The Transition to Late Antiquity on the Lower Danube: the City, a Fort and the Countryside


in The Transition to Late Antiquity, on the Danube and Beyond

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780197264027
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734908 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Transition to Late Antiquity on the Lower Danube: the City, a Fort and the Countryside

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After excavations carried out on the site of Nicopolis ad Istrum in Bulgaria, the results were used to reconstruct the city's physical and economic character from its foundation under Trajan down to the end of the sixth century. The incentive for the subsequent programme, ‘The Transition to Late Antiquity’, was the discovery that the city was replaced by a very different Nicopolis, both in layout and economy, during the fifth century. A site-specific survey method was developed to explore the countryside. The survey discovered that the Roman villa economy collapsed late in the fourth century. The excavations on the site of the late Roman fort at Dichin provided an unexpected but invaluable insight into the regional economy and military situation on the lower Danube in the fifth and sixth centuries. The results of both these two research projects are summarized and an explanation proposed as to how and why there was such a radical break between the Roman Empire and its early Byzantine successor on the lower Danube.

Keywords: Nicopolis ad Istrum; Bulgaria; excavations; countryside; fort; Dichin; lower Danube; Roman Empire; Late Antiquity; city

Chapter.  16095 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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