The exhibition "Late Antiquity" contains monuments from today's Bulgarian lands, representing the significant political, economic and religious changes that occurred in the period from the end of the XNUMXrd century to the beginning of the XNUMXth century.

First of all, the exposition shows a monument to the emperor Flavius ​​Julius Valens (364 – 378). On March 28, 364, Valens was proclaimed "Augustus" by his brother Valentinian and took over the rule of the Eastern Roman Empire. During the First Gothic War 367-369, he resided in Marcianople, from where he led the military campaign against the Goths. Wounded and killed on August 9, 378, after the defeat of the Roman army at Hadrianople, the death of Valens ushered in a new era and the slow extinction of Rome.

An important highlight for the period is the only one of its kind, for the territory of today's Bulgarian lands, a lead coffin discovered in Vrachansko. The monument is not only unparalleled in antiquity, but also bears the striking characteristics of early Christianity.

In the first showcase, you can see the administrative and economic changes of that time, presented through artefacts, jewelry and numismatics. Here you will touch a collective find of gold coins of the emperors Mauritius Tiberius (582 – 602), Phocas (602 – 610) and Heraclius (610 – 641) from the Black Sea fortress of Chrysosotira. A bronze scale weight depicting the Byzantine empress Galla Placidia (412-450), a silver plate inscribed with the name of Emperor Licinius, a replica of a silver-plated copper chalice inscribed with Emperor Justinian and Theodora, XNUMXth century gold appliqués, and more.

In the second showcase, attention is directed to the changes in religious terms. On display is a rich collection of crosses made of lead, bronze, bone and gold, bronze candelabra and lamps. A ceramic fragment with an inscription in Greek from the peninsula of Atia, Burgas is extremely interesting. Two reliquaries are shown with the group of religious monuments, one with a religious scene.

The era of late antiquity was marked by phenomena detrimental to the empire, related to the resettlement of large masses of barbarian tribes, who penetrated through the Lower Danube Limes and set the stage for the permanent settlement of Goths, Slavs, Avars and proto-Bulgarians.

In the third showcase, attention is directed to the elements of costume, ornaments and household items, showing the new influences from the barbarian invasions and the development of Byzantine jewelry.

Life in the old centers in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries had certain negative trends, as a result of the deterioration of the political situation. Thus, the standard of private dwellings was gradually lowered, and in the middle of the XNUMXth century, the Roman villa phenomenon disappeared from the territory of today's Bulgarian lands. In the Late Antiquity exhibit, you can see mosaics from this period with animal and floral ornaments, the last examples of a dying age of luxury and Roman standards.

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