By virtue of its strategic location in the Balkans, Thessaloniki—along with Serdica (modern-day Sofia, Bulgaria) and Sirmium served as a temporary place of residence for many emperors in the fourth and fifth centuries. More specifically, we know from the sources that Constantine I lived in Thessaloniki for two years (323-24 A.D.) before his final confrontation with the emperor Licinius (250-325) and was involved in the construction of the city’s port and various other projects (fig. 7). Another emperor who stayed in Thessaloniki at various periods was Theodosius I (347-395), whose name has become linked with the massacre of 7,000 Thessalonians in the Hippodrome in consequence of their revolt against the Goth commander of the city Butheric (August 390 A.D).
Of the Tetrarchs, however, the one particularly linked with Thessaloniki was Galerius (260-311).