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Jasna Jeličić-Radonić ; Konzervatorski odjel u Splitu

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 4.824 Kb


str. 5-25

preuzimanja: 853


Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 4.824 Kb


str. 5-25

preuzimanja: 897



In new investigations by the Conservation Department of Split, an eastern part of one of the main channels of the river that ran through most of the Urbs orientalis has been found; this was a river that had a major impact on the planning of the city’s grid. It entered the city through the eastern city ramparts considerably more to the south than Dyggve hypothesised and headed out in a direction to the west, towards the entirely preserved Roman bridge (the so-called Five Bridges) whence it turned off south to the sea. In the centre of the Urbs orientalis some of the segments of the channels of this arm of the river have been found, in the immediate vicinity of the Roman bridge, the four pier bases of which have been known for a long time. The bed of the arm of the Jadro discovered is about 9 m wide. On the left side of the arm, paving has been found, consisting of large stone slabs, the area of which so far found comes to about 15 x 18 m. In the immediate
vicinity of the paving are segments of the newly discovered course of the arm and separate channels that followed the main course. In the left bank of the arm and of one of the channels numerous parts of a grand public building were incorporated as spolia. Among the stone blocks marble capitals were built in, as well as parts of a panelled ceiling, a monumental transom, parts of moulded beams, the base of an
imperial sculpture with an inscription and an altar dedicated to Jupiter. These are parts of a demolished temple of the Roman period that was erected in the centre of the town alongside the main arm of the river.
Among the spolia found, particularly significant is a massive pedestal with the inscription Aureliae / Prisce / nobilissimae / feminae. This is the first inscription to mention the name of Diocletian’s wife Prisca. From historical sources we knew only her cognomen, Prisca. The Salona inscription also reveals her nomen gentile – Aurelia. Empress Prisca, as is usually said, was not an August. Aurelia Prisca was nobilissima femina, which was confirmed in the recently found Salona inscription; this was the usual title of empresses and imperial princesses. Because of the appearance of the stone base and the indentation or groove on the upper surface, it is clear that a sculpture of Aurelia Prisca was once placed on the pedestal. It is unclear what Prisca looked like, for there are no portraits of her in existence or coins, nor are there any securely attributed depictions. There is a generally
accepted opinion that a relief of her is located in the Diocletian Mausoleum in Split. Here, medallions with portraits of the imperial family are incorporated into a frieze of sepulchral topics. A portrait of Diocletian can be identified in a 24 laurel leaf garland, and in another medallion there is a female figure that, as a match to the imperial portrait, might be of his wife, Prisca. Because of the iconography of the female figure, hypotheses were recently made that this is in fact a depiction of the goddess Tyche, with a crown in the form of corona muralis, or wall, since she is the patroness not only of the newly built
palace, as Fortuna, but also as Fate, often identified with Isis. One of the most favourite syncretic figures is that of Isis – Tyche or Isis- Fortuna, shown on a coin of the tetrarchs for propaganda purposes (vota publica) and like other Egyptian deities was directly guarding and preserving the imperial authority Some sculptures found in Salona have also been ascribed to Empress Prisca, without, unfortunately, any detailed circumstances of the finds, today to be found in the Archaeological Museum in Split. The portrait of a woman in white marble (inv. no. C 226) of which only the upper part of the head is preserved, was attributed to H. P. L’Orange to Prisca. Recently however N. Cambi hypothesised that it was a portrait of Galeria Valeria, since this is the face of a young woman. Another Salona portrait of a woman (inv. no. C 225), is of more monumental dimensions than the previous one. Because of the usual, so-called Schitelzopf type of later Antiquity hairstyle, which corresponds to that of Galeria Valeria, Cambi assumed that it might easily belong to her. The base for the sculpture of Empress Prisca recently found in Salona clearly shows the cult of the members of the imperial family of Diocletian in the capital of the province of Dalmatia as well. The dedicatory inscription of Aurelia Prisca
nobilissimae feminae found in the context of the spolia of the Antique temple consecrated to Jupiter shows that her sculpture must have been placed in this temple, and accordingly, a sculpture of Diocletian and those of other members of the imperial family as well. Perhaps there was a portrait of their daughter, Galeria Valeria, to whom is ascribed the still uncertainly identified portraits of the empresses found in Salona. It is clear that this temple housed the cult of the imperial family until the era of the tetrarchs. As earlier Salona researchers noted, with the formation of the new urban spaces, some of the essential municipal functions were probably relocated from the older part of the town. These older hypotheses are confirmed by the new investigations in the eastern part of the town. In the centre of the so-called Urbs orientalis a large new square was formed, a forum, parts of which are paved with great stone slabs discovered in several segments. Here the main shrine dedicated to Jupiter was erected, and probably took over the role of the official municipal cult. The temple was probably put up during the planning of the Urbs orientalis in the last quarter of the 2nd century. This is shown by the discovery of parts of a panelled ceiling with diamond motifs decorated with acanthus leaves. Considering the stylistic features of the marble capitals of the Oriental Corinthian type, and the inscription relating to Empress Prisca, spolia found in the bank of the arm of the river with many other architectural elements, this grand religious building was clearly in use in the time of Diocletian. Because of the appearance and the context 25 of the new find – the pedestal with the empress’s name, the statue of Aurelia Prisca was probably put up in the temple, where there was a sculpture of Diocletian and perhaps of his daughter Galeria Valeria, and in this religious building the imperial cult must have been celebrated. Diocletian probably restored the temple of his divine patron Jupiter, and many other Salona buildings as well. The way the Jupiter temple was arranged and decorated was in line with the imperial policy of the choice of divine protector (Iovius). In this period, Salona knew considerably prosperity, thanks to the wellknown architectural activity of Emperor Diocletian. It is to his time that many renovations and remodellings of existing public buildings, as well as important town planning operations, are ascribed. Hence Diocletian probably renovated the Jupiter temple, which was put up during the planning of Urbs orientalis on a wide square along the left bank of the arm of the river. In this new part of the town lay the residence of the governor of the province, and the essential municipal functions were also gradually located here, like the main cult shrine consecrated to Jupiter, in which the imperial cult was also celebrated until the time of the tetrarchs.

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