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The Danubian Lands

between the Black,

Aegean and Adriatic Seas

(7th Century BC – 10th Century AD)

Proceedings of the Fifth International
Congress on Black Sea Antiquities
(Belgrade – 17-21 September 2013)

edited by
Gocha R. Tsetskhladze, Alexandru Avram
and James Hargrave

Archaeopress Archaeology
Archaeopress Publishing Ltd
Gordon House
276 Banbury Road
Oxford OX2 7ED

ISBN 978 1 78491 192 8

ISBN 978 1 78491 193 5 (e-Pdf)

© Archaeopress and the individual authors 2015

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system,
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Printed in England by Oxuniprint, Oxford

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Table of Contents

Principal Editor’s Preface������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ vii

Gocha R. Tsetskhladze
Message from the President of the Congress����������������������������������������������������������������������� ix
Sir John Boardman
Welcome by the Secretary-General��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� xi
Gocha R. Tsetskhladze

List of Illustrations and Tables��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� xiii

List of Abbreviations������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ xxi

Opening Lecture
Black Sea cultures and peoples����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������3
Miroslava Mirković

Section 1: The Black Sea Greek Colonies and their Relationship with the Hinterland
Greeks, locals and others around the Black Sea and its hinterland:
recent developments�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������11
Gocha R. Tsetskhladze

Feasting and diplomacy in colonial behaviour in the northern Black Sea����������������������������43

Ivy Faulkner

The Black Sea area in Xenophon’s Anabasis�������������������������������������������������������������������������49

Luigi Gallo

Hegemony and political instability in the Black Sea and Hellespont

after the Theban expedition to Byzantium in 364 BC�����������������������������������������������������������53
José Vela Tejada

Femmes et pouvoir chez les peuples des steppes eurasiatiques�����������������������������������������59

Marta Oller

The Bosporus after the Spartocid kings��������������������������������������������������������������������������������63

Stefania Gallotta

Leuce Island as a part of the Pontic contact zone: constructing a sacred Topos������������������67
Ruja Popova

Sinope and Colchis: colonisation, or a Greek population in ‘poleis barbaron’?�������������������73

Jan G. de Boer

Greek colonies and the southern Black Sea hinterland: looking closer into
a long, complex and multidimensional relationship������������������������������������������������������������81
Manolis Manoledakis

Phrygia and the southern Black Sea littoral�������������������������������������������������������������������������91

Maya Vassileva

Perception and the political approach to foreigners of the West Pontic Greek colonies
during the Hellenistic period������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������97
Alina Dimitrova

The Greek colonisation of Abkhazia in the light of new archaeological discoveries:

the palaeogeographic, ecological and demographic situation in Sukhum Bay����������������� 101
Alik Gabelia

New data on the dynamics of relations between Greeks and Barbarians at the mouth
of the Tanais river in the final stage of Scythian history (5th-3rd centuries BC)��������������� 105
Viktor P. Kopylov

Greek colonisation of the European Bosporus������������������������������������������������������������������ 109

Viktor Zinko and Elena Zinko

The Cimmerians: their origins, movements and their difficulties������������������������������������� 119

Ioannis K. Xydopoulos

Section 2: The Danube and the Black Sea Region

Verbindung zwischen dem Schwarzen Meer und der Adriatik durch Ozean
und/oder Donau im Weltbild der archaischen Griechen��������������������������������������������������� 127
Alexander V. Podossinov

Between the Euxine and the Adriatic Seas: ancient representations

of the Ister (Danube) and the Haemus (Balkan mountains)
as frames of modern South-Eastern Europe��������������������������������������������������������������������� 133
Anca Dan

Cultural Transfers and artistic exchanges between the Adriatic and Black Seas,
4th century BC������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 153
Maria Cecilia D’Ercole

Celts in the Black Sea area������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 159

Jan Bouzek

Antonia Tryphaina im östlichen dynastischen Netzwerk��������������������������������������������������� 169

Victor Cojocaru

Wine for the Avar elite? Amphorae from Avar period burials in the Carpathian Basin���� 175
Gergely Csiky and Piroska Magyar-Hárshegyi

Sur quelques inscriptions possiblement tomitaines���������������������������������������������������������� 183

Alexandru Avram

The ecclesiastical network of the regions on the western and

northern shores of the Black Sea in late antiquity������������������������������������������������������������ 189
Dan Ruscu

Religion and society on the western Pontic shore������������������������������������������������������������ 197

Ligia Ruscu

L’Europe du sud-est chez les géographes de l’époque impériale:

continuités et ruptures������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 205
Mattia Vitelli Casella

Colonisation in the urban and rural milieu of Noviodunum (Moesia Inferior)������������������ 213
Lucreţiu Mihailescu-Bîrliba

Aquileian families through Pannonia and Upper Moesia�������������������������������������������������� 219

Leonardo Gregoratti

The city of Tomis and the Roman army: epigraphic evidence������������������������������������������ 223
Snežana Ferjančić

The imperial city of Justiniana Prima as a paradigm of Constantinopolitan

influence in the Central Balkans��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 229
Olga Špehar

Empreintes et originaux: les monnaies avec monogramme BAE������������������������������������� 235

Pascal Burgunder

The Roman harbour of Ariminum and its connections with the Aegean
and the Black Sea������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 243
Federico Ugolini

L’Istros dans l’horizon géographique ancien: un aperçu historique sur les

traditions et les connaissances géographiques concernant son bassin��������������������������� 249
Immacolata Balena

De la mer Égée jusqu’aux Carpates: la route du vin de Rhodes vers la Dacie������������������ 255
Dragoş Măndescu

Section 3: Roman and Byzantine Limes. Varia

Women at the verge: Roman and Byzantine women on the Danubian Limes����������������� 263
Il Akkad and Milena Joksimović

Funerary images of women in tomb frescos of the Late Antique

and Early Byzantine period from the Central Balkans������������������������������������������������������ 269
Jelena Anđelković Grašar

Regarding the fall of the Danubian Limes with special reference

to Scythia Minor in the 7th century��������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 277
Gabriel Custurea and Gabriel Mircea Talmaţchi

Some East Pontic amphorae of Roman and Early Byzantine times���������������������������������� 283
Andrei Opaiţ

Some thoughts about Seleucid Thrace in the 3rd century BC������������������������������������������ 293
Adrian George Dumitru

Eastern Crimea in the 10th-12th centuries AD: similarities and differences�������������������� 299
Vadim V. Maiko

Les Romains en mer Noire: depuis les villes greques au IIe siècle après J.-C.������������������ 315
Livio Zerbini

Castles made of sand? Balkan Latin from Petar Skok to J.N. Adams�������������������������������� 323
Vojin Nedeljković

Ancient coins on Bulgarian lands (1st century BC-5th century AD):

the archetype of Dominance/Power–God/Emperor/King on a Throne���������������������������� 329
Sasha Lozanova

Ceramics from the Danubian provinces on sites of the Chernyakhov-Sîntana

de Mureş culture�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 337
Boris Magomedov

Section 4: New Excavations and Projects

Thracia Pontica: Apollonia, Mesambria et al. A comparative archaeometrical
approach�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 355
Pierre Dupont

Old digs, new data: archaeological topography of the southern part of the acropolis
of Istros during the Greek period (the Basilica Pârvan Sector)������������������������������������������ 363
Valentin-Victor Bottez

Stratégies coloniales et réseaux d’occupation spatiale gètes sur le littoral

de la Dobroudja du Nord: les acquis du Programme ANR Pont-Euxin������������������������������� 371
Alexandre Baralis et Vasilica Lungu

Rock-cut monuments in Thrace and Phrygia: new perspectives from

the Gluhite Kamani project����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 387
Lynn E. Roller

Deultum-Debeltos: archaeological excavation of the street spaces

and structures, 2004-13���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 395
Hristo Preshlenov

The civic centre of Archaic Borysthenes: a new approach to localisation������������������������� 403

Dmitry Chistov

Changes in the structure of faunal remains at the settlement on

Berezan island (northern Black Sea) during its existence�������������������������������������������������� 415
Aleksei Kasparov

Using, reusing and repairing pottery: the example of two small Bosporan centres –
Tanais and Tyritake (everyday life, economic status, wealth and
the resourcefulness of the population)����������������������������������������������������������������������������� 423
Marcin Matera

Excavation of Ash Hill 2 in Myrmekion������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 431

Alexander M. Butyagin

Lesale, an unknown centre in western Colchis������������������������������������������������������������������ 437

Annegret Plontke Lüning

Recent discoveries at Tios and its territory����������������������������������������������������������������������� 441

Sümer Atasoy and Şahin Yıldırım

The rescue excavation of the Selmanli tumulus in Kastamonu����������������������������������������� 445

Şahin Yıldırım

New findings on the history and archaeology of the Eastern Black Sea region
of Turkey: the excavation of Cıngırt Kayası������������������������������������������������������������������������ 453
Ayşe F. Erol

On settlement problems in north-western Anatolia (Zonguldak region)

from the 7th century BC to the Roman period������������������������������������������������������������������ 463
Güngör Karauğuz

Achaemenid presence at Oluz Höyük, north-central Anatolia������������������������������������������ 467

Şevket Dönmez

New data about Roman painted pottery discovered at Cioroiu Nou,

Dolj county, Romania��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 475
Dorel Bondoc

The cooking devices of Apollonia Pontica (Bulgaria): preliminary study of

the specificities of the ceramic assemblage of this Greek colony������������������������������������� 481
Laurent Claquin

The construction of Marcianopolis: local and imported stone production and

the relationship with the West Pontic colonies during the Principate������������������������������ 491
Zdravko Dimitrov

An architectural complex in the north-western part of the Chersonesian fortress
belonging to the Chaika settlement in the north-western Crimea������������������������������������ 495
Tatyana Egorova and Elena Popova

Christian buildings in the fortress of Anacopia������������������������������������������������������������������ 505

Suram Sakania

Appendix 1
Programme: Fifth International Congress on Black Sea Antiquities................................... 512

Appendix 2
Summaries of papers: Fifth International Congress on Black Sea Antiquities.................... 518
Contributors/lead authors and contact details (published papers).................................... 561

Copyright material: no unauthorized reproduction in any medium

Celts in the Black Sea area*

Jan Bouzek
(Charles University, Prague)

Early La Tène Style and the East similar use in North Thracian art (Fig. 2), as did the motifs
of the triquetrum and swastika with spiral ends. Early Celtic
The La Tène style developed from a Geometric Hallstatt art reached the south-western corner of the Carpathian
forerunner whose main characteristics were common Basin.2 Early La Tène and Thracian fibulae both derive
during the Early Iron Age to a vast area from northern Iran from a common Late Hallstatt Certosa type. The torques
to the Atlantic Ocean; a number of its traits can be found from Gorni Cibar (Fig. 3) are roughly contemporary with
in rock art in Scandinavia and in North Pontic Cimmerian the meeting of Alexander the Great with the Celts in 335
art, with parallels from the area around the Caucasus, BC on the territory of the Triballi.
in Siberia and northern China. The peak of this artistic
movement was reached in Greek Geometric art. Transition
to this new artistic language meant creation of a new style,
which may be called the Orientalising koine. This new art
broke free from the strictness of the geometric idiom and
started to use motifs of plant-, animal- and human origin,
but in highly stylised form, without reaching fully realistic
expression.1 An axe with the head of a predator from
Tumulus 79 at Kaliště-Bezděkov in western Bohemia has
its best parallels west of the Urals (Ananino culture, Fig.

Fig. 1: Iron axe plated with bronze from Kaliště

near Beztehov, Bohemia, and its parallel in the Ananino
culture, Ural region (after Bouzek 2011). Fig. 2: Human heads on Rogozen vessels (1-2) and on
the Hořovičky phalera (3) (after Bouzek 2011).

Jacobsthal had already concluded that early Celtic art could

not be derived from Etruscan and Greek models only. From
the East the horse harness was adopted, trousers and neck
rings (torques), a common male jewel in Iran and with
the Scythians. The technique of enamel and openwork
came to Central Europe probably across the Caucasus.
Animal style and so-called Mask style came from Eastern
inspiration. Part of the Eastern influence comes from the
Ionian art made for the Persians in Asia Minor, but part
from countries further to the east through Scythian and
North Thracian arts: the dynamics of torquues are near to
Scythian Animal Style, the isolated human heads found
The paper arose in the frame of project P 12 in the Faculty of Arts, Fig. 3: Torques from Gorni Cibar
Charles University, Prague. I would like to dedicate it to the founder of (after Venedikov and Gerasimov 1976).
Celtic archaeology in Bulgaria, Mieczyslaw Domaradzki.
Cf. Megaw and Megaw 2001; Bouzek 2002a; 2011, 82-94. 2
Bouzek 2002a; 2011, 84-90.

Copyright material: no unauthorized reproduction in any medium

The Danubian Lands between the Black, Aegean and Adriatic Seas

The Balkan Migration and Aftermath

In Alexander’s time the Balkan Celts lived not far from

the Adriatic Sea; according to one remark of Pompeius
Trogos ‘in the centre of Illyria’. More is known after
the death of Alexander. In 310 BC, they attacked their
southern neighbours, the Autariati; Kassandros then
settled 20,000 of them on Mt Orbelos (the massif of Pirin
and Ograzden), between Paionia and Thrace. Around 300
Fig. 5: Celtic and Thracian fibulae from Pistiros.
BC Celtic pressure on the south escalated. In 298 BC,
Kassandros defeated their army in the Haemus (Stara
Planina). Pausanias (Descriptio Graeciae 10. 19. 6) names
their leader in this campaign Kambaules. The death of
Lysimachus in 281 BC offered the Celts new possibilities:3
in the following year, three Celtic armies marched to the Fig. 6: Celtic chain from Pistiros.
south. The first of them, led by Kerethrios, attacked Thrace;
the second, led by Brennos and Akichorios, attacked
Paionia, Dardania and Macedonia; while in 279 BC the
third, led by Bolgios, defeated Ptolemy Keraunos, who fell
in battle and the Celts carried his head stuck on a spear in
their army. They destroyed Emporion Pistiros, Seuthopolis
and other important centres in Thrace. In the ruins of the
final destruction of Pistiros damaged weapons are found,
and also one Late Duchcov-type fibula, known also from
Serbia and Hungary (Fig. 4).4 The fibula and part of a Celtic Fig. 7: Stater of Alexander the Great: head
of Athena, Pistiros hoard.
chain pendant (Figs. 5-6) were found in the burnt layer, so
somebody lost them when looting. Other Celts returned
from the campaign against Delphi and formed – with their
Illyrian allies – the tribal federations of the Greater and
Lesser Scordisci in what is now Serbia.5 The destruction
of Pistiros is dated by a coin treasure containing three gold
(Fig. 7) and 549 silver coins, among them the last issues of
Lysimachus.6 It was probably the treasure of a mercenary
who fought in Early Hellenistic armies, notably under
Lysimachus, whose issues predominate in the hoard.

Fig. 8: Talcot aryballoi fom Derveni and Hurbanovo

(1 and 3); kantharos fragment from Střelice (2).

rule over Bithynia. At that time Leonnorios and his troops

crossed the Bosporus and Lutharios the Dardanelles. An
expedition of 20,000, half of them men in arms, then
settled in Phrygia and founded the Galatian kingdom.. The
Fig. 4: Late Duchcov fibulae from Slovenia (1-2)
remaining part of the Celtic army was then defeated by
and Pistiros (3) (after Bouzek 2011).
Antigonos Gonatas, grandson of Alexander’s brother, and
the rest of the Celtic troops joined his army.
In 278 BC, one Celtic army led by Leonnorios was in Thrace
and another came there under Kerethrios. Nicomedes Bolgios and with his troops returned to the North with
of Bithynia invited Celtic tropes under the leadership of booty after the victory over Ptolemy Keraunos. A silver
Leonnorios and Lutarios to help him in his dispute with his kantharos was found at Szob in Hungary and a bronze
two brothers over the throne, and with their help he won lekythos of the Talcott type at Hurbanovo in Slovakia (Fig.
8) – these sites are not far from each other, lying on opposite
Cf. the survey by Tomaschitz 2000, 92-141; Expansion 1983.
Bouzek 2005; 2007. sides of the Danube.7 Necklaces with white glass beads in
Domaradzki 1984; Popović 1992; Todorović 1974; Szabó 1992; 1993; the shape of small amphorae arrived at many sites, among
2006; Guštin and Jevtić 2011.
Ruseva and Bouzek 2011. 7
Bouzek 2002b.

Copyright material: no unauthorized reproduction in any medium

J. Bouzek: Celts in the Black Sea area

Fig. 9: Amphoroid glass beads from Pistiros.

Fig. 10: Distribution of amphoroid glass beads in Central Europe (after Schönfelder 2007).

them Přítluky and Brno-Horní Heršpice in Moravia8 (Figs.

9-10). This Balkan experience, with its booty and stories of
enrichments by mercenaries in the South, led Celtic leaders
to mint their own coins.9 Celtic coinage in Central Europe
started – with very rare predecessors – shortly after the
Balkan campaign.10 Among models for Eastern coinage,
the tetradrachms of Philip II (Fig. 11), Alexander III and
Antigonos Gonatas were of basic importance, besides
those of Thasos, Byzantium and Larisa. In Central Europe
the main models for the first coins were those of Alexander
the Great with Pallas Athena on the obverse (Fig. 7) and
Nike on the reverse; Athena Alkis on the obverse was later
changed to a warrior. The weight system derived from the
Macedonian standard; but during the 3rd century the stater
diminished from 8.5 to 8 g. Also the changing symbolism
Fig. 11: Tetradrachm of Philip II, from Pistiros, reverse.
of the ‘Tree of Life’, which first was mistletoe and in the
Manching tree was already ivy, may be connected with the
Thracian milieu. Ptolemies and Carthage, dating from 3rd to the early 2nd
century BC;11 at least some of the Mediterranean coins
The Němčice site in Moravia yielded coins from Italy,
were probably brought there by mercenaries (Fig. 12). The
Sicily, Gaul, many Balkan centres, the Aegean, the
coins from Moldova and those struck by Adaios on the
Schönfelder 2007. Lower Maritsa show links with the eastern Balkans.
Cf. Szabó 1993.
Cf. Mielczarek 1989; Militký 2010. 11
Kolníková 2012.

Copyright material: no unauthorized reproduction in any medium

The Danubian Lands between the Black, Aegean and Adriatic Seas

Fig. 12: Coins found at Němčice, Moravia; part of them probably brought there by mercenaries (after
the list in Kolníková 2012; drawing by A. Waldhauserová, after Bouzek 2011): 1-3. Local (type Rosendorf);
4. Macedonia; 5. Danube area Celtic; 6. Ptolemaic Egypt. Map: 1. Němčice; 2. Southern Slovakia, type with
lyre; 3. Hungary, type Audoleon; 4. Transylvania, ‘bird symbol’; 5. Moldova, type Husi-Vavriesti; 6. Adaios;
7. Alexander III; 8. Illyrian king Balleus; 9. Peithesa in Etruria; 10. Rome; 11. Neapolis; 12. Arpi; 13. Tarent;
14. Bruttium; 15. Syracusae, Hieron II; 16. Alexandria, Ptolemy VI; 17. Cyrenaica, Polemaios III;
18. Zeigitania Punica, Carthage; 19. Gallia, type with cross; 20-21. Potins with big head,
and ‘a mannequin’; 22. Massalia. Note especially nos. 5-6.

Celts in Thrace and the North-Western Black Sea in In the second quarter of the 3rd century, graves equipped
the 3rd and Early 2nd Century BC with Celtic armour and local or Greek pottery are
characteristic phenomena in Bulgaria. One was found in
Plovdiv and contained, besides a Celtic sword and fibula,
Another part of the Celts remained in Thrace and, under
Attic pottery of the West Slope style.13 The most famous
the leadership of Komontorius, founded between 279 and
Celtic site in Bulgaria is the burial at Mezek placed into
277 BC a new kingdom with its capital at Tylis, the exact
an older Thracian barrow. The cart with bronze linchpins
location of which is unknown. The Tylis kingdom lasted
and other decorative parts in Celtic plastic style14 has the
for 60 years; its clear borders were probably never marked.
closest parallels in similar finds from the vicinity of Paris,15
It endangered Byzantium, and other Greek towns also had
but it was probably made in Central Europe. It shows
to pay its kings for their ‘protection’. Byzantium paid 80
Celtic mobility, as with the story that a part of the Celtic
talents every year, and the last king of Tylis, Kavaros,
booty from Delphi could already be seen, just a year after
helped the city as mediator in its quarrel with the alliance
the campaign, in the region of Toulouse. On the top of the
of Prusias of Bithynia and Rhodes. He was also one of the
Mezek tumulus stood a statue of a wild boar (Fig. 13). The
first Celtic rulers to mint coins that circulated in the whole
boar was a symbol of a mighty warrior for the Celts; as
eastern Bulgaria and Turkish Thrace.12 They might be
such it was depicted on coins and on the top of helmets.
issued in Kabyle, a Greek town in the interior of Thrace on
The explanation suggesting that this was the burial either
the Tundza river that probably also had to pay to protection
of a Thracian local ruler, and that the cart in the grave
money to the Tylis kingdom. After their, defeat the Celts
from Tylis went to Asia Minor and joined the Galatians. 13
Bospachieva 1995.
Filov 1937.
Domaradzki 1995; Tomaschitz 2007. 15
Lejars 2005.

Copyright material: no unauthorized reproduction in any medium

J. Bouzek: Celts in the Black Sea area

east Bulgaria.21 North of the Danube they are even more

common, and these graves also contained La Tène or
related pottery.22 It seems that the Celts conquered only the
lowlands along the rivers; in the mountains the Thracian
population persisted.23

The 3rd-century burials of warriors known from many

parts of Thrace contain weapons of Celtic type, but pottery
of local origin or Greek; this resembles the customs of
the Italian Celts. Some Celts either entered the service of
Hellenistic rulers or fought on their own in smaller groups.
They became the leading force in Thrace for 150 years and
Fig. 13: Boar from Mezek, copy in National Museum Sofia their artistic style predominated in most parts of present-
(after Venedikov and Gerasimov 1976). day Bulgaria and Romania. Its decisive impact can be seen
in armour, jewels (Fig. 15) and other branches of fine arts.
was part of booty gained from the victory over the Celts,16 Celtic fibulae served for fastening garments; the custom
or of Adaios,17 a Ptolemaic(?) general only known from of flat skeleton graves with weapons and bronze jewellery
coinage, are hypotheses no more probable at the time of in female graves became common; pottery also accepted
Celtic victories than the ascription of the burial to a partly the La Tène style notably, in Transylvania and western
‘Thracianised’ Celtic leader, perhaps the founder of the Wallachia. Most of the inhabitants of the eastern Balkans
Tylis kingdom. remained, however, Thracian. Although some Celts
brought their wives with them and their children learned
The foot rings found inside a well at Isthmia in Greece, the Celtic mother tongue, in a foreign environment their
according to their style and manner of wearing, were small groups were assimilated during several generations
probably made in Bohemia (Fig. 14),18 quite likely and mixed with the Thracian surroundings.24
belonging to a lady who had come to Greece with the
Celtic campaign. Kruta suggested that they fit well into
the time of the revolt of Celtic mercenaries in Megara in
265 BC.19

Fig. 15: Middle La Tène fibula from Skopje, Skopje Museum

(courtesy D. Mitrevski).

North-Western Pontus

The culture of the Bastarni in modern Moldova and in the

western Ukraine was at the beginning of Celtic character.
Celtic fibulae are common in their area, starting with the
late Duchcov variety also known from Pistiros, and Celtic
style coinage. The Protagenes decree from Olbia of the
mid-3rd century BC (IOSPE I2, 32) mentions Galatae and
Skiri as the most important enemies of the city-state.25
Fig. 14: Foot-rings. Above: Isthmia; below: Prague – Bubeneč
(drawing by A. Waldhauserová, after Bouzek 2011). In the Bosporan kingdom, Celtic influence is shown first
by the Celtic shields on coins minted by Leucon II, dated to
the second/third quarters of the 3rd century, together with
More modestly equipped graves with Celtic weapons, but
a stylised Celtic sword, and those on the Isis ship depicted
with locally produced pottery, are known from all parts of
at Nymphaeum on a wallpainting of the same date,26 so
Thrace between Byzantium and the Danube.20
some mercenaries may have served there or were heard of
from the history of their activities in Thrace and Bithynia.
Celtic fibulae were also made in the south-eastern Balkans;
a mould for Middle La Tène fibulae is known from north- 21
Haralambieva 2004.
Todorović 1974; Megaw 2005; Szabó 2006; Berecki 2012.
Stoyanov 2005; 2010. 23
Rustoiu 2012.
Emilov and Megaw 2012. 24
Emilov 2007.
Szabó 1968; Bouzek 2002a. 25
Cf. Mordvintseva 2013, 215-16; for the role of Celtic fibulae in the
Kruta 2000, 687. Zarubinetskoe culture, see Eremenko 1997; for general surveys, see
Domaradzki 1984; Szabó 1992; Theodossiev 2005; Haralambieva Sulimirski 1976; Babeş 2006; Shchukin 1995.
2004; Anastassov 2011. 26
Survey in Treister 1993, 789-91.

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The Danubian Lands between the Black, Aegean and Adriatic Seas


After the occupation of Phrygia, the Galatians and the

remaining Phrygians formed a federation. The Celtic part
of this federation was divided into three tribes – Tolstobogi,
Trocmi and Tectosagi – and each of them was divided
into four parts, tetrarchies. The Tectosagi were the only
Galatians in Asia Minor to maintain awareness of tribal
unity. The Volsci-Tectosagi lived, according to Caesar, in
Central Europe (Bell. Gall. 6. 24, 1-6).33

In the 3rd century, many Greek towns in Asia Minor had

to pay the Galatians tribute for ‘protection’. Heraclea once
Fig. 16: Celtic warriors. Terracotta. Left: Kerch, right: paid 5000 staters to their force and 200 staters to their
from Myrina in the Louvre (after Winter 1903). leaders. In a battle at Ancyra in 238 BC, one Galatian army
gained the throne for Antiochus Hieractus after a dispute
with his brother, Seleucus. But Galatian warriors gradually
The clay figurines of Celtic warriors date mainly from the rose against Antiochus; he had to call on the troops of
2nd-1st centuries BC (Fig. 16);27 the Celtic helmets found Ptolemy against them, and finally had to the pay Galatians
in the North Pontic and North Caucasian regions may have a vast amount of silver.
come there via Asia Minor.28
The kingdom of Pergamon became the main adversary
Several Late Duchcov (Early La Tène) fibulae roughly of the Galatians. Eumenes I celebrated victory over
contemporary with those of the Balkan invasions are Antiochus I at Sardis in 262 BC, but he had to pay taxes to
known from the western Ukraine,29 while Middle La Tène the Galatians. Attalos I, who succeeded him on throne in
items are much better represented, notably in the area of 241 BC, became the first ruler in Asia who refused to pay
the Zarubinetskoe culture30 and in the Upper Don region, them. In 230 BC, he defeated Tolstobogoi at the springs
but some also came from the area of the Greek cities (Fig. of Kaikos, and later he defeated the united army of the
17) and from the North Caucasus.31 Celtic swords are rare, Tolstobogi, Tectosagi and Antiochus Hieractus at the walls
but also known notably from Scythian Neapolis; perhaps of Pergamon. But the army led by a certain Apaturius that
they arrived there as booty.32 La Tène fibulae are known was defeated by Seleucus III Ceraunus, the rival of Attalos
from the northern Black Sea area still in Early Roman in the rule over Asia, in 223 BC, also contained Galatian
contexts. mercenaries.

Attalos celebrated his victory over the Galatians by two

monuments: big and small groups of statuary. Celtic
weapons as trophies are also depicted on the parapet of a
terrace of the temple of Athena in Pergamon.34

The Galatians accepted Hellenistic culture. Their towns

and houses resembled those of their neighbours. They used
practically the same pottery (only with certain nuances in
decoration reminding one of their origin) and other objects
needed for a civilised life as their neighbours. But they
still differed in their habit of bringing human sacrifices.
These were common with the Celts everywhere. As Caesar
stated (Bell. Gall. 15): ‘They thought that life of man can
be redeemed only by other human life and that there is no
other way how to reconcile the will of the immortal gods.
They make the same sacrifices in the name of state.’

Attalos I, victor over the Galatians, invited also the

Aigosagi from Thrace, remnants of warriors from the time
Fig. 17: Decorative plaques in shape of Celtic shields, of the great Celtic invasion, to help him in the fight against
Mesambria (after Bouzek 2004). Antiochus of Syria. He settled them at the Hellespont, but
in the following year they were defeated there by Prusias
Cf. Dufková 2001.
Simonenko 1987; Treister 1993, 791. of Bithynia and their further destiny is unknown. Also
Ambroz 1966, 12 with pl. 1. In the early 2nd century, Hannibal became a successful
Ambroz 1966, 12-14, pls. 1-3; distribution: pl. 18.
Berlizov and Eremenko 1998. 33
Cf. Dobesch 2001, 79-102.
Rieth 1965; Treister 1993, 793, fig. 4. 34
Cf. Bouzek 2011, 132-36.

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J. Bouzek: Celts in the Black Sea area

military leader in Bithynia, formerly ally of the Italian Tène fibulae from Turkey,36 Syria and Lebanon,37 some
Celts during the Second Punic War. He had to leave his of which might have belonged to Celtic mercenaries
home in Carthage under pressure from Romans, when and their families (who often accompanied them). An
Romans increased their pressure on the defeated enemy. interesting feature in Asia Minor is the concentration of
He commanded a Bithynian fleet in the war of Bithynia Middle La Tène fibulae with spiral decoration south of the
with Pergamon. But he had no peace there either: Rome Halys bend; fibulae with extremely high external cords
demanded that Prusias hand him over and he preferred appear in Central-Northern Anatolia. This variety is also
suicide to degrading captivity. known from the Crimea, and was probably connected with
mercenaries serving in the army of Mithridates.38
Eumenes II, who succeeded Attalos on throne in 197
BC, became an ally of the Romans in their war against Middle La Tène fibulae are known as gifts to sanctuaries
Antiochus, who was defeated in 190 BC at Magnesia in Dodona and on Delos.39 They might have been
together with 3000 Galatian foot soldiers and 2500 mounted dedicated there by those Celts who valued the sanctuaries
Galatians. The tetrarch of the Tolstobogi, Eposognatos, or, on the contrary, by their opponents who shared with
probably remained faithful to the treaty with Pergamon at the gods a part of their booty from battles with the Celts.
this time and did not support Antiochus, but the Romans Similar fibulae are kept and exhibited in several North
were angered. In the next year, 189 BC, the Roman consul Greek museums, notably at Dion, Maroneia, Komotini,
Cnaeus Manlius Vulso campaigned against the Galatians Thessalonica, Ioanina and Pella, in Skopje in Macedonia
and defeated the Tolstobogi and Trocmi at Mt Olympus (Fig. 18), and also in Istanbul and Ҫanakkale in Turkish
(nowadays Ala Dagh), 60 km south-west of Ancyra. The Thrace. At least some of them came from Hellenistic
Galatians lost 10,000 dead and 40,000 captives. Among fortresses in the region.
them was Chiomara, wife of regulus Origonus, She
gained fame by protecting her virtue; she brought to her
husband the severed head of a Roman centurion who had
tried to violate her. After the battle, the Roman army went
against the Tectosagi and remaining Trocmi, who fortified
themselves together with their wives and children on Mt
Magaba; 8000 Galatians died there and the Romans got
rich booty. In the next year the Roman army returned
to Europe, but only in 183 BC did Pergamon complete
its victory. A Pergamene army under the leadership of
king’s brother, Philetairos, again defeated the Galatians;
their main leader Ortiagon was taken captive and Galatia
practically became a province of Pergamon.35

But the Galatians did not accept Pergamene rule and in 182
BC a part of them supported king Pharnakos of Cappadocia
in his three-year-long war against Pergamon. Two Galatian
leaders, however, became officers of the Pergamene army
and one of them died in 181 BC as leader of the equestrian Fig. 18: Middle La Tène fibula from Neapolis in the Crimea
unit sent against the Macedonian king Perseus. In 168 BC, (after Rieth 1965).
the Galatians again rose up under regulus Solovetius and
attacked the eastern part of the Pergamene kingdom. But
The End of the Balkan Celts
the Pergamene army again defeated them; this event was
probably an impulse to build the Great Altar of Pergamon.
The last clearly Celtic horizon in Transylvania comes
After further negotiations with the Romans and revolt
from the transition period between La Tène C1 and C2,
against Pergamon, Galatia received independence under a
i.e. from the beginning of the 2nd century BC. For La
Roman protectorate in 154 BC. In the war with Mithridates
Tène C2-D1 the group of warrior graves called ‘Padea-
VI the Galatians remained more or less on the side of the
Panagjurski Kolonii’ known from Romania and Bulgaria
Romans and they were persecuted by Mithridates. The king
from the middle of the 2nd century to early 1st century
even tried to kill their tetrarchs and their families and only
BC documents the beginning of a new political structure.
three of them managed to escape. After this assault most
The swords in those graves are of Celtic type but the
Galatians stood firmly on the Roman side and fought with
bridling of horses is Thracian and the pottery of local
Lucullus and later Pompey till the death of Mithridates. It
traditions.40 The graves show local differences in burial
was a Galatian soldier who inflicted the deadly wound on
rites (in some places flat graves prevail, while in others
the king in Panticapaeum.
Schaaf 1970; Polenz 1978; Müller-Karpe 1988; 2006.
Archaeological evidence for the presence of Celts in the 37
Courbin 1999.
eastern Mediterranean comes mainly from Middle La 38
Müller-Karpe 2006.
Szabó 1971; Maier 1973.
Cf. especially Kruta 2000, 274-82; Strobel 1996. 40
Cf. Wožniak 1974; Rustoiu 2005; 2012.

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The Danubian Lands between the Black, Aegean and Adriatic Seas

they are under barrows) and also in their equipment. They Anastassov, J. 2011:‘The Celtic presence in Thrace during
seem to represent a group of able warriors from the 3rd century BC in the light of new archaeological
different tribes who joined forces in common adventures data‘. In Guštin and Jevtić 2011, 227-39.
according to the current situation. Sometimes they Babeş, M. 2006: ‘Les Celtes et la région de la Mer Noire’.
served in Hellenistic armies and in the armies of the In Szabó 2006, 126-27.
Greek cities at the Black Sea, but they also attacked their Berecki, S. (ed.) 2012: Iron Age Rites and Rituals in the
southern neighbours. Written reports mention invasions Carpathian Basin (Târgu Mureş).
of Scordisci and Triballi or joined with other Thracian Berlizov, N.E. and Eremenko, V.E. 1998: ‘Latenskie
allies in the second half of the 2nd and the early 1st century importy v sarmatskikh pamiatnikakh Prichernomor’ya’.
BC. Drevnosti Kubani 7, 25-33.
Best, J., Flemming, K. and Marazov, I. 1991: Thracian
The art of phalerae, bronze or silver discs with Tales on the Gundestrup Cauldron (Amsterdam).
representations of a mounted warrior or a bust of a Bospachieva, M. 1995: ‘Mogilno pogrebenie ot
goddess, opens a new stylistic language characteristic at elenistechkata nekropol na Filippopol’. Izvestia na
first of the eastern Balkans and the north-western part of muzeite ot Juzhna Bulgaria 21, 43-62.
the Black Sea, but also popular with the Sarmatians and Bouzek, J. 2002a: ‘Die keltische Kunst und der Osten’.
Balkan Celts. In the East they were found even in north- In Lang, A. and Salač, V. (eds.) Fernkontakte in der
western India, in the West in the first Roman forts in the Eisenzeit (Prague), 98-105.
Rhineland (Haltern, Waldgirmes) and on the Channel Bouzek, J. 2002b: ‘Die Bronzelekythos vom Typ Talcott
Island of Sark off the coast of Normandy. One phalera aus Hurbanovo und andere vorrömische mediterrane
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Nationale in Paris; it may represent dedication of the the Ancient World 2, 53-57.
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