The Transformation of Cities in Late Antiquity within the Provinces of Macedonia and Epirus


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 Transformation of Cities in Late Antiquity within the Provinces of Macedonia and Epirus

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The provinces of Epirus and Macedonia, although divided into distinct regions by their mountains, were important for the Roman Empire, particularly because they were crossed by the via Egnatia which snaked its way eastwards, serving as the vital link between Rome and Constantinople at a time when insecurity was increasing along the Danubian frontier. From the middle of the third century, cities in this part of the Empire were under threat and their fortifications were reinforced in the fifth (Thessalonika) and sixth centuries (Byllis under Justininian). There was prosperity in the fourth century and beginning of the fifth. During the fifth century, the houses of Philippi were partly transformed into workshops. The sixth century was difficult and the second half was especially bleak. However, contacts between east and west were still maintained, along with local production. From 540–550, however, barbarian invasions and plague worsened the general situation. Graves appeared inside the city walls. Archaeology (Slav pottery and fibulae) and texts (Miracula Sancti Demetrii) all demonstrate how hard times were from the 580s to the 630s.

Keywords: Epirus; Macedonia; Roman Empire; cities; Philippi; invasions; fortifications; archaeology; graves; pottery

Chapter.  11864 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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