The Middle and Lower Danube Corridor form a cultural unity by virtue of their common geographical location and history during the Roman Empire.Because the strategic importance of the Danube Corridor in connecting the western and eastern parts of the Roman Empire coupled with the added need to protect the territorial integrity of the Empire in the corridor against destructive invasions required the construction of facilities to house the soldiers and the emperors who commanded them, a network of roads, forts, towns, villas and imperial palaces was created which still exist as tourist destinations.

The Roman Emperors and Danube Wine Route embodies in its featured archaeological sites and museums the critical and continuing strategic importance of the Middle Danube Provinces of the Roman Empire.The emperors in person commanded the Roman armies which guarded this river frontier against outside intruders and insured the existence of the Roman Empire for over a half a millennium, one of the most enduring empires in world history.This was the crucial northern frontier of the empire.

The Danube River and the parallel Roman Trans-Balkan Highway formed a vital axis of communication and transportation which connected the western and eastern halves of the Empire, from the head of the Adriatic to the Black Sea. From Rome’s initial entry into the Danube region in the first century B.C. to the final capitulation to the Avars and Slavs in the sixth century the wealth of well-preserved archaeological remains and abundance of recovered artefacts document the Roman way of life in newly conquered territory which extended from the Adriatic to the Danube frontier and Black Sea.Many of our locations on the Route were actively used when they personally directed military campaigns and still bear witness to the presence of Rome’s leaders, many of whom were born in this region from military families and rose up through the ranks to supreme command.

Political power in the Roman Empire was vested primarily in the army.The army demanded the personal leadership of the emperors and in this way controlled access to the imperial throne.The same explanation can apply to the phenomenon that many future emperors were born to soldiers’ families in units stationed on the frontier.The Route incorporates the significant archaeological monuments left behind by these Roman rulers in the Balkans.

The wine regions included in the Route in a general sense replicated the plantations introduced by the Roman army into the regions.For the indigenous peoples, who lived and worked alongside of the Roman soldiers, one can infer that a way “to act Roman” and in a certain sense “to be Roman” was to acquire a taste for this new beverage from the Mediterranean world. Similar climatic and other environmental conditions which encouraged the ancient Greek and Romans to extend viticulture to the Danube region have resulted in a renaissance of wine production in more modern times.

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