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Diocletian's Palace (Split)

Diocletian's Palace in Split







Diocletian's Palace is one of the most remarkable buildings in Split. Roman Emperor Diocletian constructed it as a way to get away from the Empire's capital of Rome. So for several years Split, Croatia was an actual capital of the empire. Roman emperor Diocletian built this palace at the turn of the fourth century AD. It is one of the best preserved palaces left from the Roman Empire, largely due to the fact that much of structure was incorporated into latter buildings. Yet the Roman architecture is clearly distinguished from the latter traditions and can not be missed since it is situated in the centre of Split or ancient Spalatum, Latinized Greek word for white thorn that grows in the area.


Measuring 215 m by 181 m with a walls 26 m high this palace is a marvel of the architecture of the late Roman Empire. Building material came from Egypt, Greece, Italy and other corners of the Mediterranean sea. No expanses were spared for the official residence of the emperor. In all it took 10 years to build the whole complex. The palace looked like a city within a city with four gates. Northern gate was called Golden Gate, south was called Bronze gate, eastern- Silver gate and western gate was called the Iron gate.


The south part of the palace that house emperor' headquarters, temples and other important administrative houses were separate by KreĊĦimirovaroad also known as Decumanus that ran from west to east from the northern part of the palace. It housed servants and personal guard. Diocletian used this place as a place for residence after his voluntary abdication on May 1 305 AD. It is the first such act by the Roman emperor in the analogues of the empire's history. The legend states that after things started to fall apart at the absence of the strong ruler delegates came from Rome begging Diocletian to return. The respond stunned them. Emperor told them: "if you saw the cabbage that I grow here you wouldn't ask me to come back". It is one of the few examples in World history than a leader quits at the height of his power without pressure or circumstances.


Split Palace Reconstruction

Diocletian and Christianity.

Despite his success as an emperor Diocletian left a last mark on Christian Church for his persecution. It started in 303 then Emperor Diocletian along with Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius issue a series of edicts against Christians. The difficulty of this endeavor was in popularity of the religion. Diocletian's own wife was Christian. So Roman authorities were advised to safe lives if Christians gave up their manuscripts. Bishops obviously did not want to carry out this blasphemous orders, but sacrificing their flock was also not part of the plan. Instead many wrote fake gospels to preserve lives of their fellow Christians and books of the Bible. Today journalists come out with "great" sensations about hidden mysteries and yet explanation is more trivial and simple. Large number of apocryphal writings were written by the Church, not its enemies. And purpose was not veneration, but preservation of true texts and people who read them.









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