The Late Roman Agora and the State of Civic Organization


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 Late Roman Agora and the State of Civic Organization

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  • Greek and Roman Archaeology


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The second half of the third century marks an important period in the history of Lower Moesia and the Balkans. It coincides with the economic and political crisis which spread across the Roman Empire and affected all levels of society. This chapter reviews the evidence for the character of the agora in Nicopolis ad Istrum during the late Roman and early Byzantine periods. First, it explains the historical context and then describes the epigraphic finds — which cease with the reign of Aurelian. It also details the coins that were discovered and their implications for continued use of the agora during the fourth century and on into the fifth and sixth centuries. Even so, archaeological excavations have demonstrated that there is no reason to believe that the agora served its original purpose beyond the middle of the fifth century, when flimsy structures were erected over the remains of the former civic centre. Occupation is still attested during the first half of the sixth century before the remaining buildings were destroyed by fire.

Keywords: Lower Moesia; Balkans; Roman Empire; agora; Nicopolis ad Istrum; archaeological excavations; civic centre; Aurelian; coins

Chapter.  6225 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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