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Map of the Roman Empire - Salonae
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Ancient Salonae A city of Illyria and capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia, and the birthplace of Emperor Diocletian. Salonae was situated near the Split on the Adriatic Sea and the Jadro River.
Salona, Salonae or Salon. Now Salona; an important town of Illyria, and the capital of Dalmatia, was situated on a small bay of the sea. The emperor Diocletian was born at the small village of Dioclea, near Salona; and after his abdication he retired to the neighbourhood of this town, and here spent the rest of his days. The remains of his magnificent palace are still to be seen at the village of Spalatro, the ancient Spolatum, three miles south of Salona. - Harry Thurston Peck. Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. New York. Harper and Brothers. 1898.Solin (Latin: Salona) is a town in Dalmatia, Croatia. It is situated 8 km northeast of Split, on the Adriatic Sea and the Jadro River. Solin developed on the location of ancient town of Salona which was the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia and the birthplace of Emperor Diocletian. After the arrival of Avars and Slavs  in the 7th century town was destroyed, and its refugees moved to settlement in and around Diocletian's palace, "Spalatum" (Split), turning it into a fortified town. In the Early Middle Ages Solin was part of the Croatian territory and played an important role in Medieval Croatian state, being one of capital cities. In the late ancient times, Salona's importance was great both politically and religiously. Salona was an early Roman settlement, which became overshadowed when Emperor Diocletian constructed the nearby Diocletian's Palace in about the year 300 AD. - Wikipedia
Salona, a town of the Dalmatse, in Illyria, on the Adriatic, s. of Tragurium. A colonia. The retreat of Diocletian, the ruins of whose palace are at Spalatro, 3 mi. from the ancient town. - Classical Gazetteer
Maps are essential for any serious study, they help students of Roman history understand the geographical locations and historical backgrounds of the places mentioned in historical sources.
SALO´NA, SALO´NAE (Sa???a, Sa???a?; this latter is the more usual form, as found in Inscriptions, Orelli, Inscr. nos. 502, 3833, 4995; and on coins, Rasche, vol. iv. pt. i. p. 1557: Eth. Sa????t??, Sa???e??, a town and harbour of Dalmatia, which still bears its ancient name, situated on the SE. corner of the gulf into which the Adriatic breaks (Can. di Castelli), on the N. of the river IADER (il Giadro). Lucan's description (8.104)- “Qua maris Adriaci longas ferit unda Salonas Et tepidum in molles Zephyros excurrit Iader”-- agrees with its oblong form, still traceable in the ruins, and with the course of the river. Though the public buildings and houses of ancient Salonae have been destroyed, enough remains of the wall to show the size, as well as position, of the city; and the arch of the bridge proves that the course of the river is unchanged. The city consisted of two parts, the eastern and the western; the latter stands on rather higher ground, sloping towards the N., along which the wall on that side is built. Little is known of Salonae before the time of Julius Caesar; after the fall of Dahninium it became the chief town of Dalmatia, and the head-quarters of L. Caecilius Metellus, B.C. 117. (Appian, App. Ill. 11.) It was besieged a second time, and opened its gates to Cn. Cosconius, B.C. 78. (Eutrop. 6.4; Oros. 5.23.) When the Pompeian fleet swept the Ionian gulf from Corcyra to Salonae, M. Octavius, who commanded a squadron for Pompeius, was compelled to retreat with loss from before this, stronghold of [2.885] Caesar's. (Caes. B.C. 3.9.) The profligate Gabinius, after being cooped up for months in the fortress, died here. (Auct. B. Alex. 43; D. C. 42.12.) In B.C. 39 Asinius Pollio defeated the Partheni, who had espoused the cause of Brutus and Cassius, and took Salonae, in commemoration of which his son Asinius Gallus bore the “agnomen” Saloninus. (Comp. Virg. Bucol. 8.7; Hor. Carnm. 2.1. 14--16.) From the time it received a colony it was looked upon as the great bulwark of the Roman power on that side the Adriatic, and was distinguished for its loyalty, as was shown in the siege it maintained against Bato the native leader, A.D. 6. All the great Roman roads in Dalmatia met at this point, and when the country was divided into three “conventus,” or assize towns, as many as 382 “decuriae” were convened to it. (Plin. Nat. 3.26.) Under the earlier emperors the town was embellished with many public buildings, the number of which was greatly increased by Diocletian, who, according to Porphyrogenitus (de Adm. Imp. 29), completely rebuilt the city. No great change took place for nearly two centuries after the death of that emperor; but if we are to believe Porphyrogenitus (l.c.) the “long Salonae” attained to half the size of Constantinople. In A.D. 481 Salonae was taken by Odoacer, king of the Heruli, but was recovered from the Goths by the Gepid prince Mundus, the general of Justinian. Totila occupied it for a time. Little is known of these sieges, except that it was partially destroyed. (Procop. B. G 1.5, 7, 17, &c.) It soon recovered from these diasters; and it was from Salonae that Belisarius in 544, and Narses in 552, set out to rescue Italy from Totila and the Goths. (Comp. Gibbon, c. xliii.) The Avars invaded Dalmatia in 639, and, advancing upon Salonae, pillaged and burnt the town, which from that time has been deserted and in ruins. (Const. Porph. l.c.) The town possessed a dockyard, which, from Strabo's (vii. p. 315) account, seems to have been the only one deserving that name on the Dalmatian coast. The present state of the place offers many illustrations of past events; the following works touch very fully upon the remains of the fortifications and other ruins: Wilkinson, Dalmatia, vol. i. pp. 151--164; Neigebaur, Die Sud-Slaven, pp. 151--164; Lanza, Antiche lapide Salonitane inedite, Zara, 1850; F. Carrara, Topografia e Scavi di Salona, Trieste, 1850.
The fame of Salonae mainly rests upon its neighbourhood having been chosen by Diocletian as the place of his retirement. That emperor, after his resignation, spent the last nine years of his life in the seclusion of the palace which has given its name to Spalato. Spalato, often erroneously called Spalatro, in Illyric Split, is a corrupted form of Salonae Palatium or S. Palatium. The building of the palace, within the precincts of which the greater part of the modern town is constructed, occupied twelve years. The stone, which was very little inferior to marble itself, was brought from the quarries of Tragurium. After the death of Diocletian, but little is known of the palace or its occupants. Part of it was kept by the magistrates of Salonae, as a state palace; and part was occupied by the “Gynaecium,” or cloth manufactory, in which women only were employed,--whence the name. It was tenanted by the phantom emperors of the West, Glycerius and Julius Nepos, the latter of whom was murdered here. When Salonae was captured by the Avars, the houseless citizens fled to the massive structure of the palace for shelter; the settlement swelled by the arrival of their countrymen became a Roman city under the name of ASPALATHUM, and paid an annual tribute of 200 pieces of gold to the Eastern emperors. (Const. Porph. l.c.)
The palace is nearly a square, terminated at the four corners by a quadrangular tower. According to the latest and most accurate admeasurements, the superficial content, including the towers, occupies a space of a little more than eight acres. (Wilkinson, Dalmatia, vol. i. pp. 114--143; Neigebaur, Die Sud-Slaven, pp. 134--151.) The entire building was composed of two principal sections, of which the one to the S. contained two temples--one dedicated to Jupiter the other to Aesculapius--and the private rooms of the emperor. Two streets intersected each other at right angles, nearly in the centre of it the principal one led from the Porta Aurea, the main entrance on the N. front, to a spacious court before the vestibule; the other ran in a direct line from the W. to the E. gate, and crossed the main street just below the court. What remains is not enough to explain the distribution of the various parts of the interior. By a comparison of what existed in his time with the precepts of Vitruvius, Adams (Antiquities of Diocletian's Palace, 1764) has composed his ingenious restoration. of the palace. (Comp. Gibbon, c. xiii.) All the gates, except the Porta Argentea, were defended by two octagonal towers; the principal or “golden gate” still remains nearly perfect. The temple of Jupiter is now the “Duomo,” and that of Aesculapius is a baptistery dedicated to St. John. Diocletian's palace marks an aera;--columnar was so combined with arched architecture, that the arches were at first made, to rest upon the entablature, and afterwards were even forced immediately to spring from the abacus, in violation of the law of statics, which requires undiminished and angular pillars under the arch; at length the entablature itself took the form of an arch. (Miller, Ancient Art, § 193.) But although this architecture offends against the rules of good taste, yet these remains may serve to show how directly the Saracens and Christian architects borrowed from Roman models many of the characteristics which have been looked upon as the creation of their own imagination. (Comp. Hope, Architecture, vol. i. c. viii.; Freeman, Hist. of Architecture, p. 52.) A plan of the palace of Diocletian, taken from Adams, will be found in Fergusson's Handbook of Architecture, vol. i. p. 356, accompanied by an account of the general arrangements of the building. - Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) William Smith, LLD, Ed.
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