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Roman Crimean peninsula

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

In the Sevastopol region, in antiquity, there was a “fief” trading city-state Tauridian Chersonesus (Chersonesus). Although Crimea was not a province of the Empire, it was in its orbit of influence. Chersonesos was founded by Greek colonists in 528 BCE. by the Greek colony of Miletus. Initially, it had a standard system of democratic governance of the city by elected officials. The basis of the economy was agriculture based on the surrounding fields. At the turn of the 5th/4th century BCE the first defensive walls were built around the then city. At that time, Chersonesos turned from a city-state into the capital of a fairly large state covering a large part of the western Crimea. From the middle of the 4th century BCE the city expands rapidly and in the 3rd century BCE it reaches its maximum dimensions visible in the course of the walls that have survived to this day.

In the 2nd century BCE the threat from the Scythians, who had taken over most of Crimea, forced Chersonesos to ask for help from the ruler of Pontus, King Mithridates. This led to the disintegration of the Scythians, but Chersonesos became part of the Pontic state, although it retained internal autonomy and self-government. After the defeat of Mithridates in the war against Rome, Chersonesos gradually became dependent on the Roman Empire in the 1st century BCE. In the 2nd century CE a contingent of Roman troops was established in the city, as well as in other cities of southern Crimea. The Romans expanded and modernized the fortifications. The emergence of Roman influence in Crimea brings the period of the re-flowering of Chersonesos. At the end of the 4th century CE the steppe areas of central and northern Crimea are conquered by the Huns, who, however, failed to conquer either Chersonesos or the Bosporus.

Taurica Chersonesos and other ancient Greek colonies of the northern Black Sea in 450 BCE.
Author: MapMaster | Under Creative Commons Attribution license - On the same terms 3.0.

The Roman Empire in Crimea maintained its military outposts in order to observe the movements of the steppe nomads and to support the ally. The Romans arrived in this area during the reign of Nero, as a result of aid given to Regnum Bosporanum and Chersonesos under attack by the Scythian barbarians. Remains of Roman forts from the second half of the 2nd and early 3rd century CE have been discovered in this area. There was a detachment of about 500 soldiers from the 1st Italian Legion stationed in the Novae fortress in Moesi Inferior. An object similar to a typical Roman border watchtower was also unveiled in this area. It was a fortified Roman military outpost, about 20 meters in diameter, surrounded by a 3-meter stone wall with an observation tower inside.

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