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The Archaeology of Byzantine AnatoliaFrom the End of Late Antiquity until the Coming of the Turks$

Philipp Niewohner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190610463

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190610463.001.0001

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Transport and Communication

Transport and Communication

(p.28) Chapter Two Transport and Communication
The Archaeology of Byzantine Anatolia

Klaus Belke

Oxford University Press

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter presents Byzantine roads, the main routes across Anatolia, and their development from the Roman to the middle Byzantine period. Information on roads, means of transportation, and roadside infrastructure is found in sources on the so-called cursus publicus. As in other premodern societies, means of transportation included pack animals, draught animals that pulled various types of carts and wagons, and walking on foot. In Byzantine Anatolia, pack animals prevailed by far over wheeled traffic. Certain groups of travelers are particularly well attested, including monks and clerics, pilgrims, merchants, administrative staff, and—perhaps most important—the army. The needs of the army will have been a main reason for maintaining at least parts of the ancient road network throughout the Byzantine period.

Keywords:   Roads, Bridges, Administration, Army, Trade, Pilgrimage

ALTHOUGH SOME progress has been achieved during the last decade or two, sound methods for embedding subjects such as transport and communication into a larger context of the various social, economic, political, and military conditions of the Byzantine state are still lacking.1 The aim of this contribution to the Archaeology of Byzantine Anatolia is therefore confined to presenting some material regarding transport and communication by land, drawn mainly from written sources but also from archaeological evidence.

Road network

The Romans had built and maintained a network of long-distance roads as well as “secondary” connections, primarily for military and administrative purposes, but that nevertheless also served private commercial interests and travel.2

The study of Roman and Byzantine roads in Asia Minor owes much to the work of D. French. Starting from his experience in fieldwork, he developed a set of definitions for various types of roads and a theoretical approach to their development from the pre-Roman to the post-Byzantine period. Regarding only the types of roads relevant to this contribution, French differentiates between highways (broad and paved, for vehicles), roadways (narrow and paved, for pack animals), track ways (broad, constructed but not paved), and pathways (narrow, not paved). In terms of time, he argues that in the course of repairs or rebuilding in the sixth and seventh centuries AD, the old highways were often changed to roadways; in addition, to mountainous, steep stretches of these roadways were added steps, which facilitated the sure footing of pack animals but impeded vehicular traffic. They were therefore designed for non-vehicular (p.29) traffic.3 This view seems to be based on sound evidence, but it is nevertheless too schematic.

The decrease in wheeled traffic in Asia Minor was a process that started as early as the fourth century and was completed in the sixth century. The average width of ca. 3.5 m (according to French, a roadway) was still sufficient to handle limited wheeled traffic, and ox-carts could also jolt over flat steps. I therefore think that in the Roman as well as in the early Byzantine period, broader and narrower paved roads or stretches of roads coexisted, depending on the density of (wheeled) traffic, the difficulties of the terrain, the funds available, and the date of construction. One of the best-examined examples is the mountain pass through the Döşeme defile in Pamphylia, which was a part of the Augustan Via Sebaste. As a real highway it was more than 6 m wide, and ruts indicate wheeled traffic. In constant use until the 19th century, the road was repaired at least twice in the Roman period and again renovated or completely rebuilt in the Byzantine and/or the Ottoman periods. It was narrowed to 3–3.5 m and stepped in the early Byzantine period or later.4

The Roman roads that served public and private purposes were paved to a great extent, but not completely; there always remained stretches of roads that were covered only by a surface of pebbles or gravel. In Asia Minor, however, it seems that all (or most) roads that have left traces were indeed paved until the third century. But they generally lack the excavated ditch and the several layers of foundations that are described by Roman authors and are often found in other parts of the Roman world.5 The edging stones and the pavement are laid directly on the natural surface.6 Where the natural rock was either smooth enough or could be made sufficiently smooth, it served directly as road surface. This was especially the case in regions covered with soft tuff (parts of Cappadocia, Lycaonia, and Phrygia), where carts and wagons left deep ruts in the ground.7 The network of Roman roads can be reconstructed mainly from late antique itineraries (Itinerarium Antonini; Itinerarium Burdigalense; Tabula Peutingeriana), milestones, and road inscriptions—virtually nonexistent after the sixth century8—and, last but not least, physical remains of road surfaces and bridges.

The Byzantines, who had inherited the entire Roman road network, only rarely built completely new roads. Rather, after the sixth century they gradually ceased using some of the Roman roads as main routes and began instead choosing variant routes, which usually had already existed in the Roman period as (p.30) well. An overview of the most important roads in Asia Minor—Roman and Byzantine—will therefore be given, with occasional remarks on the development in the middle Byzantine period (Fig. 2.1). Since no Byzantine itineraries comparable to the Roman ones exist, the main sources for the continuity as well as the successive changes of roads are Byzantine historiographical and hagiographical writings. In addition, although sometimes difficult to interpret in detail, Arabic historians and geographers such as Ibn Ḫurdāḏbih, Ibn Ḥauqal, al-Muqaddasī, or al-Idrīsī yield many pieces of information on the routes of middle Byzantine roads, which would otherwise be unknown.

Transport and Communication

Fig. 2.1. Byzantine roads in Anatolia as well as mountains, lakes, and rivers by ancient or Byzantine names. See the index for corresponding modern names (K. Belke/P. Niewöhner/Wikimedia Commons [map])

Already during the Roman Imperial period, the road that crossed Asia Minor from northwest (Chalcedon/Kadıköy opposite Byzantium/Constantinople) to southeast (Syrian border, Antioch) via Nicomedia/İzmit, Nicaea/İznik, Ancyra/Ankara, the Cilician Gates, and Tarsus developed into the backbone of the network of roads in the eastern part of the empire. It ensured above all a rapid connection, especially for armies, between the Balkan Peninsula and the eastern provinces (Syria, Arabia), but also served pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land (therefore often called “Pilgrim’s Road”).9 The course of this transversal through Asia Minor underwent noticeable modifications in the middle Byzantine period. Instead of running through Ancyra and skirting the Great Salt Lake/Tatta Limne/Tuz Gölü on its eastern side, the Byzantines came to prefer variants that led via Dorylaeum/Eskişehir, Amorium/Hisar—still later even via Cotyaeum/Kütahya—and Iconium/Konya to the Cilician Gates.10 They now also became one of the favored routes for incursions by Arab armies into northwestern Asia Minor as well as for Byzantine counter-strikes. Ancyra, Amorium, Dorylaeum, and Cotyaeum emerged as strongly fortified garrison towns for the protection of the Asian hinterland of Constantinople.11

Several important roads ran directly to the eastern frontiers of the empire. A northern route branched off the Pilgrim’s Road in Nicomedia, which led via Claudiopolis/Bolu through Paphlagonia to Amasia/Amasya, Neocaesarea/Niksar, and Satala/Sadak in the Pontic region.12 A middle route left the Pilgrim’s Road at Ancyra and headed directly to Sebasteia/Sivas. Here it split into two branches, one that led southeast to Melitene/Malatya and the Euphrates and another that led to Nicopolis.13 A third road, most (p.31) (p.32) important in the early Roman period, when, according to the geographer Artemidorus (late second century BC),14 it ran from Ephesus/Selçuk through Caria, Phrygia, Lycaonia, and Cappadocia (Mazaca/Caesarea [Kayseri]) to the Euphrates, had lost significance as a continuous road already in antiquity, but parts of it, especially in the west (Maeander Valley) and in the east (Caesarea to Melitene and the Euphrates), remained in use during the whole period under consideration.15

Roads leading south from various ports on the Black Sea (such as Sinope/Sinop, Amisus/Samsun, or Trapezus/Trabzon/Trebizond) and north from ports of the Mediterranean (especially Attalia/Antalya, Anemurium/Eskianamur, Seleucia/Silifke, and Aegeae/Ayaş/Yumurtalık) also existed, but most of them (except those from Trebizond and Attalia) did not gain the supra-regional importance of the west-east or the diagonal roads.16


Travel and transport were organized either by the state or privately. The so-called cursus publicus (to be rendered roughly as “courier service of the Roman Empire”), which dates from the Augustan era, was run by the state and provided means of transport along certain main roads for a limited circle of imperial couriers, high-ranking military leaders, civil servants, and official delegations as well as, perhaps only from the fourth to the sixth century, for certain transports of goods for the army or the imperial court. The use of the cursus publicus was strictly, but not always successfully, restricted to these groups when acting by order and in the interest of the state. Wagons and animals had to be provided by the local population and communities, and, from at least the fourth century at the latest, without compensation.17

Along the main roads of the empire, there were hostels (mansiones) run by the state at distances from each other corresponding roughly to an average day’s journey (20–30 miles), where travelers—especially those official travelers who were entitled to use the cursus publicus—could spend the night. Beneficiaries of the cursus publicus had to change carriages and animals placed at their disposal at these mansiones as well as at the mutationes, smaller road stations placed between the mansiones, which served only that purpose.18 The best-known example in Asia Minor is the pandocheion (“hostel”) near (p.33) Sykeon on the “Pilgrim’s Road,” home of St. Theodore of Sykeon, which must have replaced the mutatio Hicronpotamum (for Hieronpotamum).19 Archaeologically, the ruins of what was most probably such a mutatio are well preserved near the city of Maximianopolis on the before-mentioned road from Attalia to Pisidia south of the Döşeme defile. It is a two-storied, four-wing building around a central courtyard, with three doors that open directly onto the road.20

In spite of the real or alleged reduction of the services of the cursus publicus by the emperor Justinian I,21 several middle Byzantine sources speak of “public horses” (one even of “public wagons”),22 which were used for transmitting orders from the emperor to the provinces.23 Moreover, prominent Byzantines attempting flight would often wound or kill the public horses in the road stations (allagai) to prevent the authorities from pursuing them.24

It thus becomes clear that the system of the cursus publicus and of road stations was maintained throughout the middle Byzantine period, now placed under the supervision of the logothetes tu dromu.25 Information on routes served by the “Imperial Post” and road stations are also found in Arabic sources from the period of the Byzantine reconquest of the eastern Anatolian provinces. In the first place, there is the report of a journey from Kamḫ/Camacha/Kemah, in northern Armenia to Constantinople via Melitene and Ancyra, which was conducted by the Imperial Post Service, the successor to the cursus publicus. There are said to have been 186 “post stations” along that road, of which 108 were between Melitene and Constantinople.26 Two Arabic sources show that, beside a sea route, there also was a land route between the harbor town of Attalia and Constantinople, along which the Imperial Post was also active, (p.34) carrying imperial despatches and letters by mules and pack animals in eight or nine days.27

The Byzantine state, like the Roman state, was of course dependent on usable overland roads for the proper functioning of the administration and, above all, the mobility of the army. It was probably for these purposes, more than for merchants and private travelers, that the state provided the maintenance of the empire’s roads.28 In order to achieve this, the state, in the early as well as in the middle Byzantine period, demanded compulsory labor (angareia) from those who were living along the roads or owned land there. These angareiai consisted not only in supplying food and lodging, animals, and carts, as for the cursus publicus, but also in building and maintaining roads and bridges; relevant terms are hodostrosia and gephyrosis or gephyroktisia.29

Complaints about bad road conditions on campaigns in the historical sources are rare, but significant. In 877 the emperor Basil I had to burn the shrubs and cut down the trees that grew on a road near Cucusus before he could pass.30 But apart from general comments on how narrow and difficult the roads were,31 there seem to be few or no reports that the Byzantine armies were severely impeded from moving in Anatolia because of bad road conditions. For example, the army that the emperor Romanos IV led to the battle of Mantzikert in 1071 could pass all the way (ca. 1,500 km) without the sources mentioning any hindrance. The emperor’s personal baggage train included ochemata, probably horse- or mule-drawn carriages, which demanded better roads than ox-carts and were burned in a fire while the army camped in a plain in the Anatolic theme. The army then crossed the Zompou bridge over the Sangarius River and then over the Halys, probably also on a bridge. Behind Sebasteia/Sivas Attaliates speaks of two atrapoi, pathways, which headed to the theme of Colonia and seem to be a variation for the hodoi of the next paragraph. Before Mantzikert, Romanos placed the heavy siege machines that he had prepared on no fewer than 1,000 ox-carts. He probably had them brought from his last stop at Theodosiopolis/Erzurum, where he had provisioned the army for the last time, i.e. a distance of nearly 200 km away.32

(p.35) Means of transportation

In the Roman period, all means of transport were to be found on the empire’s roads: persons traveling on foot; riding donkeys, mules, or horses; or using various types of carts and carriages, even, if rarely, litters.33 Regarding goods and commodities, porters carrying goods on foot were found primarily in the immediate vicinity of settlements. Over land, goods were transported on four-wheeled carriages, e.g. the raeda, which was usually drawn by mules or two-wheeled carts drawn by oxen.34 Horses did not play a considerable role as draught animals.35 Side by side with carriages and carts, there were pack animals such as donkeys, mules, and, less importantly, horses. Especially in the south and southeast of Asia Minor, camels, i.e. dromedaries, also played a certain role.36

From the early Byzantine period onwards arose complaints in both historiographical and in legal texts about bad conditions of roads and bridges,37 while wheeled traffic for carrying people was gradually replaced by riding animals, as can be deduced from the laws collected in Codex Theodosianus VIII 5 as well as from other sources.38 Within the scope of the cursus publicus, the service of the cursus clabulari(u)s, which was designed for less important state officers and for heavy loads such as equipment for soldiers etc. to be transported in the interest of the state, was abandoned in the fifth century and, at least for a certain time, replaced by hired wagons and oxen.39

For short-distance transportation of heavy loads, such as agricultural goods, building materials, etc., the traditional two-wheeled ox-carts remained in continuous use from antiquity to the Ottoman period, often beside pack animals. No texts refer to wheeled long-distance traffic for merchandise in early Byzantine Anatolia, which was conducted by animal caravans instead. In spite of the higher costs compared to sea routes, a certain amount of overland transport to Constantinople occurred on animal caravans, especially of luxury goods (e.g. silk), which were imported from the Middle and Far East, via Trapezus/Trabzon, Aleppo, Attalia, and some other places. For example, within the customs regulations in the treaty of peace between the emperor John I Tzimiskes and the Hamdanids of Aleppo (December 969), caravans carrying merchandise from the Byzantine Empire to Aleppo are mentioned.40 Likewise, the tribute to be delivered by the Hamdanids to the emperors was carried along the land (p.36) route to Constantinople in 977. This transport is mentioned incidentally on occasion of a battle near the otherwise unknown place of Oxylithus. Although not specified, it is certain that the tribute was delivered on pack animals.41

Other locations for levying customs on commodities arriving from the east as well as for Byzantine exportations were Trapezus and Attalia.42 Both are mentioned here, because they also served as intersections between land and sea trade. Commodities from the east continued their way from Trapezus to Constantinople either by sea or by caravans through Asia Minor.43

The same development from wheeled transportation to pack animals can be observed for the army. A comparison of early and middle Byzantine tactica and other polemological works shows that the use of carts for baggage and equipment in the baggage train was reduced from frequent44 to nearly nothing during this period.45 This could reflect a general deterioration of roads, but could also be due to the changing military tactics, e.g. the increasing role of the cavalry, for which carts would be too slow. For special tasks, e.g. transport of siege machines or boats, ox-carts were always used.46

Travelers and trade

Monks, an astonishingly mobile part of Byzantine society, formed a considerable percentage of travelers. Due to the rich hagiographical material, our documentation for this group, and above all for saint monks, is much better than for others. Notwithstanding the canonical rule of stabilitas loci, monks and to a lesser degree nuns, too, moved between monasteries even in distant parts of the empire, from monastery to hermitages, and visited local or famous superregional places of pilgrimage, often as far as the Holy Land. Compulsory migrations were frequent in periods of persecution, especially during the Invasion Period.47 Bishops attended the yearly provincial synods in the metropolis of (p.37) their province, and metropolitan bishops and archbishops often had business in Constantinople, where they attended the synodos endemousa.48

Laymen and priests also visited numerous shrines and places of pilgrimage, near or far, including the Holy Land. Hagiography is again our main source.49 The most famous and most frequented superregional shrines and centers of pilgrimage in Asia Minor were Ephesus, Chonae, Euchaïta, Myra, Nicaea, and Caesarea (Cappadocia), but also Euchania, Germia (Galatia), and Mount Olympus (near Prusa).50

Except for Ephesus and Myra, which were situated at or near important ports, pilgrimage sites were in the interior and depended on road connections; not surprisingly, they all lay at or near long-distance roads. Apart from the miraculous cures they often offered, the main attraction of these as well as of the smaller, local centers of pilgrimage were the panegyreis, the yearly celebrations of the patron saint of each center. Since they were often accompanied by markets and fairs, not only hosts of pilgrims, but also merchants and local producers, took to the roads that led to these places.51

Local and regional trade was, of course, more common than the long-distance transport of commodities over inland routes, which has already been mentioned. In western and especially northwestern Asia Minor, transport of agricultural products to the harbors for export to Constantinople was of such paramount importance that only a few examples must be allowed to suffice. In the ninth century, monks of the Agauru Monastery (near Prusa) brought grain and other crops with the monastery’s own ox-carts to the Katabolon region.52 Legumes for the capital were delivered from Nicaea and its surroundings; the port of shipment could have been either Cius or a port at or near the Gulf of Nicomedia, such as Pylae or Helenopolis.53 Pylae was one of the main ports of departure for livestock to be used as draught or pack animals or to be slaughtered for meat in the capital. These animals must have traveled there from various parts of Bithynia on land roads,54 as did the sheep the butchers of Constantinople had to buy on the other side of the Sangarius River.55 Foodstuffs also had to be brought from harbors or fertile plains to inland towns, such as Synada, metropolitan bishopric of Phrygia Salutaris, which in the tenth century was said—perhaps with some exaggeration—to have lacked (p.38) oil, wine, and even wheat.56 At the beginning of the thirteenth century, just beyond the temporal framework of this volume, Nicholas Mesarites twice traveled from the Gulf of Nicomedia to Nicaea. In 1206, merchants from Nicaea, who at that moment had no merchandise to transport back from Pylae to their home, searched for travelers, whom they brought to Nicaea on the backs of their mules. In 1208, Mesarites joined merchants who transported salted fish on their mules from Neacome (east of Pylae) to Nicaea.57 These two examples illustrate the export and import of commodities from and to a town at roughly a day’s (or night’s) march distance from the coast.

In conclusion, the Byzantines inherited the Roman road network and gradually adapted it to their changing needs. After the sixth century at the latest, pack animals prevailed by far over wheeled traffic. Of the various types of carts and wagons used by the Romans, only two-wheeled ox carts survived. Roads therefore could become narrower and stepped. In addition, certain stretches of road were replaced by variant routes that connected Constantinople with new important military and economic centers. Certain groups of travelers are particularly well attested, including monks and clerics, pilgrims, merchants, administrative staff, and—perhaps most importantly—the army. The needs of the army will have been a main reason for maintaining at least parts of the ancient road network throughout the Byzantine period.


(2.) For a general bibliography on Roman roads, see Schneider, Altstraßenforschung (general introduction to problems, methods, and results); Chevallier, Voies Romaines (detailed description of various aspects, centered mainly on Italy and Gaul); Pekáry, Untersuchungen (esp. on juridical and administrative questions).

(4.) Hellenkemper/Hild, Lykien und Pamphylien, pp. 273–75. 643. 719 (with reference to older literature).

(5.) Chevallier, Voies Romaines, pp. 108–18; Quilici, “Roads,” passim, esp. pp. 567–68.

(6.) French, Roads and Milestones 1, pp. 19–22; French, “Road System,” p. 704; for different building techniques, see Schneider, Altstraßenforschung, pp. 31–35.

(7.) Belke, Galatien und Lykaonien, pl. 1–5; Hild, Straßensystem, pl. 95; for photos of different types of ancient roads throughout Asia Minor (not always correctly dated), see Donbaz/Güner, Kral Yolları, passim.

(8.) French, Interim Catalogue; French, “Road System,” pp. 713–26.

(9.) For the road stations that determine the course of the Pilgrim’s Road in Asia Minor, see Itinerarium Antonini 139, 1–147, 1; Itinerarium Burdigalense 571, 9–581, 6; Tabula Peutingeriana 8, 1–9, 4, ed. E. Weber, Tabula Peutingeriana. Codex Vindobonensis 324. Vollständige Faksimile-Ausgabe im Originalformat und Kommentar, Graz 1976; French, Roads and Milestones 1, passim; for certain stretches of the road, see Belke, Galatien und Lykaonien, pp. 93–97; Hild, Straßensystem, pp. 33–59; Hellenkemper/Hild, Kilikien und Isaurien, pp. 132–33; on the territory of Nicaea esp. Şahin, Iznik, vol. 2, 1 pp. 5–19.

(11.) For sources, see the respective lemmata in Belke, Galatien und Lykaonien; Belke/Mersich, Phrygien und Pisidien.

(13.) Belke, Galatien und Lykaonien, pp. 104–5; Hild, Straßensystem, pp. 104–12; the branch to Nicopolis and the Pontus region is sketched in Bryer/Winfield, Pontos, map, but not described as a continuous road; see Bryer/Winfield, Pontos, vol. 1 pp. 21–22. 46.

(14.) Quoted by Strabo 14, 2, 29.

(15.) For the western section (as part of the first road-building activities in the new province of Asia from 129 BC onwards), see Mitchell, “Administration,” pp. 18–21; Belke/Mersich, Phrygien und Pisidien, pp. 149–50; for the eastern section, Hild, Straßensystem, pp. 84–103.

(16.) For roads heading south from Sinope, see Belke, Paphlagonia and Honōrias, pp. 134–35; from Amisus, see Bryer/Winfield, Pontos, vol. 1 pp. 39–40; from Trebizond, see Ibid., vol. 1 pp. 48–55 (several roads). For roads heading north from Attalia, see Hellenkemper/Hild, Lykien und Pamphylien, pp. 273–75; Belke/Mersich, Phrygien und Pisidien, pp. 155–56; from Anemurium and Seleucia, see Hellenkemper/Hild, Kilikien und Isaurien, pp. 138–40; from Aegeae, see Ibid., pp. 136–38.

(17.) Kolb, TransportIbid., pp. 66–70. 96–98.

(18.) For these road stations, see Kolb, Transport 210–13.

(19.) Vie de Théodore de Sykeôn, vol. 1 p. 3 et passim; Itinerarium Burdigalense 574, 9; see Belke, Galatien und Lykaonien, p. 228; Belke, “Pflasterstraße,” p. 273 note 36.

(20.) French, “Roma Yolları,” pp. 34–36 pl. 1, 3–5; Hellenkemper/Hild, Lykien und Pamphylien, p. 719 pl. 140.

(21.) Procopius of Caesarea, Arcana historia 30, 1–11, eds J. Haury/G. Wirth, Procopii Caesariensis opera omnia 3, Leipzig 1963, pp. 180–83; John Lydus, On Powers or the Magistracies of the Roman State, ed. A. C. Bandy, Philadelphia 1983, pp. 226–31; Belke, “Pflasterstraße,” pp. 271–72.

(22.) Symeon Magistros, Chronicon, ed. S. Wahlgren (Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae 44, 1), Berlin 2006, p. 221 (flight of the general Manuel in 829).

(23.) Michael Psellos, Chronographia 1, 24, ed. S. Impellizzeri, Michael Psellus, Imperatori di Bizanzio (cronografia), Verona 1984, vol. 1 pp. 34–37 (second rebellion of Bardas Skleros in 989).

(24.) Symeon Magistros, Chronicon, ed. S. Wahlgren (Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae 44, 1), Berlin 2006, p. 287 (attempted flight of Samonas ca. 904); Michael Psellos, Chronographia 6, 102, ed. S. Impellizzeri, Michael Psellus, Imperatori di Bizanzio (cronografia), Verona 1984, vol. 2 p. 40 (flight of the rebellious Tornicius and his men to Adrianople [Edirne in Thrace] in 1047).

(25.) On this important officer of the middle Byzantine period, see Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium II, Oxford 1991, pp. 1247–48 s.v. “Logothetes tou Dromou” (A. Kazhdan); also Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium I, Oxford 1991, p. 662 s.v. “Dromos” (A. Kazhdan).

(26.) Ibn Hauqal, Configuration de la terre, vol. 1 pp. 199–200; the exact route cannot be reconstructed with certainty, especially in its eastern part; cf. Hild/Restle, Kappadokien, p. 281; the journey there and back to Kamḫ may have followed different routes; see Dimitroukas, Reisen, vol. 2 pp. 586–89. Other Arab itineraries, such as those enumerated e.g. by Honigmann, “Un itinéraire arabe,” may (but need not) hint at the existence of post stations along other routes as well.

(30.) Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus (attr.), Vita Basilii, ed. I. Ševčenko, Chronographiae quae Theophanis Continuati nomine fertur liber quo vita Basilii imperatoris amplectitur (Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae 42), Berlin 2011, p. 168; Hild, Straßensystem, p. 134

(31.) e.g. Thophanes, Chronographia, ed. de Boor, vol. 1 p. 312, on Heraclius’ march to the east in 626. Remarks like this may sometimes be regarded as topos, but are in accordance with French’s observations on the narrowing of Byzantine roads quoted above, pp. 28–29.

(32.) Romanos’ IV march to Mantzikert is described in Michael Attaliates, Historia, ed. I. Pérez Martín, Miguel Ataliates, Historia, Madrid 2002, pp. 107–13, and, with fewer details, in Nikephoros Bryennios, Historia, ed. P. Gautier, Nicéphore Bryennios, Histoire (Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae 9), Brussels 1975, pp. 103–7.

(34.) For types of carts, carriages, and wagons, see Weber, “Wagen in Italien,” pp. 95–102.

(35.) Raepsaet, Attelages, pp. 35–36. 50–51; Raepsaet, “Land Transport,” pp. 587–88.

(36.) For travel and transport with different means and for average speeds that could be obtained with them in the Roman period, see Kolb, Transport, pp. 308–17; for camels, see Hellenkemper/Hild, Kilikien und Isaurien, p. 112.

(37.) Lunghis, “Παραδε‎ίγματα‎,” pp. 37–42, based mostly on Procopius; Justinian I’s efforts to improving the neglected road conditions proved limited; Haldon, “Roads and Communications,” pp. 136–37.

(39.) Belke, “Pflasterstraße,” p. 271. For the interrelation of the decline of the Roman roads and the decrease of wheeled traffic cf. Bulliet, The Camel and the Wheel, pp. 26–27.

(40.) Dölger /Müller, Regesten, vol. 1, 2 cat. 728a; Dimitroukas, Reisen, vol. 1 p. 155.

(42.) Ibn Hauqal, Configuration de la terre, vol. 1 pp. 192–93; vol. 2 p. 337; Dimitroukas, Reisen, vol. 1 pp. 157–58.

(43.) Dimitroukas, Reisen, vol. 1 p. 156; cf. Lopez, “Silk Industry,” p. 29–30, citing from Arabic sources.

(44.) In the so-called Strategikon of emperor (?) Maurice, eds G. T. Dennis/E. Gamillscheg, Das Strategikon des Maurikios (Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae 17), Vienna 1981, pp. 515 (index Graecus s.v. ἅμαξα‎). 531 (s.v. καραγ‎ός‎).

(45.) e.g. the tenth-century Anonymus, Campaign Organization and Tactics, ed. G. T. Dennis, Three Byzantine Military Treatises (Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae 25), Washington, DC, 1985, p. 304 lines 36–42, where the author envisages the possibility of using carts for baggage in the Balkans “if feasible”; nothing in the military works of the emperor Nikephoros II Phokas: McGeer, Sowing the Dragon’s Teeth (the so-called Praecepta Militaria); Dagron/Mihăescu, Traité sur la guérilla, indices. In Leo VI, Taktika, ed. G. Dennis, The Taktika of Leo VI (Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae 49), Washington, DC, 2010, carts in the baggage train are mentioned frequently (see index), but these tactica are based on earlier works, esp. Maurice; cf. Belke, “Pflasterstraße,” pp. 278–79.

(46.) Examples in Belke, “Pflasterstraße,” pp. 277–79.

(47.) Relevant materials for the Byzantine world from the fourth century until the late eleventh century are collected and arranged according to various aspects such as, for example, places of origin, destination, purpose of travel by Malamut, Saint, passim; see also Dimitroukas, Reisen, vol. 2 pp. 609–12.

(48.) For the provincial synods, see Beck, Kirche, pp. 40–44.

(49.) On lay pilgrims met by saints, see Foss, “Pilgrimage,” pp. 146–48.

(52.) Life of St Eustratius, ed. A. Papadopoulos-Kerameus, Ἀν‎άλεκτα‎ Ἱεροσολυμιτικ‎ῆςΣταχυολογ‎ίας‎, St. Petersburg 1888–1897. Repr. Brussels 1963, vol. 4 p. 387. Most probably, the load was bound to be shipped to Constantinople from one of the harbors of Katabolon. For the importance of the harbor of Cius for travelers and goods, see e.g. Lefort, “Communications,” p. 210; Kaplan, “Routes,” pp. 92–93.

(53.) Ibn Ḫurdāḏbih, Kitâb al-Masâlik wa’l-Mamâlik, p. 102 (French translation on p. 74).

(54.) Leo of Synada, Letter 54, ed. Vinson, p. 86 lines 26–36; Kaplan, “Routes,” pp. 83–84. 91–92.

(55.) Leon the Wise, To eparchikon biblion 15, 3, ed. J. Koder, Das Eparchenbuch Leons des Weisen (Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae 33), Vienna 1991, p. 124.

(56.) Leo of Synada, Letter 43, ed. Vinson, pp. 68–71.

(57.) Heisenberg, Neue Quellen, pp. 39–43, 45–46. For the major role that Pylae played as “door to Bithynia and Asia Minor,” see Kaplan, “Quelques remarques,” pp. 89–93.