Moesia

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Moesia (Greek: Μοισία, Μυσία, Latin: Moesiarum[1]) was an ancient region and later Roman province situated in the Balkans, along the south bank of the Danube River. It included territories of modern-day Northern Republic of Macedonia,[2] Southern Serbia (Upper Moesia), Northern Bulgaria, Romanian Dobrudja, Southern Moldova, and Budjak (Lower Moesia).[3]

Contents

History

In ancient geographical sources, Moesia was bounded to the south by the Haemus (Balkans) and Scardus (Šar) mountains, to the west by the Drinus (Drina) river, on the north by the Donaris(Danube) and on the east by the Euxine (Black Sea).

The region was inhabited chiefly by Thraco-Dacians, and Illyrian peoples. The name itself comes from Moesi, a Thraco-Dacian tribe that lived there before the Roman conquest.

Parts of Moesia belonged to the Kingdom of Burebista, a king of the Getae and Dacians, who unified for the first time their tribes and ruled them between 82 BC and 44 BC. He led plunder and conquest raids across Central and Southeastern Europe, subjugating most of the neighbouring tribes. After his assassination in an inside plot, the empire was divided into several smaller states.

In 75 BC, C. Scribonius Curio, proconsul of Macedonia, took an army as far as the Danube and gained a victory over the inhabitants, who were finally subdued by M. Licinius Crassus, grandson of the triumvir and later also proconsul of Macedonia during the reign of Augustus c. 29 BC. The region, however, was not organized as a province until the last years of Augustus's reign; in 6 AD, mention is made of its governor, Caecina Severus (Cassius Dio lv. 29). As a province, Moesia was under an imperial consular legate (who probably also had control of Achaea and Macedonia).

In 86, the Dacian king Duras ordered his troops to attack Roman Moesia. After this attack, the Roman emperor Domitian personally arrived in Moesia and reorganized it in 87 AD into two provinces, divided from each other by the river Cebrus (Ciabrus; modern Cibritza or Zibru): to the west Moesia Superior - Upper Moesia, (meaning up river) and to the east Moesia Inferior - Lower Moesia (also called Ripa Thracia), (from the Danube river's mouth and then upstream). Each was governed by an imperial consular legate and a procurator.

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