Сорочан С. Б. Византийский Херсон (вторая половина VI – первая половина Х вв.). Очерки истории и культуры. – Ч. 1-2 / Отв. ред. Г. Ю. Ивакин. — Харьков: Майдан, 2005. – 1648 с.

 

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Книга є одним з чотирьох томів, присвячених історії та культурі Херсонеса Таврійського в античну та середньовічну добу, видання яких було задумане й здійснюється Інститутом археології НАН України та Національним заповідником “Херсонес Таврійський”.

У книзі розглядаються різна аспекти політичного, адміністративного, соціального, економічного життя, матеріальної та духовної культури херсонітів за доби раннього середньовіччя (друга половина VI – перша половина Х ст.), коли місто входило до складу Візантійської імперії і, разом з тим, перебувало у непростих стосунках з іншими сусідніми народами, зокрема, з готами, аланами, тюрками, росами, могутньою, загадковою Хазарією.

Прочитавши це дослідження, Ви переконаєтеся, що чимало відомих положень сучасної історіографії переглянуто. Зокрема, пропонується бачити у Тавриці візантійсько-хазарський кондомініум, а Херсон вважати лояльним центром, доволі далеким від самоуправління.

Чималу увагу в монографії приділено пошукам впливу візантійських церковних обрядів на життя міста, уточненню його топографії, урбанонімів та агоранонімів. При цьому пропонується нова, інколи неочікувана інтерпретація низки пам’ятників. Будучи фундаментальною узагальнюючою працею, книга зберегла полемічність, цікавість, доступність та яскравість викладу, які поєднуються з останніми досягненнями історичної науки. Завдяки цьому книга може бути адресованою не лише спеціалістам, історикам, археологам, викладачам вузів та шкіл. але й усій культурній спільноті, яка цікавиться середньовічною історією України. Чималою мірою цьому допомагає наявність у книзі додатку, в якому вмущено прокоментовані переклади найбільш цінних та цікавих для історії ранньосередньовічного Херсону письмових джерел, які раніше видавалися у малотиражних, а тому важкодоступних для широких кіл читачів академічних виданнях.

Зміст

Предисловие…………………….3

Введение. Вехи исследовательского пути…………………….6

Глава 1. Свидетельства прошлого. Виды и общее состояние…………………….78

Глава 2. Око и щит империи. Херсон к концу правления Юстиниана и при его ближайших преемниках…………………….167

Глава 3. Деловой город. Экономическое развитие Херсона во второй половине VI – VII вв. …………………….231

Глава 4. Византия и хазары в Таврике: господство или кондоминиум?…………………….322

Глава 5. Об opus spicatum и населении раннесредневековой Таврики…………………….396

Глава 6. Другой Херсон. Экономическое развитие в VIII в. …………………….451

Глава 7. Рождение фемы…………………….489

Глава 8. Государственное устройство Херсона и “призраки самоуправления”…………………….582

Глава 9. Город строящийся. Архитектура и топография реннесредневековой эпохи…………………….680

Глава 10. Смерть в Херсоне…………………….1031

Глава 11. “Carceris habitateris?” Положение города во второй половине IX в. …………………….1096

Глава 12. На переломе эпох…………………….1183

Заключение…………………….1209

Summary…………………….1221

Антология письменных источников…………………….1232

Иордан. Гетика. § 36 – 39…………………….1233

Прокопий Кесарийский. Война с персами. Кн. І. 12. 3-9…………………….1238

Прокопий Кесарийский. Война с готами. Кн. VIII (IV). 5. 23-30…………………….1240

Прокопий Кесарийский. О постройках. Кн. III. 7. 10-17…………………….1243

Менандр Протиктор. История. Фрагменты 45, 47, 66…………………….1247

Жития святых епископов Херсонских (пер. греч. версии)…………………….1255

Жития святых епископов Херсонских (в грузинской минее)…………………….1274

Феодосий. О местоположении Святой Земли. § 54…………………….1281

Папа Мартин І. Письма XVI – XVII…………………….1289

Мартирий св. Мартина (“Воспоминание…”)…………………….1302

Краткий мартирий братьев Евпрепия и Феодора…………………….1307

Феофан Исповедник. “Хронография” (629/630, 658/659, 668, 704/705, 711/712 гг.)…………………….1309

Патриарх Никифор. “Краткая история” (695, 704/705, 711/712 гг.)…………………….1333

Материалы VII Вселенского синода в Никее (787 г.)…………………….1342

Житие Иоанна Готского…………………….1345

Житие Феодора Студита. Версия В, гл. 14-16…………………….1370

Епифаний Монах. О житии, деяниях и кончине св. первозванного апостола Андрея…………………….1379

Феодор Студит. Письма в Таврику. (XCII, CLXIV)…………………….1385

Продолжатель Феофана. Кн. III. 27-29; VI. 10…………………….1396

Пространное Житие св. Константина / Кирилла (гл. VIII – IX, XI – XIII)…………………….1408

Письмо Анастасия библиотекаря епископу Гаудериху…………………….1429

Житие с перенесением мощей св. Климента…………………….1442

Патриарх Николай Мистик. Письма (№ 9, 68, 106)…………………….1457

Константин Багрянородный. О фемах (12-я фема Херсон)…………………….1495

Константин Багрянородный. Об управлении империей (гл. 1, 6-11, 37, 42, 53)…………………….1499

Кембриджский Аноним (“документ Шехтера”)…………………….1535

Еврейско-хазарская переписка 50-х гг. Х в. …………………….1552

Приложение

Гриневич К. Э. Четырехапсидное здание в Херсонесе (Новая попытка его объяснения)…………………….1586

Алексеенко Н. А. Таможня и коммеркиарии Херсона…………………….1592

Иванов А. В. Население византийского Херсона по данными антропологии…………………….1627

Список сокращений…………………….1639

Сведения об авторах…………………….1641

Відомості про авторів

Гриневич Константин Эдуардович (1891 – 1970), доктор исторических наук, профессор, заведующий кафедрой древней истории  и археологии Харьковского государственного университета им. А. М. Горького в 1953 – 1966 гг. Учился в Харьковском и Петербургском университетах.

Известен как один из первых организаторов музейного дела в СССР. Первый директор Херсонесского музея в 1925 – 1930 гг., инициатор и организатор периодического издания “Херсонесский сборник”. Занимался археологическими исследованиями Херсонеса и Ольвии, историей античного искусства, античной и средневековой фортификаией. Автор четырех монографий и около 150 научных публикаций.

Алексеенко Николай Александрович, сотрудник Национального заповедника “Херсонес Таврический”, заведующий филиалом заповедника “Генуэзская крепость Чембало”. В 1980 г. окончил исторический факультет Симферопольского государственного университета, дважды (в 1997 и 2002 гг.) стажировался в Centre d’histoire et civilisation de Byzance (College de France), прошел докторантуру Парижского унвиерситета.

Является ведущим специалистом в области византийской сфрагистики  античной и средневековой нумизматики. В кругу основных научных интересов – проблемы формирования административного управления, развития торгово-экономических связей и денежного обращения византийской Таврики. Автор более 40 научных статей.

Иванов Алексей Валериевич, сотрудник отдела археологических изысканий Национального заповедника “Херсонес Таврический”.

В 1993 г. окончил биологический факультет Одесского государственного университета им .И. И. Мечникова, соискатель кафедры истории древнего мира и средних веков Таврического национального университета им. В. Вернадского, работает над диссертационной темой “Население городских центров Юго-Западной Таврики X – XV вв.”. Основные направления научной научной работы – палеоантропология, археология средневекового Крыма, этноархеология. Автор 30 научных публикаций.

Сорочан Сергей Борисович, доктор исторических наук, профессор кафедры истории древнего мира и средних веков Харьковского национального университета им. В. Н. Каразина, академик Украинской академии исторических наук. В 1976 г. окончил исторический факультет, а в 1981 г. – аспирантуру Харьковского университета. В 1982 г. в Московском университете защитил кандидатскую диссертацию по теме “Торговля Херсонеса Таврического в I в. до н. э. – V в. н. э.”, а в 1998 г. в Харьковском университете – докторскую диссертацию по проблемам организации и структуры торговли Византии IV – IX вв.

Много лет занимался археологическими раскопками в портовом районе Херсонеса, а ныне возглавляет экспедицию, ведущую исследования на территории “цитадели” города. Специалист в области поздней античной истории Северного Причерноморья и ранней истории Византии. Совмещает основную работу с преподаванием в Харьковской государственной академии культуры и Международном Соломоновом университете (Восточноукраинский филиал). Автор и соавтор 8 монографий, научно-популярных книг и около 150 научных и учебно-методических работ.

 

Summary

Sorochan S. B. BYZANTINE CHERSON (Second Half of the Sixth to the First Half of the Tenth Century): Essays on the History and Culture. – Part 1-2. — Kharkov: Maidan, 2005. – 1648 p. (in Russian)

The history of the most important centre of Early Medieval Taurica – Byzantine Cherson – started under the circumstances of post-ancient, continual social development. The results of the studies done allows one to draw a reliable and unequivocal conclusion that by the end of Justinian I’st reign and especially under its successors, in the second half of the sixth and the first half of the seventh century, Byzantium was still undertaking political and economic efforts to held its positions on the territory of the Crimean peninsula, which population – in contrast to consequences of military muddles and natural cataclysms – lived in not the worst time. Newly coming barbarian peoples – Alans and Goths, Proto-Bulgarians and bearers of Saltov-Majak culture – stuck in this specific natural ‘tank’, mixed with the local population, the descendants of the Scythians and Sarmatians, Taurians and Greeks, and created a specific ethnic pot containing ‘broth’ which was maturing gradually, without any outside violence throughout the whole Early Medieval period as a single mixture being under the influence of Christian religion and Byzantine culture. In the time when the Greek, or it is better to say Byzantine, community of Cherson city remained almost not turbid by foreigners, the city’s neighborhood was an area of great ethnic melting down, raw materials for which were supplied by the ‘new comers from different places’ appearing over and over again, those same crowds of pagan barbarians gradually becoming Christians and perceived deep-seated elements of the Byzantine culture and civilization, even though inconsistently and sometimes clumsily. Being different by their physical-anthropological characteristics, these peoples were loosing their ethnic faces.

Byzantine empire established its most close contacts with the region of Doros (Crimean Gothia), which adjoined Cherson and covered plateaux of the Second and Third Ridges of the Crimean mountains, valleys of Chyornaya and Bel’bek, Kacha and Al’ma rivers, and a part of the southern littoral. Justin II (565-578) created there a frontier unit headed by the doux thus making the first real step to forming a ‘contact zone’ in Taurica, where the process of unification, uniting territories would be faster. This was contributed to a great extent by the necessity to develop local settlements, pre-urban structures, and reconstruction of the system of fortifications because of the menace from the Turkuts in the second half of 570s and 580s. Civil administrative reorganization consisted of establishment of new units, which were later called archontiai or klimata, with their centres in corresponding kastra or polismata – it took place most likely in the same period. The lack of their own forces made the Byzantines to develop a defensive strategy there, to rely on multi-echelon but not very effective system of fortified kastra and phrouria and on en-spondoi, who were allies, federates from the poly-ethnic barbarian tribes settled there. Almost every third family from the local dwellers of the southwestern Crimea should supply a warrior to serve the Byzantine empire in case there was a necessity to take the field against its enemies.

This position in foreign policy, however, should bring economic profits to those who accepted patronage from the Byzantine state and should be secured not only in treatises, agreements, and as a matter of fact tributary relations of the pakton but also in the development of economic contacts with such a remote and at the same time relatively close to the core of Byzantium province as Taurica. One should take into account established long time before, unimpeded, not very difficult navigation between the Crimean peninsula and the southern coast of the Black Sea being under Byzantine control. Justin II, Tiberios, and Maurice successfully combined interests of a greater part of local nobility and approximately 60,000 population of the south-western Taurica, the Dory country, with their empire’s interests. Nevertheless, Byzantium’s allies would forget the ‘ephemeral’ influence of the empire unless its great material effort. That was the reason for the money, gifts, and goods went in front of the sword and cross. Byzantine emperors and officials held a tool capable of forcing the Chersonites and federates to fulfill their orders, supply them with armed forces, and pay taxes. Cherson’s dependence on Byzantium had certain economic roots, so it is not to be called unilateral, based on the empire’s political and ideological domination only. The given city’s history supplies evidences that there were various active forces of mutual attraction.

In the late sixth century (already before concluding piece with the Turks in 590 and up to the middle seventh century) joint efforts of the Byzantine government and church, local authorities and city dwellers organized there tremendous – according to the epoch’s standards – work of construction, which can be compatible only with ‘architecture boom’, which Ravenna experienced in the second half of the sixth century. Christianity was Byzantium’s life-giving source, and the sites of early medieval churches and holy relics of Cherson are a bright confirmation to that. New basilicas and cross churches, eukteria and oratories, baptisteries and martyria (total number no less than 26) were built in the city and around it, prestige multi-room buildings near the minor agora, buildings of the state apothekai in the port district and custom house with the state archive of molybdoboulloi, refuges for the poor and travelers – ptochia and xenodochia, city’s and monastic hospitals, public baths with hypocaust system, toilets – aphedrona were renovated and renewed, and advanced system of water wells and drains was overhauled. The most of known names of urban objects (Dead and Saint, alias Beauty gate, monastery of Mother of God of Blachernoi, Apostles Peter’s and Paul’s church – the big basilica, churches of St. Procopius, apostle Peter, St. Luppas, St. Longinus the Centurion and St. Basil, ‘St. Leontius’ house’, St. Basil’s martyrium, SS. Sergius’ and Bacchus’ church, St. Phocas’ ptochion, St. Theodore’s iatrina) and those of squares (minor agora and Parthenon) date to the given period.

Taking the fact that the new constructions occupied areas inside many of residential blocks in different districts of the city and not only the ecclesiastical buildings into account, one can hypothesize that their reason was not only the secular and clerical power’s desire to establish Byzantine values by means of large-scale Christianization and securing of a certain ‘single norm’ of the Byzantine liturgical rite, but a necessity to cease the consequences of a relatively great earthquake or a series of underground shakes which happened probably in the late 550s, not so long before the third quarter of the sixth century, and damaged the whole city and possibly other regions of the Crimean peninsula to this or that extent. What the scholars think to be traces of devastation made by the Huns or Turks can be the result of a natural cataclysm, an ecological catastrophe. This situation was hard in itself and it might make an impact on constructing numerous new buildings and help Cherson to change its classical image and become a typical medieval Byzantine cen­tre, polis and kastron simultaneously, by the mid-seventh century; this centre continued building with changing initially-planned ideas, refining and developing throughout the following, so-called ‘dark ages’.

It should be pointed out that although the churches of Cherson demonstrated a single line of the evolution, they, nevertheless, got an important point of diversity. The combination of the topographical and the architectural-archaeological methods allows one to specify that in this period, which was never barren, the city covered about 30 hectares and housed about 6,000 dwellers. Each hundred years after the second half of the sixth – first half of the seventh century the city built at least two or three new churches (of basilican, Greek-cross plan, or cross-in-square design), other ecclesiastical buildings (by the tenth century their total number was at least 40), and constructed other public spaces – among the most original, attractive there were cross-domed church no. 29 and water-collecting structure (water reservoir) covered with vaulting on pendentives in the major agora, St. Sozontos’ church outside the city walls, and one more name of an urban object, praitorion, erected by the late ninth century as a monumental architectural complex in the ‘citadel’. Throughout the whole period, the Chersonites regularly repaired and updated their fortifications and influenced local builders of strongholds and churches in the south-western Taurica.

Together with a few funerals in vestibules of several churches in the city and in shrine of St. Martyr Leontius of Cilicia’s nunnery (in the Western basilica complex), the western necropolis of the given city continued to be used more or less intensively throughout the early medieval period. Its topography changed not so much in comparison with the first centuries A.D.; the density of graves was another case – it considerably grew, especially in the vicinity of Mother of God’s church of Blachernoi, near Karantinnaya bay. Although the Chersonites actively used the former principal types of funeral structures (vaults, cut-in-bedrock sepulchres, and pit graves), they used to built new graves of the type very rarely – the main stress was moved to inhumations in one-person pit graves or about 70 collective sepulchres-koimeteria outside the city walls with a number of persons buried there during centuries sometimes reaching one thousand or more. The city had about twenty officials of cemeteries, gravediggers, and sepulchre-makers (kopiatai, entaphiastai, dekanoi), who had enough work to do, that is to say, their income was stable and relatively high. Grave business always did good earnings. The predomination of new Christian rites and worldview related grave business with the Church, with organizing corresponding funeral processions, ceremonies, commemorative rites (ekkomixesthai, enthaptesthai) with participation of lektikarioi, ekkomistai (‘funeral bed porters’), kanonikai, akolouthoi (accompanying dead), choristers, and candle-porters.

The same circumstance – order of liturgical burying – simultaneously simplified sets of grave goods in the burials to utmost limit: grave goods were restricted to wooden coffins in the form of boxes or tree-trunks, winding-sheets, daily clothes with its usual accessories and simple personal ornaments of non-precious metal, which situation, however, corresponded to Orthodox canonical tradition, mental ‘formulas of humiliation’, ‘silent’ tombstones, ideas of what we call death, so it cannot be an indication of total poverty and indigence of the dead. The same features were typical also to multi-layer, probably sometimes family, sepulchres which were more and more often constructed within the city limits from the ninth century onwards.

There is no reason for the conclusion that Cherson’s economics declined nor Byzantium neglected the northern direction of its trade and economic contacts. On the contrary, this direction became especially important and profitable by the late seventh century, when the intake of new population from the north and from Asia Minor together with demographic and political situation in Taurica getting better resulted in the beginning of farming production and local wine-making, surplus of which started to be exported both to Byzantium and Khazaria. The area of the most intensive economic interrelations was in the southwestern, mountainous, and southern Crimea; it coincides with the limits of bishopric Chersonos tes Dorantos (later on of Cherson and Gothia separately) and also with the bishopric of Sougdaia. The centre of the latter one was under overseas Byzantine authorities’ and local archontes of Cherson’s most intent attention.

Peaceful economic contacts were supported by the nature of the political relations between Byzantium and Khazaria that were built in the given region from the late seventh century onwards as a kind of mutually profitable double protectorate. The ‘Dark Age’ Taurica was a dependency of both Khazaria and Byzantium. In the eighth century these powers in the peninsula had the same importance and – what is more – collaborated with each other, which is why the Crimea presented one of the best examples of ‘synthesis contact zone’. It is impossible to speak of the Khazar qaghanate’s total domination over Cherson and other Greek centres in Taurica: poleis and emporia, polismata and kastra of the regions – klimata, Phoullon, Sougdaia, and Bosporos, and also of the whole Gothia. This is exactly the reason for every time the scholars say a word of the Khazarian occupation of the Crimean peninsula and their domination there, of the annexation of Taurica by the Khazar qaghanate, we meet an amazing effect of the ‘invisible Khazars’ to view it to the most extent after one saves himself of strong, hypnotizing opinion of the Khasars’ hegemony and absolute power in these lands in the eighth and ninth centuries. These ‘masters of Taurica’ seemingly existed, but real sites of their presence are very slight, definite Khazar layers are absent everywhere, and their influence is felt to smaller extent than that of the Byzantines. This fact is indisputable; one should pay more attention to explaining it rather than to searching for the traces of the ‘Khazar domination’.

The double protectorate pattern resulted in refusal of militarized unit under the doux for more flexible regime of ‘quasi-autonomous’ archontate, which caused specific ‘demilitarization’ of the region and the lack of conditions to create stratum of local military nobility. This circumstance as itself deprived possible anti-empire opposition of its leading force. Violent events of autumn 711 demonstrated most visibly that even when the Chersonites had a possibility of making political choices, they chose Byzantium or, to be more precise, keeping of convenient status of double Byzantine-and-Khazar protectorate.

Nothing, actually nothing can supply evidence for the Byzantine centres in the Crimea tried to separate from the Byzantine empire and were hostile to it and not to certain emperors. For a long time, since the last centuries of the Classical period the status of Chersonese/Cherson and its neighborhood did not differ from that of other Roman provincial centres. By the mid-sixth century this city was perceived de jure and de facto as a component part of the Byzantine empire; the long-term process of integration, especially successful starting from the late sixth century, resulted in the lack of corresponding legal act about the given polis is annexed by the empire. Separatism of this early medieval city as well as its independent ‘polis organization’ and ‘self-government’ are no more than another ‘scholarly myth’, born from an old and stable tradition of historiography. Empire’s high prestige allowed the Byzantines to look at all the states and people from above, and the Chersonites also digested this imperial point of view. They thought of the land of the Byzantines as of the ‘land of promise’, so they were not going to refuse of an honor to be a part of the empire, members of its society, and considered that they were obliged to comply with the Byzantines’ ‘indissoluble community’ and live with them in piece. However the representatives of the city government might be called, in the core of the things these were officials of state service with their bureaucratic status underlined by the presence of corresponding seal of Byzantine officer.

Throughout the whole early medieval period, Cherson remained a relatively stable social and economic organism, so the inflow of new ethnic groups representing barbarian peoples was not able to shake this city’s Greek, Byzantine cultural originality. Even if the ethnic structure became more complicated, it did not make the city more barbarian. As a matter of fact, the population of the Byzantine zone of the region under the double protectorate kept stable imperial ethno-political mentality. The Chersonites were equal dwellers of the kingdom of the ‘Byzantine order’ (taxis) living in accordance with the same rules and laws as all other subjects of the emperors did. Historical evidence consists of the fact that no one had a thought that struggling for local, Cherson’s interests is something profitable.

It is remarkable that even under unique, favorable for this situation of 710-711 the Chersonites did not dare to rebel against the emperor openly and only joint rioters from the capital during the final stage of the unrest. In case of religious conflicts they usually supported the ruling emperor, followed all changes in confessional orientation, and, if it was required, accepted Monothelitism, Iconoclasm, all other ‘political wind’s goings around’, and during ‘breaks’ turned back to Orthodoxy. The most part of spiritual leaders of the Chersonites, their bishops and archbishops (from the ninth century onwards), as well as many other church leaders, did not defended Orthodoxy sequentially but law-abidingly followed in the wake of newest governmental novelties.

Constant contacts with overseas lands of the Byzantine empire and Constantinople, the lack of Cherson’s own ethnic identity and economic isolation of the city, likewise the absence of political force capable of taking the leading part and bearing heavy burden of the ‘freedom’ in Cherson developed rather weak tendency of regional separatism in this enclave. The fate of the latter never looked like those of Monophysitic oriental provinces or exarchates of the Eastern empire, which finally found themselves as Arabs’ or Germans’ dependencies. The main reason for this difference was that centrifugal tendencies in Taurica were to greater extent slurred over by the double-protectorate regime; real relations born by that regime were based on neutrality, like the treaty between the Byzantines and the Moslems in Cyprus in the late seventh-ninth centuries and other similar cases.

There is no confidence that Khazar garrisons were installed to Doros and several other fortress of Gothia immediately after the bishop John the Confessor’s rebel was oppressed; this unrest took place most likely on summer 787, just on the eve of opening of the synod in Nicaea. The Khazar power’s attempt to refuse double-protectorate status of the Crimean dependency and to break it for their own benefit appeared to be premature and gave birth to anti-Khazar (but not anti-governmental) alliance of the authorities of Gothia and its non-legitimately elected church leader. The plot failed but forced the qaghan to refuse his intentions to subordinate the country which troubled local population. During the next decades the situation in the Crimea was like non-stable counterpoise, and Cherson and neighboring klimata used its fruits; this equilibrium was shaken by gradual raise of pressure. Hostile environment developed around the city by 830s forced the Byzantine power to look for a way out of the situation developed and finally to break the former relations which came to deadlock.

When the ‘two powers’ system in Taurica was corrupted, Constantinople had to organize administrative reforms, which in the second half of 830s touched both northern and southern coasts of Pontos and resulted in step-by-step transformation of new themes having already established sea connections with each other. The archontate of Cherson obtained the rank of a unit under strategos’ command – it took place most likely no earlier than autumn 840 and no late than spring or summer 841. Em­peror Theophilos’ decision can not be viewed as a kind of legal act on the Byzantine annexation of Taurica. Cherson’s administrators depended on Constantinople long before that so the emperor ordered them directly – without any hesitation – to submit to the new, ‘selected’ authorities. There was only a modification of the right of ownership thus putting an end to the first policy towards the Khazars in the Crimea. When, shortly before that, Byzantium and the Chersonites helped the Khazars to form a plan and start building of ‘White Shelter’ (‘White House’) – Sarkel on Done, the ‘royal’ fortress and possibly one of qaghan’s summer head­quarters and at the same time multi-functional centre of administration, trade, and custom, the stronghold, this was their last kind and allied measure for Khazaria, which was not able to relieve raising political pressure for a long time.

The Khazar qaghanate’s military control over farming Taurica, the presence of Khazar, Magyar cavalry and other ‘different barbarians’ even in the most close vicinity of Cherson which was partly devastated, and the development of a kind of anxious ‘cold war’ situation caused another change in the nature of local economic contacts with reducing the importance of export of grain and other products of farming via Byzantine ports in the Crimea. Already in the mid-ninth century these Byzantine empire’s dependencies in its frontier (ille sit romani locus imperii) appeared to be beset and sometimes as a matter of fact blocked up by – in contemporaries’ words – various ‘tribes’, ‘pagan highwaymen’, ‘crowds’ of barbarians coming there!, which either concluded slippery alliances or battled each other. That was the reason for from that time exactly the state policy for Cherson and, it should be supposed, other Byzantine kastra klimata being in the theme was able, side by side with police and administrative approaches, to foresee anti-trade sanctions, measures for economic pressure upon local subjects of Byzantium if they did not execute the emperors’ orders.

Hence the role of factors of foreign policy in the life of Taurica changed from one century to another with changing economic, social, and politic status of the Chersonites. In the last third of the sixth century conflicts with the Turks contributed to the social consolidation of local society, which was clearly divided into nobility, clergy, and ordinary people; when the regime of double protectorate was established, the base of the Byzantine authority in the archontate was becoming the later the weaker. Only the final collapse of the ‘double power’ forced the Byzantine empire to set its passive policy aside and try ‘not to let go’ the local lands, which gained success, however not immediately nor easily.

The same can be said regarding the tendency to militarization of public life. Visible in the second half of the sixth century (on the example of the doukes and their administration), it was braked by the establishment of the archontate status for the territory under double protectorate. After the latter regime ceased to exist, militarization became dominating anew: the position of the strategos was created to inherit a part of previous municipal administrative machinery keeping continuity from the Late Roman institutions of the polis. This pattern, however, did not prevent the strategos of fulfilling the tendency to unite all types of power (military, civil, and forensic) in the hands of one person, thus putting an end to the last features of independence of the local administra­tors in the faces of the archon of Cherson and the board of proteuontes, ‘fathers of the city’, among which there was kyrios – position known from the eighth century. Such a combination of power was one of the law-governed displays of feudalization in the sphere of public power. Hence, in general terms, the development of Cherson, which remained the Byzantium’s observer and bastion in the north, moved towards classical medieval principle, and this city’s status throughout the ‘dark ages’ can not be considered inimitable, unique, principally different from the status of other provincial Romaion cities. It has much more similarity than difference.

In spite of this, the general tendency of the social and economic development of the region did not lead to the appearance of large land property and, consequently, to naturalization of the economy. Craft industry in Cherson was multi-branch and relatively productive, and trade and coin circulation never lost their significance. Under these circumstances, middle – the largest in number – stratum of the city-dwellers remained rather representative and did not experience decomposing influence of new, feudal elements. It is possible to establish the following social strata in the community of the Chersonites in the ‘Dark Age’ period: ‘first persons’ – hereditary nobility consisting of a few land-owners, great owners of real estates, rich men, high-class businessmen, Byzantine officials (approximately 1% of the city’s residents, about 50-70 persons); high clergy (bishop and presbyters, about 10 persons); professional military men (80-100 persons, no more than 2% of the population); main bulk of people of trade, craft and business, owners of moderate means (approximately 17-20% of the population, about 1,000 persons); middle and low clergy (priests, deacons, deaconesses, ypodiakontes, klerykoi, readers, cantors) (approximately 10% of the population, about 500-600 persons); low class of the city-dwellers, valets, slaves, paupers (about 10% of the population). The newcomers to this Byzantinised environment proceeded there social and economic naturalization to be introduced into the local urban circumstances and necessarily loose their original ethnic face. The degree of their influence in the development of social processes in Cherson and its neighborhood was always too low. Judaic and Turkic, Khazar specific features and even ethnic prejudices might survive in particular spheres of daily life, in religion, but great Greek domination was still the most important factor to display itself both in spoken and written language, in church rites, in mentality, and in other cultural spheres. As an example of that, written and archaeological sources dem­onstrate that impressive, Byzantine-style rich liturgical life of Cherson included all the principle and minor, less important services which can be found in centre of Byzantine church and minor pilgrimage: daily and holiday divine liturgy, Eucharist, baptism, confirmation, matins, vespers, vigil and hours, litany, liturgical year with its calendar of holidays, fasting-days and memories of saints, cult of holy relics, ‘secondary relics’ and martyrs in churches inside and outside of the city, consecration of churches, open air liturgy, processions in and outside of the city, carrying relics, consecration of waters and fruits, liturgical orders (akolouthoi) in the form of processions from one station (at a church, martyrium, etc.) to another, taking of monastic vows or veil, and funeral service. All the time Byzantinization was felt as a serious factor which role never declined. Factors of barbarization were not significant in the zone of Cherson’s influence, neither they were in Taurica in general; the high degree of Hellenization stimulated pro-Byzantine feelings of the population and contributed to the city’s movement towards the Byzantine Empire, its territory and polity.

Conflicts, rebellions, uprisings against some of the strategoi were very rare, never often than in other Byzantine centers of theme, and even in this case they were not followed by something like a rupture of diplomatic relations because the oppressive measures to be undertaken in this case in the worst case consisted of trade and economic blockade, depriving the city from the money allotted to it from the state treasury, and – the most important – were foreseen for the Byzantine emperors’ own subjects. The strategos’ power was spread upon neighboring kastra, so he could chose another place for his residence outside of Cherson, if necessary, from where he would be able to continue leading the affairs of his theme and not those of a ‘satellite country’.

When the new nomads came in the last decade of the ninth century to make their own contribution into the arrangement of political powers, when the general situation improved, the Magyars moved fare away of the Crimean territory, the Pechenegs were included into the sphere of the Chersonites’ economic activities, and when, later on, the relations with the Khazar qaghanate became normal after campaign organized by Khazar military leader (BWLSSY) Pesach, the role of transit trading raised for the theme of Cherson, its tourma or tourmarchaton of Gothia, Sougdaia, Bosporos and other local dependencies of Byzantium; at the same time these centres’ were strengthening their role as a strategic and economic buffer saving Byzantium of direct contacts with dangerous northern neighbors and allowing it to get maximum profit from such roundabout contacts including collecting important political and reconnaissance information via business and missionary relations. Farming lost its position as the basis of Cherson’s public economics; business and trade got the leading role in the economy. Trade was organized as a non-equivalent exchange involving in this or that way probably at least a half of able-to-work, economically active population of the city. By the mid-tenth century Byzantium’s positions in Cherson and closely related to it Gothia were anew as strong as they had been four centuries before that, when the empire had exhausted the ancient stage of its development and had entered the early medieval period. Fortune’s grindstones, which mill states and peoples inexorably, had mercy of the city one more time.

Evidently one should search for the chronological borderline finishing early medieval period in the history of Cherson in 920s-940s geopolitical shifts in Eurasia and in the Crimean peninsula in particular rather than in relatively stable, conservative economic and social spheres which were weakly changeable. Exactly that period, which coincides with the age of Romanos I Lakapinos and Constantine Porphyrogennetos, was the time when Byzantium successfully occupied the leading position in the Crimean peninsula, strengthened its positions in the region for a long time, and regulated its relations with the Pechenegs. the Khazars and the Rus’ people. The same period finished the formation of the ethnic and confessional community that integrated various tribes and peoples into a relatively unified medieval nationality of Taurica with deep apprehension of Christianity and Greek culture (up to spoken and written language environment) as its distinctive feature. This was obviously reflected by the genesis of toponym of Chersakeya, that is the ‘land of the Chersakoi’, and later ethnonym ‘Gotoalanos’. The idea about ‘Crimean Khazaria’ or ‘Khazarian Crimea’ which is popular among several scholars is no more than an idea for historical speculations.

Only one thing should be added to the aforesaid: Cherson’s economics never was self-dependent, so trading with local population and strange nomads were not enough to ensure the economics. Nevertheless, exactly transit nature of the trading could explain in many respects the core of impressively stable connections with Byzantium and viability of the city, especially in the end of the early medieval period. Byzantine policy for Cherson and Taurica constantly responded to changes in external and economical situation in the region, which the empire always tried to keep for itself using different ways and, in general, always rather successfully. Hard times came and went away, and notorious ‘Dark Age’ made no difference with other epochs in this respect. Their color was not necessarily black. As for the city, it found enough force in itself to develop, to build, and to look at the future with hope despite of all problem periods. The fate allotted Cherson almost five more centuries of history, that is to say, of life.

Translated from Russian by N. Khrapunov

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