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IV.1‑3

This webpage reproduces a section of
The Buildings

of
Procopius

published in the Loeb Classical Library,
1940

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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IV.7‑11

Procopius
Buildings

Book IV (Part 2)

p249 4 1 It is proper to tell also how many other strongholds he constructed in this part of Europe. If we were making this catalogue of the forts in this region — those namely which were constructed by the Emperor Justinian — for the benefit of some other nations of men who lived far away, with a different form of government, in some place where the record would lack the testimony of witnesses, I know well that my account would seem fabulous and altogether incredible because of the mere number of the forts built. 2 But as matters stand, since these things are to be seen at no great distance, and visitors from these regions are very numerous in our midst, let us, boldly telling the truth, well vouched for as it is, proceed with unbounded confidence to enumerate without any hesitation all the forts which the Emperor Justinian has built throughout the regions which I have just described, either by restoring those fortifications which were in ruins or by contriving new walls. 3 It will be preferable to set them all down together in catalogue form so that my narrative may not become utterly irksome by interspersing a crowd of place-names here and there in it.27

p250 Now the following new forts were built by the Emperor in New Epirus:28

Boulpiansus

Episterba

Sceminites

Aona

Stephaniacum

Argus

Aliula

Dyrrachin

St. Sabianus

Gemenus

Bacustê

Alistrus

Patapa

Epidunta

Bacusta

Martis

Eirenê

Speretium

Aoiôn

Stredên

Gynaecomites

p251 Labellus

Epileum

Piscinae

Deuphracus

Dolebin

Hedonia

Titiana

Cithinas

Ulibula

Brebatê

Thesaurus

The following were restored:

St. Stephen's

Cethreôn

Apis

Peleum

Comê

Pacuê

The city of Scydreôn

Antipagrae

Tithyra

Brebeta

Bupus

Endyneia

Dionysus

Ptocheiou

Tyrcanus

Capaza

Pupsalus

Gabraeum

p252 Dionoia

Clementiana

Illyrin

Cilicae

Argyas

Therma

Amanteia

Paretium

And in Old Epirus the following new forts were built:

Parmus

Olbus

Cionin

Marciana

Algus

Ceimenus

Xeropotamus

Europê

Chimaerae

Helega

Homonoia

Adanum

And the following forts were restored:

Murciara

Castina

Genysius

p253 Percus

Marmarata

Listria

Petroniana

Carmina

St. Sabinus'

And a cistern in the fort of Comê

Martius

Pezium

Onalus

And from Justinianopolis29 and Photicê, two forts of St. Donatus

Symphygium

Pronathidum

Hedones

Castellus

Bulibas

Palyrus

Trana

Poseidôn

Colophonia

In Macedonia:

Candida

Colobona

p254 Basilica Amyntou30

Melichiza

Pascas

Aulon

Bolbus

Brigizes

Optas

Pleurum

Caminus

Therma31

Bogas

Neapolis32

Calarnas

Museum

Acremba

Adrianium

Edana

Siclae

Nymphium

Metizus

Argicianum

Bazinus

Cassopas

Parthiôn

Gentianum

p255 Priniana

Thesteum

Cyrrou

Gourassôn

Cumarciana

Limnederium

Bourboöden

Babas

Cryniana

Pelecum

Lagês

Crataea

Phasciae

Placidiana

Hygea

Limnaae

Optium

Charadrus

Cassopes

And these forts were restored in Thessaly:

Alcôn

Lossonus

Geronticê

Perbyla

Cercineou

Scidreûs

Phracellan

p256 In Dardania the following were built. New:

Laberium

Castimum

Rhabestum

Castellium

Acrenza

Terias

Drullus

Victorias

And the following were restored:

Cesiana

Tezulê

Usiana

Besiana

Mascas

Listê

Celliriana

Zysbaes

Genzana

Petrizên

Eutychiana

Mulatô

Belas

Cattarus

Cattarecus

Pentza

Cattapheterus

p257 Dabanus

Cubinus

Germatza

Victoriana

Azeta

Durbuliana

Suricum

Cusines

Tuttiana

Ballesiana

Bella

Catrelates

Casyella

Maniana

Priscupera

Miletês

Dardapara

Cesuna

Beriniana

Lasbarus

Castellobretara

Edetziô

Dinium

Cecola

Emastus

Castelona

Capomalba

Seretus

Ptocheium

Cuinô

Berzana

Besaïana

p258 Arsa

Blezô

Labutza

Quintou

Bermezium

Catrasema

Rhotun

Cobenciles

Marcelliana

Primoniana

Pamilinus

Aria

Near the city Sardicê:

Scupium

Stenes

Marcipetra

Briparum

Romaniana

Struas

Protiana

Maccuniana

Scopentzana

And in the district of Cabetzus, Balbae was built new, and the following were restored:

Byrsia

Stamazô

Clesbestita

Duiana

p259    Turicla

Medeca

Peplabius

Cunae

Bineüs

Trisciana

Parnusta

Tzimes

Bidzô

Stenecorta

Danedebae

Ardeia

. . . the following new:

Bugarama

Betzas

Bregedaba

Borbrega

Turûs

And the following were restored:

Salebries

Arcunes

Duries

Buteries

Barbaries

Arbatias

Cutzusura

Etaeries

Itaberies

Bottes

p260 Bitzimaeas

Badziania

Banes

Bimerus

Tusudeaas

Scuanes

Scentudies

Scares

Tugurias

Bemastes

Stramentias

Lignius

Itadeba

Near the city Germenne, Scaplizo was built new, and the following were restored:

Germas

Candaras

Rolligeras

Scinzeries

Rhiginocastellum

Suegogmense

Near the city Pauta:

Tarporum

Suabastas

Cherduscera

Blebois

Zeapuries

p261 In the district of Scassetana:

Alarum

Magimias

Lucunanta

Balausum

Buttis

Near the city . . . the following were built new:

Calbentia

Pharanores

Stranbasta

Aldanes

Barachtestes

Sarmates

Arsena

Brarcedum

Eraria

Bercadium

Sabiniribes

Timiana

Candilar

Arsaza

Biculea

Castellium

Groffes

Garces

Pistes

Dusmanes

Bratzista

p262 Holodoris

Cassia

Grandetum

Urbriana

Nogeto

Gurbicum

Lautzones

Duliares

Mediana

Tiuncona

Castellium

And the following were restored:

Hercula

Mutzianicastellum

Burdopes

Calis

Millareca

Dedbera

Chesdupara

In the district of Remisianisia:

Brittura

Subaras

Lamponiana

Stronges

Dalmatas

Primiana

Phrerraria

Topera

p263 Tomes

Cuas

Tzertzenutzas

Stens

Aeadaba

Destreba

Pretzouries

Cumudeba

Deurias

Lutzolo

Rhepordenes

Spelonca

Scumbro

Briparo

Tulcoburgo

Longiana

Lupophantana33

Dardapara

Burdomina

Grinciapana

Graecus

Drasimarca

In the district of Aquenisium, Timathochiôm was built new, and the following were restored:

Petres

Sculcoburgo

Vindimiola

p264 Braeola

Arganocili

Castellonovo

Florentiana

Romyliana

Septecasae

Argentares

Auriliana

Gembero

Clemades

Turribas

Gribo

Chalaro

Tzutrato

Mutzipara

Stendas

Scaripara

p265 Odriuzo

Cipipene

Trasiana

Potes

Amulo

Setlotes

Timaciolum

Meridio

Meriopontede

Tredetetilious

Braeola

Motreses

Vicanovo

Quartiana

Julioballae

Pontzas

Zanes

5 1 Thus did the Emperor Justinian fortify the whole interior of Illyricum. I shall also explain in what manner he fortified the bank of the Ister River, which they also call the Danube, by means of strongholds and garrisons of troops. 2 The Roman Emperors of former times, by way of preventing the crossing of the Danube by the barbarians who live on the other side, occupied the entire bank of this river with strongholds, and not the right bank of the stream alone, for in some parts of it they built towns and fortresses on its other bank. 3 However, they did not so build these strongholds that they were impossible to attack, if anyone should come against them, but p267they only provided that the bank of the river was not left destitute of men, since the barbarians there had no knowledge of storming walls. 4 In fact the majority of these strongholds consisted only of a single tower, and they were called appropriately "lone towers," and very few men were stationed in them. 5 At that time this alone was quite sufficient to frighten off the barbarian clans, so that they would not undertake to attack the Romans. 6 But at a later time34 Attila invaded with a great army, and with no difficulty razed the fortresses; then, with no one standing against him, he plundered the greater part of the Roman Empire. 7 But the Emperor Justinian rebuilt the defences which had been torn down, not simply as they had been before, but so as to give the fortifications the greatest possible strength; and he added many more which he built himself. 8 In this way he completely restored the safety of the Roman Empire, which by then had been lost. And I shall explain how all this was accomplished.

9 The River Ister flows down from the mountains in the country of the Celts, who are now called Gauls; and it passes through a great extent of country which for the most part is altogether barren, though in some places it is inhabited by barbarians who live a kind of brutish life and have no dealings with other men. 10 When it gets close to Dacia, for the first time it clearly forms the boundary between the barbarians, who hold its left bank, and the territory of the Romans, which is on the right. 11 Consequently the Romans apply the term Ripesia to this part of p269Dacia, for ripa signifies bank in the Latin tongue. 12 Accordingly they had made a beginning by building on the bank there in ancient times a city, by name Singidunum.35 13 This the barbarians captured in time, and they immediately razed it, leaving the place quite destitute of inhabitants. 14 They did precisely the same thing to most of the other strongholds. 15 But the Emperor Justinian restored the entire city and surrounded it with a very strong fortification, and thus made it once more a famous and important city. 16 And he set up another new fortress of exceptional strength about eight miles distant from Singidunum, which they call by the appropriate name of Octavus. 17 Beyond it was the ancient city of Viminacium,36 which the Emperor rebuilt entire and made new, for it had long before been ruined down to its uttermost foundations.

6 1 As one goes on from Viminacium there chance to be three strongholds on the bank of the Ister, Pinci and Cupi and Novae. 2 These were formerly both single in construction and when named were single towers.37 But now the Emperor Justinian has greatly increased the number of the houses and enlarged the defences at these places, and thereby has properly given them the rank of cities. 3 And opposite Novae in the mainland on the other side of the river, had stood from ancient times a neglected tower, by name Literata; the men of former times used to call this Lederata. p2714 This the present Emperor transformed into a great fortress of exceptional strength. 5 After Novae are the forts of Cantabaza, Smornês, Campsês, Tanata, Zernês, and Ducepratum. And on the opposite side he built a number of other forts from their lowest foundations. 6 Farther on is the so‑called Caput Bovis,38 the work of the Roman Emperor Trajan, and beyond this is an ancient town named Zanes. 7 And he placed very strong defences around all these and so made them impregnable bulwarks of the State. 8 And not far from this Zanes there is a fort, Pontes by name. The river throws out a sort of branch there, and after thus passing around a certain small portion of the bank, it turns again to its own stream and is reunited with itself. 9 It does this, not of its own accord, but compelled by human devices. 10 The reason why the place was called Pontes, and why they made this forced diversion of the Ister at this point, I shall now make clear.

11 The Roman Emperor Trajan, being of an impetuous and active temperament, seemed to be filled with resentment that his realm was not unlimited, but was bounded by the Ister River. 12 So he was eager to span it with a bridge that he might be able to cross it and that there might be no obstacle to his going against the barbarians beyond it. 13 How he built this bridge I shall not be at pains to relate, but shall let Apollodorus of Damascus, who was the master-builder of the whole work, describe the p273operation.39 14 However, the Romans derived no profit from it subsequently, because later on the bridge was completely destroyed by the floods of the Ister and by the passage of time. 15 At the same time Trajan built two forts, one on either side of the river; the one on the opposite bank they named Theodora, while the one in Dacia was called Pontes from the work — 16 for the Romans call a bridge pontem in the Latin tongue.40 But when boats reached that point, the river was no longer navigable, since the ruins and the foundations of the bridge lay in the way; and it is for this reason that they compel the river to change its course and to go about in a detour, so that they may keep it navigable even beyond that point. 17 Both these forts had suffered so much from the passage of time, and more still from the assaults of the barbarians, that they had come to be utterly destroyed. 18 And the Emperor Justinian restored Pontes, which is on the right of the river, providing it with new and thorough impregnable defences, and thus re-established the safety of Illyricum. However, the fort on the other side of the river, the one which they call Theodora, he considered in no way worthy of his attention, exposed as it was to the barbarians there. But the strongholds which now stand beyond Pontes he himself built new; these are named p275Mareburgou and Susiana, Harmata and Timena, and Theodoropolis, Stiliburgou and Halicaniburgou.

19 There was a certain small town near by, Acues by name, which had fallen partly into decay; this the Emperor put in order. 20 Beyond that lay Burgonobore and Laccoburgo, and the fortress called Dorticum, utterly effaced by time, which he made into a fort now very strong. 21 And he remodelled a stronghold called Judaeus, which had consisted of a single tower, and made it a splendid fortress in name and in fact. 22 Nor did he neglect the fort named Burgualtu, which previously was desolate and wholly without inhabitants, but also surrounded with a new circuit-wall another place which they call Gombes. 23 Also he rebuilt the defences of Crispas, which had suffered with the passage of time, likewise Longiniana and Ponteserium,41 an exceptionally fine piece of work. 24 In Bononia and Novus he restored the parapets which had crumbled. And all the parts of the city Ratiara42 which had collapsed he re-erected. 25 He improved many other places in accordance with their particular needs, either making very small places large, or curtailing their size where it was excessive, so that they might not be easy for an enemy to attack either because of excessive smallness or because of too great size; thus, for example, Mocatiana, which previously was a single tower standing alone, he converted into the more complete fortress which it now is. 26 On the other hand, the fortress of Almou, which used p277to cover a large area, he brought into small compass and thus made it safe and able to defy the assaults of the enemy. 27 In many places, finding a single tower standing by itself and therefore an easy prey for assailants, he converted it into a very strong fortress; 28 this he did, for example, with Tricesa and Putedis. Furthermore, he restored in a marvellous way the damaged defences at Cebrus. At Bigranaê he constructed a fortress which had not existed before, and very close to it a second one, Onus by name, where a single tower had previously stood. 29 And not far away there were the bare foundations of a city which in early times used to bear the name of Augustes. 30 But now, still bearing its ancient name, though all made over new by the Emperor Justinian and quite complete, it knows43 a rather numerous population. 31 Also he restored the damaged portion of the defences of Aëdabê, and put in order the city of Varianaa which had long lain in ruins. In addition, he built a wall around Valeriana, which previously had no defences.

32 Furthermore, he gave his attention to towns which do not lie upon the bank of the river but stand at a great distance from it — towns which were about to fall in ruins for the most part — and he encircled them with walls which are practically impregnable. 33 These places are named Castra Martis and Zetnucortou and Iscus. And an ancient fort named Hunnôn, on the bank of the river, he treated as worthy of attention in all respects and particularly in the matter of its circuit-wall. 34 There is a certain place not far removed p279from this fort of Hunnôn where there are two fortresses, one on either side of the Ister River, the one in Illyricum named Palatiolum, and the one on the other side, Sycibida. 35 These, which had been ruined by time, the Emperor Justinian restored and thereby checked the incursions of the barbarians of that region; and beyond them he built a fort at an ancient stronghold which was named Utôs. 36 And at the extremity of the Illyrian territory he built a fort named Lapidarias, and he transformed into a notable fortress a single tower which had stood alone, called Lucernariaburgou. 37 These then were the works executed by the Emperor Justinian in Illyricum. Yet it was not with buildings alone that he fortified this land, but he also established very considerable garrisons of troops in all the strongholds and thereby warded off the assaults of the barbarians.


The Loeb Editor's Notes:

27 With the list which follows, especially in the headings, cf. ch. viii of this Book, where Procopius, recapitulating his enumeration of the fortifications up to that point, speaks of Dardania, Epirus, and Macedonia as belonging to Illyricum; (p249)he has treated of those in Moesia also as far as the Danube. It would seem as if Illyricum extended in his time as far east as the Danube, as far north as the River Savê, and as far west as the Julian Alps.

28 Nova Epirus or Illyris Graeca extended from the Drilô (Mod. Drina) River on the north to the Ceraunian Mts. on the south, thus comprising a large part of modern Albania. Immediately to the south of it to the Ambracian Gulf (Mod. Gulf of Arta) lay what is here called Old Epirus, approximately identical with the Epirus of modern Greece.

29 Formerly called Adrianopolis (modern Adrianople or Edirne); mentioned above, IV.i.36.

30 Procopius has moved northeastward into the land of the Dardani and of Moesia Superior (southern Jugoslavia of to‑day), though he seems to consider this region as still in Epirus and Epirus still in Illyricum.

31 The ancient name of the settlement at the head of the Thermaic Gulf, transformed by Cassander into an important seaport and named Thessalonicê.

32 On the Strymonic Gulf, modern Kavalla.

33 That is, Lupi Fontana.

34 A.D. 441.

35 Modern Belgrade.

36 Modern Kostolatz.

37 See above, Chap. v.4.

38 "Ox-head."

39 The reference is to a treatise of Apollodorus which is no longer extant. This Apollodorus was active in Rome for a time, having among his other undertakings done the Forum of Trajan and Trajan's column.

40 It bore the name Pons Traiani.

41 Cf. modern Pontresina.

42 Modern Arzar Palanka in Bulgaria.

43 A use of ὁμιλεῖν very common in Procopius; cf. Haury's Index Graecitatis and Herwerden's Lexicon Suppletorium.


Thayer's Note:

a It is easy to imagine this ought to be Valeriana (the place mentioned immediately following); all the more so that Variana, as in clades Variana, the disaster of Varus, would have been a name of ill omen and thus almost inconceivable.


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