Written sources

Tabula Peutingeriana (late 3-4 centuries)

The name of the city is attested in many forms, but official one is Ratiaria, which is defined as derived from the Latin word "ratis" - type of warship. In the inscriptions the name appears at the beginning of 2nd century. In 1st-3rd century the name of the city is missing into the historical works due to its peaceful development during this period. Information about the town can be found only in "Geography" of Claudius Ptolemy (2nd century) as "Moesian Ratsiaria". Also in "Tabula Peutingeriana" composed in the 4th century as "Ratiaris" and in "Guide of Emperor Antoninus", composed in the late 3rd century.

The earliest record of the town is in "Dion Cassius" (3rd century). According to him in February 29th BC Marcus Licinius Crassus undertook a campaign against the Bastari. Chasing them along the River Timahus (modern Timok) he reached the lands of Moesian, where he besieged and captured the strongest fortress. The establishment of the Roman city most likely can be associated with the activity of Gney Cornelius Lentulus, who in 1st-4th BC has placed garrisons along the right bank of the Danube to resist Dacians invasion. Perhaps the civilian settlement has developed around the military camp and originally had had a status of "canabae".It is assumed that here has happened the loading of goods coming from the west and those from the Lower Danube to the Adriatic and Italy. The city was also an important port for supply of the western part of the peninsula with salt.

Notitia Dignitatum

After the Second Dacian war in 106 AD the emperor Trajan founded five colonies, one of which is Ratiaria. Colonies were cities with the highest degree of autonomy, each of which represents a model of Rome itself. The full name of the city is known in an inscription from 125 AD - Colonia Ulpia Traiana Ratiaria. In 2nd century it was mentioned by Claudius Ptolemy as "MoesianRatsiaria, colony." In the 2nd and 3rd century Ratiaria is prosperous city and it is organized in Italian model. It is a great craft and trade center - here lies an important customs point.

After the abandonment of Dacia in 272 Ratiaria was proclaimed for capital of the newly established province Dacia Ripensis. Here were located the military and the administrative governors of the province. In 4th century Ratiaria became an important Christian center. The written sources mention bishops of Ratiaria - Paulinos, Sylvester, Palladius. According to Priscus, in the first half of 5th century Ratiaria is "large and populous city." During the excavation of the western wall was discovered inscription, stood at the entrance of the city and saying "Ratsiaria of [Emperor] Anastasius will flourish forever."

The inscription "Ratsiaria of [Emperor] Anastasius will flourish forever"