Sucidava fort Archaeological site

Sucidava is the complex late Roman fort dating from the 2nd to the 6th century AD, which had a strategic, economic and commercial importance and was situated opposite the Roman colony of Oescus (Gigen, Bulgaria). Before the Roman conquest, Sucidava was an important political and administrative center of the Daina tribe of Suci. The late Roman fort of Sucidava was built in the reign of Emperor Gallienus and was in use between the 3th and the 6th century AD.

After 275 AD Sucidava was a permanent military fortification, where parts of units from the V legion Macedonica were in garrison. After 324 AD the headquarter (praefectura) of the legion V Macedonica was established here. Inside the fort a large building with heating system and a paleo-Christian basilica dating from the 6th century AD was discovered. Near the fort there are remains of the 2400 m long bridge, which was built over the Danube in the period of the Emperor Constantine and inaugurated in 328 AD. The late Roman fort was included in the province of Dacia Ripensis as the most northern bastion of the new Late Roman province.

Systematic excavations from 1936 to 1964 at the site of Sucidava (Sykibida Procopius), situated 3 km west of modern Corabia on the north bank of the Danube, have brought to light the remains of a fortified civilian settlement of 25 ha and, at a distance of only 100 m to the south-east, the remains of a separate citadel measuring about 2 ha. There is also a secret underground fountain which flows under the walls of the town to a water spring situated outside. The civilian settlement evolved on the site of a Roman garrison at the end of the 2nd century, or the beginning of the 3rd century A.D., while the citadel was built by Constantine the Great (324-337); a stone bridge connecting the citadel with Palatiolon (ancient Oescus), on the other side of the Danube, was constructed simultaneously. The coins found at Sucidava site show an uninterrupted series from Aurelian (270-275) to Theodosios II (408-450). In the mid-5th century the Sucidava site suffered from attacks by the Huns, but was again restored, probably under Emperor Justin I or by Emperor Justinian l (527-565). On the basis of the numismatic profile, the Byzantine garrison seems to have departed from Sucidava around A.D. 600.

 

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