Lower Danube during the Late Roman Age and Migrations Period Cover Image

Dunărea de Jos în epocă romană târzie şi în epoca migraţiilor
Lower Danube during the Late Roman Age and Migrations Period

Author(s): Radu Harhoiu
Subject(s): History, Archaeology
Published by: Editura Academiei Române
Keywords: Lower Danube region;Roman period;Early Migration Period;Dacians;Carpians;Sarmatians;Sântana de Mureş-Chernyakhov culture;horsemen of the steppe;slavic groups;collapse of the Byzantine limes

Summary/Abstract: For half a millennium (between the conquest of Dacia in 106 A.D. and the collapse of the Byzantine limes in 602 A.D.) the dynamics of the barbarian-roman relationships generated in a decisively way the crystallization of different cultural mosaics in the Lower Danube region. Since the beginning of the 2nd century and up to the second half of the next century, east to the roman Dacia, there have been outlined three distinctive cultural groups assigned to the “Free Dacians” (Chilia-Militari culture), Carpians (Poieneşti-Vârtişcoiu culture) and Sarmatians. These cultural groups are distinguished mainly by different funeral rites and occupy specific areas. In the Lower Danube basin, the beginnings of the Sântana de Mureş-Chernyakhov culture can be dated back to the second half of the 3rd century. The earliest chronological indicators can be found in the burials from Târgşoru Vechi. The previous cultural traditions disappear and the archaeological landscape smoothens. In the Early Migration period (end of 4th century - end of 5th century), the cultural-historical development of the Lower Danube region can be split into three stages (D1-D3). The duration of each stage is different; the transition between them is gradual. In the D1 stage (end of 4th – beginning of the 5th century), along with the late Sântana de Mureş-Chernyakhov archaeological expression, new cultural elements appear. This stage corresponds to the last phase of the Late Roman defensive building programme of the Danubian limes. In the next stage (D2, first half of the 5th century), the vestiges assigned to the horsemen of the steppe are spreading out overwhelmingly in the Lower Danube region. Stage D3 (second half of the 5th century) is characterized by the gradual disappearance of the cultural elements of the nomadic horsemen and the emergence of East Germanic features. Gradually, the East Germanic cultural expression prevails inside the Carpathian Basin. Meanwhile, a different situation can be defined in the Lower Danube region. The fortifications of the limes are restored during the reigns of Anastasius and especially Justinian I. On the left bank of the river, fortresses like Sucidava and Drobeta (destroyed in the early 5th century) are rebuilt; a new stronghold is erected on the Insula Banului island. Integrated in the policy of the Justinian Reconquista, this constructive effort was motivated by a new barbarian threat in the Lower Danube region: the Slavic groups mentioned in the written sources. The pressure of the Slavic power structures caused the collapse of the Byzantine limes at the turn of the 6th and 7th centuries

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 61-97
  • Page Count: 37
  • Language: Romanian