What happened to Roman cities in Dacia

Dacia Ripensis - Dacia ripensis

Province of the Roman Empire in the Balkans in late antiquity

Dacia ripensis (literally "Ufer Dacia") was the name of a Roman province on the northern Balkan Peninsula, immediately south of the Middle Danube. The capital was Ratiaria (modern Archar, Bulgaria). It was a district that was less urban than the neighboring Dacia Mediterranea and more militarized. "Military camps and fortresses instead of cities were typical of the province". Next to Ratiaria, Oescus was the main settlement.

Dacia Ripensis was one of the "Two Dacias" that were founded south of the Danube in the late 3rd century. The Roman Emperor Aurelian (r. 270–275) left the province of Roman Dacia founded by Trajan (r. 98–117) in AD 106 on the north bank of the river and created the two new "Dacias" between the existing provinces of Moesia Prima (upstream) and Moesia Secunda (downstream). The northern part of Aurelian's Dacia Aureliana is attested in 343/4 as "Dacia Ripensis". The southern part with its capital Serdica (modern Sofia) was known as Dacia Mediterranea.

According to the Laterculus veronensis belonged both provinces to the Diocese of Moesiae after the empire during the reign of Constantine the Great (r. 306–337) in Dioceses had been divided. To Time of Notitia Dignitatum belonged however, they belong to the Diocese of Moesiae, Diocese of Thrace. According to the Notitia became Dacia Ripensis by one Praeses ruled, while the governor of Dacia Mediterranea was a senior Was a consularist . Dacia Ripensis was under the authority of the Prefecture Praetorians of Illyricum.

Dacia Ripensis flourished in the middle of the 4th century and some fortresses on the northern bank of the Danube were salvaged by the Romans. In the 5th century, Priscus described Ratiaria as large and densely populated. In the 6th century, Hierocles' s late Greek Synecdemus identifies Ratiera as the main city of the province, calling the province Δακία Παραποτάμια, Dakía Parapotámia 'Dacia-by-the-river', although Prokop to put it in the sense of Ῥιπησία, Rhipēsía .

In 535, Emperor Justinian I (527-565) created the Archdiocese of Justiniana Prima as a regional primacy with ecclesiastical jurisdiction for all provinces of the Diocese of Dacia, including the province Dacia ripensis .

Excavated fortification ruins at Oescus (after restoration)


It is unclear whether Aurelian or the Emperor Diocletian replaced Dacia Aureliana with two provinces, but by 285 there were two - Dacia Mediterranea with the capital Serdica and Dacia Ripensis with the capital Ratiaria. Later these two "Dacias" together with Dardania, Lower Moesia and Prevalitana formed the diocese of Dacia.

Ratiaria was founded as the capital of Dacia Ripensis (formerly a colony founded by Trajan in Moesia Superior) and served as both the seat of the military governor (or Dux ) as well as a military base for the Roman Legion XIII Gemina .

According to Priscus, Dacia Ripensis was a thriving province in the 4th and 5th centuries AD. However, in the early 440s, the Huns conquered the province (there had previously been conflicts between the Romans and the Huns, with the latter group using treacherous means to capture Castra Martis). Although the province briefly recovered from Hunnic rule, it was eventually decimated by the Avars in 586. In particular, Aurelian Dacia Ripensis developed on a section of the Danube especially between Moesia Superior and Moesia Inferior.

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See also



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