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Assas: A Place Name in the Crimea Difficult to Interpret

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image of Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia

Abstract Theophanes the Confessor described Justinian II’s voyage from Phanagoreia to Symvolon (Balaklava) and recorded the place name Assas in southern Crimea. It seems that, most likely, Assas has nothing to do with the names Asandi (Anonymus Ravennatis) and Assa (Stephanus Byzantius). The name Assas should be linked to the peoples of the Alans or the As, whose presence in southern Crimea is confirmed by both literary (Anonymi Periplus Ponti Euxini) and archaeological evidence (mainly necropoleis). Assas was not a settlement name, but a place name describing a vast area at the southern shores of the Crimea.


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