Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Remains of Crimean legionary post discovered by Polish team

City-ruler in the Bosporan Kingdom,
Roman vassal state in the Crimea
from the Pushkin Museum.  Courtesy
of Wikipedia.
The remains of a Roman legionary house, once part of a Roman settlement near ancient Symbolon Limen, later called Balaklava, has been discovered on the Crimean peninsula by a team of  Polish archeologists supervised by Radoslaw Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski from the Archeology Institute at the University of Warsaw.  The structure is thought to have been built in 2 C.E. after the initial Roman settlement was burned down in 1 C.E.
“The building that we discovered was several times remodeled: old walls were pulled down and new were erected, floors and roofs were repaired. In 3 A.D. the house was destroyed by fire and much later, probably between 15th and 16th  centuries a Tatar settlement replaced the Roman fort,” says the archeologist. - News from Poland

Once known as "Chersonesus Taurica" by the Romans, the Crimean peninsula came under Roman control after Pompey The Great defeated Mithridates VI Eupator in the 1st century BCE. The local client king, Aspurgus, received Roman citizenship and adopted the Roman names "Tiberius Julius" because he enjoyed the patronage of the first two Roman Emperors, Augustus and Tiberius. All of the following kings adopted these two Roman names followed by a third name, mostly of Pontic, Thracian or Sarmatian origin. Bosporan kings struck coinage throughout the kingdom period, which included gold staters bearing portraits of the respective Roman Emperors.

The Romans later built a large naval base at Chersonesos.

Roman troops were stationed in the peninsula, perhaps a division of the Pontic fleet, certainly a detachment of the Moesian army, (other garrisons in Panticapaeum and Chersonesos); their presence even in small numbers showed to the barbarians that the dreaded legionary stood behind (the Bosporanum Regnum). -  Mommsen. The Provinces of the Roman Empire p. 317

Forts in Ukraine: Roman Forts in Ukraine, Zaporizhian Sich, Çufut Qale, Charax, Crimea, Lysa Hora, Kiev Fortress   Mithradates VI Af Pontos Roms Perfekte Fjende (Danish Edition)   The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy   Mithridates VI and the Pontic Kingdom (Black Sea Studies)    Pompey the Great: A Political Biography (Blackwell Ancient Lives) 
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