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The Early Christianity in Dalmatia. Historical Aspect

Cambi Nenad ; Hrvatska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski, pdf (343 KB) str. 119-128 preuzimanja: 485* citiraj
APA 6th Edition
Nenad, C. (2014). Početci kršćanstva u Dalmaciji: Povijesni aspekt. Adrias, (20), 119-128. Preuzeto s
MLA 8th Edition
Nenad, Cambi. "Početci kršćanstva u Dalmaciji: Povijesni aspekt." Adrias, vol. , br. 20, 2014, str. 119-128. Citirano 17.10.2019.
Chicago 17th Edition
Nenad, Cambi. "Početci kršćanstva u Dalmaciji: Povijesni aspekt." Adrias , br. 20 (2014): 119-128.
Nenad, C. (2014). 'Početci kršćanstva u Dalmaciji: Povijesni aspekt', Adrias, (20), str. 119-128. Preuzeto s: (Datum pristupa: 17.10.2019.)
Nenad C. Početci kršćanstva u Dalmaciji: Povijesni aspekt. Adrias [Internet]. 2014 [pristupljeno 17.10.2019.];(20):119-128. Dostupno na:
C. Nenad, "Početci kršćanstva u Dalmaciji: Povijesni aspekt", Adrias, vol., br. 20, str. 119-128, 2014. [Online]. Dostupno na: [Citirano: 17.10.2019.]

The Christianization spread in a similar way on the Eastern Adriatic, as all over the Mediterranean. The first mission was organized by the apostle Paul. The evidence are Paul’s epistles to Romans (15, 19) and Timothy (II, 4, 10). There is no reason to doubt about these information since it is in accordance with the apostle’s method of christianization. Paul, as hellenized jewish intelectual and the Roman citizen, understood that Dalmatia might be fertile ground for Christian development. Paul mentioned in these epistles the large Roman province of Illyricum which more than fifty years ago was divided in Dalmatia and Pannonia (9 AD), while Istria was joined to X regio Italiae (before 12. BC). But the name Illyricum was nevertheless preserved and sometimes used for the larger area even beyond provincial borders where lived romanized Illyrians until late antique period. The problem, however, is the meaning of the Pauline proposition usque, respectively μηχρί in the Greek text of the epistle. The question is: was Illyricum included in the Paul’s activity or not? But, it is clear from the context that this big region (or only a part) was included, otherwise he would not mention the words per circuitim (all around the circle), since the circle has not the ends. From the second epistle to Thimothy comes out that he knew that Dalmatia was a part of Illyricum. Obviously Paul distinguished Dalmatia from Illyricum. He wanted to precise the geographic territory where he sent Titus. This epistle to Timothy was mailed to Titus when he was still in Dalmatia. This is very important, since after the epistle there are not more information about Titus and might be an indication that this Paul’s pupil remained in Dalmatia for a longer period. Paul adressed an epistle to Titus while he was engaged to calm down the bad situation among Christians of the island of Crete. Paul commanded him to come to Nicopolis where he wanted to spend the winter. Nicopolis is in the western Greece close to Jonian sea near the Actium promontory where Augustus defeated Marc Anthony. Since Nicopolis is not far away from Dalmatia, it is very likely that Paul asked Titus to join him as soon as possible because he had the intention to send him to Dalmatia. So, Paul’s epistle to Titus was adressed before he moved on to Dalmatia. Significantly Paul adviced Titus how to nominate priests, how to intermediate in quarrels and disputes among Christians on the island of Crete. One of Paul’s advices was that the moral qualities must be basic reason for the functions in a community. Paul’s advices had universal character and were valuable everywhere, not only on the island of Crete. It is quite sure that Titus acted similarly in Dalmatia too. When Titus was missioning in Dalmatia his centre must have been in Salona, the most important and the biggest town of this large province. This town was a cosmopolitan one which could easier accept new religious ideas. It is worth mentioning that Paul suggested to his pupils to mission not only in one town. The Christianization was a complex and longlasting process which could not render quick results which appeared only in one or two centuries later. Such way of spreading used also some pagan religions, especially oriental ones which founded their basis in cities, especially the capitals of provinces and from there the priests missioned elsewhere. Such a practice in Dalmatia shows an epitaph from Jader which testify that Lucius Barbunteius, the highest priest of Magna Mater in Dalmatia, who died in Jader very probably during his mission there. Barbunteia Thallusa and Callistera, his freedwomen and obviously collaborators took care about his funeral in Jader. Inscription clearly speaks that Barbunteius his service performed in Salona. So, the centre of Magna Mater religion undoubtedly was in the capital of the province of Dalmatia. It is, therefore, quite normal that Paul among other parts of the Roman world spread Christianity also in Dalmatia. Many schollars, however, were of the opinion that the Christianity, inspite of Paul’s activity, was underdeveloped and that slowly died in the massive pagan environment. The most important argument for such an opinion is that there are not historical sources and archaeological finds from Paul’s period and onward in Dalmatia. It is true, however, that there are not archaeological finds and that written sources are really scarce. In favour of the early Christian missions there is an Epiphan’s record that evangelist Lucas was for a while in Dalmatia. Its inner arrangement could be wooden. The author draws the attention that new excavations has shown that the Oratorium A in Salona is not from the late 3rd or early 4th centuries but from much later period. He is of the opinion that the arrangment with the clerus bench and altar is later but the room could be early sanctuary in a Christian house, since this part of the urban texture very probably was in Christian hands.

Ključne riječi
Christianization; Dalmatia; Salona

Hrčak ID: 135048



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