Imagining the Ister/Danube in ancient thought and practice: River, the Scordisci, and creation of Roman imperialistic space

  • Vladimir D. Mihajlović Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad
the Danube/Ister, the Scordisci,, creation of space, Roman imperialism, Roman frontier zone, Moesia, Pannonia


The paper considers cultural and imaginative construction of the Ister/Danube, and its implications in the creation of the limes area of the provinces of Moesia and (part of) Pannonia. It discusses how the Danube was used as an element in construing the Scordisci as a Roman enemy and (pseudo)ethnic tribe, what was the meaning of this connection, and did such conceptualization have real repercussions in the area of waterscape associated with the ‘tribe’. It is proposed that the Danube emerged as a hydrographical frontier thanks to its specific longue durée symbolic meaning of liminality embedded in the imperialistic agency in the course of creating provincial/frontier/imperial space. The basic point is that the ancient imagological tradition had an important effect on the construction of Roman imperial space thanks to the intellectual and political elites' capacities to shape powerscapes by projecting their own conceptualizations of the world into the webs of relations under their influence.

Author Biography

Vladimir D. Mihajlović, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad
Department of History


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