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The Roman empire in the time of Hadrian (ruled 117-38 AD), showing, on the lower Danube river, the imperial provinces of Moesia Superior (Serbia) and Moesia Inferior (N. Bulgaria/coastal Romania), and the 2 legion deployed in each in 125
Provinces of Moesia Inferior (right) and Moesia Superior (left) highlighted
Moesia Superior in the 4th century
Classical Mœsia and environs, from Alexander G. Findlay's Classical Atlas to Illustrate Ancient Geography, New York, 1849.

Moesia (Greek: Μοισία, Moisía; Bulgarian: Мизия, Miziya; Romanian: Moesia; Serbian: Мезија, Mezija) was an ancient region and Roman province situated in the Balkans, along the south bank of the Danube River. It included territories of modern-day Northern Republic of Macedonia,[1] Southern Serbia (Upper Moesia), Northern Bulgaria, South-Eastern Romania, Southern Moldova, and Budjak (Lower Moesia).[2]

In ancient geographical sources, Moesia was bounded to the south by the Balkans (Haemus) and Šar mountain (Scardus, Scordus, Scodrus) mountains, to the west by the Drina river (Drinus), on the north by the Danube and on the east by the Euxine (Black Sea). The region was inhabited chiefly by Thracian, Dacian and Illyrian peoples.

The region took its name from the Moesi, a Thraco-Dacian tribe that lived there before the Roman conquest 75 BC-c. 29 BC and formally became a Roman province of that name some years later (by 6 AD).

Moesia was re-organized personally by the Emperor Domitian in 87 AD into two provinces: Moesia Superior - Upper Moesia, (meaning up river) and Moesia Inferior - Lower Moesia, (from the Danube river's mouth and then upstream) during relief efforts for the province after the Dacian cross-Danube raids of 86 and early 87 AD).

Contents

History

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 (Dio Cassius lv. 29).

Originally one province under an imperial consular legate (who probably also had control of Achaea and Macedonia), it was divided by Domitian into Upper (Superior) and Lower (Inferior, also called Ripa Thracia) Moesia, the western and eastern portions respectively, divided from each other by the river Cebrus (Ciabrus; modern Cibritza or Zibru). Some, however, place the boundary farther west. Each was governed by an imperial consular legate and a procurator.

After the abandonment of Dacia to the Goths by Aurelian (270–275) and the transference of the Roman citizens from the former province to the south of the Danube, the central portion of Moesia took the name of Dacia Aureliani (later divided into Dacia ripensis and interior). The district called Dardania (in Upper Moesia), was formed into a special province by Diocletian, with the capital at Naissus or Nissa (modern Niš, Serbia), the birthplace of Constantine I in 272.

Later, Diocletian renamed Moesia Superior (less Dacia Aureliani) as Moesia Prima, and divided Moesia Inferior (less its westernmost portions) into Moesia Secunda and Scythia Minor. Moesia Secunda's main cities included Marcianopolis (Devnya), Odessus (Varna), Nicopolis (Nikopol), Abrittus (Razgrad), Durostorum (Silistra), Transmarisca (Tutrakan), Sexaginta Prista (Ruse) and Novae (Svishtov), all in Bulgaria today. As a frontier province, Moesia was strengthened by stations and fortresses erected along the southern bank of the Danube, and a wall was built from Axiopolis to Tomi as a protection against the Scythians and Sarmatians. The garrison of Moesia Secunda included Legio I Italica and Legio XI Claudia, as well as independent infantry units, cavalry units, and river flotillas. The Notitia Dignitatum lists its units and their bases as of the 390s CE. Units in Scythia Minor included Legio I Iovia and Legio II Herculia.

Since 238, Moesia was constantly invaded or raided by the Carpi, and the Goths, who had already invaded Moesia in 250. Hard pressed by the Huns, the Goths again crossed the Danube during the reign of Valens (376) and with his permission settled in Moesia.

After their settlement quarrels soon took place, and the Goths under Fritigern defeated Valens in a great battle near Adrianople. These Goths are known as Moeso-Goths, for whom Ulfilas made the Gothic translation of the Bible.The Bulgarian under different names Onogurs Kutigurs Honogondurs attack it during all 6th century. In the 7th century, Bulgars founded the Empire of Bulgaria in 681 and the Serbian principality of Rascia in 825.

The chief towns of Upper Moesia in the Principate were: Singidunum (Belgrade), Viminacium (sometimes called municipium Aelium; modern Kostolac), Remesiana (Bela Palanka), Bononia (Vidin), Ratiaria (Archar) and Skupi (modern Skopje); of Lower Moesia: Oescus (colonia Ulpia, Gigen), Novae (near Svishtov, the chief seat of Theodoric the Great), Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikup; really near the river Yantra), Marcianopolis (Devnya), Odessus (Varna) and Tomi (Constanţa; to which the poet Ovid was banished). The last two were Greek towns which formed a pentapolis with Istros, Mesembria and Apollonia.

The area remained part of the Byzantine empire until the 7th century, when it was conquered by the Bulgarian Empire.

See also

References

  1. ^ the regions around Skupi and Kumanovo
  2. ^ Map of Moesia Superior and Inferior [1]

External links

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MOESIA (Gr. Mvvia and Mvaia rt Ev Eupdnrp, to distinguish it from Mysia in Asia), in ancient geography, a district inhabited by a Thracian people, bounded on the S. by the mountain ranges of Haemus and Scardus (Scordus, Scodrus), on the W. by the Drinus, on the N. by the Danube and on the E. by the Euxine. It thus corresponded in the main to the modern Servia and Bulgaria. In 75 B.C., C. Scribonius Curio, proconsul of Macedonia, penetrated 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 also proconsul of Macedonia, during the reign of Augustus c. 29 B. c. (see Mommsen, Provinces of the Roman Empire, Eng. trans., i. 12-14). The country, however, was not organized as a province until the last years of the reign; in A.D. 6 mention is made of its governor, Caecina Severus (Dio Cassius lv. 29). The statement of Appian (Illyriaa, 30) that it did not become a Roman province until the time of Tiberius, is therefore incorrect. Originally one province, under an imperial consular legate (who probably also had control of Achaea and Macedonia), it was divided by Domitian into Upper (superior) and Lower (inferior, also called Ripa Thracia) Moesia, the western and eastern portions respectively, divided from each other by the river Cebrus (Ciabrus; mod. Cibritza or Zibru). Some, however, place the boundary further west. Each was governed by an imperial consular legate and a procurator. As a frontier province, Moesia was strengthened by stations and fortresses erected along the southern bank of the Danube, and a wall was built from Axiopolis to Tomi as a protection against Scythian and Sarmatian inroads. After the abandonment of Dacia to the barbarians by Aurelian (270-275) and the transference of its inhabitants to the south of the Danube, the central portion of Moesia took the name of Dacia Aureliani (again divided into Dacia ripensis and interior). The district called Dardania (in Upper Moesia), inhabited by the Illyrian Dardani, was formed into a special province by Diocletian with capital Naissus (Nissa or Nish), the birthplace of Constantine the Great. The Goths, who had already invaded Moesia in 250, hard pressed by the Huns, again crossed the Danube during the reign of Valens (376), and with his permission settled in Moesia. But quarrels soon took place, and the Goths under Fritigern defeated Valens in a great battle near Adrianople (378). These Goths are known as Moeso-Goths, for whom Ulfilas made the Gothic translation of the Bible. In the 7th century Sla y s and Bulgarians entered the country and founded the modern kingdoms of Servia and Bulgaria. The chief towns of Upper Moesia were: Singidunum (Belgrade), Viminacium (sometimes called municipium Aelium; Kostolatz), Bononia (Widdin), Ratiaria (Artcher): of Lower Moesia; Oescus (colonia Ulpia, Gigen), Novae (near Sistova, the chief seat of Theodoric), Nicopolis ad Istrum (Nikup), really on the Iatrus or Yantra, Odessus (Varna), Tomi (Kustendje), to which the poet Ovid was banished. The last two were Greek towns, which, with Istros, Mesambria and Apollonia, formed a pentapolis.

See Orosius v. 23, 20; Livy, Epit. 92, 134, 135; Dio Cassius li. 25-27; E. R. Rosier, Romcinische Studien (Leipzig, 1871); T. Mommsen, Corpus inscriptionum latinarum, iii. 141, 263; J. Marquardt, Romische Staatsverwaltung (1881), i. 301; H. Kiepert, Lehrbuch der alten Geographie (1878), §§ 298, 299; article in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1873). (J. H. F.) Mofaddaliyat, strictly Mufaddaliyat, an anthology of ancient Arabic poems, which derives its name from al-Mufaddal, son of Muhammad, son of Yala, a member of the tribe of Dabba, who compiled it some time between A.D. 762 and 784 in the latter of which years he died. Al-Mufaddal was a contemporary of IIammad ar-Rawiya and Khalaf al-Ahmar, the famous collectors of ancient Arab poetry and tradition, and was somewhat the junior of Abu 'Amr ibn al-'Ala, the first scholar who systematically set himself to preserve the poetic literature of the Arabs. He died about fifty years before Abu `Ubaida and al-Asma`i, to whose labours posterity is largely indebted for the arrangement, elucidation and criticism of ancient Arabian verse; and his anthology was put together between fifty and sixty years before the compilation by Abu Tammam of the Ilamasa (q.v.). Al-Mufaddal was a careful and trustworthy collector both of texts and traditions, and is praised by all authorities on Arabian history and literature as in this respect greatly the superior of Hammad and Khalaf, who are accused (especially the latter) of unscrupulous fabrication of poems in the style of the ancients. He was a native of Kufa, the northernmost of the two great military colonies founded in 638 by the caliph `Omar for the control of the wide Mesopotamian plain. In Kufa and Basra were gathered representatives of all the Arabian tribes who formed the fighting force of the Islamic Empire, and from these al-Mufaddal was able to collect and record the compositions of the poets who had celebrated the fortunes and exploits of their forefathers. He, no doubt, like al-Asma`i and Abu `Ubaida, also himself visited the areas occupied by the tribes for their camping grounds in the neighbouring desert; and adjacent to Kufa was al-IIIra, the ancient capital of the Lakhmid kings, whose court was the most celebrated centre in pre-Islamic Arabia, where, in the century before the preaching of the Prophet, poets from the whole of the northern half of the peninsula were wont to assemble. There is indeed a tradition that a written collection (diwan) existed in the family of an-Nu ` man, the last Lakhmid king, containing a number of poems by the Fuhul, or most eminent poets of the pagan time, and especially by those who had praised the princes of the house, and that this collection passed into the possession of the Omayyad caliphs of the house of Marwan; to this, if the tradition is to be believed, al-Mufaddal probably had access.

The date of al-Mufaddal's birth is unknown; but he lived for many years under the caliphs of the Omayyad line until their overthrow by the 'Abbasids in 749. In 762 he took part in the rising led by Ibrahim ibn 'Abdallah ibn al-IIasan, the 'Alid, called "The Pure Soul," against the caliph al-Mansur, and after the defeat and death of Ibrahim was cast into prison. AlMansur, however, pardoned him on the intercession of his fellowtribesman Musayyab ibn Zuhair of Dabba, and appointed him the instructor in literature of his son, afterwards the caliph al-Mandi. It was for this prince that, at al-Mansur's instigation, al-Mufaddal compiled the Mufaddaliyat. The collection, in its present form, contains 126 pieces of verse, long and short; that is the number included in the recension of al-Anbari, who had the text from Abu `Ikrima of Dabba, who read it with Ibn al-A`rabi, the stepson and inheritor of the tradition of al-Mufaddal. We know from the Fihrist of Muhammad an-Nadim (A.D. 988) that in his time 128 pieces were counted in the book; and this number agrees with that contained in the Vienna MS., which gives an additional poem, besides those annotated by al-Anbari, to al-Muraqqish the Elder,and adds at the end a poem by al-Harith ibn Iiilliza. The Fihrist states (p. 68) that some scholars included more and others fewer poems, while the order of the poems in the several recensions differed; but the correct text, the author says, is that handed down through Ibn al-A`rabi. It is noticeable that this traditional text, and the accompanying scholia, as represented by al-Anbari's recension, are wholly due to the scholars of Kufa, to which place al-Mufaddal himself belonged. The rival school of Basra, on the other hand, has given currency to a story that the original collection made by al-Mufaddal included a much smaller number of poems. The Berlin MS. of al-Marzugi's commentary states that the number was thirty, but a better reading of the passage, found elsewhere,' mentions eighty; and that al-Asma`i and his school added to this nucleus poems which increased the number to a hundred and twenty. It is curious that this tradition is ascribed by al-Marzugi and his teacher Abu 'Ali al-Farisi to Abu `Ikrima of Dabba, who is represented by al-Anbari as the transmitter of the correct text from Ibn al-A`rabi. There is no mention of it in al-Anbari's work, and it is in itself somewhat improbable, as in al-Asma`i's time the schools of Kufa and Basra were in sharp opposition one to the other, and Ibn al-A`rabi in particular was in the habit of censuring al-Asma`i's interpretations of the ancient poems. It is scarcely likely that he would have accepted his rival's additions to the work of his step-father, and have handed them on to Abu `Ikrima with his annotations.

The collection is one of the highest importance as a record of the thought and poetic art of Arabia during the time immediately preceding the appearance of the Prophet. Not more than five or six of the 126 poems appear to have been composed by poets who I l iad been born in Islam. The great majority of the authors belonged to the days of "the Ignorance," and though a certain number (e.g. Mutammim ibn Nuwaira, Rabi`a ibn Magrum, 'Abda ibn at-Tabib and Abu Dhu'aib), born in paganism, accepted Islam, their work bears few marks of the new faith. The ancient virtues - hospitality to the guest and the poor, profuse expenditure of wealth, valour in battle, faithfulness to the cause of the tribe - are the themes of praise; wine and the game of maisir, forbidden by Islam, are celebrated by poets who professed themselves converts; and if there is no mention of the old idolatry, there is also little spirituality in the outlook on life. The 126 pieces are distributed between 68 poets, and the work represents a gathering from the compositions of those who were called al-Mugillun, " authors of whom little has survived," in contrast to the famous poets whose works had been collected into diwans. At the same time many of them are extremely celebrated, and among the pieces selected by al-Mufaddal several reach a very high level of excellence. Such are the two long poems of `Algama ibn 'Abada (Nos. 119 and 120), the three odes by Mutammim ibn Nuwaira (Nos. 9, 67, 68), the splendid poem of Salama ibn Jandal (No. 22), the beautiful nasib of ash-Shanfara (No. 20), and the death-song of `Abd-Yaghuth (No. 30). One of the most admirable and famous is the last of the series (No. 126), the long elegy by Abu Dhu'aib of Hudhail on the death of his sons; almost every verse of this poem is cited in illustration of some phrase or meaning of a word in the national lexicons. Only one of the poets of the Mu`allagat (see Mo ` Allakat), al-Harith, son of Hilliza, is represented in the collection. Of others (such as Bishr ibn Abi Khazim, al-IIadira, `Amir ibn at-Tufail, 'Alqamah ibn 'Abadah, al-Muthaqqib, Ta'abbata Sharra and Abu Dhu'aib) diwans or bodies of collected poems exist, but it is doubtful how far these had been brought together when al-Mufaddal made ' In the dhail or supplement to the Ama i of al-Qali. (Edn. Cairo 1324 H., p. 131).

his compilation. An interesting feature of the work is the treatment in it of the two poets of Bakr ibn Wa'il, uncle and nephew, called al-Muraqqish, who are perhaps the most ancient in the collection. The elder Muraqqish was the great-uncle of Tarafa of Bakr, the author of the Mu'allaqa, and took part in the long warfare between the sister tribes of Bakr and Taghlib, called the war of Basus, which began about the end of the 5th century A.D. Al-Mufaddal has included ten pieces (Nos. 45-54) by him in the collection, which are chiefly interesting from an antiquarian point of view. One, in particular (No. 54), presents a very archaic appearance. It is probable that the compiler set down all he could gather of this ancient author, and that his interest in him was chiefly due Co his antiquity. Of the younger Muraqqish, uncle of Tarafa, there are five pieces (Nos. 55-59). The only other authors of whom more than three poems are cited are Bishr ibn Abi Khazim of Asad (Nos. 96-99) and Rabi`a ibn Magrum of IDabba (Nos. 3 8, 39, 43 and 113).

The Mufaddaliyat differs from the Hamasa in being a collection of complete odes (gasidas), while the latter is an anthology of brilliant passages specially selected for their interest or effectiveness, all that is prosaic or less striking being pruned away. It is of course not the case that all the poems of al-Mufaddal's collection are complete. Many are mere fragments, and even in the longest there are often lacunae; but the compiler evidently set down all that he could collect of a poem from the memory of the rawis, and did not, like Abu Tammam, choose only the best portions. We are thus presented with a view of the literature of the age which is much more characteristic and comprehensive than that given by the brilliant poet to whom we owe the Ilamasa, and enables us to form a better judgment on the general level of poetic achievement.

The Mufaddaliyat is not well represented by MSS. in the libraries of the West. There is an imperfect copy of the recension of alMarzugi (died 1030), with his commentary, in the Berlin collection. A very ancient fragment (dated 1080) of al-Anbari's recension, containing five poems in whole or part, is in the Royal Library at Leipzig. In the British Museum there is a copy made about a century ago for C. J. Rich at Bagdad of a MS. with brief glosses; and at Vienna there is a modern copy of a MS. of which the original is at Constantinople, the glosses in which are taken from al-Anbari, though the author had access also to al-Marzugi. In the mosque libraries at Constantinople there are at least five MSS.; and at Cairo there is a modern copy of one of these, containing the whole of al-Anbari's commentary. In America there are at Yale University a modern copy of the same recension, taken from the same original as the Cairo copy, and a MS. of Persian origin, dated 1657, presenting a text identical with the Vienna codex. Quite recently a very interesting MS., probably of the 6th century of the Hegira, but not dated, has come to light. It purports to be the second part of a combination of two anthologies, the Mufaddaliyat of al-Mufaeldal and the Asma`ayat of al-Asma`i, but contains many more poems than are in either of these collections as found elsewhere. The commentary appears to be eclectic, drawn partly (perhaps chiefly) from Ibn as-Sikkit (died 858), and partly from Abu-Ja`far Ahmad ibn `Ubaid ibn Nasih, one of al-Anbari's sources and a pupil of Ibn al-A`rabi; and the compilation seems to be older in date than al-Anbari, since its glosses are often quoted by him without any name being mentioned. This MS. (which is the property of Mr F. Krenkow of Leicester) appears to represent one of the recensions mentioned by Muhammad an-Nadim in the Fihrist (p. 68), to which reference has been made above.

In 1885 Professor Heinrich Thorbeckebegan an edition of the text based on the Berlin codex, but only the first fasciculus, containing forty-two poems, had appeared when his work was cut short by death. In 1891 the first volume of an edition of the text, with a short commentary taken from al-Anbari, was printed at Constantinople. In 1906 an edition of the whole text, with short glosses taken from al-Anbari's commentary, was published at Cairo by Abu Bakr b. `Omar Daghistani al-Madani; this follows generally the Cairo codex above mentioned, but has profited by the scholarship of Professor Thorbecke's edition of the first half of the work. A complete edition of al-Anbari's text and commentary, with a translation of the poems, undertaken by Sir C. J. Lyall (see J. R. A. S., April 1904) was in the press in 1910. (C. J. L.)


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