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Jasna Jeličić-Radonić ; Konzervatorski odjel u Splitu

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 11.169 Kb

str. 5-34

preuzimanja: 532


Puni tekst: engleski pdf 11.169 Kb

str. 3436-0

preuzimanja: 1.240



The ruins of Salona, capital of the Roman Province of Dalmatia, have long drawn the attention of many scientists, whose first efforts were concerned with establishing the original size and appearance of the city. D. Farlati, C. Lanza and V. Andrić drew ground plans of the remains which were visible at the time. However, F. Carrara started the first systematic topographic research in 1846, and his ground plan is still used today as a basis for insights into the history of ancient Salona. The city's irregular shape was enclosed by walls with a total length of 4,077 metres, fortified with towers of which 88 have been rediscovered. During his research, F. Carrara discovered several city gates which had been previously unknown (Porta Andetria, Porta Caesarea, Porta Suburbia, Porta Capraria and the Western Gate). He made more detailed excavations in the north-eastern part of the city, where the remains of walls and towers, up to 33 feet high, were best preserved. He noticed various fortification elements - several layers of walls and towers, some with adjoining triangular bastions. He considered the first phase of the fortification to have been completed as early as the 2nd century BC, and several inscriptions showed that parts of the walls were built during the reign of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Carrara observed that the walls had been considerably reinforced by the addition of towers during Diocletian's time. He believed that the triangular bastions were the final element of Salona's fortification. The inscription (CJL JII 1984) suggests that these were probably added when all the towers were renovated, during the rule of Theodosius II. E. Dyggve also researched the walls of Salona and came to more or less the same conclusions. Dyggve was most interested in the urban development of Salona; he established the location of the oldest, central part of the city and described the eastward and westward spread of urban development. Some authors, including W. Gerber and H. Kahler, have investigated the oldest city gate, the Porta Caesarea, and made suggestions for its reconstruction. H. Kahler also examined the visible parts of the walls which had been excavated at that time near the Porta Caesarea and in the north-east part of city, and tried to establish a relative chronology. D. Rendić Miočević paid particular attention to the oldest part of Salona and discovered a square corner tower at the junction of the northern and eastern walls. The Split Conservation Department of the Ministry of Culture commenced protective conservation work on the northern ramparts in 1997. After a considerable time a neglected stretch of wall, reinforced by numerous towers, was exposed to view north of Porta Andetria up to the corner where it turns towards Porta Caesarea. Don F. Bulić had constructed a walkway on the inside of the walls from this point, connecting the north-east and north-west corners of the city. The walls were at that time mostly half-concealed with earth, but some segments, preserved up to their original height, were left visible. Two significant segments of the excavated ruins of the northern walls are particularly impressive: one is the complex at Bilankuša with towers nos. 78-81 which have already been investigated; the other is part of the outer shell and its associated towers, nos. 53-60, which remain at almost their original height. Preventative conservation work has been done on the weakened and uncovered walls, after completion of survey, of photogrammetric, architectural and geophysical records and research. Many fragments of inscriptions and architectural decorations were discovered during this work, mainly material from tombstones which had been re-incorporated into later structures. They came probably from the ancient necropolis which stretched along the ancient street from Porta Caesarea to the north-east, an area which was later incorporated in the secondary ring of walls (the Urbs orientalis). Further inscriptions discovered on the walls between towers 74 and 75 showed that Emperor Marcus Aurelius (CIL III 8570, 6374) was responsible for their construction. About ten late-antique amphorae, mostly spatheia dating from the 5th to the 7th centuries, were discovered in the in-fill immediately behind this original segment of the wall, which has been accurately dated from the inscriptions. The fact that they were found in the in-fill between two walls indicates that major repair work had been undertaken on the fortifications. Similar secondary use of amphorae in the Salona fortification system had been found earlier near tower no. 60. These were of types Dressel 32 and 34, dated between the 4th and the 5th centuries, but remained in use until much later. The complex defence system of the ancient Salona consisted of a series of elements which today provide better insight into the inception and development of the city. It has not been established precisely when the walls of Salona were first built, nor when the Italics and the Romans settled permanently and created their own town on the territory of the indigenous Dalmatic settlement and the of Issaian emporium. Research to date clearly indicates that old lines of communication were respected and that the town followed the contours of the terrain at its inception, as is clear from the irregular shape of the perimeter walls which were built in accordance with contemporary building practise, and the skill of military architects. A new city gate, Porta Caesarea, flanked by octagonal towers, was made in the existing walls at the beginning of the Empire. An aqueduct constructed above the city gate and associated cisterns provided exceptional fire protection of the most vulnerable segment of the fortifications. The threat of barbarian attack led to the construction of a new ring of walls during Marcus Aurelius' reign by the locally stationed military units coh I Del and coh II Del, and by vexilationes leg II Piae et III Concordiae who were urgently summoned from the Province of Pannonia. Inscriptions on the wall show clearly that some sections were built under supervision of the military commanders of these units and that there was simultaneous work on several sections (CIL III 1979, 1980, 8570, 6374). Relatively few towers were built when the walls were first constructed. More were created when new dangers became apparent, especially on the northern ramparts which were naturally most exposed to the enemy. The date of their construction is an open question: it is likely that most were built before the beginning of the 5th century, because there is evidence that they were renovated around that time (CIL III 1984). Further research is needed to establish whether the triangular bastions were added during the renovation, or whether they were built during military operations associated with the Gothic-Byzantine wars. Walls were occasionally strengthened where the defences were weak or for better communication between the protruding towers. The laws of the period (Cod. Theod, XI, 17, 4; XV, l, 49) assigned continuing responsibility for renovation and upkeep of the walls to the community as a whole. During the rule of Theodosius II at the beginning of the 5th century, for example, all the towers, and perhaps all the walls which had been destroyed, were renovated. Constantianos executed emergency repairs to the weakened wails during the Gothic-Byzantine wars, and an outer trench was constructed (Procop. , Bell. Goth. V, 7, 9; 7, 26-31; 16). During the last centuries of the ancient world, the complex defence system around the capital of the Province consisted of walls, doubly reinforced in several places by additional walls, towers and bastions, and by embankments and trenches to form a unique example of fortification architecture. Some segments of the walls of Salona are preserved at their original height of almost ten metres, which show the power and might of ancient architecture, as in other sparsely preserved perimeters of ancient cities such as the walls of Theodosius in Constantinople and of Aurelian in Rome.

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