Florin Curta

Florin Curta (born January 15, 1965) is a Romanian-born American historian, medievalist and archaeologist on Eastern Europe. He works in the field of the Balkan history and is a Professor of Medieval History and Archaeology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. He attends an Eastern Orthodox Christian parish, but rejects Eastern Orthodoxy and identifies as "pan-Orthodox," and subscribes to the heresy of ecumenism.[1]

Florin Curta
BornJanuary 15, 1965 (age 54)
NationalityRomanian, American
Occupationhistorian, archaeologist, academic


  • Curta, Florin (1998). Making an Early Medieval Ethnie: The Case of the Early Slavs (Sixth to Seventh Century A.D.). Kalamazoo, Michigan: Western Michigan University. (Doctoral Dissertation)
  • Curta, Florin (2001). The Making of the Slavs: History and Archaeology of the Lower Danube Region, c. 500–700. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Curta, Florin (2001). "Limes and Cross: the Religious Dimension of the Sixth-century Danube Frontier of the Early Byzantine Empire". Старинар. 51: 45–70.
  • Curta, Florin (2006). Southeastern Europe in the Middle Ages, 500–1250. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Curta, Florin (2011). The Edinburgh History of the Greeks, c. 500 to 1050: The Early Middle Ages. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Edited volumes

  • East Central & Eastern Europe in the Early Middle Ages. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2005.
  • Borders, barriers, and ethnogenesis. Frontiers in late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2005.
  • The other Europe in the Middle Ages. Avars, Bulgars, Khazars, and Cumans. Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2008.
  • Neglected Barbarians. Turnhout: Brepols, 2011.
  • with Bogdan-Petru Maleon, The Steppe Lands and the World Beyond Them. Studies in Honor of Victor Spinei on his 70th Birthday. Iași: Editura Universității "Alexandru Ioan Cuza", 2013.


  1. ^ An Interview with Dr. Florin Curta on Communism, Faith, and Academia, An Interview with Dr. Florin Curta on Communism, Faith, and Academia(retrieved: 2016-23-02)
Antes (people)

The Antes or Antae (Greek: Áνται) were an early East Slavic tribal polity which existed in the 6th century lower Danube, on the regions around the Don river (Middle- and Southern Russia) and northwestern Black Sea region (modern-day Moldova and central Ukraine). They are commonly associated with the archaeological Penkovka culture.First mentioned in 518, the Antes invaded the Diocese of Thrace at some point between 533 and 545. Shortly after, they became Byzantine foederati, and were given gold payments and a fort named Turris, somewhere north of the Danube at a strategically important location, so as to prevent hostile barbarians invading Roman lands. Thus, between 545 and the 580s, Antean soldiers fought in various Byzantine campaigns. The Antes were eventually attacked and destroyed by the Pannonian Avars at the beginning of the 7th century.


Batbayan ruled the Khazarian Bulgars mentioned by Theophanes and Nicephorus after the Khazars defeated the Bulgars and Old Great Bulgaria disintegrated.There is a scholarly theory that he may have been the same person as Bezmer of the Nominalia of the Bulgarian khans who may have been also the first son of Kubrat. He was a member of the Dulo clan, who after Kubrat's death ruled Old Great Bulgaria, but his rule lasted only three years. Kevin Alan Brook calls him Bayan. Batbayan would have then ruled the Bulgars as a subject to the Khazar Khagan.


The Belegezites (Ancient Greek: Βελεγεζίται, Belegezitai) were a South Slavic (Sklavenoi) tribe that lived in the area of Thessaly in the Early Middle Ages. They are one of the tribes listed in the Miracles of Saint Demetrius.


Blakumen or Blökumenn were a people mentioned in Scandinavian sources dating from the 11th through 13th centuries. The name of their land, Blokumannaland, has also been preserved. Victor Spinei, Florin Curta, Florin Pintescu and other historians identify them as Romanians (variation of the exonym Vlach), while Omeljan Pritsak argues that they were Cumans. Judith Jesch adds the possibility that the terms meant "black men", the meaning of which is unclear. Historians identify Blokumannaland as the lands south of the Lower Danube which were inhabited by Vlachs in the Middle Ages, adding that the term may refer to either Wallachia (to the north of the Danube) or Africa in the modern Icelandic language.


A burdei or bordei (Romanian: bordei, Ukrainian: бурдей) is a type of half-dugout shelter, somewhat between a sod house and a log cabin. This style is native to the Carpathian Mountains and forest steppes of eastern Europe.


Chilbudius or Chilbuldius (Greek: Χιλβούδιος, Khilboudios) was a Byzantine general, holding the rank of magister militum per Thracias in the early 530s. He was apparently killed in battle c. 533, but an impostor claimed his identity c. 545-546. The only source for both men is Procopius.

Duke of Transylvania

The Duke of Transylvania (Hungarian: erdélyi herceg; Latin: dux Transylvaniae) was a title of nobility four times granted to a son or a brother of the Hungarian monarch. The dukes of the first and second creations, Béla (1226–1235) and Stephen (1257–1258 or 1259, 1260–1270) of the Árpád dynasty were in fact viceroys with significant authority in Transylvania. The duke of the third creation, Louis, did not administer the province. The fourth duke, Stephen of the Anjou dynasty (1350–1351) did not play any significant role in politics.

Gyula II

Gyula II was a Hungarian tribal leader in the middle of the 10th century. He visited Constantinople, where he was baptized. His baptismal name was Stephen.

Gyula III

Gyula III, also Iula or Gyula the Younger, Geula or Gyla, was an early medieval ruler who apparently ruled in Transylvania (c. 980 - 1003/1004). Around 1003, he and his family were attacked, dispossessed and captured by King Stephen I of Hungary (1000/1001-1038). The name "Gyula" also means a title. "Gyula" meant the second highest title in Hungarian tribal confederation.According to Kristó his actual name was probably Prokui, however Curta disagrees with this identification.

Macedonians (ethnic group)

Macedonians (Macedonian: Македонци, romanized: Makedonci) or Macedonian people (Macedonian: македонски народ, romanized: makedonski narod), are a nation and a South Slavic ethnic group native to the region of Macedonia. They speak the Macedonian language, a South Slavic language. About two thirds of all ethnic Macedonians live in North Macedonia and there are also communities in a number of other countries.

Montes Serrorum

Montes Serrorum (in Latin; "mountain of the Serri") is a mountain somewhere in the Carpathians mentioned by Roman soldier Ammianus Marcellinus (325–391) regarding events in the Gothic War (367–369).

In 367, the Roman Emperor Valens attacked the Thervingi (a Gothic people) north of the Danube river. However, he was unable to hit them directly, because apparently the bulk of the Goths retreated to the Montes Serrorum. Marcellinus says that Valens could not find anyone to fight with (nullum inveniret quem superare poterat vel terrere) and even implies that all of them fled, horror-struck, to the mountains (omnes formidine perciti... montes petivere Serrorum). It was described as only accessible to "exceedingly" familiar with the surroundings, thus the Roman troops were unable to achieve anything.

The mountain is probably in the southeastern Carpathians. Matei Cazacu (1972) tried to precisely locate it to the Siriul mountain range that divides Transylvania from Wallachia, in the Buzău valley. Wanke (1990) was sceptical to Cazacu's attempt. The toponym has been connected to the Serri tribe mentioned by Pliny the Elder (23–79) in Naturalis Historia, although this seems unlikely. Slovene anthropologist Niko Županič (1876–1961) treated the toponym as evidence of "Serb presence in Dacia", and this view was supported by Ivo Vukcevich (2001), in turn discredited by Florin Curta. Konstantin Jireček (1854–1918) also connected the toponym with Pliny's Serri, who according to him were "Caucasian Serbs".

Murfatlar Cave Complex

The Basarabi-Murfatlar Cave Complex is a medieval Christian monastery located near the town of Murfatlar (known as Basarabi between 1924–1965 and 1975–2007), Constanța County, Northern Dobruja, Romania. The Complex is a relict from a widespread monastic phenomenon in a 10th century Bulgaria.

Nicholas (komes)

The komes ("count") Nicholas Bulgarian: Никола was a local ruler in Bulgaria, probably of Armenian origin, and progenitor of the Cometopuli ("the sons of the count") dynasty.

Old Great Bulgaria

Old Great Bulgaria or Great Bulgaria (Byzantine Greek: Παλαιά Μεγάλη Βουλγαρία, Palaiá Megálē Voulgaría), also often known by the Latin names Magna Bulgaria and Patria Onoguria ("Onogur land"), was a 7th century state formed by the Onogur Bulgars on the western Pontic-Caspian steppe (modern southern Ukraine and southwest Russia). Great Bulgaria was originally centred between the Dniester and lower Volga.

The original capital was Phanagoria on the Taman Peninsula between the Black and Azov seas. In the mid-7th century, Great Bulgaria expanded west to include Avar territory and was centered in Poltava. During the late 7th century, however, an Avar-Slavic alliance in the west, and Khazars in the east, defeated the Bulgars and the Great Bulgaria disintegrated. Successor states included Volga Bulgaria and the First Bulgarian Empire .

Penkovka culture

The Penkovka culture is an archaeological culture in Ukraine spanning Moldova and reaching into Romania. Its western boundary is usually taken to at the middle Prut and Dniester rivers, where contact with the Korchak culture occurs. Its bearers are commonly identified as the Antes people of 6th-century Byzantine historiography.The core of the culture seems to be in Left-bank Ukraine, especially along the Sula, Seim, Psel, Donets and Oril rivers, but its territory extends to Right-bank Ukraine, and Penkovka pottery is also found in eastern and southern Romania, where it co-exists with wheel-made pottery of late Roman derivation; and is referred to as the Ipotesti–Candesti culture by Romanian archaeologists. Penkovka-type pottery has even been found in Byzantine forts in the north-eastern Balkans. "Nomadic" style wheel-made pottery (called Pastyrske or Saltovo ware) also occurs in the Ukrainian Penkovka sites as well as in the lower Danube and Bulgaria, but is most commonly found within the Saltovo-Mayaki culture, associated with Bulgars, Khazars and Alans.Hand-made Penkovka pottery is distinguished from Prague-Korchak types on the basis of its biconical profile and tendency for out-turned rims. However, Florin Curta has argued that there can be no simple relationship between the type of ceramic vessel and the ethnicity of groups which consumed them. E. Teodor performed a detailed analysis of ceramic vessels in 6th century southeastern Europe, and discovered a complex picture which cannot be reduced to 2 or 3 broad 'archaeological cultures', as each microregion and even individual site shows idiosyncrasies in their ceramic profile and degree of connectivity to other regions of 'Slavic Europe'.Penkovka settlements tended to be located on the terraces of rivers- usually arranged in a linear fashion. Buildings were usually square-shaped, post-hole constructs dug into the ground, and were equipped with an oven in the corners. There are also rounded buildings, otherwise not found in other Slavic territories, which have been associated with a nomadic influence. However, they are different from traditional tent-like nomadic yurts. Settlements tended to be abandoned after a period of habitation and were often re-occupied years later, reflective of the itinerant form of agriculture practiced by the populace. Two fortified sites are known from the Penkovka region - Seliste and Pastyrske. The latter has been excavated in detail, and appears to have been an Iron Age fortification which was also occupied in early Medieval times. Measuring 25 ha, it included numerous settlement buildings as well as evidence of specialised industrial activity. Szmoniewski argues that "Pastyrs’ke may have also been a political power center, the seat of a ruler with territorial authority".Two forms of burials are found north of the Black Sea in the 6th and 7th centuries. Poorly furnished cremation burials, either inside urns or into shallow pits, are concentrated in the forest-steppe zone; whilst more elaborately equipped inhumations are found in the open steppe. Traditionally, the latter are attributed to "Turkic" nomads whilst the cremation burials were a typically Slavic rite. However, a straightforward ethnic attribution has been questioned - as the pottery and metalwork (see below) found in the 'nomadic' inhumations shows clear analogies to that found in 'Slavic' settlements in the forest-zone. Thus Curta has argued that the inhumation burials represented a marker of social distinction of chiefs and 'big men' from the forest-zone settlements.Another set of cultural elements often attributed to the Antes are numerous hoards of silver and gold ornaments dated to the 7th century, and are variously called "Antian antiquites" or the Martynovka culture. Scholars have debated to whom the Martynovka elements belonged to since the late 19th century; as A. Spitsyn attributed them to the Slavic Antes, whilst J. Harmatta rather attributed them to Turkic groups, specifically the Kutrigurs. The situation was clarified when Curta's analysis revealed that early in the 7th century, such metalwork appears in hoards deposited in the forest-steppe, whilst later assemblages appear as interment gifts in 'nomadic burials'. Thus, again, rather than simplistic ethnic explanations, Curta's analysis suggests that the pattern of ornament consumption varied with time and was related to social status and gender: i.e. earlier in the 6th century, elites displayed status by burying hoards of silver in the forest-steppe, whilst later there was more aggressive posturing and status display in the form of richly furnished male warrior graves, no doubt related to the competition for supremacy on the north Black Sea region between Pannonian Avars, Bulgars, Khazars and Western Gokturks. The metalwork betrays a variety of influences - especially the world of the steppe nomad which in turn showed Caucasian, Byzantine, and Sassanian inspiration. Yet other elements showed affinities with the 'Balto-Slavic' world of the forests of Eastern Europe.Overall, the equation of the Penkovka culture and Martynovka hoards with the Antes is problematic, as such cultural features exist into the 8th century, long after the Antes were defeated by the Avars in 602 AD and ceased to exist as an independent tribal polity. Such diffuse styles cannot be directly linked to any single people, but rather reflect a myriad of peoples who existed in the Black Sea region from 450–750 AD, including Antes, Kutrigurs and Bulgars.

Presian Inscription

The Presian Inscription or Philippi Inscription is a medieval Greek text inscribed upon a stone in Philippi during the reign of the Bulgarian ruler Presian I (r. 836–852).

Preslav Treasure

The Preslav Treasure was found in autumn of 1978 at the vineyard in Castana, 3 km to the north - west of the second Bulgarian capital – Veliki Preslav. The excavations that followed revealed more than 170 golden, silver and bronze objects including 15 silver Byzantine coins belonging to Constantine VII, Romanos II (945 and 959) and other artifacts dating far back to the period between 3 rd and 7 th centuries.The Preslav Treasure was concealed during the turbulent events between 969 and 972 - when Preslav was conquered first by Kiev royal prince, Sviatoslav I of Kiev and two years later by the Byzantine Emperor, John Tzimisces.Several techniques of jewelry making were used in producing adornments, buttons, appliques etc.: not limited to casting in moulds, welding of small gold balls (granules) or fine gold wire filigree, inlays of pearls and multi-colored enamel.

The owner of the necklace (see on the left) was probably under the protection of Virgin Mary, who is portrayed on both central medallions. It is possible that Peter I of Bulgaria gave this beautiful jewelry as a wedding gift to his bride, Irene Lekapene, the Byzantine princess, in 927 in Constantinople. It is assumed that the necklace was a wedding present because the images of water-birds symbolize family happiness and fidelity.

Regestrum Varadinense

Regestrum Varadinense (Hungarian: Váradi Regestrum), or Oradea Register, is a document which preserved the minutes of hundreds of trials by ordeal. The ordeals were held under the auspices of the canons of the cathedral chapter of Várad (now Oradea in Romania) in the first decades of the 12th century. It is "one of the most remarkable documents of social history in medieval Transylvania", according to historian Florin Curta.

Šubić family tree

This is the family tree of the House of Šubić (princes of Bribir), a Croatian noble family, from 1066 to 1456.


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