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Roman Castrum, Civitate, Municipium in Dacia and Scythia Minor. Roman Roads. In Memoriam Professor Doctor Radu Florescu (1932-2003)

 034-Radu Florescu 13 noiembrie 1931 - 7 sept 2003.jpg

In the year 2004 Romanian archaeology marked the jubilee of two of the most representative Dobrudjan archaeological sites: Histria and Capidava. In September 1914, after the third (and last) campaign ended at Ulmetum (Pantelimonu de Jos, Constanţa county), Vasile Pârvan headed for Histria, the old Milesian colony on the bank of Sinoe Lake, to start vast archaeological excavations, that have been going on ever since.

Ten years later, in the year 1924, Vasile Pârvan appointed one of his assistants, Grigore Florescu, later a reader in epigraphy and antiquities at the Faculty of Letters, the University of Bucharest, to start archaeological excavations in a Roman camp on the Dobrudjan Danube bank, "leaving the choice to us".   

Professor Doctor Radu Florescu photo at:

The previous year Grigore Florescu had found at Seimenii Mari - 6 km downstream Cernavodă - two milliaries and had identified traces of ancient dwelling on a surface of a few hectares (more precisely a defence tower from a later period and small dimensions, next to a civil settlement), however not enough for the issue to tackle, according to his own words. The decisive factor in choosing the young epigraphist is mentioned in the Preface of the first monographic volume of Capidava, that he signed in 1958: "On the one hand the rescue of the fortress [1] , and on the other also its position in an important ford of the Danube, crossed by a road running from the Carpathians and crossing the inland of Dobrudja up to the sea, at the Greek cities of Tomis and Histria, used to be solid reasons for starting the excavations in this location".

That is how the systematic archaeological excavations started at Capidava eight decades ago. This very jubilee was celebrated in 2004. This celebration is owed foremost to the exceptional endeavors of two remarkable researchers from two successive generations, father and son, Grigore and Radu Florescu. On this anniversary both equally deserve the homage paid to the archaeological site on the Danubian limes of Moesia Inferior - be it even posthumously.

See also:

Centrul Naţional de Cercetare şi Documentare în Domeniul Muzeologiei "Radu Florescu"

Archaeology enthusiasts who use the Internet can take good advantage of the generosity of the host, CIMEC, that made available a selection comprising a part of the oldest images of Capidava preserved in the archive of the site: topographic surveys and planimetric surveys of the fortress, photographs from pre-war excavations (in part unpublished) and of their initiators etc. There is also one of the beautiful vignettes on parchment at Notitia Dignitatum where the Roman fortification of Capidava can be seen, mentioned at half distance between Carsium and Axiopolis also on the segmentum VII of Tabula Peutingeriana. Many of the excavation photographs selected had already been published by Grigore Florescu, as illustrations for his excavation reports in the review Dacia (III-IV, 1927-1932; V-VI, 1935-1936; XI-XII, 1945-1947). The quality of the photographs preserved in the archive of the archaeological site of Capidava (in comparison with their modest variant published in the prestigious review mentioned), as well as the difficulties of the direct access of many Internet users to the respective scientific literature are the reasons why we resumed them in this way. Last but not least, by the very institutional appurtenance of Professor Grigore Florescu, the initiator of the archaeological excavations at Capidava, these images naturally pertain to the exceptional photographic testimonies of the early days of Romanian archaeology preserved in the archive of the National Museum of Antiquities and gathered in a unique online documentary base by CIMEC.

 [1] The quarrying of the limestone massif on which the fortress of Capidava used to stand by the company of the brothers Ghenciu from Brăila, at the time of Vasile Pârvan's visit in 1912, would seriously damage half of the north curtain of the fortress, and, usually, its whole Danube side. When the quarrying ceased  due to the support from the Historic Monuments Board following the active involvement of Vasile Pârvan also Grigore Florescu was able to begin the archaeological research of the fortress during the campaigns from 1924, 1926-1927 and the following years.

  Urbanism in Roman Dacia

  This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License
 It uses material from the Wikipedia article " USA"
 Roman province of “Dacia Traiana” on the territory of today's Romania. For the late Roman province of “Dacia Aureliana” on the territories of modern Bulgaria and Serbia, see Dacia Aureliana.
Roman Dacia[1], also Dacia Traiana[2] or Dacia Felix[3], was a province of the Roman Empire (106-271/275 AD).[1][2][4] Its territory consisted of eastern and southeastern Transylvania, the Banat, and Oltenia (regions of modern Romania).[3] Dacia was from the very beginning organized as an imperial province and remained so throughout the Roman occupation.[5] It was one of the empire’s Latin provinces; official epigraphs attest that the language of administration was Latin.[6] Historians’ estimates of the population of Roman Dacia range from 650,000 to 1,200,000.[7]
In 119, the province was divided into two departments: Upper Dacia included the Transylvanian Plateau;[2] and Lower Dacia incorporated the Banat and almost half of Oltenia;[5][7][3] the latter was later named Dacia Malvensis.[2] In 124 (or around 158), for military reasons, Upper Dacia was divided into two provinces: Dacia Apulensis and Dacia Porolissensis (north-western Transylvania).[5][8] During (or soon after) the Marcomannic Wars this scheme was modified again: military and judicial administration was unified under the command of one governor having two other senators (the legati legionis) as his subordinates and the province was called simply Dacia or Three Dacias (tres Daciæ).[5]
The Roman conquest was followed by a period of peace, stability, and prosperity.[3] But the province’s political life was not without perils from the start.[7] First came the Free Dacians who, allied with their old friends the Sarmatians, frequently attacked the province.[7] After the quieter rules of Commodus (180-193), Septimius Severus (193-211), and Caracalla (211-217), the invasions of Dacia, in particular the invasion by the Carpi (a Dacian tribe) in alliance with the Goths, were a serious problem for the emperors.[7]
Agriculture, stockbreeding, and commerce flourished in the province.[3] New mines were opened, and ore extraction intensified.[3] Dacia began to supply grains not only to the military personnel stationed in the province but also to the rest of the Balkan area.[3]
Dacia was a highly urban province: no fewer than 11[1] or 12 cities are known, 8 of them of the highest rank (colonia);[7] but the number of cities was fewer than in the region’s other provinces.[6] In Dacia, all the cities developed from military camps.[1] Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa (Sarmizegetusa, Romania) was the financial, religious, and legislative center of the province; it was the seat of the imperial procurator (finance officer) for all the three subdivisions.[1] Apulum (Alba Iulia, Romania), where the military governor of the three subdivisions had his headquarters,[1] was not just the greatest conurbation of the province, but one of the largest in the area.[5]


However, it became more and more difficult to keep Dacia within the boundaries of the Roman Empire;[4] thus Dacia was the last province to be added to the Roman Empire and was the first to be abandoned.[3] In the 250s, as the Carpi  (Free Dacians)advance intensified, Dacia’s inhabitants began to seek refuge south of the river Danube, in Moesia.[6] Our sources from antiquity imply that Dacia had already been lost during the reign of Gallienus (260-268), but they also report that it was Aurelian (270-275) who relinquished Dacia Traiana.[9] Aurelian, in desperate attempt to save the rest of the Roman Empire, evacuated his troops and civilian administration from Dacia, and founded Dacia Aureliana with its capital at Serdica (Sofia, Bulgaria) in Lower Moesia.[2]
The fate of the Romanized population of the former province of Dacia Traiana has become subject to a spirited controversy.[7] One theory holds that the Latin language spoken in ancient Dacia, where Romania was to be formed in the future, gradually turned into Romanian; in parallel, a new people, the Romanians were formed from the Daco-Romans (the Romanized population of Dacia Traiana).[4] The opposing theory argues that the Romanians descended from the Romanized population of the Roman provinces of the Balkan Peninsula.[6]
Trajan conquered the Dacians, under King Decibalus, and made Dacia, across the Danube in the soil of barbary, a province which in circumference had ten times 100,000 paces; but it was lost under Imperator Gallienus, and, after Romans had been transferred from there by Aurelian, two Dacias were made in the regions of Moesia and Dardania.
—Festus: Breviarium of the Accomplishments of the Roman People (VII.2)10]



        Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa- Dacia Apulensis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Plan of the settlement

Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica was the capital and the largest city of Roman Dacia, later named Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa after the former Dacian capital, located some 40 km away. The city was destroyed by the Goths. Today Ulpia Traiana remains in ruins, with a partly conserved forum, an amphitheater, and remnants of several temples.

The wall surrounding the city experienced a great development and at its peak it had 15,000-20,000 inhabitants, being the most populous city of the province. The metropolis stretched over 32.4 hectares and comprised the Palace of the Augustals, the Roman forum (square), amphitheater, temples (dedicated to the gods Liber Pater, Nemesis, Aesculapus, Hygeia, Silvanus, Mithras, Jupiter Dolichenus and others), houses, workshops, aqueducts and so on.
The Palace of the Augustals was located in the center of the city, being the location of a high college for priests, which had an important social role. The building had a quadrangle shape, with numerous rooms and a large central court. The forum was the center of the political life, the place of the most important meetings.
The amphitheater was the largest construction: it had an elliptical shape (90x70 m or 300x233 ft), having 4,000-5,000 seats, two main gates, which served for the entrance and exit of the gladiators, and two service gates. The benches were made of marble and stone in the first rows, and from wood in the case of the upper seats. The access to the seats was made via 12 large gates. After the abandoning of the Dacia by the Roman troops, the natives employed the amphitheater as fortress against the attacks of the migratory people. This is also the best preserved building of the ancient city. The high temple, built in the Corinthian style, was the largest cult edifice from the Roman Dacia: 46.3 m (154 ft) long and 34 m (113 ft) wide.
Through the placement of the edifices, elegance, refinement of the marble works (gushers, temples and so on), Sarmizegetusa was amongst the most beautiful cities of the Roman empire.

 History of Researches

A city in Roman Dacia, founded by the first governor of the province, Terentius Scaurianus, between 108 and 110, during the reign of Emperor Hadrian the city got also the name of Sarmizegetusa, borne by the capital of the Dacian Kingdom of Decebalus, situated 40 km E from the new building, and from 222 to 235 it would bear also the epithet of metropolis. Founded in southern Transylvania, in the south-west of the Haţeg depression, on the place of a camp of the 5th legion Macedonica, Ulpia Traiana is populated by veterans of the Dacian wars, receiving from the foundation the rank of a colony, and its inhabitants benefiting from ius italicum. Spanning about 30 ha and numbering 20.000 - 25.000 inhabitants, strongly fortified, Ulpia Traiana was, duirng the 2nd-3rd centuries, the political, administrative and religious center of the province of Dacia. The forum, the palace of the augustalia, the thermae, the amphitheatre,the public and private edifices are extant.
The scholarly Interest in the Sarmizegetusa antiquities emerged as early as the 15th century. The first to study the Roman vestiges at Ulpia Traiana was the cleric Joannes Mezerzius who began to gather inscriptions from the year 1495. Of the 36 inscriptions from Sarmizegetusa, Mezerzius succeeded in identifying the Romanian village of Grădiştea as the old capital of Trajan Dacia. A significant contribution to the knowledge on the epigraphic monuments of Ulpia Traiana would have the Transylvanian chronicler and historian Stephanus Zamosius, the Italian engineer Aloysius Ferdinand Marsigli, a military in the service of the Austrian emperor.
The first random excavations at Ulpia Traiana must have been undertaken by Johann Michael Ackner, who on the 10th of September 1832 discovered in the precint of the ancient city a mosaic of 8.15 m x 6.45 m representing the goddess Victoria surrounded by other deities.
In 1871 at Deva, the Society of History and Archaeology of the Hunedoara county was founded, that organized the museum in 1882 and between 1881-1883 conducted archaeological excavations at Ulpia Traiana. In 1921, the Roman vestiges were put under the control and protection of the Historic Monuments Board, the Transylvania department. Under the aegis of this prestigious institution beginning with 1924 they organized the first scientific excavations.
Between 1924 and 1936 vast excavations were carried out at Roman Sarmizegetusa under the leadership of the renowned antiquity historian and archaeologist Constantin Daicoviciu. The last important excavations from the interwar period were conducted by Octavian Floca, in the autumn of 1936. In 1948, Octavian Floca resumed the researches on the territory of Sarmizegetusa, when he excavated at Hobiţa and found a farm (villa rustica).
The large scale researches were resumed at Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa in 1973 by a large team including Hadrian Daicoviciu, Dorin Alicu , Ioan Piso and others. The results of the 10 years of campaigns (1973-1982) consisted in the uncovering of more sacred and profane edifices, the most important discovering being the mausoleum built by mid 2nd century, found in the west cemetery of the ancient city. 

Colonia Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa


Was the capital of the Roman Dacia - raised at the bottom of Retezat Mountains, in the South-Western part of the Hateg region. The town was at 8 km from the pass between Banat and Transylvania, which old name was Tapae, today Iron Gates of Transylvania.
The settlement date of the capital is not known exactly. An inscription discovered at the beginning of the 14th century, in the village Gradiste - Sarmizegetusa says: "On the command of the emperor Cesar Nerva Traianus Augustus, son of the divine Nerva, was settled the Dacian Colony by Decimus Terentius Scaurianus, its governor". The name of the governor shows the settlement of the new town was done in the first years of the conquering of Dacia (after some opinions in 106-107, after others 108-110).
The settlement of the colony was marked also by the emision of a coin (sestertius) at Rome, from the Senate order, dedicated to "the best ruler", Emperor Trajan.
The choosing of the place of the town by Trajan (Traian) was not at random. The metropolis had some strategic and economic advantages. The Retezat Mountains at the South and Poiana Ruscai Mountains at the North were natural barriers difficult to cross for the eventual invaders. The capital which territorium was from Tibiscum to Micia till the entrance in the Jiu pass, was developing in peace, defended by the Roman camps Tibiscum (today Jupa), Voislova, Micia (Vetel) and Bumbesti.
By Ulpia Traian crossed the imperial road from Danube and made the link between the North of the province to Porolissum (Moigrad).
The antic city had an area of 32 ha surrounded by walls. In the hearth of the city were to main roads (cardo maximus oriented North-South and decumanus maximus oriented East-West), at its crossing being the main public building - Forum. But the city was not only inside the walls. Outside the walls, on a great area, were the villae, the craftsmen workshops (brick makers, glass blowers), the temples and other public or private buildings. Also outside the walls were the cemeteries of the city (sepulcreta) identified at East and also at the West. The population was around 25,000 - 30,000 people.
Archaeologists have discovered and brought to light the constructions from the old times of Ulpia Traiana, as many objects which are hosted in the museum from nearby.

The forum build by Traian, the civic and political-administrative center, was in the middle of the town, at the cross road ot the two main roads which crossed Sarmizegetusa from East to West and from North to South, Cardo and Decumanum.
Its entrance was monumental and had the aspect of a triumph arch on which was graved the inscription from the colony foundation. In the front of the entrance, bordered by four huge columns was the altar dedicated to the foundation ceremony. On both sides were artesian wells made from marble and decorated with statues. In the corners were the offices of some associations, as the handicraftsmen board which was in the Eastern corner.
The forum was composed first of all from a public square surrounded by the porch with columns and paved with lime and marble. In this square were many monuments and statues, some of the foundations are seen today. After that was a basilica, a big hall for several mettings, which have had a monumentale facade towards the yard, bordered by buttress. On the Eastern side of the basilica was a tribunal, the platform on which the judges were sitting (most of the time the two mayor of the town) and under which a prison was arrranged. On the basilica's side there were several rooms that were offices (ex. the archieve of the colony), as well as offices of some associations and corporations as was the augustals board. In the center of the side was the curia, the metting hall of the local council. Under it are two underground rooms, which were the thesaurus of the town. On its right is a passage to the second forum (initally the commercial market), which was built later and which was the religious center of Sarmizegetusa.


Frescă romană, descoperită la Sarmizegetusa,++descoperita+la+Sarmizegetusa 

Cultura - Camelia CIOCĂNARU




Arheologii români care fac cercetări în capitala Daciei romane, Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa, au făcut o descoperire unică, ajutaţi de studenţi voluntari din Statele Unite, Anglia, Franţa şi România. Ei au găsit o frescă romană dintr-o fostă locuinţă de demnitar, care a trăit în secolul al II-lea. Locuinţa se afla sub Templul lui Jupiter şi al Triadei din Capitoliu. Săpăturile arheologice se desfăşoară cu greutate, deoarece se lucrează doar cu voluntari. Aceştia mai au bani să rămână la Sarmizegetusa până pe 6 august. La final, va fi organizată Ziua Porţilor Deschise în situl arheologic, pentru ca turiştii să poată vedea descoperirea înainte ca ea să fie mutată într-un muzeu.

"Am făcut mai multe descoperiri importante, printre care una unică, la Sarmizegetusa: o frescă păstrată. De fapt, sunt pereţii unei camere din locuinţa unui demnitar roman care a trăit în secolul al II-lea, acoperiţi de frescă, şi ea a fost acoperităde o altă tencuială şi aşa s-a conservat. În mod sigur e locuinţa unui demnitar deoarece avea aducţiune la apă, nu oricine în vremurile acelea îşi permitea acest lux", a declarat coordonatorul echipei de arheologi, dr. Ioan Piso.

Potrivit acestuia, locuinţa se afla sub Templul lui Jupiter şi al Triadei din Capitoliul de la Sarmizegetusa.

"Importanţa descoperirilor de la Sarmizegetusa este că, în ciuda distrugerilor făcute nu atât de natură, cât de mâna omului, am reuşit să găsim această frescă, prima în acest sit arheologic. La Sarmizegetusa sunt cunoscute poveşti legate de asemenea fresce. Când am venit să sap aici prima dată, acum vreo 30 de ani, bătrânii locului îmi povesteau că în tinereţea lor au văzut pereţi cu zugrăveală cu îngeri şi flori. Probabil cu scene mitologice. Toate astea au fost distruse, dar sunt convins că mai există locuinţe bine conservate, în care se mai pot face asemenea descoperiri", a declarat dr. Ioan Piso.

El a susţinut că săpăturile arheologice se desfăşoară cu greutate deoarece se lucrează doar cu voluntari, cei mai mulţi dintre ei veniţi din SUA, Anglia, Franţa.

"Avem noroc cu studenţii de la arheologie români, dar şi cu voluntari veniţi din toate colţurile lumii. Ei îşi plătesc singuri hrana şi nu ştim cât timp ne putem baza pe ei. Unii vin, alţii pleacă. Cât rezistă şi cât au bani să stea în zonă. Ministerul Culturii ne-a alocat anul acesta 50.000 de lei. Contam pe ei, contau şi oamenii din sat pe ei. 30 - 40 de lucrători am fi avut pe zi dintre localnici, însă fondurile au fost blocate fiindcă sunt probleme legate de norme de aplicare, de semnătura ministrului, de nu ştiu ce. Cum am spus, studenţii se autofinanţează. Când nu vom mai avea bani, vom pleca cu toţii. Astfel se fac cercetările în România", a spus el.

La rândul său, un arheolog din Bucureşti a spus că săpăturile ar urma să fie oprite din lipsa fondurilor.

"Se lucrează pe bază de voluntariat. Avem studenţi de la Universitatea «Babeş-Bolyai» din Cluj, de la Universitatea din Bucureşti şi voluntari din SUA, Anglia şi Franţa. Anul acesta este dificil, mai ales pentru că banii de la Ministerul Culturii nu pot ajunge la noi în timp util, adică vara, pentru că altcândva nu putem să lucrăm. Am înţeles că e problemă cu accesarea sumelor din cauză că s-a schimbat modalitatea de plată a muncitorilor. Din acest motiv nu putem angaja muncitori din sat şi atunci voluntariatul şi expertiza studenţilor se transformă în muncăbrută. Tinerii lucrează cu abnegaţie, dar resursele se vor diminua odată cu trecerea timpului şi credem că după 6 august vom încheia săpăturile dacă nu vin bani", a declarat Ovidiu Tentea, arheolog la Muzeul Naţional de Istorie al României din Bucureşti.

Voluntarii mai au bani să rămână la Sarmizegetusa până în 6 august, iar la final vor organiza Ziua Porţilor Deschise în situl arheologic, pentru ca turiştii să poată vedea descoperirea lor înainte ca fresca să fie mutată într-un muzeu.




Fish Dish                                                         Moulded Disk


 Photos at:

The modern city is located near the site of the important Dacian political, economic and social centre of Apulon, mentioned by the ancient Greek geographer Ptolemy and believed by many archaeologists to be the Dacian fortifications on top of Piatra Craivii.[citation needed] After the southern part of Dacia became a province of the Roman Empire, the capital of the Dacia Apulensis district was established here, and the city was known as Apulum. [2] Apulum was one of the largest centers in Roman Dacia and the seat of the XIII Gemina Legion.


 The southern gate (porta principalis dextra) of the XIIIth Legion Gemina’s camp (restoration).

 Castrul roman Apulum (Romanian only)

De la Wikipedia, enciclopedia liberă;

Castrul roman Apulum
Poarta "Principalis Dextra"
TipCastru de legiune
Tip construcţieZid de piatră
de activitate
106 - 274
Unităţi prezenteLegiunea a XIII-a Gemina
Legiunea I Adiutrix
Dimensiuni şi suprafaţă750 x 500 m2 (37,5 ha)
Davă preexistentăApoulon?
Unitate administrativăDacia Apulensis
Legături directe cu castrele(Ighiu)(Stremţ)(Sebeş)(Cigmău)
Cod RAN1026.01
Cod LMIAB-I-m-A-00001.01
Amplasare46°03′59″N 23°34′20″E / 46.06639, 23.57222
LocalitateAlba Iulia

Castrul roman Apulum a fost unul dintre cele mai importante centre ale stăpânirii romane de pe teritoriul Daciei. El a fost construit în zona fostei aşezări dacice Apoulon. Construirea castrului a fost determinată de cantonarea în această zonă a Legiunii a XIII-a Gemina, dislocată din Vindobona, actualul oraş Viena. Legiunea avea rolul de a păzi ţinutul aurifer şi drumul de transport al aurului către Roma.

În imediata vecinătate a castrului s-au dezolvat aşezările romane Colonia Aurelia Apulensis, iar mai apoi Colonia Nova Apulensis.


 Legături externe


 The first traces of habitation here might date as far as Dacian times. Dacian ruins have been discovered recently near Obreja, a village 7 km away. As the Romans invaded Dacia, they built a castrum named Tibiscum, which was dug up by archaeologists near the nearby village of Jupa, a castrum which later grew to be a full city. Tibiscum is considered one of the gates of Christianity in Dacia, having an important role also in the Romanization of the local people.
During the Middle Ages, the local people continuously inhabited the area.
Various studies have been carried out investigating the distribution and chronological change of bead types.[13][14]
Several bead manufacturing sites have been identified on the continent, by the presence of waste glass, beads and glass rods.
Two late Roman to 5th century sites have been discovered at Trier and Tibiscum in Romania
For the first time in history in A.D. 101 the importance of Banat is signalled in the course of the Dacian Wars, from a fragment kept from the remarks of Emperor Traian. During the Roman Dacia, six kilometres from the actual hearth, the roman Tibiscum (Jupa) fort was found, built in A.D. 106. It is possible that on the territory of Caransebes there was a roman settlement, too. At Tibiscum fragments of Dacian ceramics and Dacian tumulus were discovered (I –II century A.D.).
The name of Tibiscum appears to be of thraco - dacian origin, meaning “swampy place”. From this place the roman troops, led by Traian, went to Tapae (which is probably localized in the area of the Zeicani train station, after the Bucova village), where the Emperor Traian defeated the Dacians (Dio Cassius – Roman History).
After the occupation of Banat and Oltenia by the Romans and after the peace agreement between the Romans and the Dacians (102 A.D.), along with the organizing of the province, the bases for the military garrison of Tibiscum are put, through the construction of a small fort made of earth, followed by a bigger fort. On the right side of the Timis River they also build another fort, which remains there until the year 170 A.D. At Tibiscum several roman legions were placed: Cohors I Sagittariorum, Numerus Palmyrenorum, both was brought from Syria, Cohors I Vindelicorum, from Raetia and Numerus Maurorum, from North Africa.
In A.D.118-119, the Dacia province is put under the exceptional command of Quintus Marcius Turbo. The Ulpia Traiana Augusta Dacica Sarmizegetusa Colony erects two statues, one at Sarmisegetusa and the other at Tibiscum, for the bravery he had against the enemies who wanted to conquer Dacia. In A.D.170 Tibiscum is destroyed by the marcomans or by their allies, the free Dacians. The roman defense in Banat falls and the Marcomanian war lasts until A.D. 180.
During the rule of the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus (A.D. 193-211) imposing monuments are built at Tibiscum. It is possible that the civilian settlement near the military fort received the rank of town, and so the roman town Tibiscum joins the other 11 roman cities in Dacia.
After the retreat of the roman administration to the south of the Danube (in A.D. 275, during of the rule of Aurelian), the remaining locals continue their lives, evidenced through the reconstruction of some buildings and the discovery of important monetary treasures.
Between the years 306-337, under the rule of Emperor Constantine the Great, the area north to the Danube is again controlled by the Romans. After 313, at the same time with the making of Christianity the official religion in the Roman Empire, at Tibiscum develops an important ecclesiastical centre.
The Huns, the first nomad population of Turkic origin, invade Europe in 375 and occupy our lands for a short time. Together with the death of Attila (453) the Hun conglomerate is disbanded, so that in the time of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian (527-565), both banks of the Danube were under Byzantine rule.
In A.D. 558 the Avars, a tribe of nomad shepherds of Turkish origin, are mentioned in our area, led by Bayan (558-605), and in 559 the Kutrigurs, nomad people related to the Huns, led by Zabergan, allied with the Slavs and the Bulgarians, entered our lands. Because they represented a permanent threat to the Byzantine Empire, in the year 593, the generals Petru and Priscus lead a victorious expedition against the Slav and Avar tribes.
In the year 602 the Danubian defence lines fall, through the mass migration of the Slavs to the south of the Danube.
The first archaeological findings from the Caransebes area, which mention the existence of some settlements of the local sedentary population, different from those of Slavs or Avars, date from the 8th and the 9th century in the Potoc area and on the Romanilor Street.
A diploma released by Emperor Basil II the Bulgarohton of Byzantium (976-1025), in 1020, mentioned an “Episcopal Roman camp” in Dibiskos, perhaps old Tibiscum from the Romans’ time, and the neo-Latin population who lives to the North and South of the Danube appears under the name of Wallachians.

Castrul roman Tibiscum

 De la Wikipedia, enciclopedia liberă: 


Castrul roman Tibiscum
Alte denumiriTibisco, Tivisco Tibiscus, Tibiskon
TipCastru auxiliar [1]
Tip construcţiePalisadă şi val de pământ (faza I)
Zid de piatră (faza a II-a)
de activitate
101 - sec. VI-VII
Unităţi prezenteCohorta I Sagittariorum

Cohorta I Vindelicorum milliaria equitata[2]
Numerus Maurorum
Numerus Palmyrenorum

Dimensiuni şi suprafaţă320 x 170 m2 (5,4 ha)
Unitate administrativăDacia Apulensis
Denumire locPeste ziduri


Tibiscum (Tibisco, Tibiscus, Tibiskon) a fost o aşezare dacică, apoi oraş în Dacia romană, cunoscut ca municipiu (municipium Tibiscensium) pe vremea împăratului Gallienus (253-268), rang la care fusese ridicat, probabil, sub Septimiu Sever (193-211). Oraşul se găsea la ieşirea râului Timiş din munţi şi vărsarea râului Bistra, lângă Caransebeş, azi localitatea Jupa.

Complexul arheologic
Sunt vizibile ruinele unor construcţii importante şi ale unor ateliere din castrul roman şi din aşezarea civilă romană Tibiscum. Aşezările romane de aici au fost şi rămân cele mai importante vestigii ale antichităţii clasice din Banat.

^ Castrul Tibiscum
^ Tactica, strategie si specific de lupta la cohortele equitate din Dacia Romana, de Petru Ureche  Bibliografie
Academia Republicii Socialiste România, Dicţionar Enciclopedic. vol IV, editura Politică, Bucureşti, 1966  Legături externe
Complexul arheologic Tibiscum-Jupa
Municipiul roman Tibiscum
Roman castra from Romania - Google Maps / Earth
Vezi şi
Listă de castre romane din România
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Categorii: Banat | Castre romane din România | Cetăţi dacice | Dacia romană | Localităţi romane pe teritoriul Daciei 

Porolissum -Dacia Porolissensis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia;

Porolissum was an ancient Roman city in Dacia. Established as a military camp in 106 during Trajan's Dacian Wars, the city quickly grew through trade with the native Dacians and became the capital of the province Dacia Porolissensis in 124. The site is one of the largest and best-preserved archaeological sites in modern-day Romania. It is 8 km away from the modern city of Zalău.


The reconstructed gateway of the castrum

In 106, at the beginning of his second war against the Dacians, emperor Trajan established a military stronghold at the site to defend the main passageway through the Carpathian mountains. The fort, initially built of wood on stone foundations, was garrisoned with 5000 auxiliary troops transferred from Spain, Gaul and Britain. Even though the name Porolissum appears to be Dacian in origin, archaeologists have so far uncovered no evidence of a Dacian settlement preceding the Roman fort.

In the following decades, the fort was enlarged and rebuilt in stone (possibly under the reign of Marcus Aurelius), and a civilian settlement developed around the military center. When Hadrian created the new province Dacia Porolissensis (named for the now sizable city) in 124, Porolissum became the administrative center of the province. Under emperor Septimius Severus, the city was granted municipium, allowing its leaders and merchants to act independently. Although the Romans withdrew from Dacia in 271 under Aurelian and the city was abandoned by its founders, archaeological evidence shows that it remained inhabited for several centuries afterwards.

Even though the city was founded as a military center in the middle of a war, the garrison of Porolissum seems to have lived in peaceful coexistence with their Dacian neighbours - several Dacian villages that were apparently founded after the city of Porolissum have been uncovered by archaeologists on the surrounding hills. There are also some inscriptions mentioning city officials with Romano-Dacian names, indicating close cooperation on a political level.


Roman house

Amphytheater at:

Limited archaeological work at Porolissum began in the 19th century, but it was not until 1977 when Romanian archaeologists began larger-scale, systematic excavations. The excavations by a number of teams are ongoing and have uncovered remnants of both the military installations and the civilian city, including public baths, a customs house, a temple to Liber Pater, an amphitheatre, insula consisting of four buildings and a number of houses. The main gate (Porta Praetoria) of the stone fortress has been rebuilt. Current excavation work undertaken by a joint American-Romanian team is focusing upon the city's forum.

From 2006, another project, "Necropolis Porolissensis", is running focused on the cemetery of the municipium Porolissum, on the spot known as "Ursoies".


POROLISSUM (Moigrad) Sălaj, Romania.

The most important military center in NW Dacia, a Roman town with canabae, in a region of hills and valleys, near Moigrad and Jac.

The name, of Dacian origin, appears in ancient sources (Ptol. 3.8.6; Tab. Peut.; Rav.Cosm. 4.7).

Before the Roman conquest, there was a Dacian settlement on the Citera hill, and on the Măgura hill a Dacian cremation cemetery (1st-2d c.).

Porolissum gave the name to Dacia Porolissensis, created by Hadrian in 124. There was a strong military garrison here in two camps. On Pomet hill is one of the largest camps (226 x 294 m) in Dacia. Built first of earth, it was rebuilt of stone. Inscriptions discovered at the gates testify to the rebuilding of the camp under Caracalla, and to the hasty rebuilding under Gallienus. The interior wall is 1.5 m thick and has two ditches.

At a distance of 700 m NE on Citera hill is another smaller camp (66.65 x 101.10 m) first built of earth and later rebuilt of stone. The gates have squared towers at every corner projecting from the interior wall with trapezoidal towers inside. There is an inner and outer ditch. Stationed at Porolissum were Cohors I Brittonum milliaria Ulpia Torquata pia fidelis civium Romanorum, Cohors V Lingorum, Numerus Palmyrenorum Porolissensium Sagittariorum civium Romanorum (which later became Ala Palmirenorum Porolissensium) and Cohors I Palmirenorum Porolisensium.

The civil settlement, inhabited chiefly by veterans, developed on the S and W terraces of the camp. Porolissum, an important center for trade with the barbarians, was probably a customs station. Entering the province from Porolissum were roads that started from Aquincum and ended at the mouth of the Danube, and there ended here the main thoroughfare that started at the Danube and linked the most important centers of Dacia.

Under Septimius Severus the town became a municipium. Coins prove that it continued to be inhabitated after the withdrawal of Aurelian in 271.

The town had no stone precincts but was defended from barbarians by limes consisting of a stone wall alternating with an earth wall and a ditch strengthened by small earth castella and stone towers.

Excavations at the civil settlement have revealed the baths, an insula composed of four buildings closely aligned private dwellings, and a temple to Liber Pater. More recent excavations have concentrated on the amphitheater, the palestrae, and the necropolis with incineration tombs and small mausoleums on the Ursoieş hill.

The amphitheater, 100 m from the SW corner of the camp on Pomet hill, is on a terrace. Originally built of wood, it was later rebuilt of stone in the year 157 by order of the imperial procurator Tib. Claudius Quintilianus (CIL III, 836). The arena, elliptical in form, has an axis 60 m long. It is bordered by a stone wall, built in opus incertum and plastered on the side facing the arena. At the E gate, which has two rooms on either side, traces of the wooden piers of the first stage of construction have been discovered.

Among the finds are four military diplomas, one of which dates from August 11, 106, a time at which Dacia was already a Roman province. Bronze statuettes, an equestrian statue of the emperor Caracalla, inscriptions and sculptural monuments, gems of local cutting, are all to be found at the Museum of History and Art in Zalău and in the History Museum of Transylvania in Cluj.


C. Daicoviciu, “Neue Mitteilungen aus Dazien,” Dacia 7-8 (1937-40) 323-36; M. Macrea et al., “Santierul arheologic Porolissum,” Materiale şi cercetări arheologice 7 (1960) 361-86; (1962) 485-501.


Rezultatele săpăturilor arheologice efectuate în perioada 2006 - 2010 în cimitirul aşezării romane de la Porolissum, situat în hotarul satelor Moigrad şi Jac, şi al cimitirului medieval care suprapune aşezarea romană sunt prezentate într-o expoziţie al cărei vernisaj a avut loc ieri, la Muzeul de Istorie şi Arheologie din incinta Cetăţii de la Târgu Mureş. Iubitorii de istorie au posibilitatea să parcurgă aspecte legate de viaţa cotidiană a omului roman, de practicile vestimentare, de bolile existente şi tratamentele aplicate. Vizitatorii sunt invitaţi să parcurgă drumul din cimitir, de-a lungul căruia pot descoperi un rug funerar roman sau pot admira un leu funerar de o valoare artistică deosebită, o raritate a artei romane provinciale, sau piatra funerară a unei fetiţe numite Cleopatra.


Descoperirile din ultima vreme atestă că zona Depresiunii Şimleului are cea mai mare densitate de tezaure dacice din ţară. Sunt cunoscute 24 de tezaure pe teritoriul Sălajului, descoperite în ultimii 150 de ani. Ultimul a fost descoperit de arheologul Horea Pop,  în anul 2009 şi constă în 20 de monede de argint. Aceste informaţii au atras şi căutătorii de comori. La cetatea dacică din Marca au fost găsite 70 de gropi lăsate de braconieri. Pe tot teritoriul Daciei au fost descoperite 230 de tezaure. Numai în Sălaj au fost găsite 23 de tezaure dacice (plus unul din perioada stăpânirii celţilor, la Stîna – secolele III-II î.Ch.),  deci zece la sută din întreg numărul. Din punct de vedere cantitativ, e vorba de 13 kilograme de argint, mai mult de o zecime din toată cantitatea de piese descoperite în ţară.
Multe din tezaurele găsite în Sălaj se află la alte muzee din ţară şi din străinătate. „O parte din tezaurul de la Sărmăşag se află la Muzeul Naţional Maghiar din Budapesta. Mai sunt piese la Muzeul de Artă din Viena, apoi la Sfântu Gheorghe, Cluj, Oradea. Au ajuns acolo pentru că pe vremea când au fost descoperite, Sălajul nu avea muzeu. 


The Porolissum Forum Project, a joint American-Romanian archaeological project


 Phase 3. An unanticipated discovery was a large hypocaust system on the east side of the N-S wall. There were no indications as to the function of this heated area. It may, thus, represent a heated space within a public building or a bath complex.

Phase 4. We suspect that this structure was utilized well into the post-Roman period, either according to its original function or to serve another purpose. A portion of the N-S wall was demolished at an unknown time to create a crude passageway, suggesting that the area served a different function in the post-Roman period. Two sherds of lead glazed pottery (4th-5th centuries AD) were revealed in related strata on the west side of the Roman N-S wall, providing an approximate date for the duration of activity in this area prior to the destruction of the forum building. The building containing the hypocaust system was destroyed by fire, but not before it had been stripped of its internal furnishings.



Arheologii au stabilit că romanii se relaxau la saună într-un complex situat între râurile Bistra şi Timiş.Cercetătorii au scos la iveală un complex de clădiri de băi termale cu servicii similare celor din marile centre care îi scapă acum pe bănăţeni de stresul cotidian.

Cercetările efectuate de arheologii bănăţeni în zona Caransebeş au adus la suprafaţă, în 2003, un întreg complex de terme vechi de 2.000 de ani, dar foarte asemănător cu un centru spa al zilelor noastre.


 Dacia Malvensis













A front view of Arutela, with the Porta Praetoria to the east. Photo: Adrian Gheorghe 2007  




 Secret Fountain, Sucidava, Celei


 Paleo-Christian Basilica- 449 AD

 Brick with Christian fish symbol




 Sucidava-Byzantine foot-bridge built under Constantin the Great

Sucidava, vechea capitală a tribului dacic al sucilor, este situată în vatra oraşului Corabia (judeţul Olt), pe teritoriul fostului sat Celeiu.

Pe terasa superioară a Dunării se văd încă zidurile de apărare cu opt turnuri complet dezvelite ale oraşului roman târziu Sucidava (secolele IV-VI), care, împreună cu cartierul actual, acoperă o parte a oraşului roman din secolele II-III, mai puţin cunoscut. Au mai fost identificate băile romane (thermae), o bazilică paleocreştină (secolele V-VI) şi străzi pavate.

Cetatea se remarcă prin „fântâna secretă”, o capodoperă inginerească, menită să aprovizioneze cu apă aşezarea în timpul asediilor.

Tot aici se găseşte piciorul unui pod roman construit peste Dunăre în timpul lui Constantin cel Mare. Inaugurat în 328, avea o lungime de peste 2 400 de metri, fiind considerat unul dintre cele mai lungi poduri ale antichităţii. Din păcate, podul lui Constantin cel Mare, (menţionat şi de Dimitrie Cantemir în „Hronicul vechimei a romano-moldo-vlahilor”) a avut o existenţă scurtă.

 Legături externe

  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

Coordinates: 43°45′52″N 24°27′33″E / 43.76444°N 24.45917°E / 43.76444; 24.45917

Ancient city of Sucidava - ruins
Ancient fortress of Sucidava - walls plan
Ancient settlement of Sucidava

Sucidava, (Sykibid after Procopius[1], Σucidava after Parvan , where Σ is prononce sh, [2], is a Dacian and Daco-Roman historical site, situated in Corabia on the north bank of the Danube. There can be found: the first Christian Basilica in Romania, the foot of a Roman bridge over the Danube built by Constantine the Great to link Sucidava with Oescus (today in Bulgaria, in Moesia), there is also a secret underground fountain which flows under the walls of the town to a water spring situated outside.

From archeological point of view the coins found at Sucidava show an uninterrupted series from Aurelian (270-275) to Theodosius II (408-450). The archeologic evidence show that in AD 443 or 447 the city suffer from hunnish attacks, still the city was restored under Justin I 518-527 or Justinian I 527-565. Around 600, it seems that the Roman garrison abandoned the city.[3]


External links


  1. ^ Olga Karagiorgou
  2. ^ Parvan -stiri din Dacia MAlvensis
  3. ^ Olga Karagiorgou

Ca dovadă că pâinea şi circul gintei latine ajunsese şi pe malul Oltului, arheologii Muzeului de istorie anunţă că, în zona de sud a municipiului Râmnicu Vâlcea ar putea exista, aşteptând să fie descoperit, un amfiteatru roman de dimensiuni considerabile. Supoziţia începutului de cercetare este confirmată de faptul că exact acolo, în aval de centrul oraşului, se afla localitatea Buridava  care, după cucerirea Daciei de către romani  a devenit un oraş ănfloritor cu case, terme şi populaţie numeroasă. Conform sondajelor efectuate, arheologii  emit ipoteza existenţei amfiteatrului roman de mari dimensiuni, având o rază de 60-70 metri. Teritoriul din această zonă aparţine unor proprietari privaţi cu care se duc tratative privind acordul pentru începerea lucrărilor arheologice.

Moesia/Scythia Minor

 CAPIDAVA-Roman Castrum




        La aproape 20 de km. în aval de Cernavodă, Dunărea face o mare cotitură, mărginită pe dreapta de pereţii verticali ai unor faleze de calcar, iar spre stânga de malul jos şi împădurit ca o perie al Bălţii Ialomiţei, luându-o mai întâi spre nord-est, apoi spre nord ca să se mai întoarcă încă o dată spre nord-vest. O dată făcut acest uriaş ocol, în care fluviul a ros adânc din faleza de calcar a malului Dobrogean, albia se îngustează drastic şi ştim că, de asemenea fundul fluviului se înalţă, aşa încât vara, când apa scade de căldură, vapoarele nu mai pot trece. În fundul marii cotituri stă pitit, într-un soi de găvan, satul actual Capidava, care şi-a luat numele recent de la cetatea romană ale cărei ruine îl străjuiesc de pe un pinten stâncos situat la SSE de sat . De acolo, de lângă cetate, apusurile de soare, când astrul moare în apele Dunării, moarându-i undele în toate nuanţele curcubeului, se văd ca adevărate simfonii de culori şi de lumină.

        Împăratul Traian, în cadrul pregătirilor războaielor daco-romane avea să construiască, cu detaşamente ale Legiunilor V Macedonica de la Troesmis şi XI Claudia de la Durostorum un castellum pe stânca de la Capidava care să controleze vadul şi să stabilească aici o garnizoană formată, probabil, din Cohors I Ubiorum. Se pare că fortul de la Capidava nu a fost decât o verigă dintr-un sistem cuprinzând încă multe altele între care trebuie amintite fortificaţiile de la Carsium, Cius, Troesmis, Noviodunum, Aegyssus. Fortul a fost prevăzut şi cu o instalaţie portuară, cuprinzând un cheu jos, la apă, şi magazii şi alte anexe pe terasa imediat superioară, precum şi cu un edificiu de terme - băi publice - în afara zidurilor de incintă, spre sud-est. Acest cheu era de fapt principala dotare a unei staţii a flotei Classis Flavia Moesica a cărei principală bază fusese stabilită la Noviodunum. Spre E şi NE de cetate se întindea cimitirul tumular cu morminte de incineraţie, cu inventare bogate, iar mai spre sud, un cimitir plan, cu morminte mai modest garnisite. Nu ştim în ce măsură fortul traianeic a avut un rol de jucat în cadrul episodului moesic din toamna primului an al primului război dacic (101 d. Chr.) când a avut loc şi marea bătălie de la Adamclisi. Oricum el şi-a îndeplinit, în continuare, funcţia de gardă a fluviului şi a vadului de la Capidava, se pare că fără rea multe probleme, în afară de schimbarea trupei de garnizoană, după 243 când Cohors I Ubiorum este înlocuită cu Cohors I Germanorum civium romanorum, până la sfârşitul sec. III d. Chr.

        Capidava se ridică pe malul drept al Dunării, la jumătatea distanţei dintre Hârşova şi Cernavodă, şoseaua care leagă localităţile trecând chiar pe lângă zidurile cetăţii. Fortificaţia are forma unui patrulater cu laturile lungi de la NV spre SE - 105m x 127m, cu ziduri groase de peste 2 m şi înalte de 5-6 m, cu 7 turnuri de peste 10 m, din care 3 turnuri dreptunghiulare, 2 turnuri în sfert de cerc şi 2 turnuri intermediare în formă de potcoavă (U), o poartă lată de 2,50 m situată pe latura de SE care făcea legătura cu restul teritoriului şi o ieşire strategică pe latura de SV a turnului dinspre Dunăre, unde era amenajat portul.

        Cetatea ocupa un loc important în sistemul defensiv roman făcând parte din seria de castre şi fortificaţii ridicate în timpul împăratului Traian, la începutul secolului al II-lea , în cadrul măsurilor de organizare a limes-ului dunărean. Locul era deosebit de potrivit caracterului construcţiei oferind o vastă arie de supraveghere: un masiv stâncos care se înalţă între piciorul pantei ce coboară dinspre NE şi Dunăre. Masivul prezenta un avantaj din punct de vedere strategic şi anume un şanţ natural care pornea din Dunăre, îl ocolea pe partea de NE, până aproape de colţul de est al cetăţii. De altfel, forma masivului a impus forma şi orientarea castrului

        Importanţa Capidavei, atât în epoca preromană cât şi romană din punct de vedere al limesului, prin aşezarea unei staţiuni militare aici ca şi prin dezvoltarea unui centru civil - se explică prin poziţia geografică a locului, Capidava fiind aşezată la un "nod" de drumuri, drumul cel mare imperial, care vine din nordul Italiei, coboară pe Sava la vale, apoi pe ţărmul drept al Dunării până la mare, pe malul mării prin cetăţile pontice spre sud. Un alt drum pornea de la Capidava la Troesmis, iar altul prin Ulmetum la Histria. Un element hotărâtor pentru instalarea la Capidava a fost faptul că Dunărea prezenta în acest loc o trecere uşoară de pe un mal pe altul. Castrul a fost ridicat la începutul secolului al II-lea, în timpul împăratului Traian, ca element de apărare a limes-ului dunărean. Capidava se pare că a fost construită de un detaşament din Legiunea XI Claudia, adusă de Traian la Durostorum după cucerirea Daciei.

        În a II-a jumătate a secolului al doilea, conform inscripţiilor descoperite, staţiona la Capidava o cohortă auxiliară - cohors I Germanorum - comandată de un praefectus cu un efectiv de 500 de oameni. În prima jumătate a secolului III, la Capidava staţiona un detaşament din Legiunea I Italica, conform unei inscripţii descoperite la Capidava şi care pomeneşte un "optic legionis I Italicae" care ridică un monument funerar fratelui său care era "beneficiarus consularis" în aceeaşi localitate.

        Fortul astfel restaurat şi regarnizonat, îşi îndeplineşte cu vrednicie funcţia de zăvor la un vad al Dunării vreme de încă trei secole, cu o refacere importantă la sfârşitul sec. IV d. Chr. Basilica, una dintre construcţiile perioadei romane târzii este situată în colţul NV al cetăţii şi datează din secolul IV, având adăugiri ulterioare. De asemenea termele romane sunt situate în afara castrului ca şi aşezarea medieval timpurie.

        În urma atacurilor carpilor si goţilor, castrul a fost distrus, fiind nevoie de refacerea lui integrală. Cetatea - vizibilă ca ruine astăzi - a fost construită în secolul III şi are planul unui patrulater (105x127m). Desele atacuri a făcut ca cetatea să aibă mai multe faze de reconstrucţie - 4 faze de construire romană. În epoca romană alături de castru s-a dezvoltat şi o aşezare civilă, amplasată în nordul cetăţii şi care s-a dovedit a fi un adevărat centru urban. În apropierea aşezării civile şi a castrului, pe locul satului actual, se întindea necropola. Cetatea este în întregime refăcută la sfârşitul sec. V - începutul sec. VI d. Chr. 

        Odată cu secolul IX, Capidava reintră de această dată în sistemul defensiv bizantin. Peste ruinele aşezării fortificate romane târzii se aşează o cetatea ţărănească de stratiotai (grăniceri) care va dăinui până-n secolul XI. Cetatea de secol IX era înconjurată de un zid de piatră şi pământ ce urma traseul incintei romane târzii şi era dublat de un şanţ de apărare. La mijlocul sec. XI, invaziile violente ale Uzilor vor distruge însă şi această aşezare fortificată de ţărani-grăniceri, iar viaţa şi locuirea nu va mai reveni în fundul ansei de la Capidava decât în sec. XVIII.

              La colţurile cetăţii sunt amplasate mari turnuri în sfert de cerc - 2 şi 6, prezentând la interior o pilă masivă, centrală, cu acelaşi rost ca şi cele două din turnul 1. La ambele turnuri gangurile boltite de acces se păstrează până la naşterea bolţilor; erau de cărămidă la origine şi au fost, probabil, demontate de populaţia din perioada medio-bizantină, pentru a refolosi cărămida. Pe latura de NE între turnurile de colţ - 2 şi 6 - şi cel central - 4 - şi anume la jumătatea distanţelor, se mai păstrează resturile foarte joase a încă două turnuri intermediare, în formă de U care nu au pilă centrală.

        În interiorul cetăţii, vestigiile cele mai frecvente şi care ocupă şi cea mai mare suprafaţă aparţin stratului 1 medio-bizantin şi constau din gropi de bordeie, multe dintre ele mai păstrând resturi ale pereţilor precum şi resturi din amenajările interioare. Densitatea vestigiilor de bordeie pe suprafaţa cetăţii este foarte mare, atât datorită faptului că populaţia se aglomera la adăpostul zidurilor, cât şi aceluia că se suprapun şi se intersectează şapte nivele de bordeie cu alte cuvinte, aşezarea fortificată medio-bizantină a fost de şase ori distrusă şi reconstruită, fără schimbări de plan importante, dar la reconstruire, cum era vorba de gropi de bordeie, nimeni nu a mai ţinut seama nici de amplasamentul şi nici de forma şi dimensiunile gropilor mai vechi, astupate de dărâmături, ci au fost săpate gropi noi. Dacă raportăm cele şapte nivele de bordeie la cei 250 de ani prezumaţi a fi durat aşezarea fortificată medio-bizantină, reiese că intervalul dintre o construcţie/distrugere şi alta era cam de o generaţie.

        Analiza atentă a modului de construire a bordeielor, corelată cu observaţiile privind raporturile de suprapunere şi intersectare dintre ele au putut oferi baza pentru distingerea celor şapte nivele, fiecăruia dintre acestea corespunzându-i anumite particularităţi constructive. În general, fiecare bordei consistă dintr-o groapă patrulateră, adâncită în dărâmăturile cetăţii romano-bizantine. Stabilitatea redusă a umpluturii de dărâmături, a făcut necesară, încă de la primul nivel stabilizarea pereţilor gropii cu pereţi de piatră sau lemn, aşa cum acoperirea bordeiului, cu o învelitoare uşoară de stuf, paie sau chiar iarbă de stepă uscată, a făcut necesară o şarpantă de sprijin. În general, la colţurile gropii, dar şi în centrul a două dintre laturile paralele bordeiului, au fost înfipţi pari groşi de lemn, care susţineau grinda de culme şi cosoroabele, pe care sprijineau căpriori lungi de cel puţin trei metri şi destul de deşi. Pe aceştia era aşezată învelitoarea din materiale vegetale - stuf, trestie, paie (nu s-au păstrat resturi)- care, tot cu scopul de a o stabiliza, era lipită cu lut.

        Din prima perioadă constructivă a cetăţii (97-293) se păstrează doar puţine vestigii, majoritatea în afara zidului de incintă, precum şi descoperiri izolate în cadrul unor contexte mai târzii. În cadrul zidului de incintă, în interiorul turnului 7, mai adânc cu 0,30 m faţă de nivelul intrării în turn, se mai păstrează parţial fundaţiile turnului drept de poartă al castelului din sec. II-III. Acesta, suprapus parţial, pe latura de sud-vest, de latura omoloagă a turnului 7, este coliniar ca orientare cu castelul târziu, de plan dreptunghiular-oblong ( 2,40 x 3,60m.), cu zidurile groase de 1,20m pe latura frontală şi de 0,70m pe cea laterală. Decalată cu 0,30m faţă de latura frontală, spre interior, dar paralelă cu aceasta, în spaţiul deschiderii porţii a fost surprinsă o mare lespede de calcar sculptată în relief şi servind iniţial drept stelă funerară, probabil pragul porţii.

        Aşa cum s-a amintit, necropola se întinde la E-SE de cetate, pe o arie ocupată actualmente de satul actual, dar depăşind destul vatra satului propriu-zisă; antene ale necropolei - şiruri de tumuli mărginind drumurile - se întind atât de-a-lungul Dunării cât şi către est, în direcţia Băltăgeştilor. Obiectele descoperite la Capidava sunt parte din ele păstrate în Anticvariu, fie în diverse muzee din ţară precum Muzeul Naţional de Istorie al României din Bucureşti şi Muzeul de Istorie Natională şi Arheologie Constanţa. Din păcate, o clădire - în care erau adăpostite sălile destinate expoziţiei muzeale din Capidava - a fost revendicată de consiliul local pentru a adăposti o biserică pentru sat. 

Photos: Ioana Grosu, International Academy East, Troy, MI USA



 Histria (Sinoe) on Pontus Euxinus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ancient towns and colonies in Dobruja (modern coastline shown).

Ancient Histria or Istros (Ιστριη, Thracian river god, Danube), was a Greek colony or polis (πολις, city) on the Black Sea coast, established by Milesian settlers to trade with the native Getae. It became the first Greek town on the present day Romanian territory. Scymnus of Chios (ca 110 BC), the Greek geographer and poet, dated it to 630 BC. Eusebius of Caesarea, some centuries later, dated its founding to 657 – 656 BC, at the time of the 33rd Olympic Games. The earliest documented currency on Romanian territory was an 8-gram silver drachma, issued in Histria in the year 480 BC.

Archaeological evidence seems to confirm that all trade with the interior followed the foundation of Histria. Traders reached the interior via Histria and the Danube valley, demonstrated by finds of Attic black-figure pottery, coins, ornamental objects, an Ionian lebes and many fragments of amphoras. Amphoras have been found in great quantity at Histria, some imported but some local. Local pottery was produced following establishment of the colony and certainly before mid-6th century. During the archaic and classical periods, when Histria flourished, it was situated near fertile arable land. It served as a port of trade soon after its establishment, with fishing and agriculture as additional sources of income. By 100 AD, however, fishing was almost the sole remaining source of Istrian revenue.

Around 30 AD, Histria became a Roman town. During the Roman period from the 1st to 3rd centuries AD, temples were built for the Roman gods, besides a public bath and houses for the wealthy. Altogether, it was in continuous existence for some 14 centuries, starting with the Greek period up to the Roman-Byzantine period. The Halmyris bay where was the city founded was closed by sand deposits and access to the Black Sea gradually was cut. Trade continued until the 6th century AD. The invasion of the Avars and the Slavs in the 7th century AD almost entirely destroyed the fortress, and the Istrians dispersed; the name and the city disappeared.

Geographic setting

Ancient Histria was situated on a peninsula, about 5 kilometres (3 mi) east of the modern Romanian commune of Istria, on the Dobruja coast. The ancient seashore has since been transformed into the western shore of Sinoe Lake, as the Danube's silt deposits formed a shoal which closed off the ancient coastline. The current Sinoe Lake was at the time the open northern bay, while another bay on the southern shore served as the port. The acropolis with sanctuaries was established on the highest point of the coastal plain. The settlement itself, erected in the 6th century, was 1/2 mile (800 meters) to the west of the acropolis. The settlement had stone paved streets and was protected by strong wall. Water was collected along 12.5 mile (20 km) long aqueducts.


The ruins of the settlement were first identified in 1868 by French archaeologist Ernest Desjardins. Archaeological excavations were started by Vasile Pârvan in 1914, and continued after his death in 1927 by teams of archaeologists led successively by Scarlat and Marcelle Lambrino (1928–1943), Emil Condurachi (1949–1970), Dionisie Pippidi, Petre Alexandrescu and Alexandru Suceveanu. The Histria Museum, founded in 1982, exhibits some of these finds. The excavation project and site also features prominently in the film The Ister.[1]

Archeological research in Histria managed to identify and classify several layers on site. The layer stratification can be divided primarily between the Archaic and Classical periods:

Archaic Greek layers

The Apollo sculpture's inscription.

 Photo: Ioana Grosu, International Academy East, Troy, MI, USA
 The ancient Greek city covered around 60 hectares. There are very few written references to the archaic city and archeological research provides the main historical resource. The main deity was Apollo Ietros (The Healer). Zeus (Gr. Polieus) was the protector deity of the city and Aphrodita was also confirmed by archeological research. Historians believe all six Milesian tribes (Greek: phylai) were represented in the colony, yet only four tribes are attested to: the Aigikoreis, Argadeis, Boreis and Geleontes. The only clue concerning the government of the city was given by Aristotle in Politica. Thanks to his comment, it is clear that the first government of Histria was an oligarchy. From an economic point of view, the town was developed around port-related activities.

Archaic Greek layer I (630–600 BC)

In around 600 BC, Histria suffered its first destruction.

Archaic Greek layer II (600–550 BC)

A new wall was erected, probably due to another destruction of the city.

Archaic Greek layer III (550–500 BC)

Another destruction of the city has taken place, probably in 512 BC, when Darius I undertook a war against the Scythians. [2]

Classical Greek layers

During the classical period, there was continuity in the cults of Apollo Ietros; Zeus (Gr. Polieus) and Aphrodita. A new wall with a single tower was erected. During the classical period many written sources describe the political organisation of the area. The Odrysian kingdom was involved in fighting with the Scythians ruled by Ariapeithes and Histria was situated between the two kingdoms. Due to that, most probably, Histria town was forced to join the Delian League. In the 5th century BC, these colonies were under the influence of the Delian League, passing in this period from oligarchy to democracy.[3] From an economic point of view it was during this era that the first Histrian coins were minted: a didrachma, oboli and bronze coins.

Classical Greek layer I (500–425 BC)

The town was regressing in the period of Athens's Peloponnesian Wars.

Classical Greek layer II (425–350 BC)

The town was dismantled for a second time in the 4th century BC, during the war between the Scythian king Ateas and Macedonian king Philip II.[4]

Hellenistic layers

Remains of the grand deity temple.

During the Hellenistic period, there was continuity in the cult of Apollo Ietros, Zeus (Gr. Polieus) and Aphrodita. A new temple for a grand deity was built. There is also evidence of the cult of Athena, Poseidon, Helikonios, Taurios, Demetra, Hermes Agoraios, Heracles, Asclepios, Dioscurii and others. A new wall also appears, protecting a 10 ha area. During the Hellenistic period Histria had become an important supplier of grain for Greece.[5] However, the economic power of Histria was represented by trade.[6] In the Hellenistic period, the gymnasium and the theater were erected.

Hellenistic layer I (350–300 BC)

The town was once again destroyed around 339 BC. During the period 313–309 BC, a rebellion of Pontic towns took place.[7] Miletus however awarded Histrians equal political rights, or so-called isopoliteia.

Hellenistic layer II (300–175 BC)

Around 260 BC, Byzantium was involved in a dispute with Histria and Callatis (modern Mangalia) over Tomis emporion (Εμπόριον, market) (i.e. modern Constanţa). Another destruction of the city, somewhere around 175 BC, was most probably wreaked by Bastarni passing through after being called upon by Macedonian king Philip V or Perseus to reinforce the army.

Hellenistic layer III (175–100 BC)

Mithridates installed a military garrison in Histria, which probably caused the third destruction of the city in the Hellenistic period. During the rule of Mithridates staters are minted in Histria.

Detail of the Thermae I building.

Hellenistic layer IV (100–20 BC)

Burebista arrived in Dobruja. The Hellenistic period was ended by Marcus Antonius who was in charge of the eastern Roman government, and was defeated by Octavian at Actium

Roman layers

Early Roman layer IA (30–100 AD)

Continuous with the Hellenistic period. A new thermae (Thermae I) was built. This period is considered by historians, thanks to two inscribed artifacts, as the second founding of the city.

Early Roman layer IB (100–170 AD)

In around 170 AD, a part of the town was destroyed.

Early Roman layer IC (170–250 AD)

The town suffered serious destruction from which it never recovered. The main theory is that it was destroyed by a Gothic invasion. Another theory presumes that the town was destroyed in an earthquake.

A Roman sundial.

Late Roman layers IIA (after 250 AD)

  • Late Roman layer IIB
  • Late Roman layer IIIA
  • Late Roman layer IIIB
  • Late Roman layer IVA
  • Late Roman layer IVB
  • Late Roman layer VA
  • Late Roman layer VB


External links

Ancient references

  1. ^ The Ister - Official Site.
  2. ^ Herodotus, Works by Herodotus at Project Gutenberg.
  3. ^ Aristotle, (V,6).
  4. ^ Trogus Pompeius, History.
  5. ^ Demosthenes, Contra Leptinem, 466, 31: the grain supply from Pont is larger than all other ports.
  6. ^ Polybios, 4,38,4: With respect to goods for living, the Pontic region supplies cattle and slaves, in large numbers and of a proven quality. With respect to luxury goods, they supply us with honey, wax and salted fish. In exchange they receive from our regions the commodities of oil and all kinds of wines. With grain we trade, when in need they supply us, at other times we supply them.
  7. ^ Diodor

 See also

Coordinates: 44°32′51″N 28°46′29″E / 44.5475°N 28.77472°E / 44.5475; 28.77472


Perseus Project database, coins of tomis. Search for Thrace, Tomis at ... Search for Tomis at Incitatus Coins. Coins Main Page. Browse by Sear ...

  Tomis- Constanta


Constanţa (Romanian pronunciation: [konˈstant͡sa]; historical names: Tomis, Greek: Κωνστάντια or Konstantia, Turkish: Köstence, Bulgarian: Констанца) is the oldest living city in Romania, founded around 600 BC. The city is located in the Dobruja region of Romania, on the Black Sea coast. It is the capital of Constanţa County and the largest city in the region.

A number of inscriptions found in the town and its vicinity show that Constanţa lies where Tomis once stood. Tomis (also called Tomi) was a Greek colony in the province of Scythia Minor on the Black Sea's shore, founded around 600 BC for commercial exchanges with the local Getic populations. Probably the name is derived from Greek Τομή meaning cut, section.

According to one myth dating from Antiquity, found in the Bibliotheca, it was founded by Aeetes:

"When Aeetes discovered the daring deeds done by Medea, he started off in pursuit of the ship; but when she saw him near, Medea murdered her brother and cutting him limb from limb threw the pieces into the deep. Gathering the child's limbs, Aeetes fell behind in the pursuit; wherefore he turned back, and, having buried the rescued limbs of his child, he called the place Tomi."[3]

Another legend is recorded by Jordanes (after Cassiodorus), who ascribes the foundation of the city to a Getae queen (The origin and deeds of the Goths):

"After achieving this victory (against Cyrus the Great) and winning so much booty from her enemies, Queen Tomyris crossed over into that part of Moesia which is now called Lesser Scythia - a name borrowed from Great Scythia -, and built on the Moesian shore of the Black Sea the city of Tomi, named after herself."

In 29 BC the Romans captured the region from the Odryses, and annexed it as far as the Danube, under the name of Limes Scythicus.

In AD 8, the Roman poet Ovid (43 BC-17) was banished here by Augustus and died there eight years later. He laments his exile in Tomis in his poems the Tristia and Epistulae Ex Ponte. Tomis was "by his account a town located in a war-stricken cultural wasteland on the remotest margins of the empire" [4]. A statue of Ovid stands in the Ovid Square (Piaţa Ovidiu) of Constanţa, in front of the History Museum (the former City Hall).

The city was afterwards included in the Province of Moesia, and, from the time of Diocletian, in Scythia Minor, of which it was the metropolis. After the split of the Roman Empire, Tomis fell under the rule of the Eastern Roman Empire. During Maurice's Balkan campaigns, Tomis was besieged by the Avars in the winter of 597/598.Tomis was later renamed to Constantiana in honour of Constantia, the half-sister of Constantine the Great (274-337). The earliest known usage of this name was "Κωνστάντια" ("Constantia") in 950. The city lay at the seaward end of the Great Wall of Trajan, and has evidently been surrounded by fortifications of its own

Successively became part of the Bulgarian Empires, the independent principality of Dobrotitsa/Dobrotici and of Wallachia under Mircea I of Wallachia.

by Rachel Maiwald

Tomis minted its own coins in order to prove its loyalty to Rome. Although the inhabitants of Tomis celebrated games in honor of the Caesars, Moesia never reached the full extent of Romanization. There is some evidence that the Moesians spoke Latin but most influence came from the Greeks. Moesia was never fully Romanized because there was constant movement of the native tribes.
The poet Ovid was banished to Tomis in AD 9. He lived there until his death in AD 17. Ovid was not fond of Tomis, or Moesia for that matter. He described the inhabitants as barbarians. Most of the disdain in letters was probably exaggerated but he was unhappy about being exiled so far from Rome. Some examples come from one of his books in the series Tristia .
When I look at this place, the manners of the people, the way they dress, and their language, and it comes to mind what I am now and what I was, so great is my desire to die that I complain that Caesar in his anger did not punish my wrongs with the sword. But since he once exercised his hatred for me mildly, I still hope for an easier exile in a different place. (Tristia 3.8, trans Evans)
He also wrote that the men could not plow their fields without bringing arms into the fields. The need to constantly arm oneself, even in daily work, was required to live life. Ovid's assertions are supported by a pre-Ovidian Greek inscription. The inscription states that a special militia had to be on day and night duty to deal with such attacks from the Goths and the Germanic tribes. An example of the incessant warfare comes from another letter from a book of the series Tristia (3.10).
Whether the grim force of the mighty North Wind freezes the sea's waters or those of the frozen river, immediately when the Danube becomes level with the dry northern blasts, the savage enemy rides over it on swift horses; an enemy strong in horses and far-flying arrows devastates the nearby soil far and wide.
However, some of the inhabitants spoke Greek and eventually became his friends. Overall Ovid did not paint a friendly picture of Moesia.
Ethnically the Moesians were a Thracian tribe settled in the country of Moesi. Little else is known of the tribe until they were subdued by Crassus in 29 BC.
The city of Tomis is still standing. Unfortunately the modern city of Constanza has been built over Tomis. Some excavations have taken place in or around the city. The artifacts recovered include a cache of sculpture and several coins. The sculpture includes a statue of Pontus (representing the Black Sea) and one of Glycon, a sheep-headed snake-god. There was also the discovery of the "Mosaic Building." The building was a large commercial complex that was three stories tall and supported a sixty foot cliff. Warehouses filed with amphorae were uncovered. A large bath house has also been uncovered.
Another god, Sarapis, tended to be worshiped by men of high rank: prefects, legates, and centurions. Sarapis combined the characteristics of many Greek gods with some of those of Osiris, god of the Egyptian underworld and the incarnation of deceased pharaohs. Most people would not fall under this category of worship and it is not clear who they worshiped.
The men who worshiped Sarapis were men of government. The government included a governor, praetors, quaestors, and legates, among others. The average length for a governorship was about three years. If the position was held for any longer, it was possible for the governor to establish as close, personal relationship with the local aristocracy. Maintaining a personal relationship would then have threatened the imperial power.
Moesia passed out of Roman control around AD 395 when Emperor Theodosius died. By now frequent attacks by the Goths were common. Rome no longer had the internal cohesion nor the man power to defend the border. The Romans lost an important military boundary. They also began to lose territory. The relationship between the Roman Empire and the Moesians was a symbiotic one. Rome stimulated agriculture and commerce, raised the standard of living, and encouraged city life. Roman peace provided for the transmission of Greek culture and art. In exchange, the Moesians provided a supply of grain for the Romans. The native inhabitants also supplied men for the defense of the Roman Empire.


2500 years ago, as part of Greek colonization in Pontus Euxinus (Black Sea), was founded Tomis. Tomis sees great prosperity due to the commercial exchange proceeded between Greek colonists and the native Gaeto-Dacians. From the 3rd century BC on rapid paces of development were registered in all fields of activity. Thus, around 300 BC, the Tomis settlement was the battlefield of wars between Lisymah, the Macedonian king and Dromihaites, the Gaeto-Dacian king in the Danubian Plane. Then, under the Roman domination, set up around 29 BC, Tomis made staggering progress. The history of the first years of our era came to the fore due to Publius Ovidius Naso, a Roman poet exiled here between 9 - 17 AC, at Octavian Augustus's orders. During the 2nd century, Tomis became residence of the province taking pride in calling itself, the biggest metropolis of entire Pont. In the middle of the 3rd century and the beginning of the 4th century considerable efforts were made in order to restore the town. It was then when remarkable monuments were built: the Roman building with the mosaic, thermae, residential districts with paved streets, portals and sewers, underground galleries, etc. The wall of the precincts was built in the same period and was subsequently restored several times, the last time in the 6th century AC. Between 4 - 6 century AC the fortress becomes an archiepiscopal headquarter. The inscriptions, the Christian monuments and the four huge basilicas illustrate this historical part. During the 6th and even at the beginning of the 7th century, Tomis was violently attacked by the Slavs and the Avars. In the 9th century the region is reorganized by the Byzantine Empire.

Tomis is recalled by several Byzantine writers under the name of Constantia or Constanta. The town is also found on medieval nautical maps as well as on the Genoa's sailors ones. The economical and cultural role during the Mircea cel Batran's reign is not perceptible, but during the ottoman domination, when called Kostendje, the significance of the town was minor. Town's lethargy continues until the 19th century, when some harbour arrangements were started and the railway Constanta-Cernavoda was laid out, crucial moment for further development of the town. After the Independence War (1877-1878) the town merges out of the ottoman domination, regains its name of Constanta and becomes residence of Constanta region, integrant part of Romania. Harbour arrangements are made as well as constructions of roads, bridges, railways, town planning modernizations. Constanta was seriously affected by the two World Wars, the town being reconstructed each time; after 1945 the rising advance continues and Constanta becames one of the most developed towns in Romania. Nowadays Constanta is the biggest port in Romania, a powerful industrial commercial and tourist centre, a wide gate towards the world.



More then 2500 years have passed since on the place of today's Constanta there was a settlement founded by the Greek navigators and merchands who have come from Milet. In their voyages on see the Greek navigators have been attired by the selter offered by the bay and peninsula from the Black See shore, as well as by the good trade opportunities offered by the natives, Getaes. The most florishing period of this city fortress, named Tomis, is the middle of the 1st century A.C. Roman domination on the territories between Istros (Danube) and the Black See, which became Roman province, raised the city at the rank of capital. In this time many temples were built, big buildings, public squares and bath, marble shops, streets and new districts. But the florishing fortress is devastated by the Avars in 601. Some centuries after, on the ruin of Tomis, starts to develop a little fishermen settlement, which, gradualy, in the following centuries became Constanta. Vestiges of the old civilisations is found today almost everywhere in the city.

In Tomis the great poet Latine Ovidiu has spent his last years of his life. He recorded in his works ("Tristele" si "Ponticele") precious information about the life and customs of the native Getaes. In Constanta one can see today the ruins of the Roman wall which closed the North-western part of the fortress and the ruins of the gates from West and North, on which was the exit from the fortress.

The Roman edifice, the most precious architectural complex decovered, is from 3-4 centuries; the floor of this edifice with thick and high walls is formed by coloures mosaic pieces, the drawing represernting geometrical and floral figures. Considering the artistical conceptions and its dimensions, the mosaic from Constanta isone of the first of the kind in the world. It seams that the building served for trade, being also a place for delivery and deposit (at the middle and underground levels were storehouses for goods and a little market place).



Many vestiges of the Tomis fortress are found in the city museum, among them being some special pieces like: the marble statue of the Godess Fortuna, the city protectress, with Pontos, the Black See God; a statue, also from marble, of the serpant Glycon (assian divinity).



Mormântul hipogeu roman "cu banchet" din Tomis - Constanța



 În România, la Constanța, în data de 25 februarie 1988 a fost descoperit un mormânt hipogeu, fost cavou de familie, construit în anticul Tomis în secolul IV. În mormânt se regăsesc două faze de depuneri funerare, o frescă reprezentând șapte personaje ce iau parte la un festin funerar și reprezentări cu o serie de animale cu valoare simbolică: păuni, porumbei, potârnichi și un iepure, dar și alte motive tradiționale din secolul IV. [3]

Cavoul – hipogeu de la Tomis este considerat de către specialiști drept cel mai reprezentativ monument al ideologiei păgâne de la Dunărea de Jos. În acest complex se găsesc imaginile unor divinități păgâne (Isis, Harpocrate, Hercule, Afrodita, Eros) alături de cea a defunctului și de scena așa – zisului banchet funerar, care conține elemente iconografice posibil creștine.[4]


  1. ^ Glosar
  2. ^ Egiptul antic…civilizatie sau mit?
  3. ^ Proiect CJC pentru reabilitarea cavoului pictat hipogeu de la Zorile
  4. ^ Câteva considerații privind antropologia morții la Dunărea de jos


În februarie 1988, în cursul unor lucrari edilitare executate pe faleza de la nord-vest de portul de agreement Tomis, într-o zona unde se mai descoperisera morminte de epoca romana târzie, a fost descoperit un cavou acoperit cu pamant înca din antichitate: cavoul hypogeu. Cei care au facut aceasta descoperire sunt arheologii Constantin Chera si Virgil Lungu. Mormântul – cavou are un plan dreptunghiular si este prevazut cu un mic culoar de acces. Ceea ce confera acestui locas o valoare cu totul deosebita este realizarea artistica a interiorului. Peste tencuiala care acopera în totalitate materialul de constructie a fost pictata, în tehnica „a secco”, o ampla suita de reprezentari antropomorfe, zoomorfe si fitomorfe. Pe peretele de sud, deasupra intrarii în cavou, este pictata în maniera naturalista, într-o cromatica vie, o scena care înfatiseaza patru porumbei încadrati de un decor vegetal, care beau apa dintr-o cupa. Peretele vestic comporta la rândul sau o bogata decoratie zoomorfa si fitomorfa. Se observa atentia si stiinta cu care pictorul antic a reusit sa redea accentele de lumina si umbrele purtate.

(“Crestinismul în Scythia Minor în contextul vest-pontic” – Virgil Lungu)
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Aflat la intersecţia străzilor Mircea cel Bătrân şi Ştefan cel Mare, Cavoul hypogeu reprezintă un monument unic în România. Mormântul pictat, datat în jurul anului 330 d.Hr., a fost descoperit de arheologii Constantin Chera şi Virgil Lungu, în 1988. Însă, pentru terenul pe care se află monumentul au fost depuse cereri de retrocedare, care se află în instanţă, spre soluţionare.

Conform cercetătorului Constan-tin Chera, din cadrul Muzeului de Istorie Naţională şi Arheologie, faptul că situaţia juridică a terenului nu e încă soluţionată blochează un proiect prin care Cavoul hypogeu ar putea deveni un complex cultural, în baza unui parteneriat între sectorul public şi cel privat.
„Problema cu terenul e în soluţionare. Primăria a scos din circuitul public zona respectivă, împrejmuind-o cu un gard şi delimitând spaţiul protejat din jurul cavoului. În afara acestor demersuri nu s-a lămurit situaţia juridică a terenului”, susţine arheologul.
În această problemă, l-am contactat şi pe viceprimarul Decebal Făgădău, care ne-a spus că se aşteaptă rezolvarea situaţiei de către instanţă: „Pe lotul acela există mai multe notificări depuse, aşteptăm să se rezolve prin instanţă. Oricum, monumentele nu se pot retroceda. Dar, ca să fim siguri, aşteptăm să vedem cum se va pronunţa instanţa”.
În 2004, Cavoul hypogeu a intrat în programul „Cultura 2000”, în cadrul căruia s-au făcut observaţii extrem de amănunţite asupra picturii, care nu ţin, însă, locul unei expertize complete. În ciuda vechimii sale, monumentul s-a păstrat în condiţii bune, fiind inspectat în mod regulat de arheologii MINAC: „Încăperea e foarte solidă, construită cu piatră şi cărămidă, şi nu se observă deteriorări ale structurii cavoului, nici de atunci şi nici în prezent. Noi controlăm cel puţin o dată pe săptămână starea picturii, a construcţiei ca atare, prin observaţie directă”, ne-a spus Constantin Chera.
Pentru a evita schimbările bruşte de temperatură şi umiditate, s-a construit un sas (încăpere intermediară între interior şi exterior). Totodată, încă de la momentul descoperirii, mormântul a fost acoperit cu o baracă termoizolantă. „Observaţiile noastre au arătat că acesta e modul optim de a con-serva monumentul ca atare. În felul acesta, construcţia şi pictura sunt protejate de două ori”, a precizat Constantin Chera.
Arheologii din cadrul Muzeului de Istorie, care se ocupă de Cavoul hypogeu, vor să introducă monumentul în circuitul turistic, ceea ce ar presupune existenţa unei replici: „Accesul în interiorul cavoului nu poate fi făcut direct, ar însemna să schimbăm permanent temperatura şi umiditatea pentru păstrarea picturii murale”, subliniază Chera. O construcţie de protecţie a monumentului ar trebui să cuprindă mijloace de menţinere a microclimatului pentru stabilizarea temperaturii şi a umidităţii, aparatura specială fiind însă destul de costisitoare. Ridicarea unei astfel de construcţii nu poate fi realizată, deocamdată, din cauza problemelor legate de teren: „Nu avem niciun fel de posibilitate de a continua demersurile pentru o construcţie de protecţie, chiar şi cu mijloace bugetare, pentru că nu e lămurită încă situaţia juridică a terenului”, a specificat Constantin Chera.

Cavoul hypogeu datează din secolul al IV-lea d.Hr., timp de peste 50 ani fiind folosit ca locaş funerar. Pereţii mormântului sunt impresionanţi prin picturile înfăţişând reprezentări antropomorfe, zoomorfe şi fitomorfe. Din inventarul funerar fac parte obiecte care au aparţinut unor defuncţi, cum ar fi mărgele poliedrice faţetate sau brăţări de bronz din sârme răsucite, cu analogii în necropolele Scythiei Minor. Mormântul a fost descoperit în 1988 şi făcea parte dintr-o necropolă.



 Monumentul roman cu hipogeu din Tomis.

Conservare sau distrugere ?

Atanasie Popescu

Descoperit întâmplător în februarie 1988, prin săpăturile de amenajare a terasei din zona restaurantului Zorile din Constanţa, monumentul roman cu hipogeu cu fresce reprezintă un excepţional şi bine conservat mormânt antic din Dobrogea. Acesta se află localizat într-una din necropolele antice ale Tomisului, amplasată în partea de nord a oraşului, în apropierea ţărmului mării.

Mormântul a fost studiat de arheologii C. Chera şi V. Lungu de la Muzeul Naţional de Istorie, Arheologie şi Artă din Constanţa, care l-au datat în epoca împăratului Constantin, către sfârşitul secolului IV-lea d. Chr., datorită inventarului descoperit cu analogii în alte necropole din Scythia. Ceea ce conferă o importanţă deosebită acestui monument este pictura murală interioară, realizată în tehnica al seco, fiind constituită din reprezentări antropomorfe, zoomorfe şi fitomorfe. Pereţii laterali şi bolta sunt acoperiţi cu pictură murală aplicată pe un strat de grund de mortar de var, fin granulat, în tehnica fresco.

În momentul descoperirii mormântul prezenta deteriorări ale coridorului de acces, pereţilor de vest şi sud, ca şi ale bolţii, în partea dinspre sud a acesteia.

Datorită distrugerii unei conducte de apă în zonă, în timpul iernii 1987-88, mormântul a fost parţial inundat, astfel că infiltraţiile de apă în pereţi au atins cota de cca.1m. Imediat după descoperire, monumentul a fost protejat cu o construcţie de lemn temporară, ce nu conferea o protecţie faţă de apele de infiltraţie, neexistând totodată posibilitatea de a se asigura în interior temperatura şi umiditatea relativă constante, impuse de necesitatea de a se proteja pictura murală.

Şocurile termice şi gradul înalt de umiditate relativă a aerului din interior au favorizat degradarea picturii murale (eflorescenţe saline şi dezvoltări microbiologice de natură bacteriană şi fungică, mai intense la baza pereţilor).

Primele intervenţii pentru remedierea acestei situaţii au fost realizate în perioada 1992-1993 de către o echipă de restauratori de la firma Pro Patrimonio, coordonată de prof. Dan Mohanu de la Departamentul de Restaurări al Academiei de Arte din Bucureşti.

Acţiunea acestora de tratare periodică a suprafeţelor interioare ale monumentului nu a fost continuată în ultimii ani, ea fiind indicată în momentul în care mormântul ar fi beneficiat de o construcţie adecvată de protecţie (provizorie într-o primă fază).

În perioada 1990-1992 Institutul Proiect S.A. din Constanţa a realizat lucrările de proiectare pentru conservarea in situ a monumentului, prin includerea sa într-o costrucţie definitivă, menită a conserva corespunzător aceste vestigii.

La realizarea proiectului s-a ţinut cont de următoarele recomandări;

-să se asigure un spaţiu adecvat de protecţie pentru monument;

-să se asigure un spaţiu suplimentar pentru instalaţia de aer condiţionat;

-după realizarea construcţiei muzeale monumentul va fi din nou acoperit cu pământ (cu excepţia zonei de acces) pentru a se facilita asigurarea condiţiilor climatice adecvate conservării sale;

-să se asigure un sas adecvat pentru accesul în interiorul momumentului, necesar să prevină variaţiile climatice şi să asigure decontaminarea microbiană;

-asigurarea unui spaţui muzeal suplimentar;

Întrucât monumentul nu este prevăzut cu o fundaţie propriu-zisă iar terenul este sensibil la umiditate (loes macroporos), s-au avansat diverse propuneri pentru a se soluţiona şi această problemă. 





Înfiinţat în secolul VI î.Hr., Tomisul este una dintre cele mai înfloritoare cetăţi de la malul Pontului Euxin. RL vă prezintă, în două articole, o scurtă radiografie a tulburătoarei istorii care a marcat zona.

Coloniştii greci din Milet au înfiinţat oraşul portuar Tomis în prima jumătate a sec.VI î.Hr. Negustorii eleni au găsit în bazinul Pontului Euxin un loc propice schimbului de mărfuri cu populaţia băştinaşă geto-dacă. Începând cu secolul I î.Hr. teritoriul cuprins între Dunăre şi Mare a trecut sub stăpânirea romanilor.

Despre traiul populaţiei tomitane de la începutul erei creştine a scris, în Tristia (Tristele) şi în Epistolae ex Ponto, însuşi poetul Publius Ovi-dius Naso, exilat în acest loc de către împăratul Octavian Augustus. Cu toate că liniştea cetăţii a fost de nenumărate ori perturbată de năvălirile popoarelor migratoare, aceasta a reuşit să se refacă, devenind un important centru economic şi comercial.

Tomisul a atins maximul de înflorire în timpul dinastiei Antoninilor şi Severilor în sec. II, iar în anul 138 a devenit metropola Pontului.

 Semne ale prosperităţii tomitane

În perioada romană s-au construit la Tomis clădiri şi edificii publice şi particulare grandioase, străzi şi cartiere. Au fost create pieţe publice şi terme (băi). S-au dezvoltat ateliere meşte-şugăreşti care prelucrau sticlă, ceramică şi marmură.

S-au săpat în pământ şi calcar apeducte subterane pentru a asigura locuitorilor apa pentru băut. Artele si cultele au cunoscut o rapidă afirmare. Sunt sculptate statui, basoreliefuri, ornamente arhitecturale, statuete de teracotă. Din oraşul antic mai pot fi văzute astăzi valoroase vestigii care amintesc de vechiul Tomis. Săpăturile arheologilor au scos la lumină locuinţe, morminte, vase de ceramică sau ruinele unor biserici.

Cele mai multe rămăşiţe ale vechii civilizaţii se află în peninsula Ovidiu. De pildă, ruinele unor locuinţe antice descoperite în apropierea actualei Catedrale arhiepiscopale. Zidul de incintă romano-bizantin, vizibil (parţial) de-a lungul actualului bulevard Ferdinand, între teatrul Fantasio şi clădirea fostei biblioteci judeţene închide cea mai mare suprafaţă a oraşului antic. Urmează un traseu care uneşte limitele peninsulei, spre partea sa con-tinentală, de la SV la NE. Zidul de incintă al cetăţii Tomis era prevăzut cu două porţi şi mai multe turnuri de apărare. Poarta de vest flancată de două turnuri mai păstrează pragul şi cadrul cu urme din sistemul de prindere. Prin ele se făcea legătura cu cetăţile din sud de pe litoral. Poarta de nord, lată de 25 de metri, lega Tomisul de localităţile din nord şi interiorul regiunii.

Porţile vechii cetăţi au rămas în picioare

În actualul parc arheologic, din apropierea Primăriei din Constanţa, se poate trece şi astăzi prin cele două porţi ale vechii cetăţi. Poarta de NE, cu celebrul turn al măcelarilor, are o deschidere de 4,3 m. Resturi ale acestui turn pot fi observate chiar în partea dinspre mare a parcului, la doi paşi de harta antică a oraşului. Poarta de SV era flancată de turnuri de apărare rectangulară. Grosimea zidului este de 3,2 m. În mortarul segmentului de zid dintre cele două porţi s-au aflat monede din timpul lui Tacitus şi Probus.

De la poarta de SV zidul se bifurcă: o parte urmează direcţia aşteptată spre SV, până la ţărmul mării, unde o aglome-rare de pietre poate fi indiciul incintei, posibil chiar a unei porţi a ei. O altă parte urmează direcţia V/SV, după care se abate spre Sud, spre acelaşi punct terminal marcat de aglomerarea de pietre. Incinta continuă spre Est, dincolo de turnul mă-celarilor şi mai avea aici o poartă flancată de turnuri (în dreptul intersecţiei străzilor Mircea cel Bătrân şi Dragoş Vodă). Perioada în care a fost construită poarta este cuprinsă între sfârşitul sec. III şi începutul secolului IV. Dimensiunile şi complexitatea celor două turnuri care o flancau (ambele în formă de U), dar şi dimensiunile căii de acces, pavată cu lespezi mari de piatră, conduc la aprecierea că aceasta este poarta cea mai importantă a cetăţii. Dincolo de al doilea turn incinta continua spre mare. Din punct de vedere cronologic, construc-ţia incintei târzii a putut începe în a doua jumătate a secolului III d.Hr., după invazia goţilor.

Urmele greceşti

„Siguranţa construcţiei (n.r.- incintei târzii) a putut permite apărarea oraşului antic până în sec. VII d.Hr. Sondajele arheologice au identificat urme ale incintei romane târzii pe locul actualului hotel BTT care lega faleza portului modern şi zona desemnată azi prin „Poarta II". Nu este exclus ca incinta de epocă greacă să fi traversat actuala Piaţă Ovidiu, ne-a spus dr. Livia Buzoianu, cercetător ştiinţific în cadrul Muzeului de Istorie Naţională şi Arheologie din Constanţa.




The Vallums in Republic of Moldova


The notion of "wall" takes its origin from Latin word "vallum". The wall represents a type of fortification, which is constituted of a continuous rising ground, usually with a ditch in the exterior part, utilized in defensive system (especially with "limes"1 - frontiers of Roman Empire). Besides the aforementioned definition, the notion of "wall" may be attributed to prolonged soil fortifications that define the frontiers of certain territories.

The most renowned walls, preserved on the territory of the Republic of Moldova, are Trajan Walls - archeological vestiges of vast proportions, which cover the southern part of the Republic - from Leova until Copanca (and further on territory of Ukraine) and from village of Vadul lui Voda until Sasic Lake, whereas in the south - the city of Tatarbunar (Ukraine). Beside Trajan Walls some other archeological monuments of this type are present in Moldova. Thus, in the neighborhood of the village of Criva (Judets of Edinet) a soil wall was discovered with an altitude of 2-3 meters, stretching along tens of kilometers. Vestiges of another soil wall were discovered by the archeologists in the neighborhood of the village of Grimancauti. Defensive walls were frequently integrated into antique fortifications. Therefore, the wall and the fortress, located not far from the village of Stolniceni, Judets of Lapusna are dating from the Gaeto-Dacian epoch (4-3rd centuries BC). The aforementioned wall is preceding the renowned Trojan Walls with several centuries.

According to popular or folk traditions walls are frequently named as "fosses", "heaps", "trenches", "furrows", "citadels".

1 Limes (lat.) - defense system, utilized by Romans, which consisted of a stone fortification or a soil wall, erected at the province boundaries.




Cetatile dacice din Dobrogea vor deveni obiective turistice

Cetatile dacice din Dobrogea vor deveni obiective turistice


Consiliul Judetean Constanta vrea ca in 2010 sa introduca in circuitul turistic unele cetati antice dobrogene si pentru asta doua firme, din Bucuresti si Ploiesti, vor realiza un studiu de fezabilitate si marketing.

Licitatiile organizate pana acum legate de acest proiect transfrontalier, premergatoare etapei studiului de fezabilitate, au fost toate castigate doar de firme apartinand unor apropiati ai conducerii autoritatilor judetene: Expertissa si SOTI Cable Neptun, care au incasat aproape 520.000 euro, din cei 673.000 euro cat a reprezentat valoarea totala alocata finalizarii proiectului, informeaza Ziua de Constanta.

In urma studiilor, urmeaza sa fie realizat un Centru Transfrontalier de Istorie si Arheologie situat la cetatea Capidava.

Obiectivul vizat este sporirea atractivitatii pentru vizitatori a urmatoarelor cetati antice din Dobrogea, Carsium, Ulmetum, Capidava, Durostor si Turtucaia din Districtul Silistra, Bulgaria.

Apulum Caracalla's Inscription

1,800-year old inscription reminding one of Emperor Caracalla's political revenge, discovered in Alba Iulia

Tuesday, 27 September 2011 13:24

An artifact discovered during the archaeological research that brought to light vestiges of Principia (the building of the command of Castrum Legio XIII Gemina) in the ancient city of Apulum, nowadays Alba Iulia, situated in central Romania, reminds one of a bloody political episode that took place more than 1,800 years ago in ancient Rome.


According to managing director of the National Museum of the Union in Alba Iulia Gabriel Rustoiu, this is an inscription from which the name of joint Emperor Geta (Publius Septimius Geta) was crossed out by Emperor Caracalla (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus), his brother. The two emperors, sons of Emperor Septimius Severus, ruled together after their father's death, which occurred in AD 211. The same year Caracalla kills Geta and orders his brother's name to be crossed out of history, explained Rustoiu.

Given the importance of this inscription they decided to lift it and carry it to the National Museum of the Union in Alba Iulia.

In ancient times, especially in the Roman time, political confrontations often ended in the physical destruction of the enemy. Revenge haunted the defeated man beyond death too. This is why a much harsher sentence in the Romans' eyes was crossing out the name of the defeated one from history (damnatio memoriae). In this case the name was crossed out on all inscriptions and the statutes erected to him were taken off their bases and melted. This kind of settling political disputes used to appear especially in case of struggles for the position of emperor, said Gabriel Rustoiu.

Vestiges of Principia were discovered during the archaeological research carried out lately in the area of the former Custozza Park in Alba Iulia, which was deforested this summer. The walls that used to house it will be covered in sand for them to be protected in winter, when the City Hall of Alba Iulia will look for financial resources for Principia to be conserved, restored and turned to account in point of tourism, said Gabriel Rustoiu.

The Roman castrum at Apulum was the largest one in Roman Dacia, it started being built at the time of Emperor Hadrianus, probably about AD 125. For one century continuously Apulum was the headquarters of Legio XIII Gemina. AGERPRES

Civitate Tropaensium

Civitas Tropaensium

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Civitas Tropaensium city wall

Civitas Tropaensium was a Roman castrum situated in Scythia Minor in modern Constanţa County, Romania. Its site is now the modern settlement of Adamclisi. It was colonized with Roman veterans of the Dacian Wars, was the largest Roman city of Scythia Minor and became a municipium around 200AD.

In 109 AD a monument named Tropaeum Traiani was built to commemorate the Roman Empire’s victories over the Dacians.

A smaller Trophy found at Adamclisi, a smaller copy of the original monument which has instaled at the eastern city gates during Constantine and Licinius.

The city was destroyed by the Goths, but it was rebuilt during Constantine the Great’s rule with improved defensive walls. Civitas Tropaensium survived until the Avars sacked it in 587, after which it ceased to be an important city of Dobruja and was no longer mentioned for seven hundred years.

built in 109 in then Moesia Inferior, to commemorate Roman Emperor’s Trajan victory over the Dacians, in 102, in the Battle of Tapae. The monument was erected on the place where legio XXI Rapax had previously been crushed (92 AD). Before Trajan’s construction, an altar existed there, on the walls of which were inscribed the names of 3000 legionaries and auxilia (servicemen) who had died “fighting for the Republic”.

Trajan’s monument was inspired by the Augustus mausoleum, and was dedicated to the god Mars Ultor in 107/108 AD. On the monument there were 54 metopes depicting Roman legions fighting against enemies; most of these metopes are preserved in the museum nearby. The monument was supposed to be a warning to the tribes outside this newly conquered province.[1]

The original monument has long since disintegrated. The present edifice is a reconstruction dating from 1977. The nearby museum contains many archaeological objects, including parts of the original Roman monument. Of the original 54 metopes, 48 are in the museum and 1 is in Istanbul.




The monument was decorated with a large inscription dedicated to Mars Ultor (the revenger). The inscription has been preserved fragmentarily from two sides of the trophy hexagone, so it could be reconstructed as follows [2]:

IMP(ERATOR) VI CO(N)S(UL) V P(ater) P(atriae)
---------------------]E 31.

The inscription from the main monument can be translated in this way[3]:

“To Mars, the god of war, Caesar the emperor, son of divine Nerva, Nerva Trajan, Augustus, who defeated the Germans, the Dacians, great priest, for the 13th time tribune of the plebeians, proclaimed emperor by the army for the 6th time, elected consul for the 5th time, father of our homeland, after defeating the Dacian and the Sarmatian armies.”



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