Nicopolis ad Nestum and Its Place in the Ancient Road Infrastructure of Southwestern Thracia

  • Svetla Petrova Department of Classical Archaeology National Archaeological Institute with Museum Bulgarian Academy of Sciences 2 Saborna Str., 1000 Sofia
Keywords: road network, primary (main) and secondary roads, local roads, bridges, roadside stations (tabernae and praetoria; stabulum; mutatio; mansio)


The road network of main and secondary roads for Nicopolis ad Nestum has not been studied comprehensively so far. Our research was carried out in the period 2010-2015. We have gathered the preserved parts of roads with bridges, together with the results of archaeological studies and data about the settlements alongside these roads. The Roman city of Nicopolis ad Nestum inherited road connections from pre-Roman times, which were further developed. Road construction in the area has been traced chronologically from the pre-Roman roads to the Roman primary and secondary ones for the ancient city. There were several newly built roadbeds that were important for the area and connected Nicopolis with Via Diagonalis and Via Egnatia. The elements of infrastructure have been established: primary and secondary roads, crossings, facilities and roadside stations. Also the locations of custom-houses have been found at the border between Parthicopolis and Nicopolis ad Nestum. We have identified a dense network of road infrastructure with relatively straight sections and a lot of local roads and bridges, connecting the settlements in the territory of Nicopolis ad Nestum.