‘Roman Roads of Central Dalmatia’ Exhibition Organized by Zagreb Archaeological Museum

Daniela Rogulj

The exhibition opens this Friday, April 6th at the Zagreb Archaeological Museum. 

Less than a year after the opening of the first series of archaeological exhibitions entitled “Roads to the Empire” at the Dugopolje National Library, the Tourist Board of Split-Dalmatia County and the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb have organized the exhibition “Roads of the Emperors II. – Roman Roads of Central Dalmatia “, which will open on Friday, April 6, 2018, at 19:00, reports Dalmacija Danas on April 3, 2018. 

In the exhibition area of the Dugopolje library, organized by the Dugopolje Tourist Board and the National Library of Dugopolje, with the support of the Dugopolje Municipality, the public saw the exhibition and catalog titled “The Roads of the Emporers I – From Archaeological Research to Archaeological Tourism – Prehistoric Tumulus and Roman Roads 2010 – 2014” last year. This exhibition displayed the archaeological research of the remains of Roman roads in Podi-Zapad (Dugopolje) and Kurtovići-Klapavica in the Klis and Dugopolje municipalities.

Both exhibitions are a product of the project “Roman Roads of Central Dalmatia”, which was launched in 2012 by Joško Stella, Director of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, and Lino Ursić, an external collaborator of the tourist community on archaeological tourism projects. The project has the intent to revitalize this significant segment of ancient material heritage in Split-Dalmatia County and its tourism valorization, especially in the area of Inland Dalmatia. 

The Roman roads presented in the framework of this project are part of the ancient traffic system in the Roman province of Dalmatia known as the Dolabella Road System. The Emperors completed the construction of the first five roads. 

With the arrival of the Romans to the areas between the coast and the interior of the Krka and Neretva rivers, and especially after the break-up of the Great Illyrian Uprising (BellumBatonianum, 6 to 9 BC), which by its power “wavered and scared the heart of Caesar Augustus”, the Empire, in order to pacify the space and connect Salona and the interior, had to create suitable roads.

The challenge was accepted, and at the very beginning of the reign of Emperor Tiberius in 14 AD, his enthusiastic governor Publius Cornelius Dolabella was able to build the roads that led from Salona to the interior of the Illyrian province (which has since been called Dalmatia). According to the Solin inscriptions, over seven years, he built 550 Roman miles (or 814.55 km of roads through the Illyrian province). This was the basis for the road network that was in use in this area until the 7th century. The collapse of the Roman empire in the 5th century increasingly reduced the role and importance of the road network, hence the need for its maintenance and upgrading. Existing communications with minor modifications continued to be the only land transport infrastructure in most of Europe and the Mediterranean for centuries after the fall of the Empire. Encouraged by the industrial revolution, only Europe established a modern road system based on the Roman foundations.

Translated from Dalmacija Danas


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