Dalmatia (Roman province)

Dalmatia (Roman province)

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Dalmatia was an ancient Roman province. Its name is probably derived from the name of an Illyrian tribe
Illyrians
The Illyrians were a group of tribes who inhabited part of the western Balkans in antiquity and the south-eastern coasts of the Italian peninsula...

 called the Dalmatae
Dalmatae
The Dalmatae or Delmatae were an ancient people who inhabited the core of what would then become known as Dalmatia after the Roman conquest - now the eastern Adriatic coast in Croatia, between the rivers Krka and Neretva...

 which lived in the area of the eastern Adriatic coast in Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

.

It encompassed an area significantly larger than the current region of Dalmatia
Dalmatia
Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

.

History


The region was the northern part of the Illyria
Illyria
In classical antiquity, Illyria was a region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula inhabited by the Illyrians....

n kingdom between the 4th century BC until the Illyrian Wars
Illyrian Wars
Illyrian Wars were a set of conflicts of 229 BC, 219 BC and 168 BC when Rome overran the Illyrian settlements and suppressed the piracy that had made the Adriatic unsafe for Italian commerce. There were three campaigns, the first against Teuta, the second against Demetrius of Pharos and the third...

 in the 220s BC
220s BC
-Births:* 229 BC** Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus, Roman general, consul and politician ** Qin Er Shi, Emperor of Qin China * 228 BC** Prusias I Chlorus, king of Bithynia...

 and 168 BC when the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 established its protectorate south of the river Neretva
Neretva
Neretva is the largest river of the eastern part of the Adriatic basin. It has been harnessed and controlled to a large extent by four HE power-plants with large dams and their storage lakes, but it is still recognized for its natural beauty, diversity of its landscape and visual...

. Area north of the Neretva was slowly incorporated into roman possessions until the province of Illyricum was formally established c. 32-27 BC

Dalmatia region then became part of the Roman province of Illyricum
Illyricum (Roman province)
The Roman province of Illyricum or Illyris Romana or Illyris Barbara or Illyria Barbara replaced most of the region of Illyria. It stretched from the Drilon river in modern north Albania to Istria in the west and to the Sava river in the north. Salona functioned as its capital...

. Between 6 and 9 AD the Dalmatians raised the last in a series of revolts together with the Pannonians, but it was finally crushed and in 10 AD Illyricum was split into two provinces, Pannonia
Pannonia
Pannonia was an ancient province of the Roman Empire bounded north and east by the Danube, coterminous westward with Noricum and upper Italy, and southward with Dalmatia and upper Moesia....

 and Dalmatia. The province of Dalmatia spread inland to cover all of the Dinaric Alps
Dinaric Alps
The Dinaric Alps or Dinarides form a mountain chain in Southern Europe, spanning areas of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro....

 and most of the eastern Adriatic coast. Dalmatia was the birthplace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian
Diocletian
Diocletian |latinized]] upon his accession to Diocletian . c. 22 December 244  – 3 December 311), was a Roman Emperor from 284 to 305....

, who, upon retirement from Emperor, built Diocletian's Palace
Diocletian's Palace
Diocletian's Palace is a building in Split, Croatia, that was built by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD.Diocletian built the massive palace in preparation for his retirement on 1 May 305 AD. It lies in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula running out from...

 near Salona
Salona
Salona was an ancient Illyrian Delmati city in the first millennium BC. The Greeks had set up an emporion there. After the conquest by the Romans, Salona became the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia...

 in today's Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

.

The historian Theodore Mommsen wrote (in his The Provinces of the Roman Empire) that all Dalmatia was fully romanized and Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 speaking by the 4th century. However, analysis of archaeological material from that period has shown that the process of romanization
Romanization
In linguistics, romanization or latinization is the representation of a written word or spoken speech with the Roman script, or a system for doing so, where the original word or language uses a different writing system . Methods of romanization include transliteration, for representing written...

 was rather selective. While urban centers, both coastal and inland, were almost completely romanized, the situation in the countryside was completely different. Despite the Illyrians being subject to a strong process of acculturation, they continued to speak their native language, worship their own gods and traditions, and follow their own social-political tribal organization which was adapted to Roman administration and political structure only in some necessities.

After the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

 collapsed in 476
476
Year 476 was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Basiliscus and Armatus...

, with the beginning of the Migration Period, the region was ruled by the Goths
Goths
The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin whose two branches, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, played an important role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the emergence of Medieval Europe....

 up to 535
535
Year 535 was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Belisarius without colleague...

, when Justinian I
Justinian I
Justinian I ; , ; 483– 13 or 14 November 565), commonly known as Justinian the Great, was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the Empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the classical Roman Empire.One of the most important figures of...

 added all Dalmatia to the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

.

The first modern account of Roman Dalmatia in English was J.J. Wilkes, Dalmatia (Harvard University Press) 1969. Wilkes surveys Illyricum and Dalmatia, in its Romanized aspects, to the end of Antiquity, based primarily on the evidence of inscriptions and the ancient historians.

See also

  • Roman Empire
    Roman Empire
    The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

  • Dalmatae
    Dalmatae
    The Dalmatae or Delmatae were an ancient people who inhabited the core of what would then become known as Dalmatia after the Roman conquest - now the eastern Adriatic coast in Croatia, between the rivers Krka and Neretva...

  • Dalmatia
    Dalmatia
    Dalmatia is a historical region on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stretches from the island of Rab in the northwest to the Bay of Kotor in the southeast. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometers in width in the north to just a few kilometers in the south....

  • History of Dalmatia
    History of Dalmatia
    The History of Dalmatia concerns the history of the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea and its inland regions, stretching from the 2nd century BC up to the present....

  • Kingdom of Dalmatia
    Kingdom of Dalmatia
    The Kingdom of Dalmatia was an administrative division of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1815 to 1918. Its capital was Zadar.-History:...


External links