Listed 4 sub titles with search on: Information about the place
for destination: "SOFIA
Information about the place (4)
The Catholic Encyclopedia
- The Catholic Encyclopedia (1908)
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites
An ancient Thracian center, today the national capital, situated in
a valley surrounded by mountains at the juncture of the road from Belgrade to
Istanbul and the natural waterway of the Danube to the Aegean. It was occupied
by the Romans, conquered by Licinius Crassus (29 B.C.), raised to the status of
a colony by Trajan, and coined its own money from the reign of Marcus Aurelius
to that of Gallienus. The city was the seat of the council that condemned the
Arian heresy (343). It was destroyed by the Huns in the 5th c., was reconstructed
by Justinian, under whom Santa Sophia was built. Originally, the Romans had probably
established a garrison in the village and area of the Thracian market, giving
the city a praetorium and a castellum. The city did not gain great military importance
but in the 4th c. when it became the capital of the frontier province, Dacia Mediterranea,
it was surrounded by walls (brick and rubble core on a stone base) with round
towers. One walled area within the city with the remains of large structures is
thought to have been the praesidium. The plan of the city is rectangular, covering
an area of ca. 84 ha. The remains of the buildings belong to two distinct periods:
2d and 3d c. stone architecture, and 3d c. and 4th c. brick architecture. Except
for some traces of the walls, round towers, and triangular abutments, only the
foundations of some buildings are known: a temple of Serapis and its pediment;
a brick calidarium of a 3d c. Roman bath, transformed into the church of St. George
in the 5th c. Probably the 6th c. a basilica of Santa Sophia was built. It had
three aisles and an apse which was close to the ancient necropolis where there
are remains of two small ancient churches (with mosaics) and many chambered tombs.
The tombs were painted between the 4th and 5th c. with floral motifs, birds, and
candelabra, and one with the busts of arch-angels. In all these tombs we may recognize
Hellenistic-Oriental and Roman elements. On the coins of Serdica various buildings
are represented. Funeral stelai, religious inscriptions, architectural fragments,
and inscriptions are collected in the National Museum and displayed in the great
nine-domed mosque. The Museum houses antiquities not only from the city but from
all over Bulgaria.
A. Frova, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites,
Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from
Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
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