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Roman Villas of Istria and Dalmatia I

Vlasta Begović
Ivančica Schrunk

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 682 Kb

str. 113-130

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Puni tekst: engleski pdf 682 Kb

str. 130-130

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Roman villas of the 1st century combine old Italic architectural
tradition, the elegance and luxury of Hellenistic architecture and the imposing Egyptian style. They are generally built on well-chosen locations and fully match the landscape, which defines their outlines as
well as their height articulation. They were built in favorable natural bays or on gently inclined slopes with an open view of the surrounding area. They are characterized by good communications with the closest urban centers, safely built harbors and a position along important roads or sailing routes. In the territory of Dalmatia and Istria many sites of villas and villulae (Jerolimo, 4th century) have been identified,
but only a small number of localities have been researched.
Significant villas, either investigated or partly investigated, are found in Histriae: Loron, Červar, Porat and Sorna near Poreč; in Barbariga and Fažana, luxury villas on the Brijuni Islands; in Valbandon, Banjole and Vižula (Medulin) near Pula; in Roman Dalmatia; in Muline on the island of Ugljan; along the coast beneath the mountain of Velebit; on the islands of Krk, Cres, Unije, Pag, Rab and Murter; in Biograd and Benkovci areas; in Orlić near Knin; in Pridraga, Puntamika and Kašić
near Zadar; a large luxury villa with a specific ground plan from the second half of the 1st century in the bay of Stari Trogir and in Bijaći (Sicula) near Salona. An urban villa close to Porta Cesare in Salona is famous under the name the Province Governor’s Palace. Numerous villa ruins are found on the island of Šolta (Rogač-Banje, Nečujam etc.), Brač (particularly important Povlja, Lovrečina, Bol), Hvar (particularly in Hvarsko Polje between Starigrad and Jelsa).
Many villas were located along the Makarska coastline. A villa suburbana in Erešove bare near Narona on the Pelješac Peninsula (particularly important Žuljana and Orebić), the Korčula Island (a particularly important large luxury villa with opus reticulatum in Lumbarda). Villas were investigated on the islands of Koločep,
Lopud and Šipan. Two luxury Roman villas are situated
near Epidaur (in the Tiha Bay and on the Sustjepan Peninsula),
as well as a larger number of villas in the surroundings of Slano and Ston. The number of 233 sites at which villas or villulae were identified or investigated in the area of Istria and Dalmatia is rather impressive. Their density and number point to the significance of the area in which they are situated. Thus in the southern part of Istria near antique Pula there is an extraordinary large number of luxury villas (Barbariga, Brijuni, Valbandon, Vižula), representing an area which can be compared to the bay of Naples (antique Stabiae, Baiae, Sorrentum, Capri). A similarly larger density of representative villas is found in the vicinity of large urban centers – Salona, Narona and Epidaur. The data confirm Whittaker’s theory that members of the rural power structure were at the same time urban elite. Also, there is a larger concentration of villas along important roads and sailing routes.

Ključne riječi

Roman villas; villa rustica; villa maritima; villa suburbana; Roman architecture; Eaast coast and islands of Adriatic Sea from 1st century BC until 4th century AD

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