Marcianopolis or Marcianople (Greek: Μαρκιανούπολις) was
an ancient Roman city in Thracia. It is located at the site of
modern-day Devnya, Bulgaria.
A mosaic featuring an image of the gorgon
Medusa in Devnya's Museum of
Trajan renamed the ancient city of Parthenopolis after
the Second Dacian War, which ended in 106. The city was renamed after
Trajan's sister, Ulpia Marciana. An important strategic centre, the
city was part of Roman
Thrace until 187–193, and then belonged to
Moesia inferior. Marcianopolis's prosperity under the Severan Dynasty
was ended by a Gothic raid in 248–249 and subsequent barbarian
invasions from the north. The Romans repulsed another Gothic attack to
this town in 267 (or 268), during the reign of Gallienus.
Marcianopolis became the centre of the
Moesia Secunda of the Diocese of Thrace, and was rebuilt
thoroughly in the late 3rd and early 4th century. It grew in
importance at the expense of neighbouring Odessos (Varna) in the 4th
century. The city was an important episcopal centre and a basilica
from the period was excavated in the 20th century. During Emperor
Valens' conflict with the
Marcianopolis was a
temporary capital of the empire and the largest city of Thrace
according to a source from the period.
In 447, it was destroyed by the
Huns under Attila, immediately after
the bloody battle of the Utus river.
Justinian I restored and fortified it. In 587, it was sacked
by the king of the Avars but at once retaken by the Byzantines. The
Byzantine army quartered there in 596 before crossing the Danube to
assault the Avars. Despite the regular barbarian attacks,
Marcianopolis remained an important centre until an Avar raid finally
destroyed it in 614–615, although it still continued to be mentioned
on maps until much later.
Slavs settled in the
Balkans in the 7th century, they called
the ruins of the ancient city Devina. At present, remains of the Roman
city include the amphitheatre and many exquisite mosaics. The Museum
of Mosaics in
Devnya features some mosaics in situ.
^ Ammianus Marcellinus, XXVII, 4, 12
^ Historia Augusta, Claudius, 9; Zosimus, I, 42
^ Amm. Marcell., XXVII, 5;
Theophanes the Confessor Chronographia, A.
M. 5859, 5860, 5861
^ Thompson, E. A.; Heather, Peter. The Huns, Blackwell, 1999. pp.
101–102. ISBN 0-631-21443-7.
^ Theophanes the Confessor, "Chronographia" A. M. 6079
^ Theophanes the Confessor, "Chronographia", A. M. 6088
Coordinates: 43°13′30″N 27°35′6″E / 43.22500°N
27.58500°E / 43.225