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Title: Ancient Derbent in the History of the Early Christian World
Other Titles: Древний Дербент в истории раннехристианского мира
Authors: Kudryavcev, A. A.
Кудрявцев, А. А.
Keywords: Derbent;Archaeological excavations;Zoroastrianism;Albans;Christianity;Sasanians;Nomads;Uprisings;Religious center;Temple
Issue Date: 2022
Citation: Kudryavtsev, A.A. Ancient Derbent in the History of the Early Christian World // Vestnik Sankt-Peterburgskogo Universiteta, Istoriya. - 2022. - 67 (3), pp. 910-929. - DOI: 10.21638/SPBU02.2022.314
Series/Report no.: Vestnik Sankt-Peterburgskogo Universiteta, Istoriya
Abstract: Derbent has gone down in history as an outstanding monument of world fortification erected in the 5 th–7th centuries AD to protect against the invasions of nomads of Eurasia. Extensive archaeological research of Derbent, under the guidance of the author, revealed completely new stages of the city’s existence, and Derbent emerged not only as the main military and political stronghold of the world powers of the medieval East in the Caucasus but also as the largest economic and religious center of the region, where Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, and Judaism penetrated and developed early. Derbent acquired a special significance in the history of the Christian world of the Caucasus during the reign of the Sasanian kings Yezdegerd II (439–457) and Peroz (459–484), ardent opponents of Christianity, when the struggle of the peoples of the Caucasus with the “teaching of magicians” severely aggravated. The Derbent fortifications began to play an important role in the anti-Iranian uprisings of the Caucasian rulers who relied on the nomads and ountaineers of the North Caucasus in their fight against the Sasanians. It was in the 60s of the 5 th centuries, as our excavations have shown, that a cruciform temple was erected in the citadel of Derbent, which was transformed at the beginning of the 17 th century into a reservoir. The most recent geophysical research, conducted in 2020, using georadar and laser scanning and photogrammetry confirmed the data obtained during the excavations about the religious purpose of the cross-domed structure in the citadel and its identification with the Christian temple of the 5th century, one of the oldest in Russi.
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