WIT Press

Roman Defence Sites On The Danube River And Environmental Changes


Free (open access)





Page Range

563 - 577




4,265 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


D. Constantinescu


There are many things to learn from the past regarding ancient settlements, the ancient organization of cities, the structures of the buildings and concerning the everyday life of our ancestors. There are numerous sites along the Danube River which were once included in the economic and defensive system of the Roman Empire. Many of them are not well known today or studies are in their very early stages. Sucidava is an example of a Daco-Roman historical defence site, situated on the north bank of the Danube. The ancient heritage site covers more than two hectares; comprising the Roman-Byzantine basilica of the 4th century, the oldest place of worship north of the Danube, the building containing the hypocaust dates from the late 6th century AD, Constantine the Great portal bridge, to span the Danube river, the gates linking the bridge and city, a Roman fountain dating from the 2nd century AD. This entire defensive and communication system stands as a testimony to the complexity of an historical conception. However, how was it possible that such sophisticated structures have been partially or totally destroyed? Certainly not only economic and military aspects might be a likely explanation. The present article considers the evolution of the sites from cultural ecology point of view, as well as taking into consideration environmental and climatic changes. Doubtless, the overall evolution of this site is not singular. This article proposes some comparisons with other representative roman cities located on the River Rhine. It is proposed to analyze the particular characteristics of this fascinating example of European heritage, and the influence of environmental factors on the degradation process. Keywords: historical site, defence, climate changes, conservation, Danube.


Keywords: historical site, defence, climate changes, conservation, Danube.