Pre- and Early History

(Prof. Dr. Dieter Quast)

Byzantium’s Northern Border: Protection in Advance

For a considerable time, the Danube formed the northern border of the Eastern Roman Empire. On the south bank, there is a series of Late Antique fortifications, in which from the 5th to the 6th century a significant distribution of “barbarian” finds from the area north of the Danube manifests itself and gives evidence of the troops stationed there. On the northern bank of the river, there are often “outposts” with warrior graves, dating from the same period and lying opposite the border forts. These “outposts” will be catalogued, systematised and discussed in conjunction with the fortifications on the south bank of the Danube as components of Byzantine border security. In the area north of the Danube, during the formation of the Avar and Bulgarian realms, the changes in the archaeological sources are visible, which also indicate changed colonisation patterns. In a second phase, the changes that have come about for Byzantine border security should be considered.


The Imitation of Eastern Roman Military Attributes Beyond the Imperial Borders from the 4th to 8th Centuries

Insignia and military dress were of high value for the status and identity of the warrior. Reconstructive evidence can be derived from numerous pictorial sources of different kinds (mosaics, toreutics, murals) and from numerous Late Roman grave finds. In addition, important information on the significance of such things as torques, fibulae and belts can be obtained from the written sources. Using finger-rings, belt fittings, fibulae and militaria, this PhD thesis will examine where, when and to what extent equipment, military dress and insignia were imitated beyond the Imperial borders and in what contexts this occurred. The investigation will be undertaken on a large scale, analysing findings from England to the Ukraine from the 4th to 8th centuries.