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KALLATIS (Mangalia) SE Romania.

A Greek colony on the left bank of the Black Sea ca. 43 km S of Constanţa in a fertile area where cereal grains were grown. Ancient sources (Prudent. c. Symm. 761-64) indicate the Megaran origin of the colony and the date of its foundation. Colonists from Heraklea Pontica founded the Doric city in the 6th c. B.C. On the spot where Kallatis developed there must have been an earlier center of Getaean origin (Plin. HN 4.18.5), the name of which is preserved in the form of Acervetis or Carbatis. Some scholars date the foundation of the city to the middle of the 7th c. B.C., but the earliest archaeological indications found thus far go back only to the 4th c. B.C. There has been, however, a lack of systematic excavation and the modern center of Mangalia is superimposed on the perimeter of the ancient city. Several stretches of fortifications are preserved on the N side of the city, but they date to the 2d-3d c.

Several necropoleis (4th-2d c.) have large tumuli containing chambered tombs. They contain rich grave gifts including well-preserved clay statuettes of the Tanagra type. The necropoleis occupy such a large area around the colony that they may be considered, as at Histria, to have belonged to indigenous or Greek settlements in the environs of the city.

From inscriptions it is known that in addition to public buildings intended for meetings of the various public bodies, the city also had a theater, which has not yet been identified.

In the 4th c. B.C. the city struck coins that bore the head of Herakles and the symbols of his power, as well as an ear of grain or barley. These coins clearly indicate that the city supplied grain, put aside for Athens in the name of the whole League, not only from the Bosphoran kingdoms but also from the other colonies rich in cereals and in possession of their own vast territories or dominating the local populations of those territories.

During the expansion of Macedonian power the city suffered the same fate as all the other colonies of the Pontus Sinistrus. They were subject to heavy contributions required by Lysimachos from which they could escape only at the end of the reign of the Diadochi. Both in 313 and in 310 B.C., the city posed the major resistance to the troops of Lysimachos.

In the 3d and 2d c. there was pressure from the indigenous peoples of the area, with repercussions that involved all the colonies of Pontus Sinistrus and of N Pontus. The inscriptions and the ancient text, such as Polybios (Hist. 5.6; 4.45.7-8), indicate the changed conditions of life here and in other colonies. They were obliged by native rulers to put themselves under the protection of their naval forces. For this protection they had to pay sums that were rather large for cities already weakened by wars, domestic struggles, and the uncertainty of the harvests. In Kallatis we now know of a number of Scythian tribes under the command of a whole series of princes mentioned on a series of coins. But even under these conditions Kallatis was able to maintain a high economic and cultural level, as is documented by numerous inscriptions found in the city or in other cultural or religious centers of the metropolitan Greek world.

When the city joined in the struggles of Mithridates against the Romans and in the consequent Roman siege, the period of its splendor waned. The foedus Kallatianum signaled the passage of the city from a free state to an ordinary Roman civitas. The conquest by Burebistas of all the colonies of the Pontus Sinistrus was a further blow. Later the city became part of Moesia Inferior, and under Diocletian, of Scythia Minor.

After the invasion of the Costoboci, Kallatis fortified itself ca. 172; but the subsequent invasions, which lasted throughout Moesia until the time of Trebonianus Gallus, weakened the city more and more. A period of revival is evident only during the era of Diocletian and his successors. In the Byzantine age, under Anastasius, the fortifications and other public buildings were reconstructed. The same buildings were reconstructed under Justinian (Procop. De aed. 4.11).

To the 4th-6th c. belongs a Christian basilica of Syrian type which indicates the relations of the city with that distant region at a very difficult time not only for the city itself, but for the whole area. After this period, following more invasions, it began to decline, as did all the other coastal and internal cities.


B. Pick, Die antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands—Dacien und Moesien, I, 1 (1898) 83-124; V. Parvan, “Gerusia din Callatis,” Mem. Sect. Ist. Aca. Româna 2, 39 (1920) 51-90; T. Sauciuc-Saveanu, “Callatis,” Dacia 1 (1924) 108-65; 2 (1925) 104-47; 3-4 (1927-32) 411-82; 5-6 (1935-36) 247-319; 7-8 (1937-40) 223-81; 9-10 (1941-44) 243-47; O. Tafrali, “La cité pontique de Callatis,” Arta si Arheologia 1 (1927) 17-55; R. Vulpe, Histoire ancienne de la Dobroudja (1938) passim; E. Condurachi, “Cu privire la raporturile dintre autohtoni si greci in asezarile sclavagiste din Dobrogea,” Studii si ceretari de Istorie veche 2, 2 (1951) 49-59; G. Bordenache, “Antichità greche e romane nel nuovo Museo di Mangalia,” Dacia, NS 4 (1960) 399-509; C. Preda, “Date si concluzii preliminare asupra tezaurului descoperit la Mangalia in anul 1960,” Studii şi cercetiări de istorie veche 2 (1961): id., Callatis (1963); D. M. Pippidi, Contribuţii la istoria veche a României (2d ed., 1967) 32-67; 222-41; 260-69; 329-37; 528-34.


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