Sucidava fortress Archaeological site

Sucidava is the complex late Roman fortification dating from the 2nd to the 6th century AD, which had a strategic, economic and commercial importance on the Danube River. Sucidava is positioned few kilometers west of Corabia, opposite to the Roman colony of Oescus (Gigen, present Bulgaria). Before the Roman conquest, Sucidava fort 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.

“Sucidava – Corabia became a major entry-way into Dacia with a customs house and a military outpost garrisoned by soldiers of Legio V Macedonica. It was also an important agricultural center surrounded by wheat fields and vineyards. Local industries included a brickyard, pottery shops and lead works. Sucidava was overrun by Huns in A.D. 447 and rebuilt by Justinian in the early 6th century. It was finally abandoned a hundred years later”. Source

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 River 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 at the beginning of the 3rd century 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.

Among the inscribed jewellery discovered in Roman Dacia count also the rings decorated with the phrase VTERE FELIX, most identified in military or army related contexts, at Resculum – Bologa, Potaissa – Turda and Aquae – Cioroiu Nou to which add two examples found in burial contexts at Sucidava and Dierna – Orşov. Ana-Cristina Hamat, Muzeul Banatului Montan, Reşiţa.