Amphitheatre of Serdica

This summer serendipity sends Malaga Bay to Bulgaria.

Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in southeastern Europe.

It is bordered by Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, and the Black Sea to the east

More specifically, serendipity sends Malaga Bay to Sofia [aka Ulpia Serdica].

Sofia is the capital and largest city of Bulgaria.

1.3 million people live in the city and 1.7 million people live in its metropolitan area.

The emperor Marcus Ulpius Traianus (53 – 117 AD) gave the city the combinative name of Ulpia Serdica

The Roman history of Sofia involves some familiar faces: Trajan and Diocletian.

Around 29 BC, Serdica was conquered by the Romans.

It gradually became the most important Roman city of the region.

It became a municipium during the reign of Emperor Trajan (98–117).

Serdica expanded, as turrets, protective walls, public baths, administrative and cult buildings, a civic basilica, an amphitheatre, a circus, the City Council (Boulé), a large forum, a big circus (theatre), etc. were built.

Serdica was a significant city on the Roman road Via Militaris, connecting Singidunum and Byzantium.

In the 3rd century, it became the capital of Dacia Aureliana, and when Emperor Diocletian divided the province of Dacia Aureliana into Dacia Ripensis (at the banks of the Danube) and Dacia Mediterranea, Serdica became the capital of the latter.

Serdica’s citizens of Thracian descent were referred to as Illyrians probably because it was at some time the capital of Eastern Illyria (Second Illyria).

Sofia’s Roman history claims to have contributed two [dubiously dated] Emperors.

Roman emperors Aurelian (215–275) and Galerius (260–311) were born in Serdica.

The first contribution is the dubiously dated Aurelian.

Aurelian was Roman Emperor from 270 to 275.

Born in humble circumstances, he rose through the military ranks to become emperor.

During his reign, he defeated the Alamanni after a devastating war.

He also defeated the Goths, Vandals, Juthungi, Sarmatians, and Carpi. Aurelian restored the Empire’s eastern provinces after his conquest of the Palmyrene Empire in 273.

The following year he conquered the Gallic Empire in the west, reuniting the Empire in its entirety.

He was also responsible for the construction of the Aurelian Walls in Rome, and the abandonment of the province of Dacia.

His successes were instrumental in ending the Roman Empire’s Crisis of the Third Century, earning him the title Restitutor Orbis or ‘Restorer of the World’.

The Crisis of the Third Century, also known as Military Anarchy or the Imperial Crisis (AD 235–284), was a period in which the Roman Empire nearly collapsed under the combined pressures of invasion, civil war, plague, and economic depression.

The suspect 200-260 AD period is part of the Crisis of the Third Century when the “Roman Empire nearly collapsed”.
During the Crisis of the Third Century the Roman Empire appears to have been extremely careless with the life expectancy of it’s Emperors.

The life expectancy data suggests the compilers of the mainstream Roman Chronology merged two completely different sets of data during the 3rd and 4th centuries.


The second contribution is the dubiously dated Galerius.

Galerius was Roman Emperor from 305 to 311.

During his reign he campaigned, aided by Diocletian, against the Sassanid Empire, sacking their capital Ctesiphon in 299.

He also campaigned across the Danube against the Carpi, defeating them in 297 and 300.

He served with distinction as a soldier under Emperors Aurelian and Probus, and in 293 at the establishment of the Tetrarchy, was designated Caesar along with Constantius Chlorus, receiving in marriage Diocletian’s daughter Valeria (later known as Galeria Valeria), and at the same time being entrusted with the care of the Illyrian provinces.

The term “tetrarchy” describes any form of government where power is divided among four individuals, but in modern usage usually refers to the system instituted by Roman Emperor Diocletian in 293, marking the end of the Crisis of the Third Century and the recovery of the Roman Empire.

This tetrarchy lasted until c. 313, when mutually destructive conflict eliminated most of the claimants to power, leaving Constantine in control of the western half of the empire, and Licinius in control of the eastern half.

The waffle and hand waving tries to explain away the “regression” and “decline” in both style and execution that’s embodied in the Four Tetrarchs sculpture.

The “decline” in Late Antiquity typically represents a “regression” of about 300 years.

However, if the mainstream corrected their dating of the Four Tetrarchs sculpture by 300 years they would short-circuit the Roman narrative with an “imperial porphyry” sculpture that was created before the Romans started quarrying Mons Porphyrites in 29 AD.


The problems with Roman Chronology and Sofia’s dubiously dated duo are underlined by the recently discovered Amphitheatre of Serdica.

The Amphitheatre of Serdica was an amphitheatre in the Ancient Roman city of Ulpia Serdica, now Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.

Discovered in 2004 and the subject of excavations in 2005 and 2006, the ruins of the amphitheatre lie on two adjacent sites in the centre of modern Sofia.

As evidenced by coin and ceramic findings… the amphitheatre was constructed… in two stages during the late 3rd and early 4th century AD, under Roman emperors Diocletian (r. 284–305) and Constantine the Great (r. 306–337).

The amphitheatre itself was in use for less than a century, as it was abandoned by the 5th century, perhaps due to the anti-pagan policies of Theodosius I (r. 379–395).

In the 5th and 6th century, barbarian invaders set up their homes within the former arena, and during the Ottoman period (late 14th–19th century) it was used as a source of building materials for new housing.

The Amphitheatre of Serdica confounds traditional and revisionist historians because 5 metres below the Roman Amphitheatre is a 2nd or 3rd century Roman Theatre that was “ravaged and burned” during the Crisis of the Third Century.

The Amphitheatre of Serdica was built on top of an earlier Roman theatre, which was constructed in the 2nd or 3rd century AD.

Its ruins were discovered 5 metres (16 ft) under the amphitheatre ruins.

The theatre, 55 m (180 ft) wide, was perhaps built simultaneously with Serdica’s defensive walls under Commodus (r. 177–192).

It was active during the reigns of Septimius Severus (r. 193–211) and Caracalla (r. 198–217); the former may have visited the theatre with his family in 202 or 209.

In the first half of 268, however, a Gothic raid ravaged and burned the theatre, forcing its permanent abandonment.

Unscrambling this mainstream time line is an interesting challenge.

1) Correctly dating the construction of the Amphitheatre of Serdica is difficult because Diocletian is the considered the “most radical” of the 300 Year Repeaters who probably belongs in the 1st century AD.

Diocletian is seen as the most radical of all the Late Antiquity repeaters of everything 300 years out of fashion.

Rome’s Imperial Stratigraphy Belongs To The 8th-10th Century Period
Q-Mag – Gunnar Heinsohn – 22 June 2014

Those who prefer to date Constantine the Great (or Diocletian) with criteria of art history rather than archaeologically also come to the conclusion that he must have lived in the early 1st and not in the early 4th century.


2) The “bricks and mortar” fabric of the Amphitheatre of Serdica also points towards a 1st century AD construction – like the Flavian Amphitheatre in Rome.

The remains of the Arena itself that were excavated were five radial walls each 0.55 wide and 2.30 long build of bricks and mortar.

They reach semi-round wall with the same construction.

These remains are supposed to belong to earlier time period probably Roman Theater.

It is considered that the Roman Theater was demolished around III century and the new Amphitheater was build.

The semi-round construction is covered with river stones – they functioned as a base for the next construction level of stone plates and bricks.

There was found one more wall – 0.7 wide and 7 meters long that expands north-south. – Amphitheatre

The Colosseum or Coliseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy.

Built of travertine, tuff, and brick-faced concrete, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built.

The Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in AD 72, and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir Titus.

3) The “5 metres” of separation between the Roman Theatre and the “bricks and mortar” of the Amphitheatre of Serdica appears to echo the Pantheon construction hiatus.

Arguably, the best support for the 100 Year Credibility Gap is the Pantheon in Rome where the classical architecture of a temple providentially borrowed from before the Arabian Horizon becomes the portico to the temple built by Hadrian in 126 AD.

4) Overall, the “5 metres” of separation between the Roman Theatre and the Amphitheatre of Serdica reinforce the view [from Egypt] that these “5 metres” of separation probably represent the Arabian Horizon in about 637 CE.

… in Alexandria the Roman remains [including coins of Trajan and Hadrian] are buried deep beneath the debris layer associated with the Arabian Horizon of 637 CE.



5) And it seems increasingly likely that the Roman Empire narrative has been cobbled together using “convenient characters and available artefacts from Greek Republics scattered across Europe and around the Mediterranean Sea”.

A less charitable interpretation of the data suggests the entire Roman Empire narrative is creative fiction that incorporates convenient characters and available artefacts from Greek Republics scattered across Europe and around the Mediterranean Sea.


If the Romans didn’t arrive in Iberia then the associated Roman Empire narrative for Iberia is creative fiction.

This would imply the era of the Roman Republic in Iberia is only separated from the era of the Umayyad Caliphate by the catastrophic Arabian Horizon.

Removing the Roman Empire from the narrative means three Emperors from the Roman Empire require rehousing in Iberia during the era of the Roman Republic.

Rehousing these Emperors is remarkably easy because they were all born in Italica [Spain].

If the Romans didn’t arrive in Iberia then the associated Roman Republic narrative for Iberia is creative fiction.

This [very ironically] would rehouse the three Emperors [that were borrowed by the Roman Empire narrative] in the Carthaginian Empire.


Hopefully, independent observers will review the evidence and draw their own conclusions.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Arabian Horizon, Catastrophism, Heinsohn Horizon, History, Old Japanese Cedar Tree, Roman Chronology. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Amphitheatre of Serdica

  1. If the Roman Empire becomes a fiction then what other Roman prefixed phrases also become fiction…perhaps Prozac all round ?

    • John Miller says:

      There is also the option that there was a real Empire.

      It just wasn’t based in Italy. The Catholic Church later appropriated the Empire’s heritage and legacy.

    • CW says:

      Louis… the Roman Empire was not a fiction. However, Gunnar Heinsohn’s revised and shortened chronology of the 1st millennium AD/CE shows that the western Roman Empire was struck down — never to rise again — by two disasters. The first, which history remembers as the Antonine plague and fires, is dated to the late 2nd century. The second disaster — a massive natural catastrophe, probably global in scope — happened circa 230 AD. The eastern empire, with its capital in Constantinople, recovered from both disasters, surviving until the Ottoman Conquest in 1453.
      The fictional aspect of Roman history is the idea that centuries of “Late Antiquity” and “the Early Middle Ages” followed the “crisis of the Roman Empire” in the 3rd century. Heinsohn’s revision demonstrates that what historians call “Late Antiquity” and “the Early MIddle Ages” were actually facets of Roman Antiquity, and ended along with it in the catastrophe of ca. 230 AD.
      MalagaBay’s excellent work on the Amphitheatre of Serdica raises questions about dates for the structure itself and for the older Roman theater that was found “ravaged and burned” and buried in the ground beneath it.
      My guess is that Heinsohn’s revision indicates that the older Roman theater, which “was perhaps built simultaneously with Serdica’s defensive walls under Commodus (r. 177–192)”, was destroyed during the Antonine Fires disaster of the late 2nd century. This widespread disaster also caused the burning and destruction of the empire’s archives (the Tabularium) in Rome in 192, which in turn, according to Heinsohn, resulted in the empire’s administrative functions being transferred to Constantinople. The ruined theater in Serdica was rebuilt, and was then destroyed again in the huge catastrophe of ca. 230 AD.
      The “barbarian invaders” who “set up their homes within the former arena” were probably survivors of the 230 catastrophe, erecting crude huts and shelters inside the ruins of the amphitheatre, using its walls and stonework as a defensive perimeter against marauders and wild beasts, which roamed the post-catastrophe world.

      • Clark,

        If the first catastrophe was the Antonio fires then that would be the dark earth layer. But if Rome was destroyed by the second catastrophe then it too was buried under another dark earth layer, which it is.

        But there’s only one dark-earth layer identified when there should be two. The Libby isotope data shows a pronounced spike at 610 Ce, but this spike is a 5 year average, and seems to fit the single dark earth stratum.

        Where is the second dark earth layer, or are the Antonine fires another fabricated bit of history?

      • Gunnar Heinsohn says:

        Let me add on the 2nd=5th century catastrophe. The best researched metropolis for that disaster was Ephesus. It was hit most severely but no yet wiped out. See the before and after on page 5 here:
        I do not know if this massive strike produced a layer of dark earth. Yet, landslides look very likely. See also the comparaive overview on page 13.

        The definitive end of Ephesus is descirbed by the leading Austrian excavator as a “longlasting natural catastrophe“ in which the city was moved 6 km away from seashore. If they looked for dark earth
        (See Ladstätter, S. (2016), “Mit dem Wasser ging der Ruhm. Geht es um das Ende antiker Metropolen, denkt man an Krieg, Feuer oder Erdbeben. Die Stadt Ephesos trieb ein von ihren Bewohnern verursachter Klimawandel in den Untergang“, interview with R. Kromp, in News (Austria), 23 July, 46-48/47.) The “longlasting”, of course, is due to the many centuries she feels obliged to fill.
        Gunnar Heinsohn

  2. melitamegalithic says:

    This thread has touched a very important site. The Roman connection is of minor importance. I hope to keep this brief.
    1. Serdica was an ancient Thracian site, an excellent grain growing region, which was probably what attracted the hungry Roman. Chronologically that was at what is termed the Roman Warm Period (more later). Digging for info on another search for evidence of an ancient agrarian myth, nearby Vinca was the site of a neolithic settlement where an anthropomorphic figure of a twin female statuette was found, dated circa 5000bce. The figurines represent an allegory of the cultivation of grain and barley – the science of grain cultivation; but the site seems to be the source of more (creativity) -. see links:

    2. There is something I only came across recently, which throws a light on the chronology of the past millennia. It was something posted on another site, which info corroborated with what I had been working on. See link here:
    It was surprising to find corroboration with peaks and troughs of the Eddy cycle with historic and prehistoric events. The RWP and MWP were already indicated coinciding with peaks. In another time Vinca in 5000bce was a flourishing society with well established lore; ergo the twin statuette. That appears to have been the result of a WP some 300yrs earlier which allowed its fast development. (Note: an earlier figurine was from Catal Huyuk, ~5800bce; the Eddy cycle is ~980y; a previous WP?)

    3. I have no explanation for the Eddy cycle. But the coincidences are clearly beyond chance; there is a devil in the works. But it has an upside to it; in that one can roughly work out the number of years between peaks-cum-historical eras. It is beyond politico/religious tinkering.

    Thank you for the thread; its elating when one gets occasion to glimpse a bit further into the mists of history. A lot better that any drug.

  3. johnm33 says:

    I wonder if the melting of the once permafrost north face of the mountains immediately south of Sophia provided the 5m of sand. or maybe deforestation led to a flood?

  4. Gunnar Heinsohn says:

    Serdica and Pliska
    In the 9th century AD cities of the 2nd century Roman type are built again in Bulgaria (Pliska, Preslav).

    While Pliska and Preslav lack the layers of the 1st-8th/9th century, there are no new housing estates in Serdica from the 3rd-10th centuries.

    “The thesis about the antique origin [1st-3rd c. AD; GH] of the monumental buildings in Pliska is not based on the antique materials found there alone. Its most impressive monuments are ’antique’ in appearance. / It seems more natural to assume that they belong to an earlier epoch. But the archaeological evidence does not allow this and it is exactly what makes Pliska a real puzzle“ (Rashev, R., Dimitrov, Y. (1999), Pliska – 100 years of archaeological excavations,

    The stratigraphic simultaneity of both cities in the 9th century solves the puzzle.

    (See already;

    Gunnar Heinsohn

  5. Pingback: L for Leaguestone | MalagaBay

  6. Pingback: P for Porphyry | MalagaBay

  7. Pingback: Macedonian Madness | MalagaBay

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.