Fortifications

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A puzzle of fortifications: on the top of Neber Tepe hill fortifications walls from the Antiquity and the Middle Ages entwine A puzzle of fortifications: on the top of Neber Tepe hill fortifications walls from the Antiquity and the Middle Ages entwine

The events of 251 were crucial for Philippopolis. After centuries of peace, the city experienced the perils of war.

Philippopolis was a fortified city centuries before the Romans' arrival. The steep hills of the acropolis were protected by a strong fortress built in the 4th Century BC, which in the following centuries was rebuilt and repaired at least twice.

In 45 AD the Romans annexed Philippopolis. They kept the old fortifications but didn't built anything else. The city was considered safe. It was far from the rebellious Danube border and a strong system of fortresses guarded the passes through Stara Planina. As a result, only 2,000 soldiers were deplored in the whole province of Thrace. For comparison, in the 1st Century AD, in the border province of Moesia four legions with about 5,000 soldiers each were stationed. Their number was doubled by men in auxiliary units.

But Philippopolis was far from trouble. The city spread, undefended, on the plain south of the acropolis and spent its money on more needed public projects like new streets and forum, temples, baths, stadium, etc.

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