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It was the birthplace of the emperor Anastasius I in c. Some time later that century, Dyrrachium was struck by a powerful earthquake which destroyed the city's defences.
Anastasius I rebuilt and strengthened the city walls, thus creating the strongest fortifications in the western Balkans.
Samuel made his son-in-law Ashot Taronites, a Byzantine captive who had married his daughter Miroslava, governor of the city.
In circa 1005, however, Ashot and Miroslava, with the connivance of Chryselios, fled to Constantinople, where they notified Emperor Basil II of their intention to surrender the city to him.
The walls were devastated in an earthquake in 1273 and had to be extensively repaired.The Roman emperor Caesar Augustus made the city a colony for veterans of his legions following the Battle of Actium, proclaiming it a civitas libera (free town).In the 4th century, Dyrrachium was made the capital of the Roman province of Epirus nova.The 12-metre-high (39-foot) walls were so thick that, according to the Byzantine historian Anna Komnene, four horsemen could ride abreast on them.Significant portions of the ancient city defences still remain, although they have been much reduced over the centuries.