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Moesica et christiana

studies in honour of Professor alexandru Barnea

Edited by Adriana Panaite, Romeo Crjan and Carol Cpi

muzeul brilei carol i editura istros

brila 2016
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Muzeul Brilei Carol I - Editura Istros
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Descrierea CIP a Bibliotecii Naionale a Romniei

Omagiu. Barnea, Alexandru

Moesica et Christiana : studies in honour of professor Alexandru Barnea / ed.: Adriana Panaite,
Romeo Crjan, Carol Cpi. - Brila : Editura Istros a Muzeului Brilei Carol I, 2016

ISBN 978-606-654-181-7

I. Panaite, Adriana (ed.)

II. Crjan, Romeo (ed.)
III. Cpi, Carol (ed.)


Copyright 2016 by Muzeul Brilei Carol I - Editura Istros and authors.

In addition, all artworks and illustrations displayed in this volume are protected
by copyright and may not be copied or otherwise reproduced without written permission.
Every reasonable attempt has been made to identify owners of copyright.
Errors or omissions will be the responsability of authors.
All rights reserved

Graphics and layout: Romeo Crjan

Printed and bound at SC Paper Print Invest SA, os. Baldovineti nr. 20, Brila, RO-6204824, Tel/Fax: +40 0239 610 210
Professor Alexandru Barnea

Publications list of Prof. Alexandru Barnea


Tabula gratulatoria

General abbreviations

Ad multos annos!
alexandru suceveanu



Divinits attestes dans lpigraphie du territoire tomitain (Ier-IIIe sicles aprs -J. C.)
Maria Brbulescu Livia Buzoianu
Three epigraphic monuments from Durostorum
Peti Donevski radu ardevan
On the funerary altar of Valerius Firmus, veteran of legio V Macedonica, in Troesmis (ISM V, 196)
cristina-Georgeta alexandrescu
Diplmes militaires - carrires questres : le cas de Flavius Flavianus
Lucreiu Mihailescu-Brliba iulia Dumitrache
Considerations concerning childs place in the Roman society between the Danube and the Black Sea
Dan aparaschivei
About the Roman Frontier on the Lower Danube under Trajan
ovidiu entea
Image of the castrum of the I Italica on the Column of Trajan: ction or archaeological reality?
Piotr Dyczek
The Knidian ware from Bulgaria
Gergana Kabakchieva
Graves in Moesia Inferior with strigils as grave-goods
Liana oa
The Terrritory of Callatis
nicolae alexandru
Obiecte din er descoperite la Ediciul cu mozaic din Tomis
(Iron objects discovered at the mosaic floored building from Tomis)
irina nastasi
Tropaeum Traiani from civitias the municipium, a hypothesis
adriana Panaite
Despre cercetrile arheologice din cartierul romano-bizantin (sector sud-C1) de la Tropaeum Traiani
(About the archaeological research from the Roman-Byzantine district (sector South-C1)
from Tropaeum Traiani)
Gabriel talmachi constantin ova
An Early Byzantine Building Next to the Main Gate at Capidava
ioan c. opri alexandru raiu
Roman amphorae discovered at Niculiel
Dorel Paraschiv
The deposition of statues from Tomis: Relic of a religious war or sacred abandonment?
silviu anghel
Apollodoro di Damasco ideatore del piano architettonico del monumento di Tropaeum Traiani?
Ipotesi interpretative
anca cezarina Fulger
Revisiting the Late Antique countryside
alina Muat streinu
The roof tiles found at Aik Suhat - Caraburun (Baia, Tulcea County, Romania). Preliminary results
alexandra Dolea
Munera in Moesia Inferior
Marius-cristian streinu
Despre valurile transdobrogene
(About the Transdobroudjan valla)
Gheorghe Papuc
Sur les traces de Paml Polonic Mangalia
robert constantin
The municipal law of Troesmis: preliminary remarks
romeo crjan
Les commencements de la otte mesique
octavian Bounegru
Further considerations on the votive reliefs of the Thracian Horseman
Diliana Boteva
Regsirea antichitii pe frontul din Cadrialter:
cu Vasile Prvan pe antierul arheologic de la Disi-Puda
iulian stelian Booghin


Immortality, pagan and christian

Zoe Petre
Un Dace dans une inscription de Narbonnaise
c. c. Petolescu
Manus Dei in the Dacian milieu?
silviu sanie
Rmische Lampen als Votivgaben in Dakien. Mit besonderem Hinblick auf Tibiscum
Doina Benea
A ceramic mould from Romula
Supply and consumption of terra sigillata in Roman Dacia during the Severan dynasty
Viorica rusu-Bolinde


propos de martyrium de St. Loup de Novae (Svichtov)

Georgi atanasov
Basilica no. 1 from Novae
M. iikova
The early christian mosaics in the episcopal basilica of Odessos (late 4th-early 7th c. AD)
alexander Minchev
Piese cretine descoperite n Dobrogea
cristina talmachi Gabriel custurea
Vase de tip plosc descoperite recent n Dobrogea (sec. VI p. Chr.)
Florin topoleanu
Decretul Ekthesis al mpratului Heraclius (638):
contextul emiterii, traducere, comentariu i receptare
remus Feraru


Aspects de la plastique de la culture Gumelnia:

pices de mobilier et dautres lments de ritual
Mirela Vintil Marian neagu
Marginalien zu griechisch beschrifteten Schleudergeschossen (III)
alexandru avram
The Peutinger map, the Antonine Itinerary and the Roman road
from Singidunum to Viminacium
Florin Gheorghe Fodorean
Ungewhnliche Grabungsbefunde
im Umfeld des sptrmischen Kaiserpalastes Romuliana-Gamzigrad (Ostserbien)
Gerda von Blow
Alexander the Great in the Persian legends: from Alexander of Macedon to Sikandar.
The circulation of mythical topoi between the Greek Alexander romance and Firdousis Shah-Nameh
Dan tudor ionescu


Despre vultur ca prevestitor i nsoitor al deminitii de mprat n Imperiul roman i cel bizantin
tudor teoteoi
Considerations regarding the Venetian chronicle
ascribed to Marco and its copy from the 16th century
erban Marin
Tiran i tiranie la cumpna secolelor XVI i XVII
Tyrant and tyranny at the turn of the centuries XVI and XVII
cristian antim Bobicescu
Statul medieval balcanic: model pentru statul modern n literatura politic
a secolului al XIX-lea. Cazul bulgar
elena siupiur
Autour des palais de la Banque Nationale de la Roumanie:
lhistoire dune partie de Bucarest
sabina Mariiu
Stat i armat n sud-estul european: Romnia i Bulgaria la 1914
Daniel cain
Unirea Transilvaniei i ecourile sale n presa din Romnia
cristina Gudin
File din istoria romnilor din Albania n anii 1925-1926
constantin iordan
A chronology of Romania's relations with Western countries 19711980
constantin Moraru


Discovered treasures, lost treasures, regained treasures...

Virgil Mihailescu Brliba
The Gold Coins with the Effigy of King Ferdinand I
Dan ilie
Eine unbekannte Bergwerksmarke
erwin schaeffer


To cause to make divine through smoke: ancient Egyptian incense and perfume.
An inter- and transdisciplinary re-evaluation
of aromatic biotic materials used by the ancient Egyptians
renata tatomir
Miscellanea pentru o nou ediie a memorialelor lui Vasile Prvan
Liviu Franga
Three Monuments of Roman Art Illustrated on Romanian Postage Stamps
cristian andrei sciceanu
Social perceptions on history and archaeology in Romanian society - an exploratory study
alexandra Zbuchea Monica Bira

List of contributors
MOESICA ET CHRISTIANA | Studies in Honour of Professor Alexandru Barnea
Edited by Adriana Panaite, Romeo Crjan and Carol Cpi
Muzeul Brilei Carol I - Editura Istros | Brila | 2016 | pp. 85-93
ISBN 978-606-654-181-7

About the RomAn FRontieR

on the LoweR DAnube unDeR tRAjAn1
Ovidiu ENTEA

e reconsideration of recent date of archaeological research results, the latest publishing of

numerous military diplomas as well as a certain excitement following the manifestations on the matter
held on the occasion of the celebration of 1900 years from the conquest of Dacia, respectively the
opening ceremony of Trajans Column are the main causes leading to a considerable increase of the
number of studies on the topic. is can only be beneficial to the study of the Dacian campaigns.
In general, the way that modern historians understood and interpreted literary and epigraphic data
referring to certain military campaigns and implicitly the frontiers extension was most oen influenced
by the calculations and estimations made based on modern maps, frequently disregarding the fact that
such view provided an dierent approach from the Roman ocers judgment. e manner in which the
large river courses are depicted as borders is rather due to the contemporary image that modern historians
have when cartographically transcribing literary, epigraphic and archaeological data. e accomplishment
of the great historical atlases and their distribution as teaching and research material, starting with those
by mid 19th century and ending with most recent2, fundamentally influenced the manner in which the
historical past was reconstructed. us, one of the basic issues was to delimit the territories inhabited by
various populations, the trend being to separate them by natural borders or barriers3.
Ancient maps were schematic guides, for the use of soldiers and traders, presented in the form
of road itineraries, which contained short explanatory notes for some of the sites. ey were rendered
from neither a geographical nor political view, since frontiers, as limits of the empire, were not
marked4. Most oen, Roman borders were understood via the tendency of the modern man to define
certain regional entities by separation lines, materialised by strict borders5. ey were rather key
interaction areas as the economy of the empire depended to a considerable extent on trade relations

1 5
is paper was funded by Ministry of National Education e frontier concept changes increasingly frequently
within the framework of programme CNCS UEFISCDI, certain valences as a result of recurrent debates on the
nr PN-II-ID-PCE-2012-4-0210. function of the Schengen area, where Romania claims to
H. Kiepert, Atlas antiquus. [Acht Karten zur alten strive to accede. e terms of the technical and political
Geschichte], Berlin 1859; e Barrington Atlas of the Greek discussions are underlain by a European concept seen in
and Roman World (ed. R. J. A. Talbert), Princeton, 2000. terms of both opportunities and risks. e historiographical
Obviously, the current configuration of the modern states approach of the Roman borders is twofold: there is the view
aected at its turn the view on certain phenomena and their emphasizing the central authority, which coordinates a
interpretation. Accordingly, certain Romanian historians territory delimited by the Great limes and there is that
tend to tackle the south-north Dobrudjan course of the underlining the peripheral areas, according to a minimalist
Danube dierently from the more significant portion view by which borders were quasi-inexistent (Isaac 1990,
located downstream, which today coincides with the frontier Whittaker 1994; Wells 2005, 4988 (4950). Debates started
between the two modern states. with the following question: who decides the frontier
Whittaker 2004, 11, 82; Kagan 2006; Wheeler 2010. extension, the central authority or the economic and social
factors by the periphery (Isaac 1990, 421).
86 oViDiu enteA

with the neighbouring populations. e existence of the imperial borders and the populations in their
proximity played a very important role in the political ideology of the empire, a fact underlined by
the surviving literary texts. e latter lengthily report on the invasions and discuss aspects related to
the political views of the emperors to the detriment of trade specificities or relations between the
communities located in frontier areas6. e results of the archaeological research provide a multitude
of data referring to the interaction with the Barbarian world in the frontier areas and not only. e
frontier was rather a transition area, reason for which their classification into natural and artificial
should be replaced with terms like separation areas or connection areas. From this point of view,
the planning of the military strategies was made by reference to the populations there and implicitly,
the territories they occupied and not the reverse.
e location of the fortifications on the Danube should not be judged only from the view of the
military strategic value, but mainly in terms of the opportunities to set up port facilities, as the river
was firstly a supply route. e significance of the Roman fortification works should be thus argued by
the understanding of the communication system7. e frontier term is not identical with that of
border or separation line between state entities, provinces or tribes8. is may be noted in the area by
the epigraphic evidence which records very early a classis flavia moesica9 and significantly later the
land units, whose first role was precisely to ensure the security of the transports on the Danube.
e inclusion of a vast territory located north the Danube was atypical if should we consider the
previous enlargement of the Roman borders10. e campaigns of the Roman armies carried out north
of the Danube during the 1st century AD were interpreted to have as having been designed to enforce
onto the populations in this area the status of a client11, occasion in which certain modern authors
argued that a so-called security area/safety space was established by the displacement of tens of
thousands of transdanuviani to the south of the Danube and the prohibition to later establish new
civil settlements12. Some of the authors related the accounts in the classical sources to the Roman
army campaigns against the Sarmatian tribes13. is discussion should not exclude the wish of some
of governors to acquire the glory of expanding their provinces14 and implicitly to provide the
emperors with the arguments of enterprising successful campaigns at Rome, particularly if the first
were in their first ruling years. One should not disregard the fact that Trajan found himself in this
situation too15. e propaganda of the victory against the Dacians was exceptional, yet matching the
war which Rome prepared against the Parthians.

Isaac 1990, Whittaker 1994. under Augustus, Aelius Catus relocated 50,000 Getae from
Isaac 1990, 128. Rivers were not those important tactical north the Danube to racia (Strabo 7.3.10), and Agrippa
obstacles. According to the phrase of a modern general, they displaced the Ubii in the area where Cologne would
hindered only riders loaded up with spoils (H. Delbrck, subsequently lie (Tacitus Ann. 12.27; Tacitus Germ. 28); under
History of the art of war: vol. 1, 1535, apud Whittaker 1994, Nero, Ti. Plautius Silvanus moved 100,000 Transdanuviani to
24 note 56). the south of the Danube, transforming them into tax payers (ILS
Isaac 1990, 419. 986). Also, Cassius Dio (LXXII, 3, 3) recorded the 12,000 from
Matei-Popescu 2010, 29, 245-246 the north of Dacia who asked to be given permission inside the
Bogdan Ctniciu 1981; Petolescu 1986, 510-513; Poulter province (interpretation Opreanu 1994, 196; Opreanu 1998,
1986, 521-522; Zahariade 1997, 603-606; Wheeler 2010, 117). e sons of certain tribe leaders lived in Rome as hostages,
11851227. refugees or guests, returning to the pro-Roman communities
Prvan 1926, 104; Syme 1971, 148-149; Pipiddi 1967, 306. which they le, as pro-Roman leaders, at the request of the tribe
is might have been the occasion to emplace outposts on or of a certain faction (P. Aelius Rasparaganus rex Roxolanorum
the le bank of the Danube (Bogdan Ctniciu 1981, 4). and his son P. Aelius Peregrinus - CIL V 32; for the recent
e Romans were very careful about dynasty circumstances discussions see Opreanu 1998, 53; Brc 2013, 118).
in the neighbouring tribes, supporting various rival factions or For the synthesis of the most recent views we shall only
making alliances with the enemies of their own adversaries, who reference a recent study: Brc 2013, 99-125.
at their turn invited the Romans to interfere in internal conflicts. Fama aucti ocii: Tacitus Agr. 14.2.
ey allowed over time certain populations to enter the territory We believe that these accounts rather report on massive
of the empire, oering land in exchange of tax payments. soldier raising measures, and as complementary measure,
Examples of tribe displacements from outside the borders: the approval to relocate the entire family in the province.
About the RomAn FRontieR on the LoweR DAnube unDeR tRAjAn 87

Prior the establishment of the province of Dacia, large part of its territory was judicially and
administratively under the authority of the governor of Moesia Superior. e armies displaced to
certain areas between Olt river valley, north-west Wallachia and south-east Transylvania were in the
competence field of the legate of Moesia Inferior16. At the time when Trajan reaches the Danube, at
least four legions and many auxiliaries were stationed there. e military diplomas discovered in the
recent years have the credit to have clarified overall the number and parts of these auxiliary units, but
also especially the fact that under Domitian, the number of the auxiliary units increased considerably
due to the organization measures taken by the emperor. For a long time, such measures were assigned
to activities under Trajan, in view of the preparations for the Dacian expedition. However, at least in
the first campaign, this was not at all the case, the Roman armies present in the forts by the Danube
having on the whole, the same constituents as by the end of Domitians reign17.
e most important troop displacements from other provinces could be noted in the second part
of Trajans first Dacian campaign, must be due to troop additions necessary both following the
campaign from the north of the Danube as well as especially the losses owing to the fights in the south
of the Danube during the winter of 101-102. is episode, dierently mirrored in the literary sources
on the Dacian wars, had extremely visible consequences in the subsequent course of the confrontations
and implicitly the evolution of the Roman frontier on the lower Danube.
e hypothesis of Trajans involvement in Moesia to prevent the Sarmatian and Dacian attack,
the so-called Decebaluss Moesian diversion, was developed by Radu Vulpe, based on interpreting the
scenes on Trajans Column18. is attack would have forced Trajan to cease the siege in the mountain
area and rush to the south-Danubian area in Moesia Inferior19.
The attack of the Roman garrisons south the Danube in the winter of 101-102 was mainly due
to the Sarmatian Roxolani at that time allies of the Dacians20. The so-called Moesian diversion21
of Decebalus was rather a historiographical metaphor, which primarily takes into account the
narrative interpretation of the frieze on Trajans Column. Both the representation of the Dacians
beside the Sarmatians in the respective scenes as well as the reconstruction of the inscription at
Adamclisi may be seen rather as expressions of contextualizing episodes in bellum dacicum Traiani,

During Trajans Dacian campaigns there were several final battle in the Moesian campaign was deemed to have been
autonomous commands, like that of Longinus (Cn. Pinarius placed at Tropaeum Traiani. e course of the events by the
Aemilius Cicatricula Pompeius Longinus, vir consularis - Piso south of the Danube was reconstructed based on the depictions
1993, 1-4), former governor of the provinces of Moesia Superior in some of the scenes on Trajans Column (Cichorius 1900,
and Pannonia., or C. Iulius Quadratus Bassus (AE 1934, 176 = scenes XXXI-XXXII, XXXVII), on the inscription text at
IDRE II 381; Piso 1993, 23-29, no. 4) or likely Laberius Adamclisi (CIL III 12467 = AE 1965, 276; IDRE II 334). e
Maximus (Syme 1971, 100; Matei-Popescu 2010, 267). reading in line 8-9 [devicto exerc]itu D[acorum et Sarmata]rum
Matei-Popescu, entea 2006, 75-77 (proposed by Emilia Doruiu-Boil and assumed also by C. C.
Decebalus would have performed a flanking manoeuvre, Petolescu, by comparison with the text of another inscription
worthy of the greatest strategists of the Antiquity with the discovered in the ruins of the triumphal monument - IDRE II
aim of endangering Trajans communication lines (Vulpe 335. For all hypotheses concerning the reconstruction of the
1964, 211-223). Petolescu considered that Trajan did not inscription from Adamclisi, see Stefan 2009, 616), respectively
displace significant forces to the new war theatre in order to the text of the inscription from Epidaurus (IDRE II 370). C.C.
avoid unbalances on the main front, evidence to this eect Petolescu considered that since Trajans name contained the
being the scenes on the Column showing the involvement epithet Germanicus, yet not Dacicus (awarded in 102), the
in these operations of only the auxiliaries (Petolescu 2010, inscription refers to the victory in Moesia over the Dacians and
140). Opreanu (2006, 116) argued that at the time when the Sarmatians in the winter of 101/102 -Petolescu 1995, 223-226.)
attack in Moesia Inferior occurred, Sarmizegetusa was not According to Cassius Dio (LXVIII, 10, 3) the Sarmatian
under attack, which explains the risk of Decebaluss Iazyges adopted a neuter position, dierent from the
involvement in this campaign, as the frieze on Trajans Roxolani, allies of the Dacians. See also Mcsy 1974, 94 or
Column would depict (scenes XXXI and XXXII). more recently Brc 2006, 3-28; Brc 2013, 99-126.
19 21
e first battle would have occurred at Nicopolis ad Istrum See more recently Petolescu 2010, 140 and the note
(Ammianus Marcellinus 31, 5, 16: Nicopolis quam indicium referencing (Petolescu 1995, 224).
victoriae contra Dacos Trajanus condidit imperator), while the
88 oViDiu enteA

of which the Dacians could not be missing. The historians, who saw Decebalus as the king of a
great state of the Dacians, assigned him a special strategic vision, which we believe, similarly to the
operations in the Moesian diversion, was not the case. We also believe that the too many directions
by which the Roman army would have attacked the Dacian kingdom were interpreted according
to the same view as well.
e Sarmatian Roxolani did not participate in Trajans second campaign, which may be related
to the closing of a peace settlement aer the first campaign22. e hostilities cease in this area would
last until the end of Trajans reign.
e Roman troops under the command of governor of Moesia Inferior were amassed, as
recognized from many other operation examples, in an area well delimited territorially, in our case
the Oescus-Novae area.
Not by accident, the attack of the Sarmatians Roxolani in the winter of 101-102 is directed to this
area. eir mission, as allies of the Dacians, was to raid the territories of the province of Moesia
Inferior located to the right of the Danube23. e fact that they attacked the Roman armies amassed
in the north-west of the province between Oescus and Novae is also underlined by the most important
battle, the place of the most known battle - Nicopolis ad Istrum, being nearby. Aer the 101-102 winter
attack, in the area are recorded troops supplementing measures. Legio XI Claudia24 was brought to
Oescus to supplement the troops displaced from legio V Macedonica. At Novae, instead of I Italica
strengths displaced or decimated, was brought a vexillation or possibly the entire I Minervia, led by
the future emperor Hadrian25. eir displacement from Germania Superior, and Germania Inferior,
together with auxiliary units26 was thus aimed to enforce a vulnerable area, respectively to compensate
losses suered following the Roxolani attack. It is uncertain whether in AD 101 units from Moesia
Inferior were involved in operations to the north of the Danube or whether such decision was taken
only in the following year. It is important to specify that the involvement of the armies in Moesia
Inferior did not occur concomitantly with those in Moesia Superior or Pannonia27. It is much more
likely that these troops had been massively involved in the operations to the north of the Danube aer
the mentioned attack of the Sarmatians.
e V Macedonica and XI Claudia legions were displaced at Troesmis, respectively Durostorum,
sometime between Trajans two Dacian campaigns, period when the extension of the Roman
fortifications network along the Lower Danube may be recorded. Until Trajans reign, Roman
fortifications on the right Danube bank between the naval bases at Sexaginta Prisca (Ruse) and
Noviodunum (Isaccea)28 are unknown, the task of surveilling this route being assigned to a praefectus
classis Flavia Moesice et ripae Danuvii29. According to archaeological and epigraphic sources, it was
then when were built the forts at Carsium, in 10330, RasovaFlaviana (105108?)31, as well as at least
part of a road, according to the milestone found at Sacidava (erected by cohors IV Gallorum, between
103105)32. We believe that this fortification works of the lower Danube are the expression of an
agreement closed with the Sarmatians, materialized in the field in the form of a clear territorial

Historia Augusta, Hadrianus, 6, 68; Opreanu 1994, 207. ripae Danuvi (AE 1972, 572) - Efes. e inscription, dated
Stefan 2005, 268, fig. 235. under Domitian (IDRE II 373), seems to evidence that until
ILB 62; Matei-Popescu 2010, 262. Trajan, ripa Danuvii was under the authority of the fleet
e presence of legio I Minervia at Novae was recorded by prefect (Matei-Popescu 2010, 251).
the tile stamps discovered in a well-dated archaeological Dating based on governor Q. Fabius Postuminuss name
context (valetudinarium - Sarnowski 1987, 107110, fig. 1- (AD 103) ISM V 94, p. 120121; Opri 2006, 241, fig. 1.
3). See also the discussion at Matei-Popescu 2007, 290. Dating based on governor L. Fabius Iustuss name (AD
Matei-Popescu, entea 2006a, 56-65. 105108), Rasova (Constana county), Rdulescu,
Matei-Popescu, entea 2006, 100. Brbulescu 1981, 586588, fig. 2; Opri 2006, 241, fig. 23.
28 32
e single epigraphic find recording the presence of the Rdulescu, Brbulescu 1981, no. 1, 353356; for cohors IV
Roman army in this area, prior Trajan, comes from Aegyssus Gallorum, see also MateiPopescu 2004, 208210;
(CIL III 6221 = ISM V 286). MateiPopescu 2010, 32. For the discussion see also Opri
M. Arruntius Claudianus, praefectus classis Moesicae et 2006, 237-242.
About the RomAn FRontieR on the LoweR DAnube unDeR tRAjAn 89

delimiting. e displacement of the auxiliaries should obviously be put in connection to the relocation
of the legions to Durostorum and Troesmis33.
On the Danubian front of Moesia Inferior, the main opponents of the Roman during the first
Dacian campaign of emperor Trajan were the Sarmatians. eir raids to the right of the Danube must
have started on the territory of modern day Dobrudja, where not by chance, aer closing the peace
of 102, would be recorded significant measures for the reinforcement of the frontier.

e discussion concerning the establishment of the Danube frontier in the Lower Danube area
cannot be separated, especially in the first part of the 2nd century AD, from the numerous movements
of the Roman army within the operations carried out north the Danube, on the territory of Wallachia.
In the aermath of Trajans Dacian war, the occupied territories enjoyed dierent statuses, fact also
mirrored by the diversity of administrative solutions adopted for a decade34. Territories north the
Danube entered under the authority of Moesia Inferior previously belonged to certain Barbarian tribes
located outside the Dacian kingdom, yet allied with Decebalus (eastern Little Wallachia, Wallachia,
southern Moldavia and the south-eastern corner of Transylvania)35.
e conclusion is that one should not look for attack columns from Troesmis or Barboi on the
road to Poiana or directly to Buzu river valley or from Durostorum to the area where the Roman
fortifications in the Wallachia Subcarpathians were identified.
e forts on the Danube course comprised between Viminacium and Novae were abandoned
during the first half of the 2nd century AD36. e troops stationed there were displaced, aer the
conquest of Dacia, in the newly province established to the north of the Danube (from Moesia
Superior), respectively to certain territories east of Olt river (from Moesia Inferior)37.
e Roman troops from Moesia Inferior were relocated under Trajan only to some of the
alignments in Wallachia. Even though legally, an extensive area was placed under the authority of this
province governor, one cannot argue the inclusion of the entire mentioned territory under the
administration of the governor of Moesia Inferior. e construction of the fortifications on the Danube
river in the period between the two Dacian campaigns during Trajans rule is precisely explanatory
for the need to secure the south-Danubian area. If the Roman armies were systematically distributed
to Wallachia, why would have such extended works been necessary at that point? To this moment, a
systematic occupation of this territory cannot be explained, but only a distribution of some vexillations
to Drajna de Sus, Mlieti, Trgor, Pietroasele and, possibly, Voineti. In the same time interval, the
Roman military road to the right of the lower Danube was built, in parallel with the construction or
reinforcement of some of the fortifications38.
Discussions concerning the Roman forts in Wallachias hilly area, which functioned only for
a short period of time under Trajan, involved several scenarios related to the advancement of the
army of Moesia Inferior to the north of the Danube and their communication routes with the
south of the Danube. Gr. Tocilescu supposed a communication route with the Danube line on the
route to Sextaginta Prisca, Bucharest, Ploieti, Drajna and from there to south-eastern

33 35
Interestingly, the entire Danubian sector corresponding Bogdan Ctniciu 2006, 295.
to the province of Moesia Inferior was surveilled by both Mirkovi 2002, 757. Under Marcus Aurelius, Dacias
classis Flavia Moesiaca and the fleet of legio I Italica defence was in the charge of the army of Moesia Superior,
(Sarnowski, Trynkowski 1986, 536-541). Insofar, there are period when likely date the attempts to restore the
no records of legio V Macedonica or XI Claudia that may defensive system along this Danube portion. e return to
be connected to port activities or the existence of flotillas the defensive system existent under Trajan occurred under
in these legions active on the lower course of the Danube. Septimius Severus or Caracalla, when the troops stationing
The more interesting is the lack of legio XI Claudia in the forts at Novae, Taliata, Diana or Pontes were
records downstream Durostorum after the departure of resumed, the border being rebuilt up to Acumincum
legio V Macedonica from Troesmis. (Mirkovi 2002, 762).
34 37
On the main moments and the way Dacia was redacta in Matei-Popescu, entea 2006, 100-101.
formam provinciae see now the study of Piso 2008, 297331. See notes 28-30.
90 oViDiu enteA

Transylvania39. V. Prvan assumed this idea developing an entire scenario regarding the occupation
and defence of Wallachia. e area would have been surveilled, according to the mentioned author,
from the high bank of Moesia Inferior from the fortresses at Troesmis, Durostorum and Novae. Other
routes would have started at Barboi, on Siret river valley, on Buzu river valley and Ialomia river
valley40. Obviously, the ideas of the illustrious scholar became postulates.
A few more recent date studies, which targeted several aspects of the Dacian campaigns, expressed
several hypotheses related to the couloirs by which the Roman army entered north the Danube,
respectively the areas which it maintained under control for a certain period of time. e armies of
Moesia Inferior that would have crossed the Danube in view of their involvement in the Dacian
campaigns were deemed to belong to a secondary column, termed (according to the departure point),
the Islaz-Cetatea Vedea group41. It was considered this column would have crossed the Danube very
likely from the fortress at Oescus, aided by the fleet in classis Flavia Moesica or over a bridge built
between Vidin and Orlea. A concentration point north the river would have been the place where
later was built the city of Sucidava, which is visible in the field by the large sizes of a trapezoid
enclosure42. Other two columns of the troops displaced from Moesia Inferior would have crossed the
Danube in front of the fortresses at Novae and Durostorum43. e strategically special manner in which
were interpreted these attack directions, which would have accomplished a true flanking of an
important state structure, namely of the Dacian kingdom led by Decebalus, is notable. According to
the same strategy, some of the authors argued that the Roman fortifications, which functioned for a
short period of time in the hilly area of Wallachia, had the role, together with other supposed to have
functioned in Moldavia area, to block all valleys that were access ways to Transylvania, thus preventing
surprise attacks of the Dacians aer the first Dacian campaign of emperor Trajan (101/102)44.
We believe these routes start from the area comprised between the fortresses at Oescus and Novae,
following two distinct directions the Olt river alignment, respectively the road from the line called
transalutanus, which reaches to the north the mountain passes ensuring access to south-east Transylvania.
e set up of a rigorous frontier could not have been carried out without keeping in mind the
nomad character of the populations located in the proximity, and the nomad character of the
Sarmatians. e nature of the liniar fortifications in the contact area with the latter, suggests that the
Romans were careful enough to adopt optimal solutions for the well functioning of the frontiers45.
In a study dedicated to the functioning of the Roman fortifications in Wallachias hilly area under
Trajan, we noted that the emperor might have forbidden the Roxolani to migrate to areas economically
vital for them, which contributed to a worsening of the relations with the empire46. Following the
negotiations with these populations, Hadrian resizes the defensive system in the aected provinces
and brings, to a series of key points, auxiliary units among which excel those very mobile, due to the
cavalry strengths. Moreover, the emperor chooses irregular specialised troops. us, adaptability to
the circumstances in Dacia, the detail thinking of strategic and, why not, economic solutions, is
noteworthy. e maintenance of the novel troops was cheaper, they being adaptable, likely less
pretentious to conditions existent in the newly established province.
e auxiliary units displaced to some of the hilly areas in Wallachia were mostly moved to the
province of Dacia Inferior47 (east of Little Wallachia and south-east Transylvania), while the legionary
vexillations were withdrawn to the forts south the Danube. At this point are abandoned the forts at

39 43
Tocilescu 1900, 127. Gh. tefan considered possible that Petolescu 2001, 350; Petolescu 2007, 41. Also Zahariade,
the Romans had used a previous route (Ulrich Kahrstedt, Lichiardopol 2006, 121-134; Zahariade 2009, 173-184.
Drei limites Domitians, BJ 142, 1937, 127, apud tefan 1948, Petolescu 1986, 510-513; Bogdan Ctniciu 1997, 49-50;
131), yet to the mentioned author, it seemed less likely it was Petolescu, Matei-Popescu 2008, 359.
le defenceless for a distance of approximately 150 km. entea, Oltean 2009, 1515-1524.
40 46
Prvan 1923, 140-142. entea forthcoming.
41 47
Zahariade, Dvorski 1997, 60. MateiPopescu 2004, 173242; MateiPopescu 2010,
Petolescu 2001, 349-350; Petolescu 2007, 40-41. 257269.
About the RomAn FRontieR on the LoweR DAnube unDeR tRAjAn 91

Drajna, Mlieti, Trgor, Pietroasele, Voineti, Rucr and likely Buridava. e army of this new
province of Dacia Inferior was composed, with two exceptions, of the auxiliary units of Moesia Inferior
detached to the north of the Danube as early as Trajans Dacian campaigns48.
e following important moment in the history of the limes in Moesia Inferior was the
displacement of V Macedonica at Potaissa, in the context of the Marcomannic Wars under Marcus
Aurelius. Under such circumstances, the limes sector under the surveillance of V Macedonica entered
the control of I Italica, stationed at Novae, as evidenced by epigraphic finds. Concurrently, epigraphic
records of legion XI Claudia at Durostorum do not exceed northwards Capidava, except the central
northern area of Dobrudja. e troops distribution remained largely unchanged during the
Principate, being stationed primarily in fortifications located near the Danube.


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