra ceramicii din secolul al III-lea p. Chr. descoperita la Bucuresti-Militari "Câmpul Boja", în: Bucuresti - Materiale de Istorie si Muzeografie, 14, 2000, p. 4. M. Negru, Descoperiri arheologice la Bucuresti-Militari "Câmpul Boja", în: Bucuresti - Materiale de Istorie si Muzeografie, 13, p. 26-33. 5. M. Negru, Raport preliminar privind cercetarile arheologice de la Militari-Câmpul Boja (1996), Cercetari în aria nord-traca, 2, 1997, p. 408-420. 6. C. F. Schuster, M. Negru, Descoperiri din epoca bronzului la Bucuresti-Militari "Câmpul Boja", în: Bucuresti - Materiale de istorie, 13, 1999, p. 19-25. 7. M. Turcu, Descoperiri arheologice la Militari-Câmpul Boja, CAB, IV, 1992, p. 226-235. 8. M. Turcu, Cercetari arheologice la Militari-Câmpul Boja, MCA, I, Bucuresti, 1992, p. 145-148. 9. M. Turcu, Cercetari arheologice la Militari-Câmpul Boja, CAB, III, 1981, p. 226-235. 10. M. Turcu, Sondajul de la Militari-Câmpul Boja, MCA, 1980, p. 121-123. 11. M. Turcu, V. Lancuzov, Cercetari de salvare la Militari-Câmpul Boja (Campania 1978), MCA, 1979, p. 77-78. 12. M. Zgâbea, Fibulele din sec. III si VI e.n. descoperite în săpăturile de la Militari, CAB, 1, 1963, p. 373-384. 13. V. Zirra, Gh. Cazimir, Unele rezultate ale sapaturilor arheologice de pe Câmpul Boja din Cartierul Militari, CAB, 1, 1963, p. 49-71
The imports from the Roman world were spread across a huge area, at the north of the Danube, but also in the North-Pontic steppes, up to Scandinavia. Even if it is impossible to distinguish them from similar objects brought in Barbaricum through plunder raids made on the Roman Empire territory, the archaeological finds of glassware, Roman pottery, amphorae coming from the Black Sea region, bronze vessels and, fewer silver vessels, jewellery, mirrors, iron pieces of harness or weapons all bear witness to the trade in this region.
13 This trade was possible both by means of commercial inroads in the barbarous territory and by means of border trading taking place, as the written antique sources mention, in certain places destined from this purpose. These points are on the Danube line. As a consequence of signing the treaty with the Goths in 369, two such places were designated for trading activities. This was a practice that had become common between Romans and barbarians, as the embassy sent to Constantinople by the Huns in 466 was asking for peace and a trading place near the Danube. Before that, in 448, Attila had asked that the place destined for trading between Huns and Romans be changed from the Danube river to Naissus.
Sucidava Moesica (Izvoarele)5 or the Roman outposts in Barbaricum, Drobeta and/or
Sucidava-Celeiu are considered such places in which commercial trade took place. Even if
they refer to an exceptional situation generated by Valens’ expeditions against the Goths, the antique texts give us an idea about the proportions of the trade between Romans and Goths, and the products exported from the Empire in the second half of the 4th century. We thus find that the Goths suffered because of Valens’ campaigns when “the trade was interrupted” and they did not receive “the products necessary to their subsistence”7. Corpus Juris Civilis iv, 41,1 and 30-35 mentions the fact that wine, oil and beverage export was banned by Valentinianus,Valens and Gratianus. In the 5th century, Marcianus as well banned iron export and weapons sales to the barbarians, a decision that might have been motivated by the barbarians’ being used against the Empire (Corpus Juris Civilis iv, 41, 2 and 35-40)8. During the quiet periods at the Lower Danube, commercial trade was an important concern for the Roman garrisons’ commanders in the region: according to Themistios’ narratives, before 367-369, they were engaged more in trading activities than in military duties. The concerns of the heads of the Empire administration are also mentioned for about the same period, when the Visigoths went across the Empire9, because of the pressure put on them by the movement of the Huns. Taking advantage of the desperate circumstance of the new foederats at the southern Danube, of speculative prices on food items, they procured slaves from among the Goths, sold in order to be saved from death through starvation.
16 Sums of money reached the northern Danube through the subsidies paid to the Visigoths(Thervings) who occupied the Danube Plain to Limes Transalutanus, and were probably interrupted during the Valens’ wars, and to Taifals who became alies of the Roman Empire ince 358
10. But the most important sums paid in the Danube region were those given to the Huns in 440, that left strong marks on the part of Barbaricum studied here.
Incursions into the Roman territory for plunder also played a role in the coin import in Barbaricum. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know how these certain coin finds at the northern Danube actually got there.
The Hungarian point of View argues
În satul Olteni din judeţul Covasna este atestată existenţa milenară a dacilor înainte, în timpul şi după ocupaţia romană
Una dintre cele mai importante descoperiri arheologice din România demonstrează existenţa dacilor în Transilvania şi continuitatea lor în Ardeal pe parcursul unui întreg mileniu (IV BC-VI AC). Pentru prima oară, specialiştii au scos la lumină o aşezare completă, formată din sat şi cimitir, pe şantierul arheologic de la Olteni, comuna Bodoc, judeţul Covasna.
www. adevarul. ro/articole/descoperire-arheologica-monu
PETRE GHERGHE , LUCIAN AMON - Noi date în legătură cu podul lui Constantin eel Mare de la Sucidava (New Data Regarding Constantin the Great’s Bridge in Sucidava) (Rezumat) (pag. 359-369)