AIBABIN A.I. Toponym Klimata in the Medieval Crimea


Aleksandr I. Aibabin

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor, Director, Research Centre of the History and Archaeology of Crimea,

V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University,

Prosp. Akademika V.I. Vernadskogo, 4, 295007 Simferopol, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. In Byzantine historical and hagiographic texts of the 9th–10th centuries reporting on events that took place in Crimea, the Klimata were repeatedly mentioned (τ κλίματα is a plural number of τὸ κλίμα – klimata). Κλίμα in Greek means a district in a city or part of a province.

Methods. For justifying the boundaries of the Klimata, it is necessary to analyze all references to the toponym in written sources and materials of archaeological excavations in the South-Western Crimea.

Analysis. During the entire period of its existence, the Klimata (archontitai) did not have autonomy. In the 7th century Cherson and Klimata were a Byzantine border province. Since the early 8th century until 841 Mountain Crimea belonged to the Khazars. Kagan united the Klimata (archontitai) of Cherson to the province of Gothia with its capital in Doros. Kagan retained the previous administration and appointed archon Klima Doras as the ruler of Gothia (Klimata). Kagan subordinated to him the archons of other fortresses and entrusted to him the collection of tribute. From 841 to the third quarter of the 11th c., the Klimata of Gothia were included into the theme of Cherson. Seals of the Turmarch of Gothia of the end of the 10th – the early 11th centuries prove the creation the Turma of Gothia within the theme of Cherson, which was ruled by a Byzantine officer-turmarch. In 1204, the province submitted to Trebizond.

Results. In written sources, the toponym Klimata called only the region neighboring Cherson with the fortresses of the neighbouring peoples of the city “castris gentium ibidem adjacentium” (the Goths and the Alans). In the 7th century the Klimata of Cherson were localized on the territory of the country of Dori. In the 8th – the first half (?) of the 13th centuries Gothia or the Klimata of Gothia were put there.

Key words: Klimata, Crimea, Gothia, Cherson, Doros, thema, strategoi, archontes.

Citation. Aibabin A.I. Toponym Klimata in the Medieval Crimea. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2019, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 6-17. (in Russian). DOI:

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Toponym Klimata in the Medieval Crimea by Aibabin A.I. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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