The End of the Lower Danubian Limes: A Violent or a Peaceful Process?
By Alexandru Madgearu
Studia Antiqua et Archaeologica, Vol.12 (2006)
Abstract: If we consider that the end of the limes signified the abandonment of the fortresses by the Byzantine army, then we should agree that this process was violent, but only before 598. The extinction of these Danubian cities was not the result of other invasions, but a particular case in the general process of economic decline of the Byzantine state.
Introduction: For a long time, historians considered that the year 602 had a major significance for the end of the Byzantine domination over the Danubian area. Recent studies denied this viewpoint, emphasizing that Phokas continued the 6th century policy patterns and that the great change, the turning point between Antiquity and Middle Ages, should be dated during the reign of Heraklios. The downfall of the Danubian frontier was not the result of the rebellion of 602, but a consequence of a lot of events which affected in different ways, in different times, and in different places the control of the Late Roman army over the region between the Danube and the northern Balkan mountain range, from the Iron Gates to the Danube Delta, during a period started in the last part of the reign of Justin II and lasted in the first years of Heraklios.