Today it is fashionable to comment on the priority of the regions in the policy of the European Union, which also affects the regional cooperation in the Balkans with a view to the region of Thrace, extending to three countries: Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey. of stumbling over good neighborly and interstate relations.
The situation is further heated by the debate over Turkey’s future membership of the United Europe organization chart. However, after a thorough historical and geopolitical analysis, it turns out that the ancient Roman province of Europe today is outside the territory of the European Union.
Thrace [IV-VI c.] Included the districts or provinces: 1) Europe, 2) Rhodope, 3) Hemimont first, 4) own Thracia, 5) Lower Moesia and 6) Little Scythia.
We offer a vault of the diocesan division in the Roman provinces (based on the ancient Christian historian Theodoret – Historia ecclesiastica, lib. V, p. 28), which in earlier times were inhabited by Slavs and by the end of the 9th century are part of the Bulgarian kingdom. The province of Europe was located in the southeastern part of Thrace and encompassed the lands bordering the Sea of Marmara to the south, the Hebros River (Maritsa) to the west and its tributary Regina (Erkene River, now Ergene) to the north. The Black Sea, which washed its eastern borders, constituted a vast diocese of the same name, the Diocese of Europe. It was under the spiritual authority of the Metropolitan of Heraclea, based in the city of Heraclea (Heraclea) on the Sea of Marmara. This metropolis played an extremely important role in the first four centuries for the spread of Christianity throughout Thrace, giving a number of martyrs and saints, who glorified it in the first centuries as the ruling church in Thrace. The city of Heraclius had a high civil rank – the seat of the prefect of Thrace, so the first two Ecumenical Councils raised the ecclesiastical administrative region to an exarchate for all of Thrace, to which the Bishop of Constantinople was subordinated until his promotion to patriarchal dignity. In the 5th century it lost its leading position in Thrace and became an ordinary metropolis of Europe with 20 subordinate bishoprics, most of them on the shores of the Sea of Marmara in the territory of Rep. Turkey – Gallipoli, Heronia, Turul (Corlu), Raidest (Rodosto, Rhaedestus, ancient Bizanthe), Arcadiopolis (Lule-Burgas), Theodorupolis (Theodorupolis), Visco (Visa, Byzie), Selemvryly (Silivri) The Paniot (with the town of Pania, ancient Perinthos, today’s Marmara Ereglisi), the Hariopol (ancient Hariopol, today’s Hirebulu) and others [based on the data from the diocesan catalogs: 1) The Paris Code № 1155 A, compiled by an unknown author from various older lists in the iconoclastic era, published by Prof. Karl De-Boor, Zeitschrift fur Kirchengeschichte, Gotha, 1891, Bd. XII , 3rd and 4th Heft, pp. 520-534); 2) “Epiphany” from the time of the VI Ecumenical Council, restored and published by Prof. Heinrich Gelzer in the edition of the Bavarian Academy (Ungendruckte und ungonugent veroffentlichte Texte der Notittiae episcopatuum, Munich, 1901, pp. 534-542).
From its eastern border begins the ancient province of the Rhodopes. The southernmost part of Thrace, the Rhodope region, bordering the Hebros River to the east, the Aegean Sea to the south, the Nestos River (now Mesta) to the west, and the Rhodope Mountains to the north, formed a diocese of the same name, the Diocese. Rhodope with the archpastor chief of the bishop of Trayanopolis, ancient. Doriscus (north of Dede-Agach, today Alexandroupolis, Rep. Greece). Under his spiritual care were placed 11 bishoprics: Peroia (now the town of Fero, on the right bank of the Maritsa River, north of Trayanopol), Maronia (Maronia, on the Aegean coast), Anastasiopolis (see the city of Periteorion, st. .-bulg. Peritor), Maksimianopolitan (town of Maximianopol, near Gyumyurjina) and several others with unspecified location.
To the north of Europe begins the province of Hemimont Prima. This Thracian region had borders: to the south the river Erkene, to the west – the water line of the rivers Maritsa and Tundzha, to the north – Hemos and to the east – the Black Sea. The Metropolitan of the Diocese of the same name, Hemimont I, resided in the city of Adrianople (ancient Oresteia, today’s Edirne). 9 episcopal seats were subordinated to him: the Mesembrian (now Nessebar, which until the Emperor Justinian the Great was a metropolis, under the auspices of the Aquileian Episcopate of the Danube, and from the new structure of the ecclesiastical administrative system of the Isaurian dynasty, was turned into an episcopate, as it appears in the lists of the VII Ecumenical Council), Sozopol, Develt (Develtum, south). west of Burgas), Anhialskoto, Provatskoto (town of Provat, in ruins near Provadia, above Provadiyska river, north-east of Edirne), Vulgarofigonskoto (the city of Vulgarofigon was on the left bank of one of the right tributaries of the river Erkene, today Eski-baba), the Nicene (city of Nicaea, near the village of Hafsa, southeast of Edirne).
The eastern part of the Imperium Romanum in the fourth century is estimated to have had between 24 and 26 million inhabitants (cf. Mazar O., Manuel d’etudes Byzantines, ed. Fr., Brepols, 1995, p. 79). The cities were connected by a network of excellent roads and communications, appearing in Roman guidebooks. In the Guide to Imp. Antonin is indicated is a road artery passing from Escus through the Balkans in the direction of Philippopolis, which channeled traffic from the Danube to Thrace, known as a military route from Singidumun, it passed through Naissus, Serdika, Philippopolis and led through Adrianople to Constantinople, with a deviation from this route connecting Philippopolis with Augusta Trajana and Anhialos on the Black Sea. (cf. Honigmann, E., Le Synecdemos d’Hierocles et l`Opuscule geografique de George de Chypre, Bruxelles, 1939, 635, 1-655; Miller K., Itineraria Romana, Stuttgart, 1916, ss. 495 sq.).
Europe is the sister of Cadmus, which will cross the sea from Phenicia to Greece. But the first mention of the word “Europe” is east of Heber (Maritsa). The word “Europe” – a theme (area) from Thrace – will appear on Roman maps – east of the “Rhodopes”. This is the first geographical indication of the word “Europe”. It is east of the Rhodopes (between the rivers Maritsa and Strandzha).