(Mangalia) SE Romania.
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
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
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.
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
1967) 32-67; 222-41; 260-69; 329-37; 528-34.