History

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A fragment of the floor mosaic of the Philippopolis' Bishop Basilica, Plovdiv Archaeological MuseumA fragment of the floor mosaic of the Philippopolis' Bishop Basilica, Plovdiv Archaeological Museum

Life was getting even harder. Philippopolis was destroyed by Atila's Huns in 441-442 and by the Goths of Teodoric Strabo in 471. The local economy suffered heavily. Looking for a way out, Emperor Anastasius I (491-518) eased taxes for the province of Thrace and restored many fortifications. A reform in city's governance was imposed - the city council was now presided by the city's bishop. Several curiales and big landowners were also included in it, and one of their main tasks was to take care of the city's grain supply.

Emperor Justinian (527-565) continued fortifying against the Barbarians, and Philippopolis, according to Procopius of Caesarea, witnessed how "everything that was missing or was destroyed" was being rebuilt. Justinian, however, stripped the city from its last pieces of local autonomy. The city council was altogether dismantled, its functions taken by a council presided by the city's bishop. The big time landowners increased their influence in the city deeds.

Philippopolis was "ready" for the invasions of the new peoples coming from north. Among them, two nations stood out - the Slavs, who settled in the Balkans in the 6-7th centuries, and the proto-Bulgarians who first raided Thrace in the 6th Century. Both were to create a new state, Bulgaria.

Roman Philippopolis, for its part, had finished its transformation into a medieval city - a city, which in the following centuries would be disputed by the Byzantine Empire and Bulgaria. But this is another story.

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