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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
The following were restored:
The city of Scydreôn
And in Old Epirus the following new forts were built:
And the following forts were restored:
And a cistern in the fort of Comê
And from Justinianopolis29 and Photicê, two forts of St. Donatus
And these forts were restored in Thessaly:
p256 In Dardania the following were built. New:
And the following were restored:
Near the city Sardicê:
And in the district of Cabetzus, Balbae was built new, and the following were restored:
. . . the following new:
And the following were restored:
Near the city Germenne, Scaplizo was built new, and the following were restored:
Near the city Pauta:
p261 In the district of Scassetana:
Near the city . . . the following were built new:
And the following were restored:
In the district of Remisianisia:
In the district of Aquenisium, Timathochiôm was built new, and the following were restored:
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 p267 they 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 p269 Dacia, 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. p271 4 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 p273 operation.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 p275 Mareburgou 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 p277 to 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 p279 from 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.
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.
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.
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.
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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