Balkan Peninsula

   The southeasternmost peninsula of Europe, often referred to as the Balkans. On three sides it is bordered by seas: the Adriatic Sea, Ionian Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea, Sea of Marmora, and Black Sea (qq.v.). To the north, the Danube (q.v.) and Sava Rivers are its traditional northern limits. Maintaining control over the northern Balkans was essential for the protection of Greece and Constantinople (qq.v.). Nevertheless, geography and the peninsula's road systems conspired to make this difficult. The Danube was a boundary that could be penetrated. Once across the Danube, most mountain ranges run north-south, making invasion from the north relatively easy. Most road systems ran north-south as well, including the military road from the Danube (q.v.) frontier that ran from Belgrade to Nish (qq.v.), where it split into two branches: one going to Skopje and Thessalonike (qq.v.), the other in a more southeasterly direction to Serdica, then to Philippopolis, Adrianople, and Constantinople (qq.v.). The famous east-west highway called the Via Egnatia (q.v.) ran from Dyrrachion via Thessalonike to Constantinople (qq.v.). Thus, once the Danube was penetrated both geography and roads favored the invader. The history of the peninsula in Byzantine times can be viewed largely as a history of its invasions, e.g., by Visigoths, Avars, Slavs, Bulgars, Serbs, Rus, Pechenegs, Uzes, Crusaders, and Ottomans (qq.v.).

Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . .

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Balkan Peninsula — peninsula in SE Europe, between the Adriatic & Ionian seas on the west & the Black & Aegean seas on the east …   English World dictionary

  • Balkan Peninsula — noun a large peninsula in southeastern Europe containing the Balkan Mountain Range • Syn: ↑Balkans • Instance Hypernyms: ↑peninsula • Part Holonyms: ↑Europe • Member Meronyms: ↑Balkan …   Useful english dictionary

  • Balkan Peninsula — a peninsula in S Europe, S of the Danube River and bordered by the Adriatic, Ionian, Aegean, and Black seas. * * * Peninsula, southeastern Europe. Located between the Adriatic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Aegean and Black seas, it contains …   Universalium

  • Balkan Peninsula — geographical name peninsula SE Europe between Adriatic & Ionian seas on W & Aegean & Black seas on E • Balkan adjective • Balkanic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Balkan peninsula — n. peninsula in southeast Europe that includes the Balkan Mountains …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Balkan Peninsula — noun A large peninsula in southeastern Europe surrounded by water on three sides: the Adriatic Sea to the west, the Mediterranean Sea (including the Ionian and Aegean Seas) to the south and the Black Sea to the east. Its northern boundary is… …   Wiktionary

  • Balkan Peninsula — Bal′kan Penin′sula n. a peninsula in S Europe, S of the Danube River and bordered by the Adriatic, Ionian, Aegean, and Black seas …   From formal English to slang

  • Balkan Peninsula — /bɔlkən pəˈnɪnʃələ/ (say bawlkuhn puh ninshuhluh) noun a peninsula in southern Europe, bordered by the Adriatic, Ionian, Aegean and Black Seas …   Australian English dictionary

  • BALKAN PENINSULA —    the territory between the Adriatic and the Ægean Sea, bounded on the N. by the Save and the Lower Danube, and on the S. by Greece …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Balkan Peninsula — between Adriatic and Black seas and terminating between the Aegian and Ionian peninsulas …   Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games

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