Sažetak The Romanisation process brought to sudden cultural, political, economic and urban planning changes in the Roman province of Dalmatia. The Romans implemented administration and governmental structures by the standards practiced in Rome itself, yet somewhat modified. The administration and structures of the city of Rome were copied in towns in the province, in the same way the provincial concepts were copied to the metropolis. A very important issue is how the Roman religion developed outside the city of Rome, how particular Roman deities, Roman religious practices, Roman religious rituals and rules from the city of Rome spread through the Empire.
The seat of the province administration was in Salona (Salonae, Salona), the largest city of the province and the oldest Roman colony. It became a colony very early, at the times of very Julius Caesar or Octavian August, the first Roman emperor - Colonia Martia Iulia Salona.
Each municipality in Italy and in the provinces, copying those of Rome, had different categories of sacred places (res divini iuris). At establishing a town, the basic task was distribution of the city space by purposes and mutual relationships between particular closer areas relative to the overall urban area. By their functions, the urban areas may be divided into several groups, those intended for cult, municipal administration, economy and public life, movements, leisure and housing.
The Ara Salonitana is the only inscription bearing the colony's full name, coloniae Martiae Iuliae Salonae. Today, the inscription is deposited in the Museo civico archeologico in Padova (Italy).
Caius Domitius Valens, as one of the colony's two supreme magistrates (duovir iure dicundo), dedicated the Jupiter's 9 October 137 (7 days before the Ides of October), when the consular offices were held by Lucius Aelius Caesar (consul for the second time) and Publius Coelius Balbinus. The prayer was said before the pontiff, one Caius Iulius Severus. He was present in order to guarantee a correct consecration of the altar. The altar is dedicated to Jupiter the Greatest and Elevated, by the laws and rules that were published and displayed on the dedication day at the bottom part of the altar, so that if anyone does an offering, and the innards are not presented, the offering will still be considered to have been performed correctly. It is further stated that other laws will be similar to those displayed at the altar of Diana at the Aventine Hill. At the end of the prayer, Jupiter is asked to be merciful to the duumvir Domitius, his colleagues, the decurions, the inhabitants of the colony (coloni et incolae coloniae Martiae Iuliae Salonae), their wives and their libertines.
Particularly interesting is the text on implementation of the laws such as those displayed at the shrine of Diana at the Aventine Hill in Rome - ceterae legex huic arae aedem sunto quae arae Dianae sunt in Aventino monte dictae.
The shrine of Diana at the Aventine Hill is dated to as early as the 6th ct. B. C. The tradition has it that it was founded by the king Servius Tulius (ruled from around 579 to 535 B. C.), to be the religious centre of the Latin League, commune Latinorum, »common to the Latins«.
The rules and laws set for this shrine, prepared by Servius Tulius himself, stipulated, for instance, offerings, celebrations and rituals, opened the issues of the runaway prisoners' right to asylum (Lex arae Dianae in Aventino). This illustrates the way in which Diana supervised rituals performed by those who had to act jointly but did not belong to the same community and, as such, did not share the civil, therefore neither the sacerdotal, constitution that made the usual dedication possible. The law has not been preserved. The only source information are found in Dionysius of Halicarnassus, the Greek historian of the late 1st ct. B. C. and early 1st ct. A. D. It is also found mentioned in inscriptions recording founding of temples to other deities in the lands ruled by the Romans, including the Jupiter's Altar in Salona. The Colony of Salona, some 170 years after its foundation, decided to apply and adapt this model to emphasize its privileged position in the relations to Rome.
According to these texts, the law stipulated creation of consacrated areas. Uti infimum solum huius arae est would denote not only the immediate area where the altar was erected, but the entire surrounding area, including even the trees and the air around the sacred area, that is reasonable having in mind the augural rituals and the fact that Diana is the protectress of animals, the ruler of the nature.
Imposing or dictating a ritual by which its allies or colons should perform consecrations was not a Roman habit, especially not in its earlier history. This was a power of the local clergy and the city administration, following local customs, laws, believes and rituals. Lex arae Dianae was a consecration ritual used in cases where the city administration was still not established or active. In the case of Salona, consecration is performed in the name of immigrants as well as local population and their families. This is an act of consecration in the name of the people who could have had conflicting, contrary interests, or conflicting devotions. This is also the basic nature of the ritual of the cult of Diana of Nemi, applied through her shrine on the Aventine in Rome.
At the Aventine Hill worshiped was the cult of Diana Nemorensis, an Old Italic aspect of the cult of goddess Diana, Diana who was Greecised and identified with the Greek Artemis in the 4th ct. B. C. The initial shrine of Diana Nemorensis, or Diana of the forest, was at the northern shore of Lake Nemi (nemus Aricinum), below the crags of the preset day village of Nemi. The very town Aricia (the present day Ariccia, sout-east of Rome) is situated some five kilometres farther, below Mount Albano (Albanus Mons), separated by the steep slope from the lake situated in a small depression, appearing like a crater in the mount side.
The forest around Lake Nemi, especially its part at the northern side, was the place of worshiping since prehistoric times, as confirmed by archaeological excavations too. Particularly rich is the discovered sculpture programme that belonged to the shrine.
A cult image of the goddesses was in the grove as early as in the year 43 B. C., when it was shown on coins as well. The Italic type of the tripliphorm cult image of the goddess Diana of Nemi has been reconstructed from the images on Late Republican coins linked with the gens of Aricia. At the reverse are presented the three goddesses standing in front of a sketched presentation of forest. The central goddess is holding her right hand on the shoulder of the first one, and her left hand on the hip of the third one. That the three goddesses in fact make a single entity is evident from the horizontal bar at the level of their necks and connecting them. The Italic Diana is envisaged as a triple goddess, Diva triformis, the goddess of hunting, of the Moon and of the underworld (Hekate). Around the institution of the cult of Diana of Nemi entwined are numerous stories and myths known to us from Greek sources.
The Diana's shrine priest was referred to rex Nemorensis, the king of Nemi, the king of the grove. The legend has it that rex Nemorensis earned his priesthood in fighting with his predecessor. This was always to be a runaway slave who challenged his predecessor to a duel fought with clubs, the outcome of which being unavoidably fatal to one of the pretenders.
Why the priest was known as the king is a special question. In Rome existed rex sacrorum or sacrificulus (the king of offer or offering, the king of sacred rituals) who performed all the religious duties previously performed by a king. In the imperial period, the office of a rex sacrorum was recorded also in other Italian towns (Lanuvium, Tusculum, Velitrae).
The cult of Diana was quite widely present in the Roman province of Dalmatia. It was accepted by the local population as well, from where comes its link with the local god Silvan. However, there is only one dedication to Diana of Nemi, that from Humac near Ljubuški (Bigeste). The dedication was made by the prefect of the Cohors I Bracaraugustanorum of Hispania, one Tiberius Claudius Claudianus. It is to be particularly noted that in the province of Hispania there are no traces of worshiping the cult of Diana of Nemi, wherefore an Italic origin of the dedicator should not be excluded.