The Lower Danube in Late Antiquity: The case of Histria
This thesis analyses the nature of Histria in Late Antiquity between the 3rd and the 7th century AD. Histria is chosen as a case study as it is the most comprehensively studied city in Scythia Minor for the period. The thesis has two focal points. Firstly, it investigates the evolution of the site in Late Antiquity. Secondly, it re-assesses the nature of Histria in terms of the divergent claims as proposed by Constantin Scorpan in 1980 and by Andrew Poulter in 1992 regarding the nature of the place and other cities in the region in Late Antiquity. To achieve both aims, the thesis examines Histria in terms of its urban change and the transformation of both ecclesiastical and civic buildings and street networks in Late Antiquity. This is done within a chronological framework to assess the possible reasons for such change, such as Christianity, invasion, and urban reconstruction. In particular, the thesis concentrates on the Christianization of urban topography, and the inter-relationship between the extra- and intra-mural basilica churches there and Histria’s residential areas, in the context of the rise of Christianity in the Roman Empire during Late Antiquity. By examining the effect of Christianity on the development of urbanism in the region, the thesis will favour the idea that the classical urban amenities lost their function of earlier periods as Christianity transformed the urban areas with significant landmarks, most especially the basilicas.