KAZANSKIY М., MASTYKOVA А.V. Barbarians in the City: Burials of the Germans in the Urban Cemeteries of Northern Illyricum in the Early Byzantine Period

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2017.5.21 

Miсhеl Kazanskiy

Doctor habilitat (docteur habilité), Leading Researcher (Directeur de Recherche),

National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Research laboratory 8167 “East and the Mediterranean” (UMR 8167 “Orient et Méditerranée”),

Collège de France, 52, rue du cardinal Lemoine, 75005 Paris, France

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0306-0936

Anna V. Mastykova

Doctor Habilitat of Historical Sciences, Leading Researcher,

Institute of Archeology, Russian Academy of Sciences,

D. Ulyanova St., 19, 117036 Moscow, Russian Federation

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https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7521-5071


Abstract. In this paper we consider the topography of the burials of the Early Byzantine period (5th – 6th centuries), containing in their inventory items of German origin found in some cities of Northern Illyricum, whose necropolises were subjected to extensive excavations: Sirmium, Singidunum, Viminacium (present-day Northern Serbia). Two different types of burial places with German objects were witnessed on these city burials: isolated burials on cemeteries common to the whole population and separate cemeteries with the predominance of the German element. It can be assumed that these different types of organization of the funerary space correspond to different forms of settling of barbarians in the cities of the northern borderland of the Late Roman / Early Byzantine Illyricum. The barbarous presence in the urban burial context is very slight. In Syrmium, which repeatedly fell under the power of the barbarians (priests, gepids), a few barbarous burials were committed in cemeteries, which belonged mainly to the Roman city population, which indicates a fairly deep integration of the outgoing barbarians into the urban late-antique environment. In Singidunum and Viminacium, the frontier fortresses on the Danube, special “barbarian” cemeteries stand out, since the barbarians settled here were primarily a military force, that is, a separate social group with its own structure. It is also possible that unlike Sirmium, where archaeological traces of the presence of the Roman population are clearly revealed, barbarian mercenaries and their families accounted for a numerical majority in the garrison towns of the Danube borderland.

Key words: Northern Illyricum, Great Migration period, urban early Byzantine necropolises, Sirmium, Singidunum, Viminacium, Ostrogoths, Gepids.

Citation. Kazanskiy М., Mastykova А.V. Barbarians in the City: Burials of the Germans in the Urban Cemeteries of Northern Illyricum in the Early Byzantine Period. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2017, vol. 22, no. 5, pp. 227-238 (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2017.5.21.

Лицензия Creative Commons

Barbarians in the City: Burials of the Germans in the Urban Cemeteries of Northern Illyricum in the Early Byzantine Period by Kazanskiy М., Mastykova А.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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