IOAN IAŢCU CONSTRUCŢII RELIGIOASE CREŞTINE ÎN PROVINCIA SCYTHIA

Secolele IV-VI p.Chr.

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Descrierea CIP a Bibliotecii Naţionale a României IAŢCU, IOAN Construcţii religioase creştine în provincia Scythia: secolele IV-VI p.Chr. / Ioan Iaţcu.- Brăila : Editura Istros a Muzeului Brăilei. 2012 ISBN 978-606-654-038-4 726.5

IOAN IAŢCU CONSTRUCŢII RELIGIOASE CREŞTINE ÎN PROVINCIA SCYTHIA Secolele IV-VI p.Chr. Editura ISTROS Brăila. 2012 .

project number PN-II-RU-PD-2011-3-0103 . CNCS – UEFISCDI.This work was supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research.

............................. Mese de altar (Mensa sacra)........... Reşedinţa episcopală (episkopion) .....................................................................2...........................................8...........106 IV..............................................4.......3..........124 V..... Organizarea administrativă ...............1......... Cadrul geografic ..................................................................7...........5............................Chr................................................ 33 III... Atrium-ul .. 44 IV................................ 27 III......175 V............... ELEMENTE DE PLASTICĂ ŞI DECOR ................. ......................... Anexe funerare (Memoriae) .182 5 ........... 17 I...................... Bema ..............................................................................CUPRINS PREFAŢĂ .............................................103 IV........151 V....................... PLANIMETRIE ŞI CRONOLOGIE.............................1.................................... 21 II.........2............................... BAZILICILE CREŞTINE.................................. Baptisterium (βαπτιστήριον)...................................................3..........110 IV...............................................Chr......5............................................................ Tencuiala şi stucatura pictată din bazilica episcopală de la Histria ..................................................................................................... Capiteluri cu sau fără fragmente de colonete ........................................121 IV.......................................................................................................118 IV......................................................10............................. Pilaştri şi stâlpi-colonetă de pergula ..........109 IV......6..........................................1........................................................................ Cripta (crypta) ...................................................11................... Pastophoria (diaconicon şi prothesis) .............. 33 III...........................................................4.......................1........................................................ Absida (exedra).....107 IV....2...................................... ORGANIZAREA ECLEZIASTICĂ A PROVINCIEI ÎN SECOLELE V-VI p...................... Naos-ul ......................................... Narthex-ul............. Transeptul ...................................................9.... SITUAŢIA GEOGRAFICĂ ŞI ORGANIZAREA ADMINISTRATIVĂ A PROVINCIEI SCYTHIA ÎN SECOLELE IV-VI p...............121 IV.......................... 7 INTRODUCERE.........................................114 IV.......................... 173 V...................... Repertoriul bazilicilor creştine din provincia Scythia...... Plăci de cancelli (κάγκελλοι)..........................2..... 17 I...................................................................................... Bazilici şi cripte ...111 IV...........103 IV............................ ELEMENTE DE ARHITECTURĂ INTERIOARĂ ................................................170 V......................................................................... ................... 11 I....................................................................151 V.........................................

................................................................................................................................... Dicţionare.............................................................. 276 Surse web ................................................................ Piese de iluminat.......... PROGRAMUL RELIGIOS BIZANTIN ŞI CONSECINŢELE SALE ASUPRA EDIFICIILOR BAZILICALE DIN SCYTHIA ................. 216 CONSIDERAŢII FINALE .............. 271 IV............... 344 6 ............. 317 ABSTRACT CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE PROVINCE SCYTHIA The 4th – 6th Centuries AD ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 201 VI.............................................................................................................................V......1....................................................................................................... 316 LISTA ILUSTRAŢIILOR ................................. 274 BIBLIOGRAFIE ............................... Implementarea programului arhitectural constantinian în Scythia .................................................... Depozitul de sticlă din anexa bazilicii episcopale de la Histria ......... Enciclopedii .............. 265 II................................. Volume ............................................................................... Programul religios şi arhitectural al împăraţilor Anastasius I şi Iustinianus I ...................................................................................................... 201 VI............................................................................................................................................... 6......................................... 327 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS ............ 270 III......................................2....................................................................... Periodice ....................... Izvoare.... 265 I..................................................................................................................... 192 VI.......... 261 ABREVIERI ...................................................................

PREFAŢĂ Istoriografia română referitoare la creștinarea populaţiilor de pe teritoriul Daciei. Totodată. evidenţiindu-se cu prioritate acelea din Scythia dobrogeană. acolo unde au apărut și marea majoritate a construcţiilor religioase creștine. 7 . pentru care existau și informaţii importante din izvoarele scrise. Lucrările monografice și studiile îndeosebi ale unor autori ca V. De asemenea. un număr destul de redus de asemenea construcţii au apărut și de-a lungul malului stâng al Dunării de jos. Cercetările asupra istoriei creștinismului la comunităţile umane din spaţiul avut în vedere nu s-au făcut în cadrul vreunei organizări instituţionale speciale. Pârvan1. Netzhammer2 și J. întrucât au întreţinut interesul crescând și au impulsionat enorm preocupările pentru această temă. destul de bogată și diversificată. pentru a menţiona doar pe cei mai importanţi din cei care s-au implicat cu investigaţii de referinţă în primele două decenii ale veacului trecut. precum și a condiţiilor de desfășurare a fenomenului în diferite zone ale arealului. ci s-au dezvoltat mai mult în paralel cu descoperirile arheologice din siturile romane târzii și romano-bizantine. este reprezentată de o gamă largă de publicaţii. este de remarcat că acești autori și-au îndreptat atenţia în cel mai înalt grad către antichităţile creștine mai numeroase și mai spectaculoase din Dobrogea și într-o măsură mai redusă spre acelea descoperite de-a lungul Dunării. au avut un puternic impact asupra istoriografiei de atunci. de la scurte note de informare și studii de caz sau de sinteză și până la ample lucrări monografice și cataloage de expoziţii. Zeiller3. a implicaţiilor și efectelor imediate și ulterioare în teritoriu. La peste jumătate de secol de la apariţia lucrărilor celor trei autori 1 Pârvan 1911. 3 Zeiller 1918. R. Barnea este un alt autor de la care ne-au rămas lucrări de referinţă consistente despre istoria creștinismului la români. mai trebuie menţionat că investigaţiile și studiile întreprinse de-a lungul anilor poartă vizibil amprenta stadiilor de cercetare și a limitelor de informare și metodologice in care au fost elaborate. I. al căror impact major în literatura românească de specialitate a fost unanim recunoscut de specialiștii din domeniu. În cuprinsul lor găsim aprecieri pertinente asupra procesului foarte îndelungat de convertire. 2 Netzhammer 1918. Totodată.

Din totalul celor 118 planșe. vom putea avea o percepţie reală a ceea ce a însemnat până târziu fortăreaţa dobrogeană creștină pentru ţinuturile românești de la nordul Dunării de Jos. 6 planșe siturile transilvănene (5. Secolele III-VI. 101 planșe reprezintă siturile dobrogene (85. Astfel. nu este atât de fericită din punct de vedere informaţional și metodologic.08%) și 3 planșe siturile aflate în afara fostelor graniţe romane (2. precum și a diferitelor grupe de alogeni ajunse temporar în spaţiul românesc de mai târziu. de la planuri de bazilici și până la piese de inventar mărunt cu semne și simboluri creștine4. în funcţie de densitatea și monumentalitatea lor. pentru prima dată el 4 Barnea 1979. 8 . Totuși. În acest context.54%). rămâne valabilă și pentru toate contribuţiile publicate de I. Barnea. 1.PREFAŢĂ menţionaţi mai sus. Investigarea mai întâi separată a procesului de convertire la creștinism în aceste zone se impune ca o stringentă necesitate și ea nu știrbește cu nimic relaţia de complimentaritate și de apropiere evidentă a acestora pe diverse paliere în toate perioadele istorice importante. Numai odată cu punerea în valoare știinţifică a izvoarelor scrise antice și a tuturor categoriilor de antichităţi creștine descoperite până acum. determinată fiind de repartiţia diferenţiată pe zone a antichităţilor creștine. Ea a iradiat deopotrivă creștinism și romanitate la nordul fluviului. precum și cu aura de mare metropolă creștină la graniţa dunăreană a Imperiului. Motivarea pentru care se păstrează această constantă de-a lungul anilor este logică. ea arată că tratarea globală și nediferenţiată a creștinării daco-romanilor și mai apoi a romanicilor. Creștinarea teritoriului dintre Dunăre și Mare se desfășoară în secolele IV-VI cu o intensitate deosebită și el devine o imensă fortăreaţă de apărare și de iradiere a religiei creștine către toate punctele cardinale. cu caracteristicile. 8 planșe siturile de pe malul stâng al Dunării sau apropiate acestui aliniament (6. Imaginea de mai sus despre intensitatea vieţii creștine în diferite zone ale spaţiului românesc în secolele IV-VI este grăitoare și se repetă în parametrii apropiaţi în toată literatura despre istoria creștinismului la români. de aceea și valorificarea ei a putut fi evident realizată la un nivel superior. în cartea sa despre Arta creștină în România. autorul dă o ilustraţie foarte bogată cu vestigii creștine de tot felul din întreaga ţară. Barnea a avut la dispoziţie o informaţie arheologică mult mai bogată. Scythia dobrogeană creștină trebuie evidenţiată prin cercetările viitoare cu maximum de profesionalism. I.59%). potrivit cărora acestea au avut antichităţile creștine din Scythia dobrogeană ca principal obiectiv de studiu. cartea colegului Ioan Iaţcu trebuie considerată un început tocmai la realizarea acestui deziderat. Spre exemplu. În același timp. observaţia făcută asupra lucrărilor apărute în primele decenii ale secolului XX. ambele atât de benefice pentru istoria românilor.78%). detaliile și particularităţile ei.

Chr. De asemenea. este de o importanţă aparte pentru istoria românilor. Toate aceste descoperiri au fost prezentate ţinând seama de situaţia geografică şi administrativă a Scythiei Minor în secolele IV-VI. fiind frecvent invocată mai ales în legătură cu procesul de romanizare a populaţiei din fostele teritorii dacice de la sudul şi de la nordul Dunării de Jos. între care se află în prezent un număr de 56 bazilici. intră în cotidian și își practică cu transparenţă ceremoniile și întreaga viaţă bisericească.. care prin dimensiuni. au dus la descoperirea unor importante edificii religioase creştine. iniţial în număr mai redus. cu referiri la problemele de planimetrie și la materialele de construcţie. începând din secolul al IV-lea p. foarte probabil ca o consecinţă directă a Edictului de la Mediolanum din anul 313 emis de împăraţii Constantin cel Mare și Licinius. calitatea materialelor de construcţie și rafinamentul componentelor ornamentale atestă o măreţie arhitecturală de necontestat. Abia din secolul al IV-lea p. creștinii părăsesc catacombele. precum şi de organizarea ecleziastică a provinciei din aceeaşi perioadă. Acum se organizează întreaga viaţă religioasă creștină și se înmulţesc în ritm alert bazilicile. care dau creștinismului în totalitate lui. bazată pe un catalog amplu al descoperirilor făcute până acum. o altă 9 . găsim în lucrare și aprecieri judicioase despre monumentalitatea bazilicilor. dar cei care au îmbrăţișat noua religie. au rămas pentru o vreme în ilegalitate și în subteran. într-o variantă apropiată prezentată anterior ca lucrare de disertaţie pentru promovarea doctoratului. în legătură cu care discută cu profesionalism o multitudine de probleme referitoare mai ales la arhitectura și funcţionaliatea lor. durată. mai ales bazilici. dar și creștinului de rând stabilitate. ce rivalizează uneori cu construcţiile similare fastuoase și impunătoare din chiar capitala imperiului.Chr. cunoscut în perioada romană sub numele de Scythia sau Scythia Minor. această provincie romană de la gurile Dunării cunoaște o efervescenţă a vieţii religioase creștine de excepţie. Tema luată în studiu de autor în această monografie.. Evanghelizarea populaţiilor din Scythia a început de timpuriu. Întrucât cercetările arheologice din ultima jumătate de veac din spaţiul dobrogean. prezintă în principal monumentele şi componentele acestora. Cronologia antichităţilor creștine din Scythia dobrogeană arată că. De asemenea. care îmbină echilibrat partea de analiză cu aceea de sinteză. Prima din ele. autorul se oprește și asupra unora din ideile şi concepţiile creştine ale Imperiul Bizantin şi a modului în care acestea se răsfrâng asupra edificiilor religioase din Scythia Minor. Ioan Iaţcu a elaborat o lucrare cuprinzătoare. prin care se acorda libertate deplină creștinilor. la elementele de plastică și decor sau la funcţionalitatea diverselor alte construcţii și amenajări. se impunea în chip evident şi realizarea unei noi lucrări monografice asupra subiectului.PREFAŢĂ consacră un întreg volum doar construcţiilor religioase creștine din Scythia dobrogeană.Chr. care să cuprindă pe cât posibil toate noutăţile survenite. probabil încă din a doua jumătate a secolului I p. într-un voluminos capitol premergător consideraţiilor finale.

o monografie de foarte bună calitate asupra bazilicilor din Scythia Minor. mi se par a fi o contribuţie reală și de mare utilitate la istoria creștinismului la români. ce va rămâne mult timp o lucrare de referinţă. Iată de ce eforturile depuse de Ioan Iaţcu pentru o asemenea investigaţie de lungă durată și în final pentru reușita lui. Ion Ioniţă 10 . Lucrarea împreună cu autorul ei merită din plin toată consideraţia noastră.PREFAŢĂ dimensiune și o altă percepţie credinţei creștine.

fact which favored not only the trading of goods but also the circulation of religious ideas. one of the first centers with Christian cores already in the period prior to the reign of Diocletian.ABSTRACT CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE PROVINCE SCYTHIA The 4th – 6th Centuries AD INTRODUCTION Systematic researches in the field of Christian archeology. Starting with 313. Syria. epigraphic). especially in the large fortresses on the sea limes and the Danubean one as well. Their activity covered the entire province. fact pointed out by narrative sources. and also the Extrema Scythiae Minoris at Halmyris. dominating the public edifices from the architectural point of view. north of the Mouths of Danube and of the Black Sea). identified on the basis of inscriptions and also according to archeological finds in the area of the Danubean frontier. Another category of missionaries were military personnel coming from the East. Mesopotamia and Egypt. completed by the study of written sources (literary. The obtained information demonstrated the existence of the commercial connections of the province with the faraway areas of the Empire. Most missionaries who preached in the province would normally be ascetical monks coming most often from Asia Minor. especially in the cities on the west-Pontic littoral. The area neighboring the Empire frontiers still under the control of Roman Emperors (Muntenia. The crystallization of religion in the 4th – 6th centuries AD is demonstrated by the numerous cult edifices discovered in most of the fortresses in Dobruja. and the regions located in partibus infidelium were outside the area of missionary activity. having apart religious tasks also political competences. Christian basilicas shall occupy an important place within the urban topography. The first Christian communities in Scythia Minor are certified at Tomis. The Church had the mission to intervene wherever the imperial diplomacy failed. the Church becomes a powerful institution within the Roman state. the main city and port of the province. south of Moldavia. archeological and iconographic pointed out the penetration of the new religion born on the banks of the Jordan already in the 1st – 2nd centuries AD also in the region of Dobruja. that is the in the 327 .

built during the 4th – 6th centuries AD. Milośevič. C. these latter ones being built just after the adoption of the “Church Peace” Researches undertaken during the last 25 years at Histria brought to light the ruins of a large 6th century basilica which proved to be the largest episcopal edifice of Scythia Minor and one of the most imposing religious buildings in the Balkan Peninsula. describing them as exhaustively as possible. The space contained between the Danube and the Black Sea has provided ever since the second half of the 19th century numerous paleo-Christian vestiges. Procopius of Caesarea. carefully observed and described by the historian of this epoch.). Huns. II. following the westPontic littoral and the Danubean limes. The paleo-Christian basilicas of the 5th – 6th centuries AD have been attested in very large numbers. the most prosperous city of the province. For the organization of the 4th chapter.Chr. led to an improvement of the situation regarding the stopping of the invasions through the creation of successive lines of fortifications and fortresses on the Danubean limes and also in the inner areas of the Empire. La basilique épiscopale. The general restoration of the Empire by Justinian (527-565 p. deviating towards the interior. Undertaking an itinerary throughout the region of Scythia. The present book provides a wide repertory of the basilicas in Dobruja and of those identified north the Danube. volumes and studies treating this topic.). Tomitan bishops undertook an ample missionary activity in the rural environment. but with considerable architectural achievements. M. Bâltâc. C. 328 . logbooks of archeological excavations and ancient sources have been used. RomeSplit.Abstract north-Danubean space. where its input has been necessary in pacifying barbarians. The process could not take place without a good organization of the Dobrujan Church. XIII. a politically disturbed period. Elements of interior architecture. Illustrations et conclusions. Suceveanu with the collaboration of architect G. I. L’architecture paleochrétienne de la province romaine de Dalmatie (IVe-VIIe s. Bounegru. we can notice an energetic architectural and artistic activity sustained by the civilian and ecclesiastic authorities in the cities restored by emperors Anastasius I and Justinian I. 1995. The late Roman urbanism of Scythia Minor was placed under the constructive aegis of emperors of Constantinople. 2007 and P. Ecclesiae Dalmatiae. Dima. Bordea and the participation of A. Duval. we used as models the following volumes: Histria. Martin. Active implications of the prelates in the capital in the theological debates held within the ecumenical councils increased the fame thereof as defenders of the “right faith”. The structure of the volume signed by N. O. and also among the new comers in the province (Goths. fact which allowed the remark that they operated in parallel to some older ones dated to the 4th century AD. Muşeţeanu and Gh. Chevalier. For the elaboration of this database. E.). Slavs etc. institution which had the see at Tomis. Bucharest. Iaţcu. P. where pagan traditions were still on going. Salona. which shall become a useful work instrument for future researches of paleo-Christian constructions in Scythia Minor. by Al. Metzger. The purpose of the present book is to research the Christian constructions discovered in Dobruja (Scythia Minor).

to draw the limits of the western and southern contours. I. During Constantine I (306-337 p. This chapter also contains a catalogue of the decorative art finds of the interior of paelo-Christian basilicas. 1994 also served as a veritable work instrument in the organization and elaboration of the 5th chapter. in our case the Danube and the Black Sea.2. Catalogue de la sculpture architecturale paléochrétienne de Salone. we focused only on altar tables. Thus. Therefore. the administrative division in dioceses and provinces made by Diocletian being maintained. in 2000. and on the wall decorations consisting in painted stucco. the river and the sea. undertaken during the period 2002-2007. while the eastern banks would belong to the province Scythia Minor. it corresponds to the moment of the foundation by Diocletian (284-305 AD) of the two legions which stationed on its territory. If the eastern. Thus. Elements of plastic art and ornamentation. R. I Iovia and II Herculia. the Empire was split into four prefectures: praefectura per Orientem. which was also the quarters of the military commandant. Rome-Split. throughout the 20th century. as they fully comply with the principle postulating that a frontier (limes) shall follow certain natural references. Pârvan. The safest interval when the administrative-territorial reforms on the lower Danube took place is 21 July 286 AD – 1 March 293 AD. Diocese Thracia consisted of six provinces. small columns). praefectura per 329 . V. cancelli balustrades (plates. among which Scythia Minor. Vulpe.).1. A province would be ruled by a military commandant (dux). as well as those of the governor or praeses.Chr. Mention should be made from the start that in researching ornamental elements. Diocletian created 12 new territorial-administrative units through the grouping of circumscriptions in large provinces. I. I. These were the subject of wide field researches consisting in archeological excavations and researches in the stores of the archeological site of Histria. the Bulgar archeologist S. Thus. Torbatov launched the hypothesis that the western banks of lake Oltina and of river Suha Reka belong to the province Moesia Secunda. Administrative organization Regarding the genesis of the Roman province Scythia Minor. we focused on elements of the interior ornamentation of the basilicas of Scythia Minor which have not been researched so far. Torbatov tried. the southern limit raised a series of debates.Abstract Salona. GEOGRAPHIC SITUATION AND ADMINISTRATIVE ORGANIZATION OF PROVINCE SCYTHIA IN THE 4TH – 6TH CENTURIES AD I. northern and northwestern frontiers of the province between the Danube and the Black Sea allow for an easy reconstruction. in charge of civilian matters. The capital was Tomis. Geographic context The Roman province which is the object of this study is Scythia Minor. S. dioceses (diocesseos).

being created for the consolidation of the Danubean limes. province Caria in Asia Minor and island Cypress are added. Istros. During the 6th century AD. Callatis. more precisely the one of the city of Akrai which is specified only by Hierocles. Tropaeum. after Tomis. Thus. Constantiana. there follow Anaxiupolis (Axiopolis). Axiopolis. Kapidavan (Capidava). In 536 AD. Troesmis. Italiae et Africae and praefectura Galliarum. became part of the prefecture Oriens.) detaches provinces Scythia Minor and Moesia Secunda from the diocese Thracia and places them under the ruling of a questor Iustinianus exercitus with the quarters in Varna. This questor would rule over a territory whose extent seems to be very strange. Instead Salsovia is specified. Konstantiana.Chr. Therefore. Istrion (Istria). Dionysoupalis (Dionysopolis). the diocese Thracia including the following provinces: Europa. Noviodunum. The diocese Thracia. which included the province Scythia Minor. complying with the civiladministrative structure: Tomis. Hirocles’ “Traveling guide” (Synecdemos) mentions 15 cities. This administrative structure had a military character. Haemimontus. Tropaion (Tropaeum Traiani). Carsium. 330 . Desos (Aegyssos?). of the Synecdemos. Aegissos and Halmyris. the metropolitan and archiepiscopal autocephalous see. Troesmis?). Zeldipa (Zaldapa). Thracia. there are mentioned the episcopal centers of Scythia Minor. in the Balkan Peninsula. Between Synecdemos and the ecclesiastic list there appears only one difference. Bipainon (Beroe?. but not listed among the episcopal sees by De Boor. In Notitia Episcopatuum of De Boor. Troesmis?). L(I)bida?. Dionysopolis. it could not necessarily correspond by all means to the civil-administrative one. the enumeration order in Notitia Episcopatuum be hierarchically ecclesiastic. Capidava. only two dioceses are present: Thracia and Illyricum. Konpros (Carsium?. Salsobia (Salsovia).Abstract Illyricum. Halmyrion (Halmyris). as Ciclade islands. Nikomedos (Noviodunum?). Moesia Secunda and Scythia. Zeldepa. Akrai. Justinian I (527-565 p. Kalatos (Callatis). The association with the richest provinces aimed at providing the means necessary for maintaining the troops on the Danube by assuring the necessary food (annona): wine and olive oil. Rhodope.

being adapted to the Christians’ reunions and conventionally known under the name of domus ecclesiae. This “Scythian exception” is also confirmed by the constitution of Zenon of 480 AD. III. fact confirmed by Sozomenus. in the context of the confrontation between the Arian Emperor Valens and bishop Bretanio. “And until today there reigns the old habit that the churches of the entire people should have only one bishop”. Thus. The basilica of Callatis 331 .Abstract II. as resulting from the mentioning of the Halmyris martyrs’ passion. Most religious edifices (2/3) of Scythia Minor are basilicas of the Hellenistic or Aegean type. in which it was specified that in spite of the rule according to which each fortress was to have its own bishop. of the year 290 AD. one for each nave. They were discovered at L(I)bida and Histria (the extra muros basilica – the first phase). Among these. churches of Scythia had to continue obeying to the bishop of Tomis. the bishop of Tomis had the rank of archbishop. being characterized by the presence of the three naves and of the eastwards apse. From the functional point of view. PLANIMETRY AND CHRONOLOGY III. as well as through the existence of episcopal palaces. Two basilicas discovered in Roman Dobruja have three eastwards apses. a distinction can be made between the cemetery basilicas (basilicae martyrum) and the parish ones (basilicae ecclesiae). Less than a third are one nave-constructions. usually overlapping a crypt or a martyr’s tomb. Tomis had become the autocephalous archiepiscopal see subordinated to the patriarchy of Constantinople. Callatis. Newer theories have assigned to Tomis the statute of autocephalous archbishopric. cemetery basilicas (coemeterialis) are the oldest.1. ECCLESIASTIC ORGANIZATION OF THE PROVINCE IN THE 5TH – 6TH CENTURIES AD In the 4th – 5th centuries AD. The edifice orientation was eastwards. Histria. Basilicas and crypts The first cult places had a private character. Throughout the territory of the province Scythia Minor at the end of the 3rd century AD there were already certain cult rooms (habitacula). CHRISTIAN BASILICAS. Notitia Episcopatuum attests the ascension of Tomis to the rank of metropolitanate. According to certain opinions. while 14 other cities in the Dobrujan space become episcopal centers. Chronologically. Scythia Minor had a special situation. Tropaeum Traiani are remarked through the large number of religious edifices. The only identified edifices with a transept are those of Tropaeum Traiani (the basilica with transept) and Histria (the large episcopal basilica). The basilicas discovered in Scythia Minor are topographically grouped in two categories: extra moenia (extra muros) and intra moenia (intra muros). usually stipulated by the Apostles’ Constitutions and having its origin in the Judaic traditions. starting with the reign of Justinian. during the second half of the 4th century AD.

From the rural environment mentiona should be made of the monastic compound of Slava Rusă. The last Bulgarian excavations of Golesh (Sanctus Cyrillus ?) have pointed out a martyrium-arcossolium. even if they do not have a correspondence in the centuries we focus on. Scythan basilicas represented models for the cave churches. The basilicas of Niculiţel and Teliţa-“Amza” became rural communities. and then with Niculiţel. a Christian basilica with cupola (“edifice C”). a basilica with miniature crypt (loculus). the whole culminating with the large episcopal basilica overlapping a 4th century AD church (the basilica “C”). composed of four villae of the domus type. Dinogeţia. an edifice of the basilica type located in the fortress square. where four basilicas were identified. where exhaustive excavations brought to light an extra muros basilica. a basilica located in the southeastern corner of the fortress. symbol of the material limit and moral symbol of the monastery. We integrated the ancient ones and the current ones in the same order. we notice the churches of Dumbrăveni. Dionysopolis. Carsium. and at Ovidiu. they were veritable replicas of the urban masonry constructions.2. There follow Axiopolis. where a basilica with an architecturally and plastically spectacular crypt was discovered. “Asar Evleri”). III.Abstract and the smallest of the three basilicas of Troesmis are influenced by the Syrian type. where a religious edifice with three apses was identified. as well as the church of Caliacra. where the archeological researches revealed two basilicas. an episcopal basilica and four other basilicas which were identified during the last decades. being erected– in the first case – . Complying with the planimetry of the simple basilica type. Attalos. Beroe. where a basilica with a crypt would host the bodies of martyrs Zotikos. Kamasis and Philippos. a partially identified church. The enumeration of basilicas continues with (L)Ibida. Callatis. whose continuity can be establishing until the 8th – 9th centuries AD. and which was meant to host the bodies of Martyrs Epictetus and Astion. The Repertorium opens with Argamum. all of them being surrounded by a boundary wall. At Noviodunum there was identified a 5th – 6th century AD basilica. Bizone. with an alt-relief representing Virgin 332 . Repertory of Christian basilicas in the province Scythia The presentation of basilicas within the repertory was done according to the alphabetic order of the localities. on the domain of land owners who had the statute of euergetes (εὐεργῄται). out of which the edifice with private chapel stands out. a basilica with apse to which a pentagonal wall was added. The episcopal basilica is situated within an epicopium. a basilica with crypt. with one cemetery basilica with crypt. Kosmas and Damianos. an edifice of the basilica type located at 4 km north frm Balcic and a basilica situated on the acropolis of the fortress. Sandakla Maara. one of which was an episcopal one. Capidava. those on the valley of River Suha Reka (“Giaur Evleri”. consisting in two basilicas and a chapel. The register of Scythan basilicas continues with the episcopal center of Halmyris. a basilica dedicated to Sts. It continues with Histria. Thus.

It continues with Tropaeum Traiani. there is the “small basilica”. both inside the province. while numerous marble elements ornamented the interior of the edifice. at Topola (Bulgaria). One of the best researched Christian edifices is the large basilica with cross-shaped crypt. as well as a basilica. The repertory continues with the presentation of basilicas of Troesmis. The assignment of a Christian character of the basilica of Teliţa “Amza” is questioned. The paleo-Christian monastic compound of Slava Rusă is followed by another one of Tuzla. Regarding the religious edifices of the fortress Ulmetum. a basilica with pulpit inside was discovered. Pârvan according to whom the “construction with an apse”. where the “simple” basilica with a crypt with semi cylindrical vault was discovered. where ancient Stratonis Turris is supposed to have been situated. The enumeration of the basilicas of Tropaeum ends with the two edifices outside the fortress. The basilica “with transept” containing a crypt with niches is followed by the “cistern” basilica built above the foundations of an old Roman water cistern. the extra muros basilica and the coemeterialis basilica. 333 . our list includes the 5th – 6th century AD basilica which has been researched during the last year and which consolidates the theory of V. Near them. then with the basilica on Revoluţiei str. with a pulpit inside was identified. and along the limes (the religious compound of Ovidiu. the fortified monastery of Halmyrissos described in Vita Sancti Hypatii). 1 of the port. where two Christian basilicas were identified.. It contained a crypt within which a glass reliquary was discovered. The basilicas southwest of the Palace hotel and on the NE shore of the peninsula. The repertory ends with the fortress Zaldapa. A mosaic pavement also ornamented its chancels. is a military edifice (praetorium). Both constructions seem to have been connected by the existence of monastic compounds with precinct walls. where older excavations brought to light three Christian edifices. The corpus of basilicas continues with the basilica of Gate no. as well as the construction with Christian character with a mosaic pavement end the series of religious constructions of the Tomis “urbs magna et opulenta”. The largest density of Christian edifices of the basilica type is found in Tomis. The church in the yard of M. located in the western area of ancient Tomis. out of which basilica 1.Abstract Mary flanked by two archangels. The “marble” basilica with baptisterium and episcopium had the statute of city cathedral. On the Black Sea coast. considered till not so long the Christian church. Eminescu high-school is remarked through its crypt with three loculi and interior painting. although certain elements of planimetry show similarities with those of a Christian edifice. Therefore we can speak of a density of Christian basilicas in the province Scythia. the capital of the province Scythia. the total number of such edifices included in our repertory being of 56.

It was meant for the believers. The atrium This architectural element is a space with or without a portico. The episcopal basilica of Histria and the Tshaped basilica of Tropaeum Traiani have a prominent Greek transept. The Narthex was taken over from the Judaic architecture. as well as the penitents. The transept This architectural element fulfilled a functional role – the one of creating an additional space around the chancel.5. a larger one corresponding to the central nave. 334 . Eminescu High-school – marble banister). The narthex It was reserved to the catechumens. but especially in the 6th century AD. IV. catechumens and penitents. The apse (exedra) Relating to the body of the edifices. Topola (the limestone basin of a pulpit). and the other two. and with the exterior ones. for answering the requirements resulting from the development of the martyrs’ cult. they had a circular shape both inside and outside. VI. Throughout the territory of Scythia Minor. It contains the space reserved to the different at categories of people attending the religious ceremony – naves and tribunes. the architectural and decorative element identified at Histria (episcopal basilica– the traces of a pulpit with double stairway). belonging to the side naves. IV. smaller.3. 2. Zaldapa (bazilica 1 – double stairway pulpit). as well as the place meant for the officiants– the sanctuary and the apse. Tropaeum Traiani (the “marble” basilica – octagonal marble pedestal). It has been definitively imposed in the religious architecture. quadriporticus (Tropaeum Traiani – the “simple” basilica). ELEMENTS OF INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE IV. triporticus (Tropaeum Traiani – the “marble” basilica with a transept. In the central nave there was the pulpit (ambo). which precedes the entrance into the basilica.2. The basilica of (L)Ibida is the most representative three apse-edifice of the province Scythia. Towards the end of the 5th century AD.4.1. there were identified two types of atriums: 1. It is an original creation of architects during the reign of Constantine I. category which was to receive the baptism. The Naos This place was meant to the believers. Histria – the episcopal basilica). together with the reign of Justinian.Abstract IV. polygonal apse appear in the Christian architecture of Scythia Minor. the narthex has been referred to as “le carrefour de tout l’édifice”. VI. Tomis – the church crypt in the yard of M. Making the connection with the interior compartments.

6. as well as the relics of local saints. This situation is reflected in the planimetry of the three apse .). marble imitation etc. pilasters). The bema In the middle of the space closed by a banister (cancelli) there is the chancel. IV. The bema with the cancelli plates mounted in the pilasters is taken over in the Judaic architecture. The archeological researches pointed out the existence of the synthronos of Histria (the extra muros basilica. geometric elements. which we know through direct researches.Abstract IV. 335 . IV. and in the field of the mural painting of the epoch of late Antiquity. vaults. The sacristy reserved to the clergy – diaconicon.8.basilica of (L)Ibida. 2. the synthronos and the crypt.7. the “delimitation of the sanctuary”. The pastophoria come to be used as prothesis and diaconicon following the introduction in the liturgy of the Cherubicon hymn and of the Great Entrance Hymn. They were meant for hosting the tombs of privileged personages. Storage and preparation of the gifts brought to the church – prothesis. but most of the time a neuter expression is used. 14 crypts were discovered. the basilica in the southeast corner of the fortress. garlands. IV. The presbyterium was composed of the following elements: the chancel. Histria (the extra muros basilica). as well as special decorative elements (flowers. fulfilled various roles: 1. if the transept basilica of Tropaeum Traiani. Archeological excavations undertaken in the basilica of Halmyris. the private chapel of Domus 3). These rooms appear in the first half of the 4th century AD. which show inside architectural elements (stairways. This space is also known under the name of presbyterium. brings new completions both in the field of paleoChristian architecture. as well as in the large episcopal basilica of Histria.9. such as those of Axiopolis. Argamum (basilica III). These spaces. reserved to the clergy and the religious ceremonies. We also included a marble reliquarium discovered at Dionysopolis in this subchapter. The pastophoria (diaconicon and prothesis) In the eastern extension of the side naves there are two rooms flanking the apse. Adjacent funeral buildings (memoriae) These constructions contain one room ending with an apse. hypogeum. the cathedra. On the territory of the province Scythia. Argamum (the main basilica) and Tropaeum Traiani (the basilica with “transept”). niches. generically named pastophoria. The crypt (crypta) To designate the crypt. martyrium (μαρτούρλιον) were used. in the ancient literary sources terms such as confessio.

ELEMENTS OF PLASTIC ART AND ORNAMENTATION V. Domus 1 served as inn and workshop . The four living edifices (D1. IV. with a chapel. The bishop’s residence (episcopium) Researches on these episcopal palaces have increased visibility during the last years. where.10. This is the most complex episcopium discovered in Scythia Minor. Domus 3. the baptisteries could be situated both to the north.store. the baptistery could also be the place where some deviations from the church norms would be judged.1. like in the case of Callatis. the ornamental motifs as well as a series of aspects pertaining to the analogies with the closer or further spaces. one can remark the “marble” basilica of Tropaeum Traiani.Abstract IV. as well as the poly-lobed basin discovered at Axiopolis. The columns which framed the cancelli plates sustained in the upper part an architrave (pergula). we find a combination between the church and the Roman residential building. narthex or near the annexes. In the architectural landscape of the Dobrujan ecclesiastic centers. This chapter attempted to valorize a partly unpublished archeological material consisting in marble fragments from cancelli plates which protected the chancel of the large episcopal basilica of Histria. In this direction. while Domus 4 was the place where administrative activities would be carried out. so that in the end variants of restitution could be provided. especially through the assembling of all pieces of archeological information registered during the archeological excavations in the sector Domus of the fortress Histria. D2. Thus. The working methodology consisted in the analysis. with its three-lobe plan baptistry. and the south. were also identified.11. in whose adjacent structures two basins. near the apse l. probably. Domus 2 was reserved to economic activities. The typological ordering of the architectural items resulting from the large episcopal basilica of Histria generated a series of complex problems regarding the marble origin. the 1:1 drawing of the items. V. with a baptismal role. Cancelli (κάγκελλοι) plates The cancelli plates separated the space of the sanctuary from the one of the basilica itself. we should also add the basilica II of Argamum. To these. D. The cancelli of the paleo-Christian epoch are grouped into full plates (plutei) and fretwork plates (transenne). The baptistery (βαπτιστήριον) In relation to the body of the basilica. had the function of bishop’s house. D4) were situated in a quadrilateral space. Literary sources. models of such decorative elements were created for the basilicas of Philippi. even if they provide contradictory information regarding their location. located southeast of the large episcopal basilica. atrium. describe multiple roles plaid by these adjacent rooms of the basilica. 336 .

Most of the items were made of marble. It was possible to recreate several panels painted in the a fresco technique. they were used for the deposition of the offerings. and allow the reconstruction of the parapet elevation based on the preserved architectural and decorative elements. Tomis). as well of others with floral (fleurons) and geometric (circles. were also used.5. Thus. V. Only few basilicas still 337 . leaves and ivy spindles. Callatis. Delos etc. V. especially the mosaics in the baptistery of the cathedral of Ravenna as well as the textiles of Copt origin which provided in the 5th – 6th centuries AD a source of inspiration for the variety of geometric and floral motifs. Another very expensive mineral used in maitning the basilica of Beroe – that is on the Danubean limes – is the jarosite. for the prothesis rite. V. At the same time. Capitals with or without fragments of small columns The series of Histrian capitals with stylized achantus leaves end the series of items resulting from the banister of the episcopal basilica.2. For Scythia Minor iconographic analogies are limited to the painting ensembles in the private crypts of Tomis and Axiopolis and the crypts of pale-Christian basilicas (Beroe. the existence of full plates. rendered in the stucco technique. was coming from Laurion (Greece) or the Sahara desert. These were included together with such elements discovered at Tomis. Axiopolis.3. being framed in the category of poly-lobed tables.4. fact pointed out in the advanced models. the Egyptian blue. This mineral used at obtaining the ocher.Abstract Salona. for the cult of the deceased etc. Regarding the pigments mention should be made of two mineral ones (reddish ochre and earth green) and an artificial compound. Pergula pilasters and small column-shaped pillars It seems the banister of the large episcopal basilica of Histria consisted in marble plates framed by small column-shaped pillars flanked in the upper part by an architrave. Fragments of rendering painted with Egyptian blue are proofs of the usage of this pigment also in the 6th – 7th centuries AD. Altar tables (Mensa sacra) Generically designated as “paleo-Christian” tables. ending in the upper part with friezes in relief representing flowers. Halmyris. Tropaeum Traiani. for the communion of the believers. as it is the case at the episcopal basilica and the private chapel of the sector Domus 3 of Histria. iconographic sources. rhombs) in the openwork technique was identified. The painted rendering and stucco of the episcopal basilica of Histria Two main categories can be distinguished: the painted rendering and stucco of the southern nave and transept and the painted stucco of the same southern compartments of the basilica. It has been considered until recently that the recipe for the preparation of this pigment was lost during the final period of Antiquity. V.brown pigment.

354-357. mosaic and precious marble. p. and also with concave are prevalent. which Constantine. V. Implementation of Constantine’s architectural program in Scythia Minor During Constantine. The glass storage in the adjacent structure of the episcopal basilica of Histria Typologically. VI. created a very strong impression on believers who were in the episcopal basilica of Histria fortress. ornamented with gold. and new basilicas are built. the candelas with tubular base (glass for polycandela). with rounded base. prayer houses are restituted to the Christians. “with regards to the number and weight of the candlesticks (ceriofalis) or of the chandeliers (cincidelis). the basilica of Dinogeţia).6. Lighting items. ending with an apse.1. and in the first existence phase. and the resulting materials are used for building basilicas on top of their ruins. torchères (lucernis) or of the various cult objects (diverso ministerio). Dated to this period. 66 candelas belonging to the chalice-shaped type with small hanging ear were also identified. 338 . Thus. Architecturally. Such impressions were put down in the second half of the 4th century AD. The basilica of Topola was probably built on top of a Thracian . The effects caused by the plastic elements (painted and sculptural ornaments).Roman sanctuary.Abstract showed inside vague traces of painting (the basilica with a crypt of Histria. through the case and presence of his mother. From the category of hemispherical bowls with unfinished rim mention should be made of the simple and of the eared bowls. from throughout the richness of his empire”1. probably a temple. Bell-shaped candelas as well as bowls with outer-turned rims. Pagan temples are demolished. as well as by the lighting system. in Dobruja we notice the 1 Vornicescu 1990. by pilgrim Egeria. the “marble” basilica was built on top of the ruins of a monumental edifice. one high neck bottle and a small one were also identified. the “cistern” basilica uses the substructions of a pagan temple. reaching “heights never reached before and with more greatness than they had before being destroyed”. sensitive to what she had seen when attending the religious ceremonies discovered in the basilica Anastasis of Jerusalem: “inside the church there shine … countless torchères (infinita luminaria lucent)” “and everywhere there hang (pendent) huge glass candelas (candelae vitreae) and there are numerous candles”. THE RELIGIOUS BYZANTINE PROGRAM AND ITS CONSEQUENCES ON THE BASILICAS IN SCYTHIA VI. at Tropaeum Traiani. how could one ever count or describe them?” “And one should one say on the shining of the edifice itself (de ornatu fabricae ipsius). in Scythia the basilica – type is adopted: rectangular plan split in three naves by two rows of columns.

the adjacent structures. architraves) refer to bishops. as well as an aspect of the imperial religious ideology of late Antiquity transferred to the provinces of the Empire– the extirpation of paganism. or in other fortresses and which had an impact on the Scythan community. epigraphic information etc. by correlating archeological information with literary ones: ecclesiastic writings. Even if the few inscriptions on architectural elements (capitals. Tropaeum Traiani. is identified in the planimetry and ornamentation of the basilicas on the considered territory. Histria. Novela 67 issued by the emperor in 538 AD – regarding the lighting system in the Christian basilicas –. as in ornamenting it an impressive quantity of marble from Thasos Island was used. Callatis. the adored and righteously honored Cross and thus the good and due foundation is also laid”. would recommend the creation of special funds for assuring a church’s lighting system.2. the narthex. (L)Ibida were for sure initiated by bishops.8 cm). As a complement to the set of decorative elements mention should be made of the set of glass candelas. The ample religious programs undertaken at Tomis. in promoting a wide and detailed decorative program. which stipulated it was not possible to build them without “the God lover bishop of those places. The religious and architectural program of Emperors Anastasius I and Justinian I The imperial ideology (both the one characterizing the reign of Constantine. law corpuses. To ornament the interior of the Christian basilcias with marble elements 339 . in compliance with the Church ideology.8 – 32 cm. We could follow the phases in their construction from laying the foundation to the effect the religious compound would have on the believers. During the period of Justinian I. This aspect also confirms the compliance with the legal norms imposed by Justinian I. the foundation of the church of Saints Kosmas and Damian of Bizone probably represented a model in terms of gratitude to God and the two thaumaturge saints for the emperor’s healing. by setting there the sign of our salvation. the episcopium. manifested by the Church of the province Scythia Minor. For instance. the presbyterium. The decorative program of this basilica is included in the spirit of the epoch. During the reign of Justinian I the construction of churches or monasteries was regulated by the laws (Novelae) 5 of 535 AD and 133 of 539 AD. VI. The proportions of the Christian basilica of the 6th century AD Dobruja are found in the episcopal basilica of Histria (30. the three-nave naos. which shall raise the arms towards the sky and through a blessing shall consecrate the place to God. undoubtedly the highest hierarch of the fortress was acting in his capacity of euergetes. and the one of Justinian). the architectural module which becomes generalized is the Byzantine foot: 30. Probably the erection of a religious construction would imitate an imperial gesture which occurred either in Constantinople. which was discovered in one of the northern adjacent structures of the episcopal basilica.Abstract presence of elements of planimetry which compose the basilicas: the atrium with the phiale.

in our view. Tropaeum Traiani (the “marble” basilica).Abstract (shafts. indicates that the imperial ideology characterizing the reign of Justinian had reached its goal. 1) – confirm the almightiness of Christian faith of Neceeano-Chalcedonian type. an etalon in analysis of these links can be. Callatis – were connected to the marble trade of the 5th century AD. for the variation of materials and of decorative elements. includes this north-Pontic center in the area of propagation of the creations of the Constantinople schools. The presence of marble capitals with ram heads connect it directly to the “Syrian” basilica of Callatis. Architectural elements of white marble or other lithic materials of different colors were associated with the ecclesiastic edifices. among which a capital with ram protomas is worth pointing out. the bishops would elaborate requests to the imperial court for purchasing the architectural elements from imperial quarries. cancelli plates). Callatis (the “Syriain” basilica). White marble becomes a symbol of the Emperor’s and implicitly of the Church’s power. the large religious edifices in the cities of the province Scythia having a grandiose architecture and splendid interior ornamentations – (Tomis – the large basilica). The discovery of an impressive amount of marble in the context of the excavations undertaken at the episcopal basilica of Histria represents an argument for reopening the discussions as for the continuity of the harbor activity also in the period of the late Antiquity. pulpits. The presence of an impressive number of Christian edifices among which the basilica Uvarov is worth pointing out. One can notice a special interest for the aesthetic of colors. at Histria (the episcopal basilica) and Tomis (the large basilica). The importance of the imperial patronage in erecting sumptuous constructions was thus demonstrated. The west-Pontic littoral represented an axis in this sea transportation of marble. the city of Chersones. the usage of white marble in ornamenting basilicas of the province Scythia proves this province was integrated into an “eastern cultural circle of Pontic-Aegean origin”. The existence in the basilica of Uvarov of the cancelli plates in the openwork technique. Thus. Histria (the episcopal basilica and palace). One of the defining elements of this religious ideology was art. Zaldapa (basilica no. Histria. The construction program encouraged by the Emperor embraced a new form of ornamenting the basilicas: polychromy. The centers on the littoral of the Black Sea – Tomis. (L)Ibida (the basilica in the fortress). The planimetry of this basilica thus finds good similitudes with the “marble” basilica of Tropaeum Traiani. 340 . Therefore. The dissemination of these decorative elements – veritable marble embroideries – also within the space of the province Scythia. capitals.[᾽Іουστινιανοῦ] τοῦ φιλωκτίστου. It was probably in such a context that Justinian I was referred to – in an inscription on an architrave discovered at Callatis – “the construction lover” . represents a reference point. such as Proconnesus of Propontida. the excavations of the 1920s. but especially during the reign of Justinian I. In this episcopal center. pointed out an impressive number of decorative marble elements. strongly sustained financially by the imperial authorities of the epoch.

We can in fact notice also certain tendencies of distancing from the Greek Roman 341 . The missionary activity within the territory was entrusted to the rural bishops and priests.Abstract FINAL CONSIDERATIONS During the 4th – 5th centuries AD. The Emperor erects colossal constructions (palaces. through the creation of the cupola. bursars. high rank priests in these fortresses intervened in the political and diplomatic problems. where the Christian basilicas were located. Practically. and especially under the influence of Christianity. It is then that the basis of a new type of architectural solution was being found. It was during this interval that Scythia Minor enjoyed a maximal cultural prosperity which was under the sign of the economic success. During the reign of Justinian. For the 5th – 6th centuries. All the urbanism-related modifications are decided in the capital city of the Empire. and also the episcopal quarters (episkopia). „φιλοκτίστης”. mediating certain negotiations between the migrators and Constantinople. the Roman-Byzantine Emperors shall be assigned numerous designations: „φιλάνθρωπος βαςιλύς”. Anthemios of Tralles). lecturers. fact certified by the repairing undertaken under the aegis of such emperors. Constantine I and Theodosius I). following the model of previous sovereigns (Diocletian. hypodeacons. and also by the migrators. which shall later be rediscovered and amplified during the Renaissance. „φιλοχρίστου” etc. The period is characterized through a rich architectural and artistic activity. such as: presbyters. in the areas inhabited by the autochthonous. the religious situation of the province Scythia was a special one. Cities are ornamented with numerous grandiose edifices. among which mention should be made of the thermae and Christian basilicas. Apart from the fact that the region was facing numerous Barbarian invasions. villae) for himself. The reigns of Emperors Anastasius and Justinian represented for Scythia a phase in the urbanism reconstruction. John of Ephesus – are erected under the coordination of great architects (Isidorus of Milet. The increase of the number of bishops on the Danubean limes at the end of the 5th century and at the beginning of the following century must be connected to the missionary activity which the hierarchs had to fulfill beyond the river. In the 4th – 6th centuries AD. splendid architectural works– such as St. which held an important place in terms of inter-confessional relations. other degrees within the church hierarchy have also been attested. one can talk for the entire period of a maecenate of the Constantinople emperors and of the Church leaders. thus being elaborated canons for architecture. as specified by Emperor Zenon’s Constitution. the center of the Dobrujan spiritual life was the city. sculpture and painting. The period of the 4th – 6th centuries AD is considered the “epoch of the paleo-Christian basilica”. whose fame shall last throughout centuries. Within the latter category. St. sustained by the State and the Church. Sofia of Constantinople. the oldest priest name known in Scythia is Bonosus. For sure. the special statute known also as “the Scythan exception” continued in fact a tradition introduced already in the 2nd century. Due to the special care for the Christian constructions. who carried out his mission in the fortress of Halmyris.

among which only three have a probably Christian character. Slăveni (Olt co. a territory where there Christian basilicas were identified – at Izvoarele (Mehedinţi co. which synthetized the architectural influences which had penetrated in the area. an important place being the one of the west-Pontic cities (Tomis. especially Syria and Egypt. The church was the only one which could really sustain a wide architectural program.). Sometimes. in this territory continuously attacked by various peoples. developed fully throughout the territory of Scythia Minor. reflecting the design of an architecturally unitary compound. Histria – the place where systematic researches allowed the determination. being in charge of the coordination of the matters of religious affairs and also of the politicoadministrative ones. Miletus). the altar table and capitals .). having certain elements similar thereto: the pentagonal apse on the outside. through the accession to the rank of bishopric of 14 fortresses 342 . The existence of an episcopal see (episkopion) in the neighborhood suggest that Histria was one of the most important religious sites of the west-Pontic space. All these links were done by sea. the existence of a crypt. The influence of Constantinople and of other Byzantine centers in Asia Minor or the basin of the Aegean Sea (Ephesus. Archeological excavations led to the identifications of 53 Christian basilicas. of the evolution of Chrisitan basilicas starting already with the 4th century AD– represents the clearest example of the different influences and manifestations pertaining to the field of paleo-Christian architecture. bishops serve as substitutes to the military commander of a fortress. Philippi) or in Dacia Mediteranea (Iustiniana Prima). legal and administrative authority.Abstract classicism. but in spite of this situation architects continue to find their inspiration in the traditional elements and countless monuments of the pagan epoch. Christian architectural elements also penetrated north the Danube. The political stability registered on the Lower Danube during the period of Anastasius – Justinian was an element of consolidation of the Tomitan metropolitanate. and certain cities in the south of Dobruja. providing them with an own character. The chapel of Domus is a miniature transposition of the episcopal basilica. particularly sustained by the Byzantine imperial legislation. the very large number of ecclesiastic edifices and of episcopal sees (episkopia) becomes the unchallenged symbol of the bishop’s spiritual. In Scythia Minor. There were also created direct links on land routes between the main centers in the north of continental Greece (Tessalonike. also characterized by its dimensions (58 m of length and 28 m of width). being one of the most magnificent constructions of this type in the northern part of the Balkan Peninsula.) and Sucidava (Olt co.impost. and also of further regions. Among all cities of the province Scythia. organizing the defense of the fortifications in parallel to the missionary activity in the barbaricum. The large episcopal basilica in the center of the late Roman city imposes through its monumentality. such as Tropaeum Traiani and Zaldapa. In the frontier provinces of the Empire one can notice an increase of the role of the episcopal institution. based on stratigraphy. Histria and Callatis). Bishops and priests were the most important personages within the urban communities.

Therefore. grouped within an extremely narrow space. the Byzantine policy in Scythia Minor and on the Lower Danube was one prevalently Christian.Abstract located both inside the province. Throughout its existence the province Scythia Minor and its inhabitants enjoyed a special attention from the Empire. being also a bastion of Christianity. thanks to a very high density of Christian edifices. due to its strategic importance within the general security of the Empire. and on the two limes: Danubean and Pontic. 343 .