Sites & cities that bear the name of Abritus


Today in : Bulgaria
First trace of activity : ca. 4th century B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 10th century C.E
Recorded names : Abrittus, Razgrad

Description : Abritus (Abrittus) was an impressive Roman walled city and one of the biggest urban centres in the province of Moesia Inferior. Its remains are in the Archaeological Park of Razgrad. A Thracian settlement of the 3rd–4th century BC has been found on the north bank of the Beli Lom river, and an early Roman settlement extended it in the late 1st or early 2nd century AD. At the end of the 1st century AD a Roman military camp was built, and in the 2nd century the Cohors II Lucensium of the Legio XI Claudia (based at Durostorum) was stationed here. In 251 during the Gothic invasions the Romans suffered a disastrous defeat and the death of the Emperor Decius and his son Herennius Etruscus at the Battle of Abritus, which took place about 15 km (9.3 mi) northwest of Abritus, in the valley of the river Beli Lom, to the south of the village of Dryanovets. The fortifications with massive walls, 3 m (9.8 ft) thick and 12 m (39 ft) high, were built around the town on the south bank of the river in 320–330 under Constantine the Great, seemingly for immigrant "barbarians" (foederati) as part of the policy of pacifying them. However, the walls could not withstand the destruction of the city in the Gothic Wars in 376–8, in 447 by the Huns, and in the 480s again by the Goths. Each time the city was rebuilt, and in the 5th–6th centuries Abritus was one of the largest cities in the province and seat of a bishop. The gates were narrowed under Justinian (527–565) to provide better security. However the city was destroyed by the Avars in 586. Later a Bulgarian mediaeval settlement was built, which existed until the 10th century. The first archaeological survey was done in 1887 by Ananie Yavashov, and regular excavations were conducted from 1953.

See on map »