The Fortresses of Thrace and Dacia in the Early Byzantine Period


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 Fortresses of Thrace and Dacia in the Early Byzantine Period

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During the early Byzantine period (395–610), a large number of non-urban sites, recorded in ancient sources, are known to have existed in the dioceses of Thrace and Dacia. Contemporary sources suggest that they all possessed fortifications. Amongst the fortified settlements of the early Byzantine period, there were two main groups which can be identified. The first group includes the quasi-urban centres with an intramural area of more than one hectare and the second includes fortified villages, with an intramural area of less than one hectare. This chapter describes the different kinds of fortresses which existed in the dioceses of Thrace and Dacia from AD 395 to 610. It examines the character of the fortresses and internal structures and identifies different types. Finally, it addresses the functions of these sites, especially their role in the defensive system which protected the eastern Balkans during the early Byzantine period.

Keywords: Byzantine period; fortresses; Thrace; Dacia; fortifications; quasi-urban centres; fortified villages; Balkans

Chapter.  22003 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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