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str. 365-376

preuzimanja: 237



Milan Ogrizović was born on 11th February 1877 in Senj. He lived in Zagreb and was the director of the Croatian National Theatre there for a certain period. He was also an eminent Croatian writer. Before the First World War he set on stage the drama about Roman emperor Diocletian who was firstly an ordinary soldier, then a military commander and finally the emperor (Augustus in the dominate period). During his imperial career, he concentrated his skills on the reforms among which he, to the implementation of the tetrarchic system of rule, hoped to stop the crisis in the Roman Empire, in particular the violent changes on the imperial throne by military forces. Diocletian also introduced many other reforms trying to improve social and religious life. Some of them were successful some unsuccessful. One of his badly conceived measures was the persecution of Christians, which resulted in contradictory opinions about his historical role. Despite this, the contradictory attitudes of many outstanding historians and philosophers cherished positive attitudes about his personality and his historical role until modern times. So Edward Gibbon praised his rule: "Like August, we may evaluate him as the founder of a new empire." Diocletian as well as adopted son of Caesar excelled himself more as a statesman, than for his military skill. Theodor Mommsen praised him as the unsurpassed politician. In the focus of the Ogrizović’s drama is Diocletian’s stubborn persistence on the extermination of Christianity. Diocletian would with others also sacrifice his wife and daughter because of their affiliation to Christianity. But, it is far from being true. The ex-emperor allegedly put aside the relations in his family since he hated Christianity. However, such historical inaccuracy is Ogrizović’s artistic freedom. Milan Ogrizović was the first who performed Diocletian on the stage that was the Peristyle of his Palace in Split. His Peristyle was the place of various real historical events, audiences, protocol and cult festivities where Diocletian appeared and was hailed as imperator senior Augustus. It is the most attractive site for ambient theatre since it was the authentic stage of our days. Since Ogrizović was a theatre man, this fact must have been the inspiration for him. The complete drama was not performed but only the addition "The Death of Diocletian" in 1913, on occasion of the celebration of the 1,600th anniversary of the Edict of Milan staged by the great Croatian and Slovenian actor and director Hinko Nučić. Such an occasion was probably the reason why Ogrizović stressed Diocletian’s great hostility towards Christianity that Constantine admitted existed in 313.

Ključne riječi

Milan Ogrizović; play; Emperor Diocletian; Christianity

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