Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Toponymy and ethnic Realities at the Lower Danube by Brezeanu Stelian

Expand Messages
  • alexmoeller@t-online.de
    Toponymy and ethnic Realities at the Lower Danube in the 10th Century. The deserted Cities in the Constantine Porphyrogenitus De administrando imperio
    Message 1 of 17 , Sep 7, 2002
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      Toponymy and ethnic Realities at the Lower Danube

      in the 10th Century.

      "The deserted Cities" in the Constantine Porphyrogenitus'
      De administrando imperio


      Stelian Brezeanu,

      University of Bucharest



      De administrando imperio, the most important work of
      Constantine Porphyrogenitus, has been clearly subdued to the
      most ample investigations among the historian's works.
      Nevertheless, it contains some passages still obscure that has
      not been satisfactorily analyzed by the modern scholars. Among
      these passages, a special part is taken by the one referring
      to "the deserted cities" from the Lower Danube.



      "Isteon, oti enqen tou DanastrewV potamou proV to
      apoblepon merosthn

      Boulgarian eis ta peramata tou autou potamou eisin erhmokastra
      kastron prwton to onomasten para twn Patzinakitwn Aspron dia
      to touV liqouV autou fainestai

      kata leulouV, kastron deuteron to Touggatai, kastron triton to
      Kraknakatai,

      kastron tetarton to Salmakatai, kastron pempton to Sakakatai,
      kastron ekton [to] Giaioukatai. En autois de tois twn
      palaiokastrwn ktismasin euriskoutai kai

      ekklhsiwn gnwrismata tina kai stauroi laxeutoi eiV liqouV
      pwrinouV, oqen kai tineV paradosin ecousin, wV Rwmaioi pote
      taV katoikiaV eicon ekeise"[1].



      In translation:



      "On this side of the Dniester river, towards the
      part that faces Bulgaria, at the crossings of this same river,
      are deserted cities: the first city is that called by the
      Pechenegs Aspron, because its stores look very white; the
      second city is Toungatai; the third city is Kraknakatai; the
      fourth city is Salmakatai; the fifth city is Sakakatai; the
      sixth city is Giaioukatai. Among these buildings of the
      ancient cities are found some distinctive traces of churches,
      and crosses hewn out of porous stone, whence some preserve a
      tradition that once on a time Romans had settlements there".



      The savant-emperor's text raises some problems that
      are difficult to be interpreted and that have discouraged the
      modern scholars to approach it.

      First, while the first among the six "deserted
      cities" is not difficult to be identified - since Aspron means
      "white" in the Pecheneg language, as it resulted also from the
      text, it could only be Rom. Cetatea Alba or Sl. Bielograd, on
      the right bank of the Dniester, on the river mouth to the
      Black Sea -, the other five seem to be enigmatic, difficult if
      not impossible to be deciphered. Consequently, it should not
      be surprising that the Romanian historians has not paid any
      attention to them[2], while the historians outside of Romania
      that have dealt with the Byzantine historian's text simply
      confined themselves to mention them as they are[3].

      The Constantine VII's specifications around the
      ancient cities' settlement are also difficult to be
      interpreted. What does "on this side of the Dniester river, in
      the side that regards to Bulgaria, on this river's passings
      (ta peramata)" mean? Should we understand that all the six
      cities are to be found out in the immediate proximity of the
      river's right bank? There is nothing to forbid us to suppose
      that they were by the Bulgarian region, which has the Danubian
      line as frontier with Patzinakia, as the historian informs us
      on other occasion[4]. In addition, we should not surpass the
      possibility of some inaccuracies in their placement, because
      of either the informer or the way in which the information was
      interpreted by the cabinet savant Constantine Porphyrogenitus,
      who was never passing in the described region. This larger
      interpretation of the text referring to the cities' placement
      is also imposed by the fact that the Roman domination in the
      region, whether it did exist, did not penetrate in the depth
      of the Northern Pontic territory, the empire confining to
      control the sea's shore.

      Thus, here is the most difficult point raised by the
      text: the existence of a Christian Roman domination on the
      Dniester's right bank or of a kind of control that is to
      explain the Christian remnants in the region during the first
      decades of the 10th century. It is especially because the
      author expresses some doubts in connection with the existence
      of such a control, when he considers that there are "some
      [persons]" (tineV) to promote the tradition of the Roman
      presence in the region.



      a. The Southern Moldavia and the Roman Imperial Policy

      We are to begin with the matter of the Roman
      presence in the Northern Pontic area and especially in the
      region of the Dniester's right bank. The information in
      connection with this presence are more numerous and more
      conclusive than it could be noted at a first sight. For the
      Christian period, there are two texts to clarify this aspect:
      The Ecclesiastical History of Evagrius and Chronographia of
      Theofanes the Confessor.

      Evagrius Scolasticus, the author of the first text,
      was born to 536 and lived by the first years of the 7th
      century. He lived the last part of his life in Constantinople,
      where he wrote his work. Well informed and having Tucydides as
      pattern, it covers the period between 431 and 594. The author
      describes the Northen Pontic realities on the occasion of the
      Avars' coming in Europe in 558, event that provoked an
      impressive echo in the 6th century Byzantium. "After they had
      left the shore of the Pont called Euxinus", Evagrius notes,
      "where there were all the different kinds of barbaric nations,
      while the Romans had established cities (poleiV), military
      camps and some stations for the veterans and for the colons
      (apoikiwn) sent by the emperors [emphasis mine], they [the
      Avars] opened a pass and fought against all the Barbarians
      encountered in their way, since that they achieved the Istrus'
      banks and sent envoys to Justinian"[5]. The text of the
      ecclesiastic author indicates a very complex reality in the
      space between Crimea, named as the Cymmerian Bosphorus by the
      Byzantine authors, and the Lower Danube. Beside the "Barbarian
      nations", very different by their origins, languages and even
      political interests, there were also Roman establishments,
      having an essentially military functions, in order to preserve
      a political stability in the region, in the sense of assuring
      the Christian New Rome's security on the Bosphorus. The author
      does not specify since when the "cities", the "military camps"
      or Roman "colonies" has been dated. Probably, they were not
      the exclusive work of the 6th century emperors. On the other
      side, although the text refers to the "Barbarian" opposition
      against the Avars, it permits us to suppose that the local
      "Romans" also opposed to the newcomers.

      The second text has the same importance for our
      investigation. Its author, Theophanes the Confessor, writes to
      815 and inspires himself from an important number of Byzantine
      sources from the 7th-8th centuries that has not been preserved
      by now[6]. The 9th century chronicler depicts another event,
      the second as importance for the Northern Pontic area, after
      the coming of the Avars: there is the coming of the
      Protobulgarians led by Asparuch to 679. Theophanes describes
      the succession of the events that preceded the establishment
      of the newcomers at the Southern Danube: the retirement of the
      Asparuch's clan towards the Danube because of the Khazars, its
      establishment in the Oglu region (somewhere between the
      Northern Pontic rivers and the Danube's mouths), the
      unfortunate expedition of the Emperor Constantine IV to the
      Istrus and its failure, followed by the river's passing by the
      Protobulgarian clan. On this occasion, the chronicler delivers
      one of the most important information for our investigation,
      specifying that the emperor found out that the Asparuch's
      Barbarian nation "settled in Oglu, beyond the Danube and,
      invading the territories neighbor to the Danube, it devastates
      the country now dominated by them, but on the Christian
      domination on those times [emphasis mine]"[7]. Although the
      passage seems to have especially Scythia Minor into account,
      the expedition's stage demonstrates the Empire's interest also
      at the North of the Danube's mouths at least. As a
      consequence, after more than a century after the Avars'
      invasion in Europe, the territory continued to be under the
      attention of the "Christians" (Romans). The strategic
      importance either of the territory remained the same for
      Constantinople, since even under dramatic conditions for the
      empire - the first great Arab siege on the New Rome (674-678)
      just came to an end - the emperor gathers the last resources
      for an expedition on the Danube against the new danger
      appeared there. The Theophanes' text has a double importance
      for the present investigation. First, it demonstrates a
      continuity of the New Rome's military presence during at least
      two centuries in the territories of the Danube's mouths,
      because of the their strategic importance, despite the new
      situation occurred in the Balkans during the 7th century.
      Secondly, the Byzantine defeat in front of the new nomads come
      on Danube closes a particular epoch for those territories: for
      three centuries, Constantinople abandons politically and
      military the region that, when Theophanes writes his
      chronicle, was already under the control of the khans in
      Pliska. This fact explains why the domination of the
      "Christians" in the region remains explained as a "tradition"
      by Constantine VII, who, in 950, seems to have some doubts
      about it. On the other hand, the abandonment of the Northern
      Pontic cities by the Roman emperors was to happen on the
      occasion of the coming of Asparuch's Protobulgarians.

      While the two texts presents an undeniable
      importance in attesting a Byzantine presence in the region and
      in establishing a terminus ante-quem for its ending, the
      analyzing, even summarily, of the beginnings of this presence
      in this territories is not lacking of significance.

      The Northern Pontic territories, from Chersones to
      the Danube's mouths, were being in close contact with the
      Mediterranean world since the first centuries of the 1st
      millenium a. Chr. First, it was through the agency of the
      Greek colonies that established the link between Chersones and
      the colonies in Scythia Minor and that had an essential part
      in draining the hinterland's huge wealth towards the Greek
      world. In the Roman period, the interest for the region grows,
      but the military preoccupations predominates on the economic
      ones and they are in order to stop the torrent of the nomadic
      populations come from Euro-Asian steppe, which warned to
      overflow on the Danubian territories, especially after Trajan
      had created his province at the Northern of Danube just as a
      spear jabbed in Barbaricum. At the beginning of the 20th
      century already, V. Pârvan foresaw the entire importance of
      the Roman action in the region, beginning with Trajan, who
      raised the numerous castra on the Sereth Valley that makes the
      junction between Scythia Minor and his new province. The
      action culminated with Trajan's successors, when "the entire
      Wallachian field and the Southern Bessarabia with the region
      to Cetatea Alba (Tyras) were brought in that moment from the
      Dacian way of life to the Roman one"[8]. The post-war
      researches definitely confirmed the emminent archeologist's
      intuition and the results were synthetized by Radu Vulpe in
      some studies dealing with the Roman military and political
      presence in these territories in the 1st-4th centuries[9]. For
      Eugen Lozovan, the central point of the Rome's interest was
      represented by the Southern Moldavia, a real "connection point
      between the imperial authority solidly implanted in Scythia
      Minor and in the Transcarpathian Dacia and the Roman camps
      dispersed in the Northern Pontic steppe"[10].

      While the abandonment of Dacia by Rome meant for
      some decades a retirement of the imperial positions on the
      Danube line, the strategic importance of the territories from
      the Danube's mouths becomes vital after the transfer of the
      imperial metropolis on the Bosporus shores by Constantine. In
      the vision of Constantinople, Scythia Minor and the neighbor
      Northern Pontic territories constitute an outpost in front of
      the migratory waves that could overflow to the South through
      this region. There are numerous news that indicate the
      imperial authorities' care at the Lower Danube since the reign
      of the New Rome's founder. First, it is about the Constantine
      the Great's military campaigns on the North of the river that
      are to transform the Wizigoths in empire's foederati, action
      renewed four decades later by Valens. The same care for the
      area's fate and for the Roman population in the region should
      be also observed in the creation of the Bishopric of Gothia,
      which titular is mentioned among the participants at the first
      ecumenical council at Nicea, in 325[11]. It is certitude that
      this population was formed by prisoners transferred there by
      the Goths during their raids in the Balkans and in Minor Asia,
      by Roman merchants, but also by the descendants of the Romans
      brought by Trajan and his successors for military reasons. The
      same care to consolidate the empire's positions at the North
      of the river explains also the conversion to Christendom of
      the Goths in the Wallachian Field and in the Southern
      Moldavia, work promoted by Wulfila after 340[12]. At least
      the same importance is represented by the archeological
      testimonies that demonstrate the 4th century empire's efforts
      not only to consolidate the Danubian boundary especially on
      its portion in Scythia Minor, but also to install at the North
      of the river a defensive system of castra and earthen walls,
      the most famous being undoubtedly "Trajan's wall", which the
      most important part is dated in this period[13].

      In the 6th century, after their diminishing
      consequently to the storm unleashed by the Huns in 376, the
      news regarding the empire's care for the territories at the
      Danube's mouths are more numerous. They owe all their
      importance to the information later delivered by Evagrius and
      Theophanes the Confessor. The most important data are in
      connection to the activity promoted by Justinian on the
      Danubian border. Procopius of Cesarea illustrates the
      emperor's effort to consolidate the Danubian limes, effort
      related by the historian with one carried on by his
      forerunners, conferring its entire proportion in the 6th
      century. "The former emperors", he writes in De aedificiis,
      "covered with fortifications all the river's bank, not only on
      the right side of the river, but they also built small cities
      (polismata) and cities (frouria) on the opposed side ...
      Later, when Atila rushed with a large army, he destroyed these
      fortifications, without any difficulty, and laid waste the
      greatest part of the Roman territory without any resistence.
      But the Emperor Justinian rebuilt the destroyed
      fortifications, not as they were previously, but much
      stronger; and he repaired many of them and also he renewed
      them. In this way, he gave the lost assurance back to the
      Roman empire"[14]. In more sober terms, the same information
      is to be detected in one of the Justinian's Novel in 535,
      referring to the jurisdiction of the new Archbishopric of
      Prima Justiniana, created by the emperor. Not only the
      metropolitan churches and bishoprics on the South of the
      Danube was to be under its titular's authority, but also the
      left right of the river's eparchies. It was "because nowadays,
      with the God's assistance, our state grew, so that the both
      banks of the Danube are inhabited with our cities and both
      Viminacium, and also Recidiva and Litterata, which are beyond
      the Danube, were again subdued under our domination"[15].
      Indeed, the document indicates the Danubian cities on the left
      side of the Danubian limes that were under the jurisdiction of
      the new created Archbishopric. Still, there is no doubt that
      Justinian's action to recover the Northern Danubian cities had
      also the right side of the Roman frontier at the Danube's
      mouths into consideration. This care is proved by the
      emperor's decision in 536, mentioned by John Lydos, to create
      a military prefectura of Scythia Minor, having Odessos
      (nowadays Varna) as residence. It was to have not only the
      Lower Danube in its obedience, but also other three naval
      provinces: Cyprus, Caria and the island in the Archipelago.
      While the purpose of this decision is already clear, being
      connected to the assurance of the Constantinople's and the
      straights' security in front of an possible peril coming from
      the Northern Pontic steppes, John Lydos puts it under the
      circumstances of the recovering by Justinian of the
      territories once conquered by Trajan and then lost by the
      empire. It was because that "not desiring to be somehow
      inferior to Trajan, [the Emperor] decided to preserve for the
      Romans the Northern region that once get out of the yoke"[16].
      Whether we left aside the imperial propaganda's aims that are
      natural in the text of a Justinian's high magistrate as was
      John Lydos, we are to remark the Constantinople's care for the
      Northern Pontic regions, which strategic importance for its
      security was undeniable.

      In order to distinguish the New Rome's strategic
      conception at the Lower Danube during the 6th-7th centuries,
      it is necessary to also make referrals to another episode in
      the Menander Protector's work that takes the
      Slavic-Avar-Byzantine combats into account. The author
      narrates the success of the imperial diplomatic action during
      the reign of Tiberius II that counteracted the Avars against
      the Slavs in the Southern Moldavia and in the Eastern
      Wallachia. An imperial high office worker transferred the
      Avars of the Khan Baian from the Northern to the Southern of
      the Danube in the region of the Roman Pannonia. Afterwards,
      the Avars crosses the imperial territory on the road to
      Scythia Minor. They passed again the Danube in order to attack
      the Slavs, the emperor's enemies. Surprised, the Slavs were
      defeated by the momentary allies of the Byzantine
      sovereign[17]. The evolution of these events makes obvious the
      concern of Constantinople to control also the cities on the
      Northern bank of the river, in order to be able to advance
      offensive actions against the migratory nations in the region
      (as it occurs in the case of the event presented by Menander
      Protector, or the ones promoted by the empire in the last
      decade of the 6th century in Banat against the Avars and the
      Slavs). However, the New Rome continues to regard the Northern
      Danubian territories, once dominated by the empire, as a land
      belonging de jure to the empire, only temporary submitted to
      the Barbarians. Among other arguments that sustain this
      conception of Constantinople, there is also a detail in The
      Wars of Procopius. Confronted with the Slav danger, Justinian
      makes to the Slavs the proposal to occupy to Turris, a city
      once built by Trajan but abandoned by the Romans because of
      the Barbarian attacks. The Byzantine historian adds the fact
      that the emperor promised also the territory around the city
      to the Slavs, "because it was belonging to the Romans since
      the very beginning"[18].

      On the most occasions, the Roman sources of this
      centuries mention about fortifications and cities in which
      shadow the people that brought the stone and the iron into
      life animate. The modern archeologists neither make many times
      exception from this rule, especially when they notice the
      cities' abandonment under the pressure of the invasions. The
      mentioning of the sources about "the cities" and "the
      colonies", as it is the case of the Evagrius' text that is
      mentioned above, are still rare. There are to be attached
      other two texts, although they do not present the same
      testimonial value about the human realities in the region. A
      Justinian's Novel in 538/539 makes referrals to the law
      sanctions in case of the abuses of the military commanders in
      connection with the theft from the fiscality. The punishment
      regarded not only the guilty ones, but the entire military
      unit, which "will be transferred from the region and ordered
      beyond the river of Istrus or the Danube, in order to guard
      those boundaries"[19]. The imperial document attests the
      presence of some military forces in the Byzantine cities to
      the North of the river. Moreover, it also demonstrates that
      the guard mission in this region was regarded as one of the
      most difficult ones for the soldiers. The other text belongs
      to Cosmas Indicopleustes, the author of Christian Topography
      and tireless traveler that also visited the Northern Pontic
      regions to the middle of the 6th century. Among the
      territories where he met and saw "churches and bishops,
      martyrs, hermits, monks, in all the places where the Christ's
      gospel had been announced", there are also the ones "towards
      the North, belonging to the Scythians ... to the Bulgarians"
      and to other peoples[20]. The Scythians' regions in the
      Cosmas' text could represent the Scythia Minor, which
      religious life in the 6th century is attested by a very rich
      sources. In exchange, the Bulgarians' ones could not be
      identified in other sources than with the Northern Pontic
      ones and even with the Danube's mouths in 550. From that
      region, the steppes' nomads organized robbery raids in the
      empire's Balkan province. In this case, the Christians that
      are referred in the text are not the Bulgarians, but the
      populations under their hegemony or in community with them.

      Such different by their nature, all these sources
      impose the conclusion that the territories at the Danube's
      mouths was characterized by a Roman military presence during
      six centuries, from Trajan to Constantine IV, with an
      interruption of a century in the context of the Hun invasion.
      This presence was materialized by the cities, the earthen
      walls, but also by troops, which goal was to secure the right
      flank of the Roman front at the Lower Danube. It also suppose
      a human permanence, represented by soldiers, but also by their
      families, by manufacturers and merchants, indispensable for
      the military activity in the region, as it is clearly
      expressed in the Evagrius' relation. At the same time, the
      human permanence means the existence of the Christ's faith
      among the soldiers and the other Romans and implicit of the
      churches and the other Christian symbols, especially after
      Constantine the Great. The different Christian vestiges would
      be the ones mentioned by Constantine Porphyrogenitus after
      some centuries.

      Still, the historian's mission connected with the
      detection of information referring to the Rome's military and
      human presence in the Northern Pontic region from the
      Dniester' left side, which explains also the "deserted cities"
      existence in the 10th century, is not to finish here. It is
      necessary to investigate also the medieval sources, especially
      the Romanian ones, respecting these ancient vestiges. The
      Romanian medieval data are indeed very numerous and presented
      in various sources, from the official acts to historical works
      of the 17th-18th Moldavian scholars. There is a crowd of
      information about these traces in the official acts and even
      in toponymy. The most of them refers to the "troiene", the
      earthen walls attributed to Trajan by the Romanian medieval
      tradition and that crossed the Wallachian Field from Severin
      to the Dniester, identified by the commoners with "Trajan's
      wall". Certainly, the ruins of the antique cities are
      interesting here. The most important testimonies about them
      are specified by Miron Costin and by Dimitrie Cantemir.

      Educated at the University of Liov, Latin speaker
      and expert in Roman history, the former offers many
      information about some "naruite / destroyed" cities, included
      a "devastated city" in the Southern Bessarabia, on the
      Cogâlnic river, considered by him as being Greek[21]. Still,
      the author pays attention to the vestiges between Pruth and
      Sereth rivers, where there are "naruiturile ... cum ieste mai
      sus de Galati, ce-i zic Gherghina, si pe Milcov, mai sus de
      Focsani, de care pomeneste Ureche - vornicul, ca o cheama
      Craciuna / the ruins [...] as it is farther than Galati,
      called Gergina/Gherghina, and on the Milcov [river], farther
      than Focsani, which is mentioned by Ureche-the VORNIC as being
      called Craciuna"[22]. While the referrals to Craciuna stops
      here, the ones concerning the city near Galati are more ample
      and they interest the present investigation. "La naruiturile
      cetatii de la Galati, din sus, unde cade Bârladul în Dunare /
      At the ruins of the city in Galati, farther than it, where the
      Bârlad [river] flows into the Danube", it was found out, as
      Miron Costin points out, "o piatra mare adusa la Galati, la
      biserica Dii, mai mult nu s-au putut întelege, far' de atâta,
      latineste: Severus, imperator Romanorum, iar româneste: Sever,
      a Râmului împarat / a big stone brought from Galati, at the
      church of Dii, it could not be deciphered, just that, in
      Latin: Severus, imperator Romanorum, that means in Romanian:
      Sever, emperor of Rome"[23].

      Whatever the lecture of the inscription made by the
      humanist scholar is correct or not, it is interesting here the
      Latin feature of the writing on the stone discovered in the
      city of Gergina near Galati. A particular importance is
      suggested by his mention that he considers that these cities
      had been raised by the Dacians and by the "râmleni / the
      Romans", "cum iaste deschis la Cetatea-Alba / as it is clear
      at Cetatea Alba"[24].

      Dimitrie Cantemir's information from Descriptio
      Moldaviae confirms the Miron Costin's news and offers more
      precision. First, he also refers to "orasele frumoase de
      odinioara, cum o arata ruinele unor vechi cladiri (veterum
      aedificiorum ruinae) / the beautiful former cities, as it is
      proven by the ruins of some ancient buildings"[25]. The most
      of these ancient cities are settled in the Southern
      Bessarabia, so that in the territory between Dniester and
      Pruth. Some of them are recent, built by the Moldavian princes
      or by the Turks. Others are ancient, rebuilt by the Prince
      Stephen the Great. Thus, the scholar notes, "pe râul Ialpug
      ... nu departe de gurile lui, sunt urmele altei cetati mai
      vechi, numita obisnuit Tint. Dupa ce cazuse în ruina, Stefan
      cel Mare a refacut-o; mai târziu însa turcii au facut-o una cu
      pamântul / on the Ialpug river [...] not far from its mouths,
      there are the remnants of another more ancient city, usually
      called Tint. After it had fallen into ruin, Stephen the Great
      rebuilt it; yet, the Turks definitely destroyed it later"[26].
      Cetatea Alba is specially mentioned by Dimitrie Cantemir:
      "numita odinioara de romani Alba Iulia, de greci Moncastron,
      de poloni Bielograd / formerly named Alba Iulia by the Romans,
      Moncastron by the Greeks, Bielograd by the Poles"[27]. Still,
      Cantemir also offers the most details in connection to the
      city of Barbosi, near Galati. "Nu departe de aici", he writes,
      "la gurile Siretului se vad ruinele unei cetati foarte vechi,
      care astazi este numita de locuitori Gherghina. Ca dovada ca
      aceasta a fost întemeiata pe vremea lui Traian sunt monedele
      dezgropate în timpul nostru din darâmaturile ei si de asemenea
      o piatra de marmura cu aceasta inscriptie: Im. Caesari. Div.
      Filio. Nervae. Traiano. Augusto. Germ. Dacico... / Not far
      from here, at the Sereth's mouths, one could see the ruins of
      a very ancient city, which now is called Gergina by the
      inhabitants. As a proof that it had been founded on the times
      of Trajan, there are the coins dug out in our times from its
      remnants and also a marble stone with this inscription: Im.
      Caesari. Div. Filio. Nervae. Traiano. Augusto. Germ.
      Dacico..."[28]. The inscription is not the same as the one on
      the stone depicted by Miron Costin, but it offers solid basis
      for authenticity[29].

      Consequently, the Romanian medieval sources confirm
      the existence of some earthen walls and of some cities in the
      Southern Moldavia, between Dniester and the Eastern
      Carpathians. All of them are of Latin origin. Among the
      cities, there are explicitly mentioned Cetatea Alba, the city
      of Tint on the Ialpug river, the city of Gergina near Galati,
      and the city of Craciuna. Also, the sources specify the
      tradition of their Roman origin, argued either by the Latin
      inscriptions near Galati, or by the Latin name of Cetatea
      Alba.



      b. Galati. The Origin and the Evolution of a Toponym

      As a consequence of these data from the antique and
      medieval sources, there is surpassed the first difficulty in
      the Constantine Porphyrogenitus' text that deals with the
      Roman presence in the Southern Moldavia between Sereth and
      Dniester, from Trajan to the end of the 7th century. Thus, it
      is removed any doubt about the possibility that some Roman
      Christian vestiges in the "deserted cities" in the region in
      the middle of the 10th century exist, as palpable stains of
      the Rome's military and human presence. The task of
      identification of these cities, as it is written to the year
      950 by the cabinet savant Constantine Porhyrogenitus seems to
      be much more difficult.

      The Byzantine historian's work has a special place
      not only among his other works, but in the whole New Rome's
      historical-political literature. As it has been remarked, it
      is not a work of imperial propaganda, destined to a large
      public, but a confidential document that was supposed to be
      read exclusively by a restraint circle of the high dignitaries
      in Constantinople, involved in the state's foreign policy[30].
      This is the explanation for the presence in the work of some
      news coming from different secret ways in the metropolis, as
      there are the ones regarding the Northern territories of the
      Pont and of the Lower Danube, where the post-900 events was
      characterized by a specific dynamic that vitally interested
      the empire. At the same time, the fact explains also the
      concrete feature of the information that clearly presents the
      toponymy, retaken from the alive speaking of the populations
      in the region, and not in its formal expression, borrowed from
      the antique sources. The Byzantine historian explicitly refers
      to the manner of collecting the information through imperial
      agents (1, 18-20), to his envoys' contacts with the
      Pechenegues at Chersones, Dnieper, Dniester and Danube (6,
      3-5; 7, 3-8 and especially 8, 5-9) and to the presence of some
      Pechenegue hostages at Chersones and Constantinople (1, 18-20;
      7, 5-6). These data suppose also his information's actuality.

      Still, the manner of collecting the information, of
      its sending to Constantinople and its annotation in a written
      form in Constantine VII's working office suppose also the
      possibility of some errors or at least of different
      modifications due to these successive linguistic mediations.
      On the other side, the extremely heterogeneous ethnical
      landscape of the region also presuppose the existence of a
      borrowed toponymy. It could be possible even a translated
      toponymy by the newcomers, from the native inhabitants, just
      as the steppe's conquerors could impose some toponyms to the
      dominated population. Just as an example, the city of Aspron,
      which meant White City (Cetatea Alba) in the language of the
      nomads, as the author himself informs us, knew special shapes
      for each populations in the region during the middle ages:
      Cetatea Alba for the Romanians, Belograd or Bielograd for the
      Slavs, Maurocastron for the Greeks, Moncastron for the
      Italians, and Akkerman for the Turks. While the last three
      seem to rely on the late Greek form of Maurocastron, meaning
      "The Black City", the Romanian and the Slavonic forms have one
      and the same meaning with the Pechenegue toponym of Aspron.
      Since the toponym was translated from one language to another,
      there should be put the natural question, which is the
      original and which are the copies? Actually, the attested age
      of the Pechenegue form does not represent a decisive argument
      in the favor of its acceptance as original.

      Other possible errors from the toponyms' shape in
      the Porphyrogenitus' text could originate in the manuscript
      transmission. These errors are well known by the modern
      historians, especially when it is about foreign toponyms and
      anthroponyms, unknown by the Greek copiers[31]. In this
      context, it should be noted that the work has not been
      conserved in the Constantine VII's original manuscript[32].
      The editors established that it was copied by a scribe to 980,
      in an also lost manuscript. The work's most ancient manuscript
      dated from the 1059-1081 period and is the working result of a
      certain Michael, "servant of the Cesar John Dukas", the latter
      being the Emperor Constantine X Dukas' son and the Emperor
      Michael VII Dukas' brother. Just that this manuscript, which
      relies on the one in 980, presents corrections, additions and
      modifications belonging to the 11th-14th centuries. As the
      editors consider, they come from "six different hands"[33],
      and they much altered the 10th century manuscript's text[34].

      These observations impose more prudence and risks
      for the modern historian. Taking them into consideration, it
      should be noted the names of the six "deserted cities"
      (eremokastra) in the Byzantine text. They are: Aspron,
      Tungatai, Cracnacatai, Salmacatai, Sacacatai and Giaiucatai.
      The last five seem to be composed by two letter groups,
      between which the last one is a constant, catai. Even Tungatai
      contains the same letter group. Undoubtedly, it is about a
      Pecheneg term that could only mean "city", since it is about
      "abandoned cities" and the term is also utilized in the
      explanations about the "city" of Aspron and is retaken in the
      name of the city on the Dniester in Romanian, Slavonic or
      Greek. Still, this Turkish term is well known in the Eastern
      Europe and the Middle East. It present the form of kala / kale
      or kalat / kalaat. This is the term that the toponym of
      Caracal, "the Black City" originates in, probably taken by the
      Romanians from the Cumans, coming from kara, "black" + kale,
      "city". The other form, kal'at / kalaat, with the long
      stressed syllable, is to be detected in tenths of toponyms in
      the region of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, meaning "city",
      "fortress", "castle": Kal'at Sanjil (= Château St. Gilles),
      Kal'at Jahmar (= Chastel Rouge) and others[35]. They are
      created by the Seldjouk Turks, deriving from the French or
      Latin names of the fortresses raised by the crusaders, just as
      the name of Galata of the ancient district of Pera in
      Constantinople should also have a Turkish origin, provided by
      the neighbor Seldjuks or Ottomans, and should not be put in
      connection with a hypothetical memory of the antique Celts,
      Gallatae[36].

      Consequently, the form of catai in the Constantine
      VII's text could be a corrupted form of the Turkish cale /
      calat. The deformation is due to one of the manuscripts'
      copiers or even to Constantine VII himself, who could very
      well make a confusion between one letter or another from the
      informative notes. Actually, the most recent editor of the
      work, that is Gyula Moravcsik remarks the many errors
      committed by the copier Michael, some of them being close to
      our investigation, as there are the substitution of the - e -
      vowel with - ai -, and especially by the copiers that
      transcribed his manuscript because of the particular forms of
      the letters utilized by Michael[37]. Therefore, the - t -
      letter could very well be confounded with - l -, so that - t -
      with - l -, just that the - ai - ending in catai could be read
      as - e -. These corrections specified, it should be passed
      from the catai in the text to kale, word that mean "city" in
      the Turkish languages. Still, the editor notices another
      particularity in the copier Michael's writing: the rising of
      the - t - letter over the other letters, just like the - i -
      vowel, but also the writing of the - i - vowel in the ending
      position in the form of - ï -. This could provoke the
      confusion between - ï - and - t -[38], fact the allows the
      reading of catai by kalat, meaning the other Turkish term for
      "city".

      The proposed hypothesis - the correction of catai in
      cale or calat - should be verified by analyzing the
      Pechenegue-Cuman toponymy in the Romanian space. The form of
      cale is already detectable in the toponym of Caracal and in
      some other toponyms. More important seems to be the toponym of
      Galati, which is largely distributed in the Romanian space,
      fact that kept the linguists' and historians' attention.
      Beside the Galati toponym on the Lower Danube, settled in the
      proximity of the Roman-Byzantine cities on the both sides of
      the river and especially near the city of Barbosi, there are
      known other five homonymous settlements in the medieval
      Transylvania. They are settled on a circle arch that is spread
      in the internal Carpathian side, from Bistrita to the Banat.
      There have been three etymologies proposed for this toponym.
      For G. Weigand and G. Kisch, it has a Celtic origin, a later
      remembrance of the antique name of the Galats tribe, which
      crossed the Dacian space and that was to borrow the name to
      the later Constantinople's Galata[39]. On the contrary, N.
      Draganu, I. Iordan, C. C. Giurescu and others consider it as
      having a Slavonic origin, derived from the anthroponym of
      Gal[40]. Other followers of the Slavonic origin connect the
      name of the Danubian city with a supposed domination of the
      Galitian Principality towards the river's mouths, so that its
      name mean "the small Galici" - Galic[41]. Surely, under this
      new etymology, the toponyms in Transylvania remain
      unexplained. Al. Philippide and E. Lozovan propose a Cuman
      origin, from the term of kalat "city", "fortress", with the K
      / G alternation, frequent in the medieval sources[42], which
      would confirm our hypothesis, at least to a certain extent. It
      is because, while the Danubian toponym could be explained
      through the Cuman way, the five homonymous Transylvanian
      toponyms could not be connected with any presence and even any
      domination of the Cumans in the Romanian territories on the
      internal Carpathian side.

      A Celtic origin is difficult to be admitted, since
      it supposes the maintenance of the Celtic tribe's memory in
      the Romanian space during two milleniums. Also, in the case of
      other toponyms, such as Galata, this etymology was put under
      question mark. Neither a Slavonic etymology could not be
      admitted, since the a > o transformation is not present in the
      case of the most toponyms, while it exists in the case of the
      two toponyms in the Banat (Goliecz, Golecz) and in the
      Bistrita area (Golaz, Goloz, Galoz). Still, even in this
      latter case, there is not a convincing explanation between
      "word" and "thing", between Wörter and Sachen, essential in
      the explanation of the toponyms. Henceforth, there remains to
      examine the Pechenegue origin of the toponym, which would
      supposed the presence of the nomad clan in all the territories
      that the toponym is present.

      For the toponym on the Danube, this presence should
      not be demonstrated anymore, being beyond any doubt. In
      Transylvania, the first of the five toponyms, settled in the
      Bistrita region and present under the form of Galaz[43], is
      surrounded by some settlements which names contain the
      ethnonym of Besseni that designate the Pechenegues in the
      Latin medieval sources. Not far of the Galati in the Bistrita
      region, there is attested a villa Paganica, while in 1432 the
      village would return to the form of monte Besenew alias
      Heidendorff[44]. There are also two toponyms on the internal
      side of the Eastern Carpathian, which are derived from the
      ethnonym of Besseni[45]. The second toponym of Galati[46] is
      attested in the Fagaras area, in front of the city of Fagaras,
      on the right bank of the Olt river. There is a village named
      Bessenbach[47] ("the river of the Pechenegues" in German) and
      in the same area was undoubtedly the silva Blacorum et
      Bissenorum in the Andrew II's Golden Bull in 1224[48]. The
      third toponym of Galati is attested in the Hateg region in
      1443, when is described as a possessio valachalis[49]. In
      neighborhood, in the Hunedoara area, near another Galati[50],
      there is a certain Bezenew (1509) that is then mentioned as
      Oláhbeseniö (1620)[51], meaning "the Romanian Besseniö" in
      Hungarian. The last toponym of Galati, in Banat[52], is
      surrounded by some more toponyms that prove the Pechenegues'
      presence in the region, such as terra castri Boseneu (1213),
      Beseneu (1230), forum Byssenorum (1390)[53], Pechenezka
      (1540)[54] and others[55]. Thus, all the five toponyms of
      Galati in Transylvania are located in regions with toponyms
      that derive from the etnonym of Besseni. Nevertheless, the
      toponym of Galati in the territories inside of the Carpathians
      rises some important questions.

      First, it is always or should be near an ancient
      city. For the toponym in Banat, the presence of a castrum or a
      forum is explicitly attested. The same is for the Galati in
      the Fagaras region, in which proximity a Romanian toponym is
      present, that is "Cetatea Veche / Ancient City"[56]. The two
      examples, just as the Danubian Galati, impose the idea that
      all the homonymous toponyms in the Romanian space are
      connected to the existence of some "ancient cities", named
      Kalat by the steppes' horsemen. Secondly, it is about the
      milieu in which the toponym had been preserved. Since the very
      beginning, one could notice that the most of these toponyms
      are settled in ancient "Romanian countries", like Fagaras,
      Hateg, Hunedoara or Banat. Even in the region of Bistrita,
      during the middle ages, there is also present a concentrated
      Romanian population, which, according to Simon of Keza, had a
      coexistence with the newcomer Szeklers in the 13th
      century[57]. The medieval sources bring into light the
      appearance of the toponym in a Romanian area; in Fagaras, a
      Romanian-Pechenegue symbiosis is attested in 1224 in the
      toponym of silva Blacorum et Bissenorum, while the Galati in
      Hateg is identified with a possesio valachalis, and the one in
      Alba with an Oláhbeseniö. The hypothesis is also sustained by
      Romanian phonetics of the toponym of Galath-Galati, despite
      the linguistic expression of the medieval sources that mention
      it (Latin, Hungarian, German or Slavonic). Although, in
      Bistrita and especially in the Banat, it appears in a
      "Slavonized" form - Golaz / Goloz, respectively Goliecz /
      Golez -, that supposes either the presence of a Slavic
      population in the region, or the adaptation to the Slavonic
      phonetics through the offices, at least in the Banat.

      Another question is connected to the origin of the
      cities that are linked with the Pechenegue-Romanian toponym of
      Kalat / Galati. At the Danube area, they are clearly antique
      Roman. For those in Transylvania, a Hungarian origin is out of
      question, since the toponym is absent in the areas of Hungary
      where the Hungarian-Pechenegue coexistence is attested. The
      non-Hungarian origin of the city is clear in Fagaras, where
      the "Cetatea Veche / Ancient City", in the neighborhood of the
      newer city of Fagaras, is previous to the Hungarian and
      Saxonian presence in the region. It also dates from the period
      of the Romanian-Pechenegue symbiosis in silva Blacorum et
      Bissenorum. As to the toponym in the Banat, here is mentioned
      a castrum or a forum Byssenorum that excludes a Hungarian
      origin of the "city". Then, should it be accepted a Pechenegue
      origin of the cities? Still, the steppe's horsemen were never
      rising any city anywhere. Even in the Latin East, the toponym
      of Kal'at is connected to the Frankish fortifications. Most
      probable, this toponym should be associated with the presence
      in Transylvania of some ancient Roman or Dacian cities, like
      at the Lower Danube, without excluding the possibility of some
      Romanian earthly cities. In the case of the toponym in the
      Banat, where one could detect a castrum Bissenorum, it could
      be about the Pechenegues' settlement around or inside of such
      an ancient city.

      Finally, another question raised by the toponym of
      Galati in Transylvania is the moment of the Pechenegue
      element's penetration in the Romanian population area. At the
      middle of the 10th century, Constantine Porphyrogenitus
      indicates that there is a distance of four days between
      Patzinakia and Tourkia (meaning, Hungary) (DAI, 37/48). While
      the Pechenegue domination was extended towards the Sereth line
      or even the Eastern Carpathian one in the West, the Hungarians
      did not surpassed Crisana at their Eastern limit. It was
      especially because the tribes of Arpad, still nomadic, were
      not conversant with the mountainous areas. The region inside
      of the Carpathian Mountains that covered the four days walking
      between "the Pechenegues" and "the Turks" was a kind of no
      man's land between the two rules of the steppe's nomads and
      was previously avoided by the two Turanic clans because of its
      relief and landscape. By the middle of the next century, the
      position of the two rules would not be essentially modified.
      It would be only to 1050 when the Pechenegue clan would move,
      pressed by the coming of the Uzzes, which dislocate
      Patzinakia. The largest number of the Pechenegue forces
      penetrates to the South of the Danube, where it is definitely
      defeated only in 1091 by Alexius Comnenos at Lebounion[58].
      Meanwhile, groups of Pechenegues entered in Transylvania by
      the Carpathian gorges, and organize robbery raids in the
      Arpadian Kingdom. It would be only in 1068, when the
      Pechenegues would be definitely defeated by the Hungarians.
      The vanquished groups would be colonized at the Western
      frontiers of the kingdom, paid by the Hungarian Royalty to
      defend the boundaries against the German attacks. Actually, in
      the area there had been installed horsemen groups of the same
      race with them, still beginning with the 10th century, which
      left there a toponymy of Pechenegue origin[59].

      However, other Pechenegues settled in the middle of
      the Romanian population in the Transylvanian "tari / terrae /
      countries", much before the effective Hungarian domination in
      the region, materialized in a royal administration under the
      form of the counties and installed only beginning with the
      12th-13th centuries. The Pechenegue elements probably
      constituted in real 'leaders' of the Romanian society, fact
      that is to explain the prestige of a toponym such as Kalat >
      Galati, which could very well translate the Romanian toponym
      of "Cetatea / the City", as it seems to be the case of the
      Galati in Fagaras area, where the two forms of Galati / Cetate
      are attested. The Romanian-Pechenegue symbiosis is clearly
      proved in the Fagaras country, where silva Blacorum et
      Bissenorum is previous to the coming of the Saxons and the
      Hungarians in the region. It is possible that the Pechenegue
      leaders to organize the Romanian population's resistance
      against the Arpadian penetration in Transylvania. Also, it
      could not be excluded the possibility that, in a later period,
      after the constitution of a Hungarian ruling administration in
      the province, to exist Pechenegue groups in the service of the
      royalty, as some toponyms in Crisana or even in the Banat,
      connected to the Pechenegue names seem to attest[60]. The
      process of the inclusion of the Pechenegue element inside of
      the "Romanian countries" is attested in the sources. Thus, the
      Galati in the Hateg is a possesio valachalis, while the one in
      Sebes is a Oláhbeseniö, not before suggesting their presence
      in the toponym of Galati or in the ones that have their names
      as derivation. Still, this process of assimilation of the
      Pechenegues was slow, whether it is observed their presence in
      the Hungarian armies in the 13th century[61], their mention in
      Fagaras in 1224, in silva Blacorum et Bissenorum, or the fact
      that the Saxons created some toponyms that derive from the
      ethnonym of Beseni, under the form of "the pagans' village"
      (Heidendorff) or, in Latin form, of villa Paganica. It would
      be only after their christianization, probably in the
      13th-14th centuries, the Pechenegues' assimilation in the
      Romanian milieu in Transylvania would be faster.

      The relationship between "name" and "thing" and
      between the Romanians and the Turkish clans in the Northern
      Danubian space in the clarification of the toponym of Galati
      is also clear in the case of another Romanian toponym, that is
      Calafat, although this latter should be put into connection
      the Romanian-Cuman relationship. The new clan of the Cumans
      that substitutes the Pechenegues at the Lower Danube in the
      second half of the 11th century extend its hegemony towards
      the West to the river of Olt, so that the Wallachian Field
      becomes a Cumania before the Tartar invasion. The toponym of
      Caracal - Cara + cale, "the Black City" is into connection
      with the Cumans. It belongs to the same semantic family of
      cale / calat "city". The Cumans, opponents to Constantinople
      and allies of the Wallachian-Bulgarians in the South of the
      Danube, passed the Danube in their robbery expedition through
      a ford in front of the city of Vidin, the ancient Roman
      Bonnonia, where the toponym of "Vadul Cumanilor / the Cumans'
      ford", nowadays Comana, is attested on the left side of the
      river[62]. There are nowadays two Romanian toponyms, Cetatea
      and Calafat near this ford. In the perimeter of the village of
      Cetatea, it was discovered some Roman vestiges belonging to
      the 2nd-3rd centuries[63]. It is to be supposed that the
      Romanian toponym is associated with the presence here of a
      Roman fortification, the pair of the much more known antique
      city of Bonnonia, on the right side of the river. The
      existence of some pairs of Roman-Byzantine cities on the two
      banks of the Danube is a frequent phenomenon. The other
      toponym, that is Calafat, which has not satisfactorily
      explained, could only originate in the Turkish word, come from
      Cuman way, of Kalaat, received by the Romanians under the form
      of "Calafat". The Cuman only retook the Romanian in their own
      language the toponym of "Cetatea", existed among the natives
      by nowadays, they preserving also the Cuman name of the place.
      Undoubtedly, it is not excluded that the steppe's horsemen to
      build here a fortress in order to control the traffic on the
      Danube, "pe drumul Diilui / on the way of Diiu" in the
      Romanian medieval documents. Anyhow, Galati / Caracal /
      Calafat belong to one and the same semantic family and are
      toponyms preserved by the Romanians from the Pechenegue-Cuman
      language.



      c. "The deserted Cities"

      We already established the inseparable connection
      between the toponym of Galati and the Pechenegue presence at
      the Lower Danube and in Transylvania in the 10th-13th
      centuries. Consequently, the toponym originates in the word of
      calat, also present in the case of the "deserted cities"
      (eremocastra) in Moldavia, although there could not be
      definitely excluded the correction of the word catai to cale,
      the latter and the Turkish calat / calaat being semantically
      alike. Henceforth, we have the right to read the six cities in
      the Constantine the Porhyrogenitus' text as Aspron, Tung,
      Cracna, Salma, Saca and Gieiou. Let us make an attempt to
      identify them as far as possible, in the light of the ancient
      and medieval sources.

      "The City of Aspron", perhaps Asprokalat in the Pech
      enegue language, does not present any identification problem.
      It is settled on the Dniester's Moldavian bank, where it is
      placed by the Byzantine author, and it does not represent
      anything else than Cetatea Alba for the Romanians, Belgorod /
      Bielgorod for the Slavs, Maurocastron for the Byzantines,
      Moncastron for the Italians, Akkerman for the Ottoman
      Turks[64]. The river of Aspros is also mentioned by
      Constantine VII (DAI, 9/91) in its proximity, still the town's
      name comes from the antique city's walls, as the Byzantine
      historian explicitly indicates. It is not difficult to
      conclude that the city's name has the same meaning for the
      Pechenegues, Romanians and Slavs, that is "the white city",
      while it takes the meaning of "the black city" for the Greeks,
      Italians and Turks. In the latter case, it is probable that
      the city be renamed by the Greeks after the 10th century, the
      meaning being then retaken by the Italians and the Turks. On
      the contrary, the endeavor of the name giving to the medieval
      city remains unsolved. The city at the Dniester's mouths is
      known by the Greeks and the Romans in the Antiquity, because
      of its settlement in the contact area between the Northern
      Pontic steppes and the sea. Its antique remnants, Greeks and
      Roman, have been discovered and researched[65]. Its strategic
      position explains the importance in the Moldavian defensive
      system in the 15th century and later in the Ottoman one. Its
      impressive fortifications built by the Romanians and the
      Turks, preserved by nowadays, stands as testimony.

      Among the other five cities' names, Cetatea Saca is
      the most important. The toponym of Saca / Seaca is present all
      around the Romanian medieval period. It is not anything else
      than the Romanian adjective of "sec / seaca", meaning "dry",
      belonging to the same word family like the verb of "a seca",
      meaning "to drain" - to dry a river's or a lake's water or the
      tree's sap. It originates in the Latin sicco, -are, just like
      the adjective of siccus. In Romanian, it often appears in the
      toponyms of Valea Seaca / Saca, Apa Seaca or Râul Sac: a river
      and the neighbor village, another village and so on[66]. In
      Wallachia, it is present in many toponyms in the form of
      Seaca, but also in the name of the village of Seaca / Saca,
      regarded as "the deserted village", with the conservation of
      the diphthong of [ea]. On the contrary, in Transylvania there
      is the same form like in DAI and in the Moldavian toponymy of
      Saca / Zaca, with the S / Z interchange, known in the Latin
      and Hungarian sources[67]. The same toponymic family also
      includes Secatura / Sacatura / Secatura, and in the
      Transylvanian toponymy there is also Zakatura[68]. Having an
      exceptional frequency on the two rages of the Carpathian
      Mountains, from Bukovine towards the Banat, this toponym,
      together with the one of Runc, also of Latin origins, defines
      a cleared land by the draining of the forest by the human
      being[69].

      What is the meaning of Saca in the toponym of
      "Cetatea Saca"? The connotation could only by the one of
      "deserted", "abandoned", "emptied", "waste" city.
      Nevertheless, the remarkable fact is the identity between the
      meaning of the Romanian toponym and the Greek term for
      "deserted", "waste" cities (eremocastra) in the Constantine
      VII's text. The fact allows us to suppose that the Byzantine
      historian simply translated the Romanian toponym. It is clear
      that the Pechenegues simply retook the city's name from
      Romanian, which is present in the scholar emperor's text in a
      Romanian-Pechenegue mixed form, that is Sacacalat, "Cetatea
      Saca", that is "the Deserted City". We are to emphasize below
      its identification.

      The third on the list, the city of Cracna is
      difficult to be identified, because of the form that the
      toponym presents in the text. It could be the Craciuna in the
      Moldavian sources, transmitted in the form of Crac[iu]na,
      especially because it is retaken in a close form in a
      Moldavian chancellery's act dated 1416, that is Crac[u]na[70].
      While the solution of the manuscript transmission seems to be
      satisfactory, the difficulty comes from another point. The
      later Romanian city Craciuna, which was for a long time the
      dispute object between Wallachia and Moldavia, was located on
      the Milcov river, too far from the Danube's mouth, although it
      was in the proximity of a Roman "troian". By its geographic
      position and the Romanian medieval sources' testimony, the
      identification with the city of Barbosi near Galati, the
      medieval Gherghina, seems more acceptable. It is also present
      in the Latin of Dimitrie Cantemir, transcribed as Gergina. The
      transformation from the Romanian Gergina to the Greek Krakna
      looks possible, whether the G / K interchange in the Byzantine
      historian's text is taken into consideration. Among other
      cases, this interchange is present in the name of an Armenian
      prince, that is Grigorios / Krekorikios (DAI, 43, 7). It is
      also detected in the numerous deformation of the human and
      places' names in the work, either due to the errors of
      transmission from the informer to the author's working
      cabinet, or to the successive copies of the Constantine
      Porphyrogenitus' manuscript. Therefore, the Romanian
      transcription of Gergina / Gherghina, frequent in the medieval
      anthroponymy and toponymy, to Krakna looks possible.

      The solution is sustained by the presence in the
      surroundings of the city of Galati of the antique relics -
      Latin inscriptions, Roman coins -, remarkably documented in
      the Romanian medieval sources and the modern archeological
      discoveries. It is also sustained by a toponymic argument. The
      present day name of the city is Barbosi, some centuries ago
      attested. The toponym is very spread in the subcarpathian
      regions in Moldavia and Wallachia. Marele Dictionar Geografic
      al României [The Great Geographic Dictionary of Romania],
      issued a century ago, mentioned some tenths of them[71].
      Barbosi is nothing more than a translation of the Hungarian
      toponym of Sakall / Zakall, which, at its turn, relies upon
      the Romanian Saca that we dealt on other occasion[72]. The
      presence of the Hungarian toponym in these regions, where many
      Hungarians, Romanians and Szeklers from Transylvania was
      established during the middle ages, is connected to the
      Hungarian Kingdom's interests in the corridors in the
      extracarpathian space that permitted them the acces towards
      the Danube's mouths through the Buzau and Sereth valleys.
      Louis of Anjou's privilege accorded to the merchants in Brasov
      in 1358 attests the presence of the Transylvanian businessmen
      at the Sereth's river mouth to the Danube, so that at Galati.
      Here the continuity Rom. Saca > Hung. Sakall / Zakall > Rom.
      Barbosi is thus documented. In this case, there is remarkable
      the presence in the Romanian medieval toponymy of the city of
      Gergina / Cracna's name in the 10th century, but also of the
      toponym of Saca, changed in the present day in Barbosi through
      the Hungarian Sakall. Moreover, the Romanian medieval city of
      Galati was built in their vecinity, and it should be connected
      with the Pechenegue toponym of Kalaat, "the City". Also here,
      the Pechenegue name is nothing else than a retaking of the
      ancient Turris, "the Tower", "the City", borrowed by the
      steppe's people from the descendants of the ancient Roman
      population at the Danube's mouths.

      The second in the Byzantine historian's list, the
      city of Tung or Tunc seems to be the same with Tint, mentioned
      in the Cantemir's work and settled at the Ialpug river's
      mouths, at the river mouth in the Black Sea. As we already
      noticed, for the Moldavian erudite, it is an ancient city,
      rebuilt by Stephen the Great and entirely destroyed by the
      Turks, when they conquered the Bugeak after 1538. Its memory
      is retaken during the 18th century in many documents. The most
      important document is dated 1759, in connection with the
      estate of "Tentil". The latter extended "de lânga troian
      [valul lui Traian], pe Cahul, despre rasarit / from the trojan
      [the Trajan's wall], on the Cahul, towards the East" and that
      also comprised the village of "Barbosi" on Ialpug in its
      enclosure[73]. The identification between the city of Tintil
      and the "deserted city" in the Byzantine historian's work is
      supported by the presence of the village of Barbosi on Ialpug
      in the enclosure of the 15th-16th centuries Moldavian
      fortification. As in the case of its homonym near Galati, the
      toponym of Barbosi relies on the evolution Rom. Saca > Hung.
      Sakall > Rom. Barbosi. The Hungarian influence in the Southern
      Bessarabian toponymy should be connected with the Hungarian
      Kingdom domination at Chilia and the surrounding area during
      the 15th century. The value of this testimony is determined by
      the fact that it attests the city's existence on the way
      between Cetatea Alba and the Danube's mouths, near the earthen
      wall built by the Romans in the Southern Moldavia for
      defensive purposes. It is difficult to specify the toponym's
      meaning that does not seem to have Romanian origins. Anyhow,
      we are not to know whether the Pechenegue or the Byzantine
      form be original, which should suppose a deformed transmission
      to the Romanians, or, on the contrary, a transcription error
      of Constantine VII.

      The last two cities, Salma and Gieou, raises other
      kind of problems in their identification. While the three
      "deserted cities" that we proposed an identification are in
      the Southern Moldavia, between Dniester and Sereth, the two
      seem to be settled on the Danube's right bank, in the North of
      the Scythia Minor. Salma could be the ancient Thalamonium,
      identified with the city at Nufarul, on the river's Southern
      branch, that is St. George, taking also the medieval Th / S
      interchange into account, which could lead to the form of
      Salamonium. The difference between Salma and Salamonium could
      be an objection. Still, it is necessary to do not regard the
      form in the antique Latin and Greek texts, but the one that
      was in use in the inhabitants' way of speaking in the 10th
      century. In the same region of Scythia Minor, the city of
      Carsium was spelled as Cars, as it is often mentioned in the
      sources and as it represents the basis for the Slavized modern
      form of Hârsova. Therefore, the ancient city's name could be
      in use the inhabitants' spelling under the form of Salama or
      something, fact that would explain the toponym transmitted as
      Salma in the Greek text.

      Transcribed as Gieou, the other city could a
      corrupted form for Aegyssus (the present day Tulcea), another
      ancient city on the Danube's same branch. In the natives'
      language, the toponym could be in use under the form of Igis
      or Egis. In the Byzantine historian's transcription, the
      initial vowel fell and the toponym took the Genitive form of
      Gieou, as it is present in the name of the city of Axiopolis >
      Axioupolis[74]. This identification is supported by the
      material remnants brought to light by the archeologists as the
      massive walls of the ancient cities[75].

      Anyhow, the major obstacle is represented by the settling of
      the two cities on the river's right bank. Still, the
      difficulty is diminished whether some details connected to the
      limit between Patzinakia and Bulgaria in the Byzantine text
      are taken into consideration. On the one hand, the historian
      affirms that the Pechenegues' domination extends towards the
      neighborhood of the Bulgarian city of Silistra on the Danube
      (DAI, 42/20-21), on the other hand, he asserts that there is a
      half day distance between the two rules (DAI, 37/48). The fact
      made the experts confused. Still, the deadlock could be
      surpassed whether we admit that this no man's land of a half
      of day distance is settled in the North of Scythia Minor,
      having a totally different relief and landscape than those of
      steppe in the Northern half of the region. The last two
      "deserted cities" were to be found in this no man's land
      between Patzinakia and Bulgaria, in a territory not entirely
      unknown for the Pechenegues. It should be added that the
      maintaining of the two ancient toponyms in the 10th century is
      not to be a singular case, whether we take into account the
      city of Carsium > Cars > Hârsova, which name has been
      preserved by now in the region's toponymy, or the name of the
      more distinguished antique city of Durostorum / Darstor /
      Silistra.

      In connection to the six "deserted cities", it is
      necessary to specify the place where Cetatea Saca was located.
      The most plausible version is its identification with the
      medieval Isaccea, also settled on the Danube's bank in
      Dobroudja. The medieval city was situated on the antique
      Noviodunum's settlement, having a very important strategic
      position in Scythia Minor, since it controlled the passage way
      on the Danube's most important ford in the mouth river's area.
      The antique city was abandoned during the 7th century, no
      later than once with the arrival of the Asparuch's
      Protobulgarians. Thus, at the middle of the 10th century, it
      was an "deserted city" or, in the Romanians' language, a Saca.
      After 971, when the Byzantines return at the Danube as
      military power, the city is rebuilt and has the same
      importance in the New Rome's defensive system. The new
      fortifications and the huge quantities of Byzantine coins in
      the region stand as testimonies[76]. The name of Satza, a
      leader of the revolt in Paristrion against Byzantium on
      1072[77], is to be probably regarded as the toponym's Greek
      form retaken from the Romanians: Rom. Saca > Gr. Satza. Under
      the circumstances of the Constantinopolitan power's decay at
      the Danube after 1204, the medieval city fails in importance,
      but a century later, to 1300, the Tartar Khan Nogai and one of
      his sons establish here their residence and a coinage
      workshop. The city is mentioned in the Eastern sources as
      Saqcia / Sacdji[78], that probably relies on the Romanian
      toponym of Saca, also present in the Constantine
      Porphyrogenitus' text. The later Ottoman form of Isaccea
      supposes an original Romanian Saca, which the Turks took the
      present form, on the pattern of Gr. Smirna > Tk. Izmir, Gr.
      Nicaea > Tk. Isnik or Gr. Vlachia > Tk. Iflak.

      Whether the six "deserted cities" in the Byzantine
      text are attentively regarded, there are three of them settled
      on the North of the Danube, while the other three are to be
      detected on the South of the river. The first three - Aspron /
      Cetatea Alba, Tunc / Tintil and Cracna / Gergina - certainly
      belong to the Pechenegues' domination area, while the
      (Message over 64 KB, truncated)
    • george knysh
      ... ******GK: In my view, these ruined cities were not located along the Dnister, but on the Lower Dnipro (as indicated in other manuscripts of DAI cited in
      Message 2 of 17 , Sep 7, 2002
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        --- alexmoeller@... wrote:
        > Toponymy and ethnic Realities at the Lower Danube
        >
        > in the 10th Century.
        >
        > "The deserted Cities" in the Constantine
        > Porphyrogenitus'
        > De administrando imperio
        >
        >
        > Stelian Brezeanu,
        >
        > University of Bucharest
        >
        ******GK: In my view, these "ruined cities" were not
        located along the Dnister, but on the Lower Dnipro (as
        indicated in other manuscripts of DAI cited in the
        Jenkins apparatus). The whole area was known as the
        "Bi(e)loberezhya" (the "white shore") in the time of
        Constantine VII and Svyatoslav. They were in fact the
        remnants of the cities of Scythia (later also known as
        the "Ulch grads" since they were controlled by the
        Ulch Huns in the 5th-6th cs.) Brezeanu's article may
        have interesting contributions as to other things, but
        I believe that he is off the mark entirely with
        respect to the geographical issue.******

        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
        Yahoo! Finance - Get real-time stock quotes
        http://finance.yahoo.com
      • alexmoeller@t-online.de
        ... From: george knysh To: Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 10:21 AM Subject: Re: [tied] Toponymy and ethnic
        Message 3 of 17 , Sep 7, 2002
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "george knysh" <gknysh@...>
          To: <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 10:21 AM
          Subject: Re: [tied] Toponymy and ethnic Realities at the Lower
          Danube by Brezeanu Stelian


          >
          > --- alexmoeller@... wrote:
          > > Toponymy and ethnic Realities at the Lower Danube
          > >
          > > in the 10th Century.
          > >
          > > "The deserted Cities" in the Constantine
          > > Porphyrogenitus'
          > > De administrando imperio
          > >
          > >
          > > Stelian Brezeanu,
          > >
          > > University of Bucharest
          > >
          > ******GK: In my view, these "ruined cities" were not
          > located along the Dnister, but on the Lower Dnipro (as
          > indicated in other manuscripts of DAI cited in the
          > Jenkins apparatus). The whole area was known as the
          > "Bi(e)loberezhya" (the "white shore") in the time of
          > Constantine VII and Svyatoslav. They were in fact the
          > remnants of the cities of Scythia (later also known as
          > the "Ulch grads" since they were controlled by the
          > Ulch Huns in the 5th-6th cs.) Brezeanu's article may
          > have interesting contributions as to other things, but
          > I believe that he is off the mark entirely with
          > respect to the geographical issue.******
          >
          [Moelelr] hei, you read very quick. I need some longer to read
          the whole article. But this should be maybe because my
          english:-)
        • george knysh
          ... ******GK: The best short account of the history of Bilhorod Dnistrovs kyj is a Russian language article by M. Shlapak which can be found at the city s
          Message 4 of 17 , Sep 7, 2002
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            --- alexmoeller@... wrote:
            > Toponymy and ethnic Realities at the Lower Danube
            >
            > in the 10th Century.
            >
            > "The deserted Cities" in the Constantine
            > Porphyrogenitus'
            > De administrando imperio
            >
            >
            > Stelian Brezeanu,
            >
            > University of Bucharest
            >
            >
            > "On this side of the Dniester river,
            > towards the
            > part that faces Bulgaria, at the crossings of this
            > same river,
            > are deserted cities: the first city is that called
            > by the
            > Pechenegs Aspron, because its stores look very
            > white; the
            > second city is Toungatai; the third city is
            > Kraknakatai; the
            > fourth city is Salmakatai; the fifth city is
            > Sakakatai; the
            > sixth city is Giaioukatai. Among these buildings of
            > the
            > ancient cities are found some distinctive traces of
            > churches,
            > and crosses hewn out of porous stone, whence some
            > preserve a
            > tradition that once on a time Romans had settlements
            > there".
            >
            >
            >
            > The savant-emperor's text raises some
            > problems that
            > are difficult to be interpreted and that have
            > discouraged the
            > modern scholars to approach it.
            >
            > First, while the first among the six
            > "deserted
            > cities" is not difficult to be identified - since
            > Aspron means
            > "white" in the Pecheneg language, as it resulted
            > also from the
            > text, it could only be Rom. Cetatea Alba or Sl.
            > Bielograd, on
            > the right bank of the Dniester, on the river mouth
            > to the
            > Black Sea -,

            ******GK: The best short account of the history of
            Bilhorod Dnistrovs'kyj is a Russian language article
            by M. Shlapak which can be found at the city's
            official website: [WARNING!!! See below before
            clicking]
            http://www.tira2500.org/?go=history/stcon
            It is very fair, and mentions all the possibilities
            for the obscure period between ca. 600-1250 AD. Prior
            to the foundation of the Genoese factory under the
            suzerainty of the Golden Horde, everything is
            speculative (the antique Tira was destroyed by fire in
            the late 4th c.) The hinterland was solidly Slavic
            from the 6th century, but there is no clear evidence
            of a fortress before the Genoese, when two of them
            seem to simultaneously appear (the "white" fortress
            and the "black" fortress, the former on the west and
            the latter on the east bank of the Dnister). Only the
            "white" fortress will have a big future, becoming the
            Bilhorod/Cetatea Alba/Akerman of the future. It was
            taken from the Tartars by the Lithuanians ca. 1362,
            and from the Lithuanians by the Moldavians in ca.
            1377/1378; then from the Moldavians by the Turks in
            1484, and three centuries later by the Russians.It was
            part of Rumania after 1918, then went to the U.S.S.R.
            in 1940 (more temporary shifts during WW II) and is
            now in Ukraine. Shlapak's article points out that the
            identification of the later Bilhorod with the 10th c.
            "ruined city" of Aspron is very doubtful.

            WARNING!!! The site is infected, but if you have
            Norton or McAfee they should clear things up for you,
            as my Norton did for me.

            __________________________________________________
            Do You Yahoo!?
            Yahoo! Finance - Get real-time stock quotes
            http://finance.yahoo.com
          • alexmoeller@t-online.de
            ... From: george knysh To: Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 9:09 PM Subject: Re: [tied] Toponymy and ethnic
            Message 5 of 17 , Sep 7, 2002
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "george knysh" <gknysh@...>
              To: <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 9:09 PM
              Subject: Re: [tied] Toponymy and ethnic Realities at the Lower
              Danube by Brezeanu Stelian


              > ******GK: The best short account of the history of
              > Bilhorod Dnistrovs'kyj is a Russian language article
              > by M. Shlapak which can be found at the city's
              > official website: [WARNING!!! See below before
              > clicking]
              > http://www.tira2500.org/?go=history/stcon
              . 1362,
              > and from the Lithuanians by the Moldavians in ca.
              > 1377/1378; then from the Moldavians by the Turks in
              > 1484, and three centuries later by the Russians.It was
              > part of Rumania after 1918, then went to the U.S.S.R.
              > in 1940 (more temporary shifts during WW II) and is
              > now in Ukraine. Shlapak's article points out that the
              > identification of the later Bilhorod with the 10th c.
              > "ruined city" of Aspron is very doubtful.

              [Moeller]
              aaamm.. so bad the article is not in english to read. For the
              people who cannot beginn anything with russian, which should
              be the reasons of doubt for the relation Aspron=Bilhorod?I
              just would should like to put them in a paralel view with the
              arguments of Brezeanu.
              Begining with middle of XIV centuries the topic is not more of
              a very big interers for be, but until then, a lot:-)
            • george knysh
              ... *****GK: Shlapak s article is an abbreviated extract from a larger volume (ISBN: 9975-61-180-X). She argues that it is essential to note that at the
              Message 6 of 17 , Sep 7, 2002
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment
                --- alexmoeller@... wrote:
                > aaamm.. so bad the article is not in english to
                > read. For the
                > people who cannot beginn anything with russian,
                > which should
                > be the reasons of doubt for the relation
                > Aspron=Bilhorod?I
                > just would should like to put them in a paralel view
                > with the
                > arguments of Brezeanu.
                >
                *****GK: Shlapak's article is an abbreviated extract
                from a larger volume (ISBN: 9975-61-180-X). She argues
                that "it is essential to note that at the present time
                we do not have precise scientific data which may
                enlighten us concerning the history of Bilhorod from
                the 7th to the beginning of the 13th centuries". The
                sources (onomastic, textual, archaeological) are
                contradictory, which allows for a profusion of
                theories, the most important ones of which she
                mentions. According to her "one may doubt the attempts
                to identify the Bilhorod citadel with the abandoned
                fortress of Aspron mentioned in the mid-10th century
                by Constantine Porphyrogenitus. For even if one
                assumes that Aspron is Bilhorod-on-the-Dnister, the
                "abandoned" fortress in the 10th century would more
                than likely have been the ancient fortifications of
                Tira". In other words, Porphyrogenitus may have
                confused an existing fort (Aspron) with nearby ruins.
                (Unless he was talking about the Lower Dnipro and not
                the Dnister-- GK) Shlapak also implies that this
                possible Dnister Aspron would not have been under
                Pecheneg control (but does not state whom it belonged
                to), unlike the ruins of Tira. That's all one can
                gather from the abbreviation.*******

                __________________________________________________
                Do You Yahoo!?
                Yahoo! Finance - Get real-time stock quotes
                http://finance.yahoo.com
              • alexmoeller@t-online.de
                ... From: george knysh To: Sent: Sunday, September 08, 2002 8:48 AM Subject: Re: [tied] Toponymy and ethnic
                Message 7 of 17 , Sep 8, 2002
                View Source
                • 0 Attachment
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "george knysh" <gknysh@...>
                  To: <cybalist@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Sunday, September 08, 2002 8:48 AM
                  Subject: Re: [tied] Toponymy and ethnic Realities at the Lower
                  Danube by Brezeanu Stelian


                  > *****GK: Shlapak's article is an abbreviated extract
                  > mentions. According to her "one may doubt the attempts
                  > to identify the Bilhorod citadel with the abandoned
                  > fortress of Aspron mentioned in the mid-10th century
                  > by Constantine Porphyrogenitus. For even if one
                  > assumes that Aspron is Bilhorod-on-the-Dnister, the
                  > "abandoned" fortress in the 10th century would more
                  > than likely have been the ancient fortifications of
                  > Tira". In other words, Porphyrogenitus may have
                  > confused an existing fort (Aspron) with nearby ruins.

                  [Moeller] but there are more deserted cities not just only one
                  in the region Prophyrogenetus speaks about. Curious,
                  Brezeanu's argumentation fits for all cities not just for
                  Asporn.

                  > (Unless he was talking about the Lower Dnipro and not
                  > the Dnister-- GK) Shlapak also implies that this
                  > possible Dnister Aspron would not have been under
                  > Pecheneg control (but does not state whom it belonged
                  > to), unlike the ruins of Tira. That's all one can
                  > gather from the abbreviation.*******

                  [Moeller] thank you George.

                  I have my headaches now with the "romantic way" of bizantine
                  writtings. If I understood it for Chalcocondiles who wrote
                  relative late, I never tought Prophyrogenetus can be too
                  considered a romantic or that the Suida's lexicon cann be seen
                  too in the same way.
                  The words from Suida "the Dacians, that now are called as
                  Pechenegues" are as stilistic figure to understand. So I would
                  be adviced to read it, I guess. Hmm, I am curiously if in the
                  Codex Cummanus is something about the "weak one" there, where
                  "weak one" is the expresion from Mauropus interpreted by
                  Brezeanu as the "local population" in the theritory conquered
                  by Pechenegues..
                • m_iacomi
                  ... [...] ... Hmmm. Isteon, oti enqen tou DanastrewV potamou proV to apoblepon merosthn [...] . It still looks like Dnister, not like Dniepr. Are you
                  Message 8 of 17 , Sep 8, 2002
                  View Source
                  • 0 Attachment
                    george knysh <gknysh@y...> wrote:

                    > > Toponymy and ethnic Realities at the Lower Danube
                    [...]
                    > ******GK: In my view, these "ruined cities" were not located
                    > along the Dnister, but on the Lower Dnipro (as indicated in
                    > other manuscripts of DAI cited in the Jenkins apparatus). The
                    > whole area was known as the "Bi(e)loberezhya" (the "white
                    > shore") in the time of Constantine VII and Svyatoslav.

                    Hmmm. "Isteon, oti enqen tou DanastrewV potamou proV to
                    apoblepon merosthn [...]". It still looks like Dnister,
                    not like Dniepr. Are you suggesting that Constantine was
                    plainly wrong writing down "DanastrewV" for the other river?
                    From the text one can infer only that the city of Aspron
                    had white stores, not the shore itself. The argument with
                    "Bi(e)loberezhya" looks doubtful since having a white city
                    on a white shore is not so striking, the emphasis should lie
                    on the shore, not on the city as in Constantine's text. OTOH,
                    Cetatea Alba/Bielgorod Dnestrovskij has had always a striking
                    effect on first-time viewers by its' white appearance.

                    > They were in fact the remnants of the cities of Scythia
                    > (later also known as the "Ulch grads" since they were
                    > controlled by the Ulch Huns in the 5th-6th cs.) Brezeanu's
                    > article may have interesting contributions as to other
                    > things, but I believe that he is off the mark entirely with
                    > respect to the geographical issue.******

                    So what city would you propose for Constantine's Aspron?!

                    Regards,
                    Marius Iacomi
                  • gknysh
                    ... &&&&&&******: What I am suggesting is that the manuscript evidence for Dnister is ambiguous, and that other manuscripts have DanaprewV . What you should
                    Message 9 of 17 , Sep 8, 2002
                    View Source
                    • 0 Attachment
                      --- In cybalist@y..., "m_iacomi" <m_iacomi@y...> wrote:
                      > george knysh <gknysh@y...> wrote:
                      >
                      > > > Toponymy and ethnic Realities at the Lower Danube
                      > [...]
                      > > ******GK: In my view, these "ruined cities" were not located
                      > > along the Dnister, but on the Lower Dnipro (as indicated in
                      > > other manuscripts of DAI cited in the Jenkins apparatus). The
                      > > whole area was known as the "Bi(e)loberezhya" (the "white
                      > > shore") in the time of Constantine VII and Svyatoslav.
                      >
                      > Hmmm. "Isteon, oti enqen tou DanastrewV potamou proV to
                      > apoblepon merosthn [...]". It still looks like Dnister,
                      > not like Dniepr. Are you suggesting that Constantine was
                      > plainly wrong writing down "DanastrewV" for the other river?

                      &&&&&&******: What I am suggesting is that the manuscript evidence
                      for Dnister is ambiguous, and that other manuscripts
                      have "DanaprewV". What you should do is consult the Moravcsik-Jenkins
                      edition in the apparatus, where you will find the variant in
                      question. We have similar mixups between "Dnister"
                      and "Dnipro/Dnieper" in manuscripts of the Rus' Primary Chronicle. I
                      prefer the "Dnipr" reading in DAI for a number of reasons.******

                      > From the text one can infer only that the city of Aspron
                      > had white stores, not the shore itself. The argument with
                      > "Bi(e)loberezhya" looks doubtful since having a white city
                      > on a white shore is not so striking,

                      ******GK%%%%: As explained below, the "white shore" meant not colour
                      but location, here the right bank of the Lower Dnipro, towards the
                      west.******

                      the emphasis should lie
                      > on the shore, not on the city as in Constantine's text. OTOH,
                      > Cetatea Alba/Bielgorod Dnestrovskij has had always a striking
                      > effect on first-time viewers by its' white appearance.

                      ******%%%%%%GK: I doubt very much the appearance had anything to do
                      with the original name. Note that as to Bilhorod Dnistrovs'kyj, there
                      is good evidence that at one point there were two fortresses in the
                      area, a "white" one and a "black" one. Here the colours refer to
                      geography, "white" indicating "west" (quite proper for a right bank
                      location) and "black" east. When Moldavians and Turks built up
                      Bilhorod, they may well have given it that "white" appearance you
                      mention. I don't think this was the case in the 10th century. There
                      were other "Bilhorods" in Slavic territories (and the Kyivan one was
                      also called thus because of location, not colour per se).*******
                      >
                      > > They were in fact the remnants of the cities of Scythia
                      > > (later also known as the "Ulch grads" since they were
                      > > controlled by the Ulch Huns in the 5th-6th cs.) Brezeanu's
                      > > article may have interesting contributions as to other
                      > > things, but I believe that he is off the mark entirely with
                      > > respect to the geographical issue.******
                      >
                      > So what city would you propose for Constantine's Aspron?!

                      *****GK;%%%%% If it's a question of a "ruined" city on the Lower
                      Dnipro, my guess is that it might have been the same one that Ptolemy
                      called "Metropolis", the first Scythian city on the Dnipro to the
                      east of Olbia. *******
                      >
                      > Regards,
                      > Marius Iacomi
                    • m_iacomi
                      ... For the edition used by Brezeanu, I fail to see any ambiguity. I take for granted that Moravcsik-Jenkins edition is unambiguously pointing towards the
                      Message 10 of 17 , Sep 8, 2002
                      View Source
                      • 0 Attachment
                        "gknysh" <gknysh@y...> wrote:

                        > --- In cybalist@y..., "m_iacomi" <m_iacomi@y...> wrote:
                        >
                        > > george knysh <gknysh@y...> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Hmmm. "Isteon, oti enqen tou DanastrewV potamou proV to
                        > > apoblepon merosthn [...]". It still looks like Dnister,
                        > > not like Dniepr. Are you suggesting that Constantine was
                        > > plainly wrong writing down "DanastrewV" for the other river?
                        >
                        > &&&&&&******: What I am suggesting is that the manuscript
                        > evidence for Dnister is ambiguous, and that other manuscripts
                        > have "DanaprewV". What you should do is consult the Moravcsik-
                        > Jenkins edition in the apparatus, where you will find the variant
                        > in question. We have similar mixups between "Dnister" and
                        > "Dnipro/Dnieper" in manuscripts of the Rus' Primary Chronicle. I
                        > prefer the "Dnipr" reading in DAI for a number of reasons.******

                        For the edition used by Brezeanu, I fail to see any ambiguity. I
                        take for granted that Moravcsik-Jenkins edition is unambiguously
                        pointing towards the other river. The mixups in Nestor's text are
                        not so relevant for this matter, I'm looking forward to find out
                        which are your reasons to prefer the "Dnieper" reading.

                        > > From the text one can infer only that the city of Aspron
                        > > had white stores, not the shore itself. The argument with
                        > > "Bi(e)loberezhya" looks doubtful since having a white city
                        > > on a white shore is not so striking,
                        >
                        > ******GK%%%%: As explained below, the "white shore" meant not
                        > colour but location, here the right bank of the Lower Dnipro,
                        > towards the west.******

                        I'm OK with this meaning. Consequently there is no connection
                        between the shore being called "white" for geographical reasons
                        and the white colour of Aspron's stores mentioned by Constantine.
                        So this argument has little value.

                        >> [...] the emphasis should lie on the shore, not on the city as in
                        >> Constantine's text. OTOH, Cetatea Alba/Bielgorod Dnestrovskij
                        >> has had always a striking effect on first-time viewers by its'
                        >> white appearance.
                        >
                        > ******%%%%%%GK: I doubt very much the appearance had anything to
                        > do with the original name. Note that as to Bilhorod Dnistrovs'kyj,
                        > there is good evidence that at one point there were two fortresses
                        > in the area, a "white" one and a "black" one. Here the colours
                        > refer to geography, "white" indicating "west" (quite proper for a
                        > right bank location) and "black" east. When Moldavians and Turks
                        > built up Bilhorod, they may well have given it that "white"
                        > appearance you mention. I don't think this was the case in the
                        > 10th century.

                        Why? Normally one should have used the same available stones for
                        building up the city. It looks more likely from my point of view
                        that city's Moldavian shape continued a white-colour tradition,
                        independently on geographic reasons. In other words, city walls
                        could very well have been white also in the 10th century -- which
                        doesn't obviously contradict its' "white" location. Where the name
                        did really come from (geography or colour) doesn't look clear. If
                        the city was white-coloured since the beginning, it could have been
                        both -- and I don't find any valid reason to dismiss this idea.

                        > > So what city would you propose for Constantine's Aspron?!
                        >
                        > *****GK;%%%%% If it's a question of a "ruined" city on the Lower
                        > Dnipro, my guess is that it might have been the same one that
                        > Ptolemy called "Metropolis", the first Scythian city on the Dnipro
                        > to the east of Olbia. *******

                        Does it have white walls?

                        Regards,
                        Marius Iacomi
                      • george knysh
                        ... Are you suggesting that ... any ... *****$$$$$GK: Brezeanu used the Moravcsik-Jenkins edition. This edition, in turn, relied for its critical text on a
                        Message 11 of 17 , Sep 8, 2002
                        View Source
                        • 0 Attachment
                          --- m_iacomi <m_iacomi@...> wrote:
                          Are you suggesting that
                          > Constantine was
                          > > > plainly wrong writing down "DanastrewV" for the
                          > other river?
                          > >
                          > >(GK) &&&&&&******: What I am suggesting is that the
                          > manuscript
                          > > evidence for Dnister is ambiguous, and that other
                          > manuscripts
                          > > have "DanaprewV". What you should do is consult
                          > the Moravcsik-
                          > > Jenkins edition in the apparatus, where you will
                          > find the variant
                          > > in question. We have similar mixups between
                          > "Dnister" and
                          > > "Dnipro/Dnieper" in manuscripts of the Rus'
                          > Primary Chronicle. I
                          > > prefer the "Dnipr" reading in DAI for a number of
                          > reasons.******
                          >
                          >(MI) For the edition used by Brezeanu, I fail to see
                          any
                          > ambiguity. I
                          > take for granted that Moravcsik-Jenkins edition is
                          > unambiguously
                          > pointing towards the other river.

                          *****$$$$$GK: Brezeanu used the Moravcsik-Jenkins
                          edition. This edition, in turn, relied for its
                          critical text on a number of manuscripts, some of
                          which had "Dnister" in the context we are discussing,
                          while others had "Dnipro/Dnieper". M-J decided to
                          adopt the Dnister reading. I decided to adopt the
                          Dnipro reading.*******

                          The mixups in
                          > Nestor's text are
                          > not so relevant for this matter,

                          *******%%%%GK: Only to someone not particularly
                          familiar with the problems of editing manuscripts. I
                          mentioned it as an example of how ancient scribes may
                          opt for reading A or reading B, thereafter providing
                          textologists some interesting choices.******

                          I'm looking forward
                          > to find out
                          > which are your reasons to prefer the "Dnieper"
                          > reading.

                          ******%%%%GK: One of them is because that river is
                          more important than the Dnister as a northernbound
                          waterway (from the 10th century Byzantine
                          perspective), and is more important within the
                          parameters of Constantine's discussion and description
                          of the Pechenegs and the Rus'. Another is that it is
                          the location of the so-called "Ulch grads", the
                          ancient Scythian cities.Note that Moravcsik-Jenkins
                          give no reasons whatever for their choice of Dnister
                          over Dnipro.********

                          > >> [...] the emphasis should lie on the shore, not
                          > on the city as in
                          > >> Constantine's text. OTOH, Cetatea Alba/Bielgorod
                          > Dnestrovskij
                          > >> has had always a striking effect on first-time
                          > viewers by its'
                          > >> white appearance.
                          > >
                          > > ******%%%%%%GK: I doubt very much the appearance
                          > had anything to
                          > > do with the original name. Note that as to
                          > Bilhorod Dnistrovs'kyj,
                          > > there is good evidence that at one point there
                          > were two fortresses
                          > > in the area, a "white" one and a "black" one. Here
                          > the colours
                          > > refer to geography, "white" indicating "west"
                          > (quite proper for a
                          > > right bank location) and "black" east. When
                          > Moldavians and Turks
                          > > built up Bilhorod, they may well have given it
                          > that "white"
                          > > appearance you mention. I don't think this was the
                          > case in the
                          > > 10th century.
                          >
                          >(MI) Why? Normally one should have used the same
                          > available stones for
                          > building up the city. It looks more likely from my
                          > point of view
                          > that city's Moldavian shape continued a white-colour
                          > tradition,
                          > independently on geographic reasons. In other words,
                          > city walls
                          > could very well have been white also in the 10th
                          > century -- which
                          > doesn't obviously contradict its' "white" location.
                          > Where the name
                          > did really come from (geography or colour) doesn't
                          > look clear.

                          ******GK: The fact that there were a number of
                          "Bilhorods" in the Slavic areas makes the geographical
                          orientation somewhat more likely. BTW the Khazar
                          state's westernmost outpost was also named because of
                          its location (Sharkel= Bela Vezha in Slavic: "the
                          white fortress"). And the Croats of Dalmatia were the
                          "white" Croats. But I won't accumulate evidence. Your
                          view about B.D. reminds me of a popular notion that
                          the Belarusans were so called because they wore
                          "white" clothes.*******

                          If
                          > the city was white-coloured since the beginning, it
                          > could have been
                          > both -- and I don't find any valid reason to dismiss
                          > this idea.

                          ******GK: I assume that its sister fortress (the
                          "black" city) would have been built with the same type
                          of material originally, not with black stones...*****
                          >
                          > > > So what city would you propose for
                          > Constantine's Aspron?!
                          > >
                          > > *****GK;%%%%% If it's a question of a "ruined"
                          > city on the Lower
                          > > Dnipro, my guess is that it might have been the
                          > same one that
                          > > Ptolemy called "Metropolis", the first Scythian
                          > city on the Dnipro
                          > > to the east of Olbia. *******
                          >
                          > Does it have white walls?

                          *****&&&&&:GK: I have no idea. I believe not much is
                          left there except foundations. But it certainly was
                          the westernmost city of the Old Scythian complex on
                          the Lower Dnipro, and on that account deserved to be
                          called "the white" (city)*******
                          >
                          > Regards,
                          > Marius Iacomi
                          >
                          >


                          __________________________________________________
                          Do You Yahoo!?
                          Yahoo! Finance - Get real-time stock quotes
                          http://finance.yahoo.com
                        • George
                          ... In Turkic contexts, also to be verified kara (subordinate) and ak (free; chief) realities, i.e. administrative entities. (cf. Székes- fehérvár = a
                          Message 12 of 17 , Sep 9, 2002
                          View Source
                          • 0 Attachment
                            >******%%%%%%GK: I doubt very much the appearance had anything to do
                            >with the original name. Note that as to Bilhorod Dnistrovs'kyj, there
                            >is good evidence that at one point there were two fortresses in the
                            >area, a "white" one and a "black" one. Here the colours refer to
                            >geography, "white" indicating "west" (quite proper for a right bank
                            >location) and "black" east. When Moldavians and Turks built up
                            >Bilhorod, they may well have given it that "white" appearance you
                            >mention. I don't think this was the case in the 10th century. There
                            >were other "Bilhorods" in Slavic territories (and the Kyivan one was
                            >also called thus because of location, not colour per se).*******

                            In Turkic contexts, also to be verified "kara" (subordinate) and
                            "ak" (free; chief) realities, i.e. administrative entities. (cf. Székes-
                            fehérvár = a "white" city & old capital of Hungary; Gyulafehérvár
                            = B@lgrad = Alba Iulia = the old capital of Transylvania (starting as
                            such under a Turkic chieftain related to the Arpadian royal house;
                            also cf. Nándorfehérvár = Belgrad = Beograd = Serbia's capital).

                            George
                          • m_iacomi
                            ... OK, sorry about missunderstanding. ... I was aware on how ancient scribes may opt for reading A or reading B. I pointed out that we were not talking about
                            Message 13 of 17 , Sep 9, 2002
                            View Source
                            • 0 Attachment
                              george knysh <gknysh@y...> wrote:

                              > *****$$$$$GK: Brezeanu used the Moravcsik-Jenkins
                              > edition. This edition, in turn, relied for its
                              > critical text on a number of manuscripts, some of
                              > which had "Dnister" in the context we are discussing,
                              > while others had "Dnipro/Dnieper". M-J decided to
                              > adopt the Dnister reading. I decided to adopt the
                              > Dnipro reading.*******

                              OK, sorry about missunderstanding.

                              >> The mixups in Nestor's text are not so relevant for this matter,
                              >
                              > *******%%%%GK: Only to someone not particularly
                              > familiar with the problems of editing manuscripts. I
                              > mentioned it as an example of how ancient scribes may
                              > opt for reading A or reading B, thereafter providing
                              > textologists some interesting choices.******

                              I was aware on how ancient scribes may opt for reading A or
                              reading B. I pointed out that we were not talking about confusing
                              "Dnester" with "Dnepr" in Nestor's text but in DAI's copies, which
                              is a different issue.

                              >> I'm looking forward to find out which are your reasons to
                              >> prefer the "Dnieper" reading.
                              >
                              > ******%%%%GK: One of them is because that river is
                              > more important than the Dnister as a northernbound
                              > waterway (from the 10th century Byzantine
                              > perspective), and is more important within the
                              > parameters of Constantine's discussion and description
                              > of the Pechenegs and the Rus'.

                              I could agree that Dnepr is and was more important from the
                              10th century Byzantine perspective. Nevertheless, the point
                              is not which river was more important at that time but which
                              river was specifically designed by Constantine: he did not
                              spoke about that river being highly essential northernbound
                              (at least, it doesn't result from the quoted text). I think
                              he was fully entitled to describe any river pleased him, not
                              only the most important one.

                              > Another is that it is the location of the so-called "Ulch
                              > grads", the ancient Scythian cities.

                              This is related with the choice of the river. As you may see
                              from Brezeanu's text, there is also material support for those
                              cities being located on the "white" side of the Dnester.
                              Had those Scythian cities many things in common with Roman
                              settlements?!

                              > Note that Moravcsik-Jenkins give no reasons whatever for
                              > their choice of Dnister over Dnipro.********

                              But I bet they had some reasons, though.

                              >>> I don't think this was the case in the
                              >>> 10th century.
                              >>
                              >>(MI) Why? Normally one should have used the same available stones
                              >> for building up the city. It looks more likely from my point of
                              >> view that city's Moldavian shape continued a white-colour
                              >> tradition, independently on geographic reasons. In other words,
                              >> city walls could very well have been white also in the 10th
                              >> century -- which doesn't obviously contradict its' "white"
                              >> location. Where the name did really come from (geography or
                              >> colour) doesn't look clear.
                              >
                              > ******GK: The fact that there were a number of
                              > "Bilhorods" in the Slavic areas makes the geographical
                              > orientation somewhat more likely.

                              I should have added: "doesn't look clear and has little meaning
                              for the matter". "its stores look very white" tells us that the
                              emperor was specifically targeting a white-coloured city, not a
                              right-bank sided one.

                              > Your view about B.D. reminds me of a popular notion that the
                              > Belarusans were so called because they wore "white" clothes.*******

                              OK for the fun. But B.D./C.A. is still a white coloured city,
                              regardless its' side.

                              >> If the city was white-coloured since the beginning, it
                              >> could have been both -- and I don't find any valid reason to
                              >> dismiss this idea.
                              >
                              > ******GK: I assume that its sister fortress (the
                              > "black" city) would have been built with the same type
                              > of material originally, not with black stones...*****

                              That's possible. So, what does that imply?

                              >>> [...] my guess is that it might have been the same one that
                              >>> Ptolemy called "Metropolis", the first Scythian city on the
                              >>> Dnipro to the east of Olbia. *******
                              >>
                              >> Does it have white walls?
                              >
                              > *****&&&&&:GK: I have no idea. I believe not much is
                              > left there except foundations. But it certainly was
                              > the westernmost city of the Old Scythian complex on
                              > the Lower Dnipro, and on that account deserved to be
                              > called "the white" (city)*******

                              OK. For geographical reasons, one might call "Metropolis"
                              (along with other cities, for in that area there is not only
                              the Old Scythian complex) "the white". There is still some
                              way to "its stores look very white" which doesn't appear as
                              a geographical description.

                              Regards,
                              Marius Iacomi
                            • george knysh
                              ... *****GK: Yes indeed, if by Roman settlements one means what Constantine Porphyrogenitus meant. Remember that to him Romeans were Romans ! The
                              Message 14 of 17 , Sep 9, 2002
                              View Source
                              • 0 Attachment
                                --- m_iacomi <m_iacomi@...> wrote:
                                > Had those Scythian cities many things in common
                                > with Roman
                                > settlements?!

                                *****GK: Yes indeed, if by "Roman" settlements one
                                means what Constantine Porphyrogenitus meant. Remember
                                that to him "Romeans" were "Romans"! The architecture
                                of Old Scythian cities is very close to that of Olbia
                                ,Tyras, and Chersonesos (though not as massive)******
                                >
                                > > Note that Moravcsik-Jenkins give no reasons
                                > whatever for
                                > > their choice of Dnister over Dnipro.********
                                >
                                > But I bet they had some reasons, though.

                                *****GK: The only one I can think of is a reason
                                common to textologists who simply prefer to follow a
                                particular manuscript in all of its details. That is
                                not good enough for historians. But since J/M kept mum
                                about their reasons I won't discuss this point any
                                more. Not enough data.******

                                > >> If the city was white-coloured since the
                                > beginning, it
                                > >> could have been both -- and I don't find any
                                > valid reason to
                                > >> dismiss this idea.
                                > >
                                > > ******GK: I assume that its sister fortress (the
                                > > "black" city) would have been built with the same
                                > type
                                > > of material originally, not with black
                                > stones...*****
                                >
                                > That's possible. So, what does that imply?

                                *****%%%%%:GK (:=))) My goodness... Why that if both
                                were built with the same kind of stone, the "white"
                                and "black" would have no relationship to colour as
                                such since colour-wise the "black' fortress would have
                                been as "white" as the "white" fortress...*****
                                >


                                __________________________________________________
                                Do You Yahoo!?
                                Yahoo! Finance - Get real-time stock quotes
                                http://finance.yahoo.com
                              • george knysh
                                ... ****GK: You are quite right. This alternative explication should be kept in mind whenever such colour issues arise (especially white- black ). I might
                                Message 15 of 17 , Sep 9, 2002
                                View Source
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  --- George <gs001ns@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > >******%%%%%%GK: I doubt very much the appearance
                                  > had anything to do
                                  > >with the original name. Note that as to Bilhorod
                                  > Dnistrovs'kyj, there
                                  > >is good evidence that at one point there were two
                                  > fortresses in the
                                  > >area, a "white" one and a "black" one. Here the
                                  > colours refer to
                                  > >geography, "white" indicating "west" (quite proper
                                  > for a right bank
                                  > >location) and "black" east. When Moldavians and
                                  > Turks built up
                                  > >Bilhorod, they may well have given it that "white"
                                  > appearance you
                                  > >mention. I don't think this was the case in the
                                  > 10th century. There
                                  > >were other "Bilhorods" in Slavic territories (and
                                  > the Kyivan one was
                                  > >also called thus because of location, not colour
                                  > per se).*******
                                  >
                                  > In Turkic contexts, also to be verified "kara"
                                  > (subordinate) and
                                  > "ak" (free; chief) realities, i.e. administrative
                                  > entities. (cf. Sz�kes-
                                  > feh�rv�r = a "white" city & old capital of Hungary;
                                  > Gyulafeh�rv�r
                                  > = B@lgrad = Alba Iulia = the old capital of
                                  > Transylvania (starting as
                                  > such under a Turkic chieftain related to the
                                  > Arpadian royal house;
                                  > also cf. N�ndorfeh�rv�r = Belgrad = Beograd =
                                  > Serbia's capital).
                                  >
                                  > George

                                  ****GK: You are quite right. This alternative
                                  explication should be kept in mind whenever such
                                  "colour" issues arise (especially "white-"black"). I
                                  might add that the ruler-ruled or free-dependent
                                  business is also involved in nomenclature which stems
                                  from some at least of the Alanic populations (perhaps
                                  under Turkic influence?). Thus, the Slavic tribe of
                                  the "Sivera" {the "black" or as later Slavicized, the
                                  "Siverjany") was apparently so designated because they
                                  it was subjected to the Alanic west Khazar Kaganate
                                  (capital at Sarada near modern Kharkiv). I suppose the
                                  Slavic term "chern'" for "lower class" people also
                                  comes from this perspective (and the name of the chief
                                  city of the "Sivera" was "Chernihiv"(Chernigov), viz.
                                  "the black".*******
                                  >
                                  >


                                  __________________________________________________
                                  Do You Yahoo!?
                                  Yahoo! Finance - Get real-time stock quotes
                                  http://finance.yahoo.com
                                • m_iacomi
                                  ... OK. He writes down Romaioi which has to be seen as an equivalent for Byzantine (Greeks), or I got something wrong here?! ... I can think of another one:
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Sep 9, 2002
                                  View Source
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    --- In cybalist@y..., george knysh <gknysh@y...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > --- m_iacomi <m_iacomi@y...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    >> Had those Scythian cities many things in common with Roman
                                    >> settlements?!
                                    >
                                    > *****GK: Yes indeed, if by "Roman" settlements one
                                    > means what Constantine Porphyrogenitus meant. Remember
                                    > that to him "Romeans" were "Romans"! The architecture
                                    > of Old Scythian cities is very close to that of Olbia,
                                    > Tyras, and Chersonesos (though not as massive)******

                                    OK. He writes down "Romaioi" which has to be seen as an
                                    equivalent for Byzantine (Greeks), or I got something
                                    wrong here?!

                                    >> But I bet they had some reasons, though.
                                    >
                                    > *****GK: The only one I can think of is a reason
                                    > common to textologists who simply prefer to follow a
                                    > particular manuscript in all of its details. That is
                                    > not good enough for historians. But since J/M kept mum
                                    > about their reasons I won't discuss this point any
                                    > more. Not enough data.******

                                    I can think of another one: they compared several versions
                                    and they followed the peculiar one which they estimated was
                                    the closest to the original. But, as you said, not enough data.

                                    >>>> If the city was white-coloured since the beginning, it
                                    >>>> could have been both -- and I don't find any valid reason
                                    >>>> to dismiss this idea.
                                    >>>
                                    >>> ******GK: I assume that its sister fortress (the
                                    >>> "black" city) would have been built with the same
                                    >>> type of material originally, not with black stones...*****
                                    >>
                                    >> That's possible. So, what does that imply?
                                    >
                                    > *****%%%%%:GK (:=))) My goodness... Why that if both
                                    > were built with the same kind of stone, the "white"
                                    > and "black" would have no relationship to colour as
                                    > such since colour-wise the "black' fortress would have
                                    > been as "white" as the "white" fortress...*****

                                    :-)
                                    Well, I've already had a thought on that. I think my first
                                    phrase was ambiguous. The idea not to be dismissed which I
                                    had actually in mind was actually "the city was white-coloured
                                    since the beginning", not "it could have been both". I think
                                    this misunderstanding originated some five messages ago, I
                                    thought you were denying the possibility for the Xth century
                                    city to be white-coloured.
                                    Of course, if both cities were white-shaped, the dichotomy
                                    in names could only arise from geographical reasons. However,
                                    Constantine doesn't speak about a "Black" city, only about a
                                    white one in a definitely colour-based interpretation. That's
                                    why I think more plausible the "colour link" to C.A./B.D..

                                    Summarizing, I think the material is still subjected to
                                    one or another interpretation, and one cannot dismiss or
                                    totally sustain any of the two possibilities previously
                                    discussed (Dnestr/Dnepr). If you agree on this point, I
                                    think it would be about time to finish this thread.

                                    Regards,
                                    Marius Iacomi
                                  • george knysh
                                    ... ****GK:And the fact that Constantine doesn t speak of a black city across the river from the white city would be an additional argument in favour of
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Sep 9, 2002
                                    View Source
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      --- m_iacomi <m_iacomi@...> wrote:
                                      > Of course, if both cities were white-shaped, the
                                      > dichotomy
                                      > in names could only arise from geographical reasons.
                                      > However,
                                      > Constantine doesn't speak about a "Black" city, only
                                      > about a
                                      > white one in a definitely colour-based
                                      > interpretation. That's
                                      > why I think more plausible the "colour link" to
                                      > C.A./B.D..

                                      ****GK:And the fact that Constantine doesn't speak of
                                      a "black" city across the river from the "white" city
                                      would be an additional argument in favour of Dnipro
                                      rather than Dnister being the correct location for
                                      this passage, since we know nothing of a "black" city
                                      on the Lower Dnipro.*****
                                      >
                                      > Summarizing, I think the material is still
                                      > subjected to
                                      > one or another interpretation, and one cannot
                                      > dismiss or
                                      > totally sustain any of the two possibilities
                                      > previously
                                      > discussed (Dnestr/Dnepr). If you agree on this
                                      > point, I
                                      > think it would be about time to finish this thread.
                                      >
                                      > Regards,
                                      > Marius Iacomi

                                      *****GK: I am comfortable with Shlapak's view about
                                      the impossibility of concluding anything definitive
                                      about the history of Bilhorod Dnistrovs'kyj prior to
                                      the second half of the 13th c. (I'll have a brief
                                      follow up on this shortly). I am also convinced by her
                                      claim that even if Constantine Porphyrogenitus was
                                      thinking about a city on the Dnister called "Aspron",
                                      that city, as a functioning fortress in the 10th c.,
                                      would not have been an "abandoned" city (in other
                                      words Constantine might have confused the Tira ruins
                                      with "Aspron".) As for the reasons for J/M's choice of
                                      manuscript readings I'll leave that open for a bit
                                      until I've had the opportunity to look at their
                                      edition again. Perhaps there are indications which
                                      would preclude speculation about their
                                      motivations.*****
                                      >
                                      >


                                      __________________________________________________
                                      Do You Yahoo!?
                                      Yahoo! Finance - Get real-time stock quotes
                                      http://finance.yahoo.com
                                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.