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Stratum Plus. 2000. № 4

V. M. Zubar (Kiev, Ukraine)

The Roman castle Charax

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Pages: 176-200

It is already well known, that in the second half of II – first half of III cc. the Chersonesos was the main point of Roman military presence in Taurica. But Roman troops were present as well in other places of South-West and South Krimea. One of such places was Charax. Monuments connected with presence of Roman troops of Roman army on the Ai-Todor cape were published and used in a scientific works but, till now still absent general historian-archeological work devoted to this castle. That“s why author consider that it is very important apply to materials of this monument and on the base of complex search of sources to show the place of this Roman point in the history of Taurica. On the base of analyzing of results of archeological researches in an article was given information about fortifications, inside buildings, terms and other buildings, which were fixed on Ai-Todor. Using the information detected from lapidary and ceramic epigraphic, author search the topic about quality and quantity content of Roman garrison of Charax and search about chronological frames of Roman military presence in this place.
Author think that Roman garrison on the Ai-Todor cape first appeared in 60-th of I c. at the time of military expedition of T. Plavtius Silvanus, when on the ships of Ravennian squadron soldiers of navy were moved to Taurica. Exactly in that time on that cape Roman militaries began erection of point of support. Now we may speak about it only on the base of tiled fragments with Latin stamps because any strong traces of buildings of third quarter of I c. still not found. But Roman garrison at the South coast of Taurica was present there not for a long time and possibly was moved out because of events of civil war in Rome of 68-69. At the beginning of 20-th of II c. Roman garrison was fixed on the territory of Charax again. But it is still not clear whether it was located here until year 166 or it was short presence of troops connected with some unknown and extraordinary event of history of Back Sea coast area. In the third quarter of II c., as Latin inscription of 1984 witnessed, Roman troops already kept building works on Ai-Todor and from that time until second quarter of III c. vexillation all the time was based here. There are some foundations for the conclusions about working of lighthouse there and Roman troops controlled wide territory in a nearest environs and observed for the sailing along the South coast of Taurica. Now it is very difficult to say, when Roman troops left the castle. M. I. Rostovtsev considered that it was somewhere nearly year 244 and in possibly was connected with preparations of Philippus Arabus (244-249) to war against barbarians, who threatened to Thrakia and Mesia. But possibly, that Roman garrison left Charax in the second half of 30-th of III c. Because of earthquake when may be destroyed defending fortress and water pipes. After leaving of Roman soldiers Ai-Todor cape was occupied by representatives of Goths tribes, who made a graves with cremations in the neighborhood of ex-Roman point of support. Possibly, that their location there was agreed with Roman administration, which had in barbarians as allied of the Roman empire.

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