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Joško Belamarić ; Konzervatorski odjel u Splitu

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 23.551 Kb

str. 5-33

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Puni tekst: engleski pdf 23.551 Kb

str. 33-41

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In scholarly literature, the term "city" was first mentioned by Lj. Karaman, talking of the beginnings of medieval Split in Diocletian's Palace, and then by Andre Grabar in his Martyrium (I: 232-233).2 Noel Duval, in a series of studies he wrote, asks whether Diocletian's residence should be classified as palatium, villa, castrum, urban settlement or some special type of architecture, considering that in comparison with genuine imperial palaces like those in Constantinople, Antioch, Philippopolis and Ravenna, it was wanting a number of "attributes": proposed the term "chateau".3 -5 The term was thoroughly investigated by Slobodan Čurčić, discussing late antique palatine architecture, showing convincingly that the urban character of these residences was undoubted (of Antioch , Nicomedia, Salona, Constantinople, Split) - although the miniature municipal quarters in them had an only slightly more than symbolic significance.6 Diocletian's building in Split really does not have the external look of a Roman imperial villa. In Split, in particular with respect to the two architectural masses in the northern part of the building, we note, its innate anti-landscape character, both the internal and the external disposition of the architectural elements, which is almost inorganically formalised. Not even in the narrow residential area, within which the halls are interconnected only via the "cryptoportico" having no direct contacts with the surrounding landscape, we do not find any of the characteristics that in the nature of things we would expect in a residence in which, it was always considered, the emperor intended to while away his final years. The Split edifice is really primarily an example of fortification. But here too we can be surprised. The sentry patrol corridor should be on the top of the walls and should be protected with a parapet, while here it is on the first floor, perforated with hardly defensible apertures (3 x 2m). The building was clearly primarily motivated by the desire to impress the surroundings, with its emphatic delineation of military presence and power. The Golden and Silver Gates and the great apertures of the sentry corridor on the three sides of the walls onto the mainland must have been walled up before the Byzantine-Gothic wars of the 530s.7 But it would seem that we can understand its form - so very particular that it evades the usual, in some sense fossilized, terminology – only through some new reading of the original meaning and purpose of the building itself. In author's opinion, this is proffered by a very simple question. The aqueduct that brought water into the palace from the source of the river Jadro was, in the design and execution of the imperial architects, undoubtedly related to the construction of his final dwelling place. Although it is a rare specimen of a Roman monument of this kind that is still being used today (reconstructed in 1878), in the literature and in research it has been almost entirely neglected, and has certainly never been interpreted in the original context. The aqueduct provided 1500 l/ sec. (129.600 m3 a day), which in terms of our standards would be enough for a population of 173,000. 8,9 The sheer amount of water inevitably leads to the question of what it was meant for, because it far exceeded the needs of the relatively modest bath complexes in the Palace. The answer might be hidden in an almost neglected item of information from Notitia Dignitatum OC XI 48 (ed. 0 . Seeck, 150) where there is a mention of the Procurator genaecii Iovensis Dalmatiae - Aspalato- warden of the imperial weaving shop for the production of woollen clothing for the army that worked in Split, under the title of Jupiter. So far it has always been thought, on the rare occasions when this fact has been mentioned at all (and then only by-the-bye) that this gynaeceum was only after Diocletian's death "inscribed" into the Palace, which was for the whole of the 5th century a kind of pensiopolis of dethroned emperors or pretenders to the throne. It has been considered that the northern part of the Palace was reserved for the Imperial Guard, for stables and the like. 10,11 Notitia Dignitatum, a long list of all the senior offices in the Empire, civilian and military, is certainly of a composite character. The basic text was created probably in about 408 (in partibus Occidentis changes were recorded up to 420), but it conceals a lot of information about the periods before the revision of the basic copy, mirroring the order that Diocletian had brought into the state, which certainly relates to the Split gynaeceum, which alone of the 14 such complexes located in the most important cities of the empire bears the characteristic predicate Iovense: it must in itself constitute a terminus post quem non to do with the origin of the factory of military uniforms of wool in the building in Split. 12,13,15 Although the gynaecea were never mentioned in the context of Diocletian's reforms, it is generally accepted that they were created at the time of the first Tetrarchy. The concentration of the labour force, the range of specialised jobs, the degree of organisation and their connection with urban centres makes them, in the judgement of historians, the closest to the modern industrial factory. State factories (fabricae) were set up in the late Empire to eliminate or at least to alleviate the difficulties concerning the supply of the state and the army with certain products. It was necessary to clothe the approximately half a million soldiers that Diocletian 's army reforms had raised, as well as no small number of clerks. Archaeology, however, has never made any direct contribution to the understanding of their internal organisation, except in the case of the otherwise well documented gynaeceum in Carthage, which lay in the heart of the city, on the edge of the celebrated Circular Harbour. 16,17 The state operated, through the comes sacrarum largitionum, a number of weaving mills, both for woolen and linen fabrics, and dyeworks 18 The Split gynaeceum should have probably been in some kind of complementary relationship with the gynaeceum moved to Salona, perhaps for security reasons, from Bassiana (Donji Petrovci, Pannonia Inferior) also noted by Notitia Dignitatum, XI, 46 (Procurator gynaecii Bassanensis Pannoniae Secundae translati Salonis). In Salona, thus, there was a large cloth dyeworks (In Not. dign. the Procurator bafii Salonitani Dalmatiae was also mentioned) and weaving mill. At Five Bridges in Salona artisan workshops were actually found, probably a dyer's workshop, and fulling mills for cloth and the dyeing of cloth. Also to be seen is the reservoir from which the water to drive the mills ran, and a building for the habitation of the workers. 19 In one inscription in Salona, a magister conquilarius is mentioned (CIL III 2115 + 8572), clearly the head of the state workshops in which purple was extracted from shellfish, perhaps for the gynaeceum in Aspalathos. 22 Another inscription found in Salona mentions a certain Hilarus, who was the purpurarius, dyer of red garments or, perhaps, negotiator artis purpurae. 23 That the Salona baffeum and the Split gynaeceum were mentioned only in the Notitia Dignitatum, says that their production was a strictly channelled state monopoly, and that the products from them did not make their way to the general market as other goods did. The army was supplied directly, without the agency of merchants. Although not all the technological details of the gynaeceum, the fullonica and the baffeum have been revealed, we can conjure up in the northern half of the Palace an image of the whole system of pools in which the fabrics were washed, softened and finished by being trampled on with bare feet in a solution of potash , fuller's earth, human and animal urine. Here then there was a very large demand for water.28 Garments were rubbed with chalk, and fumigated with sulphur. It is particularly important to remember that the technology included, among other things, sulphur treatment (sulfure sulfire ), for which there were the many springs of sulphurous water alongside the Palace itself, which were used for the washing and bleaching of cloth right up to the first half of the 20th century, by St Francis church on the Shore.29 The problem of copious rinsing was solved by the extraordinarily handled sewage system that existed only along the the cardo and decumanus and the perimeter streets of the northern part of the Palace , in which the mentioned plant was located. Among other things, the extreme western part of the sewer under the decumanus, at the exit from the Palace, has been explored. It passed under the western gate (Porta ferrea), and moved in a gentle arc towards the south-west, finishing some forty metres further in a stone portal (below the kitchen of today's Hotel Central). Thence in an open channel all this water flowed into the bay of the sea, in the immediate vicinity of the grandest corner of the Palace.30 The monumental cross-section of this sewage system corresponds perfectly to the cross-section of the aqueduct. We should underscore the fact that the sewage system was located only along the streets of the northern part of the Palace, while we might expect it to be primarily in the residential southern part, which also shows that it was constructed for the purpose of the production inside the gynaeceum. Unfortunately, there are practically no archaeological records of the small finds from investigations of the northern part of the Split building. But, during excavations of the crossing place of the cardo and decumanus (in order to establish the original level of the street and the Peristyle) M. Suić in 1974 did observe, „a very thick layer of fine sediment of a markedly red colour of non-organic origin“, which had been deposited in the cloaca, and which had retained its intensity for centuries. This must prove the existence of fullonica, which must have been located within the gynaeceum.31, 32, 55, 56 Gynaeciarii, like other craftsmen, were associated into corporations or collegia, but were not able to leave their work, being nexu sanguinis ad divinas largitiones perlinenles, which makes the construction of the northern part of the Palace, in which they lived alongside their workshops even more logical. 36 - 4 0 Their patron saint in 5th c. might have been, as I have already speculated, St Martin - patron of soldiers and weavers -to whom the little church in the sentries' walk over the Golden Gate, walled-in very early on, was dedicated. 41 All this also suggests that Christianity was alive in the Palace from day one. Along with the bishop and the praetorians, the weavers were probably that industrial revolutionary guard of the time. It is not at all surprising that a martyr like St. Anastasius - a fullo, the co-patron of Split, should have come precisely from the milieu of the fullers, probably working in the baffeum in Salona. In Split, Diocletian's gynaeceum was probably reliant upon a manufacture that already existed, one linked with the sulphurous water and perhaps on the broom, genisla acanlhoclada, from which a colouring agent for dying the cloth was obtained, and according to which, it is believed, Aspalathos actually obtained its name.43 There was raw material in Dalmatia within reach. Immediately following the Second World War there were about one million sheep in the central hinterland of the Adriatic coast. Delm or Dalm in Old Illyrian means shepherd, herder, flock, and hence Delminium means the place of pasture, and delme- dalme still today in Albanian means sheep.44 - 49 Evidence of the organised weaving industry in Roman Dalmatia can be seen in the form of the weaving industry around Split, which all the way through the Middle Ages and until quite recently was different from that in the other regions. 51 The Gynaeceum iovense might have been special precisely in the fact that this was not a remodelled and expanded production area already in existence, the expropriation of some extant minor complexes (as is assumed to have happened in Carthage), but a green field project, an exemplarily constructed industrial unit. And for this reason, of all such establishments, it was the only one to have such a flowery dedication and name. At the end one should also draw attention to an almost neglected reference concerning the palace, that is, the first description of it, uttered by the most authoritative mouth of all. In the Oralio ad Sanclorum coelum which he delivered in Antioch in 325, Emperor Constantine said that the colossal pile of the palace was a "loathed dwelling" in which the Emperor Diocletian shut himself up after this abdication: "After the massacre in the persecutions, after he had condemned himself by depriving himself of power, as a man of no utility, acknowledging the damage he had done with his imprudence, he remained hidden in his really contemptible dwelling place". 61 This surprising statement of Constantine might be an allusion to the fact that Diocletian had to spend his last days in a building that in spite of all the sumptuousness of its centre and the residential quarters looking onto the sea- must also have had the features of a military factory, to which the form of the castrum must have been in all respects much more suitable than to a charming imperial residence. The whole of the building fits perfectly in with the long series of tetrarchic public works. It is important to stress the autonomy of the cardo and the decumanus (12 metres broad) with their own lastricatus and their own porticatus, independent of the blocks that they hid. I would even say that the form of the castrum is more logical for a gynaeceum than it is for a palace. What should be actually highlighted is the surprising pragmatism, as well as the great social focus of the lllyrian emperors, who really did want to renew the "fervent patriotism and iron duty in the evil days" (Syme). Probus in Egypt worked on an important improvement of the navigation of the Nile; temples, bridges, porticoes, palaces, all were put up by the army. Galerius himself was a devotee of public works, and undertook an operation worth of a monarch, says Gibbon, diverting the excess of water from Lake Pelso (Balaton) to the Danube, at the border with Noricum. He had the endless woods all around cleared, and gave the whole reclaimed area between the Drava and the Danube to his Panonian subjects to be cultivated, naming it Valeria after his wife. 65, 66 Most of the buildings that Diocletian put up were of a utilitarian purpose, such as mints and the factories that Lactantius mentions, or border forts, roads and bridges. Dozens of extant inscriptions tell us of the dedications of new and restored temples, aqueducts, nymphea and public buildings - "vetustatu con lapsum" or "Ionge incuria neglectum"- dilapidated from age and long neglect. 67 According to Lactantius's writing, Diocletian had an infinitam cupiditatem aedificandi, an infinite desire to build. 68 Today we are apt to count mostly the imperial palaces in connection with this statement, and to forget the whole framework of comprehensive public works that were undertaken during the first tetrarchy. Twenty years of relaxation from civil wars and barbarian invasions, and the gradual suppression of local unrest, led to the renovation of the prosperity in cities all round the Empire, hence the major number of public dedications, the revival of overall construction activity. The Tetrarchan New Deal - with Diocletian as the Roosevelt of the ancient world - is often understood in a formalist way, as a series of legislative and political attempts to halt inflation, overlooking exploits like Galerius's round Balaton, or this one in Split. The construction of the Split Palace, then, no kind of imperial Xanadu, as it is often held to be, justified its investment. More than that: its existence enabled antiquity in Dalmatia, even after the 7th century catastrophe, not to be extinguished with a sudden death, but over long centuries to be merged into the modern age, remaining until this day a lesson in and criterion for every creative architectural operation into the tissue of the city, which developed organically within the precise, almost dry geometry of the Emperor's palace-cumfactory.
* The article was published in English, in: Das Imperium zwischen Zentralisierung und Regionalisierung: Palaste- Regionen- Volker (ed. A. Demand, A. Goltz und H. Schlange-Schoningen), Berlin - New York 2004: 141-162.

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