It is interesting to note a few of the pains and penalties inflicted. The statute was revised in 1291 and 1303 by the first Venetian Count, M. Morosini, who collected the chapters into three volumes. The town physician was not allowed to leave the town without permission from the count under a fine of twenty-five lire di piccoli. No one could go about at night without a light, and a fine of forty soldi was incurred by gambling anywhere except in the piazza. Spinning was forbidden to the saleswomen on the loggia—fine, five soldi. A servant who stole from his lord had his nose cut off, or lost one or both eyes if the value was ten to twenty-five lire. If the value was greater the thief was hung up till he died. In Trau there was neither bridge-playing nor company-promoting.
Trau is tolerably rich in the remains of ancient houses, of which the drawing shows an example. The most celebrated is the Casa Cippico facing the cathedral, of late Venetian-Gothic verging on Renaissance. The court inside was built in 1457. In the entrance hall are preserved two wooden prow ensigns taken from the Venetian galleys during war between Trau and Spalato; one is in the form of a cock standing on a clenched hand, the other a fragment of a small figure of a man. Also an inscription flanked by two shields with rampant lions, which are good. Opposite the Loggia, on the other side of the street, is a highly decorative lintel, which appears to have belonged to a palace of the Cippico, with two contemplative lions and half-length angels in roundels with scrolls. The caps have the same kind of foliage as is seen at Curzoia and Sebenico. The Austrian-Lloyd office is on the ground floor of a tower of the Venetian period, now a nunnery. It has a trefoiled ogee-window and a great balcony above it, with trellises behind which the nuns can take the air without being seen, recalling those of Sicilian nunneries. All the other openings are square-headed.
The ruined church of S. Giovanni, formerly belonging to a Benedictine nunnery, has exactly the same patterns about it as the cathedral, and must be of the same date. Along the nave walls, and ramping up the gables, is a double-arched corbel cornice with pilasters at the angles, and a bell turret consisting of a prolongation of the nave wall, gabled and with three pointed arched openings, two below, and one above. In the tympanum of the door is a pierced roundel with the Agnus Dei.
The Palazzo Comunale has been rebuilt, preserving the portions which were of special interest, and also pieces of architectural carving from other parts of the city. Its interest is therefore rather that of a museum now. I was fortunate enough, on one of my visits, to have the guidance of the podesta, Commendatore Madirazza, to whom I had been introduced by Professor Bulic at Spalato. I have to thank him for showing me several things I should otherwise have missed.
From Bua (Bavo or Boa), an island used by the Romans as a place of exile, a comprehensive view of Trau may be obtained, with towers and campanile breaking the line of the houses, with the strait in the foreground, and with boats drawn up on the shore. In a private garden is a palm-tree said to be the most northerly specimen in Dalmatia, though there are several at Lussin Piccolo, which is much farther north.
Our first visit to Trau was made by carriage from Spalato, and occupied the whole of a most delightful day, for we did not get back till long after dark. The excellent road is due to the French, but follows the line of that made by the Romans or before their time, passing quite near the Castelli, some of which we were able to visit. It was spring: the vines were making long shoots, and the fields and banks were gemmed with flowers; on one side, the sapphire sea; on the other, the mountain slopes, with scented breezes to cool the ardour of the sun. For the most part the peasants, men and women, were busy in the fields, or washing by the stream, and appeared well-to-do, though we passed one man half naked, searching his garments upon a heap of stones. But he, we gathered from a gendarme near, was considered weak in the head. Long before the town is approached, the towers of Trau are silhouetted against the horizon, emphasising the point of land which they terminate, grey walls and dark trees running together into a mass, but contrasting with each other on a nearer view. We started on our return a little before sunset, while the sun's level rays cast long simplifying shadows across the landscape, and enjoyed the glow upon flowery hillside and purple crag, from which the houses flashed out like jewels, and the water beneath changed its colour with the changing sky. The twilight faded while we were passing Salona, and in the long climb to the crest of the rising ground above Spalato we had only the light of the carriage lamps, finally alighting outside the northern wall of the palace (for carriages cannot enter within the town) weary, but filled with delightful impressions and recollections. Another time we went by boat, starting at 6 o'clock, and enjoying the early morning freshness of effect. In this trip also we had the opportunity of visiting some of the Castelli, which are interesting generally rather for their picturesqueness than for archaeological reasons. In the chapter dealing with Spalato will be found some details as to remains of the early Croatian period found along the coast and in the environs. At Castel Vecchio we saw on the wall of the churchyard a cross with a much damaged antique cap as base, and another antique base on a larger scale beneath it. It was 6.40 a.m., and along the shore, a little way off, a procession was passing with a tinkling bell, two banners, and processional crosses, preceding a figure in a cope of white and gold beneath a canopy. It was Low Sunday (called Piccola Pasqua in Dalmatia), and the priest was bearing the Host either to some sick person or to a neighbouring church. Such sights are frequent in the country places, where religious observances are more evident than in the towns.
Whichever way Trau is visited from Spalato (given pleasant weather) the day may be looked forward to as giving a constant succession of delightful experiences, of which the central point will be the mediaeval-looking city with its magnificent cathedral and glorious west door, though the quaintness of the costume of the country people, very individual and unlike other Morlacchi costumes, will count for something.
The Castelli were built as defences against Turkish raids. Starting from Trau the first is Castel Papali; Castelnuovo, Castel Vecchio, Castel Vitturi, Castel Cambio, and Castel Abbadessa follow, and Castel Sucurac is the nearest to Spalato and Clissa. These are the Sette Castelli, but there are several others—Stafileo, Andreis, Cega, Quarco, and Dragazzo.
Castel Papali, or Nehaj, is three-quarters of an hour from Trau, and was built in 1548 by Lodovico and Giovanni Celio. It was then called Celio or Lodi. In 1680 it passed to the family of Francesco Papali, the Celi having failed of heirs male. It now belongs to Count Fanfogna-Garagnin of Trau.
Castel Stafileo was built in 1500 by Stefano Stafileo, of a family established in Trau coming from Candia. He separated it from the mainland, and it was entered by a drawbridge; the ditch is now filled up. The concession is dated 1484.
Castel Dragazzo, or Dracic, founded by Matteo Dragazzo in 1543, on a concession from the Venetian senate, was never finished, in consequence of his death. The material of the walls was used to construct the port of Castelnuovo. The Dragazzi appear in 1389. They were originally butchers, but for about three centuries gave the country men of intellect and valour.
Castel Quarco "in Bile," of which very little is left, was built in 1588 by Giovanni Quarco with a walled courtyard. The site was granted to Matteo Dragazzo, who ceded it to Quarco.
The church at Castelnuovo inherited with the title of S. Pietro the rights of S. Pietro di Klobucac, a little inland on the slope of the hill (where remains of a monastery or palace of the ninth to the eleventh century have been found). It was demolished in 1420. According to tradition some of the objects there preserved came from the older church. The pala of the high-altar, a panel painting on gesso ground, the Virgin and Child seated, on the right S. Peter with the keys, on the left S. John the Baptist with scroll "Ecce Agnus Dei," half-length, is one thing. The inscriptions are in Roman capitals. Also two Romanesque-looking bronze candlesticks. The Castello has a square tower, which has lost the balcony which surrounded it at the height of the first floor. In the piazza is the Loggia, rebuilt in 1795, as an inscription states. It was burnt in 1523 together with most of the houses. The provveditore granted materials for rebuilding, but it was again burnt in 1575. Until recently this Castello belonged to the Cippico. It was the birthplace of the historian Katalinic, born here in 1779.
Castel Vecchio was founded in 1481 by Coriolanus Cippico, with booty gained in the war against Mahomet II. in 1471, as is testified by the inscription over the gate, "Triremis ex manubiis Asiaticis hanc villam aedificavit," with date 1481. Tradition says that a house on the left of the eastern gate with a walled courtyard was also his work. He died here in 1493, leaving it to his sons Alvise, bishop of Famagosta, and Zuanne, archbishop of Zara. Over a door in the courtyard is the Cippico crest with the motto "Omnia exalto." Opposite is a chapel dedicated to S. Joseph and the Virgin, built by Coriolanus's son Laelius, according to the inscription, with the incredibly late date of 1695. In 1480 Nicolo Pisani, count of Trau, received a "ducale" from Giovanni Mocenigo, in which Cippico was promised munitions of war and men-at-arms to preserve the Castello, and, by the assurance of security, to attract cultivators to the fertile country "for greater public usefulness." This seems to support Karaman's statement that the Castello was founded in 1476. An inscription of 1492 above the arch between the court and main street records its ruin by fire and restoration by the senate. In 1500 the Venetian Government completed Cippico's work at a cost of 500 ducats. It was called Castel Vecchio because it was the first of the Castelli founded.
Castel Vitturi, built in 1487 by Girolamo and Nicolo Vitturi of Trau, by concession from Count Carlo di Pesaro, is now without drawbridge or ditch. The founder of the family, Lampridio, son of Giacomo Vitturi, a Venetian noble, came to Trau in 1213, and married Bona Cega. The Castello is square, with two gates, one to the sea, and the other to the north, apparently entirely rebuilt in 1563, except the north side, which still has two turrets flanking the gate pierced for musketry, and traces of the holes through which the chains of the drawbridge passed, also of a balcony which was probably for defence.
The next one is Castel Rosani (Rusinac), built in 1482 by Michele Rosani, under a concession from Count Francesco Ferro. The village was surrounded with walls; but, fearing that they would not be able to beat off the Turks, the inhabitants dismantled them, and sought refuge in Castel Vitturi, which was larger and better fortified. It is still in good preservation, however, with its little church, which contains the tomb of the unfortunate lovers whose story has been told by Marco di Casotti.
Castel Cambio (Kambelovac) was built in 1566 by Francesco Cambi of Spalato. It is still partly preserved. At one time it formed one parish with the adjacent Castel Abbadessa (Gomilica). It belonged to the lordship of Sucurac, which embraced nine villages. The nuns in the sixteenth century erected the Castello on an island, and here the abbesses were wont to come for the summer; hence the name. The nuns built the little church at the entrance of the village on the right of the road; it was dedicated to SS. Cosmo and Damian, and consecrated by Assalone, archbishop of Spalato, 1159-1160. It is suggested that the Slav name Gomilica ("masses of masonry") comes from the fact that the newer houses were built with the ruins of the village of Kozice, destroyed by the Turks.
Castel Sucurac is the nearest of the Castelli to Spalato, the first to which the Turks would come, descending from Clissa. The position and the Roman remains found here are held to prove that it was a suburb of Salona. It took its name from S. Giorgio, a little chapel upon the hill, which in Croat is called Sut Juraj, corrupted into Sucuraj. The church was built by the great zupan Miroslav; and the ruined walls which surround the present chapel, showing a foot above the soil, are supposed to be the remains of that church, since there are amongst them a few pieces of carved stone. The most ancient Croat document existing is a deed of gift of this place and church to the Archbishop of Spalato, Pietro III., by the King Trpimir, in 837, in exchange for L11 given by the archbishop for the construction of the church and monastery of S. Peter, between the ruins of Salona and the fortress of Klis. In 1076 King Zvonimir confirmed the gift. One of the finest buildings in the village is the palace of the archbishop, dated 1488 by an inscription over the door. The Castello and walls round the village were built by Andrea Gualdo, archbishop in 1392, by concession of Valchio, ban of Croatia. In 1489 Archbishop Bartolommeo Averoldo of Brescia, built a second wall. In 1503 it was further strengthened; but two years later the Turks burnt it. In 1646, after being repulsed from Spalato, they attacked Sucurac again, but were unsuccessful. The first summer palace of the archbishops was in Vranjic; it was destroyed by the Venetian fleet in 1204.
Castel Cega was built by Andrea di Celio Cega in 1487, and rebuilt by Paolo Andreis. The Celio were an ancient family of Trau, said to date from Roman times, and had many branches, one of which (extinct in 1511) was called Celio-Morte, because a member of it had the habit of threatening opponents with death, and used a skull for his crest.
The following privileges were enjoyed by the nobles of the Castelli, or founders of the towns. The right to special contributions from the country people, and the jus patronato of the churches. The sacristan, without their assent, could not give the third signal of the Mass, nor of Vespers on festival days, a usage which is still observed at Castel Cambio and Castel Vitturi. In the church they had their own benches, and the space they occupied could not be taken by any one else, not even for the erection of new altars. When the provveditore was present at solemn functions a bench was placed for him and the "padroni," as well as for the authorities of the Castelli and the colonel of the district. They were the first to receive incense after the priest at Mass; and there were numerous other similar customs. If a child of the "padrone" died, all the bells rang; if an adult, they were clappered; and all the confraternities had to be present at the funeral, whether in the village, at Spalato, or at Trau. The "padrone" was the medium of communication between the higher authorities and the village headman, who had to close the gates at night, and take him the key. He received the tolls paid for living in the village; and there was a kind of corvee of forced work. Moreover, he had the right to buy the houses of those who sold them, at a third less than their real value, to sell again to fresh inhabitants. The oil-mills belonged to him, and a fifth of the produce was divided between him and the customs. If the olives were taken elsewhere a tenth of the oil was paid to him all the same. Wine-presses were also his property; the oven, too, and a proportion of the wine made and bread baked went to him. Nothing could be bought or sold without his license. He received all the tongues of oxen killed, and the heads of pigs. He covered the cistern in time of drought, and water could only be drawn when he took the cover off. The streets were ordered to be kept clean, and slops taken to the sea, not thrown out of the window! At Christmas and Easter the country people still bring presents to their lords.
The proverb "Wine of the Castelli, honey of Solta, and milk of Bua" is still justified; and agents for wine merchants, especially French, bargain for the wines before the grapes are ripe. Enormous hogsheads are shipped on the boats, and the transhipping them is often a dangerous business, if we may judge from our own experiences. At Castel Vecchio we were nearly spectators of a serious accident when a cord slipped, and we observed that the men crossed themselves each time one was safely lowered into the hold.
[Footnote 3: The last king to visit it was Sigismund in 1387.]
Spalato appears for the first time in the "Tavola Peutingeriana" under the name Aspalathos, as a station on the shore road which led from the promontory Ad Dianam (at the end of Monte Marjan) to Epetium (Stobrec) below Salona, but appears at that time to have been a place of no importance. It, however, is thus proved to have existed before the end of the third century, which makes the accepted derivation of the name from "ad Palatium" plainly erroneous. Its great celebrity is due to the palace which Diocletian began to build for himself there shortly before 300 A.D. and to which he retired after his abdication in 305. Within its walls fugitives from Salona, who had returned from the islands to which they had fled at the time of the destruction of the city in 639, found shelter, and so the existing city began its mediaeval course. The palace faced the sea to the south, and along this side were the imperial apartments with the open loggia of fifty arches raised above the water upon massive substructures. The plan is not quite square, but imitates a Roman camp, with great square towers at the angles, a gate in the centre of each of three sides flanked with octagonal towers, and with smaller square towers between gates and angles. Towards the sea was a water gate on a lower level. The material is marble from Trau and Brazza limestone. The sea facade is about 550 ft. long, the north about 530 ft., the east and west some 620 ft. The external walls are double throughout, of worked stone filled in with concrete, the thickness being 6 ft. 6 in., and the height from 60 to 80 ft. On the three land facades are double-arched windows 20 ft. from the ground, 6 ft. 6 in. broad, and a little over 11 ft. high. Only three of the angle towers remain, the fourth having fallen in 1555. The principal gateway is towards Salona, and is known as the Porta Aurea. Above the gate itself is an open arch flanked by niches on each side; above them are brackets which sustained the columns of a higher row of seven niches, the whole forming a grandiose architectural composition, of which the illustration shows the effect. The passage-way is 13 ft. high by 11 ft. 3 in. wide. The other gates are known as the Porta Ferrea and Porta Argentea. The latter has practically disappeared; the former is over 14 ft. high, and the same width as the Porta Aurea, but without its architectural magnificence. These gates gave entrance to streets which divided the palace into quarters, that from the Porta Aurea leading to the great peristyle, around and beyond which were the public buildings and the imperial apartments, while the women's quarter was probably to the west of this street, and the officials' rooms to the east, the street at right angles separating them from the more important parts of the palace.
The colonnade of the peristyle, which is 114 ft. by 50 ft., consists of six free-standing columns of red granite on each side and four at the end. Those at the sides support arches beneath an architrave continued across the end and rising into an arched form over the central space beneath the pediment. This portion is raised several steps above the general level. To the left is the cathedral, an octagonal building which was the mausoleum of Diocletian, with the campanile standing between it and the peristyle, through which a flight of steps leads; these will again form the entrance when the restorations are completed. Towards the sea steps give entrance to the "atrio rotondo," a circular ante-room, once decorated with precious statues, paintings, and other costly ornaments, while the lantern of the roof was covered with purple hangings. The decoration has vanished, leaving mere construction except for the fine door of entry. To the right, at the end of a narrow alley, is the baptistery, formerly probably the emperor's private temple or chapel, as one may say, which now contains a very interesting font made up of fragments of ninth-century carving, and the beautiful doors of the cathedral, stored there temporarily. The base blocks of the cathedral are nearly 20 ft. high, and there are twenty-two steps in the flight of approach. The portico which surrounds it has columns of marble and granite 21 ft. high. Only nineteen remain of the original twenty-four. The caps are Corinthian, and they sustain the usual architrave, frieze, and cornice. The octagon within has alternate semicircular and rectangular niches, except on the side which opens into the late Renaissance choir; at each angle stands a column of Egyptian granite with Corinthian cap, and a highly decorated but rather heavy order runs round the interior. Above this is a second smaller row of columns of porphyry with a shallower order, reaching to the springing of the dome, which is built of Dalmatian tiles, arranged in imbrications. Round the upper frieze are putti hunting, bearing garlands, &c. The height to the dome is 68 ft., and the internal diameter 42 ft. A couple of niches in the upper order are so arranged that a word spoken low in one is well heard in that opposite, an arrangement supposed to have been connected with oracular responses. Before the restoration there were galleries on the columns, both below and above.
The high-altar stands under the niche which has been opened to give access to the choir. At each side of it are the altars of S. Ranier and S. Anastasius, the latter made by George of Sebenico in 1448 to match the former, made in 1427 by the Milanese Gasparo Bonino, and both Gothic. To the left is the very beautiful pulpit shown in the illustration. It bears considerable resemblance to that at Trau, but is superior to it both in design and execution. The lower capitals are worked as if in wood, which makes the tradition all the more probable that Guvina (who made the beautiful doors in 1214) had to do with the making of it. The very original stalls in the choir, with their curious combination of Eastern and Western motifs, have also been ascribed to him; brought hither, as is thought, from S. Stefano de Pinis when it was destroyed.
The treasury contains a good many interesting things, among which the first place should perhaps be given to a fine Gospel book of the eighth century, upon which the suffragan bishops used to swear fealty to the metropolitan, reciting the commencement of the Gospel of S. John in Greek, which portion is therefore translated from the Latin for that purpose. Eight formulas used by suffragan bishops from 1059 to 1200 are inserted in it. Two other MSS. are interesting on account of their bindings, a Gospel book and a missal, both of the thirteenth century, reset in the seventeenth. On one is Christ seated on the rainbow in the attitude of blessing, within a mandorla, with cruciferous nimbus and the monograms "IC XC," the corners being filled with the symbols and names of the Evangelists; on the back is the Madonna enthroned with the Child, and two angels in circles; above is the inscription "Michael, Mater Dni, Gabriel." The other binding, which is rather later in style, shows our Lord in Glory, with the monograms "IHS XPC" in an ornamented mandorla, and the Evangelists' symbols; and, on the back, the Crucifixion, with the feet separate. There are eight chalices, all of the fourteenth or fifteenth century, damaged by an inexpert goldsmith who had them to repair, with nielli or enamel grounds to the medallions, and good foliage in relief; two arms of S. Doimus, richly set with gems and precious stones among filigree; a good late fourteenth-century head of S. Giovanni Elemosinario; a morse of the same period, with gems and nielli; a fifteenth-century pax of gilded brass; and several interesting and very early crosses, probably of the eighth or ninth century, some even earlier. One of these, bearing a figure of Christ wearing the colobium, and resembling Coptic work, bears the inscription "HCA HCA," while another of rock-crystal has Coptic inscriptions. The treasure is kept in a cupboard just inside the door of the cathedral; but in the upper sacristy some larger objects are preserved. Here are a fine silver monstrance of 1532, a chapel supported by two angels, and a chalice of silver filigree; also some fine embroidered vestments of the 16th and 17th centuries upon crimson cut velvet.
The campanile is Romanesque in style, and dates from the early part of the thirteenth century; it has five stories divided by strings, and was nearly 170 ft. high before the restoration, which has been going on ever since 1882. It was largely built of ancient material, and at the sides were two sphinxes, one of which (headless) has been removed into the museum, the head being built into a house in the Ulica Ghetto; it bears an inscription showing that it is of the epoch of Amenhotep III.; the other, of granite of Syene, is still among the scaffolding which surrounds the campanile. Lions crouch at each side of the stairs on the level of the top step; and on the side towards the church are interesting reliefs by Mag. Otto, probably a Benedictine. They represent SS. Doimus and Anastasius and S. Peter, and probably formed part of an altar; above is the Nativity, in two panels, of a later date. A third relief shows the Annunciation, and round the arch of the facade are roughly carved struggling figures and animals, and also the Sacrifice of Abraham. The building is generally believed to have been commenced by Queen Mary of Naples (1270-1323), but an inscription found in the cornice of the first story shows that it had reached that height in 1257. The major part is due to the Spalatine Tvrdoj, who signed a contract in 1416 to construct it, and probably took it up to the third story. The upper part is much later, and the octagonal pyramid was not completed till the eighteenth century.
The baptistery is 32 ft. long and 29 ft. broad, with pilasters at the angles. It was probably prostyle, with a pediment in front which has gone; under the cornice is a rich frieze with symbols denoting a dedication to Jupiter. The door is richly ornamented, and is nearly 20 ft. high by a little more than 8ft. broad. The building has a wagon vault of three courses, carved with cofferings and rosettes above a magnificent cornice. Resting against the wall are the fine doors of the cathedral, carved with twenty-eight subjects in panels divided by scroll-work; amongst the scrolls, animals, birds, and figures appear, and traces of colour and gilding may be discovered, the design showing by style the influence of Byzantine models. Here are also several early sarcophagi—that of Archbishop Giovanni ([Symbol: cross]680), that of Archbishop Lorenzo ([Symbol: cross]1097), and that of the two daughters of Bela IV. of Hungary, which used to be over the door of the cathedral.
The panels of the cruciform font were put together in 1527-1533 by Archbishop Andrea Cornelio, and probably came from the cathedral. The archaeological society, "Bihac," took it to pieces in March, 1895. It is made of fourteen slabs, twelve external and two as walls between the shorter arms and the internal space, all of Greek marble with blue veins. Six of the external slabs have early mediaeval carvings, one has Roman ornament, a Roman inscription is on the back of another, the rest are smooth back and front, and several have been sawn. They are nearly the same height and thickness, but vary in length, and were part of some chancel enclosure, altar or sarcophagus. The carvings are probably of the eleventh century, and are extremely curious. It is possible that they may be work of pupils of Mag. Otto, though the character of the patterns points rather to the Comacines, who were certainly working a little higher up the coast. In a passage in the Porta Aurea, above the gate, is a little chapel made in the eighth or ninth century, and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, S. Martin, and S. Gregory the Pope. It is said to have belonged to the tertiaries of S. Dominic till a century or so back, and was then used as a store. Mgr. Bulic restored it in 1899. On the lintel of the door of entry is an inscription mentioning a presbyter Dominicus. There is a "Dominicanus presbyter, capellanus" as witness in a deed of gift of the ban Trpimir in 852, and the screen of a chapel of Trpimir at Rizinice, near Salona, is like that of this little chapel in style. This is the oldest place of worship in Dalmatia, except the cathedral. It occupies the space between the two niches above the archway, and the pierced window-slabs of the ninth century still remain in the little windows. The screen has two octagonal colonnettes with a cable necking, and rough caps with volutes, but no foliations support an arch beneath a steep gable; a Latin cross with griffins crouching on each side fills the space between. Round the arch and along the frieze runs an inscription. All along are the simple crockets called by the Italians "caulicoli." The slabs at the bottom are surrounded by a running pattern bordered by zigzags. A number of remains of this period have been found in Dalmatia, of which a few may here be noted. The most ancient inscription of the national dynasty is on the fragments of the screen already referred to at Rizinice, between Clissa and Salona, where the ban Trpimir founded a convent of Benedictines in 860, and where the foundations of church and castle were excavated in 1895-1899.
The church of S. Maria de Salona, or de Otok, lies on an island in the Jader joined by a bridge to the Clissa road. It was founded by Queen Helena, whose sarcophagus was discovered among the foundations in 1898, and bears the date 976 and the name of Helena, wife of King Mihael and mother of King Stefanus. The church was a small basilica with nave and aisles, and an apse in the thickness of the eastern wall, with three piers and corresponding pilasters in the side walls. It was about 36 ft. long, with a width of ii ft. 6 in. the nave, and 7 ft. 4 in. the aisles. There was one west door, a narthex of two bays, and an atrium. Amongst fragments of ninth and tenth-century carving a pattern closely resembling Syrian ornament was found. At Knin, when the railway was being made, stones with ninth-century patterns were also found. This city was a royal residence and seat of the courts of justice, and in the middle of the eleventh century the bishop of Knin was made primate of Croatia and a councillor of the king. All these carvings were probably executed by Comacines, documentary evidence of whose presence in the country, brought from Cividale by the Croatian ban, has been found by Mgr. Bulic. Two sculptors only are known by inscriptions earlier than the Benedictines, who took a leading part in the development of mediaeval Dalmatian sculpture in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. These are Mag. Andrea, builder of the little church of S. Lucia, near Besca, in Veglia, which is earlier than the twelfth century, and Mag. Otto of the eleventh century. After them the names of Guvina and Raduanus occur, at Spalato and Trau. There are, however, indications that Mag. Otto may have himself been a Benedictine; the Order appears to have been established in Dalmatia before the tenth century, and to them S. Crisogono, Zara, was due. If so, according to the rule of his Order, he would have inherited the manual of art which every Benedictine leaving the mother monastery to found a new one carried with him, together with the liturgical books.
After the death of Diocletian in 313 Salona inherited the palace. The imperial apartments were reserved for illustrious guests, and the rest appears to have been used as a cloth-factory. It is thought that it was here that the dethroned Emperor Nepos was slain in Odoacer's time. Towards the end of the fifth century Marcellinus, first king of Dalmatia, lived here for a short time after his proclamation, when the province had been taken from the Emperor Leo. The destruction of Salona in 639 drove the inhabitants to take refuge in the islands where the Avars could not follow them. When the Croats drove these away Severus recalled some of them, and they inhabited the palace. The bishopric was founded in 649 by John of Ravenna, legate of Pope Martin I. He it was who converted the mausoleum into a cathedral, opening the door on the south side which has the curious ornament round it, and dedicating it to the Assumption, and also bringing the relics of S. Anastasitis and S. Doimus from Salona, and placing them beneath the side altars. The beginning of the Venetian dominion was brought about by the appeal for help against Cresimir which the Spalatines made to Venice by advice of Basil and Constantine, emperors of Byzantium. Pietro Orseolo received the homage of the citizens in the cathedral, defeated Cresimir, and made peace at Trau on the understanding that Zara and Spalato were to be Venetian thenceforth; but the Croat kings assumed the title of King of Dalmatia and obtained the assent of the Pope to their holding the dignity till the Hungarian dynasty succeeded them. In 1401 all Dalmatia, except the Bocche and Ragusa, became Neapolitan; and Ladislas was crowned by a papal emissary king of Hungary and Dalmatia at Zara. His viceroy built a palace at Spalato, of which remains exist between the Marina and the Piazza dell' Erbe; to which the Venetians added the octagonal tower for the defence of the port, so conspicuous from the sea. Turkish raids were frequent. In 1570 the garrison of Clissa nearly took the city; but twenty-six years later the Spalatines retaliated by surprising and massacring the garrison of Clissa in a night attack, led by the archdeacon, who, with three canons, was left on the field. Their leader dead, they were not able to retain possession of the fortress. Under Venice, Spalato was the principal place for trade with Persia and the Indies, and many noble Venetian families established themselves there.
The costume of the country people shows the influence of Turkish and Oriental relations, and suggests the possibility of many figures in Old Italian pictures being painted from Dalmatian models. The men are generally blonde, and wear great moustaches. They are fond of bright colours, and wear light-blue tight cloth hose, red-and-green stockings, the usual shoes, a broad red-leather girdle, which used to have weapons in it, a red waistcoat, a short brown jacket embroidered with red and ornamented at the corners with red and white stripes, and on the head a turban of a red-brown colour. These costumes may be seen in numbers in the morning in the market, on the way to the station. The women have a shawl or folded piece of stuff on their heads, and frequently wear printed calicoes of a startling pattern in the town, but outside have a modification of the usual Morlacca costume.
Along the quays many Italian boats are moored, bringing cargoes of fruit, onions, and other kindred produce, which they appear to sell retail as well as wholesale; and many picturesque subjects may be noted, to which the masts and rigging, awnings and sails, weather-beaten paint, baskets of gleaming fruit and other articles, cordage, gangway planks, &c., in careless arrangement, lend attractiveness and beauty, whether in the full glare of the midday sun, with its strong contrasts of light and shade, or in the early morning or late evening, when its level rays tend to greater simplicity of effect and greater glow of colour. On Sunday evening the long parapet of the Marina is lined with townsfolk taking the air, while those who desire to show off their toilettes march up and down the Piazza dei Signori (which appears to answer to the "Park") for an hour or so, after which it resumes its usual quiet condition. On the morning of May 1, the municipio was decorated with flags, and saluted by a band which played in front of it for a short time and then marched off, still playing.
At the end of the Marina is the Franciscan convent dedicated to S. Felice, bishop of Epetium, whose relics are said to be preserved in the church. It was built by Archbishop Giovanni IV. of Spalato in 1059, but has been modernised, and little of an early date can be seen. In the wall towards the cloister are several walled-up windows, with semicircular heads cut out of a lintel, and in the cloister itself are a few caps which appear to be eleventh-century, but the bulk of it is fourteenth-century in style, and that is the date of the three inscriptions inserted in the walls. It is a pleasant little cloister, with a school attached to it, and the church is crowded with the poor at service time.
The situation of the city is very fine, and the harbour accommodation there and in the immediate neighbourhood led the Austrian admiralty at one time to think of it as the principal military port. Preference was given to Pola on account of its connection with the main railway lines, for which the archaeologist and artist may be thankful. The two ranges of Kozjak and Mosor (Mons Aureus) dip down to the pass which is guarded by the rock of Clissa. On the slopes of one lie the ruins of Salona; on the other, those of Epetium; in front is the sea, always peaceful, being sheltered by the islands of Solta and Brazza; and beyond Marjan the land-locked Salonitan port.
The museum accommodation is very insufficient, and, though several of the larger monuments are in the open air (like the second-century monument of Pomponia Vera near the Porta Argentea), the four museums are crowded with the objects which excavations have brought to light. There are an enormous number of inscriptions, a few sculptures comparatively, a great many architectural fragments, and an infinity of small objects. Among the sculptures two or three, sarcophagi may be specially noted. One with the subject of Hippolytus and Phaedra, found in the narthex of the little basilica at Salona in 1859, in a fifth-century stratum, is a late copy of one in the Louvre. Near it was a colossal sarcophagus of the first half of the fourth century, with the Good Shepherd upon it, which is also in the museum. At one end is a door watched by figures at each side; at the other a genius leaning on a reversed torch stands on a pedestal beneath the arch of a little gabled building with twisted columns. The columns in front are also twisted; those at the back channelled with three flutes. The one with the Hunting of the Caledonian Boar, which stood outside the baptistery, where its inscription was copied by Cyriacus of Ancona in 1436, is of the period of the Antonines, and has been used twice. One of the ends is really fine. A fourth, with the Passage of the Red Sea on the front, and three panels on the back, was brought from the Franciscan cloister. One end has two standing figures with a Latin cross in high relief between them, and a garland with waving ribands surrounding the labarum above; the other an imbrication with the spaces in relief. The back has an Orante or Virgin in the centre, and male figures at the ends, with S-shaped striations between.
There is also a very beautiful torso of Venus accompanied by Cupid, and in one of the more distant museums two fine fragments of a relief of undoubtedly Greek work. There are many striking fragments of architectural carving, among which one of the most interesting is a balustrade bearing close resemblance to the carving upon an ambo at S. Agata, Ravenna, but constructed of many pieces, whereas that is an adaptation of a portion of a fluted column. There are also a good many pieces of ninth and tenth-century work, and a large collection of Christian lamps. The most ancient object in the collection is a Corinthian vase with cover of the sixth century B.C., found at Salona, and ornamented with animals and rosettes in black and violet on a yellow ground. A new museum is to be built near the agricultural college on the way to the monastery of the Paludi, which lies on the shore on the Salona side of Marjan, with cypresses in its grassy forecourt, and a garden beyond the cloister.
This convent is Franciscan, but was founded by Benedictines in the eleventh century, the Franciscans taking their place in the fifteenth century. Near the entrance is the inscribed lid of a sarcophagus upside down, used as a water-trough. The convent was fortified by the Spalatines in 1540, of which fortification the machicolated tower to the left of the church remains. The church is early Renaissance in appearance, and is dedicated to S. Maria delle Grazie. It was a favourite place of burial for distinguished Spalatine families, and the floor was covered with fine gravestones in relief, mainly of the sixteenth century, worked in a hard white Dalmatian limestone. These have now been taken up (in 1900) and arranged along the wall of the cloister. Many of them are beautiful in design, with borders of early Renaissance ornament. Perhaps the most charming is that of Caterina Cvitic, but the historic interest of that of Tommaso de Nigris of Scardona and Trau who died in 1527 in Spalato, is greater. There is a half-length portrait of him in the library by Lorenzo Lotto. Behind the high-altar in the monks' choir is an important picture by Girolamo da Santa Croce (1549). It consists of ten panels. In the upper row the centre is occupied by a Madonna and Child surrounded by child angels, flanked by SS. Helena and Scolastica, beyond whom are SS. Catherine and Mary Magdalene. In the centre of the lower row is S. Francis in ecstasy, with SS. Antonio and Bernardino, flanked by S. Doimo (with the city of Spalato) and S. Louis of Toulouse, beyond whom are SS. John the Baptist and Jerome. In the gable of a much restored frame is a dove. On the right side is a curious lintelled door with dull arabesques emphasised by lines of drilling and pictures on either side. One is a Carpaccio in tempera on canvas, a "Madonna auxilium Christianorum," with the Child in a vesica on her breast, and S. Sebastian and a bishop (S. Doimus), one on each side. She holds her cloak out to shelter a crowd of kneeling men on one side, and women on the other, from the darts which God the Father is showering from above. In the sky are cherub heads; two child angels hold a crown above the Virgin's head; in the background are Venetian towers and hills. The frame is architectural, with painted arabesques. Close by is an inlaid black marble slab, with music, the words of a psalm, and flowers in colour. On the other side of the door is a Virgin and Child, with SS. John, Peter, and Scolastica in front, and two little angels on the steps of the throne, a tempera picture on panel, rather grey in colour. A ghastly painted crucifix, with a great deal of blood, stands near the door. On one of the wells in the cloister is the date 1453; they are decorated with roundels bearing various devices. The remarkable thing which brings tourists to the Paludi is, however, the antiphonary of Padre Bonaventura Radmilovic, painted with vegetable colours, and finished after ten years' labour in 1675.
Not far away, among the vineyards, is the ninth-century church of SS. Trinita, of which the earliest known mention is in the eleventh century. It consists of six niches surrounding a circle of the same diameter as the similar buildings already described at Zara. At the springing of the arches a cornice runs right round the building. The niches terminate in semi-domes, and two of them are pierced with doors, one of which is of a later date than the rest of the building. The exterior of each niche has a rough arcading of three arches. The springing of the dome and ornamented rosettes in the semi-domes still remain. The courses are horizontal, and the niches terminate outside in a slightly sloped roof. The door has been made into a window, and the lintel bears a bit of antique egg-and-tongue moulding. Three Latin inscriptions of the ninth century have been found, and various pieces of ornament, which are in the museum, also quantities of bones, testifying to its long use as a cemetery chapel. On the way back to Spalato the Casa Katic may be noted, in the walls of which many antique fragments are encrusted.
There was another early church, that of S. Eufemia, within the military hospital, which was destroyed in 1877. It had a central elliptical dome without windows resting on four pillars; two more on each side made the nave four bays long. The apse and aisle ends were square, and the nave was vaulted with a wagon vault.
The great excursion from Spalato is to Salona, a city large enough to quarter the entire army of the Consul L. Cecilius Metellus in 119 B.C., and then known as Colonia Martia Julia. The walls extend for a long distance upon the roads to Trau and to Clissa after crossing the Jader, and the city also stretched some distance up the mountain slopes, the debris from which have done so much to hide its remains. Several burial-places have been discovered, of greater or less extent, an amphitheatre, basilicas, a baptistery with the buildings appertaining, city gates, and more than one circuit of walls. Salona may be reached by rail or road; in the latter case the aqueduct may be observed, originally constructed by Diocletian for his palace, and restored in 1879 by Dr. Bajamonti for the use of the Spalatines. It is six miles long, and taps the source of the Jader. The road descends by long curves to the valley, and enters the village, where the Clissa road diverges, under the pleasant shade of trees, beyond which is a marshy field, white in spring with the giant snowdrop. Half-way down the hill is a fountain which muleteers and pedestrians find most refreshing, especially if they are pressed for time as we were on one occasion when we had an appointment in Spalato, and, missing the train, had to return on foot in the middle of the day. The railway customs are rather curious. On one visit I asked for return tickets, and, as they were not taken on leaving the station at Salona, supposed I had them. In the train the guard told us as we were returning that they were not available, and that we must therefore pay a fine of a florin! I, of course, protested, detailed the circumstances, and pleaded the ignorance of a foreigner; and on arrival at Spalato the matter was referred to a higher official, who was graciously pleased to refund the fine, and accept the fare for a single journey. The traveller in Austria must not calculate on paying his fare on the train, as he would do on the Italian light railways.
Near the station at Salona is a little osteria, in and about which a number of antique fragments are disposed. It was stopping to have some wine here that caused us to miss our train. There were some eight or ten children playing beneath the pergola, and I found by experience how small a sum may suffice to make a human being happy, since the distribution of three halfpence in heller, the small copper coin which is the basis of calculation, delighted them all! As we left the station on arriving we saw a crowd of peasants kneeling at the cross roads, with three banners, a big crucifix, a chandelier with three candles, and other objects rising above their bent heads. The priest in the centre was blessing the fields, sprinkling holy water in all directions, whilst prayers and responses went up from the kneeling people, the smoke from the censers which the acolytes were slowly swinging hanging round the group like a cloud. Afterwards they came down the road in procession. The priest held a little silver crucifix on a base; near him were the acolytes bearing their various, utensils, and a choir of male singers. The men and boys went first, in two rows down the sides of the road, just as we had often seen in Italy. The women and girls followed.
The oldest part of the city is towards the Clissa road, for it spread westwards. The Basilica Urbana is quite close to the wall, and only a little farther south are the Porta Suburbia and the Porta Caesarea. Of the latter the arches no longer exist, but the ruts in the stone show the carriage-way, flanked by two footways. The Basilica Urbana, with its accompanying buildings, has been fully excavated. It was used for religious purposes till its restoration in the ninth century, for Salona was not entirely abandoned after its destruction in 639. The soil removed showed evident traces of its destruction by burning. It consisted of nave and aisles with a western narthex, and buildings both to the north and to the south. The nave appears to have had twelve columns on either side, with projecting piers from the narthex and from the eastern wall. There was one apse with an ambulatory surrounding it, as in the Lycaonian buildings recently described by Miss Lowthian Bell. The foundations of the chancel were found, and of an enclosure which reached to the second column on the right. In the north aisle wall were two doors, one towards the baptistery, the other to the catechumens' room, and all along the wall there was a seat. The prothesis is an irregular space to the north of the apse, entered by a door at the end of the aisle, with a short column in the middle, probably the central column of a table. For ritual reasons this arrangement (the diakonikon communicating directly with the presbytery, while the prothesis does not) is usual in the Greek Church. The nave appears to have been flagged, but the aisles were covered with a mosaic pavement, now more or less damaged. Fragments of glass were found, and an inscription of the fourth or fifth century discovered in the cemetery, "Pasc[asi]o vitriario," shows that glassmaking was a Salonitan industry. Beneath the presbytery remains of an earlier building were discovered with a pagan mosaic of the second or third century, representing the poetess Sappho and the nine muses. The ambulatory is also floored with mosaic, in which is this inscription:
NOVA POST VETERA COEPIT SYNFERIUS ESYCHIUS CJUS NEPOS CUM CLERO ET POPULO FECIT HAEC MUNERA DOMUS XPE GRATA TENE.
The two names here recorded are those of bishops of the end of the fourth and beginning of the fifth centuries, judging from the palaeography of other inscriptions. Esychius was bishop, 406-426. The baptistery is accessible by steps both from the basilica and the narthex. Attached to it is the consignatorium, as at Parenzo. This retains its mosaic pavement, with a design of stags drinking at a vase, and the text "Sicut cervus," &c. It is kept covered with pebbles to preserve it. The baptistery itself is octagonal externally and circular internally, with niches and several doors. It appears to have had six columns (fragments of three of cipollino remain) and grey stone bases. The font is somewhat cruciform in shape, about 3 ft. deep, and with a little step at one end. The slabs at the bottom and the conduit for the water still remain. North of this is the house of the Director of the Excavations, with a pergola composed of fragments from the campanile, &c., among which is a cap the exact counterpart of one in the cathedral at Veglia.
North-west of the house is the Christian cemetery, a bewildering mass of sarcophagi and foundations of several epochs, from among which many objects have been taken to the museum. All the sarcophagi had been broken into and plundered; with a single exception, that of a little Greek girl who still had the earrings in her ears. Apparently apses were built round the martyrs' tombs, pointing in all directions, and many burials took place close to them. When the Goths destroyed the city they plundered the tombs; and when the Christians returned they levelled the ground, and built another basilica properly orientated; and here, also, burials took place. The Avars descended upon this and destroyed it, and the soil washed down from the hills covered much of it to the depth of 15 ft. Fragments found of the eighth and ninth centuries, however, show that the place was not abandoned; the theatre was only demolished at the end of the tenth century to build S. Michele, and the amphitheatre lasted till the close of the thirteenth. Upon the extinction of the Croatian dynasty in 1102, Salona rapidly declined, and when the Turks appeared in the sixteenth century it became a neglected ruin.
At Marusinac, some distance to the north of the station and the amphitheatre, is another basilica, dedicated to S. Anastasius, and a Christian cemetery. The children are on the look-out for chance visitors, and ready to point out the road; and sell copper coins and tesserae of mosaic at a price which lowers remarkably as the basilica is approached. It is to be feared that they come from the great mosaic, which is necessarily unguarded. The basilica consists of nave and aisles, separated apparently by six columns on each side, with a single apse, which seems to have had external buttresses, but there is no trace of the usual internal bench. The total length approaches 150 ft., the nave is 39 ft. wide, the left aisle about 14 ft., and the right 17 ft. 6 in. The prothesis and diakonikon are square, and a long schola cantorum forms a continuation to the presbytery westward, though it is less in width. The westward angles of the aisles also have rectangular rooms walled off. The whole surface was covered with mosaic, of which a great deal is still preserved, consisting of geometrical pattern work for the most part, without inscriptions, though there is one panel showing a vase with scrolls issuing from it. A large drawing to scale has been made of it, which is in the communal palace. It took a full year's labour to complete. The basilica was built between 425 and 443, but there was a villa there previously, of which considerable remains were discovered in 1890, at the same time that the first sarcophagi came to light.
In the modern chapel of S. Caius, pope and martyr, the side of an antique sarcophagus serves as altar-frontal. It is sculptured with the deeds of Hercules. The subjects are the Killing of the Dragon of the Hesperides (which the peasantry mistake for the Garden of Eden), Alcestis being brought back from Hades, and the Binding of Cerberus. The water which filtered into the sarcophagus believed to be the tomb of S. Caius was credited with the same miraculous powers as the "Manna" of S. Nicola at Bari.
A path skirts the wall of Salona to the Porta Andetria upon the Clissa road, which climbs the hillside in well-graded curves. To the north the ridge of Kozjak rises to the height of 2,000 ft.; across the gap up which the Roman Via Gabiniana ran, the course of which the modern road follows, beyond Clissa, the still higher crests of Mosor frown. The isolated rock on which the fortress stands appears to have been an outwork of Salona in Roman times, and some assume that it was Andetrium, which others place farther off; the Byzantines called it Clausura. It is the key between Sinj and Spalato, its possession effectually closing the pass to an enemy. The Avars took it in 640 by stratagem, disguising themselves as Romans. It was Turkish from 1537 till 1669, except for a short period, and one of the attempts of the Spalatines to possess themselves of it has been referred to. The fort has three terraces, and retains a characteristic building, a mosque of Turkish times, now used as an ammunition store. Round arches which sustain the dome spring from stalactite-shaped brackets. There is also a Venetian wall-fountain, but considerable additions have been made to the buildings in modern times by the Austrian military authorities, who have held the place since 1813; and permission from the command at Spalato is necessary to enter the fort. To the south-east are the ruins of the Roman camp.
THE SOUTHERN GROUP OF ISLANDS
The chain of islands which forms a natural breakwater to the coast of Dalmatia is broken into two groups by the Punta Planka, the ancient Promontorium Syrtis, south of Sebenico. To the northern group belong Veglia, Cherso, Ossero, Arbe, Pago, and a number of smaller and less important islands, including Ugljan, opposite Zara, and Pasman, a little farther south. Of these the first four have been described at length, and the others are mentioned briefly in the chapter dealing with Zara and its surroundings. The southern group lies south of the harbour of Spalato, and includes Solta, Brazza, Lesina, Curzola, Meleda, the more distant Lissa, Busi, and Lagosta, and a few small islands which belonged to the Republic of Ragusa. The interest of these varies a good deal, some containing much to delight the traveller, while others are scarcely worth a visit. Most of them have historical memories reaching from the dawn of history to times which are within the memory of many now living, and some of them are remarkable for their geological formation or luxuriant Southern vegetation. The planning of a tour among them requires the most careful comparison of the time-tables of the various shipping companies, and the scheme, once decided on, must be strictly adhered to under pain of the risk of being stranded in some little visited place for three or four days without any of the comforts which the average traveller now expects to find everywhere; for the weather cannot be relied on for twenty-four hours together in the seasons when travellers are most numerous, the sea frequently rising under an unfavourable wind so rapidly as to make escape by a fishing-boat a doubtful experiment.
The direct boats, on leaving Spalato, steer between Solta and Brazza, and round the point of Lesina, proceeding by the Canals of Curzola and Meleda towards Gravosa; and we cannot do better than visit the islands in much the same order.
Solta is the ancient Olinthia, celebrated for its honey; Olinthian honey was held to be superior to all other, except that of Hymettus. The bees are of a special kind, which work hard, and go out in wind and slight rain; but the excellence of the honey was probably due to the rosemary blossoms, on which they feed by preference, only visiting other flowers when these have been completely rifled. Of late years the inhabitants have cleared a great part of the land in order to cultivate vines or chrysanthemum, so the yield of honey is much reduced. Remains of mosaic pavements found here and there show the sites of Roman villas.
Brazza is the largest of the Dalmatian islands, the most populous, and the richest in wine and oil. The stone for Diocletian's palace came mainly from this island; and Professor Bulic has found abandoned fragments partially worked in the quarries, as well as inscriptions. The greater part of the stone with which Salona was built also came from Brazza. Its history commences with the destruction of Salona and Epetium in the seventh century, much of the population taking refuge in the island, though it is believed that Greeks inhabited it before the Romans. The legend that S. Helena, the mother of Constantine, was born here (though most historians regard her as English) probably arose from the name of Brettanide, which is said to have been the Greek name for the island, though Brattia is also met with. The most ancient document preserved is a privilege of 1077, given to the nobles by Demetrius Zvonimir; but the island belonged by turns to Byzantium, Venice, the Ostrogoth, Frank, Narentan, and Hungarian, becoming finally Venetian in 1420, except for the disturbed period which closed in 1815; since then it has been Austrian. In a convent of Dominicans at Bol, on the south coast, is a Gothic church, with a restored altar-piece representing the Marriage of S. Catherine, with SS. Mary Magdalene, Paul, and Dominic as witnesses. An entry in the convent register attests the authorship—"to Master Jacomo Tintoretto, painter, a further payment of 200 ducats for the high-altar piece." In the convent is a collection of coins and a Lombard lintel with ninth-century interlacings; and on the Casa Nisiteo a knocker resembling that at Curzola—a female figure with an anchor in the middle, a lion on each side with head turned up, a shell below and a shield with arms above, charged with a sun and dolphin one above the other; a crowned lion and an eagle as supporters.
In a hut at Birce, near Serip, Andrea, son of Salomon the exiled king of Hungary, lived as a shepherd and died.
Lesina was once a Venetian arsenal and station of the fleet. The vegetation is sub-tropical. Rosemary fills the air with its aromatic scent, oleanders, lemons, lofty palms, carob and bay trees are continually met with, and aloes are often used for hedges. It was the island Pharos of the Greeks, a colony from the AEgean Paros, founded in 385 B.C., and a free republic. Coins which have been found are similar to the most ancient ones of Greece and Asia Minor, and the remains of walls appear to be Pelasgic. From 221 B.C. it belonged to the Roman province of Dalmatia, and shared the fate of its neighbour Brazza. The Illyrian pirates mastered it, and under their lordship the celebrated Demetrios was born, who was like a condottiere of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and whose treachery led to the destruction of the Greek city. Many Christian martyrs were buried here, and it became known as "the Holy." The population is Slav, and the Greek name "Pharia" is preserved to some extent in the Slav name "Hvar." It is the longest of the Dalmatian islands, being 70 kilometres long by 10 broad.
The town of Lesina lies on the south-west coast, and still retains a great part of its crenellated walls. It is decayed, and there are many ruined palaces of the Venetian period, some of which are fine. The piazza is the largest in Dalmatia, and beyond it the houses form a semicircle interspersed with gardens. On the east is the cathedral, Lombardesque in style; on the south a large building, the so-called Venetian arsenal. The present ground floor, with broad-arched door opening on the water, was arranged to house the galleys belonging to the Republic, and was used till 1776, when the arsenal was transferred to Curzola. The upper floor, divided into two, was the theatre and communal hall. The Loggia of Sanmichele is to the north, close to the remains of the palace of the count. It has seven rather narrow arches on piers with columns, and a whole order attached in front, a balustrade between the pedestals and above the frieze, with obelisks supported on balls as crowning features. The door is in the centre; above it a panel with the lion of S. Mark replaces the balusters. It is now the hall of a sanatorium which has been erected behind it, thus destroying two of the towers of the palace of the count, and spoiling a very picturesque composition. The "Fondachi" are used for military purposes; other Gothic palaces remain along the side of the piazza. Above the town is Fort Spagnuolo, which probably occupies the site of an older castle besieged by the Hungarians and their allies in 1358; an inscription states that the present building is due to the Spaniards, and was built in 1551 under Charles V., when he was allied to Venice against the Turks. Higher still to the east is Fort S. Nicolo, constructed after the Russian attack in 1807.
The cathedral is not remarkable for its architecture. The facade has a semicircular termination, quadrants above the aisles, and an early Renaissance doorway. The stalls are carved and pierced like those at Arbe and Zara, but have lost the tops and the carved divisions. At each side is an ambo of stone supported on four columns, but with an octagonal body above, arcaded, with shafts at the angles. The arches are all round, but the change in the plan produces a curious pointed appearance in perspective in the lower arcade. On the high-altar is a picture by the younger Palma, a Madonna and the Child in the clouds, with S. Stephen vested as pope below, and SS. Jerome and Carlo Borromeo. There is also a more ancient picture by Antonio Gradinelli, a dead Christ supported by angels. Near the west end is a carved reredos of Venetian-Gothic style; S. Luke in the centre with his ox, and S. John the Baptist are recognisable among the well-carved figures of saints beneath pointed arches with shell-heads to the niches. Two Venetian lions have closed books with the date 1475. The sacristy contains some fine embroidered vestments and several interesting pieces of metal-work—a ciborium of the fifteenth century of silver, with a pyramidal roof, a large silver chalice of Venetian late fifteenth-century work in repousse, a monstrance with round upper part and an angel with a scroll and the inscription "O Salutaris," &c., decorated with translucent enamel.
There is also a very curious sixteenth-century crozier of gilded copper enriched with silver bands and rosettes, which repeats and enlarges on the idea of Bishop Valaresso's crozier at Zara. Inside the crook (which is a complete circle) is the Coronation of the Virgin, above whose head is a dove, and beneath her feet the head of the serpent, which terminates it. She is crowned by a half-figure emerging from a flower, wearing the kind of high mitre which is frequently given to God the Father; behind her is a similar half-figure of Moses bearing a scroll, and with his shoes on the ground before him. On the outside are busts of Christ and six Apostles, right and left in profile, also springing from flowers, all with nimbi; lower down are the twelve prophets, holding labels with their names, and set close one above the other. At the top of the stem are six figures, four Evangelists, S. John the Baptist, and Elijah. Below are twelve little busts of patriarchs named on labels. The knop has twisted colonnettes at the angles, with swags hanging from the lower parts, and half-length figures above a canopy with one arch and two half-arches on each face; on the flat surfaces between are miscellaneous saints; below are three bishops and three other saints, and below them are representations of the six days of creation; the words "Opvs. Presbyteri. Pavli. Silvii. Tivnio. lavs. Deo" can be deciphered. The stem is sheathed with silver plates with stamped patterns.
The ruined church of S. Marco, now undergoing restoration, has a fine campanile, rather dilapidated, and sepulchral slabs of members of patrician families, and the Franciscan convent, S. Maria delle Grazie, has a similar campanile, both of which were probably rebuilt after the Turkish raid of 1571 under Uluz-Ali, the Calabrian renegade. The door in the western facade of this church resembles that of the cathedral at Ossero, and appears to belong to the original building of 1471. Within it are three interesting altar-pieces by Francesco da Santa Croce; one above the high-altar has two rows of panels with figures of the Madonna, SS. Helena, Lucy, Clara, Elizabeth, Stephen, Peter, Francis, Anthony, Bernardino of Siena, and Bonaventura; another shows seven prophets; and a third has the Madonna in the centre, with three little angels below, and S. Jerome on the left, and S. John on the right. The church also contains a S. Francis by Jacopo Palma, and a S. Diego and S. Francesco di Paola by Jacopo Bassano, restored. The principal treasure of the convent, however, is the great Last Supper by Matteo Rosselli, a very impressive picture, which fills the end wall of the refectory above the panelling, and contains his own portrait (1578-1650). The table at which the Apostles are seated is in the form of a horseshoe, with Judas on the near side. The story goes that Rosselli went to Ragusa to deliver some paintings commissioned from him, and on his way back fell ill, and was obliged to land at Lesina, where the Franciscans took care of him and nursed him back to health; in gratitude he painted this picture for them. The great cypress, which spreads almost like an oak, he may have sat under during his convalescence.
The other towns are Cittavecchia, Verbosca, and Gelsa. The first is the new Pharos, founded at the end of the third century B.C., and flourishing during the Roman period. It lies at the bottom of an inlet six miles long, and is a nourishing modern town with little antiquity visible. The campanile of S. Stefano, which appears to be of the fourteenth century, is on ancient foundations, and there are traces of Cyclopean walls here and there. In Verbosca is a fortified church with bastions, S. Lorenzo, which contains the fragments of a Titianesque painting, ascribed to the master on the strength of an entry in the archives of a payment of 1,000 ducats to the Master Titiano Vecelli. It is now in three portions, and shows S. Laurence with angels and the Virgin above, S. Roch, and S. Augustine. In another church, S. Maria, is a Birth of the Virgin, ascribed to Paolo Veronese. At Gelsa the church is also fortified, a memorial of the time when protection against Turkish raids was necessary.
Curzola lies due south of Lesina, separated from the long peninsula of Sabbioncello on the mainland by quite a narrow channel. It is the Corcyra Nigra or Melaina of antiquity, so called from its luxuriant pine forests, little of which now remain. Various origins are attributed to the settlement; one of them is commemorated in the inscription on the Porta Marina: "Hic Antenoridae Corcyrae prima Melanae fundamenta locant." The early Greek geographers include it in the territory of Narenta or Liburnia. From Augustus to Heraclius (642 A.D.) it was Roman or Byzantine, and from that date till 998 Narentine. From the victory of Orseolo II. till 1100 it was Venetian, when the Genoese possessed it for twenty-eight years. In 1128 the Venetians, under Popone Zorzi, took it again, and it remained Venetian on the whole till 1357; from that time till 1418 it was sometimes Hungarian, sometimes Genoese, Bosnian, or Ragusan. Two years later it finally gave itself to Venice, with which it was connected till the Napoleonic wars. The English occupied it from 1813-1815. It has suffered from raids; and the attack by Uluz-Ali after he had sacked Lesina is noticeable for the brave conduct of the women. The commandant of the island and fortress, Antonio Balbi, and a great many of the well-to-do inhabitants fled without fighting. The women and boys put on their uniforms and manned the walls, making the Turks think that the place was well garrisoned and too strong to be taken quickly with the force at their disposal. In one of the naval battles with the Genoese off the island, Marco Polo (who has been claimed as a Curzolan) and Andrea Dandolo were taken prisoners. Dandolo dashed his brains out against the side of the galley; but Marco Polo occupied his four years of captivity in writing his travels, and, according to legend, earned his freedom by the pleasure which his work gave to the Genoese.
The statute is the oldest in Dalmatia (1214), and is noticeable for its provisions against the slave trade, which are among the earliest in history. A curious survival of mediaeval festivity still exists in the "Moresca," a kind of Pyrrhic dance, danced on national festas, which is a reminiscence of the days of Algerian piracy. There are twenty-four dancers, and the leaders, the standard-bearer, and the "bula," who is the spouse of the Moorish king. The performers are divided into two bands, one representing Christians (in Spanish costume), and the other Moors, from which the name comes. The whites, led by the king of Spain, conquer in the combat, and the "bula" is taken and freed amid general rejoicing. At the beginning and end, the Christians declaim a kind of prologue or introduction in accordance with the object of the festa, and a salutation and thanks to those assisting at the end. The costumes are rich, each dancer carries sword and dagger, and the performances (which are enthusiastically received) take place in the open air upon a raised platform. In one or two places there are also survivals of mediaeval mystery-plays.
The town is on an oval peninsula on the north-east coast, united to the mass of the island by a low isthmus. The main street runs along the ridge from the land gate to the cathedral piazza. From the sea the walls appear almost perfect, but there is a wide quay all round the town, and the houses stretch a long way along the shore. There is not a street within the walls through which a vehicle could pass, all the thoroughfares (which are mainly alleys and staircases) rising steeply to the cathedral. The buildings remain much as when the Morosini and Faliero ruled, but comparatively few of the three hundred or so of houses within the walls are inhabited; most of the ruined palaces are of the period of the Ducal Palace, Venice, and some of them have been architecturally remarkable. The walls and towers are in the main of 1420, but were strengthened by the Venetians. The towers which remain are the Merlata Barbarigo of 1485, Merlata Tiepolo of about the same date, Merlata dell' Aspello, erected as a defence against the Turks in 1570, the gate-tower on the Piazzetta of 1649, and the Gothic Torre Lombardo of 1448, near the land gate. The walls can be walked round in a quarter of an hour, and are dominated by the Fort S. Biagio, erected by the English.
The cathedral has a fine west doorway with twisted and knotted colonnettes and a pointed arch with tracery in the tympanum, and a modern figure of a bishop in front of it. Enormous brackets supporting couchant lions rest upon the knotted columns, with curious figures of Adam and Eve on their lower faces. A circular hood mould, with ogee finial, springs from them. In the gable is a traceried rose, above which is an elaborate cornice with beasts' heads projecting at the angles, shell niches, and floral finial, and at the meeting-point of the ramps a bust of an elderly woman in the costume of the fourteenth century, with hair in curls at each side of the face, a jewelled circlet, pleated gown with tightly fitting sleeves slashed and embroidered, and a border round the neck above a laced under-garment. There are two other doors at the ends of the aisles. The tower appears to have been added above the north aisle about 1463; it finishes with a shafted parapet and two open octagons with domical roofs, one above the other. Along the aisle roof a carved cornice runs, and above the trefoiled pointed clerestory windows is an arched corbelled cornice. The nave and aisles terminate in semicircular apses. The nave and choir together are of five bays, with a pointed arcade on monolithic pillars. The aisles are cross-vaulted without ribs, but with pointed arches between the bays. The roof of the nave is of wood. The triforium is of two round arches to each bay, with short coupled columns, now built up, and with wooden figures of the Apostles set in each arch. The tower occupies one bay of the north aisle, and encroaches on the next arch. Four of the caps have the symbols of the Evangelists; those of the columns of the south aisle bear flowing late Gothic foliage resembling two at Sebenico, and the doorway illustrated at Trau; those of the north arcade are of the seventeenth century. A fourth aisle was added to the north in 1532 as a burial chapel. The ciborium has three octagonal stages pierced with quatrefoils, above long architrave blocks, the carving of all the lower part being Renaissance in style. The interior of the church was sadly modernised in 1804, but the curious sacristy door still remains. It has a tympanum with S. Michael weighing souls and trampling on the Devil, and, below the lintel, two brackets with musicians, the hood mould running up in ogee-shape to a finial. The high-altar-piece is a Tintoretto—S. Mark vested as a bishop and blessing, with a lion at his feet between SS. Bartholomew and Jerome, who are nearer the spectator. On a side altar is a picture representing the Trinity, by Giacomo da Ponte (1510-1592). The treasury possesses some good embroideries and two or three chalices, one of which, with a half-figure of Christ in the tomb, is set before the baldacchino on Good Friday, to show symbolically that the Body of Christ is in the Sacrament.
On the way to the church of Ognissanti the Palazzo Arneri is passed; it has a fine knocker in the manner of John of Bologna—Neptune standing and controlling two lions, a design of which there are examples in Padua and elsewhere. The church of All Saints was built in 1303. It has been modernised, but still retains a ciborium with quatrefoil piercings and angle pinnacles, bearing much resemblance to that in the cathedral. A stair leads to a Greek church, in which are several painted wood crucifixes and Byzantine pictures.
Some forty minutes away, on a small island to the east, is the Franciscan convent, La Badia, a building of the fifteenth century for the most part, containing a rather pretty cloister of white marble erected in 1477. The arches are stilted, pointed, and trefoiled, arranged in groups of three, with wider slightly segmental openings with cuspings for entrances. The spandrils are filled with Gothic leafage, the bases and caps to the columns are early Renaissance, and the frieze is quite plain, with a dentilled cornice. The church is not interesting architecturally; the western facade is imitated from the cathedral, but it contains a crucifix brought from Bosnia by refugees after the battle of Kossovo.
The plague of 1558 smote Curzola very heavily, and as years went by it sank lower and lower. The convenience of the neighbouring pine-woods, the two ports between which the town lies, and the existence of Porto Pedocchio caused the Venetians to move their arsenal hither from Lesina in 1776; and during the last century it has recovered to some extent, but the population remains poor.
The island of Lissa lies to the north-east of Curzola, much farther away from the mainland. The climate is very mild; palms, cactus, aloes, and myrtle flourish; and a wine known as Opollo is as much sought after as that made from Lissan grape-juice, praised in antiquity by Agatharchides. It is cut into by two large bays, to the west the Valle di Comisa, and to the north-east the harbour of Lissa. There are some small remains of antiquity. The foundations of the Roman theatre are partly in the sea, and other Roman ruins are round about the harbour, though the ancient Issa occupied the site of Gradina, 300 ft. above the sea. One statue at least which was found here has been taken to Vienna. Lago says that under the building of the Blessed Virgin "delle Graticelle" there are caverns said to contain the graves of Diomede and his companions. Apollonius of Rhodes says that the original colonists came from Issa in Lesbos, and were Pelasgic Liburnians; but Polybius tells of a Greek colonisation in 392 B.C. under Dionysios the Elder, of Syracuse. It is certain, from gems and inscriptions found, that a free state existed here about 340 B.C. It was through Issa seeking protection from Rome that the commencement of the conquest of Illyria sprang. Their being able to help the Romans with twenty ships in their war with Philip of Macedon, and their founding such cities as Tragurium and Epetium show their importance in antiquity. The Goths of Ravenna destroyed the town in 535 A.D., on their way to Salona. It was destroyed a second time by the Narentans, and a third time, in 1483, by the Aragonese. The great battle for which Lissa is celebrated took place on March 13, 1811, when the French were beaten by the English, who destroyed all their ships but three, the commander Dubourdieu being killed, after which Lissa was made a kind of Adriatic Malta. The Austrians strengthened the fortifications of the English, making it an arsenal, and in 1866 Tegethoff beat the Italian fleet here. Some interest attaches to the fortifications, monuments, and graveyards of the island, on account of the British occupation. The monument recording the English victory is in the English cemetery; in the other is a memorial to those who died in the Italo-Austrian fight. At Busi, a few miles away, is a blue grotto, discovered in 1884, claimed to be even more remarkable than the celebrated grotto at Capri.
Lagosta lies due south of Curzola. It belonged to Ragusa, and the islanders are still very proud of the connection. Uros I. (the Great) gave it to Ragusa in the second half of the thirteenth century. In the cathedral is a Titian signed on the back.
Meleda is east of Lagosta, and south of Sabbioncello. It also belonged to Ragusa, given to the Republic by a Servian prince in the twelfth century. It has historical memories of Julius Caesar, Octavian, Septimius Severus, and Caracalla, and was used in antiquity as a place of banishment, like Bua opposite Trau. In the town of Porto Palazzo ruins of the palace built by the Cilician Agesilaus of Anazarba, governor of Cilicia under Nero, and sent here by Septimius Severus, still exist. In the ninth century the island was part of the Narentan dominions. The building, formerly a convent, traditionally said to have been founded before 1000 on the little island of S. Maria del Lago, is like a mediaeval castle with battlemented walls and a tower. The cloister is picturesque with ancient date-palms, and there are several monuments in the church. The island is prettily situated near the shore of the Lago Grande, one of two lagoons reached by a pleasant road from Porto Palazzo.
Nearer to Gravosa is Mezzo, the ancient Delaphodia, which also belonged to Ragusa. The mother church is away from the town, and is known as S. Maria del Biscione, a building of the fifteenth century. It contains an altar-piece with gilt arabesques on a blue ground, and large painted and gilt wooden figures of Apostles and the subject of the Assumption. A predella contains carvings of the Last Supper and the Washing of the Disciples' Feet. It was made in the seventeenth century, though the style is earlier. There are also two pictures—a Madonna and Saints, of the earlier Venetian school, and an enthroned Madonna and Child with four panels of saints at the sides, both restored. In the sacristy are a Venetian lavabo, some embroideries, and a fine fifteenth-century processional cross. An iron grille round a side altar bears the Visconti arms, which are also those of Mezzo. The "biscione" (serpent) in these arms gives its name to the bay, and so to the church. The church of the deserted Franciscan convent is now used as the parish church. It is a building of the latter part of the fifteenth century, and contains some fine carved stalls of the usual type, and a fine altar-piece by Nicolaus Raguseus, 9 ft. high, and with an arched top. God the Father is enthroned above, surrounded by angels with the instruments of the Passion. The five panels in the upper row show the Angel of the Annunciation, S. Blaise, Christ with the Cross, and half-figures of S. Anthony and the Virgin. The centre subject is rather broader. Below it is a later painted wood carving of the Madonna and Child. The panels at the sides have figures of SS. Roch and John the Baptist, Francis and Catherine. The frame is carved and painted blue, and gilded. There is another picture by the same artist in S. Nicholas, which was the Dominican church—an Annunciation, dated March 16, 1513, with a predella of five subjects, a praying Dominican, a Nativity of Christ, a galley in the harbour of Mezzo, the Adoration of the Magi, and the entrance of the Dominicans into the cloister. A good campanile still remains, though the cloister is ruined. There are several chapels in the place, also roofless and in ruins, and two ruined castles.
A Captain Pracat, who left 200,000 ducats to the Republic of Ragusa, and who was honoured with a half-length figure set up in the court of the Rector's Palace in 1638, was a native of Mezzo. A towel given him by the Emperor Charles V. is preserved at Mezzo, together with some church plate of unusual design. The chalice is a mixture of late Gothic and early Renaissance in character, with two little angels, now wingless, holding to its edge, and treading with one foot on the knop, thus forming handles. It is so large as to recall the ancient ministerial chalices. Medallions with the Evangelists' symbols ornament the bowl, with scroll-work between; the knop is covered with similar ornament, and on the foot is a full-length figure of S. Blaise. An ostensory has the same detail of the flying angels, and there is also a large paten with Christ as the Man of Sorrows on a blue enamel ground.
The island of Lacroma is beyond Ragusa, and can be easily visited from that place. It is the last Austrian island of any importance, and will be described in the next chapter.
Ragusa is one of the most charming spots in Dalmatia, and one can quite understand the action of the inhabitants who refused to leave it notwithstanding the ruin wrought by the earthquake of 1667, when it was proposed to move the community to a safer situation. The grey town upon its rocky seat, lighted by the brilliant sun, contrasts with the blue of the sea and the green of the luxuriant vegetation (much of it tropical), amidst which villas nestle picturesquely, and from the cliffs on either side at morning and evening the glow of the sun's level rays, or the characteristic silhouettes of town and rock are equally effective, according to the position of the spectator. But the sea, which is generally calm and blue, can be lashed to fury when scirocco blows, so strongly sometimes that it is difficult to keep one's feet, and, though storms do not usually last many days, the spray has been known to fly right over Fort S. Lorenzo, situated on an isolated rock 100 ft. above the water.
Large steamers cannot enter the little harbour, so Gravosa, on the estuary of the Ombla, a mile or so away, serves as the usual port. It is sheltered by the rocky island of Daxa, and affords another of those fine harbours with which Dalmatia is so well provided. On one of our visits to Ragusa we stayed at the Hotel Petka at Gravosa, and in front of the windows a flotilla of torpedo-boats lay at anchor with steam up. It was interesting to see the men doing everything to word of command. In the morning they got up at a signal; drew up water to a signal, washed themselves and then the boats, prepared meals, &c., &c., all in public view, for there was very little deck and apparently no room below at all. In the hotel we were interested by some tame swallows, which flew about the hall and came into the restaurant; but a detestable mechanical piano, operated by an electrical motor on the penny-in-the-slot plan, which was a source of great pleasure to some Slav visitors, interfered a good deal with our comfort. I am sorry to say that when I had time to look over the account for the rooms (for we were hurried in leaving) I found that we had been charged for a day more than we had been there, the only instance of such a thing which we experienced in our journeys up and down the coast. Some of the houses along the road by the water have delightful gardens, and piles of fruit and vegetables made fascinating colour compositions by the waterside, whilst the vivid colour of some of the strange costumes, such as that of the quaint old Herzegovinian charcoal porter, contrasted well with the more ordinary clothes of officials and traders. Large numbers of Herzegovinian emigrants take boat at Gravosa; and I remember one day, when Ragusa was full of them and their friends and every vehicle crowded between that place and Gravosa, what a strange sight the pier presented, so thickly packed with people that one wondered none were pushed off. The variety of colour and picturesqueness of costume and type among the men and women was interesting, and it was touching to think of the sundering of friends and relations, and the grief at parting which many of them showed in their strongly marked countenances. From Gravosa the source of the Ombla is easily visited, a strange river springing full-grown from beneath a cliff but a few miles from the sea. The Greeks called it Arione, the Latins Umbla, and it is believed to be the same river as the Trebisnizza, which becomes subterranean some two and a half hours' journey away in the Herzegovina. Its depth is unknown, as the actual source at the foot of the Falkenberg cannot be approached, but the weir which dams up the river creates a pool some 65 ft. across, in which mulberry-trees, fig-trees, reeds, and bushes are reflected, and furnishes the power for working two great mills. The river is but three miles long before it merges in the estuary, and its banks are sprinkled with villas and villages, the railway station and the admiralty stores occupying the portion nearest to the harbour.