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This book belonged to 




eXax^- Kapxby 





VOL. ir. 


Oxford University Press Warehouse 
Amen Corner, E.C. 






T. G. JACKSON. M.A.. F.S.A. 








[All righU reserved "i 

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History, p. i. Marc' Antonio de Dominis, p. 9. 


Spalato I 


Spalato 15 

Diocletian, p. 1 7. His palace, p. 1 9. Its place in the 
history of art, p. 27. The duomo, p. 33. The campa- 
nile, p. 52. The treasury, p. 58. The peristyle, p. 62. 
The baptistery, p. 64. SS. Trinitii, p* 73. Franciscan 
convent, p. 74. I Paludi, p. 77. 

Salona 85 


Tbau loi 

History, p. lOi. Description, p. 107. Tlie duomo, 
p. 108. Chapel of S. GioY. Orsini, p. 128. The bap- 
tistery, p. 133. The loggia, p. 141. Other buildings, 
p. 144. 

vi Contenls. 



The ikflttekcb of Httnoabt on thb Abt of Dalmatia 153 

Almissa akd Poolizza 159 



The interior of Dalmatia, p. 176. Dernis, p. 178. 
Enin, p. 184. Bunium, p. 193. S. Arcangelo, p. 197. 


Thb Island of Lesina 202 

History, p. 202. Cittavecchia, p. 213. Verboska, 
p. 215. Lesina, p. 220. 


The Island of Cubzola 237 

History, p. 237. City of Curzola, p. 247. The Badia, 
P- 273- 

Giuramento di Marsilio Zorzi, p. 281. 


Ragusa 286 

History, p. 286. List and dates of principal buildings, 
p. 316- 

Contents. vii 



Baousa 317 

S. Ste&no, p. 324. The Rector's palace, p. 327. The 
duomo, p. 346. The Sponza, p. 357. The Dominican 
convent, p. 363. The Franciscan convent, p. 367. 
S. Biagio, p. 374. S. Salvatore, p. 380. Le Dan£e, 
p. 381. 

The Island of Hbzzo 386 

For Index to Illustrations, see beginning of Volume I. 


P. 9, line a 7, dele of 

P. 29, line I3»ybr intercolumniations read interoolumniation 

P. 36, line 3,/<w Curzola read Ctmolan 

P. 67, note,/»r A. Catheis r^od Histom a Cutheifl 

P. 102, line 15,/or 1 1 17 rtfawi 11 16 

P. 128, note a,/or 531 read 53 

P. 164, line 2, for decision given read dedsion was g^ven 

P. 220, line I, /or Spagunolo read Spagnnolo 

P. 280, line 9»/or Guipana read Giupana 

P. 304, line lifor their read her 

P. 353, line 6, for graduated read gradated 

History of Spalato. 

Spalato was originally an imperial villa standing 
by itself in the open country three miles from the 
great Roman city of Salona. It was the work of one 
time and probably of a single architect ; it was 
raised from the foundations within a very few years; 
and there are about it indications that it was com- 
pleted in haste, as if there had been barely time to 
get it ready to receive the master of the Roman 
world on his retirement. Here Diocletian lived 
from his abdication a.d. 305 till his death in 313, 
and afterwards the palace seems to have ceased to 
be an imperial residence, and to have been either 
turned to baser uses or altogether deserted till it 
became the refiige of the fugitives from Salona. 

Of the destruction of Salona in 639 we have many 
narratives, but whether it fell into the hands of the 
Avars through treachery, or was taken by a ruse, or 
whether these are mere excuses to cover the coward- 
ice and effeminacy of the degenerate Romans who 
were too feeble to oppose any effectual resistance to 
the hardy barbarians, it seems admitted that the 
city fell with scarce a struggle, while the inhabitants 


2 Spalato: History. [Ch. x. 

fled in abject terror to the neighbouring islands of 
Solta Brazza Lesina Lissa and Curzola. Here they 
lived some time in poverty, building huts of leaves and 
osiers S and sujffering much from scarcity of water, 
while the younger men equipped some light ships 
and scoured the coasts, making reprisals on their 
enemies ' so that none of the Slavs dared to go down 
to the sea.' 

Among the exiles was one man of greater authority 
than the rest, Severus, ' whose house had stood next 
the columns of the palace on the sea,' by whose 
influence the fugitives were induced to return in 
considerable numbers, not indeed to Salona, where 
they would not long have remained unmolested, but 
to the empty house of Diocletian, where they pro- 
posed to stay till better times made it possible to 
return to Salona and rebuild their old home. 

But these better times never came. The bar- 
barians hearing of their return ravaged the land they 
were trying to cultivate outside the walls of the 
palace, and confined them within the gates. There 
was little hope of their being able to reconquer the 
city which they had been xmable to defend, and they 
had enough to do to protect themselves where they 
were, for their numbers were so reduced that the 
narrow limits of their new home, though buUt not 
for a town but merely for a royal residence, were 
wider than they required. A mandate from Con- 
stantinople, however, secured them in the possession 

' Thom. Arch. viii. From this tradition, if it is to be depended 
upon, we may gather that these islands were then deserted. 

Oh. X.] Spalato : History. 3 

of their new settlement, and imposed on their bar- 
barian neighbours a cessation of further annoyance, 
and the two populations soon learned to live together 
in peace. 

Abandoning therefore all thought of return to 
Salona, which indeed was laid in ruins so that 
nothing but the theatre^ remained standing, the 
returned exiles made Spalato their final settlement, 
and began to reestablish civil order. The bishopric, 
which had remained vacant since their flight, was filled 
by the election of the papal legate John of Eavenna, 
and in the year 650 the temple of Jupiter was 
purged of its idols, and dedicated ' to the honoiu* of 
God and the glorious Virgin Mary.' An expedition 
was also sent to Salona to recover the precious 
remains of the popular Saint Domnius ; the envoys 
found the basilica in ruins and overgrown with 
brambles, but guided by the recollection of some who 
remembered the locality in its pristine state they 
opened the ground, and discovered a coflSn with which 
they decamped in great haste, fearing every moment 
to be disturbed by the Slavs. The coffin proved, 
however, to contain the wrong saint, A second 
expedition was more successfiil ; the holy Domnius 
was translated with great pomp to his new resting- 
place, and the new cathedral was thus provided 
with the orthodox conditions of sanctity^. The 

^ Thom. Arch. ix. 

' Fortis, p. 32 2, says a learned man, named Caramaneo, flourished 
at Lissa in the i8th century, who got himself ' into no little trouble 
by proving in a dissertation that the reliques of S. Doimo, vene- 
rated at Spalato with great zeal, were not genuine/ 

6 2 

4 Spalato : History. [Ch. x. 

new see was invested by the Pope with all the 
authority of the ancient archiepiscopal see of Salona, 
and even in the time of Thomas the archdeacon in 
the thirteenth century the title of the archbishops 
was taken from the older city and not from Spalato. 
The archbishop was metropolitan of all Dalmatia, 
and the bishops from the remotest parts of the pro- 
vince assembled in synod at Spalato, until the fate 
of the four bishops of Cattaro Doloigno Antivari and 
Suacia, who on their way to Spalato in 1033 were 
drowned off the island of Lesina^ led to the estab- 
lishment of an archbishop for Upper Dalmatia at 

Spalato was visited by the great Venetian expe- 
dition under Pietro Orseolo II in 998, and took the 
oath of allegiance to Venice. 

In 1059 the synod was held here at which it was 
decreed that *no one should presume to celebrate 
the divine mysteries in the Slavonic language, but 
only in Latin and Greek, and that no one of that 
tongue should be advanced to holy orders*.' 

In 1060 Lorenzo, bishop of Ossero, was promoted 
to the archbishopric of Spalato. He was a Dalma- 

* The rock where they were wrecked and lost their lives is still 
known by the name Biskupada. 

* Vid. supra, vol. L chap. i. p. 33. Thomas Archidiaconus explains 
that the Slav language was prohibited because it contained many 
writings of a schismatic character. It is curious to find him 
accusing Methodius, who with Cyril evangelised the Slavs, of 
inventing the Slavonic character as a vehicle for heretical tenets. 
Hethodius and Cyril are now venerated both by the Roman and 
the Greek Church, and their tombs are the resort of numerous 

Ch. X.] Spalato : History. 5 

tian, ^ small in stature hut great in wisdom^ and under 
his rule increasing attention was paid to literature 
and the ai-ts, as has been already narrated ^ 

The Spalatini, after some hesitation, admitted the 
Himgarians in 1 105, on condition that their privileges 
should be respected ; but a league between the 
Himgarian archbishop Manasses and the new Hun- 
garian governor to make themselves absolute masters 
of the town provoked a rising of the citizens, headed 
by Adriano of Treviso their rector or count, who with 
the aid of a contingent from Trali destroyed the Hun- 
garian garrison, and drove the archbishop into exile. 
On another occasion they had to resist the attempts 
of Reles, the duke of Croatia, who tried to induce 
the Spalatines to elect him rector, but the Spalatini 
refiised from detestation of the rule of a Slav*, and 
when Reles ravaged their lands they defeated and 
slew him. Here again is an instance of the old 
hostility between the two races, Latin and Slavonic. 
Another may perhaps be found in the fate of arch- 
bishop Rainiero, a very careftil man of business 
who anxiously asserted and maintained the rights 
of his church, and who in 1180, going to Mount 
Massarus (Mossor) to recover some farms which the 
Slavs had occupied, was stoned to death for his pains. 
Other instances of the loyalty of the Spalatini to 
their Latin descent, though surrounded by Slavs and 
governed by Hungarians, may be seen in their elec- 

^ Vid. supra, vol, i. chap. i. p. 77. 

* ' Detestantes prorsus regimen viri Sclavigenae experiri/ Thorn. 
Archid. xxi. 

6 Spalato : History. [Ch. x. 

tion of an Italian from Perugia to the archbishopric 
in 1 200, and in the resolution they formed in 1239 
or 1 240, on the advice of Thomas the archdeacon, to 
follow the example of the Italian cities and invite a 
podest^ from some Italian town. Thomas and Micha 
Madii were sent to Ancona where they were hand- 
somely received by the podestk, a Bergamasc, and 
on his advice they offered the post of podestk of 
Spalato for one year to Gargano degli Arsa,cidi, with 
a salary of 500 Ancona ' librae/ Under his wise 
administration, which was continued for a second 
and third year, feuds were composed, the govern- 
ment ordered on the plan of an Italian city, and the 
Slavs reduced to good behaviour. His successes 
against the Almissan pirates have been related in 
the general history \ 

In 1 24 1 the Tartars appeared before Spalato in 
pursuit of king Bela. All the inhabitants whom 
they found outside the walls were put to death-; 
but as the king was their real object they made 
no regular attack on the town, but followed him to 
Trail, and having failed before that city they event- 
ually retired from the country. 

During the conftision that succeeded the Tartar 
invasion, Spalato like Trail enjoyed a brief period of 
independence, which however the two states spent 
chiefly in wars with one another and in internal 

The podest^ Gargano was succeeded by Giovanni 
of the family of the counts of Veglia, who was podest^ 

* Vid. vol. i. chap. i. p. 64. 

Ch. X.] Spalato : History. 7 

for a year, during which the state was disgraced by 
disputes between the nobles and the clergy about 
ecclesiastical patronage. The see was vacant, and 
under the next podest^, Bernardo of Trieste, Thomas 
the archdeacon was elected by the chapter, but 
rejected by the laity who resented their exclusion 
fix)m the election. Hostilities also broke out between 
Spalato and Trail. The Spalatini were defeated 
and obliged to call Ninoslav the Ban of Bosnia to 
their aid, while the Traiirini complained to the king 
of Hungary who sent envoys to see them righted, and 
in 1 244 Spalato was assaulted by Dionysius, Ban of 
all Slavonia and Dalmatia. The suburbs were taken 
and bimied, and the town was in danger of capture ; 
but terms were made, an indenmity paid, and an 
archbishop of the king's nomination received, who 
was also made count of Spalato and lord of the 
dependent islands^. Hugrinus or Ugolino Cesmen, 
the new potentate, thus doubly invested with secular 
and spiritual power, was young, handsome, ambitious, 
and given entirely to worldly things, so at least says 
Thomas the historian, who perhaps speaks with the 
pique of a disappointed rival. This brilliant figure, 
however, was carried off by a premature death after 
fourteen months, and in order to avoid a fresh con- 
test an embassy of two citizens was dispatched to 
the Pope at Lyons, to obtain from him a direct 
nomination to the vacant see. The journey was 
long, and as the envoys had to pass through the 
territory of the Emperor Frederick, then hostile to 
* A.D. 1247. 

8 Spalato: History. [Ch. X. 

the Pope, its object made it perilous ; but the 
ambassadors arrived in safety, and the Pope nomin- 
ated Roger of Beneventum, who seems to have been 
a prelate of sumptuous and splendid tastes. 

The history of Thomas ends with an incident 
which illustrates the importance of the municipal 
privileges enjoyed by the Dalmatian cities, and the 
sturdy independence with which the free citizens 
maintained their rights. Five citizens of Spalato 
had been captured by order of queen Maria, wife of 
Bela IV, in reprisal for the death of two Himgarians 
of Clissa, who had been slain while ravaging the 
lands of Spalato. Thomas the archdeacon and 
Marino went to the king in Hungary, who at the 
instance of his wife demanded hostages in return for 
the liberation of the prisoners. Thomas and his 
colleague, however, it is very significant to read, 
^ 'pleaded the tenor of the privilege obtained by the 
city from former kings as to the giving of hostages y 
and on no terms would they consent, and so they 
returned home without effecting anything.' In the 
end, however, the Spalatini had to give twelve boys 
as hostages in spite of their privileges, which never- 
theless, though in this instance overridden by force, 
were generally effective bulwarks of their civil and 
municipal liberties. 

The effect of the tyrannical government of the 
counts of Bribir in driving the maritime towns to 
invoke the protection of the Venetians has been 
explained in the general history \ Spalato revolted 

^ Vid. supra, History, vol. i. p. 86. 

Ch. X.] Marc Antonio de Dominis. 9 

to Venice in 1327; in 1357 she revolted again to 
Hungary; from 1390 to 1391 she submitted to 
Tvartko, and in 1402 the standard of Ladislaus 
of Naples was raised here by Hervoye vayrode of 
Bosnia, whom his patron created duke of Spalato. 
That ill-considered enterprise was soon at an end, 
and Hervoye, who intrigued with all parties includ- 
ing the Turks, was disgraced by Sigismund in 141 3, 
and retired to Cattaro where he died in 141 5. 

The Spalatini had expelled the partizans of Her- 
voye, but the exiles stationed themselves in the 
island of Solta, and in league with the Poglizzani 
infested the citizens by land and sea, not without 
the countenance of the Venetians. These annoyances 
and the terror inspired by the bombardment and 
capture of Trail by Loredano decided the Spalatini 
to surrender themselves to Venice. They sent 
ambassadors to treat with Loredano at Traii, and 
on June 24, 1420, they received a Venetian garrison 
within their walls. From that time the history of 
Spalato presents no special features, but follows that 
of the rest of Dalmatia. 

An Englishman, however, cannot leave the history 
of Spalato without some notice of Marc' Antonio de 
Dominis, the most famous of all its archbishops and 
the most imfortunate. Bom in 1 566^ at Arbe of the 
noble family of de Dominis, which had given three 
bishops to the church, and was it is said a branch of 
the house of Frangipani, Marc' Antonio was educated 
by the Jesuits at Loreto in a college founded by 
^ Nouv. Biog. Q^n., Didot. 

lo Marc Antonio de Dominis. [Ch. x. 

Gregory XIII for Ulyrian youths^. Farlati says 
he was turbulent, and adds somewhat disingenuously 
that if he was not expelled, at all events no opposi- 
tion was made to his departure. He was afterwards 
professor of philosophy in the university of Padua, 
and while there wrote his ' de radiis visus et lucis in 
vitris perspectivis et iride tractatus^,' which Sir Isaac 
Newton pronounced the first explanation that had 
been given of the colours of the rainbow. His 
countryman Boscovich pronounced De Dominis very 
imskilled in optics, and it has been said that his 
discovery may be ' considered as an anomaly in 
science, as it is one of a very refined and subtle 
nature made by a man who has given no other indi- 
cation of much scientific sagacity or acuteness'/ His 
discovery was not complete, and was carried further 
by Descartes, but the original merit of it is generally 
accorded to Marc' Antonio. 

In 1 596 his uncle Antonio, bishop of Segna, was 
killed by the Turks when accompanying an expedi- 
tion of the Ban of Croatia for the relief of Clissa. 
Marc' Antonio aspired to the vacant bishopric, which 
was given him by the Emperor Rudolf, and in which 
he was confirmed by the Pope in 1600. Segna was 
at that time the headquarters of the infamous Uscocs, 
the terror of both Turk and Christian, and Minuccio 
Minucci, archbishop of Zara, was directed by the 

^ Illyr. Sacr. vol. iii. p. 481. 

' It was published at Venice, with his consent, by his pupil 
Giovanni Bartolo in 161 1. Vid. Biogr. Univ. 
' Hallam, Hist, of Lit. iii. 204. 

Ch. X.] Marc^ Antonio de Dominis. ii 

Pope to confer with the new bishop and concert with j 

him some method of putting an end to their outrages. \ 

In this unpromising task Marc' Antonio seems to 
have acquitted himself creditably, but he was not 1 

long at Segna, for in 1602 he was promoted to the 
vacant archiepiscopal see of Spalato. In this posi- 
tion he exerted himself to improve the education of 
his clergy, to whom he lectured on logic and the \ 

sciences. But his temper and indiscretion betrayed 
him into an imseemly quarrel with Marco Andreucci, 
bishop of Trau, whose disobedient canons he received, ' 

and whom he rebuked for over-severity. Andreucci 
replied that the archbishop was interfering with his I 

disciplinary powers, whereupon Marc' Antonio dis- | 

charged at him the famous letter beginning * Savle, { 

Saule, quid me persequeris ? durum est tihi contra \ 

stimvlum calcitrare ^' ] 

Discontent with the institutions of the church was j 

already working in his mind. He attempted various | 

reforms, tried to restore to the people their ancient 
privilege of electing their clergy, and made other 
changes in the direction of a return to primitive 
usage. Suspicion of heresy began to attach to his 
preaching, and a canon of the church on one occasion 
rose from his seat and hiurled at him in the midst of 
the congregation a ^m^ntiris in gutture^! This 
could not go on long, and in 161 5 Marc' Antonio 
quitted Spalato for Venice, and resigned his see. 

The English ambassador at Venice at that time 

* The whole letter is given by Farlati. 

* Farlati, vol. iii. 

12 Marc Antonio de Domhiis, [Ch. x. 

was Sir Henry Wotton, with whose chaplain Mr. 
Bedell^ De Dominis established an intimate fiiend- 
ship. To him he showed the manuscript of his ' de 
Republica Ecclesiastica,' in which it is said Bedell 
corrected many misapplications of texts and quota- 
tions from the fathers into which De Dominis had 
been betrayed by his ignorance of Greek. In this 
book De Dominis supported the main doctrines of 
the reformation against papal pretensions. The 
Roman church, he argued, was not a church, but a 
secular state of which the Pope was the sovereign. 
The church had no right to employ coercion, or avail 
herself of the secular arm. The Eucharist was not 
a sacrifice but a commemorative rite. The theory 
of inequality of power among the apostles was a 
mere human invention ; and it was only by courtesy 
that any precedence should be accorded to the 
bishop of Rome. The Holy Spirit is the real vicar of 
Christ on earth, and is given to all Christians, not 
only to the clergy. Celibacy of the clergy was not 
commendable ; the papal claims were a fiction, and 
Huss had been improperly condemned. 

In 1616 De Dominis accompanied his friend Bedell 
to England, and the first volume of his book was 
published in the following year. It was examined by 
the theologians of Paris, who condemned forty-seven 
of its propositions, and it met with similar treatment 
fi'om the doctors of Cologne. But its author was 
received with respect by the English clergy, and 

* Afterwards ProvoBt of Trin. Coll. Dublin^ and Bishop of 

Ch. X.] Mar d Antonio de^ Domints. 13 

James made him Dean of Windsor and Master of 
the Savoy, which preferments he held together with 
the rich benefice of West Ilsley in Berkshire. 

In 1 6 19 Marc' Antonio edited Fra Paolo Sarpi's 
*Storia del Concilio di Trento/ which had been 
secretly sent to England for publication. In 16 18 
Nathaniel Brent ^ had been sent to Venice by Arch- 
bishop Abbot to procure a copy of the work on 
which Sarpi was engaged. As fast as it was com- 
posed copies of the successive sheets were given to 
Brent, and sent by him to the archbishop under cover 
to five or six other persons in order to avoid suspi- 
cion. When all had been transmitted Brent re- 
turned and translated it into English and Latin, 
with the assistance to some extent of De Dominis. 
The Italian version was first published by De 
Dominis in London in 16 19 with a dedication to 
James I, which gave offence to Fra Paolo, who com- 
plained also that De Dominis had made several 
additions of his own, and had prefaced the book with 
sundry sarcasms directed against the papacy. 

According to Grotius the idea of De Dominis 
seems to have been to reconcile the Romish and 
Protestant churches, by the removal of the abuses 
and superstitions existing in the former. When, 
therefore, it was hinted to him that his old school- 
fellow and acquaintance Gregory XV was ready to 
accept him as an adviser, and even to give him a 
cardinal's hat, not only did the suggestion touch the 

* Afterwards Sir Nathaniel Brent, and Warden of Merton 

14 Marc Antonio de Dominis. [Ch. x. 

vanity and ambition which were the weak points of 
his character, but he may have honestly regarded it 
as an opportunity for his mediation and an opening 
for the reforms he desired to eflPect. In 1622 he 
publicly recanted all he had written against the 
papacy, and James, justly irritated, deprived him 
of his benefices and ordered him to quit the 
kingdom. He repaired to Rome, solemnly abjured 
his errors, and was favourably received, but after 
the death of Gregory XV in 1623 fresh suspicion 
was aroused by certain indiscreet utterances of 
which he was guilty. Happening to say that his 
antagonist Bellarmin had not answered his argu- 
ments, he was accused of adhering to the opinions 
expressed in his writings. He hastened to repair 
his error by saying that while denying that his 
writings had been answered he did not mean that 
they were unanswerable, and he offered to answer 
them himself ; but his excuse did not avail to save 
him. Further accusations were brought against him ; 
it was alleged that he still kept up a correspondence 
with Protestants, and finally he was thrown into 
prison in the castle of S. Angelo, where he died in 
1624 or 1625, not without suspicion of poison. 

An inquiry, after his death, decided against his 
orthodoxy, and his body was dug up and burned 
together with his writings in the Campo dei Fieri ^ 

* The story of De Dominis is told variously by different 
historians, and is of a kind which one may expect to find coloured 
by the prejudice of each writer. Vid. Prof. Gardiner's History of 
England, vol. iv. pp. 282-9. 


Diocletian's Palace. The Dnomo. The Campanile. The Peristyle. 
The Baptistery. Franciscan Convent. Thomas Archidiaconns. 
Convent of I Paludi. Domestic Architecture. 

From Sebenico the steamer threads its way along 
the channel between the mainland and the island of 
Zlarin. Beyond Zlarin the chain of islands is inter- 
rupted, and for a short time the ship is in the open 
sea as it romids the ill-famed headland of La Planca, 
promontoriwm Diomedis, and passes the little votive 
chapel built by a grateful mariner who escaped ship- 
wreck on its fatal rocks, and used up his whole cargo 
of Malvasia wine to mix the mortar. 

After passing a new lighthouse on an isolated 
rock, which was formerly occupied by the Benedic- 
tine convent of S. Arcangelo, the course again lies 
within a shoal of islands, and then near the islet 
of Kraglievaz, or the King's seat, where Bela IV 
hid himself from the pursmt of the Tartar hordes, 
turns into the inland sea of Salona. The passage is 
interrupted at Trali, where the island of Bua comes 
so near the mainland that the channel is bridged 
over. Trail, however, is not on the mainland but on 

1 6 Spalato. [Ch. xl 

a little island of its own, joined to the terra firma 
by a causeway and to the island by a swing bridge. 
By some bungling mistake this bridge has not been 
made wide enough to let the larger steamers pass, 
and after touching at Trail, instead of pursuing a 
straight course to Spalato by the sea of Salona 
inside the island of Bua, they have to turn back and 
go round the island on the outside^ which doubles 
the distance. Of Trail, as we made a special expedi- 
tion there afterwards, I need say nothing more at 

Spalato naturally occupies the central point of 
interest in the tour of Dalmatia, and as the steamer 
rounds the long island of Bua the traveller will look 
eagerly for the first view of Diocletian's home. 
While the town is still hidden by the island it can 
be seen that the natural beauties of the situation are 
considerable. The higher mountains once more 
approach the shore, and straight in front rises the 
grand mass of Monte Mossor, bare and craggy, 
while other mountains on mainland and island in 
fainter tints melt away in the distant haze. 
Gradually Spalato comes into sight, not altogether 
lovely as the view opens, for the first buildings that 
appear round the shoulder of Moimt Marglian are 
some ugly barracks and an unsightly modem church. 
These however are soon forgotten, for in a few 
moments there comes into view the long wall of 
Diocletian's crypto-porticus, now blank and feature- 
less but for the half-colunms between the blocked 
up arches, but which it is easy to restore in imagina- 

Ch. XI.] Diocletian. 1 7 

tion to its original condition of an open-cloistered 
walk surmounting a lofty wall, and occupying the 
whole width of the sea-front of the palace. 

Diocletian could hardly have chosen a place for 
his retreat with greater natural advantages, and it 
could never have looked more beautifiil than on the 
evening when we first saw it, when mountain and 
town were bathed by the simset in richest tints of 
rose colour and orange, which were reflected in the 
still water of the haven. 

Had Spalato no other claims to our attention, the 
mere name and character of Diocletian would be 
enough to make it interesting. His life had been 
one of activity in the field, and the acutest states- 
manship in the court, a life which was nothing if 
not ambitious, during which he had raised himself 
from obscurity to the mastership of the world, a 
dignity which he had been careftd to strip of the 
last faint semblance of popular magistracy and to 
invest with the trappings of oriental despotism. 
From all this he retired at the vigorous age of 59, 
laying aside the diadem which he, first of Roman 
emperors, had dared to wear, and returning to lead 
the life of a private citizen in the coimtry and 
neighbourhood where his father and mother had 
lived as slaves ^ 

^ His parents had been slaves in the house of Annlinus, a Eoman 
senator. His father probably obtained the freedom of the family, 
and rose to the rank of scribe. Gibbon, ch. xiii. * Vir obscuris- 
sime natus adeo ut a plerisque scribae filius, a nonnullis Annlini 
senatoris libertinus foisse credatur.' Eutropius, lib. x. 


1 8 Diocletian. [Ch. xi. 

Here he grew the famous cabbages whose cultiva- 
tion he preferred to the cares of empire, and spent 
the remaining nine years of his life in contented 

He lived to see much of his work undone, and 
much of his policy reversed. The year 312, preceding 
that in which he died, is the year of the battle of the 
Milvian bridge, and the nominal or fabulous date of 
the conversion of Constantino to the faith which 
Diocletian had attempted to suppress. He was still 
living when, in March 313, the edict of Milan was 
published by Constantino and Licinius which secured 
religious toleration to all creeds, and reinstated the 
Christians in the possession of their churches and 
public lands. One may believe that from his quiet 
rural home in Dahnatia the ex-emperor perhaps con- 
cerned himself but little about this reversal of his 
old policy, which, so far at least as regarded persecu- 
tion, had been rather forced upon him by his col- 
league Galerius than adopted by him willingly. He 
may even with the shrewd worldly-wisdom of an 
old statesman have admired the well-timed conver- 
sion of his successor. But his old age was em- 
bittered by the misfortunes of his wife Prisca and 
his daughter Valeria, the widow of Galerius. He 
had entreated that his daughter at all events might 
be allowed a refuge with him at Salona, but he 
entreated in vain, and both mother and daughter 
were exiled and finally butchered by the inhxmian 

A shadow rests on the last days of Diocletian 

Ch. XL] Spalato: the Palace. 19 

himself, and it is supposed that he cut short his life 
by a voluntary death, either to escape the pangs of a 
chronic malady which tormented him, or to forestall 
the sentence pronoimced against him by the jealousy 
of Constantino and Licinius ^. 

His palace at Spalato remains a monument of the 
splendour he took with him even into his retirement. 
More than six centiuies after his death it retained 
so much of its original magnificence that the im- 
perial historian, 'bom in the purple' himself and 
used to the semi-oriental state of Constantinople, 
declared that it surpassed even in its ruin all 
powers of description 2. And even in its present 
state, ruined, defaced, and overgrown with the mean 
accretions of fifteen centuries, its vast proportions 
and solid construction excite our astonishment. So 
much of it remains that it is easy to recover in 
imagination what is lost. The principal buildings 
within the walls, and nearly the whole of the exterior 
walls themselves remain standing. The two temples 
are turned into churches, the peristyle forms the 
town square or piazza, the outer walls still fence in 
the older town — ^the original city — and three of the 
four gates still exist and form the ordinary entrances. 
The Porta Aenea or eastern gate has indeed dis- 
appeared, and a mean modem doorway has taken 

^ Eutropins, ch. x. 

' O^roff ov¥ h Paa-iK€vs AioKkrjriapds Koi t6 tov 'AcnroXd^ov Katrrpoy 
t^Kod6ftrja'€y Ka\ f y avrf TraXaria fitifioTO \6yov Koi ypa<l)fjs &frdo7js hriKfivHj 
hv Koi fuxP'' ^^ fnifttpov TTJs frakataf Maiyuovias Xtl^va (ji^poimu, xhw 6 
vokvs xp^v09 aifrh fcan^ydXaMrcy. CoDst. Porph. de Adm. Imp. c. xxix. 

C 2 

20 Spalato : the Palace. [Ch. XI. 

its place ; but the Porta Aurea or north gate still re- 
mains, with its bracketed colonnettes and arcadings 
that seem to have been imitated by Theodoric in his 
palace at Ravenna ; and the Porta Ferrea or west 
gate, capped with a coquettish mediaeval campanile, 
still admits from the Borgo to the precincts of the 
older town. Standing in the old peristyle with the 
blackened and defaced Corinthian colonnade on 
each side, the portico of the domed vestibule in 
front, and the two ancient temples to either hand, it 
is not too much to say that so much of Roman 
handiwork surrounds one that the later buildings 
seem mere excrescences upon it, and in this respect 
no other inhabited relic of the old Roman Empire 
can be compared with Spalato. 

The interior of the palace is naturally changed 
from its original state even more than the exterior. 
Within the circuit of what had been one man's 
house a city has been compressed ; for nine and a 
half acres, though a fair allowance for a palace, is 
not very large for a town. The refugee inhabitants 
as their numbers increased had to make the most 
of their space ; the large halls were divided 
into several houses each, the open squares were 
covered with buildings, and the wide thoroughfares 
or streets which intersected the palace were en- 
croached upon and narrowed into miserable alleys, 
compared with which the streets at Sebenico and 
Zara are spacious and airy. 

The palace of Diocletian was first reconstructed 
on paper by the English architect Robert Adam, 

Ch. XI.] Spalato : the Palace. 2 1 

one of the Adelpkiy who visited Spalato in 1757. 
Recent exploration has discovered a few inaccui-acies 
in his work, but its general correctness is wonderful, 
especially when the diflSculty of the task is con- 
sidered. He had no previous plan to guide him, and 
the direction of many of the old walls could only be 
discovered by penetrating into the interior of cot- 
tages and cellars. To add to his troubles the Vene- 
tian governor suspected him of making plans of the 
fortifications, and though he found a friend in 
General Graeme, commander-in-chief of the Venetian 
forces, who happened to be in Spalato, he finished 
his work in some haste for fear of a second inter- 
ruption \ 

From the actual remains, aided by the measured 
drawings in Adam's book, it is easy to imagine what 
the house of Diocletian was like when in its prime. 
Like all Roman villas it had very little external 
beauty, and certainly no picturesqueness. It was a 
large square building (Fig. 27) surrounded by walls 
of uniform height, and though their simple lines 
were broken by sixteen towers, we must not be 
misled by recollections of Nuremberg into supposing 
that they added much to the picturesqueness of the 
exterior, for except the four towers at the angles 
which rose a few feet above the rest, they were 
no higher than the walls to which they were at- 

* Adam's splendid folio volume on ' The Buins of the Palace of 
Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia/ was published by subscription 
in 1764 with illustrations, many of which were engraved by 


Spahto: the Palace. 

[Ch. XT. 

tached Towards the sea the open cloister of the 
crypto-porticus, which occupied the upper part of the 

yMrm. ' (k ^ dk « *r- 


Kg. 27. 

front, must have had a good effect, and at each end 
of this front the external walls are high enough to 
be impressive. But as the ground rises at once 

Ch. XL] Spalato: the Palace. 23 

from the sea-shore, and the building does not rise 
with it, the general proportions of the palace were 
low and squat, and it must have looked more like a 
waUed town than a single building. 

Nor were there any buildings within the en- 
closure high enough to make much show above the 
walls. The Romans had no campaniles or lofty 
towers like those which group so gracefully in the 
views of mediaeval and modern towns ; no churches 
with high vaulted naves, no lofty cupolas raised on 
drum and pedentive, soaring above the roofs of 
private buildings and breaking the general sky-line. 
Their largest temples were comparatively low, and 
unless, as at Athens or Corinth or the Roman 
Capitol, they had advantages of situation on some 
natural eminence, they cannot have added much to 
the general view of a city from the exterior. From 
the country round it, or from the sea, the palace of 
Diocletian appeared a low square enclosure, over 
the level walls of which, when one was not too near, 
might be seen the upper part of the octagonal drum 
and the low pyramidal roof of a single temple. 

On a nearer approach the building increased in 
interest. Though low relatively to the enormous 
length of each side, which varied from 570 to about 
700 feet, the walls have actually when at the lowest 
a height of over fifty feet, which becomes over 
seventy feet towards the sea, owing to the fall 
of the ground that way ^ There is no want of 

* The sea-front with the crypto-porticus is not raised to this, 
which is the height of the side walls joining it at each end. 

24 Spalato : the Palace. [Ch. xi. 

scale felt when one is once arrived; everything is 
vast and overwhehning, and it is with a feeling of 
awe that one passes under the huge arch stones of 
the gate. The dignity of the building is worthy of 
the builder : such stupendous workmanship is only 
for masters of the world, Egyptian Pharaohs, Roman 
Caesars, lords of thousands and tens of thousands, 
the few or the one among the millions : it has never 
been possible in any state of society since that of 
the Roman empire in the fourth century, and it can 
never be possible again. 

Within the gates the plan is artfully contrived on 
a scale of splendour increasing the farther one ad- 
vances, on the principle, as Adam observes, of a 
' climax in architecture '.' Two streets crossing 
one another divided the palace into quarters, except 
that the main street, running north and south, was 
not continued through to the south but was inter- 
nipted by the imperial apartments. These occupied 
the whole south front of the palace facing the sea, 
and were raised on a vaulted basement to bring 
them to the general level, which was fixed by the 
higher ground outside the north gate. 

Entering by this north gate, the Porta Aurea, 
one would have found oneself in a street about 
thirty-six feet wide running between arcaded 
buildings straight to the vestibule of the imperial 
residence, of which the portico and dome closed 
the vista. 

Advancing along this street southwards about 
* Adam, p. 9. 

Ch. XL] Spalato: the Palace, 25 

300 feet, one would have found oneself in the 
centre of the palax5e, where the two mam streets 
crossed, with a view between arcades right and left 
to the Porta Aenea eastwards, and the Porta Ferrea 

Continuing our advance southwards there is no 
occasion for imagination ; everything as far as the 
entrance to the imperial apartments remains to this 
day. Beyojid the crossing the low simple arcades 
of the north street were exchanged for the lofty 
and graceful columns and arcades of the peristyle, 
forming on either hand an open screen through 
which were seen enclosed courts, right and left, each 
containing a temple, that of JEsculapius to the 
right, that of Jupiter to the left. In front, closing 
the end of the peristyle, was the portico of the 
vestibule, a circular building with a dome, which 
has now unfortunately fallen in. 

Beyond this vestibule was the atrium or hall 
of the palace, a nave of ninety-eight by forty-five 
feet, with a row of columns on each side, and aisles 
fourteen feet wide ; but of this atrium and the rest 
of the imperial apartments nothing remains perfect ; 
the site is thickly covered by courts and houses, 
and Adam's restoration is based partly on actual 
remains of walls and arches which he was able 
to trace, and partly on conjecture aided by the 
precepts of Vitruvius. The principal halls and 
chambers of this part of the palace must have been 
only one story high, and lighted either from the 
top or by a clerestory over lower roofs and cor- 

26 Spalato : the Palace, [Ch. xi. 

ridors ^. Internally, no doubt, they were sumptuous 
with marble and mosaic, and the courts may have 
been gay with flowers and plants, but except fix)m 
the crypto-porticus and three or four of the imperial 
apartments there can have been no view of the 
beauties of the scenery beyond the walls. 

The motive that drew Adam to Spalato was the 
desire to supplement the knowledge of ancient 
architecture which, like other students, he had 
derived from temples and public buildings, by the 
study of a private Roman residence, of which in his 
day Spalato was almost the only example. Though 
we have Pompeii to refer to, which had then 
only just been discovered^, Spalato still remains 
unrivalled as the most perfect example of domestic 
Roman architecture which has come dov^n to us, 
and its value in this respect is not diminished since 
Adam's day. 

But to students of modem architecture the 

^ Gonstantine Porphyrogenitus speaks of two and even three 
storied buildings, Mpo<f>a icol rpi6po(l>a, but these cannot have been 
the principal apartments, and were probably those abutting on 
the outer walls of the east, north, and west sides, and perhaps 
part of the two blocks in the north-east and north-west quarters 
of the enclosure. Adam suggests that over the vaults and arcades 
that abutted on the outer walls to the west, north and east, outside 
the part appropriated for the imperial residence, there were gal- 
leries for the library, the pictures, and the museum. But this is 
purely conjectural. Adam observes that he found no traces of any 
chimneys or fire-places. The rooms were probably heated by 
hypocausts and hot-air flues in the walls, such as those still to 
be seen in the Boman villa at Bignor in Sussex. 

^ Pompeii was only discovered in 1748, and in Adam's time 
little was to be seen there. 

Ch. XL] Spalato: the Palace, 27 

palace of Spalato has another value. Like the 
coeval buildings of Palmyra and Baalbec it marks 
the era of a fresh departure in architecture, which 
began by relaxing the rules of the styles of 
antiquity, and ended in the development of the 
styles of modem Europe. In many of the irregu- 
larities of the classic work at Spalato may be 
detected the germs of those forms of Romanesque 
and Byzantine art which were as yet unborn. 
Many members that had hitherto been considered 
necessary to the order are arbitrarily omitted, or 
altered in character and proportion and treated 
with a freedom that had not till that time been 
dreamed of The doors of the vestibule and of both 
the temples have only an architrave and cornice 
without a frieze ; the crypto-porticus has no frieze 
and no distinct architrave, but only a cornice with 
two facias below it ; the whole entablature au- 
daciously springs into an arch in the vestibule 
and in the sea-front ; the crypto-porticus has 
capitals consisting of a plain bell and abacus, almost 
anticipating the severe moulded capitals of our 
northern twelfth century work ; the modillions are 
spaced without reference to the trusses or other 
features below, and are sometimes placed on salient 
or even internal angles ^ ; and the proportion of the 
architrave is enormously increased at the expense 
of the frieze and cornice, which in the peristyle are 
reduced till the frieze is little more than a roll 
moulding, and the cornice well on the way towards 
* Vid. Adam, PI. xxxii. xlviii. 


Spalato: the Palace. 

[Ch. XL 

dwindling into the Gothic string-course *. Among 
other novelties is the decoration by roiniature 
arcading in the Porta Anrea (Fig. 28), which is, so 
far as I know, the earliest instance of an archi- 

9» «9 


(FVoM Adam,.) 

X £ r r. 

I I 

i^g. 28. 

tectural ornament that was to play so large a part 
in Romanesque and Gothic work, and which is but 
a few steps removed from the arcading in the 
Duomo at Zara built a thousand years later. The 
corbelling on which the colonnettes of this arcading 
* Adam, PI. xxii. 

Ch. XI] Spalato: the Palace. 29 

stand is also a novelty, and it is remarkable that 
the whole of the attached columns of the crypto- 
porticus overhang the wall face, resting on returns 
of the string-course below which form corbels to 
receive them. New profiles are given, to the 
mouldings ; new ornaments, such as the zigzag, 
make their first appearance ; and the arches are 
in many cases, notably in the peristyle, turned 
simply from column to column without any inter- 
posed relic of the entablature. 

The steps by which this final emancipation of the 
arch was arrived at may easily be traced. Over 
the central intercolumniations of the vestibule, and 
over two openings in the crypto-porticus, the whole 
entablature of architrave frieze and cornice had 
been made to spring as an arch from colimm to 
column, and the idea of its being a beam was thus 
definitely given up. From this it was a short step 
to the omission of the frieze and cornice, which, 
after all, jiunped but clumsily round the arch, and 
the retention of the architrave alone ; and another 
short step led to springing an arch from the 
column to both hands, right and left, instead of 
only to one. - 

This final abandonment of the forms of trabeated 
construction, which had so long survived its principles, 
marks a decided break with the traditional style, 
and a decided step in a new direction. Professor 
Freeman pronounces it *the greatest step ever 
taken, the beginning of all the later forms of con- 
sistent arched architecture, Romanesque or Gk)thic 

go Spalato : the Palace. [Ch. xi. 

or any other/ and he claims for the architect of this 
palace at Spalato the honour of having been the 
first to take it^. 

However this may be, and whether or not this 
is the place, it is tolerably certain that this is the 
time when this mode of turning arches directly 
from the capital first appears in architecture. At 
Baalbec there are examples of arched entablatures 
like those noticed above at Spalato, and at Dio- 
cletian's baths in Rome there were arches which 
sprang direct from the capital, according to PaQadio's 
drawings ^ though the arches themselves are no 
longer standing. The change was very nearly being 
made at Athens in Hadrian's time, where the frieze 
and cornice are stopped over a column and the 
architrave alone springs from it as an arch^; and 
D'Agincourt gives examples of arches spiinging 
directly from columns without entablatiu:e taken 
from terra-cotta panels and sarcophagi found in 
the catacombs, which might perhaps imply an 
earlier date for the innovation than the age of 
Diocletian. It is with D'Agincourt one mark of 
the degradation of the art of the fourth century, 
but this and all the other irregularities at Spalato 
are so well executed and artistically managed that 
it seems mere pedantry to condemn them as 

* Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice, p. 1 5 1 . E. A. Freeman. 

' So says Adam in his note to PL xx., but in the collection of 
Palladio's drawings published by Lord Burlington, to which Adam 
refers, I have not succeeded in finding any arches of this kind. 

' Vid. Stuart's Athens, vol. iii. ch. iv. pi. ii., 'aqueduct of 

Ch. XL] Spalato: the Palace. 31 

barbarisms of men who would have done better if 
they could If, as seems likely, the architect of Spa- 
lato deliberately forsook the old paths because he 
foxmd a clue that led him to a new one, he should 
surely be praised for having enriched his art, rather 
than blamed for degrading it — 

' Nee minimum meruere decus vestigia Graeca 
Ausi deserere.' 

There are nevertheless some signs of barbarism 
in the work at Spalato. In one or two instances 
I cannot help thinking the spoils of an older 
building have been used second hand, in the way 
so common a century or two later when technical 
skill had sunk lower. One column in the peristyle 
of the temple of Jupiter is too large for the capital 
that rests on it, and the columns of the upper order 
of the interior, stumpy in proportion, only seven 
diameters high and set without any bases on the 
cornice of the lower order, look suspiciously like 
cliunsy adaptations of ready-made materials. On no 
other hypothesis can I account for the difference 
in style between the capitals of this tipper order 
and those of the rest of the work ; it is not only 
that they are composite or quasi-composite while 
the rest are Corinthian, but that, while every other 
piece of foliage is raflBed in the Greek manner, 
these are raffled in the Roman manner, and executed 
in an entirely different way and evidently by a 
different school of carvers, and to all appearance 
they once belonged to a different building. 

32 Spalato: the Duomo. [Ch. XL 

The Greek feeling that has inspired the carving 
throughout the building is one of the first points 
that will strike an architect, and it did not escape 
the observation of Adam ^ That the architect was 
a Greek is likely enough, nothing was commoner 
under the Roman Empire, even at much greater 
distances from Greece ^ Professor Hauser, the 
government architect now in charge of the Duomo, 
says the mason's marks he has foimd have the form 
of Greek letters ^ which is an interesting con- 
firmation of the inference to be drawn from the 
character of the carving. The bricks of the dome, 
on the contraiy, have the Roman stamp on them, 
and were probably imported from Italy or Friuli. 

The Duomo. 

From the peristyle of the palace, with its columns 
of cipoUino and rose-coloured granite, a flight of 
steps still leads, as it has done since the days of 
Diocletian, to the ancient temple which is now the 
Duomo of Spalato (Figs. 29, 30). Originally this 
stood detached in a walled courtyard (vid. Fig. 27) 
with the colonnade of the peristyle as an open screen 
in front. The building is externally an octagon 

* Vid. the note to his plate, No. xlvii. 

* When the younger Pliny wrote to his lord Trajan for an 
architect to see to the settlements that had occurred in the theatre 
at Nicaea, Trajan replied ' ne existimes hrevius esse ab urbe mitti 
quum ex Graecia etiam ad nos venire soliti sunt ' (ec Architecti), 
Letter xlix. 

* Ueber Spalato und die romischen Monumente Dalmatiens. 

Spalato: the Duamo. 

Fig. 39. 

^ » i^ to fi» ^ 

VOL, n. 

Kg. 30- 

34 Spalato: tJie Duomo. [Oh. XL 

surrounded by a peristyle of its own, and had 
originally a projecting portico in front, but the 
latter is now supplanted by a splendid mediaeval 
campanile, which from all points of view is the 
most conspicuous architectiu^l feature of the town. 
The plan must have had from the first the fault 
of crowding too much into a limited area. The 
screen of the peristyle is as high as the colonnade 
and portico of the temple, and the two were only 
twenty-five feet apart. Through this screen only 
a confused view of the temple could have been 
obtained, while the walls that enclosed the other 
three sides of the court were so close that no view 
of it whatever could have been had from the north 
east or south. The intrusion of the great campanile 
still further crowds the buildings together, and 
there is only a space of seven feet left between 
the tower and the colonnade of the peristyle. 

The masonry of the exterior of the temple is set 
without mortar, stone to stone, each stone having 
a drafted edge slightly sunk at the bed and 

The interior (vid. Plate XVI) is circular and covered 
by a dome. The circular wall is divided into eight 
bays by detached columns two orders in height, 
those of the lower order of granite, those of the upper 
of porphyry and granite in alternate pairs. These 
columns are purely ornamental, and merely support 
projecting returns of the two entablatures which 
surround the building. They afford a typical instance 
of the independence of ornament and construction 

Spalato . 



The Duomo 

Ch. XI] Spalato: the Duomo. 35 

in Roman architecture, for they could be removed 
without in any way impairing the fabric, and in 
fact when I first saw the building, in 1882, they 
actually had been removed and were lying on the 

And here it is time to touch on the disappoint- 
ment that has attended my visits to Spalato. I 
found both temple and campanile in process of 
restoration ; the latter was so encased in massive 
scaffolding as to be quite hidden ; the Piazza, which 
is the ancient peristyle of the palace, was half 
enclosed with hoarding, which prevented anything 
like an effective view of its interesting architecture ; 
and both in 1882 and 1884 the interior of the Duomo 
was blocked with scaffolding. In 1882 the whole of 
the columns were removed, and the architectural 
features were in process of severe restoration, which 
at the time of my second visit was completed, 
although the scaffolding was still standing. On 
revisiting Spalato in 1885 I found the interior cleared 
of its encumbrances and once more restored to use, 
and it was then for the first time possible to judge 
of the effect of the building. The extensive restora- 
tion it has suffered has injured its antique character; 
but, while regretting the amount of glaring white 
stone that has been introduced, one may be thankful 
that the restorers have allowed those old stones 
which have been spared to remain grey and blackened 
with age, and have not scraped them white to 
match the new as some would have done. The 
lower entablature has, with the exception of a few 

P 2 

36 Spalato : the Duomo, [Ch. xi. 

stones, been entirely renewed, together with the 
eight Corinthian capitals. Of the upper entablature 
the whole of the cornice has been renewed in Curzola 
stone, and part of the frieze and architrave. As the 
dome springs from this cornice it was necessary, in 
order to insert .the new stone, to cut out the brick- 
work of the dome all round the building and to 
reset it afterwards, a process not likely to increase 
its stability, and most damaging to its appearance 
of antiquity. The old reliefs that run round below 
the entablature have been retained, and for so 
much we may be thankful, but the capitals of the 
upper order, which are in very good preservation, 
have been consigned to the limbo of the museum, 
and are represented by copies. The capitals of the 
lower order had certainly become decayed to an 
extent that perhaps justified their renewal, but by 
the removal of these eight upper capitals a most 
unnecessary injury has been done to the antiquity 
of the buUding. 

In the details of the architecture there are many 
departures from strict classic usage. The corona has 
entirely disappeared from the cornice of the lower 
order, and the bedmould is bevelled instead of being 
moulded. The different members are richly loaded 
with ornament, but the execution of it is rough and 
hasty ; in the cymatium the foliage is simply traced 
on the surface of the moulding, and the ground 
square sunk ; and the same is the case with the egg 
and dart on the upper member of the architrave, 
which is worked on a mere splay and not, as usual, on 

Oh. XL] Spalato: the Duomo. 37 

an ovolo, and has a very debased look. In all this 
may perhaps be seen evidences of hasty completion, 
as if the palace were required for occupation without 
proper time being allowed to the artists to do them- 
selves justice. 

The entablature of the lower order projects far 
enough to form a gallery round the church, which is 
reached by a stair in the thickness of the wall. On 
this the eight columns of the upper order are set 
without any plinth or base ; some of them having at 
their lower end the apophyge and fillet, while others 
are cut off square. This, together with the low pro- 
portion of the order, which is seven diameters in 
height instead of ten, seems to me conclusive that they 
are spoils from an older building somewhat clumsUy 
adapted to their present position ; and here, if I am 
right, there is something symptomatic of a decline 
towards barbarism. I have noticed above the differ- 
ence between the Roman charactei: of the upper 
and the Greek character of the lower capitals as 
another indication of the use of materials not 
originally prepared for the building. 

The dome is very curiously constructed of brick- 
work in a succession of relieving arches arranged like 
scales : this extends for only about half-way up, and 
the central part is built in the ordinary way of brick- 
work in concentric courses. The dome is covered 
externally by a low pyramidal roof of red tiling, but 
it has been questioned whether it was thus finished 
originally. Adam observes that it was unusual for 
the Romans to finish buildings of this kind with a 

38 Spalato : t/ie Duomv. [Ch. XL 

pointed roof, and that the flat dome was the more 
favoui'ite form for the exterior covering, but he adds 
that, having found the Roman stamp S. P. Q. K 
on several of the tiles, he thought there was no 
room to doubt the antiquity of the present form 
of the roof Cavalier Andrich^ on the other 
hand maintains not only that the dome was ex- 
posed externally, but that in the centre it had an 
eye to light the building like the dome of the 
Pantheon at Rome, and perhaps that of the vestibule 
here, though as the latter is now ruined there is 
nothing to tell us whether it was so constructed. A 
close examination of the dome, for which the scaffold- 
ing afforded opportunities at the time of my visit, 
brought to light nothing to confirm the notion of a 
central eye. The brickwork of the central part of 
the dome seems original, and an examination of the 
outside, which I made in company with Prof Bulic, 
the Conservator of Ancient Monuments, by creeping 
in between the brick dome and the tiled roo^ seemed 
to prove conclusively that the dome was never visible 
externally, for the brickwork is very roughly finished 
on the upper side, and could never have been in- 
tended to be seen. In its present state the 
pyramidal roof is very irregular, not coming to 
a good point ; and it is now raised at the eaves 
on a low rubble wall, though no doubt it once 
came down to the eaves' cornice. It has at the 
apex a piquant little romanesque finial (Fig. 31), 
which cannot be later than the thirteenth century, 
* Eitelberger, Daimatiens, p. 254. 

Ch. XL] Spalato : the Duomo, 39 

showing that the roof is at all events as old as that 
time, and, in fact, everything combines to prove that 
the building was originally covered with a pointed 
roof, and had neither a central eye nor a dome visible 
externally. I did not see any tiles stamped with 
S. P. Q. R., but a very large part of the roof is still 
covered with Roman tiling, and several tiles bear the 
stamp Q . CLObAVBROS, the name of a maker, Quintus 
Clodius Ambrosianus, whose tiles abound at Salona, 
and whose potteries were most 
probably, as I afterwards learned, 
situated at Aquileja ^' 

Below the floor of the duomo 
is a curious crypt, which is ap- 
proached by a narrow passage 
that turns at a right angle, and 
passes under the flight of steps 
that led to the main entrance 
of the temple. The vaulting of Fig. 31. 

this crypt is very roughly con- 
structed of brick and rubble, and stands quite inde- 
pendently of the main walls on piers of its own, 
between which are arches to admit light from small 
openings in the pavement of the peristyle smround- 
ing the temple. In these arches may be seen the 
main circular wall of the temple, built of wrought 
stone, running down behind and quite clear of this 
vaulting, which was not bonded to it in any way. I 
do not know whether this peculiarity has been noticed 
before. The vault is paved with solid stones about 
* Vid. infra, Aquileja, chap. xxxv. 

40 Spalato : the Duotno. [Ch. XI. 

one foot six inches thick, left rough on the upper 
side, and laid all over the surface, so that the main 
walls rest on them. 

^e peristyle siurounding the temple was origin- 
ally roofed over with slabs of stone wrought and 
coflTered on the soffit. Most of these have dis- 
appeared, together with most of the upper members 
of the entablature, and the statues, which, from the 
marks of dowels and cramps, there is reason to 
believe once crowned the cornice of this ambulatory 
round the buUding. 

Opinion is divided as to the original purpose of 
the present duomo. Throughout the middle ages it 
was always supposed to have been a temple of 
Jupiter, but a theory has been started in modem 
times that it was intended by Diocletian for his own 
tomb-house^. This theory is based on the idea that 
Diocletian would certainly have provided a tomb- 
house for himself somewhere within the building, and 
that this seems more nearly to correspond to the 
conception of a tomb-house than any other building 
within the walls. On the other hand some have 
found the tomb-house in the other temple, generally 
supposed to have been dedicated to Aesculapius, and 
now serving as the Baptistery of Spalato I Again^ 

' ' ThU btUlding is com,mofUy called a tempU, though it is not 
known to what deity ii was dedicated. My own impression is 
that ii was a tomb, or at least a funeral monument of some sort^ 
Fergusson, Handbook of Architecture, 1855, p. 314. This opinion 
is, I believe, shared by Prof. GlaTiuid, till lately Conservator of 
Ancient Monuments at Spalato^ 

' 'Das Baptisterium der Domkirche von Spalato ist ein Bau- 
denknial aus den Zeiten des Kaisers Diocletian, welches neuere 

Ch. XI.] Spalato : the Duomo. 4 1 

there is the statement of an old historian \ quoted by 
Farlati, that the burial place of Diocletian was in one 
of the southern towers of the outer wall, and that 
about a century before his time the Emperor s body 
was discovered there in a porphyiy sarcophagus, 
which he describes. There is again the possibility 
that the vault below the so-called temple of Jupiter 
was intended for the Emperor's burial-place, though 
the rudeness of the place and the narrow and 
awkward approach militate against this notion, unless 
we suppose that the sarcophagus was placed within 
the vault before it was closed, and that it was in- 
tended to lower the corpse through an opening in 
the vaulting. The popular tradition that assigns the 
two temples to Jove and Aesculapius is at least older 
than the thirteenth century, and it is quoted by 
Thomas Archidiaconus as if it had never been 
questioned*. The passage in Constantino Porphyro- 

Alterthumsforscher als das Mausoleum desselben bezeichnet haben.' 
Eitelberger, Dalmat. ed. 1884, p. 284. 

* Giov. Tomco. Marnavich of Sebenico, born 1579, Bishop of 
Bosnia 1635, compiled a large MS. volume de lUyricOy Caesari- 
huaqua lUyricis, which Fortis saw in a mutilated state. He is 
supposed to have had access to the Yerantian MSS., and to have 
plagiarised therefrom; vid. sup. vol. I. p. 178. He is quoted by 
Farlati on this subject, tom. iL p. 414. 

* 'Imperiale palatium in quo templa ftusta sunt Idolonim, 
Jovis, Asclepii, sicut apparet usque in hodiemum diem, ch. iv. ; 
and again, ch. zi., describing the conversion of this building into 
a church, a.d. 650, ' templum Jovis, quod in ipso Augustali aedificio 
excelsioribus fuerat structuris erectum, ab Idolorum mundavit 
figmentis, januas in eo serasque constituens.' Farlati, i. 489, quotes 
Piet Nicolini to the effect that a statue of Jove in the Museum of 
the Capella family, at Venice, was the image once venerated in 
this temple. 

42 Spalalo : the Duomo. [Ch. XI. 

genitus, which speaks of the church of St. Domnus as 
having been the KovrHiv of Diocletian ^ is adduced to 
support the other view ; but if /coirwy may be under- 
stood of a tomb, which seems very doubtful, it would 
meet the case if the crypt had been the tomb-house. 

Some stress has been laid on the subjects of the 
bas-reliefs that run round the building level with 
the capitals of the upper order. They consist of 
little figures of winged boys riding on horseback, or 
driving chariots, or engaged in the chase with 
hounds in pursuit of stags or goats, or fighting with 
wild beasts. Among these there are a few masks, 
and in one case a bust within a wreath supported by 
two children, and to these masks it is supposed some 
funereal significance should be attached. Consider- 
ing however the character of the remaining figures 
one can hardly accept this as of much weight. 

The floor space of the little circular duomo — it is 
only forty-three feet three inches in diameter between 
the walls, and thirty-five feet three inches in clear 
of the columns — is somewhat encroached upon by 
two Gothic canopied shrines or chapels that stand 
right and left of the high altar opposite the door, 
filling up and partly obliterating two of the original 
semicircular niches. They are very elaborate and 
handsome, and add to the picturesqueness of the 
interior not a little. That to the right is the older 
of the two ; it is dedicated to S. Doimo, and was 
made in 1427 by one Bonino of Milan, as is recorded 

' 6 M^r rov &yiov A6fxvov, cV ^ tcarcuatTai 6 aMs &yios ^6fxvoSf ontp fv 
KoiTiow Tov avTov /3a<rtXc<»( ^utKkrfTiavov, De Adm. Imp. c. XX ix. 

Ch. XL] Spalato: the Duomo. 43 

by an inscription on a marble tablet beside it, from 
which this is an extract : — 


The foregoing is in Lombardic lettering, and then 
follows in Roman characters : — 


The chapel consists of a square space imder a heavy- 
gabled canopy, of which one corner is embedded in 
the wall and the other three are carried by octagonal 
columns prettily studded with trefoils inlaid with 
black cement. At the back is a reredos with five 
panels of reliefs. In the middle is the Virgin with 
the infant Saviour ; to their right a bishop, probably 
S. Doimo (Domnus), and S. Anastasio with his mill- 
stone round his neck ; and on their left St. Mark with 
his lion, perhaps out of compliment to Venice, and 
St. Peter with his keys. Above is a canopy formed 
by angels supporting a curtain, but the reclining 
figure of S. Doimo within and the angel hovering 
above are only of plaster. 

The other chapel, dedicated to S. Anastasio, was 
made in 1448 by Giorgio Orsini, who was bound by 
his contract to make his work match the opposite 
chapel of S. Doimo ^. But though the general design 
corresponds, the carving is very inferior to the work 
of Bonino, which is excellent, while in Giorgio's work 
the foliage is cut up and confused, and the figures 

* Fosco, Sebenico, p. 13. 

44 Spalato : the Duomo. [Ch. xi. 

are wanting in simplicity and ill-modelled. The 
best figures in the panels are St. Jerome and a 
bishop, perhaps Doimo ; the figure of S. Anastasio 
under the canopy above can scarcely be seen for want 
of light, but it seems not without merit. 

The pulpit (vid. Plate XVII), which stands near 
the entrance, is by far the most interesting object 
under the dome, and may challenge comparison with 
any similar work of the middle ages. It is made of 
marbles of various coloulTS and the compact limestone 
of the country, which is not inferior to marble in 
beauty and is superior to it as a material for carving. 
The body of the pulpit is a hexagon measuring three 
feet two inches on each face, and it rests on six 
octagonal columns, each arranged with one face to the 
angle of the hexagon above. The mouldings of their 
bases are circular and rest on a square plinth, and 
their capitals are irregularly square, each face being 
slightly bulged outwards. The limestone is used for 
base and capital and an inch and a half of the shaft 
below the necking, the rest of the shafts being of 
veined white marble. The capitals are carved with 
the richest fancy of romanesque art, and consist of 
an intricate mass of winged beasts and foliage inter- 
twined, elaborately undercut, and detached from the 
bell. In point of technical execution and ingenuity 
of design I know nothing in romanesque art to sur- 
pass them (vid. Fig. 32). The round arches of 
marble which spring from the capitals have well- 
developed mouldings of a Gothic character, and the 
spandrils, which are not divided at the angle of the 



PulpiL in Duomo. 


Ch. XL] 

Spalato: the Duomo, 


hexagon, are carved with interlacing foliage like that 
of the capitals. The floor of the pulpit is marked 
by a marble cornice of two richly carved members. 
The body of the pulpit above overhangs by the 
projection of little colimins of porphyry and rich 

Fig. 32. 

marbles supported on the cornice, and standing in 
advance of the white marble panels. Theii* capitals 
have romanesque carving like those below, and the 
arches are well moulded. The heads of the arches 
are worked in a rich breccia, and each contains a 
piece of sculptiure ; among these sculptures are 

46 Spalato : the Duomo. [Ch. xi. 

several angels, a winged bull very regularly curled, 
a winged lion, an eagle, several rosettes, and a lamb 
with cross and nimbus under the book-desk. An 
elaborately carved cornice finishes the upper part. 
The book-rest is formed by a well-modelled eagle 
grasping in each claw a little bird and supported by 
a spiral colonnette springing from the back of a 
conventional lion, which projects from the lower 
cornice and grasps a winged serpent like those in the 
capitals. The pulpit floor is carried by vaulting 
really constructed with ribs and panels, and the 
ascent is managed by a winding stair carried behind 
and round one of the great pillars of the lower order 
of the temple. 

Although the ornament is purely romanesque I 
should imagine the date to be in the earlier part of 
the thirteenth centiuy, firom the analogy of the great 
doors, which will be next described. 

These doors (vid. Plate XVIII) are in two flaps, 
each flap containing fourteen panels surrounded by 
borders of romanesque knot-work and scrolls, and 
each panel is carved with a representation of some 
subject in the life and passion of our Lord. Some 
of them are much decayed or mutilated, but the 
greater number are in admirable preservation con- 
sidering their antiquity and material. Not only 
their date, but the name of the artist who made 
them is given by Farlati in a passage of his Illyri- 
cum Saciiim^, in which he says their workmanship is 

^ 'Cujus valvas ex antique ligno mira soliditate ad tineani et 
cariem arcendam praedito anno 12 14 Andreas Boyina eximius ea 

Ch. XL] Spalato: the Duomo, 47 

so good that it must be seen to be believed. Accord- 
ing to him the doors were carved in the year 12 14 
by Andrea Buvina ; but if, as seems probable, his 
mformation was taken from a MS. at Trail which is 
cited by Professor Eitelberger^ the name of the 
artist was not Buvina but Guvina. This MS. is in 
the possession of Conte Fanfogna-Garagnin, podestk 
of Trail, who was kind enough to allow me to copy 
it. It is a note in handwriting of the fifteenth 
century on the fly-leaf of an important and well- 
known MS. of Thomas Archidiaconus, transcribed in 
the time of the Emperor Sigismund, which is one of 
the treasiures of Conte Fanfogna's valuable library. 
The note runs as follows : 

Hoc tpe edificate fiierunt Janue maiores cu figuris 
& istoriis de nativitate & passione dm nri yhu xpi 
ecclie fci Dompni de Spaleto p magfm Andrea 
Guuina f>nctofe de Spaleto et sub code tpf depicta 
fiiit ymago et figinra sci xpofori iplancato sci dompnii 
pdci p pdcm magfm A sub annis dm nfi j± curentf 
o-ccxiiii^ mff aplis die xxiii^ exeunte .... {one word 

The doors, then, were carved by Messer Andrea 

Guvina, painter of Spalato, who also at the same 

time painted a figure of St. Christopher for the 

duomo in the year 1214, and this is a date of 

the greatest importance in the history of Dalmatian 

tempestate sculptor tessellato opere caelavit . . . opus omniuo 
viBendum cujus eximiam pulchritudinem artemque exquisitam 
nemo concipere animo potest qui non oculis ante subjecerit/ 
Farlati, Ulyr. Sacr. i. p. 491. 
* Eitelberger,Da]matieus, p. 275, ed. 1884. He reads it incorrectly. 

48 Spalato : the Duomo. [Ch. xi. 

art. It is also interesting if, as is asserted, 
Guvina is a Slavonic name, to observe that 
the Slavs who settled within the Dalmatian pale, 
and became latinized, showed a capacity for art 
which did not reach development among their 
brethren who remained without. The style of 
Guvina's work has nothing distinctively Slavonic 
about it, but is thoroughly romanesque, and the 
scroll-work carved on the main cross-framing is 
obviously inspired by the similar ornaments that 
surround the door of the smaller of the two temples 
of Diocletian's palace, though they far surpass their 
prototype in fancy and equal it in technical merit. 

The subjects of the panels, so far as they can be 
made out, are given in the table on the opposite 

The whole of the carving was once gilt, and the 
ground picked out with red, as may be seen from 
traces still remaining in the upper part of the doors 
where the lintel has sheltered them from the 

I give an illustration of two of the panels with 
the surrounding borders of scroll-work (Plate 
XVIII). These doors are among the earliest as well 
as the finest specimens of medisBval wood-work in 
existence, and deserve all the praise that Farlati 
bestows on them^ 

* The doors during the repairs of the duomo were taken off 
their hinges and laid on their sides in the Temple of Aesculapius, 
now the baptistery, where they were still lying when I last saw 
them in 1885. 




Panels of door of Duomo. 

Ch. XI ] 

Spalato: the Dttonto. 





The AnnuncU- 


The Nativity. 
The Virgin in bed 
—cradle above- 
oxen, &c. 

The Last Judg- 
ment. Christen 
one side holding 
his hand towards 
little figures is- 
suing from tombs. 


The Ascension. 
Christ in a circle 
borne up by two 
angels on each 

The Three Wise 
Men traTeUing. 

The Wise Men 

The taking down 
fr^m the Cross. 


The Entomb- 


The MABMMsre of 

the Innooents. 


The Flight into 



The Flagellation. 

The Crucifixion. 

The Presenta- 

The Baptism. 

The Betrayal. 

Christ before Pi- 
late or Herod. 
A figure with 
pointed cap and 


The miracle at 


The Temptation. 

Washing ihe dis- 
ciples* feet. 


The Agony in 
the Garden. 

Healing the de- 
moniac (?). 


Christ and the 
woman of Sa- 


Hie Entry into 


The Last Supper. 


Healing the lame 


The raising of 


The sending out 
of the Seventy (?). 

Christ weeping 
over Jerusalem. 
A tower of seve- 
ral stages. 



50 Spalato : the Duomo. [Ch. XI. 

The original recess opposite the entrance-door of 
the temple has been cut through, and admits to a 
rectangular choir which has been buQt further to 
the east. The construction of this new choir is due 
to the famous archbishop Marc' Antonio de Dominis, 
and the Jesuit Farlati, who naturally had little 
liking for him, says this is the only good thing he 
has left behind him ^ It contains nothing remark- 
able but the stalls, which were formerly, as Farlati 
describes them, placed in the temple under the dome, 
and which with the two chapels and the pulpit must 
have left scarcely any vacant floor-space. Their 
design is excessively curious (vid. Plate XIX), their 
lattice-work panels being quite un- European in 
design, and almost identical with the window lattices 
of Cairo. The interlacing borders of the styles and 
rails in the back, and the little animals which are 
introduced among them — a duck, a lamb, a horse, a 
dog or wolf, an elephant represented as usual with 
hocks like a horse — have a thoroughly romanesque 
character, and they resemble so closely the doors 
made by Guvina in 12 14 that there is little doubt 
about their being by the same hand and of the same 
date. The end standards with their grand ramping 

^ * niud tamen praeclanim gratum probatumqae omnibus quod 
satis amplum et elegans odeum exstruxit, in quo Canonici caeterique 
inferioris ordinis presbyteri et clerici quotidianae psalmodiae 
operam darent ac divinas laudes concinerent, cum aede metro- 
politana scite et venuste conjunxit. An tea siquidem canonici 
subselliis in ipsa media templi area hinc atque hinc dispositis 
statione et sibi et populo perincommoda utebantur.' Farlati, Illyr. 
Sacr. vol. iii. 




l£«it ^it- ftlt A*jt <*<«^ M iH^**^ >*'*^ 


Choir Stalls m Duomo. 

TGJ. del 1884. 

Ch, XL] Spalato : the Duovto. 51 

lions and sweeping scrolls are obviously in a diflPerent 
style, and are very fine examples of Venetian wood- 
work of the fifteenth century. The upper part of 
the backs has been damaged and restored with a 
classic cornice, which is not older than the date of 
their removal to the new choir. There is a story 
among the clergy of the duomo that the stalls were 
wilfiilly damaged in this way by the nobles of 
Spalato, because the chapter had elected a canon 
without their consent or participation and in defi- 
ance of their ancient rights ^ 

The restoration of the interior of the duomo is 
now happQy over, and one knows the worst as 
regards that part : its new-fangled splendour is but 
a poor compensation for the loss of the original work 
of the fourth century, battered and defaced as it 
was. The exterior has still to be dealt with, and 
the extent to which the restoration will be carried 
depends perhaps more on considerations of expense 
than anything else. It is proposed of course to re- 
store the stone ceQing of the octagonal peristyle 
surrounding the temple, and there has actually been 
proposed a fiightful scheme for building a large new 
cathedral to which Diocletian's temple is to form a 
vestibule. It is scarcely credible that so monstrous 
a defacement of the plan of the palace, which is 
unique among relics of ancient art, should find favour 

* Is this a mutilated version of the violent disturbance described 
by Thorn. Archid. ch. xlii. on the occasion of the election to the 
abbey of S. Stefano, in which the laity had been refused a voice 1 
or of that attending his own election to the archbishopric, c. xlv, 
on the same account % 

E 2 

52 Spalato: the Campanile. [Ch. XL 

with any one of the least pretension to reverence for 
antiquity, proper historic sense, or simple good taste. 
If a new cathedral for Spalato is really wanted it 
should be built outside the gates of Diocletian's 
palace in the suburb towards Monte Margliano, 
where an admirable and convenient site may be 
found in a thickly populated quarter of the town, 
without any interference with the inestimably 
precious antiquities of Spalato. 

The next monument however to be restored is 
not one of Diocletian's buildings, but the mediaeval 
campanile that bestrides the approach to the temple 
of Jupiter. This tower was already encased in 
massive scaffolding in 1882, which was still standing 
idle in 1885, no beginning having been made with 
the restoration. This work is one that needed 
attention much more urgently than the restoration 
of the temple ; the latter would have stood in its 
timewom state to the world's end, and many of us 
would have been heartQy glad if it had never been 
meddled with ; but the tower shows evident signs 
of impending dissolution, and the sooner it is taken 
in hand the better. Built without any foundation, 
and based solely on the old steps and platform in 
front of the temple of Jupiter, which, by a mistaken 
economy were utilized for the substructiure, pierced 
moreover in the ground story by the wide archway 
leading to the duomo, and further weakened by the 
formation of a staircase in each of the two side walls 
right and left of this archway, it is evident that the 
substructure is unfairly loaded, and it is no wonder 

Ch. XL] Spalato: the Campanile. 53 

that signs of crushing have shown themselves in 
several places. Dangerous symptoms must have 
begun to appear very soon after the upper part of 
the tower was completed in the fifteenth century, 
for the blank arches of the side walls have had 
intermediate piers inserted, carrying springers 
which turn each round arch into two pointed ones. 
It is on record that in 1472 Alecxi of Durazzo, an 
architect whose name we shall meet with again at 
Tratt and Arbe, came to Spalato with a colleague, 
Nicolb Fiorentino^, to repair this tower, and in 1 501, 
in the time of Doge Leonardo Loredano, the Vene- 
tian senate made a grant for its restoration ^. 

The scaffolding, which provokingly hid the cam- 
panile from view as a whole, partly compensated 
my disappointment by the opportunity it afforded of 
examining the details and making measured draw- 
ings of the elevation and plans (Plate XX). The 
tower is not all of one date ; Professor Eitelberger 
distinguishes the two lower stages from the upper 
part, though I confess I am unable to see that there 
is so much difference as he observes between the two 

^ Nicolb Fiorentino was engaged at Sebenico on the duomo 
after the death of Qiorgio Orsini, vid. supra, vol. I. chap, ix, p. 401 ; 
also at Trati in conjuction with Alecxi, vid. infra, chap. xiii. 

^ Fifty zecchini and a half were given to Oirolamo Buffo, count 
of Spalato, for this purpose, * quia illud campanile ruinam minari 
videtur.' Carrara, cited by Eitelberger, p. 266. In the third 
stage of the tower I observed a scutcheon, affixed, and not part 
of the structure, bearing the arms of Celsi, which probably refers 
to this repair of the fabric. The count of Spalato, 1516^1520, 
was Ser. Francesco Celsi, fu capitano delle Saline in Cipro q. 
Stefani. Vid. list of Venet. counts of Spalato. 

54 Spalato : tJie Campanile, [Ch. xi. 

parts in point of executive skill ; and the topmost 
octagonal stage with its spire is of still later work- 
manship than the rest. The exact date of the 
building has yet to be ascertained, and meanwhile 
we have nothing but the evidence of the architec- 
tiural details and tradition to help us. According 
to the latter the tower was begun by Maiia of Hun- 
gary, wife of Charles II of Naples, who married 
about 1270 and died in 1323. After her death the 
work is said to have been interrupted, and not to 
have been resumed till 1360, when Elizabeth the 
elder was sent by her son Lewis of Hungary to 
govern Dalmatia ^ ; she is supposed to have ordered 
the continuation of the work, which was carried out 
by a Spalatine architect Nicolas Tverdoj, and finished 
in 1 41 6 as we see it, excepting the upper octagon 
and spire. 

The whole tower, whether early or late, including 
even the lantern stage, bears the stamp of romanesque 
work, and has borrowed not a little from the late 
Roman work of the third century by which it is 
surrounded. Perhaps in all Dalmatia there is no 
stronger instance of the firm hold which the earlier 
styles retained throughout the middle ages, nor of 
the abiding influence which Diocletian's buUding 
exercised on the fancy of Dalmatian architects. 

The lowest stage is pierced by an open archway 
with a barrel vault strengthened by underlying ribs. 

* Eitelberger by a slip places both queens a century too late. 
Elizabeth the elder died in 1380. Vid. Table of Kings of Hun- 
gary, above, vol. 1. p. 193. 




^ r I 

-T- — I r- 

t ^ tm ti /«. tM t^ 

Ch. XL] Spalato: the Campanile. 55 

The arches by which the vault is finished at its east 
and west ends are enriched with a round moulding set 
in a square reveal, and apparently quite detached. 
That to the east is merely cabled ; that to the west 
is carved in a primitive style with animals and 
figures on the rounded surface, and the shafts which 
support it rest on groups of figures which are carried 
on the quarters of thoroughly Byzantine lions. In 
the arcading of this story of the tower several 
antique classic capitals have been used, misfitting 
their columns. It is in this stage that the inter- 
mediate shafts have been added in later times for 
strength, as I have above noticed : their capitals 
are of very poor and late Venetian work \ 

Over the two little doorways leading to the ramp- 
ing staircases which are hollowed out of the piers 
are two rude sculptures in relief, on one, which is a 
group of St. Peter and SS. Domnus and Anastasius, 
the artist has inscribed his name, magister otto hoc 
opvs FECIT. Above in better style is a relief of the 
nativity. Over the other door is a triple arcade 
with knotted shafts ; in the middle arch is an altar, 
and in the two extreme arches the Virgin and the 
angel of the annunciation. These reliefs are of 
various dates, and may have belonged to various 

The second story is vaulted like the first, and is 
rich in spoils of older buildings, both classic and 
post-classic. Antique columns of granite and cipoU- 

* One of the intermediate piers inserted on the north side bears 
a shield with a lion rampant. 

56 Spalato : the Campanile. [Ch. xi. 

ino occur in the arcading, part of the cornice is 
worked on an old stone with Byzantine fret- work on 
its upper side, and some of the capitals might 
possibly be antique, while others are carved with 
rather coarse Venetian foliage. On the north side 
is a knotted cluster of four attached shafts. The 
arches are formed with coloured marbles built into 
the walls as constructive masonry, not merely 
formed into facing-slabs as in Byzantine and Vene- 
tian buildings. A flushed joint 
shows that the coigns were cramped 
with iron run with lead, which has 
in some cases done harm by ex- 
pansion. Over a small door in the 
back of this stage I observed the 
scutcheon of an archbishop, in 
which, if we could use it, we have 
^. the key to solve the mystery of the 

fjuiUb date of the lower part of the tower. 

Fi^ 33. Neither at Venice, nor in Dalmatia, 

nor in England, nor by the enquiry 
of my friends at Buda-Pesth, have I succeeded in 
identifying the bearer of these arms, and I preserve 
them here (Fig. 33) for some reader who may be 
more successful ^ 

The next three stages, which are attributed to the 

' If the tradition be true that the tower was begun by Maria of 
Hungary queen of Naples, the coat should be that of Archbishop 
John Buchad or Bnzad, a Hungarian who filled the see from 1266- 
1294, or that of his successor James, or that of Archbishop Peter, 
1 297-1324, a Franciscan who was chaplain to queen Maria. 

Ch. XL] Spalato: the Campanile. 57 

fifteenth century, are full of antique columns and 
capitals, and rich in porphyry and verd' antico. 
They have the billet moulding of our eleventh and 
twelfth century Norman, and Byzantine lions carry 
their shafts, an office performed in one instance by a 
sphinx, copied no doubt from the Egyptian sphinx 
in the piazza. The lights are divided by * midwall ' 
shafts with spreading impost blockB like those set 
up 300 years before at Zara or Cologne ; magnificent 
consoles with foliage of an early type project to 
carry the cornice, and there are cabled friezes and 
zigzags like those in Diocletian's building. 

Even in the octagonal lantern, which is of still 
later date, the modillions of Diocletian's cornices re- 
appear, and the foUage is raffled in the true Byzan- 
tine fashion. 

It is interesting to find throughout the tower, even 
in the highest of the fifteenth century stages, a 
cornice of that curious leaf ornament, half-fan and 
half-scroll, which is, so far as I know, peculiar to 
Dalmatia (vid. Plate XX and Fig. 5, vol. I. p* 271). 

In the lowest of these three stories is built up 
part of an antique sculptured sarcophagus ; it bears 
in the centre a small altar, to the proper right of 
which are Hercules with the lion's skin, Pallas with 
her owl, and Jove with his eagle. Behind is a female 
figure, perhaps Concordia. To the proper left is a 
damaged female figure holding a sceptre in her left 
hand ; the right hand, which is lost, was probably 
applying a torch to the altar, and the figure perhaps 
represents Juno Pronuba. Then comes an armed 

58 Spalato: the Campanile. [Ch. xi. 

figure, Mars no doubt, with a cuirass and greaves 
on the ground at his feet, and then a female figure 
with what looks like a mural crown, perhaps Cybele. 
The altar is inscribed mesc | tert | felici | ter. Adam 
gives an illustration of it which is very excusably 
incorrect, for he could only have seen it fi'om a 

In the story above this, the fourth fi'om the 
ground, is a fi:^ment of a Roman inscription of the 
Emperor Tiberius, built in face upwards as a window 

j I / ! I ESAR • DIVI • AVGVSTi • F 
/////OTEST • XilX CO II 


The treasury of the Duomo, though not comparable 
to those of Zara and Ragusa, contains some interest- 
ing plate and embroideries. The following is a 
tolerably complete list of its most important con- 
tents : — 

A 'pianeta' or chasuble of red cut velvet, the 
pattern of which is traced in gold thread. The 
bands are embroidered with figures under canopies 

* This inscription is copied, though incorrectly, bj Wheler, who 
also gives another which I did not see, though I heard afterwards 
it still exists, built into the steeple like the first. It is also of the 
age of Tiberius, and records the opening of a road from Salona to 
Andetrium or Glissa. 

Ch. xi] Spalato : the treasury of the Duomo. 59 

resting on twisted colonnettes. The faces are exqui- 
sitely worked, the red silk ground being left for 
shading, and the lights being worked on in flesh 
colour. Date, apparently fourteenth century. 

Another pianeta of later work, also of red velvet, 
used by the bishop, and two * tunicelli * of the six- 
teenth century, of red velvet beautifully worked in 
gold, for the use of his assistants. 

An ostensorio in silver carried by two angels, like 
the ciborio over the high altar designed by Marc* 
Antonio de Dominis, who is said to have borrowed 
the idea from this. It is very pretty, and has 
panels of enamel, and bears this inscription m-d-xxxiI' 


A good brooch, fhola di piviale, with Gothic 
traceries and enamels and stones raised on stems. 

An ancient cross of brass gilt with crystals on 
the back, much damaged. In front, a crucifix with 
a seated figure above it holding a staif. This 
seems to be of twelfth century work if not even 

Two ampollae inscribed in Lombardics + as- 
ANASTASivs and VSDOMNVS, apparently dating 
from the end of the fifteenth century^. On the 
lower part is the cypher in Gothic letters pf and 
a scallop shell. Pietro X of the family of Foscari 
was bishop from 14 76-9. This then would be his 

* The two patron saints of Spalato. A and V stand for aqua 
and vinum. 

6o Spalato : the treasury of the Duomo. [Ch. XI. 

A half-length figure of a bishop in silver, with 
a staff in his hand and details similar to those on 
the ampoDae. 

Several other silver heads of some antiquity. 

A large silver head of S. Doimo or Domnus, 
standing on the high altar. It seems of rather 
late work, but I could not examine it closely. 

Two silver arm cases ornamented with filigrana 
set with precious stones. Certainly not later than 
the fifteenth century. 

Eight silver gilt chalices as follows — 

A. A chalice 8 inches high, with the initials of 
Saints Anastasius and Domnus, and 
the cypher and scallop of arch- 
bishop Foscari on the six buttons 
of the knop. The cypher forms a 
p one way up and an f the other 

(Fig. 34). The date then of this 
chalice is between 1476-1479. 

B. Another chalice gf inches high, of the same style 

and date. On the buttons of the knop the 

letters atjc mat. 

C. Another 7I inches high, of same style. Broken. 

D. A chalice 9 inches high. Cup 4f inches wide at 

lip, fifteenth century. On the six buttons of 
the knop a cross. Madonna and Child, Christ 
between letters 9&9[- and the dedication pro 


E. A small damaged chalice 6| inches high, fifteenth 

century, with remains of filigrana on the stem. 

F. A chalice ^\ inches high ; cup a later addition ; 

Ch. XI.] Spalato : the treasury of the Duomo. 6 1 

lower part is of the fifteenth century ; tracery 

in stem above and below knop. 

G. A very fine and large chalice, \o\ inches high, 

which I drew. On the knop a coat of arms, 

azure two bends argent. It has beautifiilly 

engraved medallions on the stem, and the four 

evangelistic emblems on the base, together 

with the Madonna in a vesica, and an aged 

saint. The workmanship is superior to that 

of the other chalices, and nothing in this way 

can be better than the medallions on the base. 

Early fifteenth centiuy work. 

H. Another like it, equally fine. On the base are 

S. Anastasius with his millstone round his 

neck, S. Domnus as bishop, and the fom: 

evangelistic emblems, the latter with enamel 

of red and green in the spandrils interchanged, 

and blue in the ground. 

These chalices have all been damaged by an 

ignorant silversmith to whom they were sent to be 

cleaned when the Emperor visited Spalato, who put 

them in the fire, thereby injuring their enamels 

and losing several of their silver medallions. 

A MS. lectionary on velliun with illuminated 
letters in colour and burnished gold, apparently of 
the fourteenth century. The covers are of silver 
with gUt figures; our Lord seated on a rainbow 
with the monograms re and x^, and the evangelistic 
emblems with their names in Lombardic letters. 
On the back the Madonna and Child and the angels 
Michael and Gabriel. The plates seem of the 

62 Spalato: the Peristyle Court, [Ch. xi. 

fourteenth century, but the book has been rebound 
with a new border in the seventeenth or eighteenth. 
A Missal written on vellum, apparently in the 
fourteenth century, but with some leaves at the 
end in the character of the thirteenth, to which 
century I should attribute the very fine silver plates 
of the covers. On one side is Christ within a vesica 
between the four evangelistic emblems. On the 
other a crucifix with Saints Mary and John. The 
work is very fine and boldly executed, the lines 
seeming not merely engraved but beaten in with 
an embossing tool. This has been rebound with 
a new border like the last named. 

The Peristyle Court of the palace, now the 
Piazza del Duomo, was at the time of our visit, as 
I have explained, so encumbered with hoarding and 
scaffolding that no general view of it was possible. 
The original design consisted of two parallel open 
colonnades, through which, right and left, were 
two enclosed courts each containing a temple. On 
the bases and plinths are stoppings which show 
that there was once a balustrade across the inter- 
colimmiations, and in Adam's view of the peristyle 
some of the intercolumniations are shown with 
marble lattices still remaining in position and 
reaching half way up the columns \ The last bay 
southwai*ds of the eastern colonnade is occupied by 
a low wall, a continuation of the side wall of the 
vestibule steps, on which is placed an Egyptian 
' Adam, Plate xx. 

Ch. XI.] Spalato : the Peristyle Court, 63 

sphinx of black granite which Sir Gardner Wilkin- 
son says * is evidently of early Pharaonic time, 
probably of the eighteenth dynasty ^' In the 
Museum is to be seen a second sphinx, now headless, 
which is of the same age, and which Sir Gardner 
Wilkinson says is proved by the legend and the 
style of its sculpture to have been brought from 
Thebes. The head of the latter sphinx may still 
be seen built into the wall of a private house and 
painted in fancy colours, the owner having refused 
every offer that has been made to induce him to 
part with it. It is supposed that these two sphinxes 
were set one on either side of the steps leading up 
to the temple of Jupiter, and were removed to make 
way for the campanile. 

The colonnades have been built up into private 
houses with windows doors and balconies between 
the columns, and among them are two or three 
chapels which are picturesque enough. The idea 
of the ^restorers' is to pull down all these houses 
and leave the colonnades isolated as they were 
at first ; but the whole structure is so shattered and 
shaken from its equilibrium that I believe the 
removal of the support afforded by the houses 
would involve the rebuilding of the colonnades, 
which, if left alone, will last for centuries as they 
are. Moreover, the courts behind them in which 
the temples stood are completely ruined : only 
a few fragments of the enclosing walls remain, and 
their exposure would reduce the interior of the 
* Sir G. Wilkinson, Dalmatia, vol. i. p. 135-6. 

64 Spalato : the Baptistery. [Ch. xi. 

town of Spalato pretty much to the condition of 
the ruins of Salona. It is much to be desired that 
the piazza may be left as it is ; fascinating as the 
idea may be to restore the peristyle to its original 
appearance, it is impossible to do this without re- 
buUding a great part of the palaxje, and most persons 
of sensibility would rather have the genuinely ancient 
work, mixed up as it is with the accretions of 
later ages which have in themselves no little 
historical value, than a renovated copy, however 

The Baptistery. — Crossing the piazza, and pass- 
ing through the western colonnade, a few steps 
bring us to the smaller temple, generally thought 
to have been dedicated to iEsculapius, though 
Eitelberger and others have seen in it the mau- 
solemn of Diocletian ^ It is now the baptistery of 
Spalato, and has been rededicated to S. Giovanni 
Battista. It is a small rectangular temple (Fig. 35) 
raised on a lofty podium and originally preceded 
by a tetrastyle portico which is now gone. The 
interior measures no more than 16 ft. by 27 ft. 
7 J in. and is covered by a fine waggon vault of 
stone sunk into coffers. But for the font, the in- 
terior of the little shrine has remained unaltered 
since the time when Diocletian sacrificed within 
its walls, so completely has it withstood the wear 
of time and escaped the wanton injury of man« 
The outside has not been so fortunate ; the portico 
has gone and with it the triangular pediment which 
^ Eitelberger, Dalmatiens, p. 259-284 ; see above, note to p. 40. 

Ch. XL] 

Spdldio: the Baptistery. 


crowned it ; but the rest of the buUding, including 
the barrel vault, which was always visible externally 
between the two pediments of the front and back 
elevations, is perfectly preserved. The effect of 


Fig. 35. 

this rounded roof between two triangular gable 
ends would be rather curious and not very good, 
and the first idea that presents itself is either that 
the ends must have been rounded like the middle, 
VOL. n. F 

66 Spalato: the Baptistery. [Ch. xi. 

or that the central waggon roof must have been 
covered with a span roof of timber and tiling. But 
by a careful examination of the construction I 
satisfied myself that neither of these conjectures 
was correct, and that the temple was really covered 
by a semi-cylindrical roof finishing at either end 
with a triangular pediment. Inside the attic story 
of a house that is built against the back wall of 
the temple may be seen the entablatiu*e and tri- 
angular pediment of the back elevation complete, 
with its acroteria, in which are the sockets for 
finials or statues. From one of the attic windows 
Professor Bulid and I got out on the vaulted roof, 
of which I found the curve met the rakmg line 
of the pediment at a tangent, so that had there 
been an upper roof of tUing it would have overshot 
the eaves, and this disposes of that supposition. 
The firont pediment to be sure is gone, but there can 
be no doubt that the two ends of the temple were 
alike in that particular. 

The barrel vault is formed of huge stones, three 
courses completing the semicircle. Each piece has 
the lewis hole in the centre, by which it was raised 
just as stones have been raised fi:om the time of 
the Pharaohs downwards and are still raised now-a- 
days. The outside of the vault is now very rough, 
but this may be the effect of weather on the local 

This stone-arched roof, visible alike within and 
without, seems to have fascinated the Dalmatian 
architects of all ages and to have provoked their 

Ch. XL] Spalato: the Baptistery. 67 

imitation. Stone waggon vaults occur throughout 
the province, evidently inspired by the coffered 
ceiling of this Roman shrine ; at Zara the archi- 
tect of King Coloman covered the chapter house 
of S. Maria with a vault visible externally as well 
as internally ^ ; and at Sebenico the same idea was 
realized on a magnificent scale by Giorgio Orsini 
or his successor. 

Below the temple is a crypt * constructed in the 
same manner as that below the duomo, and on the 
ceiling may be seen in both of them the impression 
made by the planking of the centring on which they 
were constructed. 

The great doorway of the temple is surrounded 
by scroll-work, with little figures and a.nimal8 in- 
troduced among the ornament : it is perhaps the 
best piece of this kind of decoration in the palace, 
and shews a good deal of fancy and pleasurable 
caprice. The execution is rough, and great use 
is made of the drill ; the finish is hasty and in- 
complete, and, like the greater part of the decorative 
work of Diocletian's building, the design shews a 
certain dangerous facility which easily falls into 
carelessness. Some of the figures are so rudely 
chopped out that it is not easy to see what they 
were meant for, and the work is generally far 
inferior to that of the great doors carved by Guvina 

* Vid. supra, vol. i. p. 301. 

' This crypt appears to have been at one time converted into 
a chorcb. < In ecclesia S. Tbomae sub eccleeia S. Joannis Baptistae 
de Spalato.' A. Cutheis, c. iii. 

P 2 

68 Spalato: the Baptistery. [Ch. XL 

in the thirteenth century which were no doubt 
inspired by these architraves. 

This doorway is 15 ft. 9 in. high and 7 ft. 9 in. 
wide, and its frame, with true Roman magnifi- 
cence, is made of only three stones, which are 
3 ft. 6^ in. deep, that being the fiill thickness of 
the wall. It is remarkable that the head is 
* mitred ' to the jambs, and not butt-jointed in the 
^sual way of masonry. 

The font in the interior is a cruciform structure of 
marble, made up of fragments of various kinds 
inartistically joined together. The stone lid which 
covers the greater part is no doubt a later addition. 
Some of the slabs which form the sides are carved 
with Byzantine knots and interlaced ornament, and 
one has an imperfect group of figures (Fig. 36) 
grotesquely, and even ludicrously barbarous^ of 
which the meaning is obscure. In the centre is a 
seated figure wearing a jewelled crown of Byzan- 
tine character and holding aloft a Byzantine cross ; 
a small figure with an absurd nose lies prostrate in 
an attitude of reverence, and another figure stands 
by with gestures which seem to say that aU is not 
well within, though that was probably not the 
intention of the sculptor. 

On the platform in front of the temple has stood 
for centuries one of the best known and most inter- 
esting relics of Roman Aspalathus, a magnificent 
sarcophagus sculptured with the story of Meleager 
and the hunting of the Calydonian boar, blackened 
with weather but in admirable preservation after the 

Ch. XI.] 

Spalato: the Baptistery. 


lapse of more than sixteen centuries. Here it is 
shewn in Adam's engraving, and here we saw it in 

T q J 

Fig. 36. 

1882 and 1884 ; but alas ! in 1885 it was gone, and 
we afterwards came upon it in the dull limbo of the 
museum, serving as a support to other fragments of 


Spalato: the Baptistery, 

[Ch. XI. 

antiquity. In its new place few will ever see it, and 
no one will ever enjoy it as every Spalatine high or 
low would have done for generations to come had it 
been left in its old place to moulder slowly away in 
the coiu^e of perhaps sixteen centuries more. 

Some interesting sarcophagi which used to stand 
in the intercolimmiations of the colonnade that sur- 
rounds the duomo have been stored in the baptistery 
during the restoration of the other building. The 
most important is that of Archbishop John of Ea- 
venna, 650-680, the prelate in whom the bishopric 
was revived after the fall of Salona. The front of 
the sarcophagus has four panels simply carved, 
above which runs this inscription (Fig. 37). The 

Fig. 37. 

form of the letter O is curious, and may be com- 
pared with that in other inscriptions at Cattaix) 
(chap. xxiiL Fig. 76), and Grado^ (chap, xxxvi). 

On another sarcophagus is the following inscrip- 
tion (Fig. 38) commemorating Archbishop Lorenzo, 



























TVS Rec 




Fig. 38. 

* Lucio, de Eegn. p. 474, taking these O's for stops has curiously 
misunderstood this inscription, aud wonders who the archbishop 
could have been with the initial B. 

Ch. XI.] Spalato: the Baptistery. 71 

1059-1099, of whom I have had occasion to speak 

A third sarcophagus measuring only 3ft. %\vcl x 
ift. Sin. and in height ift, 2iin., possesses unusual 
interest as commemorating the untimely end of the 
youthful princesses Catharine and Margaret, daugh* 
ters of Bela IV, who died at Clissa during the horrors 
of the Tartar mvasion in 1 242. The inscription in 
Lombardics (Fig. 39) on the side of the sarcophagus 
reads thus : — 


BGLLG-Reeis-uaeARie-Q-aaxLi r-tue 
?^i 111 • fliTRTi i-Hva'RU6ieRsamaian7RT?Tp(2:- 

SR«\LAnro. fto 124.2 

Kg. 39. 

Thomas the archdeacon ^ says they were buried in 
the cathedral, and the smallness of this sarcophagus, 
which used to stand over the entrance on the cornice 
of the door frame, precludes the idea of its having 
been more than a cenotaph. It seems to have been 
hitherto concealed by a tablet bearing another in- 
scription which Lucio has copied : 

Caiharina inclyta & folgens Margari \ 

In hoc arcto tomnlo jacent absque vi 
Belle nn filie Begis Hongaro 
Et Marie Lascari Begine Qraeco, 


Ab impiis Tartans fuemnt fuga • . . \ . , 
Mortue in Clissio hue Spaletum iranslax 
* Vid. History, vol. i. chap. i. p. 77 ; also History of Spalato 
above, vol. ii. p. 4. 

' ' Mortuae (apud Clissam) autem sunt duae ipsius puellae vir- 
giues et in ecclesia R Domnii honorifice tumulatae.' Thorn. 
Archid. chap. zl. ^ Lucio, de Begn. p. 473. 

72 Spalatoz S. Nicolh^ SS. Trinitd. [Oh. XL 

This is probably by the same rhymer as a similar in- 
scription at Trail to prince William, the betrothed 
of Margaret. (Vid. infra, chap. xiiL p. 135.) 

In Spalato and the neighbourhood are some 
interesting examples of early Dalmatian churches 
dating from the dark period between the eighth and 
the eleventh centuries. Eitelberger gives illustrations 
of one in the military hospital which I did not see* It 
has a nave and aisles and central dome of an ovoid 
form like those at Nona. In the suburb of Spalato, 
towards M. Marglian, is another curious church of 
the same kind dedicated to S. Nicolb, the property 
of a confraternity who are, as usual, somewhat jealous 
of their rights over it. The central cupola has been 
defaced outside by the mistaken zeal of the confraters 
who have smartened it up into a central tower and 
destroyed its historical value, but the interior with 
the bulging misshapen columns and barbarous capi- 
tals that support the cupola is very curious and 

A short distance beyond the town, towards the 
Paludi, buried in vineyards, and not easily found 
without a guide, is the curious ruined church of SS. 
Trinity, which I believe has not been illustrated 
before (Fig. 40). It <5onsists of a circular central 
space surmounted by a dome of which only the spring- 
ing now remains, and surrounded by six apses which 
open to the central space by round arches. It is 
additionally interesting from its correspondence, both 
in plan and in dimensions, with two churches at 
Zara, the baptisteiy and S. Orsola (vid. Figa i and 4)^ 

Gh. XIJ 

Spalato: SS. Triniiet. 


and as I have already observed the three have almost 
to an inch the same diameter of twenty feet across 
the dome^ The church at Spalato has two doors in 
adjacent apses, the lesser door bears a cross on its 

Fig. 40. 

lintel, and the head of the larger is formed of a firagr 
ment of a Boman architrave with the bead and reeL 
Other pieces of classic architecture are built in here 
and there, and from the centre of the east and west 

* Vid. supra, Zara, vol. i. p. 287. 

74 Spalato : the Franciscan Convent. [Ch. xi. 

domes hangs a small pendent like an inverted cup 
of a kind which occurs in S. Donato at Zara and 
other buildings of the period. The eaatem apse 
contains a small recess which may have been an 
ambry or a piscina. The simple decoration of the 
exterior by flat pilasters and arches should be 
remarked, and it is curious to notice that they are 
omitted in the western apse and the half apse next 
it. The interior was lighted only by a little slit in 
two or perhaps three of the apses, just above the 
cavetto moulding from which their half-domes 

The Fbanciscan Convent of * observant ' friars 
is situated in the suburbs at the foot of M. Margliano 
and close to the sea-shore. The church, dedicated 
to S. Felix, represents the ancient buUding erected 
in honour of that saint by Archbishop John^, who 
died in 1059. The existing church and convent 
contain nothing of architectural importance, but 
there is a pretty little cloister surrounding a gay 
flower garden, of which the columns cany wooden 
architraves resembling in a humble fashion the well- 
known cloister of S. Gregorio at Venice. Here is 
careftdly preserved the magnificent early Christian 
sarcophagus which has been illustrated by Adam, 
and more lately by Eitelberger, representing the 
destruction of Pharaoh and the Egytians in the Red 
Sea** The passage of the Red Sea occupies the 

' Yid. Thorn. Arohid. o. xv, also Lucio's annotation to him, p. 471. 

■ Vid. Adam, Plate Ivii. Eitelberger remarks the rarity of 
subjects from the Old Testament on early Christian sarcophagi, 
p* 39a. 

Ch. XL] Spalato: Thomas Archidiaconus. 75 

whole fix)nt, the ends are very simply ornamented, 
and the back has three small figures divided by the 
waved fluting so common on sarcophagi. Eitelberger 
attributes it to the fifth or sixth century of the 
Christian period, but ranks it as a work of art among 
the best of its kind in existence, and higher than 
many of the later pagan sarcophagi 

Hard by stands the sepulchral slab of one whose 
name we have often had occasion to mention, Thomas, 
the archdeacon and historian of the church of 
Salona. Bom in I2CX), we find him about 1216 a 
student at Bologna, where he heard St Francis 
preach in the square before the public palace. He 
says almost the whole city came to hear this 
missionary, * sordid in his dress, contemptible in 
person, unlovely in face,' at whose persuasive words 
enemies were reconciled, and family feuds healed, 
and about whom men and women thronged if per- 
chance they might touch the hem of his garment^. 
Ketuming to Spalato Thomas was made canon, and 
in 1230 archdeacon. His reforming zeal led him 
into a quarrel with Guncellus the Hungarian arch- 
bishop, whose laxity he sternly reproved, and whose 
shortcomings in discipline he tried to remedy. This 
enraged the canons, and making common cause with 
the archbishop they did their utmost to degrade the 
indiscreet and overzealous archdeacon and reduce 
him to impotence. The city was divided into fac- 
tions, quarrels broke out even within the church 
walls, and the public peace was endangered. In 
^ Thorn. Archid. chap, zxvii. 

76 Spalato: Thomas Archidiaconus. [Oh. XT^ 

this emergency Thomas went to lay his case before 
the Pope, followed a week later by the archbishop 
Guncellus with his principal adherents and a crowd 
of canons ready * to swallow him up^' They found 
Gregory IX at Perugia, and Thomas relates with 
manifest gusto the discomfiture of his enemies, and 
his own triumph in the papal court. 

Of his influence in securing the election of an 
Italian podestk in 1240 an account has already been 
given*. In the next year came the Tartar invasion, 
of which Thomas was an eye-witness, and of which 
he has left us a vivid description. 

In the same year as it would appear his old enemy 
Guncellus died, and the chapter, in the presence of 
the podest^, elected Thomas as his successor. Thomaa 
then touched the zenith of his fortimes, but it was 
only for a moment. The nobles of Spalato asserted 
their right to a share in the election, a tumult was 
raised, and Thomas, taken by surprise, hesitated, 
deferred his answer to the proposal that had been 
made him, and finally, though denying the right of 
the laity to interfere, resigned ^ 

Though like a true churchman Thomas fought 
hard to exclude the laity firom their prescriptive 
right to participate in the election of the clergy^ we 

^ ' Nil aliud nisi Archidiaconum toto ore glutire parantes.' 

■ Vid. supra, vol. i. p. 63 and vol. il p. 6. 

' He consoles himself by seeing the hand of an avenging Pro- 
vidence in the defeat which the Spalatines directly after suffered 
at the hands of the Tradnnes. ' Yerum quam grave sit statum 
matris Ecclesiae invisis factionibus conculcare poena evidenter 
docuit e vestigio subsecuta,' eh. xlv. 

Ch. XI.] Spalato: Convent of 'i Paludi' 77 

find him on another occasion like a true patriot 
pleading the immunities and privileges of the city 
against the King of Hungary himself ^ Zealous, 
active and resolute, and probably superior to his 
companions in literary attainments, Thomas was a 
Dalmatian Giraldus, always in hot water with some 
one, a strenuous champion of the church against the 
laity, and of his own office against other churchmen, 
recalling his Cambrian prototype also by his journeys 
to Rome, and by the envious fortune that placed an 
archbishopric within his grasp only to snatch it away 

He died in 1 268, having brought his history down 
to within two years of that date. 

The Fraitciscan Convent of 'i Paludi/ A 
short walk along a good road behind the town of 
Spalato brought us to the crest of some rising ground 
whence a lovely view of the inland sea of Salona 
broke upon us. The water was of an intense blue, 
flecked with silver wavelets, the shores were richly 
xjlothed with vegetation and dotted with white villages 
sparkling in the sunshine, while behind in stem 
contrast towered the bare craggy summits of the 
Cabani mountains. This basin, the ^Riviera dei 
Castell%' the * Tempo of Dalmatian' is famous for the 
mildness of its climate and the fertility of its soil, 
and with the exception of Castelnuovo in the Bocche 
di Cattaro, which is similarly favoured by natural 
situation, it impressed us as offering the only land- 

* Vid. sapra, p. 8. 

* Sir Qardner Wilkinson, i. 17a. 

78 Spalato : Convent of * i Paludu [Ch. xi. 

scape in Dalmatia which was really soft, well-wooded, 
fertile, and highly cultivated. 

On the lower slopes of the mountain facing us, 
where olives and vineyards alternated with huge 
piles of white stones, partly perhaps ruins, but mostly 
heaps gathered ojff the fields, once stood Salona, one 
of the fairest provincial towns of the Boman Empire, 
and according to Porphyrogenitus ' half as large as 
Constantinople \' Below us to the left, reaching to 
the water's edge, stretched a low flat marshy plain 
known as i Paludi, and on the very brink of the sea 
stood the grey buildings of the Franciscan convent 
we were seeking. 

Over the entrance is a machicolated tower, for 
defence against the Turks, which reminded us that 
here we stood on the ancient debateable groimd 
between Christian and Moslem, neither of whom 
was ever secure against a sudden raid from the 
other even when the central governments were 
not at open war. Through this we entered the 
convent court, where we were hospitably re- 
ceived by the Superior who shewed us all his 

The buildings are not remarkable, but the church 
contains several pictures of considerable interest. 
There are two great works of Girolamo di Santa 
Croce. That at the east end is very fine ; these are 
the subjects : 

' ZaX«0Mi fUy€$of Ifxovrb ljfu<n) "KtMHnavniHnmoktwi, Const. Porph. de 
adm. Imp. c xzix. 

Ch. XL] Spalato : Convent of ' i Paludi.' 


Sta. Cftterina. 

Sta. Elena. 

Madonna & Child 
Angel Boyi. 

Sta. Agnese, 

rister of 

Sta. Maria 

S. Giovanni 

8. Doimo. 

S. Franoesoo with 

SS. Bernardino & 



S. Qirolamo. 

The Virgin and Child are very well painted, with 
charming little boy angels on the wing. The picture 
is on panel and signed 



The whole has however been a good deal touched up 
lately at Vienna. In a side chapel is an interesting 
work on canvas by the same painter not yet re- 
touched, representing the Madonna and Child with 
St. Peter and S. Chiara. 

There are some exceedingly fine sepulchral slabs 
in the floor with figures in relief, dating from the 
early part of the sixteenth century, among which the 
best are one to a lady who died in childbed, and 
another to Thomas Nigro, bishop of Scardona and 
Trati in the time of Leo X. 

Over a side altar is a bad copy made in 1 727 from 
an older picture, which represents the most eminent 
writers who have employed their pen in praise of 
the Vu-gin Mary. Among them, strange to say, is 
Mahomet, who holds a scroll with the words * NuUui^ 

8o Spalato : Convent of * i Paludi' [Oh. XT. 

est ex Adam quern non tenuerit Satan preter Maiiam 
et filium ejus. Mahometo, 

i-ii. Libro V. 

This picture has protected the convent from out- 
rage by the neighbouring Moslems, who learned to 
visit the church not for purposes of rapine but to do 
reverence to the figure of their prophet, or, what is 
more likely, to enjoy the reverence paid him by 
Christians. The Superior told us that to this 
day Moslems passing by often come in to look 
at it. 

From the church we passed into the cloister, from 
which there is a door into the library. There we 
were shewn some MS. choir books on vellum in 
black letter, with illuminated borders and initials 
painted by Frater Bonaventura de Spalato A.D. 
.1665. The gold is very inferiOT in metallic solidity 
and lustre to that of the older illimainations, and 
there is very little of it employed, yeUow paint 
shaded with red being generally used where the 
older men would have used gold. Fra Bonaventura 
did not attempt figure subjects, but used engravings, 
which he mounted on the vellum and coloured by 
hand ; but he has shewn infinite fancy and ingenuity 
in the geometrical interlacing borders with which he 
has surrounded them, covering sometimes the vast 
sur&ce of a large folio page with this kind of 
decoration. It is very brilliantly coloured and finely 
shaded, but shews more industry than geniua 
Another book by the same hand is dated 1670, 

Ch. XI.] Spalato. 8 1 

and the ornamentation is chiefly drawn from natural 

The friars told us that not only were the subjects 
taken from the flora of Dalmatia, but that the 
colours themselves were extracted from the native 
plants of the country. 

The narrow streets of Spalato abound in charming 
fragments of Venetian architecture. Some of the 
palaces of the old nobility have really fine windows, 
and many a courtyard of which a glimpse is caught 
in passing is rich with graceftil arcades and stair- 
cases. Fig. 41 shews a simple but weU-unagmed 
example of the latter in a house just behind the 
ruined apse of the chamber which Adam marks as 
Diocletian's bath-room. Not far from this spot, in 
the Piazza del Mercato, is the tower that goes by 
the name of the shifty Hervoye, duke of Spalato, 
whom Lucio compares to the treacherous Demetrius 
of Pharos, and who after serving and betraying 
Hungarian, Bosnian, and Neapolitan, was discovered 
to be intriguing with the Turks, and dismissed to die 
in disgrace at Cattaro. The tower formed a part of 
the mediaeval fortifications of the new town. Later 
still the whole city was enclosed by the Venetians 
within fortifications of a more modem kind, but 
these in their turn are now being removed as useless 
against modem artillery, and a hindrance to that 
expansion of the town which its modem prosperity 
demands. For Spalato strikes the visitor as the 
busiest and most thriving place in Dalmatia: its 
streets and squares are lighted by gas, while those 

VOL. n. G 



[Ch. XL 

of Zara and the other cities are still dependent on 
oil lanterns ; and outside the town a new quarter of 

Fig. 41. 

large modem buildings ha« sprung up, among which 
is a capital inn, where the visitor will fare as well as 

Ch. XI.] Spalato. 83 

at Trieste or Fiume ^ These modem improvements 
aare due to the energy and public spirit of Dr. Baja- 
monte, the late podestk, who however with the whole 
municipality was ejected from office by the Austrian 
government to make way for a new corporation of 
strictly Croatian sympathisers, which after an inter- 
regnum of two years was elected under the guns of 
a man-of-war stationed in the harbour, and which 
one may therefore assume to have been forced upon 
an unwilling people. Spalato has hitherto been no 
less strongly attached to the Latin or autonomous 
party than Zara herself, but nothing is now being left 
imdone to give it the character of a Slavonic town, 
and to put an end to the Latin traditions of twelve 
centuries, during which the Croat has borne no rule 
within its walls. 

Spalato is an excellent centre for excursions — 
better perhaps than any other place on the coast. 
Trail Salona Clissa and Almissa are within a drive 
and not beyond the powers of a good walker, and 
the heights of Mossor with the fastnesses of the 
ancient republic of Poglizza are close at hand. It 
is the best starting-place for an excursion into the 
interior, and it actually possesses a small railway, 

' He must not, however, expect to live so cheaply at Spalato as 
Wheler did in 1675 . . *the great plenty the place affords of 
everything that is good made us eat and drink as well as the 
cookery of a Qerman soldier's wife (the only one we could find in 
the town to do us that favour) could make us ; and that at very 
reasonable rates. For they pay not for Partridges above a groat 
or five-pence apiece; for a Hare not much more, and Butcher's 
meat not above a peny a pound/ 

G 2 

84 Spalato. [Ch. xl 

which, though detached from any other line, forms a 
useful link between Spalato and Sebenico and the 
interior of the province. The Croatian or national 
party boasts that the day is not far distant when 
Spalato will be the capital of Dahnatia, and Zara 
with her Latin and unsympathizing people will be 
left out in the cold to dwindle and decay. 



The ancient Koman capital of Dalmatia was 
beautifully situated on the lower slopes of the Cabani 
mountains and along the shores of the sea lake which 
is fenced from the open Adriatic by the long moun- 
tainous island of Bua. There is little enough now 
remaining above ground to tell one that so large a 
city once lay spread out on the hill side, and though 
on a near approach a few remains of walls are visible, 
they ai'e lost in the distant view among the mounds of 
stones which the husbandmen have piled up between 
the fields and vineyards. Exaggerated accoimts 
have been given of the size of the ancient city, 
Porphyrogenitus says it was half as large as Con- 
stantinople, which is incredible * ; and the six 
miles in length for which Thomas Archidiaconus 
vouches dwindle on measurement to no more than 
seven-eighths of a mile within the walls, beyond 
which there may of course have been extensive 

' Or Salonae ; the name occurs spelt either way. Salona seems 
the more common, and as being the modem form is the more con- 
venient for modern use. 

* Const. Porphyr. de adm. Imp. zziz; vid. supra, p. 78, note. 

86 Salona. [Ch. xn. 

suburbs ^. The form of the city was long and narrow, 

and its appearance as it stretched along the sea 

shore is alluded to by Lucan in the lines which every 

writer from Thomas the archdeacon downwards 

thinks it necessary to quote when describing Salona: 

Qua maris Adriaci longas ferit unda Salonas 
Et tepidum in molleB Zephyros ezcuiTit lader'. 

From Spalato the road rises to the crest of a low 
ridge and then descends into the valley of the 
Riviera dei Castelli, which extends from Salona to 
TratL To the right may be seen striding across the 
valley the aqueduct built by Diocletian to serve his 
palace with water, which after a period of ruin and 
neglect has now been repaired, and supplies the town 
of Spalato from the sources of the Giadro or lader. 
About three miles from Spalato the road crosses a 
stone bridge ^ which spans a rapid stream running 
between brilliantly green meadows, a strange sight 
in Dalmatia ; this is the ancient lader, the modem 
Giadro, whose water, says the imperial topographer, 
is * sweet above all waters, as they say who have 
tasted it*.' Beyond this lies the modem village of 
Salona, a collection of scattered houses of which 

^ ' Dicta autem est Salona a Salo, hoc est a mari, quia in littore 
maris eita esi^ longa rero idciroo dicta est qiiia modicum lata sed 
in longum fere sex milliaribns versus occidentalem plagam pro- 
tendebator.' Thorn. Archid. c. ii. 

* Lucan, Pfaarsalia, lib. iv. 404. 

' Sir Gardner Wilkinson, voL i. p. 151, says one arch of this 
bridge is Boman. 

* '£v f cWb* udttp itbn^ ml yXviomxror ^ir^ ff&nm, to vftora «»v 
^(rly o2 ycvcri^cyoi. Const. Porphyr. de Thematibus, 1. iL p. 58, 
ed. Bonn. 

ch. xn.] 



every one has its walls full of fragments of Boman 
sculpture and inscriptions : and here we unconsciously 
enter the precincts of one of the proudest provincial 
cities of the Boman world. 

The circuit of the ancient walls has been made 
out with tolerable distinctness^ and a rough plan has 
been published by Professor Buli<5, from which I have 
taken my Fig. 42. The city was divided into two 

% U — fer-nfc — ts, — k. k. — is — C 

Fig. 4a. 

parts by a wall with an important gateway, marked 
by Professor Bulid as the Porta Caesarea, of which 
the outside is towards the east as if the western half 
of the city were the older of th^ two. The eastern 
half is the part by which the visitor will enter 

88 Salona. [Ch. xii. 

Salona, near the ruins of the castle built in 1347 by 
Ugolino Malabranca, archbishop of Spalato, to keep 
in check the Servian garrison of Clissa ; and the 
Boman walls in this part are so broken down near 
the road that he will not easily know when he is 
within them. From the old Porta Andetria, or 
Clissa gate, the pathway follows the inside of the 
northern wall for some distance, tiU a spot is reached 
where a trophy has been erected of various fragments 
of antique and early Christian sculptiure. Here we 
left the city and followed a path on the outside 
which brought us to the basUica of which I give a 
plan (Fig. 43) from actual measurement. 

The basilica is a Christian building probably of 
the fifth or sixth century, which perished at the 
destruction of the city in 639, and has only recently 
been excavated. The plan presents many peculiari- 
ties, some of which are unintelligible. It consists of 
a nave with side aisles divided by a colonnade of 
nine arches on each side and preceded by a narthex, 
to the westward of which may possibly be found an 
atrium when the excavation is carried further. The 
width of the nave in proportion to the aisles is 
unusually great. The columns rested on a continu- 
ous wall or stylobate, and the bases of several of 
them are stiU in position. At the east end of the 
nave is the choir, enclosed once by a dwarf wall or 
screen of which the foundations remain. The width 
inside its walls is only eight feet six inches, which 
is strangely narrow. Beyond this the basilica was 
cut in two by a wall in the position of the iconostasis 

Ch. XII.] 



_£ 3L. 

' ' r ■ ' ' i 

Kg. 43- 

90 Salona. [Oh. xii. 

of a Greek church, which jfrom its massive construc- 
tion — it is three feet thick — must have been a main 
wall reaching the fall height of the building, and 
forming a solid partition pierced only by five rather 
small doorways. Of this arrangement in a church 
of this date I am unable to offer an explanation, nor 
do I know of a similar example elsewhere to guide 
one to its meaning \ Eastward of this wall is a 
kind of transept, and beyond that an eastern apse 
of which the flat exterior buttresses may either have 
run up to the eaves as simple piers like those in S. 
Vitale at Ravenna, or have carried blank arches as 
at SS. Trinity near Spalato (vid. p. 73). At F is 
an entrance, outside which are the traces of a small 
porch. At H are the ruins of a considerable struc- 
ture of which it is not easy to conjecture the purpose. 
At G is a small square chamber paved with a white 
marble slab, under which is a sepulchral vault with 
an entrance below the floor on the east side, accessible 
from a small square pit lined with stone. The 
actual entrance of the vault was closed by a stone 
sliding hatch running in grooves, which could be 
raised by an iron ring. At H is a small window 
about three feet above the floor, which was closed by 
a similar stone sliding shutter. The whole of this 
curious structure probably had some reference to the 
sepulchre below, which may have contained the body 

* In the Coptic charch of Anba Bish6i is a somewhat similar 
wall cutting the church in two ; but it divides the choir from the 
nare, whereas here there is a choir outside of it ; and it has only 
three doors in it, whereas this has five. Vid. Butler's Ancient 
Coptic Churches, vol. i. p. 311, and Fig. 21. 

Ch. xu.] Salona. 91 

of a Christian saint or martyr. Northward of the 
church is the singular feature of an additional aisle 
ixmning the whole length of the building ; and two 
apsidal chapels A and B opened out of it by triple 
arches of which traces may be seen in the walls now 
built across them. The walls of all the forgoing 
parts of the basilica are still several feet high above 
the floor ; those of the rest are less perfect. The 
strange series of apsidal chapels is continued at C 
and D and E, but the walls are so broken down that 
the position of their doorways cannot be traced. 
These appended chapels and their connecting aisle 
are extremely curious, and I am not aware of any- 
thing resembling them elsewhere. At I K L are the 
foundations of other apses which must have belonged 
to buildings older than the present basilica. 

The excavation has been carried below the original 
floor level of the church, and has disclosed a most 
extraordinary state of things. It would seem that 
the whole area on which the church was built had 
been from early Christian times a burying place, and 
was as full of sarcophagi as the aliscamps of Aries 
or the cemetery at Pola which supplied Dante with 
an image for the burning coffers of the heresiarchs. 
These were not removed to make way for the church, 
but they were covered with earth and the site was 
levelled over, and the new walls were simply built 
above them without any other preparation. Now 
that the floor has been dug out the tombs are again 
exposed, and there they lie embedded in mud at the 
bottom of the excavation, throTvii about in strange 

92 Salona. [Ch. xn. 

disorder, with broken lids or no lids at all, and full 
of water from the last rainfall. At least fifty sar- 
cophagi have been exposed by digging within the 
church below the level of the pavement, and at least 
a hundred more stand thickly on the ground outside 
the church, all of them damaged and lifled of their 
contents, many of them overthrown, or with their lids 
lying upside down beside them. There are several 
sepulchral chambers like that described within the 
church at G, with a little shallow well or pit in front 
of the entrance, lined with slabs which are joined 
with lead dowels. In at least one case the sliding 
hatch is perfect with the iron ring for raising it. 
One tomb which I entered was a chamber six feet 
eleven inches by four feet five inches, and five feet six 
inches high to the top of its round arch. The floor 
was of marble slabs, now broken, and the walls 
retained their painted decoration. The entrance of 
this instead of the usual lifting hatch had a stone 
door which worked on pivots wrought in the solid 
of the stone and fitting into holes in the sill and 
lintel. It opened inwards and is now broken. 

Under the foundation of the choir wall is an 
inscription of the year 431 * ; in the apse is the sar- 
cophagus of a chorepiscopus, a title and office said to 
be not older than 450 ; and under the mysterious 
three feet wall that cuts the church in two are 
broken lengths of ancient columns laid on their sides 
across the bottom of the wall to form a foundation 

* To Victorias Advocatus, in the consulship of Bacchus and 

Ch. xil] Salona. 93 

for it. All this, together with the foundations at 
I K L, shews that the present basilica is not the 
oldest church on or near the same site, and that it 
was built not much if at all before the date of 
Justinian ; and this is confirmed by the style of the 
capitals which have been dug up in the basilica, and 
which are either of debased Boman work and used 
secondhand, or, when original, of Byzantine character. 
Some of the outlying chapels may be older, and as 
sarcophagi stand over the foundations of the chapel 
E that building was probably ruined before the great 
basilica was erected. 

Close by the great west entrance door of the nave 
lies the original lintel, which bears this inscription : 


In the pavement of the narthex was found in Feb. 
1885 a mosaic inscription, which has been removed 
to the Ginnasio at Spalato. Professor Buli<S has 
published it with suggestions for completing the 
lacunae as follows * : — 

In lucem ^ostqvam te fudit celsa volvntas 
Annas et virroES postqvam doctrina replevit 
Heu lacrimatyQ abis tvnc gavdia laroa parentvm 
Spes Idetas mesto tecvm svb pvlvere condis 
Omnipotensque devs qvi te forma vit et avfert 
Clemens occipiAT servetqve ad gavdia membrvm 

* Bnlletino di Archeologia e Storia Dalmata. Ann. yiii. 1885, p. 49. 



[Ch. XII. 

In the various chapels were discovered several 
sarcophagi of great interest, and some of high artistic 
importance, of which the best have been removed to 
the museum at Spalato, 

In the chapel A is the large sarcophagus of the 
seventh century of one Nereus. Close by in the 
same chapel stands a large rudely carved sarcophaguii 
with a double epitaph to Constantius and his wife 
Honoria. The latter is in hexameters, and from the 
allusions it contains it has been said that Honoria 
herself was a Christian martyr. If however the 
date is correctly ascertained to be 374, it is not easy 
to see how at that period an opportunity of martyr- 
dom could have presented itself, nor does the 
inscription itself require that explanation ^ 

qVITI • V • C • 




In the chapel B were found the two magnificent 
sarcophagi, now in the museum at Spalato, repre- 
senting respectively the l^end of Phaedra and 
Hippolytus and the Pastor bonus. The occurrence 

^ The inscriptions are published in the Bulletino di Archeologia 
Dalmata, vol. 7. 

ch. xn.] Salona. 95 

of a pagan subject on a sarcophagus in a Christian 
church is curious, but sarcophagi originally used for 
pagans were often appropriated by Christians. 

Of all the sarcophagi of Spalato or Salona that with 
the Meleager is undoubtedly the finest, and is indeed 
in the best style of Boman art ; next to it in point 
of merit comes that in the Franciscan church with 
the crossing of the Red sea ; the Phaedra and Hip^ 
polytus is in a ruder style, and as inferior to the 
Pharaoh as the Pharaoh to the Meleager ; lowest of 
all must be placed the Pastor bonus, in which the 
classic touch has nearly disappeared, though the 
figures are still based on classic models, and have 
not yet stiffened into Byzantine conventionalism. 
I should imagine its date to be in the fifth century. 

In the remains of this great basilica of Salona, so 
far as they go, we have an example of an early 
Christian church untouched since the first part of 
the seventh century, and its importance to the 
archfiBologist may be well understood. It is, like all 
the basilicas of Bavenna Parenzo and Grade, built 
of rude masonry, intended perhaps to be plastered 
outside, and depending for beauty within on decora^ 
tion by marble and mosaic. Whether it was the 
principal church and the cathedral of Salona cannot 
at present be said. K its appendages are excluded 
the basUica proper will not compare in point of scale 
with the duomo of Grade, nor except in the width 
of the nave with that of Parenzo, both of which places 
in the time of Justinian were inferior in importance 
to Salona. The massive party wall moreover which 

96 Salona. [Ch. xn. 

cuts this basilica in two seems more appropriate to a 
monastic than a metropolitan chm'ch, and I should 
be disposed to look for the real cathedral of Salona 
within the walls, and close to the baptistery which 
has been already unearthed. 

Outside the basilica on the north side is a well-" 
preserved ancient wine-press of stone, channelled, 
and with a duct leading to a carved cistern, also of 
stone, lower down on the slope of the hill. Its close 
proximity to the church suggests the idea that it 
may have been used for the preparation of sacra- 
mental wine^ ; but I am not aware that the Latin 
church ever made any special arrangement for this. 

The baptistery is situated within the walls of the 
eastern part of the city, and on much lower ground 
than the basilica we have already visited. The walls 
are still several feet high, and the bases of the piUars 
are stiU in position, so that the plan is very clear. 
It was a circular chamber, with seven columns stand- 
ing in a ring within it so as to form an aisle round a 
central space which was no doubt domed. In the 
middle is the ancient piscina or font for baptism by 
immersion, sunk in the floor and lined with marble 
in descending steps, like that of which the ruins 
remain in the baptistery of the duomo of Parenzo. 
To the south was the principal entrance, which was 
preceded by a kind of portico with two ranks of 

* Mr. Butler describes a wine-press in one of the Coptic chuixhes 
at Cairo, with which the Eacharistic wine was made for distri- 
bution among the churches of that city. Ancient Coptic Churches 
of Egypt, A. J. Butler, vol. i. pp. 115-277, vol. ii. p. a82. 

Ch. XII.] Salona. 97 

columns. To the west, where was another entrance, 
is a raised area, whether originally within doors or 
in the open air cannot now be told, which is floored 
with mosaic. Of this pavement we could see nothing, 
as it is covered over with earth to protect it from 
the mischievous curiosity of visitors and collectors 
who have destroyed piecemeal one part in which two 
stags were represented with the text ' as the hart 
pants,' &c. ^ 

The masonry of the baptistery like that of the 
basilica is very rude, and it is coursed with Boman 
brick. A capital belonging to it is to be seen in 
the Museum at Spalato, which has animals at the 
angles in the place of volutes, and of which the 
body is formed with a kind of basket work of vine 
leaves cut away from the bell and pierced behind. 
It has all the character of Byzantine sculpture of 
the sixth century. 

Travelling still westward we came to the dia- 
phragm wall which cuts the city in two, and is 
pierced by the ancient gate marked on Professor 
Bulid's plan as Porta Caesarea. This was an 
imposing structure, flanked by an octagonal tower 
on each hand, and with a large central archway 
for carriage, between two Zow ones for foot 
passengera The arches are now gone, but the 
jambs remain, and the pavement with ruts six 
inches deep marking the wheel tracks. The outside 
of this gateway, as I have before observed, was 

^ I am told a drawing of this moEaic pavemeDt is pablished by 
Lanza, Degli Scavi di Salona nel 1848, Tavola ii. No. 4. 




[Ch. xn. 

turned towards the eastern part of the city which 
we had abeady traversed, as if the western part 
were the older. From this to the Porta Andetria, 
near which we had entered the town, the main 
street would have run, and along that line the 
excavations should be made in future. 

Passing through the Porta Caesarea into the 
inner part of the city we found the wall running 
westwards close to our right hand. Just outside 

Fig. 44. 

it, a little way further on, a trench has been opened 
in the soil exposing fourteen sarcophagi in a row, 
end to end, and touching one another. All when 
found had been opened and rifled. Two only among 
them bear inscriptions, of which one is Pagan and 
the other Christian. 

At the far end of the city westwai'ds are the 
ruins of the Amphitheatre (Fig. 44), perhaps the 
^theatrum' mentioned by Thomas the Archdeacon 
as the only building that survived the conflagration 

Oh. xn.] Safoua. 99 

of the Avars in 639 ^ Although, however, a smooth 
oval mead preserves the form of the arena, little 
enough remains at the present day of the building 
itself. The most perfect part is the great eastern 
entrance with its wide central passage between 
two narrower ones, and a few arches of the outer 
walls remain in other parts of the circuit. The 
situation is a lovely one, and commands a fine view 
of the sea lake of Salona and the narrow gorge at 
the far end where the ancient city of Tragurium 
with its bridges^ links the island of Bua to the 

The city walls bear signs of having been 
repeatedly battered down and repaired. In some 
parts may be seen the lai^e fair regular masonry 
of the empire in its prime ; on this as a substructure 
is often to be seen a much ruder wall, the work 
of a degenerate age, raised perhaps in a hurry to 
ward off some impending attack. At different 
times bastions have been applied to the walls on 
the outside, touching but not bonded to the older 
fabric, the first series of these towers being square, 
and a later series, datmg it is supposed from 
400 A.D., projecting with a beak or triangle to 
the front like a similar bastion observed by Fortis 
in the ruins of Assesia^ Traces of eighty-eight 
towers in all have been found in the circuit of 

* 'Hostile quippe incendium consumpserat omnia, tun-es et 
moenia prostrata jacebaut; solum Theatri aedificium, quod in 
occidentali parte constructnm faerat, adhuc integrum remanebat.' 
Thomas Archid. c. ix. 

• Vid. sup. Vrana, vol. i. p. 365. 

H 2 

loo Salona. [Ch. xii. 

the walls, of which forty-three are plainly visible. 
Salona was taken and retaken many times by Goths 
and Hims and other barbarians before the time of 
its final and irretrievable ruin in 639 at the hands 
of the Avars, and the broken and patched walls tell 
the tale of the troubled fortunes of the city. It 
was taken by Theodoric in 490, recovered by the 
Byzantines in 535 ; retaken by Theodatus the 
Gothic king, and again recovered by the Empire ; 
a third time conquered by the Goths in 547, and 
finally retaken by the Empire in 551. 

Beyond the limits of the Roman city, but in 
a line continuous with the walls, may be seen on the 
road to Trail some remains of walls built of huge 
stones laid in regular courses without mortar, and 
of fair workmanship with neatly bevelled edges, 
resembling as Sir Gardner Wilkinson remarks 
Greek masonry rather than Boman ; and according 
to one theory these are the remains of an age 
preceding that of the Boman conquest. It has 
been suggested that they may have been 'long walls' 
to connect Salona with a port fiirther down the 
coast where there was more depth of water, and 
if so, this may partly explain the exaggerated 
estimates of the length of the city which have been 
quoted at the beginning of this chapter. 



History. Riviera dei Castelli. The Daomo. The Loggia. Other 
Churches. Domestic buildings. 

Trau, the ancient Tragurium, is supposed to have 
been originally colonized in 380 B.c. by Syracusan 
Greeks from the island of Issa or Lissa^ It is 
mentioned by Polybius and Strabo ; Pliny* speaks 
of it as a town of Boman citizens famed for its 
marble ; Constantino Porphyrogenitus reckons it 
among the townQ which still remained Roman in his 
time, and he describes its singular natural position 
on a peninsula, in shape like a water melon (ayyvplov), 
from which resemblance he derives the name of the 
placed This isthmus was in later times cut through, 

* Fortis. Lucio cites Polybius, fragm. to the effect that Tra- 
gurium and Epetium {Stobrez) were subject to Lissa. De Begn» 
lib. i. c. i. 

* lib. iii. c. xxii. Yid. sup. vol. L p. 368 note. 

* *0t» t6 Kompow tA Ttrpayyovpm fUKp6v i(m vtivtov ip rj $aKaaaji 
Zxw Koi Tpdxfj^ow Iwt rijs y^^ OTcvd»roroy diiajp yttf^vpiov cV f bUpxprrtu 
o2 KoroiffoviTCff mU rh aM K^trrpov, Trrpayyovpiy di KoXcinu deck rd timi 
ttM fwcp69 dliapf ayyvplov, 'Ey di r^ avTf Kotrrp^ anSKteriu 6 Sytot 
fidprvp Aavptimog 6 iipxf^n&^^v* Const. Porph. de Adm. Imp. ch. xxix« 
Another derivation of the name is from Troghilon, a place near 
Syracuse, whence the colonists of Lissa came. Celio Cega, La 
chiesa di Tratt. 

102 Trail : History. [Ch* xni. 

and the town is now reached by a wooden bridge 
over the gap, while another bridge joins it to the 
island of Bua. 

Remaining under the nominal sovereignty of the 
Byzantine court till the great expedition of Pietro 
Orseolo 11. against the Narentines in 998, Trail in 
that year submitted like the rest of Daknatia to 
the Venetians. In 1 1 05 she admitted the supremacy 
of Coloman, but was allowed to retain her municipal 
liberties. Lucio cites the charter granted to the 
Tralirini in 1 108 ^, which fimiishes a good instance 
of those generally enjoyed by the Latin or Dal-^ 
matian cities. 

After the death of Coloman Trail and Spalato sur- 
rendered to the Doge Ordelafo Faliero in 1 1 1 7, but 
the enterprises of the Venetians in the Holy Land 
left their new possessions in the Adriatic unguarded, 
and in 11 23 Trail was taken and sacked by the 
Saracens and destroyed*. The city was still in 
ruins and almost if not quite deserted^ when 
Stephen IL invaded Dalmatia and recovered it for 
the Hungarian crown. He confirmed the fugitive 
inhabitants on their return in their ancient pri- 
vileges, which were again confirmed and enlarged by 
Geiza H. in 1151*. 

In 1 171 Trail submitted to the Emperor Manuel, 

* Luc. de Begn. lib. iii. c. iv. p. 117. Vid. sup. vol. i. p. 44. 

* Farlati, iv. 3 1 7, ' dadem Saracenicam et Tragarii eversionem 
0611860 cum Joanno Lucio conferendam in annum 1123.' Other 
vrriters say 11 25, vid. Celio Cega. 

* Lucio, de Regn. lii. vi. vii. Vid. sup, vol. i. chap. i. p. 46. 

* Ibid. c. viii. 

Ch. xin.J Trail: History. 103 

and was in consequence taken and partly destroyed 
by the Venetians in the same year, a comparatively 
easy task as the town walls had not yet been 
completely restored since their overthrow by the 
Saracens ^ In 1182 it appears from a confirmation 
of privileges by Bela IIL that the city was again 
under Hungarian rule ; but in the following year the 
Doge personally received the submission of the 
Traiirini, who however on the retirement of the 
Venetian fleet reverted at once to the Hungarians \ 
Lucio implies that this succession of easy conquests 
was due to the feeble condition in which the Saracen 
invasion had left the city. 

Bela IV. took reftige at Trail from the Tartars in 
1242, and fled thence to hide himself in a neigh- 
bouring islet, still known as Kraglievatz * the King's 
seat' Caydan the Tartar leader followed him from 
Spalato to Trail, but as he had no boats, and as 
the deep muddy bottom of the channel made it 
unfordable, he was obliged to retire ^ and Trail 
escaped the fate of Buda and Gran. 

After the retreat of the Tartars Trail like Spalato 
and Sebenico enjoyed a short period of independence, 
which, however, was badly employed by all three 
commonwealths in hostilities with one another, until 
an end was put to them by the interposition of the 
Ban of Bosnia*. 

The tyranny of the counts of Bribir and the pira- 

* Lucio, de Begn. ex. * Ibid. c. xii. 

' Thomas Arohid. chapters xxxix to xlii; vid. sup. vol. i. p. 67. 

* Vid. supra, vol. i. p. 371 ; and vol. ii. p. 7. 

I04 Trail: History. [Ch. xni. 

cies of the Almissans at last drove the maritime 
cities into the arms of Venice, and in 1322 the 
Tratirini voluntarily placed themselves under the 
protection of the RepubUc of St. Mark, their ancient 
customs statutes and privileges being secured to 
them by treaty. The degree of independence which 
was enjoyed by those conmiunities which were in 
this manner subject to Venetian overrule is shewn 
by the league formed in 1332 between Trati Spalato 
and Sebenico and Neliptio count of Knin against the 
Ban of Bosnia, with whom Venice had no quarrel. 
On behalf of Trail the count Giovanni Gradenigo, 
with the consent and will of the nobles of Trail, 
promised one hundred and forty men. The con- 
tingent from Spalato was one hundred, and that 
from Sebenico one hundred and sixty ; but it would 
perhaps be unsafe to base any comparison of the 
relative strength of the three places on these 

In 1357 the suflferings inflicted on the Dalmatian 
possessions of Venice by the Hungarians provoked 
Tratt and Spalato to submit to Lewis ^ The Venetian 
garrisons and magistrates were surprised, the two 
counts were sent honourably to Venice at the public 
expense, and the flag of Himgary was hoisted in 
place of the Lion of St. Mark. 

Lewis of Hungary confirmed the ancient privi- 
leges of Trail and Spalato, and the Hungarian rule 
lasted tiU 1420, a period marked by civil troubles 
between the exUed and the dominant faction. In 

' Tabula a Cutheis, ch. ii, iii. Vid. sup. vol. i. ch. i. p. 1 1 1. 

CH.xni] Trail: History. 105 

1398 the Genoese fleet took refiige at Trail after 
their defeat at Chioggia, and were here unsuccess- 
fully assailed by Pisani ^ 

Tvartko dinring the brief period of his rule con- 
firmed the privileges of the Traiirini, as did Ladislaus 
of Naples during his equally brief supremacy in 
Dalmatia. On the defection of Hervoye Trail, like 
all Dalmatia except Zara, returned to Hungarian 
allegiance, and at the bidding of Sigismund equipped 
three new triremes and some smaller ships which 
inflicted considerable injury on the Venetian marine. 
This brought on the Trattrini the fleet of Pietro 
Loredano, who after receiving the submission of 
Brazza Lesina and Curzola, besieged Trail, bom- 
barded it for two days from the island of Bua, and 
on the third day, June 22, 1420, received its 

From the time of its final annexation to the 
Venetian dominions the annals of Trail are un- 
eventful. In 1797 the revolutionary wave made 
itself felt here, and some disturbances occurred 
dinring which the Palazzo Garagnin was plundered 
und several lives were lost. In 1806 Trail was 
occupied by the French, and in 1813 the Austrians re- 
turned, since which time the history of Trail is silent. 

The easiest way of visiting Trail is by carriage 
from Spalato. The road skirts the shore of the 
inland sea of Salona, known as the Riviera dei 

^ Lucio, de Kegn. v. c. i. 



[Ch. xui:> 

Castelli from the chain of forts built along it by 
the Tralirini in the fifteenth century, when the 
Turkish conquests of the interior first brought that 
people into dangerous proximity to the coasts This 
basm, sheltered from the Bora by the Cabani moun- 
tains, and from the storms of the Adriatic by the 
high ridge of the island of Bua, is the most fertile 
and highly cultivated district in Dalmatia. Though 
the mountains close behind are rocky and sterile, 
the foreshore is weU clothed with vegetation, and the 

Fig. 45. 

scenery through which the road passes might almost 
be called soft. 

Salona is the first of a string of populous villages 
that line the road. Next comes Vranjica, or Piccola 
Venezia, a fisherman's village on a long narrow penin- 
sula very like the isola dei Pescatori in Lago Maggiore, 
where it is said was the naval arsenal of the Roman 
city. Then follow Castel Su8uraz, Castel Vitturi, 
and Castelnuovo, with four castelli of lesser impor- 
tance, each a thriving village that has grown up 
under the shadow of the fortress that still stands in 

" Vid. supra, General EListory, vol i. p. 148. 

Ch. XIII.] Trail. \o^ 

the midst of it. At last a turn in the road brings 
Tratt into view; and an open space in front of the 
city gate is reached after crossing by a bridge the 
silver streak of sea that saved the city from the 
Tartar hordes. 

Opposite US was the Porta di terra firma, crowned 
by the statue of S. Giovanni Orsini the patron 
saint of the city, and bearing over the gate the 
Lion of St. Mark, here as everywhere asserting the 
ancient sovereignty of the Queen of the Adriatic. 
But this particular lion is famous for the cypress 
bush in which it is embowered, which springs from 
between two stones over the gateway, and is miracu* 
lously sustained, as the Traiirini believe, by S. Gio- 
vanni himself. Eitelberger^ says that the Morlacchi 
prognosticate a good or bad season from the appear- 
ance of this bush, according as its foliage is green or 

As at other Dalmatian towns the carriage has to 
be left outside the walls, for the streets are not laid 
out for wheel traflSc, and indeed in the narrowness 
and intricacy of its alleys Trail surpasses Spalato 
itself as much as Spalato surpasses Zara or Sebenico. 
After making many turns and twists and diving 
under several archways, we finally emei^ed into 
fresh air and daylight in the Piazza del Duomo, 
a smoothly-flagged square with the cathedral and 
the ancient loggia at the sides, the Palazzo Com- 
munale at one end, and the Palazzo Cippico at the 
other. There is something very pleasing and sig- 
^ Eitelberger, p. i86. 

lo8 TraU: the Duomo. [Ch. xiiK 

nificant in the centralization of the life of an ancient 
municipality in the ayopa^ forum, or piazza, round 
which the principal public buildings of the com- 
munity were assembled, and in the adornment of 
which every citizen took a personal pride; and the 
piazza of Tratt is not inferior in beauty or interest to 
any other in Dalmatia save perhaps that of Spalato, 
which has of course an interest that is all its own. 

^ The duomo op Trau has the great advantage of 
being built throughout in one consistent style and 
according to one design. The additions which it 
has received in later times are so made as to leave 
the original fabric untouched, and with the ex- 
ception of the western tower they are not visible in 
any general view that can be obtained of the 
exterior. The chiirch has also the advantage, so 
rare in Italy, of being completed outside as well 
as inside, instead of presenting like so many Italian 
churches a rough face of unfinished brickwork or 
masonry, awaiting, and awaiting in vain, the splendid 
veneer of marble or sculptmre that never comes. In 
this respect the Dalmatian chiirches seldom fail to 
satisfy the eye ; though they were very long in 

' A good deal of interesting matter relating to the church has 
been collected by the Abbate Vine, di Gelio Cega in his < La chiesa 
di Tratt,' published at Spalato, 1 855. It is out of print, and I had 
to seek for a copy in the public and private libraries at Tratt. 
The book, however, is full of inaccuracies, and the inscriptions are 
misquoted. The author cites as his authorities, besides Lucio and 
Farlati, various unpublished MSS., especially one by Paolo Andreis 
In the capitular library at Tratt, which brings the hiatory down to 

Ch. xin.] Trail: the Duomo. 109 

building, the modest scale on which they were 
planned enabled their builders, sooner or later, to 
complete them handsomely and well, and to make 
them as beautiftd without as they were within. 

It is said that a church existed here in the time 
of Constantine, and that it was rebuilt in 503 with 
the bequest of Quirinus a patrician of Salona*. In 
1 1 23 this cathedral perished at the destruction of 
the city by the Saracens, and its reconstruction 
was hardly begun in 1200-3. The work was agam 
suspended, but was resumed in good earnest by 
Bishop Treguano, a Florentine, who ruled the see 
from 1206 till 12592. In 1207 the Comune granted 
him certain farms for the benefit of the chiurch, and 
the work progressed slowly but steadily, the south 
door bearing the date 1^13, the splendid western 
door that of 1240, and the walls being finished it 
is said in 1 25 1. The west gable of the nave however 
bears the arms of Bishop Casotti, 1362-71, from 
which it would seem that a long interruption of 
the work took place, and it is said the nave vaults 
were not closed before 1440. The lower stage of the 
campanile above the porch roof is dated 142 1, and 
the top of it with its spire was finished at the close 
of the sixteenth century, when the completion of the 
church was recorded by an inscription on the north 
wall of the nave, nvnqvam prtvs an • m • d • xcvin. 

The plan is basilican (Fig. 46), with nave and 
aisles five bays in length, and ending in three apses, 

* Lucio, Memorie di Trafi, p. 8. 

* So Celia Cega, Gams 1255. 

110 Trail: the Duomo, [Oh. xifl. 

CATHEDRAL OF TRAU (irom Etclbcrgcr) 

Fig. 46. 

Ch. xm.] TraU : the Duomo. \ 1 1 

and the west end is preceded by a magnificent 
Galilee-porch or narthex of the fiill width of nave 
and aisles. This Galilee rises to half the height 
of the nave, and was to have been surmounted by 
two western towers with spires, between which the 
west end of the nave with its gable and rose window 
would have been seen recessed to the back of the 
porch and towers. One tower of the two has been 
completed, and, though the upper part is not 
worthy of the lower, it forms a splendid finish to 
the cathedral. 

The porch is vaulted in three bays, a square bay 
under each tower and an oblong bay opposite the 
nave. The transverse arches are round, and the 
vatilts are quadripartite with ribs and panels, the 
length of the central bay causing the vault to rise 
in quite a dome above the level of the flat terrace 
roof of the porch. The wall shafts are spirally 
fluted, the bases are Attic with * toes,' and they rest 
on a stylobate or seat of marble, of which the riser is 
ornamented with blank arcading. 

This porch forms a magnificent vestibule, adding 
much to the dignity of the church, and the tempered 
light which reigns within enhances the solemn 
splendoiur of the sumptuous western portal of the 
nave, the glory not of Trail only, but of the whole 
province, a work which in simplicity of conception, 
combined with richness of detail, and marvellous 
finish of execution, has never been surpassed in 
romanesque or Gothic art (vid. Plate XXI). Erected, 
as the imperfect inscription on the lintel records. 

1 1 2 Trail : the Duomo. [Cm. xm. 

in 1 240, it is still thoroughly romanesque in general 
design, but its comparatively lofty proportion and 
the refinement of its execution shew that it belongs 
to the late or transitional period of the style *. It 
is round arched and square-ordered, but slender 
octagonal shafts are set in the square reveals of 
the jambs, and roll mouldings run continuously from 
them round the arch. It has the square lintel 
and semicirctilar tympanum of all Dalmatian portals, 
but above the arch is a gabled and crocketted 
pediment traced on the wall by a projecting 
moulding, enclosing a small niche and a figure of 
S, Lorenzo, which shews the lateness of the date 
more than the lower paxt of the doorway. 

In the centre of the tympaniun is a sculpture 
of the Nativity with its attendant circumstances, 
arranged in two stories one above the other, and 
enclosed by a canopy of curtains. In the upper 
story the Virgin lies in bed with the infant Saviour 
in a cradle, behind which appear an ox and an 
ass, while the presaging star from above pours a 
ray of light on the Saviour's head. Below runs 
a rhyming hexameter in Lombardics + iNSTins 
iNVOLvrr VIRGO QVi CRiMiNA SOLVIT. In the lower 
story the holy child is being washed, while Joseph 
and a shepherd sit by. On the bowl is the legend, 
also in Lombardics, vkrgitur m coca dilxjit qui 
SCELA CUNCTA. Outside the canopy, to the proper 
left, the three kings are seen approaching on horse- 

' The opening of the square doorway measores about 1 1 feet by 
7 feet 4 inches, the height being to the width approximately as 3 to 2. 




West, doorwfty of Duomo 

114 TraU: the Duomo. [Ch. Xlii. 

represented by a compound body of man and devil 
with wings on the legs. Above this are the three 
women approaching the tomb, on which stands a 
%ure of our Lord, with an angel censing. The 
three guards wear mail armoiu*, short swords, a 
helmet like a wide-brimmed hat, and mail armour 
round the face. At the crown of the arch is the 
crucifixion between St. John and St. Mary, and two 
kneeling figures next the cross, which is represented 
of rough wood framed not crosswise but like a Y. 
Descending the other side of the arch the first 
subject is the scourging of oiu* Lord who is bound 
to a column ; then our Lord with his hands bound, 
led by three soldiers who carry swords ; then the 
feast in Simon's house with the woman washing and 
kissing our Lord's feet, and the raising of the 
widow's son, the last two being mixed into one 
group. Below this is the triumphal entry into 
Jerusalem with Zaccheus climbing into the ti'ee 
and figures strewing garments in the way ; and 
lastly, at the springing level of the dexter or proper 
right side, the flight into Egypt with to angel 
hovering abSve^ 

The inner order begins at the springing level with 
the Annunciation, the Angel bearing a long standard- 
like staff being over the dexter jamb, and the Virgin 
over the sinister : she holds in her hand a spindle, 
and stands in front of a small building with a 

' Tbeee suljecU fall into their proper order by beginning at the 
bottom and reading from side to side alternately upwards to the 

Oh. XIII.] TraU: the Duomo. 115 

cupola. At the crown of the arch is the adoration 
of the Magi, who wear low * pork-pie ' caps and are 
dressed in tunic and chlamys, and approach with 
considerable action, each holding a casket. The 
rest of the archivolt, right and left, is filled with 
angels flying towards the centre, the group to the 
proper left being preceded by a flying figure, 
bearded, shod, and wrapped in a large mantle, who 
holds in his hand an object like the head of a 
crutch. Behind him flies an angel resting his hand 
on the shoulder of this figure. Several of the little 
floating angels with upturned heads and fluttering 
drapery remind one of the lovely angels by Agostino 
di Duccio in the tympanum of the church of S. 
Bernardino at Perugia. 

The soffits of these arches are now plain ; Eitel- 
berger says they were once sctdptured, and that 
the sculpture has been cut away by an unskilfiil 
^restorer! Examining the soffits careftilly from a 
ladder I could see nothing to confirm this, but I did 
find traces of an inscription in Lombardics like that 
on the lintel, and this seems to disprove the ex- 
istence of sculptures. 

The jambs have an order in addition to those 
under the arch, which stands in front of the wall 
and supports the piers from which the gabled 
pediment starts. Against these projecting pilasters 
stands Adam on one side, and Eve on the other 
and curiously enough the dexter side. They are 
ill-modelled, as is usually the case with attempts 
of mediaeval sculptors to represent the nude figure, 

I 2 

Ii6 Trail: the Duomo. [Ch. Xlll. 

but though incorrect and grotesque from an 
academic point of view, and extravagant in their 
imitation and exaggeration of individual peculi- 
arities, they have, for all that, a certain n^ivet^ 
and genuine intention which gives them an artistic 
value. Eve stands on a lioness with a sheep in her 
clutches, and her cubs asleep beneath her ; Adam 
on a lion which holds down a griflin with his 
claws ; and whatever may be the shortcomings of 
Adam, no nobler or more impressive beast was ever 
conventionalized by mediaeval fancy than his sup- 
porter. These animals project boldly forward on 
a magnificent console of a very classic type, which is 
itself supported by a short square fluted pier, with 
little balls disposed at regular intervals in the 
flutings, the balls in the pier under Eve being 
pierced with a little hole. 

The outer order of the jambs next Adam and Eve 
have on each side three apostles framed in medallions 
formed by interlacing stems of vine; those next 
Adam have each a nimbus, those next Eve, including 
Peter, have none, but two of them have a little 
canopy over their heads. On the inner sides of this 
order are various beasts ; on Eve's side a stag or 
goat, a sheep, a camel, an elephant, a hippopotamus (?), 
and a flying griffin which plucks out the eyes of a 
pig ; on Adam's side an equestrian, a centaur with 
his aiTow, a mermaid, a sea-horse, and at the bottom 
a griffin devouring a scroll whence hangs a hiunan 
head. In the square reveal within this order is an 
octagonal shaft of green marble which, though it has 

Ch. XIII.] Trail: the Duomo. 117 

a capital, is continued as a moulding round the arch, 
and worked independently of it as is often done in 
Italian work of the same kind* 

The next order has various scenes from rural life ; 
a woodcutter, a leather- worker, a man boiling a pot 
and perhaps making sausages, a string of which> 
resembling the Muganica' which travellers in Dal- 
matia know so well, hangs behind him, while he 
holds another sausage in a ladle over the pot with 
one hand and with the other raises a cup into which 
a servant pours water ; a man killing a pig, while a 
kind of camel-monster seems attacking him in the 
rear ; sheep-shearing ; a figure with a scroll or label 
on which the inscription has been omitted ; an armed 
warrior, and a naked wild man of the woods. The 
scroll-work on the inner face of this order is magni- 
ficent and in its way unsurpassable, boldly designed, 
but yet finished like ivory carving. 

These two orders are supported at their lower part 
by human figures, some of which are clothed and 
some half naked. Two of them wear turbans, as do 
the morlacchi of Spalato to the present day, who may 
therefore have been thus attired before the coming 
of the Turks into Europe. Those who are dressed 
wear a tunic with a kind of toga, not differing much, 
if at all, from the general mediaeval dress of Europe 
at that time. Some are barefoot, but one has the 
ordinary mediaeval shoe with pointed toe, and 
another wears a kind of sandal, and above it a sort 
of legging wrapped round with bands tied at the 
calf not unlike those of the contadini in the Roman 

Ii8 Trail: the Duomo. [Ch. XIII. 

Campagna. These figures and others in the door- 
way are interesting portraits of the Dahnatian 
peasantry of the thirteenth century. 

The octagonal shafts of green marble in the inner- 
most reveal are interrupted each by a length of 
shaft richly sctdptured in fine white limestone. 
These pieces, though coeval with the doorway, are 
evidently not originally intended for their present 
place ; nor are they a pair, for while that on Eve's 
side is complete with a necking and a lower mould- 
ing of its own, that on Adam's side is broken off at 
top and hollowed out to receive the octagonal shaft 
above it, and the work of the two is evidently not by 
the same hand, that on Eve's side being far the finer 
of the two. Both of them are magnificently designed 
and are worked with the finish of ivory ; and fine as 
is the rest of the doorway, these fi:ttgments are per- 
haps superior in point of execution to the rest. 
Tradition says that these cylinders, if not the whole 
doorway, were brought fi*om the church of the castle 
of Bihafi, an old residence of Croatian and afterwards 
of Hungaiian royalty about three miles fi'om TraU, 
which was visited by Sigismund in 1387, and after- 
wards abandoned, and of which only a few traces 
now remain ^ It is possible that on the abandon- 

* Farlati calls Bihao ' oppidom magnificentissiniam et aula regia,* 
of the Kings of Croatia, Tom. L p. 481. But there could hardly 
have been a tovm there without its playing soroe part in history. 
Fortis points out several inaccuracies in Farlati, and this may be 
another of the same kind ; for instance, he describes Vrana Scar- 
dona and Verlika as strong walled towns, though in his day one 
was a heap of ruins and the other two were open villages. Vid. 
Fortis, p. 256, English edition. 


PLa*£ XXll 



Driail of West doc 

Ch. XIII.] Trail: the Duomo. 119 

ment of BihaS these carved columns may have been 
brought to Trail and placed where we see them, the 
middle part of the original octagonal shafts being 
cut out to make room for them. 

These cylinders are carved with scroll-work inter- 
spersed with figures of marvellously delicate execu- 
tion ; in that on Eve's side is a woman, perhaps 
Europa, seated on a bull with forelegs only and a 
serpent's tail ; a peasant with a hare slung on a stick 
over his shoulder ; a bear killing a man ; Pan, shaggy, 
with goat's feet and horns, and in each hand a bunch 
of leaves ; a figure fleeing from a serpent ; two men 
carrying a slain boar with a wound in his side ; two 
sportsmen with bows and greyhounds ; a man 
' gralloching ' a stag while his tired dogs pant and 
one lies oiu^led up asleep ; and at the lower end the 
subjects shewn in my sketch (Plate XXII). The 
opposite cylinder, which is fine though not equal to 
the first, has the hunt of a lion and a boar in an oak- 
wood, hounds, a youth with a falcon, peasants 
engaged in woodcraft cutting and twisting stems of 
the scroll-work that envelopes the shaft, and two 
figures fighting of whom one forces the other's head 
down. The figures wear a short tunic and girdle, 
pointed shoes and a fillet round the head, and are 
armed with a short sword and a round shield with 
which they defend themselves against the lion and 
the boar'. 

' Eiielberger argues that these shafts must have come from the 
interior of the country, becauee neither stags nor oakwoods are to 
be found isx Dahnatia. But on the other hand neither are lions to 
be found in the interior. 

I20 Trail: the Duomo, [Ch. xill. 

The lintel is supported by two brackets with 
amorini in the renaissance style, fairly carved but 
incongruous in effect. 

The south doorway of the church is comparatively 
plain, but in the same round-arched style. It has 
square orders with rolls laid in the reveals, of which 
the inner one is cabled, and the outer carved with an 
indescribable pattern resembling chain armour. In 
the semicircular tympanum is a round window 
enclosing a quatrefoil, and in two lines surrounding 
the circle is this inscription in Lombardics resembling 
those over the west doorway : — 


The side walls of the aisles are now finished with 
a dwarf loggia of stumpy columns carrying a wall 
plate, whence a lean-to roof of tiles is laid to the 
clerestory walls of the nave. This, however, is not 
original ; the aisles were in the first instance covered 
with a flat paved terrace like that over the west 
porch^ and the upper roof was probably added 
because the original arrangement was not found 
watertight ^ The old flagged terrace roofs still 
remain however below the others, and on their 
smooth surface I was interested to find lines traced 
by masons who had used them as tables for setting 

* The additional height by wliich the eaves have been raised 
may be plainly eeen in the view of the east end. Vid. Plate XXIII. 




East e»id of D'^omo 


Ch. XIII.] Trail: tfie Duomo. 121 

out full size the Gothic traceries of the windows of 
the campanile. 

The exterior of the east end with its three apses 
is very fine (Plate XXIII), and the whole prospect of 
the church from this side is imposing. The apses 
and the gables above have the usual romanesque 
round-arched cornice, and the apses are divided into 
bays by attached columns as at S. Grisogono in Zara, 
some of them spirally fluted in the same way. In 
the eaves cornice occur the brick-like sunk dentil 
and the curious fan-leaf frieze which are found also 
at Zara and Spalato, and the chain-mail ornament 
above described as existing on the south doorway 
and elsewhere in this church. 

The interior of the cathedral of Trali is sombre and 
majestic. The design is simple and massive, and 
the height is very great, almost excessively so foif 
the length of the building\ The masonry is care- 
fully faced, and having never been whitewashed it 
has been brought by time and candle smoke to a 
warm grey colour, like our own Westminster Abbey, 
which has been equally fortunate in escaping the 
brush. The dark walls, dimly lit by the subdued 
light that finds its way through the narrow deeply 
splayed windows and the great western rose, give 
the interior a harmony of colour and a mysterious 
solemnity that is very impressive. Both nave and 
aisles ai'e vaulted with quadripartite rib and panel 

* The nave measures, according to Eitelberger's plans, about 
85 X 25 feet, and its height is 56 or 57 feet to the apex of the 
transverse arches. 

122 Trail: the Duomo. [Ch. xiii. 

work, the bay of the nave being oblong laterally as 
in northern Gothic churches, and that of the aisle 
nearly square. The transverse arches of the nave 
vaults are pointed, all the other ai-ches being round, 
and the ribs spring from consoles carved with Vene- 
tian foliage of the fifteenth century, the upper vaults 
being of that date. There are no flying buttresses 
to sustain them, the clerestory walls having only 
flat pilasters on the outside, and the thrust is resisted 
by iron ties across the nave, which are placed in the 
oddest way not at the springing of the ribs where 
the thrust is concentrated but in the centre of the 
bay, passing through the clerestory window and 
being made fast to a cross bar outside. According 
to Lucio these iron ties were fixed in i44o\ and as 
the vaults would not stand without them this must 
be the date of the completion of the vaulting. The 
vaults of both nave and aisles are exceedingly 
domical, so much so as almost to have the effect of 
cupolas. The apses are covered with half domes. 

The nave arcades, which are evidently of the date 
of the portals at the beginning of the thirteenth 
century, are very massive; the arches are stilted 
semicircles, and spring from square piers with capitals 
of little or no projection, consisting of several rows of 
plain turn-over leaves and an abacus ornamented 
with the chain-mail pattern above described (Fig. 
48). The bays are very irregular in width, the 
arches ai'e of various spans, and the piers of the two 
arcades are not even opposite to one another ; but 
* Celio Oga, p. 12. 

Ch. xni.] TraU: the Duonta. 123 

the arches being stilted are easily accommodated in 
height, and the massiveness of the piers disguises 
their want of uniformity. 

Round the great apse still remains the stone seat 
for the clergy with blank arcading in the riser like 
that in the porch, but the bishops throne in the 
centre has been destroyed. 

Fig. 48. 

Over the altar is one of those striking ciborii 
or baldacchini in which Dalmatia abounds; it re- 
sembles those at Curzola and. Cattaro, and consists 
of four cipoUino pillars carrying a four-square tester 
or architrave surmounted by two octagonal stages 
of colonnettes supporting sloping roofs and gradually 
diminishing pyramidally. The capitals and finials 
are of romanesque character with leaves and animals 

124 Trail: the Duomo. [Ch. xill. 

intertwined, something like those of the pulpit at 
Spalato. Over the two front pillars on the angles 
of the square are statues of the Virgin and the angel 
of the Annunciation, which are in the style of the 
fifteenth century, but they are evidently not original. 
Examining them from a ladder I found they rested 
on plinths with inscriptions in Lombardic letters, 
one of which was upside down : 

tedore(?) bitalis qda martini oprarii^ and 


The pulpit, which is said to have cost Scx) 
zecchini, resembles that at Spalato, and was perhaps 
imitated from it, but it is octagonal instead of 
hexagonal, and this gives it a comparative heaviness. 
The capitals and cornices of romanesque foliage 
intertwined with beasts and serpents were once 
gilt. The execution of this pulpit is exactly like 
that of the ciborio, and the two most probably 
are the work of the same hand and the same 
time. I cannot but think the date 1440 given by 
Farlati^ must refer to some alterations, such as that 
evidently made in the baldacchino when the old 
inscribed plinth of the statuette was reversed. It 
is hard to believe that the Trailrini set up this 
pulpit and ciborio in a pure romanesque style 
twenty years after they had begun their campanile 
in pure Grothic with perfectly developed traceries, 
and in style both baldacchino and pulpit belong 

* The 'operarius' was the official in charge of the fabric, 
generally one of the higher clergy or a nobleman of the city. 
' Farlati, iv. p. 407. Celio Cega, p. 15. 

Ch. xIII.] Trail: the Dtwmo. ^^5 

rather to the thirteenth century than to the 

The chou* stalls are arranged in a double row 
on each side, and are fine productions of the same 
school of Venetian workmen to whom we owe the 
stalls at Zara Arbe Lesina Cherso and elsewhere 
in Dalmatia to which I have already referred more 
than once\ Those at Ai*be are dated 1445, ^^d 
these are about coeval with them. They have lost 
their original cornice, which was evidently like that 
we shall notice in the armadio of the sacristy. Each 
stall is said to have cost eighteen golden ducats ^ 
They were restored in 1757 by bishop Caccia ^ and 
again in 1852. 

The Sacristy^ whose interior with its stone-vaulted 
roof would make an admirable picture, is chiefly 
remarkable for the beautiful * armadio,^ or wardrobe 
of carved and inlaid walnut wood which lines the 
wall. The building was erected under bishop 
Cavazza about 1447, and cost 4020 zecchini. The 
armadio with its carving and intarsiatura is the 
work of Gregorio da Vido, and was made in 1458 
at an expense of 125 ducats*. Its carved cornices 
are of exquisite workmanship in the Venetian 
Gothic of that period. 

The treasury of the church which is contained in 

the sacristy was formerly one of the richest in 

Dalmatia*, and it still retains several objects of 

^ Vid. sup., vol. I. pp. 228-274. 
' Celio Cega, p. 15. ' Furlati, iv. 407. 

* P. Andreas, ined., lib. vii, cited by Celio; Lucio, Memorie, 
p. 488. * Farlati, iv. 308. 


Trail: the Duomo. 

[Ch. xm. 

interest, of which the following are the most re- 
markable : — 




Fig- 49- 

I. A ^brooca' or ewer of silver gilt, twelve inches 
high (Fig. 49), said to have been given by a queen 

Ch. xin.] Trail: the Duomo. 127 

of Hungary, or, according to others, by bishop 
Casotti (1362-71), but this date seems to me too 
early. It is hexagonal and of very unusual form, 
German in style, and of very good and highly 
finished workmanship. 

2. An ostensorio of exquisite workmanship, with 
pierced and interwoven work of foliage and birds 
like that carved on the pulpit, the birds beautifully 
finished with a tool after casting. The upper part 
has Gothic canopies. The date is apparently in the 
fifteenth centiuy if not earlier. 

There are also a good ivory triptych, a silver cross 
with figures of St. John and the Virgin on branches 
right and left, and two arm-shaped reliquaries like 
those at Spalato. The red velvet mitre set with 
stones and pearls, which is said to be the one 
bequeathed by bishop Casotti, is veiy fine, and may 
be of that date, but the pastoral staff which is 
shewn as his is not so old as his time. Neither can 
the embroidered vestment, said to be part of the 
*imperiali panni' of Prince William, bequeathed to 
the chm-ch by his bride in 1 242 ^ be of that date, the 
architectural ornaments having interpenetrating 
cusps in the German style of the fifteenth century. 

On the north side of the church are three ad- 
ditional buildings of a date posterior to the main 
fabric. The oldest of the three is the chapel of 
S. Girolamo, which was built by Nicoletta, widow 
of Giacomo Sabotta, the contract for the work 
bearing the date of July 1458*. 

* Vid. infra, p. 135. ' Lucio, Mcmor., p. 488; Celio Cega. 

128 Trail: Chapel of S. Giov. Orsini. [Ch. XIII. 

The chapel of S. Giovanni Orsini, which opens 
into the north nave aisle in the same^vray as the 
chapel of S. Antonio in his church at Padua, to 
which indeed it bears some resemblance, was begun 
under bishop Turlon or Turlono S the architects 
being Nicolb Fiorentino, of whom we have already 
heard at Sebenico^, and Andrea di Alessio, or as 
he is elsewhere called Andrea Alecxi of Durazzo, 
an Albanian artist of whom we hear again both 
here and at Spalato and Arbe. The contract was 
dated Jan. 4, 1468, the stipulated price being 
3300 ducats, and the work occupied six years. 
The chapel is rectangular, and lined with rich archi- 
tecture and sculptm^e in the style of the renaissance. 
The waggon vault is divided into panels containing 
each a cheiiib's head and wings, the central com- 
partment, which occupies the area of fom* ordinary 
panels, being fiQed with a half length figure of 
Christ holding an orb in his left hand and blessing 
with the right, and siurounded by a wreath. On 
the lunette of the north end wall is carved the 
coronation of the Virgin ; the principal figures are 
only mediocre performances, but some of the little 
cherubic figures that cluster around are very pretty. 
Below the springing run two cornices divided by 
a space which is pierced with round windows 
between flat pilasters. The stage below is the most 
important ; each side wall contains six round arches, 
of which two are pierced with windows, and the 

^ Giacomo Turlon or Turlono, of Ancona, was Bishop of Trail 
from 1452 till 1484. Celio Cega calls him Furlon. 

* Vid. supra, Sebenico, vol. I. p. 401, and Spalato, vol. II. p. 531. 

Ch. xm.] Trail: Chapel of S. Giov. Orstni. 129 

other four sunk into niches containing statues nearly 
as large as life. On the west are i. s. tomas; 
2. s. lOANNES evangelista; 3. a nameless saint 
with a book in his left hand; 4. s. pavlvs with 
a sword in his right and a book in his left hand, 
over which he bends as he reads. On the east are 
5. a nameless saint with a beard; 6. s. filippo 
holding a roll, and with bushy hair projecting over 
his eyes Italian fashion ; 7. an aged saint, St. John 
the Evangelist, with long beard, pen and book, and 
an eagle at his feet ; 8. a figm*e with crisp short 
beard holding a book between his hands and looking 
sideways. In the north waU two similar niches, one 
on each side, contain the Madonna and St. John the 
Baptist, and in the central space is our Lord. By 
the nave arch is St. Mark with his lion. The 
statues, each of which cost twenty-five ducats, were 
begun in 1482, the first being St. John the Evan- 
gelist, by Andrea and Nicolb. In the sixteenth 
centiuy were carved the two statues which are 
most highly prized, those of St. Paul (No. 4) and 
St. John the Evangelist as a young man (No. 2). 
They are said to be the work of Alessandro Vittoria, 
a pupil of Jacopo Sansovino \ The reading figure of 
St. Paul is expressive, but the drapery is clumsily 
managed and arranged in unnatural folds, and none - 

* Lucio, Mem., p. 488, says two statues were by Vittoria. Vasari 
in his life of Sansovino says that Alessandro Yittoria * in Dalmazia 
mandb pure di pietra qaattro Apostoli nel duomo di Treu alti 
cinqne piedi V ono.' It is suggested by Cello Cega that the other 
two which have the names inscribed on them, S* Filippo and 
S, Tomas^ may be the remaining pair. 


1 30 Trail : Chapel of S. Giov, Orsini, [Ch. xill. 

of the figures rise above mediocrity except Nos, 2 
and 8, which are really fine and full of character. 
Below this stage is another consisting of square 
panels divided by pilasters. Each panel is supposed 
to be filled by a pair of folding doors, of which one 
is ajar, and through the opening emerges a winged 
boy holding a torch. The attitudes of these 
children are varied and shew a good deal of fancy ; 
some have flaming torches, others are blowing 
torches which are nearly or quite extinguished ; 
but the execution of the figures is unequal. A seat 
with a decorated riser forms the base of the wall 
and completes the design. 

The altar stands in the middle of the floor away 
fi-om the walls, and above it, smothered in modem 
flummery and rococo marble work, is the ark of 
white marble with twisted colimms containing the 
body of the saint. The panels are of a red marble 
resembling that of Languedoc, and the twisted 
shafts were once gilt. On the sloping lid lies the 
figure of S. Giovanni Orsini, and behind, in Lom- 
bardic letters beautifully cut in relief, is the rhyming 
inscription with the date 1348, the shrine being 
much older than the chapel which contains it. 





lohannis tragvrii — veri defenso / 

bevoti antistitis — — quem narrat scriptu\ 

fecisse miracula — in vita quam • plu/ 

Ch. XIII.] Trail : S. Giov. Orsini. 1 3 1 


















Giovanni Orsini, who was born at Rome, and who 

became bishop of TraU about 1064, was a great 

mechanician and engineer ; his scientific feats, like 

those of Ghetaldi in a later age, seemed to the 

simplicity of his contemporaries due to supernatural 

agency, and after his canonization many miracles 

of which science was guiltless were added to the 

list. Celio Cega relates with all gravity how he 

caused a scanty vintage to produce an unusual 

quantity of wine ; how he walked on the waves 

to rescue a shipwrecked crew off La Planca ; how 

in 1x05 with a stone from a sling he destroyed 

' Copied from Celio Cega and Eitelberger. I did not collate 
the whole with the original, but I observe the abbreyiations are 

K 2 

132 Trail: S. Giov. Orsini. [Ch. XIII. 

Coloman's battering-ram ; how Coloman was over- 
come by the sight of a dove that settled on his 
saintly head while he was celebrating mass ; and 
how at last he died in sanctity ^wpon the thorns 
which formed his accustomed couch' When the 
Venetians sacked Trail in 1 1 7 1 under Doge Vitale 
Michieli they searched the ark for treasure, and 
finding only the body of the saint they threw it 
on the shore, after tearing off one arm for the sake 
of the ring which miraculously refused to be removed 
in any other way. The arm was deposited in the 
church of S. Giovanni di Rialto, and to the entreaties 
of the Trattrini for its restoration the Venetians 
only replied that they kept it with greater honour 
than the Trattrini could shew it. It was finally 
restored by Doge Sebastiani Ziani in 1 1 74 ; but so 
tame a conclusion did not satisfy the Trattrini, who 
will have it that S. Giovanni, 'wfto would be all 
their own,' caused his arm to retimi on the eve of 
his festival, in the same year in which it was stolen, 
when it * came flying like a comet through the air 
and was found on the ark wrapped in white linen' 
After this it is no wonder Giovanni was beatified in 
1 1 92, that the abbot of S. Giovanni Evangelista 
who doubted his sanctity was punished by a good 
bout of ague, and that miraculous cures have 
been wrought by the relic even in the nineteenth 
centiuy \ 

^ S. Qiovanni was iDstnimental in supplanting the local and 
Slavonic ritual by the Latin. Eitelberger observes that Rome has 
been careful to canonize those of her champions who succeeded in 

Ch.xDL] Trail: the Baptistery. 133 

The Baptistery opens out of the north end of the 
western portico, and was built in 1467 by the same 
architect as the chapel of S. Giovanni, as appears 
by an inscription over the inner side of the door- 
way :— 





It is a rectangular chamber ceiled with a pointed 
barrel vault decorated with coflters containing ro- 
settes. It is lighted by a round window in the 
west gable, opposite which in the east tympanum 
is a relief of St. Jerome in his cave with his lion. 
The sculptor has so contrived it that a natural 
brown stain in the stone serves to deepen the gloom 
in the cave and to faU like a cast shadow on the 
upper part of the figure, of which the knee comes 
forward in white as if the light fell upon it. The 
trick has a curious effect, and a visitor has christened 
this relief ' il gran cameo di Trail ^' AU round the 
chapel at the springing level runs a cornice of 
foliage, which, strange to say, though not so well 
executed, resembles the cornice above the nave 

Buppressing local and provincial differences of ritual, as for instance 
S. Donato at Zara, S. Giovanni Orsini at Trati, and S. Carlo 
Borromeo at Milan. 

' Celio Cega repeats the popular belief that this rilievo is older 
than the destruction of the church by the Saracens in 11 25. The 
Dalmatians are never content with a moderate measure of antiquity. 
St. Jerome is claimed by them as a fellow-countryman, but they 
cannot agree as to the place of his birth« 

1 34 Trail : the Baptistery. [Ch^ xill. 

ai'ches at Sebenico (vol. I. p. 390, Fig. 23), and must 
have been copied from it. Below is a frieze of boys 
carrying swags, of whom some are excellent, others 
unequal. The lower and principal stage is covered 
with flat pilasters, with narrow niches between them 
slightly sunk in deceptive perspective and finished 
with shells in their heads, all exactly like the work 
of Giorgio Orsini at Sebenico, an artist whom Alecxi 
resembles much in the character of his work. A 
seat with ornamented riser like that in the other 
chapel finishes the design at the floor level. The 
entrance from the portico is surmoimted by a 
sculpture in relief of the baptism of our Lord, 
treated in a dry and severe manner, but not without 
merit. Three angels hold the robe, the Almighty 
Father is seen above, and the dove descends on 
the figure of Christ. 

The cost of the baptistery was 4980 zecchini. 

On two piers of the nave, near the entrance, are 
fixed the doors that once adorned the organ, built 
in 1485 by Fra Urbino. They were painted by 
Giovanni Bellini, but have been repainted beyond 
all recognition. 

Prince William, son of the Emperor Baldwin, and 
betrothed husband of Margaret one of the little 
princesses whose tomb we saw at Spalato, died at 
Trail about the same time that Margaret died at 
Clissa during the horrors of the Tartar invasion. 
His grave-stone disappeared when the church was 
reflagged by Bishop Torlono, but the epitaph has 
been preserved by Lucio, and is printed by Celio 

Ch. XIII.] 

Trail: the Duomo. 


Cega, who thinks the original stone might be 
discovered under the marble flooring. It is another 
of the rhyming inscriptions that were fashionable 
here : — 















































If the reader is not already weary of these poetical 
effiisions he may finish with one more, which though 

1 36 Trail : the Duotno. [Ch. XTli. 

now much eflTaced by being walked over may still be 
seen in the pavement in fix>nt of the pulpit. It is 
the epitaph of Mladin III, of the family of the 
Counts of Bribir, who died at Trati on May i, 1348, 
whither he had come to recover his health. He was 
son to Giorgio II, whom he had succeeded as 
Count of Scardona Almissa and Clissa, and he 
played a considerable part in Dalmatian politics at 
the time of the first invasion of the kingdom by 
Lewis the Great \ It is interesting to note how 
the Tratirine rhymer evidently regarded this Croat 
chieftain, whom he enjoins the Slavs to bewail, as a 
foreigner within the walls of the Latin city where 
he laid his bones : — 









ut flos vernans defuit vtr tanti valo / 

croatorum clipeus fortis et ipse e \ 

inter omnes fortior volens scire que / 

ejus mortem impiam cerno pro peccat \ 


' Vid. vol. I. pp. 92, 94, 105. On his death his widow Lelca, 
to prevent Clissa and Scardona falling into the hands of Lewis 
daring the minority of her son, Mladin IV, gave them into the 
keeping of Stephen Dushan, Emperor of Servia, Vol. I. p. 109. 

Oh. xill.] Trail: the Duomo. 137 

flete sla vi nobilem nepotem banor \ 

largam vestram copiam pacis et honor / 

si preces altissimo date creato \ 

quod ipse misemcors parcat peccato / 

hic annorum domini sub cursum mille\ 

trecenteni insuper atque quadrage / 

octavo sub tempore traditus est li \ 

in calendis madii mensis die pri / 

cum bona sui memoria mors ipsum vora v \ 


From the portico a winding stair leads to the flat 
roof above it, through which the vault of the central 
bay protrudes with a hump. At the back of the 
terrace rises the west gable of the nave with its rose 
window. This is evidently of a date posterior to the 
main fabric of the nave and aisle, the tracery of the 
rose being weak and straggling; and the cornice 
is different on the two rakes of the gable, that of the 
north half being flatter than the other, and formed of 
plain intersecting semicircles with a string above 
carved into good foliage, while that of the south has 
round arches trefoil-cusped. The gable has three 
coats of arms, of which one with a pastoral staff is 
that of Bishop Nicol6 Casotti ^ (1362-1371), and that 

* The arms of Casotti given by Galvani, *I1 rfe d' armi di 
Sebemco,' pi. y, and by Rosenfeld {Wa^^pepJbvjcih des Konigreichs 
DalmcUiens), are without the indented border of this coat, and the 
eagle and the bends are reversed. He gives among his ' stemmi 
ignoti/ plate xix. No. 51, a coat more closely resembling this, but 
also reversed. It is remarkable that the arms of Hungary, if they 
are those of Hungary, are also reversed here. Trad was subject to 
Hungary from 1357 till 1420. 


Trail: the Duomo. 

[Ch. XIII. 


in the middle seems to be the coats of Hungary and 
Anjou impaled as on the ark of S. Simeone at Zara 
(vid. Plate X), except that here the French coat 
is on the dexter side. I have been unable to identify 
the third coat, a griffin (?) rampant with a star. 

From the terrace we entered the first stage of the 
campanile, which is of excellent Gothic work with 
good details. The two-light windows have octagonal 
shafts dividing the lights, each face of the shaft being 
very slightly concave in order to give brilliancy to 

the edge; and the tracery 
in the head is correctly 
ramified on the principle 
of Gothic bar-tracery. On 
the inside of one of the 
springers (Fig. 50) is a 
shield bearing an inscrip- 
tion with the date 1422, 
and the names of the 
architects Matteo and 

This date is two years after the bombardment of 
the city by Pietro Loredano in 1420, at which time 
the campanile was already standing, and received 
considerable injury from the missiles of the besiegers. 
Farlati has published the text of a contract for the 
repair of the church, and especially the campanile, in 
1 42 1 , between the ' operarius ' of the church and one 
Matteo Goycovich, lapicida, hahitator ad praesens 
civiL Tragur, who is no doubt the Magister Mateus 
who inscribed his name on the tower (Fig. 50) in the 


Fig. 50. 

Ch. XIII.] Trail : the Duomo. 1 39 

following year when he had completed his work^ 
I am not aware of any documentary evidence aa to 
the date of the original construction of the campanile ; 
but being in a perfectly developed Gothic style, and 
in a coxmtry where roxmd-arched architecture out- 
lived the fourteenth century, it cannot be much older 
than the bombardment, and was very probably 
designed by the same Matteo who afterwards re- 
paired it. The repairs described in his contract are 
too unimportant to have justified him in inscribing 
his name on the tower, and we hear nothing in that 
contract of his colleague Stefano who is joined 
with him in the inscription. 

The stage above this is in the same style, and 
probably by the same artists ; it has traceried 
windows on all four sides, those to the east and west 
having a reticulation of quatrefoils in the heads, and 
those to north and south tracery-work of cusped 

* Farlati, iv. p. 398. The specification requires Matteo . . . 
'omare et aptare omnes et singolos lapides qui sunt fracti ad 
campanile pred. eccl. cath. tarn occasione bombardamm quam per 
alium modum . . . fabricare et omare duas columnas integras et 
ipeas ponere ornate et bene ad ipsum campanile ad locum ubi nunc 
sunt due columne fracte . . . aptare totam listam pred. campanilis 
que est versus plateam Trag. . . . prout stabat alia lista antequam 
esset fracta, ac etiam ipsam listam salizare bene et diligenter inter 
ipsum Campanile et ipsam listam . . . aptare omare et facere ac 
ponere omnes cruces et rotas que sunt fractae ad ipsum campanile 
et que deficiunt, ac aptare omnes angulos et fracturas, etc. Item 
promisit d. mag. Mat. aptare versus austrum omnes fracturas et 
scissuras . . . incipiendo per viam austri a rota ips. eccl. que est 
versus levantem et eundo versus ponentem . . . etiam aptare rotam 
ips. eccl. que est fracta et que est versus levantem in d. ecclesia et 
omnes murellos et fenestras ipsius eccl. et listas que sunt fracte 
ex latere Austri.' The contract money was Lib. 604 parv. 

140 Trail: the Duomo. [Ch. XIII. 

circles. The final stage with the spire above it is of 
inferior work, with Grothic and renaissance details 
mixed together, and belongs to the sixteenth century, 
the date of its completion being 1598. 

Four bells hang in the campanile, three of which 
were recast, as their inscriptions imply, during the 
episcopate of Giuseppe Caccia, 1731-38, the treble 
bell being canciani veneti fusoris opvs, the next 
opvs BARTHOLAMEi DiPOLi, and the third opvs 
PAULi DEPOLis VENETI. The fourth or tenor is a 
large sonorous bell, to the casting of which it is said 
the noble ladies of Trail brought their jewelry and 
earrings, and cast them into the smelting-pot. It 
bears a figure of S. Lorenzo and this inscription : — 






1 6 ( J^Ag) 2 9 

Referring to the history of the city and cathedral, 
it should be observed that the body of the church 
was erected while Trail was under the over-rule and 
protection of Hungary, and this throws light on some 
peculiarities in the architecture. Though in many 
respects the influence of Italian art is noticeable, in 
others there is a decided resemblance to transalpine 

Ch. xin.] Trail: the Loggia. 141 

romanesque, and in a following chapter I shall trace 
many points of resemblance between this church and 
others in Hungary and Carinthia. 

The Loggia, now unhappUy in ruins, which faces 
the south flank of the duomo from the opposite side 
of the piazza, is one of the most remarkable examples 
of that class of buUding in Dalmatia. It is a work 
of various dates and a compound of many styles. 
Two sides are open with columns supporting a 


Kg. 51. 

horizontal architrave ; the back is formed by the 
outer wall of the desecrated church of S. Barbara, 
and the east end by the Torre dell' Orologio. One 
of the capitals is an antique Roman one with the 
olive-leaf raffing, another at the angle of the two 
open sides is of richly undercut Byzantine work with 
vine leaves (Fig. 51); two others are of Byzantine 


Trail : the Loggia. 

[Ch. XIII. 

character, and the remaining two are of later work. 
Some of the columns are antiques ; the angle one 
being of cipollino, on which in later times has been 
worked a shield bearing the arms of Loredano sur- 
mounted by a Gothic pediment. The roof has fallen 
in, and the pavement is broken and uneven and over- 
grown with weeds, but the old stone table of the 
judges still stands on a dais at the east end, and the 
wall behind is richly sculptured with a large lion of 
St. Mark between S. Giov. Orsini and S. Lorenzo, 
while numerous scutcheons and inscriptions around 
record the various repairs and embellishments of the 
loggia by successive functionaries. The lion bears 
on his open book the appropriate legend, 











Above is the %ure of Justice, holding her scales and 

seated on a winged globe. Little half-length figures 

emerging from circles in the compartments right and 

left of her bear scrolls with the following legends : — 

The dexter figure. 



The sinister figure. 







The Loggia 

l-PMOTO. 9rR»O0t « C' iD*00«« 

Ch. XIII.] Trail: the Loggia. 143 

The figure of S. Giov. Orsini holds a model of the 
city of Trail, and that of S. Lorenzo his gridiron. 
Beyond them on each side is a candelabrum, and 
outside these again the date 1471 * die • v • Nov. 

On a scroll below the lion is the following between 
two scutcheons, one bearing a cross with the 
initials G • p and the date M • D • xin, and the 
other which is an oval shield quarterly* being dis- 
played on the breast of an eagle with the initials a • l. 





Below this again on the lowest moulding of the 
panelling is this : — 


The initials of the same Venetian count Ambrogio 
Comer occur on the top moulding above the head of 
the figure of Justice, 


from which it seems probable that the loggia was 
largely restored in his time, though the greater part 
of the sculpture that covers this end of the chamber 
belongs rather to the earlier date 1471 when the 

^ The bearings of the Venetian family of Lando are argent and 
sable quarterly, vid. Galvani, II rk d' armi, plate xxi. There was 
a doge of this family, Pietro Lando, 1539-45. 

144 Trail. [Ch. xili. 

loggia was erected, or perhaps- 15 13 when it was 
restored, as recorded in the foregoing inscription, by 
one of the family of Lando, whose arms also occur 
on the base of the right hand candelabnmi. The 
judicial seat and table and the balustrading between 
the colimms belong no doubt to the restoration by 
Comer in 1606. On the south wall of the loggia, 
facing north, is the following with a shield bearing 
an annulet on a plain field : — 







M • D • 

On the same wall below this inscription is the 
following with a plain shield quarterly : — 


The oldest church in Trail of which any traces re- 
main was that of S.Maria in Piazza, which dated per- 
haps from the eighth century. It was round, and had a 
portico which opened upon the loggia, and which was 
afterwards turned into the church of S. Sebastiano, 
and still more recently raised and converted into the 
clock- tower '. The vault of S. Maria was only 
' Vid, Lucioy Mem., p. 493 ; Celio Cega, 

Ch. XIII.] TraU. 145 

destroyed as lately as January, 1851. I saw and 
talked with the person who owned and destroyed it, 
and he described the cupola as quite perfect up to 
the time of its demolition. 

At the back of the loggia is the interesting little 
Byzantine church of S. Martino or S. Barbara^ 
which it is said is first mentioned in 1 184, though it 
is probably a good deal older than that date. It 
is very narrow and lofty, with nave and narrow aisles, 
barrel-vaulting with underlying ribs, and a square 
chancel covered by a semidome on squinchea This 
church, which is now converted into a lumber-room 
or storehouse, is one of the most interesting of its 
clajss in Dalmatia, and deserves to be taken better 
care of ^ 

S. Nicolb is a Benedictine nunnery founded in 1064 
by Giovanni Orsini for ladies of noble descent, and it 
is stOl occupied by nuns of that order. Slight traces 
only remain of its original architecture. There is a 
pretty little cloistered court with capitals of a rudely 
Corinthianizing type which are early, but the rest of 
the building has windows of Venetian and stOl later 

S. Domenico was built in the fourteenth century 
by Bitcula, sister of Agostino Casotti, a native of Trail, 
who was successively bishop of Zagabria (Agram) 
and Lucera in Apulia, and was canonized by Pope 
John XXII (131 3-1 334). Over the door is a rude 
sculpture of the Virgin and Child with figures of 
Agostino and his sister Bitcula, and an inscription 

^ A plan and sections are given by Eitelberger, Dalm. pL xix. 


146 Trail. [Ch. xiii. 

DnA BrrcyiiA • soror • hs • sci • avgvstini, which 
proves the church to be later than 1323 when 
Agostino died^. The name of the artist is also 
recorded: maiste nicolai de te dito cervo d 


The church of S. Griovanni Battistay which is now 
roofless though otherwise well preserved, is by far 
the most interesting church after the duomo. In its 
arcaded cornices, sunk dentil courses, and chain-mail 
ornaments it corresponds with the details of the 
duomo so closely that there can be little doubt of its 
being coeval with it. It has a bell-cot for three bells, 
approached by an external staircase, and in the 
interior are some interesting details. The church 
was attached to a Benedictine abbey, and has the 
peculiarity of a square east end. 

Although for the most part the city walls have 
been thrown down and cleared away there are some 
very striking remams of them at the northern end, 
towards the open sea. The grand Castel Camerlengo 
of 1424 forms an imposing feature in the view of 
the city when approached by sea from Sebenico (vid. 
Fig. 45), and near it remains one of the city gates, 
the Porta Marina, surmounted as usual by St. Mark's 
lion, but instead of displaying the page pax tibi 
MARCE, &c. the book is shut, the republic being at 
war when the gate was built in 1454. 

* Celio Cega says the church was founded in 1300 ; Eitelberger 
in 1362-72. I did not study this church myself for want of time, 
and I take the inscriptions from those authors, who however quote 
them differently. 

Ch. XIII.] 



The Palazzo Comunale has in the cortile an 
effective outside staircase springing from brackets and 
arches, and in every part of the town beautiful door- 
ways and windows of Venetian architecture abound. 
On the west side of the piazza is the ancient palace 
of the Cippico family with windows and doors of 
Venetian Gothic, which are however on the verge 
of melting into the renaissance style, being mixed 
with flat fluted niches in sham perspective like the 
work of Giorgio Orsini at Sebenico, or that of Alecxi 
of Durazzo in the duomo here. The same mixture 
of styles is observable in the fine palace of Count 
Fanfogna-Guragnin, the podestk of Trail, to whom 
and to whose family we owe a debt of gratitude for 
many kindnesses during our visits to Trail, and 
much assistance in my researches into the local 

In the interior of the Cippico palace is a cortile 
with handsome details, and the family crest, a ramp- 
ing lion, on the wall between each pair of archest 
The court is much reduced in size, and in a modem 
fence wall is built up a tablet brought from some 
other part of the building, which records its erection 
in 1457:— 





' The arms of Cippico are per pale indented gules and or. 

L 2 

148 Trail: Coriolano Cippico. [Ch. Xin. 

Coriolano Cippico is one of her sons of whom Trati 
is justly proud He was bom in 1425, and studied 
at Venice and Padua. He not only served with 
distinction in the Venetian service against the Turks, 
but wi'ote the history of the campaign of Pietro 
Mocenigo in a style which made him no less famous 
as an author than he was already as a soldier ^ His 
book hM run through several editions, and SabeUico 
the Venetian historian, his fiiend and contemporary, 
praises him as the most illustrious Dalmatian of his 
time. Castelvecchio, the first of the line of forti- 
fied posts erected by the Tratirini along the Riviera 
as a barrier against the Turks, was built by Coriolano, 
and the neighbouring fortress of Castelnuovo by his 
nephew Paolo Antonio. In 1480 his house took fire 
and his second wife was burned to death. His 
own death took place in 1495. Several of his sons 
attained eminence in the church ; Alvise was bishop 
of Famagosta and died in the same year as his 
father ; Giovanni became archbishop of Zara in 1 504, 
but died at Rome the following year, whence his 
corpse was brought to Trati for burial in 1578 ; and 
another son, Girolamo, was archdeacon of Spalato. 
The family became extinct in 18 20 2. 

A still greater interest attaches to the palace of 
the family of Lucio, once the residence of Giovanni 
Lucio, the father of Dalmatian history, whose 

* His book, 2)e Bdh AsiaticOf was published at Venice in 1477, 
and reprinted at Basle in 1544 and 1556; an Italian translation 
was published at Venice in 1570 and re-edited in 1796. 

* Vid. Annuario Dalmatico, 1884. 

Ch. XIII.] Trail : Giovanni Ltuio. 149 

splendid work, De Regno Dalmatiae et Croatiae, 
will be more valued the more it is studied, as much 
for the valuable and original records on which the 
narrative is based, and which form a large part of 
the text, as for the sound critical judgment which 
the author has shewn in arriving at his conclusiona 
He was bom at Trail of an ancient and noble family 
in 16 1 4, and studied at Rome, where he made the 
acquaintance of many learned men, and among others 
of Ughelli, the author of the Italia Sacra, who 
advised him to devote himself to the history of his 
country.* On his return home he pursued his 
researches with great pains in the archives and 
libraries of Dalmatia in order to collect materials for 
his work. But Paolo Andreis, of a patrician family 
at feud with that of Lucio, and himself engaged on 
a rival historical work, denounced him to Contarini 
the proweditore generate of Dalmatia, accusing 
him of searching the archives to prove that the 
Venetian government had violated the ancient 
constitutions of the Dalmatian cities. Contarini 
happened to visit Trail, and Lucio's palace was 
selected as his place of abode. His attempt to 
excuse himself from receiving the visit of the prowe- 
ditore on account of the illness of his sister was mis- 
represented by the enmity of Andreis, and Lucio 
was arrested, confined among the galley-slaves, and 
only saved from the bastinado by the intervention 
of the bishop. After his release and the expiry 
of Contarini's government Lucio retired to Rome, 
where he was encouraged by Cardinal Basadona to 

150 Trau: Giovanni Ltuio. [Ch. xni. 

continue his work. He travelled through Italy 
Germany the Low Countries and France, and finally 
fixed his residence at Rome, where he died on Oct. 6, 

The palace of Lucio is a fine building of renaissance 
architecture, with handsome doorways and windows 
facing inwards towards the cortile, and a magnificent 
cistern or pozzo, but the sea-fi:ont has been modern- 
ized. The arms of the family, quarterly or and 
gules, appear in several parts of the building. 

Not far off is the palace of the rival and hostile 
family Andreis, in which may be seen a good panelled 
ceiling of simple but effective design. 

These palaces are no longer inhabited by the 
original families, but are fallen into decay and divided 
into several smaller tenements. Trail can however 
still boast that she possesses representatives of her 
ancient Roman stock ; the old Roman strain is said 
to have been maintained there with more purity than 
elsewhere in Dalmatia, and the Lucian Celian and 
StatUian families trace their descent from the patri- 
cian houses of the Empire. 

^ Lucio*s published works are — 

(i) De regno Croatiae et Dalmatiae, lib. vi, a gentis origine 
ad annum 1480; Amstelod. 1666 and 1668; Frankfort, 1666; 
Vienna, 1758. To the edition of 1668 are appended the writings 
of the oldest Dalmatian historians, to which I have made constant 
reference in the general history at the beginning of this book. 

(2) Memorie istoriche di Tragorio ora detto Trail, lib. vL Venezia, 
1673, in 40. 

(3) Do. 1674, with new title-page, 'Istoria di Dalmatia ed in 
particolare delle citt& di Trati, Spalato, e Sebenico. 

(4) Inscriptiones Dalmaticae, &c. . . . (publ. in OraeviuB Thes^). 

Ch. XIII.] TraU. 151 

The city with an extensive suburb on the island 
of Bua is said to contain more than 3000 inhabitants. 
The silversmiths' work that we saw there is superior 
to most in Dalmatia, for though it may not have 
the beautiful finish of the best work of the kind pro- 
duced at Ragusa it is extremely solid and well made, 
and more varied in design than is usual elsewhere. 
The women are employed in weaving a coarse cloth 
or * rascia' which is dyed dark blue, and serves for 
the trousers and waistcoats of the men and the 
petticoats of the women throughout Dalmatia. It 
is woven in hand-looms in the cottages, and the 
introduction of this industry, which is only recent, 
has done a great deal to alleviate the poverty of the 
hiunbler citizens. 

The climate of Trail is remarkably mild, and here 
for the first time in our journey southwards we saw 
the date palm flourishing in the gardens, though I 
believe it has never been known to ripen its fruit. 
But in spite of her natural advantages Trail, like the 
majority of Dalmatian towns, has a reputation for 
malaria; and though fever is comparatively rare 
there strangers would do well to observe the same 
precautions against exposure to the air at nightfall 
that are necessary at Rome. The causes of malaria 
are obvious enough, for there is an unwholesome 
muddy deposit in the bay to the north, and in 
the canal next the mainland, which becomes an- 
nually more dangerous to the health of the city. 
The tafik of dredging it away is beyond the 
means of the citizens, and appeals to the govern- 

152 Trail, [Ch. xill. 

ment for assistance have hitherto met with no 

Trati is now (1885) ^^® of the few places in Dal- 
matia where the Latin party still has the upper 
hand The government want a pretext for dissolving 
the municipality in order to introduce a Croat 
municipal body in its place, as they did at Spalato. 
On a public occasion just before we were last there 
the Traurini cried * JSwiva la coltura Latina/ which 
was misrepresented to the authorities as a cry for 
Italian annexation, and it was with difficulty that 
the government was induced to listen to the truth, 
and the threatened suspension of the municipality 

We may take leave of Trail with the description 
of its people given by Farlati : — ' The Traurini are 
endowed with susceptibility for every virtue ; they 
are lovers of equity and justice, and haters of fraud 
and deceit ; they are skilful, industrious, very dili- 
gent in their own affairs, liberal, benign, polite and 
disposed to religion and piety ; and they are not less 
ready-witted in all the sciences than endued with 
prudence and capacity for managing affairs of 


On the influence of Hungary upon the 
Architecture op Dalmatia. 

In the preceding account of Dalmatian architecture 
(Vol. I. chap, ii) I have noticed the traces borne by- 
several Dalmatian buildings of the influence of the 
northern or transalpine styles of mediaeval art, which 
is probably to be explained by the connection of the 
country with Hungary. In no Dalmatian building 
is this feeling more perceptible than in the cathedral 
of Trail, which was built during the long period of 
Himgarian rule over the cities between the Kerka 
and the Narenta, which lasted with little interruption 
throughout the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. 
With the Hungarian conquest the last thread that 
bound Dalmatia to the Byzantine Empire was 
snapped ; Dalmatian art took a fresh departure, 
especially in those cities which were most con- 
stantly subject to Himgarian rule; its direction 
veered round from east to west, from Byzantine to 
romanesque, and in a great measure to that form of 
romanesque which prevailed north of the Alps 
rather than that of Italy. 

Hungarian architecture is divided by Professor 

154 Hungary and Dalmatian Art. [Ch. xiv. 

Eitelberger ^ into two periods, separated by the great 
Tartar invasion of 1241 ; the first romanesque, the 
second Gothic. In both periods the Hungarians 
borrowed their art and artists from other countries ; 
they were still an uncultured people in the thirteenth 
century, and even in the fourteenth the Italians 
regarded them as barbarians ; and though ambitious 
of possessing fine buildings they seem to have been 
dependent on foreigners for the realization of their 
desires. Stephen, the king who christianized Hun- 
gary in 1000, engaged Greeks and other foreigners 
at high wages to build his churches at Buda and 
Alba regalis, and the architecture of Hungary down 
to the Tartar invasion was governed by the example 
of the great romanesque churches of Austria and 
Carinthia just across the firontier. Of this kind of 
Hungarian art very few examples have survived the 
awfiil visitation of the Mongols, who reduced the 
country to a wilderness. 

A period of great rebuilding followed the reestab- 
lishment of peace and order, but the artists were 
stiU, as heretofore, foreigners firom western Europe, 
invited not only from Germany but also from France, 
where by this time Grothic architecture was fiilly 
developed. ViUars de Honnecourt* and his coUabo- 
rateurs brought with them the new style, and the 

^ Hungarian architecture has perhaps been too little studied. 
There is an essay on its earlier styles by Professor Eitelberger, 
with illustrations, in the Mittelalterliche Kunstdenkmale des Oester- 
reichischen Kaiserstaates, to which I am much indebted. 

• Vid. supra, vol. I.-obap. ii. p, 816. • 



Ch. XIV,] The Church of Jdk. 155 

architecture of Hungary after the middle of the 
thirteenth century was Gothic. 

The duomo of Trali was begun early in the thir- 
teenth century, and though at the time of the Tartar 
invasion it was still roofless, the walls and principal 
architectural details were finished and the style 
settled. It is then to the earlier or romanesque 
period of art in Hungary and those countries from 
which Hungarian art was borrowed that the church 
of Trail is related, and it is surprising how close the 
relationship is. The plain square piers and simple 
arches of the nave arcades, and the narrow rounded 
slits of windows at Trail have their prototypes in 
the nave of the great cathedral of Gurk in 
Carinthia; the arcaded eaves cornices, the sunk 
dentil courses, and other ornaments in the Dal- 
matian church are the same that occur in several 
northern examples; and Gurk even affords a 
parallel to the curious plan adopted at Trail, and 
in later times at Cattaro, of placing the western 
towers with a porch altogether in front of the west 
end of the church, instead of including the towers 
within the nave aisles. 

But the church in Hungary which bears the closest 
resemblance to the duomo of Trail is that of Jdk, of 
which I give some illustrations ^ J^ is about nine 
miles from the little town of Steinamanger, in Mag- 
yar Szombathely, on the line between Vienna and 

* In Plate XXV I have taken the ground plan and the view 
of the east end from plates in the Mitld : Kv/nsty etc. The rest is 
from my own sketches. 

156 The Church ofjdk, [Ch. XIV. 

Agram. It is a short lofty chui'ch with two western 
towers and brick spires standing on a low ridge of 
hills which breaks the monotony of an extensive 
plain. It is now a parish church, but was attached 
originally to a Benedictine abbey of which no traces 
remain. In style it belongs to the period of transi- 
tion fix)m round to pointed architecture, which in 
Hungary as in Germany took place later than in 
France and England. Although the west doorway 
(Plate XXVI) abounds in interlaced and knotted 
romanesque ornaments intertwined with grotesque 
beasts and birds, and with dentils zigzags frets and 
other conventional ornaments that resemble those in 
the nave of St. David's cathedral, stiU among aU this 
are capitals d crochet in the style of thirteenth cen- 
tmy French Gothic. The building resembles the 
chapel of St. Joseph at Glastonbury where capitals 
h crochet carry arches with zigzags, and other evi- 
dences of an archaic taste are perceptible which 
make the work look older than it is. At J^ round 
and pointed arches are used indiscriminately ; even 
in the west door a round arch is enclosed within a 
pointed one, and that within one more pointed stiU 
(Plate XXVI), while above is an ascending series of 
trefoil headed niches which are thoroughly Gothic, 
and rather French in character. A similar arrange- 
ment, but in a later style, occurs in the cathedral at 

The exterior of the east end, with the three round 
apses surmounted by a lofty gabled wall raised so 
much above them as to allow space for a circular 




West Doorway. 

Ch. XIV.] The Church ofjdk. 157 

window, bears so striking a resemblance to that of 
Trail (compare Plates XXIII and XXV), that it is 
impossible not to see the influence of the same school 
of architects in the two examples. Other points of 
correspondence are not wanting. The blank arcading 
of the stylobate or seat at Trail (Plate XXI) is to be 
found on the bases of the columns outside the apse 
at J^ (Plate XXV), and the flat exterior buttresses, 
the billet mouldings, the sunk dentils, the arched cor- 
nices, the attached colimms outside the apses of the 
one church are to be found also in the other. Both 
churches are extremely lofty in proportion to their 
length, their ground plans are not dissimilar, and both 
were to have had a pair of western towers, though 
Trail has but one, while Jdk has both towers complete. 
In other respects the church at J^ is very far inferior 
to her Dalmatian cousin; the architecture of the 
interior is in many respects clumsy and iU-contrived, 
and imworthy of the excellent sculpture bestowed 
upon it. One cannot but think that the fabric was 
raised by Hungarians, and the carving done by a 
French or Grerman artist. The date is probably 
towards the middle of the thirteenth century, and, if 
Eitelberger is right in fixing it before the Tartar 
invasion, this church would have been in process of 
erection at the same time as that of Trail ^ 

^ In front of the chorcb of JA, a few paces distant, stands 
a very curious baptistery of the same date as the church. It 
consists of a square surrounded by four semicircular apses, and 
has an early doorway with a lamb and flag in the tympanum. 
The church was much damaged by the Turks in their retreat ^m 

r5.8 Hungary and Dalmatian Art. [Ch. xiv. 

Although there is no direct evidence of the employ- 
ment of architects from beyond the Alps in Dalmatia 
at so early a period, instances have been quoted in 
the preceding accoimt ^ of their being invited into that 
country at a later date, and Badovan the architect of 
the churieh at Trail may possibly have received his 
training in Austria or Carinthia, the countries from 
which the Hungarians at that time principally bor- 
rowed their art and artists. 

At Ragusa Curzola and elsewhere in Dalmatia we 
shall have occasion to observe traces of northern 
Gothic in work of a later period than the thirteenth 
centiury. In a former chapter I have noticed the 
fact that the guilds of the building trades frequently 
invited masters from Hungary and Austria ^ 

the siege of GUob, and the clamsineBB of its interior architecture is 
partially due to bungling restoration at various periods. 

^ Vid. supra, vol. I. pp. 205, a 16. 

* Vid. vol. I. chap. ii. p. 205. 


Almissa and Poglizza. 

It is uncertain whether Ahnissa represents an 
ancient town of Roman times or not. No mention 
of it occurs among the towns of Pagania in the 
account of Porphyrogenitus, and we hear nothing 
of it during the expedition of Pietro Orseolo against 
the Narentines, at which time it must either have 
been uninhabited, or of small account. At the 
beginning of the thii*teenth century, however, we 
find Ahnissa the capital of the Croatian duchy of 
Chelmo or Chlum which had risen on the mins 
of Narentine greatness, and in 1207 Andrew II of 
Hungary, observing that Almissa was conveniently 
situated either for commanding the islands or for 
infesting the seas\ granted the place a charter of 
privileges like those of the Dalmatian cities, and 
made it a city. The sagacity of the king had not 
been at fault ; Almissa speedily became a nest of 
piracy and the terror of the trading population of 
Dalmatia. Even before this time the people of 

^ Lucio, do Regno, iv. c. iv. p. 160: 'Cujas caput Almisum 
Andream uti locum opportunum ad proximarum insularum domi- 
nium retinendum et ad maris infeetationem exercendam eligisse 
conjici potest.* 

i6o Almissa. [Ch. XV. 

Cattaro had found it necessary to make terms with 
the counts of Ahnissa, and in 1167 Count Nicolb 
covenanted with the Cattarines that their commerce 
should pass unimpeded by him or his descendants 
to the ninth generation ^ At the beginning of the 
thirteenth century their attacks on Venetian mer- 
chantmen were encouraged by the kings of Hungary, 
imable at the moment to engage in open hostilities 
with the Republic, and their ranks were swelled by 
outlaws and political refugees of whom at that time 
of internal disturbances in the cities of Dalmatia 
there was no lack. Unassailable by land on account 
of the barrier of mountains at their back, and 
protected by the intricacy of the channel from 
attack by sea, the Almissan corsairs drove a splendid 
trade, and robbed every passer by, and even the 
pilgrims on their way to the holy land. In 121 7 
the sub-deacon Aconcio united Trail Spalato and 
Sebenico in a league against the Almissans, who 
were obliged to burn their fleet and swear to keep 
the peace ; but in 1269 they were as troublesome as 
ever, and were punished by Gargano, podestk of 
Spalato, who took and imprisoned Osor one of the 
sons of the Almissan count Malduco Cacich ^ ; and 
again in 1277 the Venetians after some trouble 
captured the ' borgo ' and burned it, and took the 
islands of Lesina and Brazza away from the rule 
of the count ^ But the Almissans were protected 
by the Croatian counts of Bribir, who shared in 

* Gelcich, Cattaro, p. 56. 
• Vid. General History, vol. I. p. 64. • Ibid. p. 80. 

Ch. XV. ] Poglizza. 1 6 1 

their plunder; and it was not till 1292 that the 
townsmen of Spalato and Trail, supported by the 
Venetians, were able to compel George, count of 
the maritime cities and yoimger brother of the Ban 
Mladin II, to engage that the Almissan piracies 
should cease. The contract, however, was not 
observed, for in 1 3 1 5 a kind of charter was granted 
by count George to the Almissans regulating the 
division of the spoil taken by their corsairs^ ; and 
on the downfall of the Ban Mladin II in 1322 
Almissa was sacked and burned by the TraUrini, 
while Scardona, another hotbed of piracy, was treated 
similarly by the Sebenzani, and Almissa was held 
by the Spalatini till 1325. Once more, in 1363, 
after the establishment of Hungarian rule throughout 
Dalmatia by Lewis the Great, the Almissans renewed 
their piracies, but the counts of Bribir were no 
longer there to protect them, and they were speedily 
reduced to order by the Ban. In subsequent times 
Almissa, with the Craina or sea-coast from the 
Cettina to the Narenta, formed part of the duchy of 
S. Saba or Herzegovina, and in 1444 Venice induced 
the Almissans and their neighbours and allies the 
Poglizzans to submit to the Republic, engaging 
that they should continue to enjoy aU the privileges 
and immunities enjoyed by them under the kings of 

Poglizza or Poljica is the name of the mountainous 
district embraced by the wide sweep of the river 
Cettina from Almissa to Sign, including the fast- 
* Vid. General History, vol. I. pp. 80 and 87. 


1 6 2 Poglizza. [Ch. XV. 

nesses of M. Mossor, and the coast between the 
river Cettina at Almissa and the little river Xemo- 
vizza which runs into the sea near Stobrez. This 
highland district was for many centuries the seat of 
a rustic republic, which, under the protection first of 
Hungary and afterwards of Venice, preserved its 
liberty and independence till the year 1807. In 
1806 the population, according to an 'information' 
of Vincenzo Dandolo, amounted to 6566, exclusive of 
those Poglizzani who were domiciled in other parts 
of Dalmatian They had no town, but lived in 
twelve or more scattered villages, each governed 
by a ' hries^ or ' kniazy or count, over whom was the 
' velihi kniaz ' or great count, the head of the republic. 
The population consisted of three orders or ranks ; 
the highest, composed of twenty families, claimed 
Hungarian descent ; the next, of a larger nxunber 
who were descended from the Bosnian nobility, 
was divided into three tribes, the Tisimiri Kresimiri 
and Elemikiani, from each of which one of the three 
judges was chosen ; and the third class was composed 
of the commonalty of peasants. Below the com- 
monalty or popolani was a large body of villeins 
or * kmetics/ who had no civic rights and were little 
above the condition of serfs, and below them again 
was a servile class, the members of which counted 
as mere chattels. The constitution was aristocratical, 
and the two classes of nobles possessed many pri- 
vileges, and were subject to milder penalties than 

* Annuario Dalmatico, 1885. Sir G. Wilkinson, vol. ii. p. 195, 
says 4000. Fortis says 15,000, which is obviously excessive. 

Ch. XV.] Poglizza, 163 

the commonalty. Amiually on St. George's day the 
v&jxki shor or great council assembled in the open 
air at Gatta to elect the magistracy for the year. 
The vSlikh kniaz, who was always chosen from one of 
the Hmigarian families, was elected by the lesser 
coimts, and the lesser counts in their turn were 
elected from among the Bosnian nobles by the 
commonalty. 'It happens but seldom/ says Fortis, 
who visited the Polizzani in the last century, * that 
the great count is chosen without violence, because 
there is generally more than one candidate. In that 
case after having canvassed the votes underhand, one 
of tM boldest partizans lays hold of the box contain- 
ing the privileges of the community, which is the 
deposite annually committed to the care of the great 
count ; he runs with the box toward the house of him 
for whom he is engaged, and every member of the 
diet has a right to pursue him with stones knives 
and firearms, and mxiy make u^e of their right to its 
full extent. If the man takes his mea^sures well, and 
gets safe to the house proposed with the box, the great 
count is duly elected, and none dares make further 

On rare occasions the veliki kniaz was chosen 
from among the Bosnian order, but it was generally 
considered unlucky for the office to be held by any 
but a Himgarian. It was remarked that the last 
count of Poglizza, in whose term of office the re- 
public was destroyed, was of the Bosnian order. 

Their laws were primitive ; suits about land were 
decided on the spot in question by a judge seated 

M 2 

164 Poglizza. [Ch. XV. 

on the ground with his cloak spread under him, and 
the decision given before he rose. A murderer was 
punished by being eaten out of house and home by 
the count of the village, who was followed by the 
great count, each with his retinue, who established 
themselves in his house and lived at free quai-ters 
as long as anything was left. Murders of peculiar 
atrocity were punished by fine, and torture and 
trial by ordeal were employed to obtain evidence. 
Their peculiar reverence for S. Vito is traced by 
Fortis to the ancient worship of the Slavonic deity 
Vid\ and he mentions a wood which still went 
by the name of another heathen deity Virun. He 
found them suspicious of strangers, especially of one 
who could read, but^ when their suspicions were 
allayed, humane hospitable and friendly, and he 
speaks with admiiution of their strength, sobriety, 
and fine physique ^. 

This interesting little state, whose liberties had 
been respected by Hungarian Venetian and Turk, 
was crushed by Napoleon the great liberator of 
modern times. In 1807, when the Russians and 
French were engaged in hostilities, the Poglizzani 
sided with the former, and after their small con- 
tingent had been forced to take reftige on the 
Russian fleet the French marched into Poglizza 
pillaging the houses and massacring every living 

* Vid. supra, vol. I. chap. i. p. 21. 

* A detailed account of the history and political constitution of 
the Bepublic of Poglizza will be found in the Annuario Dalmatico 
for 1885. Zara. 

Ch. XV.] Almzssa. 165 

soul who could not escape ; the great and lesser 
counts and some of the other officials were con-* 
demned to be shot whenever they could be found, 
their goods were confiscated, and their houses razed 
to the groimd, and the republic of Poglizza ceased 
to exist ^ 

Almissa is within easy reach of Spalato either by 
land or sea, but the small coasting steamers that 
touch there on their way to Metcovich by the 
Canale della Narenta are timed to start at an in- 
conveniently early hour in the morning, and have 
a still more inconvenient way of sometimes not 
starting for several hours after their time. We 
made our visit therefore by land, and setting off 
early had plenty of time to spend at Almissa, and 
were able to get back in good time to Spalato. The 
distance is about sixteen or seventeen English miles, 
and the road is good. 

After leaving Spalato the road mounts steadily 
for several miles, and when the crest is surmounted 
the view forwards into the country of Poglizza is 
excessively wild and grand, with the barren heights 
of Mossor to the left, and several deep valleys in 
the folds of lesser ridges intervening between the 
mountain and the sea. The road descends sharply 
to the marshy plain through which the little river 
Xemovizza finds its way to the sea, the level arena 
of a vast natural amphitheatre of mountains, studded 
with pinnacles of rock. Herds of large horned 

* The name of the last count was Andrea Ciovich : he had the 
good fortune to escape to Russia. Sir G. Wilkinson, ii. p. 199. 

1 66 Almissa. [Ch. xv. 

cattle were dotted about the swampy delta, and 
among the tall reed beds that lined the river banks. 
The little village of Stobrez, which picturesquely- 
occupied a rocky peninsula that jutted forward into 
the sea from the promontory to our right, represents 
the ancient Greek colony of Epetium, like Trail 
an oflfehoot of the colony at Issa, and afterwards 
a Roman town, where it is said some traces of 
ancient walls and drains are to be seen \ Crossing 
the Xemovizza by a bridge, which was the scene of 
the final defeat of the unhappy Poglizzani in 1807, 
our road skirted the sea, rising and descending over 
the low undulations of the foreshore, which consists 
of deep alluvial deposits washed down from the 
moimtains and extending far out under the shallow 
sea. In climate and soil this region has few rivals 
in Dalmatia; figs and olives flourish close down 
to the shore, and the air is fragrant with the scent 
of the stone-pines which are here allowed to grow 
to an unusual size. Poglizza is the true home of 
the marasca cherry from which the maraschino 
liqueur is made. It is a small black fruit which 
grows wild, and has hitherto defied all attempts to 
domesticate it in other parts of the province. 

In the wall of a farm house near Stobrez we saw 
a Roman tablet with an inscription, and in the 
churchyard wall of S. Martino in Postrana, a 
hamlet a few miles farther on, are two large 
fragments of a Roman mortuary inscription within 
an enriched border, broken and imperfect, and buUt 

' Fortis. 

Ch. XV.] 



into the wall upside down. I had no time to copy- 
it, and am indebted to Professor Bulid of Spalato 
for this transcript which he tells me is more correct 
than that published in the Corpus Inscript. Lat,^ 


L • A R T O R I //////// STVS • > • feo 
III • GAlLcAE • rEM ////// G • VI • FERRA 

VVS • IPSE • SIBI • TE • SVIS //// ST 

From Postrana the road runs along the shore 
between the sandy beach and hedges of pome- 
granates, thi'ough scenery that increases in grandeur, 
till on turning a comer the estuary of the river 
Cettina comes into view with the little town of 
Almissa on the further side (Fig. 52). The situation 
is wild and romantic in the highest degree ; Almissa 
itself stands at the foot of the mountains on an 
alluvial plain, but the mountains rise in bare pre- 
cipices from the very outskirts of the town, and on 
a soaring pinnacle of rock is perched a ruined castle 
that seems inaccessible to the foot of man. The 
Cettina is a wide swiftly flowing river, brimming 

^ Mommsen, Corpus Inscript ionum Latinarum, iii. No. 191 9. 

1 68 


[Ch. XV. 

fiill, and nearly level with the swampy pastures on 
either side, which makes a sudden turn just above 
the town and is lost to view in a tremendous ravine 
which seems to aflford barely space for its exit. 
The higher summits of Mossor behind were veiled 

Ty /p^s-i— 

Fig. 52. 

in clouds, and deep purple shadows wrapped the 
hollow where the river lay hid in a mysterious 
gloom. It would be difficult for a romancist to 
picture to himself a scene better fitted for the home 
of pirates and freebooters ; the situation is wilder 
even than that of Segna in the Quarnero, a place 

Ch. XV.] Alntissa. 169 

which succeeded to the ill-fame of Almissa, as 
Almissa had done to that of the Narentines. 

There is no bridge over the Cettina, and we had 
to cross by a ferry, leaving our carriage on the 
northern side, where there is a rude osteria inhabited 
in common by men and beasts with but little attempt 
at separation. 

Before the final occupation of Almissa by the 
Venetians in 1444, the place was little more than 
a fortress, with a small cluster of houses round the 
duomo and on the narrow strand between the hill 
and the river, connected by a girdle of walls with 
the castle Mirabella on the pinnacle above. Under 
Venetian rule, and with the growth of peaceful 
habits, the place became prosperous, outgrew its 
ancient limits, and extended into the adjacent plain, 
and a wider girdle of walls was built to enclose it. 
These have been for the most paa-t thrown down in 
modem times, but their direction may be traced 
here and there where fragments have been preserved. 
The old gateway that faced the river has disap- 
peared, but the architrave has been built into a 
neighbouring house, and on it may be read the date 
of its construction and the name of the Venetian 
proweditore Lorenzo Minio, with his scutcheon and 
that of the city ^ : — 


* The arms are azure a bend ' rhomboid ' (baoda a rombi) or, 

l^o A Imtssa. [Ch. xv. 

The town contains little that is interesting, but 
there are a few houses with Venetian doors and 
windows of an unpretending character, and here and 
there an inscription or a coat of arms. The church 
of S. Spirito, with a campanile, on a steep rock in 
the older part of the town, was the parish church 
before the present duomo was built. It contains 
nothing remarkable. The Palazzo comunale stands 
close by, with the Lion of St. Mark carved in the 
wall, holding a closed book. The duomo has a west 
front of some pretensions ; the doorway is hand- 
somely designed with elaborately carved arabesques, 
and a white marble statue of St. Michael trampling 
on Lucifer; and there is the rose window above, 
without which no Dalmatian facade would be con- 
sidered perfect, with radiating lights and little 
cherubs' heads in the spandrils. The doorway bears 
this inscription and date : — 


The rest of the church seems to be of the same date, 
and calls for no remark. In the church are several 
pieces of plate which are shewn as part of the spoil 
canied off by Almissan corsairs in the good old 
days from the Tremiti islands near M. Gargano 
in Apulia, On one of these islands, the insulae 
Diomedeae of the ancients, where the followers of 
Diomede were changed by grief for their leader's 

for Minio, vid. Galvani, ii. p. 91 ; and for Almissa a plain field 
with a cross and a club. 

Ch. XV.] a Imissa. 171 

death into swans, the tomb and shrine of Diomede 
had been succeeded by a wealthy Benedictine con- 
vent, of whose treasures and of the ease with which 
they might be appropriated tempting accounts 
reached the ears of the ALnissans. A party was 
formed, and a bireme equipped to undertake the 
enterprise, and sailing peacefully into the harbour 
the crafty corsairs pretended that one of their 
number had died at sea, and begged the holy fathers 
to give him burial. The pretended dead man was 
laid in a coflin, in which were also placed a sufficient 
number of swords and other weapons, and the un- 
wary monks with holy chants and solemn rites 
introduced this Trojan horse within the ancient 
Diomedean walls. The pirate crew followed as 
mourners, and as they stood around the bier the 
dead man, at a given signal, sprang forth, the rest 
seized the arms, and a scene of pLQage and murder 
ensued. Most of the monks were slain, the treasury- 
was spoiled, and the church was laid in ruins except 
the east end, which the narrator thinks owed its 
preservation to the miraculous virtue of its superior 
sanctity \ 

The ostensorio, which is still shewn at Almissa as 

' Tremitanae insulae descriptio. Beoedicti Cochorellae, lib. iii. 
p. 14, in Graevius, Thesaurus, torn. viii. vol. 13, 14. We saw no 
traces at Almissa of the hereditary curse which, according to this 
writer, fell on the corsairs and their descendants. < Ex eo die quo 
ex insula ad propria rediere nunquam agri, nunquam vineae, 
nunquam oliveta, campique eorum fertilitatis quippiam attulerint, 
sed nunc aut vis grandinis eorum praedia demolitur, aut aestus 
exsiccat, aut siccitate vel pruina ' &c. &c. 

172 A Imissa. [Ch. xv. 

part of the booty, is of silver gilt, with rock-crystal 
sides. The base is round, and is embossed and 
engi-aved with winged cherubs' heads. The upper 
part is hexagonal, with a column at each angle, and 
a pane of crystal with bevelled edges in each face ; 
and the cover consists of a cupola or lid, which 
can be removed by unscrewing the six knobs over 
the pillai-s. The decoration consists of cheinibs' 
heads and festoons. It is a handsome piece of 
silversmith's work of the sixteenth centiuy, and is 
therefore too modern to have formed part of the 
spoils of the convent on the Isole Tremiti. 

Over a side altar in the church are five reliquaries 
behind a glass door. They consist of glass tubes 
with silver bases and tops, and have no particular 
value as works of art. These also are said to have 
been stolen from the Isole Tremiti, but they seem no 
older than the ostensorio. 

The old castle Mirabella may be reached by a 
steep pathway at the back of the town, but it is a 
mere ruin. The highest tower, perched on a natural 
pinnacle (vid. Fig. 52), can now only be reached by 
climbing like a cat over the naked rock, but it 
had no doubt a better approach originally. It is 
still perfect, and serves as a storehouse, but as the 
door was locked, and our friends had forgotten to 
bring the key with them, I cannot say whether the 
interior contains anything worth seeing. 

Higher still, on the summit of the mountain, and 
invisible from Almissa and the sea-coast, is the 
larger fortress of Starigrad, Hhe old city,' which 

Ch. XV.] Almtssa. 173 

defended Almissa on the land side, and is supposed 
to represent an ancient settlement. We were told 
it is now entirely mined. 

An excursion up the Cettina would be extremely 
interesting, and the scenery in the tremendoxis 
chasm through which the river forces its way must 
be equal to anything of the kind in the Alps. An 
hour and a half up the river are the mills of Vissech, 
belonging to our friend Signer Radman, whose hos- 
pitality we enjoyed during our visit to Almissa; and 
on a rock above them are the remains of a castle 
often mentioned in the history of Dalmatia, which 
was given over to the Venetians in 1475 ^7 ^^^ son 
of Stephen Cosaccia, lest it should fall into the 
hands of the Turks \ 

About four hours above Almissa aie the falls of 
Douare, which we were told are very magnificent, 
and of which Fortis writes with enthusiasm. We 
much regi'etted our inability to give more time to 
the magnificent scenery of this district, and also to 
extend our journey to Makarska, the chief town of 
the Craina or Primorie, some twenty or twenty-five 
miles to the south of Almissa. But the means of 
communication are so slow and uncertain that we 
were obliged reluctantly to leave the lower part of 
the Canale della Narenta unvisited. To judge from 
the view we had down the sound the coast must 

* Luc. de Regn. v. v. p. 270: 'Vladislaus filius Stephani Her- 
zegi dicti, a quo Herzegovina, ne in Turcarum manibus caderet 
Castrum Vissechi in praerupto Baxeoque colle ad npam orientalem 
Cetinae tribus milltaribuB a marl distans site anno 1475 Yenetis 

1 74 The Primorie di Makarska. [Ch. xv. 

be finer than anything south of the Quamero, and 
the mountains and foreshore are better clothed with 
vegetation, and less stem and forbidding than the 
arid precipices of the Vellebi6 between Novigrad 
and Segna. 

The word Primorie is the Illyric version of the low 
Greek * paratalassiaS' the Slavonic * Mcyr ' being the 
Latin Mare. Primorie simply means a ' litorcde,' or 
sea-coast, and the name was applied to several parts 
of the shores of Dalmatia ; there was the Primorie di 
Ragusa, extending fi:om Val di Noce to Stagno ; the 
Primorie di Makarska, which was the Primorie par 
excellence, and was generally intended when the 
word was used without qualification ; the Primorie 
of Serbia, fii'om the bay of Antivari southwards; and ^ 
the Primorie of Bosnia, in the Bocche di Cattaro, in- 
cluding Castelnuovo and Sutorina. 

Makarska is said to be a busy prosperous little 
town in a beautiftd situation, but containing nothing 
of any architectural or antiquarian interest. The 
cathedral, I gather, is a modem structure ^. Ma- 
karska is mentioned under its ancient name Mocrum 
by Porphyrogenitus as a town of the Narentines. 
Like Narona it had a bishop till the destruction of 

' *H irapaBaKavvujL is one of the eleven Croatian Zupys mentioned 
by Const. Porphyr. ch. xxx, but as he confines Croatia to the 
north of the Cettina, vid. supra, vol. I. p. 196, this zupy cannot have 
been the Primorie of Makarska. 

' 'Monsignor Blascovich, Bishop of Macarsca, caused all the 
columns of his new cathedral, and all the steps of the altars to be 
brought from this place' (Gelsa in the island of Lesina, where 
a white and violet breccia is quarried). Fortis, p. 335. 

Ch. XV. ] Makarska. 1 7 5 

both towns by the Avars in 639, when their sees 
were abolished, and Paganism returned with the 
Narentine occupation of the district ^. The bishopric 
of Makarska was revived in 1320, the see being 
carved out of that of Lesina, and the title taken 
from Makarska, though the bishop resided at Al- 
missa. The see has since 1830 been united to that 
of Spalato. In 1481 the Primorie with Makarska 
was sold to the Venetians by Vladislao and Vlatko, 
the sons of Stefano Cosaccia of Herzegovina, but in 
1499 it fell into the hands of the Turks, under whom 
it remained till 1646, when Makarska revolted to 
the Venetians and finally delivered herself from the 
Mussulman yoke. 

* Farlati, vi. p. 367. 


Dernis, Knin, and the Interior. 

From Spalato we had intended to visit the prin- 
cipal places in the interior of Dalmatia, driving by 
Clissa to Sign Verllcca Knin and Dernis, and re- 
turning thence by rail to Sebenico. But it was late 
in the autumn, and, after several weeks of brilliant 
sunshine, the weather had suddenly broken up and 
changed to violent rain and storm, and it became 
in the course of a few ho\u« as much too cold for 
enjoyment as it had been too hot. 

On the day when we were to have started for 
Sign, where lodgings had been secured for us by the 
kindness of Count Caboga, who was quartered there 
with a cavalry regiment, the gale increased to a 
hurricane, the mountains were veiled in clouds which 
descended every now and then in fierce scudding 
showers, and the sea even within the harbour rose 
so high as to break over the sea-wall and make 
a clean sweep of the esplanade, washing away 
hundreds of wine-casks that were waiting fco be filled 
with the new vintage before being shipped for 
Bordeaux to make claret. The next day was some- 
what calmer, but the gale was succeeded by deluges 
of rain. This obliged us to modify our plan ; we 

Ch. XVI.] The Interior of Dalmaiia, 177 

reluctantly gave up Sign and Verlicca, and decided 
to go early the next morning by train to Demis, 
whence, if the weather mended, we could go on to 
Knin, while if it continued too bad for travel we had 
our retreat secured by railway to Sebenico or back 
again to Spalato. 

The railway strikes inland from Spalato, and for 
some distance skirts the Riviera dei Castelli, which 
bore the marks of the recent storm, for the fields 
were strewn with sea-foam blown inland by the 
hurricane, and masses of hailstones lay thickly under 
the lee of the fences. The first station is at Salona, 
a name that seems to fall somewhat strangely from 
the lips of a railway porter, and after stopping at one 
or two of the Castelli the line leaves the coast, and 
by steep inclines slowly climbs the flank of the 
Cabani mountains. Vegetation is left behind as 
the shore recedes, and is succeeded by the barren 
white hills and stony gulleys of an arid and water- 
less desert. After the crest is surmounted the 
scenery becomes less stem, and among the white 
hill-tops are several extensive plains formed by earth 
washed down from the sides of their basin. These 
plains which are the cultivable soil of Dalmatia are 
often damp and swampy for want of natural outlets 
for the drainage, and the reason of the malaria which 
prevails throughout a great part of the interior of 
the province may be well understood by travelling 
through it as we did after a few days' heavy rain. 

At Perkovid, a station in the wilderness with no 
visible town or village belonging to it, the branch 


178 Dernis, [Ch. xvi. 

line to Sebenico diverges, and most of our fellow- 
travellers left us. From those who went on with us 
we learned that Knin was only a two hours' drive 
beyond Dernis, and that on the following day, 
October 1 3, there was to be a great fair there which 
we ought on no account to miss, as we should see a 
great deal of curious costume and some of the 
national dances if the weather were fine. To do this 
involved missing the steamer at Sebenico, but on the 
other hand we were told we could drive from Knin 
to Zara within the day, though it was wonderful 
how the length of the joiurney increased during the 
conversation from eight hours to ten or fifteen. It 
was agreed however by the whole company that by 
telegraphing to Zara for fresh horses to meet us at 
Bencovaz the thing might be done, and so we 
decided to do it. 

We reached Dernis at eleven o'clock after a journey 
of about thirty-five miles, which had occupied four 
hours and a quarter. Here is the terminus of the 
railway for passengers, though a mineral line runs on 
a few miles fmliher to the coal-mines at Siverid on 
M. Promina, These mines have been worked for 
some years by a company of Italians, to whom it is 
owing that the raUway was made to the sea-coast by 
the Austrian government, which was in the dUemma 
of either making the line or letting the Italian 
company make it, an alternative which did not suit 
the Imperial policy. The coal is hard and gives a 
great deal of black smoke, as passengers by the 
Austrian Lloyd steamers know to their cost. 

Ch. XVI.] Dernis. 1 79 

Demis is situated on a rising ground at the 
edge of 91 vast plain, which stretches away to Knin, 
and lies between the isolated mass of M. Promina 
on the left, and M. Dinara with the Alpine range to 
which it gives its name on the right. The little river 
Cicola, a tributary of the Kerka, after many silver 
windings through the plain enters a narrow gorge at 
Demis, and rushes foaming between precipices, on 
one of which stands a ruined castle of the Turks, 
in whose possession Demis remained for more than 
a hundred years, from the middle of the sixteenth 
century till the latter part of the seventeenth. It 
was taken from the Turks by Foscolo in 1648, but 
as he did not occupy it the Turks claimed it at the 
conclusion of peace in 1669. The Venetians again 
recovered it in 1683, and were confirmed in their 
possession by the peace of Carlo vitz in 1699. Demis 
is now a large village of thirteen hundred inhabit- 
ants. I was told that all those within the town 
can talk Italian, but that the peasantry outside 
its limits as a rule do not understand any language 
but their own Illyric. 

It is in the traces of Turkish occupation that the 
sole interest of Dernis lies. The place itself consists 
of an irregular cluster of houses on steeply sloping 
ground, with a few shops and the communal building, 
from which as a centre two roads lead upwards among 
scattered houses to the level top of the hill. Here 
is the old castle of Gradine, consisting of a round 
tower surrounded by a circular wall, a plan which we 
were told is common in Turkish fortresses. The outer 

N 2 



[Ch. XVI. 

wall is of weak construction and the whole building 
is rapidly falling into ruin. It overhangs the ravine 


fig- 53. 

of the Cicola very picturesquely, and commands a fine 
view of the plain and the Dinaric Alps beyond. Close 

Ch. XVI.] Dernis. i8i 

by the castle is the ruined minaret, of which I made 
a sketch (Fig. 53), another relic of Turkish times, con- 
sisting of a polygonal tiuret on a square base with 
a winding staircase to the top, whence the muezzin 
proclaimed the \mity of God and the divine mission 
of the Prophet. There was no parapet round the 
top, but a kind of stone post was considerately 
provided for the muezzin to hold by in windy 
weather. Not fai' off is a still more interesting relic 
of the foreign occupation, nothing less than a 
Moslem mosque turned ., - a^ 

into a Christian church, '"" " 

and much altered and 
spoiled in the process. 
In its original form 
it was an extremely 
pretty building, well 
put together, nicely 
finished, and shewing 
much more ait in its 

Fig. 54. 

construction than the 

Turkish handiwork we had seen at Vrana. It is square 
in plan, with a very well-proportioned dome resting on 
pendentives, which are made of that cm-ious honey- 
comb or stalactite coffering which was invented by 
the Arabs, adopted by the Turks, and seems almost 
a part of the Mahometan religion. The arches are 
pointed and ogeed and have a very oriental look. 
Externally the cupola has the lower part enclosed 
within an octagonal drum, which is united by sloping 
broaches to the square below. The simplicity of the 

1 82 Dernis. [Ch. xvi. 

plan is spoiled by the addition of a nave and choir, 
which contain nothing worth noticing except two 
capitals, which are evidently of Turkish handiwork, 
used second-hand in the Christian building (Fig. 54). 
They illustrate that ingenuity in geometrical orna- 
ment to which the Moslems were driven by the pro- 
hibition of direct imitation of natural form. 

On going to the Communal building with our 
letters of introduction we were greeted warmly by a 
friend of the preceding year, the lively secretary of 
Nona, who has had the good fortime to be removed 
from that malarious place to the better air of Dernis. 
But even here fever is not uncommon, for the great 
plain below is marshy, and after heavy rain the 
Cicola converts a large part of it into a lake, and 
the exhalations from the soil as the floods recede are 
most unwholesome. The whole of the drainage of 
this plain, which is not less than fifteen or twenty 
miles long, has to find its way out by the Cicola at 
Dernis or the Kerka at Knin, both of which rivers 
escape by narrow gorges between precipitous rocks 
that barely leave room for the stream even when not 
swelled by floods. At one time the whole plain was 
probably a lake, and nothing would be easier than to 
make it a lake again. To drain it effectually would 
no doubt be a costly operation, but it would probably 
be repaid by the increased fertility of the soil and 
healthiness of the people. 

When we left Dernis our friends came with us in 
their own carriage as far as a spot on the side of 
M. Promina which is supposed to be the site of the 

Ch. xvi] Promona. 183 

Roman city of Promona. Originally a city of the 
Libumians it was taken by the Dalmatians in 52 B.C., 
and the messages of Caesar, who ordered its restora- 
tion, were treated with contempt. In 34 b.c. it was 
besieged and burned by Octavianus, who received a 
woimd which obliged him to return to Rome. In 
the following year he completed his conquest of the 
Dalmatians, and the spoils of Promona figured among 
the trophies displayed at his Dalmatian triumph 
B. c. 29. Nothing now remains of Promona except 
a few broken walls a little distance from the road 
which we did not visit, but several inscriptions have 
been dug up in the neighbourhood. A small piece 
of sculpture which was shewn me was evidently 
mediaeval and not antique. 

From this point the road follows the outline of 
M. Promina, sweeping round the base of the moun- 
tain in a wide arc. For part of the way we drove 
between hedges that were almost English. Ruined 
towers were dotted about wherever a convenient 
eminence occurred, relics of the old border warfare 
of Moslem and Christian. The few scattered cottages 
of Morlacchi that we passed were no whit better 
than those which Fortis saw and described in the 
last century ^ : they had no chimney, and the smoke 
was left to find its way out as it could ; few of 
them had a window or any opening whatever except 
the door, and they were tenanted in common by 
men and beasts. 

Knin at last came into view, an enormous fortress 
* Vid. supra, vol. I. p. 174. 

1 84 Knin. [Oh. XVI. 

stretching along the crest of a bluff promontory that 
juts forward into the plain at its upper extremity. 
The river Kerka flows below, sweeping in a semicircle 
round the foot of the rock, and then plunging into a 
narrow gorge on its way to the cascades of Bumum 
E/oncislap and Scardona before entering the sea at 
Sebenico. Between the river and the rock, on a 
narrow strand that scarcely gives room for a single 
street, the little town stands as if huddled under the 
protecting wing of the great castle, without which in 
old days the inhabitants would have had but a poor 
time of it between Croat Magyar Venetian and 
Turk, who have all fought for and conquered the 
place in their turn. 

Knin, in Illyric Knina, is generally identified 
with the 'Arduba of the ancients, famous not so 
much for the defence it made against Germanicus as 
for the untameable courage of the women, who rather 
chose to throw themselves and children into the fire 
or the river, than become slaves to the victorious 
Romans ^' It is the Ti^ijm or Tci/i/i^ of Porphyro- 
genitus, who says it was one of the towns of the 
Christianized Croats, and the head of one of their 
eleven zupanies^. It was a favourite seat of the 
Croatian kings, many of whose acts are dated from 
it, and at their instance a bishopric was founded 
here to which great privileges were attached. The 
bishop of Knin was the royal bishop, and followed 
the royal court of which he was one of the princes ; 

' Fortis. 

' Const. Porph. de Adm. Imp. c. xxx. p. 96 ; xxxL p. 98, ed. Bonn. 

Ch. XVI.] Knin. 185 

he was richly endowed with estates in almost every 
part of Croatia, and his jurisdiction extended as far 
as the river Drave^ Under Hungary Knin was the 
political centre of the kingdom, exclusive of course 
of the autonomous cities of the sea-coast which re- 
mained outside and apart from the government of 
the Ban. It was often visited by Hungarian royalty, 
and appears throughout the middle ages as the 
principal, almost the only place of any consequence 
in the interior of the kingdom. In the fourteenth 
century Neliptio, count of Knin, played an important 
part inDalmatia during the troublous times preceding 
the accession of Lewis ^ After maritime Dalmatia 
passed into the power of Venice in the fifteenth 
century Knin with the interior still remained subject 
to the Hungarian crown ^ In 1515 the Turks for 
the first time assaulted the town and bmned the 
suburbs, and in 1 522 Knin surrendered to the Pasha 
of Bosnia, who attacked it at the head of twenty- 
five thousand men. 

In 1648 Foscolo, after taking Demis, advanced to 
Knin which he found deserted, and he in vain tried 
to persuade the Venetian government to place a 
garrison there, for want of which it again fell into 
Turkish hands before the end of the war, and was 
unsuccessfully assaulted by the Venetian forces. In 
1688 however Sign and Ejiin, the last places left 

^ Thomas Archidiaconns, c. xv. 

^ Vid. supra, vol. I. pp. 89, 92, 94. A Table of the Comites 
Titinii is given by Isthuanfy, de reb. Hung. 
' Vid. snpra, vol. I. p. 139. 

1 86 Knin. [Ch. xvi. 

to the Turks within Dalmatia, were taken from 
them, and the Moslem finally retired behind the 

We crossed the Kerka by a bridge just before it 
reached the gorge above mentioned, and then at 
once entered the one street of which the town 
consists. Though Knin figures on the map in 
capital letters as large as those of Zara or Ragusa, 
it is little better than a miserable village ; and seen 
as we saw it under a gloomy sky which came down 
every half-hour in a deluge, and with a swollen 
river at the back of the houses which threatened to 
inundate the street if it rose a few inches higher, 
it presented a deplorable aspect indeed. Not all 
the array of pigs roasted whole and propped 
on their wooden spits against the walls of the 
houses in anticipation of to-morrow's fair could 
give the least air of festivity to the scene; it 
was difficult to imagine that Knin could ever be 
jovial, and certain that it could not be jovial under 
such a sky. The narrow strand between the rock 
and the river on which the town is built is barely 
raised above the level of the water, and the downfall 
of heavy rain for a few days is enough to cause 
a flood which invades the houses and makes the 
street navigable. The houses are for the most part 
himible and squalid, and those next the river seem 
actually leaning backwards, as if their foundations 
were softened by perpetual soakage, and they would 
before long fall over into the water by which they 
look already half sodden. It need scarcely be 

Ch. XVI.] Knin. 187 

added that the air of Knin is very unwholesome, 
and that the place has an evil reputation for fever 
and ague. 

There is nothing that can be called an inn at 
Knin, for the wretched osteria where one gets an 
apology for a dinner can hardly be dignified by that 
title ; but our fiiends had written to Signer Fontana, 
the principal tradesman in the town, who we found 
had kindly arranged everything for us and secured 
us clean quarters in a private house. The approach 
was certainly not promising : from a dark passage 
we entered a back yard fiill of lumber and reeking 
with the sour smell of old wine-casks, from which 
we climbed by a ladder to the first floor of the 
house, and then by a somewhat better stair to our 
rooms, which were very clean and tidy. In the 
daytime it was all very weU, but the ascent and 
descent after dark by the light of a single wick 
floating in a pot of oil with which an old woman 
illumined one step after another was not so easy. 
Our lodging, however, was a palace compared to the 
osteria where we dined, or rather fed, on the best 
fare that Knin could afford. The dining-room was 
a vast Rembrandtesque apartment on the level of the 
street, with a low blackened ceiling, and a wooden 
floor that sank under the tread, squelching into the 
oozy mud below. Oyxs feast was enlivened by the 
doleftJ singing of a party of peasants anticipating 
to-morrow's merrymaking, a strange monotonous 
kind of music in a mhior key, each stanza being 
given in rapid recitative on a single high-pitched 

1 88 Knin. [Ch. xvi. 

note which descended by a kind of * yodel ' on the 
last syllable to a final note, which it was the aim of 
the singer to prolong as long as any breath was left 
in his body. 


^ ^ M ^ m ^ m P 


Sir Gardner Wilkinson says very truly that Knin 
boasts no antiquities. There are two churches in 
the street, one of the Greek and the other of the 
Latin rite, but they are modem buildings and not 
worth a visit. Of the ancient cathedral of the 
Croat kingdom no traces remain ; according to an 
inscription which has been preserved it was rebuilt 
in 1 203, in the reign of the Hungarian king Emeric 
son of Bela III, but this second church has dis- 
appeared as completely as its predecessor ^ The 
streets are absolutely uninteresting, and contain 
nothing either of Venetian architecture, for which 

^ The inscription is given by Fabianich from the MS. of Mons. 
Vidovich, Bishop of Tratt : — * AKiffo ab incarnationb dni kostbi 


DEMPTIOKE ANiMAE SUAE ET svobvm/ Stoiia dei Frat. Min. in 
Dalmazia, vol. ii. p. 315. Fabianich says that the erection of Knin 
into a bishopric ' svda le arii degV dtramontard a favore dd euUo 
slavo, e le cupidigie di Cresimiro IV suUa Dalmazia fnarittima! 

Ch. XVL] Knin. 189 

indeed the Venetian conquest came too late, or of 
Turkish work such as that which makes Demis so 
interesting. The only relic of antiquity is the vast 
castle on the crag that overhangs the town, which 
contains work of all ages and aU the races, Croat 
Hungarian Turk Venetian French and Austrian, 
who have in turn occupied the stronghold. Guided 
by Dr. Monti, an advocate of Knin, who is well 
informed on the antiquities of his town and neigh- 
bourhood, I explored the outer courts and a suc- 
cession of platforms reached by flights of steps one 
above another; but wa were unable to penetrate 
to the farthest and oldest part in the absence of 
the garrison, who was unfortunately out for a walk 
with the key in his pocket. A single soldier now 
keeps the fortress of Knin for which armies have 
fought and bled. 

The view from the heights was our only reward, 
and it is very fine. On the farther side of the plain 
stands M. Dinara, rising to the height of 6000 feet, 
the loftiest peak of the Dinaric Alps to which it 
gives its name. Over a precipice on its lower part, 
near a place called Topolye, falls a cascade, con- 
cealing the mouth of a cavern from which the 
Kerka issues forth, a ftill-grown river with never- 
faUing volume, after a mysterious course under- 
ground. The cascade is fed by a torrent, and is 
only to be seen in wet weather such as that at 
the time of our visit, when it was of magnificent 
dimensions, a broad sheet of water falling from the 
height it is said of a hundred feet. The cavern 

I90 Knin. [Ch. xvi. 

from which the Kerka issues can be entered in a 
boat, and the subterranean river can be navigated 
for a considerable distance. Fortis with his friend 
Mr. Hervey penetrated the cavern for some way, 
but their lights were put out by the water which 
fell from the roof, and their boat was nearly capsized 
by the current. An Empress of Austria is said to 
have entered for some distance. 

Over a low shoulder of the moimtain, to the right 
of the source of the Kerka, we were told the Cettina 
takes its rise in a series of natural basins in which 
the water boils up from invisible springs as in 
a caldron. Here too, are caverns and a subter- 
ranean river on a still grander scale than those 
in which the Kerka takes its source, which are 
described in Mr. Paton's entertaining account of his 
travels in Dalmatia. Still one more river rises in 
this elevated district, which is the watershed of 
this part of Europe ; for over another low shoulder 
to the north is the source of the Una, which flows 
not into the Adriatic but into the Save, and so by 
the Danube to the Euxine. 

It is said that Knin owes its decay to the opening of 
fresh routes from the interior to the sea-coast, which 
diverted the stream of traffic that formerly passed 
that way. In 1493 the community still numbered 
a hundred notable families among its inhabitants S 
and even as late as the French occupation it was 
considered a place of consequence, and held by a 

' Storia della Dalmazia, Zara, 1878. On the authority of the 
archives of the Archiepiscopal Court of Spalato. 

Ch. XVI.] Knin. 191 

strong garrison. But from the time of the con- 
struction of the new road to Zara from Croatia 
over the Velebi6 mountains, and the establishment 
of steam traflSc on the Adriatic down the Dahnatian 
coast from Trieste and Fiume, Knin has fallen into 
neglect, and the principal families have emigrated \ 
The population is now said to amount to about 
1300, and of this number about 300 can speak and 
understand Italian. There are, however, probably 
but few to whom that language is wholly unin- 

The weather was so wretched, and there was 
so little chance of its improvement, that our friends 
dissuaded us from staying to see the fair, which 
they said would be dull and uninteresting without 
fine weather, and we accordingly an-anged to go on 
the next day to Zara, and telegraphed for a carriage 
to meet us at Bencovaz. 

• At five o'clock we were up and taking our coffee 
at a really excellent cafffe, the most brilliant orna- 
ment of the town, but it was more than half-past 
before our driver was ready to start. The day 
had scarcely begun to break as we drove out of the 
street, and crossing the Butimschizza, a tributary 
of the Kerka which flows at the back of the castle 
rock, began to climb the hills at the end of the 
vaUey. The morning was dark and louring, and 
showers came down every half-hour, but the views 
of plain and mountain were impressive in their 
solemn gloom. By an easy gitidient and wide 
* PatoD, vol. ii. p. 28. 

1 92 Morlacchi of the Interior, [Ch. xvi. 

sweeps we reached a high plateau which extended 
for many miles, and across which we travelled for 
several hours. The wet weather did not deter the 
Morlacchi from flocking to the fair, for though in 
such weather there could be no fim and no dancing 
there was business to be done, cattle were to be 
sold, and purchases to be made. Along all the 
highland tracks we met them trooping in, some 
on foot, some on sorry little nags, some in country 
carts, clothed in garments that were often patched 
and sometimes in rags, but almost always covered 
with a display of silver beads coins and buttons 
that shone in the distance like the cuirasses of 
a troop of life guards. Such a mixture of poverty 
and splendour can hardly be seen elsewhere. The 
women, as is usual among the Morlacchi, had 
an air of inferiority and subjection ; if there was 
but one pony between man and wife, the man 
rode while the woman trudged afoot. The female 
costume is less graceful than the male, and the 
cock bird is far the finer animal in every respect. 
The women with their black hair hanging loosely 
about the face, their handkerchiefs that cover both 
head and shoulders, their heavy embroidered leggings 
and thick aprons of carpet work, remind one of the 
drawings of Esquimaux or Laplanders. The dress 
of the girls is more becoming than that of their 
mothers : they wear a little red cap like the men 
instead of the handkerchief of the matron, and their 
caps are prettily spangled and embroidered, and the 
wearers shew more attention to their personal 

Ch. XVI.] Ruins of Burnum. 193 

charms than the married women, who seem to think 
they may be as ugly and dirty as they like as soon 
as they have got a husband. It was interesting to 
see groups of these picturesque figures winding 
across the hills and upward from the valleys, and 
converging from aU parts of the landscape upon the 
pass that led down to the vaUey of the Kerka and 

Our road lay along a nearly level plateau thickly 
strewn with splintered rocks, among which flourished 
a sufficiency of herbage and stunted shrubs to afford 
pasturage to numerous flocks of sheep and goats. 
The herdsmen were wild unkempt creatures with 
their cloaks or plaids drawn over their heads to 
keep off the rain, and one at least among them had 
nothing in the world but a blanket to protect his 
nakedness from the biting October blasts. We were 
now travelling parallel to the back of M. Promina, 
along the front of which we had come the day 
before from Demis to Knin, and between our plateau 
and the mountain lay the Kerka at the bottom of 
a deep ravine which the river seems to have cut 
out for itself in the course of ages. In the midst of 
this desolate wilderness it was almost startling to 
come suddenly upon some ruined arches of fine 
Roman masonry (Fig. 55), now battered and defaced 
by weather and violence, but speaking of by-gone 
wealth and splendom', and a considerable population, 
where now there is not a human habitation in sight. 
Here stood the Roman city of Burnum or Libuma 
mentioned by Strabo and Pliny, which appears in 

VOL. II. o 

194 Ruins of Burnum, [Ch. xvi. 

history as late as the reign of Justinian, when 
Ulesigalus the general of Vitiges retreated to 
Burnum after being defeated near Scardona. Of 
the destruction of the city no record remains ; its 
very name was forgotten, and the descendants of 
those Slavs by whom it was probably destroyed know 
its ruins only as the Suplja Crkva, or perforated 
church. Fortis, who saw the ruin in 1 776, gives an 
engraving representing three complete arches and 
the starting of a fourth, and says that a few years 


Fig- 55- 

before his visit there were five, a large arch of 
twenty-one feet span in the centre, with two smaller 
ai'ches on each side, but that two of the smaller 
arches had been taken away by a Morlacco for his 
own purposes. Sir Gardner Wilkinson gives a 
woodcut of the arches as he saw them in 1844, 
when the large central arch had fallen in, though 
its farther pier remained standing. Nothing is now 
left but one pair of the lesser arches and the 
springer of the large one. The masonry is ex- 

Ch. XVI.] Ruins of Burnum, 195 

cellent, and the bases and architraves are well 
moulded on both sides of the wall, which leads 
Fortis to suppose they were intended to stand 
isolated, and to form a triumphal monument. 
Wilkinson mentions the discovery of an inscription 
there, which he says shews they were built by a 
decree of the Decurions in honour of Hadrian ^ ; 
but it does not positively appear from his account 
that the inscribed stone was part of the structure 
of these arches though found near them. Eitel- 
berger, who gives a miserable drawing of them in 
his edition of 1884, thinks they may have formed 
part of a theatre. Fortis says the neighbouring 
ground still went by the name Trajanskigrad or 
Trajanopolis at the time of his visit. 

The ancient city is supposed to have lain between 
the ruins and the river, and in this direction I was 
attracted by the roar of falling water. A few 
hundred yards brought me to the verge of the deep 
ravine in which the river flows, which resembles 
a great trench cut through the high plateau of the 
surrounding country. A little way up stream a 
natural step of rock stretches from side to side of the 
valley, and over this the river falls in a very pretty 

No other remains of antiquity are now to be seen at 
Burnum, but a large collection of fragments has been 


PAT * DECRBTO DECVBiONYM. Sir G. Wilkinson, Dalmatia and 
Montenegro, vol. i. p. 209. 

O 2 

196 Kistanje. [Ch. XTI. 

built up at the neighbouring village of Kistanje into 
a wall round the public fountain. Among them are 
numerous pieces of figure sculpture of an inferior 
quality, and several pieces of entablatures, which 
from their scale must have belonged to buildings of 
very considerable size and no little architectural 
magnificence. Under the Empire these Roman cities 
of Dalmatia, which Pliny apologizes for mention- 
ing, must have been adorned with buildings that 
were far from despicable, and must have been at 
least equal in point of architecture to the second-rate 
provincial towns of Italy. 

At Kistanje, a scattered village formerly known as 
Kvartiri or Quartiere from the Venetian barracks 
situated there, we rested our horses from nine o'clock 
till noon. There is a modest osteria here, with a shop 
on the ground-floor where everything can be bought 
that a Morlacco might desire, and behind it is a great 
rambling room which seemed to be used as a shambles, 
for it would appear to be the practice in these 
country places for each man to kill his own meat 
inside his own front door. Picking our way past the 
freshly stripped skins and over the bloody puddles 
in the floor we found the staircase, and finally 
reached some very fair rooms above, where we or- 
dered dinner to be made ready before our departure, 
and sat down to wonder how we should get through 
the next three hours. Our delight was propor- 
tionately great when we discovered that we were 
within two miles or so of the Greek convent of 
S. Arcangelo on the Kerka, and we at once engaged 

Ch. XVI.] S. Arcangelo. 197 

a guide to take us there. The weather obligingly 
held up a little, and we had a pleasant walk through 
woods as far as the edge of the great natural ditch 
along which the Kerka runs. The view here is very- 
fine, the banks being very steep and richly wooded, 
and the river winds picturesquely at a great depth 
below between narrow margins of vivid green. A 
steep descending path brought us with many zigzags 
to the convent, which stands on a rocky bank above 
the river. It consists of a square cloistered court 
with a domed church and campanile on one side 
of it, all on a rather miniature scale and of simple 
but not unpleasing architecture. The situation is 
romantic, and the views from the windows are 
beautiful, but an unwholesome air rises from the 
marshy bottom of the valley which is often flooded 
from side to side, and fever is not uncommon. 

In the cortile were several of the caloyers^ busying 
themselves about the cleaning and decoration of the 
little church, which was being painted and colour- 
washed. They brought the Abbot to us, an extremely 
courteous and gentlemanly ecclesiastic with the 
manners of a man of the world, who invited us 
upstairs to his cell, bedroom and sittingroom in one, 
where we were regaled with cofifee and rosolio. The 
refreshments were brought by one of the brotherhood, 
who stood waiting to receive the empty cup or glass 

^ For the derivation of calogero^ our English ccUoi/erf the name 
given to Qreek monks, Mr. Curzon suggests Ka\6s yipnp, Vid. 
Monasteries of the Levant, ch. xxiv. I do not know whether a 
better explanation has been given. 

198 S. Arcangelo. [Ch. xvi. 

on his tray. This is the general custom in Dahnatia, 
and sometimes perplexes a stranger, who is perhaps 
accustomed to sip his coffee or liqueur at leisure, and 
does not at first realise that he is expected to swallow 
it at a gulp. The liqueur was home-made by the 
monks, a kind of Dalmatian chartreuse, extracted if 
I remember from plums. Remembering the rigid 
exclusion of women from Eoman Catholic convents 
I was surprised that my wife should be admitted to 
the inmost recesses of S. Arcangelo as freely as I 
was ; but the Greek monks seem to be less exclusive 
than the Latins, and we found even the Latins in 
very remote places less particular in this respect 
than their brethren of the cities. 

The convent has been so often robbed and ruinated 
by the Turks that it now contains nothing of any 
antiquity. The tower, according to the abbot, was 
rebuilt in 1 790, and the greater part of the buUdings 
are of the same date. Over the entrance-gate is an 
inscription in ancient Cyrillic letters, to which the 
date 1402 has been added by another hand in Arabic 
numerals. The Morlacchi have a tradition that 
St. Paul in his journey through Ulyricum ' said mass ' 
here, and they regard the place with great reverence, 
but the abbot attached little importance to the 

The level plateau over which we had travelled so 
long continues for some miles beyond Kistanje, and 
then ends abruptly with a sudden step, the margin of 
an extensive plain, across which the eye wanders to a 
succession of undulating hills with loftier mountains 

Ch. XVI. ] Bencovaz. 1 99 

in the distance. The road descends with a wide 
sweep past the hamlet of Varivode, and then joins 
the road from Scardona. A great part of the plain 
had been laid under water by the recent rains, and 
in places these temporary lakes almost submerged 
the road. Before reaching Bencovaz we passed 
several border towers like those near Demis, and on 
a high hill to the left was the castle of PeruSi6, a 
most imposing pile of mediaeval fortification, which is 
oftien mentioned in the warfare of Turk and Venetian 
during the sixteenth century, and is I believe still 
partially habitable. It seemed to consist of a square 
enclosure with curtain walls and towers, and a huge 
castellated building within. 

By the time we reached Bencovaz it was half-past 
four o'clock, we had come about forty miles, and our 
horses were nearly done up, though we had rested 
them two or three times since leaving Kistagne. 
Bencovaz is prettily situated on the skirts of a 
wooded hUl crowned by a castle, which is now dis- 
mantled and turned into private dwellings. The 
population is about three hundred or four hundred. 
There is no inn or lodging to be foimd of any kind, and 
we heard that on one occasion a gentleman from Zara 
who was detained by business at Bencovaz was 
obliged to pass the night in his carriage. It may be 
imagined therefore that we enquired somewhat 
anxiously for the carriage that was to have been 
sent from Zara to meet us. The little place was in 
a hubbub, for here too a fair was going on, and the 
street was thronged with Morlacchi and their droves 

200 Bencovaz. [Oh. xvi. 

of sheep and cattle, which had trodden the ground 
into mud nearly ankle deep. Never out of Ireland 
have I seen anything approaching it for dirt and 
discomfort. The blaze of silver ornaments on the 
peasants' dresses was amazing ; the mere value of 
the precious metal in Bencovaz that day must have 
amounted to some thousands of pounds sterling, and 
I shall never forget the appearance of two young 
girls, heiresses, who paraded the village so thickly 
himg with buttons, coins, studs, and beads, that they 
chinked as they walked. 

In the midst of this Vanity Fair we were recognised 
by a gentleman of the place to whom our friends at 
Zara had had the thoughtftdness to telegraph, and 
who had been on the look-out for us since mid-day. 
This is only one instance out of many of the con- 
sistent kindness and attention we met with in every 
part of Dalmatia from persons of every class both 
high and low, a kindness which cannot fail to endear 
both the country and the people to every traveller 
who has experienced it. 

Our friend speedily found us our carriage, and 
while the horses were being put to and the luggage 
shifted he took us to a shop where we got some 
excellent bread, a commodity almost always to be 
had in Dalmatia, and some bottled Pilsener beer, and 
in half an hour we were off again with a better 
carriage and stronger horses than those that had 
brought us from Knin. We had stiU nearly twenty- 
two miles between us and Zara, and it was dark long 
before we joined the road which runs by Obbravazzo 

Ch. XVI.] Bencavaz. 201 

over the Velebic into Croatia. At last the lights of 
Zara appeared flashing through the night, and 
shortly after eight o'clock we rattled under Sam- 
michieli's gateway, and completed our drive of sixty- 
one miles about fifteen hours after we had mounted 
our carriage at Knin in the darkness of the early 

The Island of Lesina. 

History of the island. Cittaveccliia. Verboska. Duomo of Lesina. 
Convent of S. Francesco, and other Churches. 

The island of Lesina, known to the Romans as 
Pharia, and to the Greeks as Tlirveta^ Hapogy ^apo?, 
^apaj ^apia, stiU possesses several monuments of the 
ancient race, whether Pelasgian or not we need not 
stay to enquire, whom the Greek colonists found 
there on their arrival in the fourth century before 
Christ. Their sepulchral cairns are to be seen on 
the hills near the town of Lesina, and in those that 
have been opened have been found stone cists with 
instruments of the bronze age^ To the same 
ancient Ulyrians must be attributed the Cyclopean 
walls at Cittavecchia, built with level courses, 
without mortar, not squared at the joints, but fitted 
accurately stone to stone. 

In 385 B.C. a colony from the island of Pares, 
one of the Cyclades, brought to Lesina the civili- 
zation and name of their ancient home. A Greek 
city was founded where now stands the town of 
Lesina, and on the coinage of the new Pares or 

* Studi storici suir isola de Lesina. G. Boglic, Zara, 1873. 

Ch. XVII.] History of Lestna. 203 

Pharos was stamped the goat which figures on that 
of the mother-city ^ The infant colony was pro- 
tected by Dionysius of Syracuse against its lUyrian 
neighbours, but in the succeeding century it fell 
into the power of Agron, who placed Demetrius 
there as his lieutenant. After the Roman invasion, 
during which Demetrius betrayed his trust, Pharos 
was part of the reward he received for his treachery; 
but he betrayed the Romans in their turn, and was 
defeated by L. iEmilius PauUus in 219 b. c, when 
his stronghold Pharos was destroyed to its foun- 
dations. In its stead veo? (j)apo9, new Pharos, now 
Cittavecchia, rose into consequence, and existed as 
a flourishing community during the Roman period. 
After the barbarian irruptions and the destruction 
of Salona in the seventh century this was one of 
the islands to which the wretched inhabitants fled 
for safety, and as we hear of their lodging them- 
selves in huts and wigwams ^ we may conclude that 
the island was at that time deserted and the towns 
ruined. It was soon colonized by the Slavs, and is 
mentioned by Porphyrogenitus in the tenth century 
as one of the islands of the Pagan Narentines'. 
Modem Pharos, or Lesina, therefore, was repeopled 
by Slavs, and its towns were not Dalmatian but 
Slavonic towns like Nona and Sebenico, possessing 
no written laws, and outside the pale of the ancient 

^ Bogli^, p. 14-18, Bays three silver coins of Pharos are in ex- 

* Thorn. Arch. c. viii. 

' De Adm. Imp. ch. 36. Vid. sup., vol. I. p. 1 7. 

204 History of Lesina. [Ch. xvil 

Latin communities. Throughout the middle ages 
the patronymics of the principal families which we 
meet with are Slavonic; the places all have Slavonic 
names which are still more commonly used than 
their Italianized names ; and the word Lesina itself, 
instead of being Italian and descriptive of the 
' awV shaped configuration of the island, may be 
traced with greater probability through the various 
forms in which it occurs in ancient documents, 
Liesena Lesna Lisna, to the Slavonic ^ lies' a 
wood, whence comes the adjective lisna^ woody ^ 

The ancient capital, or its site, was known even 
in the Ulyric language as * Far ' or * Hvar^ a name 
that yielded gradually to the modem Lesina, or 
sometimes in the fourteenth century to Cittanuova, 
by way of distinction from Cittavecchia, Lesina 
Vecchia, or in Ulyric StarigraA Great is the 
controversy at the present day between the two 
towns Cittavecchia and Lesina as to their respective 
antiquity : but Professor Boglid gives good reasons 
for supposing that the city or town of Starigrad 
did not survive the disasters of the sixth and 
seventh centuries, and that during the middle ageis 
Lesina was the only place of consequence in the 
island, Cittavecchia being merely a hamlet tUl the 
sixteenth century. This seems to be confirmed 
by the extremely modem look of the latter town, 
and the utter absence of any mediaeval architecture 

We know nothing of the part taken by Lesina 

^ Bogli^, p. 31. 

Ch. XVII.] History of Lesina, 205 

in the struggle between the Venetians and the 
Narentines in the ninth century. There is a vague 
tradition that the Narentines had an arsenal here 
which the Venetians destroyed, but the name of 
the island does not appear in the history of the 
expedition of Orseolo 11^. Lesina submitted to 
CJoloman in 1105, and again to Venice in 1125. 
In 1 145 Petrana the Venetian count of Zara, in 
order to detach the islands from Spalato which 
was then Hungarian, established a bishopric at 
Lesina, which he intended to be suffragan to the 
newly erected metropolitan of Zara * ; but the 
archbishop of Salona succeeded in holding his own, 
and asserting his authority over the new see. It 
included at first all the large islands as far as 
M^leda, and on the mainland the Kraina or coast 
from Almissa to the Narenta, but the new dioceses 
of Curzola and Makarska were subsequently carved 
out of it ^ Whether the original seat of the 
bishopric was at Lesina or at Cittavecchia is 
another point over which a controversy still rages 
between the two places, but it seems to be generally 
agreed that since the middle of the thirteenth 
century, at all events, the * cathedra ' of the bishop 
has been at Lesina. He was at first elected by 

^ The LadesUna insula conquered by Orseolo (vid. Dandolo, 
1. XY. c. i. 29) is not as some suppose Lesina, but Lagosta. 

* Thorn. Arch. c. xx. 

' 'Phariensis Episcopus habeat sedem suam in Phar, et habeat 
has parochias Phar Braciam Lissam Corceram Lastam et Mulcer 
et totam Crainam.' Act of Synod of Spalato, A. D. 1 180. Farlati, 
vi. p. 367. 

2o6 History of Lesina. [Ch. xvii. 

the clergy and people of the whole diocese, subject 
to the sanction of the King of Hungary, whose 
prerogative however was not always respected : 
the election was afterwards vested in the nobility 
of Lesina; and finally the papal court, here as 
elsewhere, assumed to itself the right of ap- 

The neighbouring island of Lissa was pei-ma- 
nently united to Lesina in one commune about 
the year 1186. 

The original constitution of Lesina, a Slav com- 
munity with no Latin traditions, was democratic. 
But a nobility had gradually been in progress of form- 
ation during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, 
and in 1 242-3 it was constituted into a privileged 
class. By a bull of that date ^ Bela IV vested the 
election of the count in the bishop, the zupan or 
president of the Gran Consiglio, and the nobles 
of the house of Jivi6 (Givich), from the various 
branches of which, in ftiture ages, the whole nobility 
of Lesina was derived. The Jivi(5 were by the 
same bull exempted from tax and their merchandize 
from duty, and they were charged with the main- 
tenance of two ships in time of war. The Gran 
Consiglio, or popular assembly, originally filled by 

* The bull is given at length by Lucio, de Begn. iv. v. p. 165 : 
' Conoedimus etiam ut Episcopus una cum luppano cum N. N. de 
genere Givich libera potiantur facultate eligendi et assumendo sibi 
comitem de Hungaria . . . Statuimus quod luppanus semper de 
genere Givich eligatur et electus comiti praesentetur confirmandus 
et quod sit luppanus ambarum insularum tam Fari quam Brazze/ 
&c., &c. 

Ch. xvn.] History of Lesina. 207 

men of all ranks, gradually fell more and more 
into the power of the nobles ; annual elections gave 
way to election for life, and in the succeeding 
century to hereditary membership. 

During the first part of the thirteenth century 
the islands of Brazza and Lesina were subject to 
the coimts of Almissa, but the piracies of the 
Almissans drove the islanders to liberate themselves 
with the aid of the Spalatines\ and for a time 
they formed a distinct zupany under Hungarian 
rule. Bela IV placed them under the government 
of his soldier prelate Hugrino, archbishop and count 
of Spalato, but after his short term of office the 
islands had counts of their own again. 

Tired of these constant changes, and despairing 
of any other protection from the piracies of the 
Ahnissans, the Lesignani in 1278^ sought the 
protection of Venice, and remained under the rule 
of the serene republic tUl 1358. The Venetians 
fortified the town, repressed the Almissans, and 
in 1 33 1 granted the commune a charter. Their 
government was wise and beneficent, and the laws 
were equally and justly administered without respect 
to rank or class ^; but in 1334, by a revolution 
similar to that which had taken place at Venice, 
the Gran Consiglio was * closed,' and membership 
was thenceforth confined to the nobility, consisting 
chiefly of the house of Jivi6 and its branches. 

* Vid. General History, vol. I. p. 64. 

* Lucio, de Begn. iv.c. ix. p. 183. Vid. sup., vol. I. pp. 74, 80. 
» Bogli6, p. 79-95. 

2o8 History of Lesina. [Ch. xvil. 

In 1 354, Lesina was sacked by the Genoese, during 
their war with Venice, and in 1358, as the city still 
held out for Venice, it was sacked by the men of 
Almissa Trati and Spalato in the freshness of their 
fervour for their new lord Lewis of Hungary, the 
Venetian podestk Nicol6 Comer being driven to 
seek safety within the walls of the castled By 
the treaty of 1358 Lesina with the rest of her 
Dalmatian possessions was surrendered by Venice to 
the Hungarian king, under whose rule the ancient 
chartered privileges of the commune were diminished, 
and the right of electing the count taken away from 
the citizens. 

The short rule of the Bosnian Tvartko, and that of 
Hervoye, who included the countship of the islands 
among the other dignities with which he was in- 
vested by the pretender Ladislao of Naples, so 
disgusted the Lesignani that, when later in the 
fifteenth century negotiations were opened by the 
Bosnian Gran Vaivode for the acquisition of the 
islands, the people of Lesina petitioned the Venetians 
not to surrender them, or if they should do so to 
give them a new home in Istria or somewhere else 
under the standard of St. Mark 2. 

After the final disgrace of Hervoye in 141 5 an 
unseemly contest arose between B;agusa and Spalato 
for the purchase of the islands of Lesina Brazza 
and Curzola. Sigismond was in need of money and 
ready to deal with the highest bidder, and as 

^ Luc. de Jtiegn. iv. xvii. p. 234. 

' The words of the petition are cited by Bogli^, p. 95. 

Ch. XVII.] History of Lesina, 209 

Ragusa had the longest purse the islands were 
finally conceded to her. An armed force under the 
standard of S. Biagio took possession, and a Eagusan 
count was established in each island ^ ; but the 
new government was not popular ; the islanders, 
especially the Lesignani, complained that the officers 
were illiterate and unskilled in the administration 
of justice, and the report that reached them that 
the Ragusans had interfered with popular rights in 
land^ in then* last territorial acquisition alarmed 
them lest the land which they then held in absolute 
possession should be charged with new burdens and 
conditions. The Cavaliere Ladislao JakSa, a noble 
of Lesina, was entrusted with a petition to Sigis- 
mund, and in March 141 7 the Ragusans were 
compelled by an imperial act to withdraw. Lesina 
was granted to Jaksa, who assumed the style of 
governor of Dalmatia and count of the islands ^, but 
in the following year a popular rising was provoked 
by the excessive power of the nobles, and a reform 
of the constitution was in progress when the island 
in 1420 passed without a struggle into the hands of 
the Venetian admiral Loredano, and became finally 
part of the dominions of the Republic. 

^ Their term of office was six months. Giunio de Croxi was the 
first count at Lesina. Boglid, 97. 

' Lud. Tubero, cited Bogli6, p. 99, says this interference was 
with the Oanalesi, which is inconsistent with dates ; Besti says the 
Canali were not acquired till after the Ragusans had lost the 
islands in 141 9. 

' * Ladislaus Jahsia de Eusal Aulae miles gubernator Dalmatiae, 
et Comes Insularum.' Storia di Curzola, Paolini, Excerpt p. 17. 


2IO History of Lesina. [Oh. xvil. 

Both popular and aristocratical factions sent 
envoys to the Senate to influence in their own 
favoiur the fiiture constitution of the island In 
their reply the Senate leaned on the whole to the 
just demands of the people. They promised that 
the count should be a Venetian patrician^ ; declined 
the imposts oflfered by both parties, and left them 
to be employed by the coimcil in the administration 
of the island ; promised to confirm the statute if 
properly informed about it ; equaUzed Lesina with 
other Dahnatian towns as regarded duty on import 
of wine at Venice ; decreed that the judges shoidd 
be elected from the whole body of the maggiore con- 
siglio, and not only from the nobility ^ ; and released 
the people from a debt contracted by the nobles 
with a certain baron of Hungary. 

Under the Venetians Lesina rapidly advanced 
in prosperity. It exported wool, sheep, cheese and 
salt fish^, and the latter industry might have de- 
veloped to a much greater extent but for the in- 
judicious duties on salt which the Venetians exacted 
like the Himgarians who preceded them *• During 
the sixteenth century Lesina was an important 

* The popular party had begged ihaJ^ he might never be a 
DalmcUian/ Boglid, 103. 

* By the abortive reform of 1419, which was interrupted by the 
return of the island to the Venetian dominion, the maggiore con- 
siglio was partially reopened to the j^opolani. Boglid, p. 152. 

' Wheler, a.d. 1678, page 25. 

* Sir Gardner Wilkinson points out the injury to trade resulting 
from the Austrian Qovemment haying continued this tax, Yid. 
supra. General History, vol. L pp. 121 and 171. 

Oh. XVII.] History of Lesina. 2 1 1 

station at which ships touched on their way be- 
tween Venice and the Levant and Puglia. An 
arsenal was established here, and it was the rendez- 
vous of the fleet on its way to and from Corfti, the 
principal naval station of the republic for the 
protection of her commerce in the lower part of 
the Adriatic. 

In 1 57 1 the renegade Uliz-Ali, King of Algiers, 
in command of the Tmrkish fleet, having failed before 
Curzola advanced to Lesina, sacked the city, and 
gave a great part of it to the flames. 

Li 1776 Curzola took the place of Lesina as the 
principal naval station of the Venetians in these 
waters, the harbour being more commodious and 
safer, and the island better placed for watching the 
southern part of Dalmatia. 

Li the great European war at the beginning of 
this century Lesina experienced the same vicissi- 
tudes as the rest of Dalmatia. By the treaty of 
Campo Formio in 1 798 it was ceded to Austria, and 
by that of Presburg in 1805 to France. The French 
troops who occupied it repulsed an attack by the 
Russians on April 29, 1807, though the only de- 
fences were the old Forte Spagnuolo, and a small 
fort to the left of the harbour, and the Russians 
were compelled to retire with the loss of the troops 
they had landed. The place was strengthened by 
the construction of the great fort Napoleone on the 
mountain to the east of the city, which the 
Austriaus have renamed Forte S. Nicol6, but both 
this fort and the Forte Spagnuolo were sxirrendered 

p 2 

212 The Island of Lesina. [Ch. xvil. 

by the French in 1813 after the Lesignani had 
dragged cannon to the summit of a higher mountain 
which commanded them. 

The Island of Lesina. 

We left Spalato at four in the morning by the 
steamship Isea, not one of the Austrian Lloyd boats, 
but a merchantman with tolerable accommodation 
for a few passengers, whose departure sometimes 
fills up conveniently the gaps in the time-table of 
the larger company. 

Our course lay due south between the islands of 
Solta and Brazza. Solta, famous for its honey, has 
2500 inhabitants, and the steamers sometimes touch 
at its chief town Porto Carober. Brazza, the 
ancient Brachia, which is divided from Spalato by 
a channel some ten miles in width, is a mountainous 
island, the largest in Dalmatia, with more than 
1 8,000 inhabitants, and several large villages, among 
which the names Dol and Bol have a curious Breton 
sound, connected perhaps with the Celtic element 
in ancient Illyria. It produces a wine which is said 
to rival Tokay. If the island contains anything of 
artistic interest it will probably be found at Neresi 
in the interior of the island, the ancient capital and 
seat of the Venetian count, a place which has now 
dwindled to a village, being surpassed in con- 
sequence by the maritime towns of Milnk, and San 
Pietro. Neresi can be reached by a strada carreg- 

Ch. XVII.] Cittavecchia. 2 1 3 

giabUe^ from S. Pietro, but I caunot say whether 
there are any carriages to run upon it ^ 

Passing through a narrow channel between these 
two islands we reached the open sea, and made for 
the island of Lesina, which now came into view 
some ten miles away. On reaching it we found we 
had still six miles to go down a narrow gulf which 
penetrates the island, and at the end of which 
stands the town of Cittavecchia. The gulf forms 
a splendid natural harbour fenced in by rocky hiUs 
on the left and rather high mountains on the right. 
It was only 8 a.m. as we neared the end of our 
journey, and saw the town of Cittavecchia or 
Starigrad wrapped in the haze of the early morn- 
ing, through which an imposing campanile was 
dimly visible. 

Cittavecchia is a busy place with a great deal of 
ship-building, and is said to be the most prosperous 
and flourishing town on this or the neighbouring 
islands ; but half-an-hoiu* sufficed to satisfy us that 
it contained nothing interesting in the way of artr 
or antiquity. The houses are plain and modern, 
without the least trace of the Venetian architecture 
that generally meets the eye at every turn in 
Dalmatian towns. The principal church has a toler- 

^ Schatzmeyer. 

* Foriis describes Neresi as still the seat of the governor in his 
time, but comparatively deserted since the cessation of piracy had 
made it safe to live iu the villages of the coast, and he says the 
houses were falling into ruin on every side. The name probably 
contains the old Greek root signifying * water,' the ptp6 of modem 
Greek. Fortis speaks of reservoirs of water near it. 

2 1 4 Cittavecchia. [Ch. xvn, 

able facade towards the little piazza in an early- 
renaissance style, and the great campanile is a fair 
classic work of the last century. Another church 
farther from the harbour has even less to detain 
one, though part of it seems of some antiquity. 
Finally, there are some fragments of Cyclopean 
walls hidden behind modem houses, which I did 
not see, and with these the list of sights at Cit- 
tavecchia is exhausted. 

Stranded thus with nothing to occupy us in the 
town we enquired whether there was anything of 
interest in the neighboiu-hood, and found everyone 
ready to talk of the wonders of Verboska, a place 
five or six miles off, where was a church famous 
for its pictiu-es, and for the singularity of being 
both church and fortress in one. We started there- 
fore for Verboska under the guidance of Giorgio 
Zaglevi(5, a good-looking boatman, who carried our 
sketching things and a basket of provisions, for we 
were warned there was no inn at Verboska, and no 
food to be bought there. 

The path was rough and stony, mostly between 
walls as is usually the case in Dalmatia, especially 
on the islands, where every yard of cultivable 
ground is enclosed. But though the Dalmatian 
farmer fences in his vineyards and oliveyards he 
has not arrived at the art of providing them with 
gates ; to enter them you must either climb oyer 
the loose stone walls, at the risk of bringing them 
down with you and breaking your legs in the 
avalanche of stones ; or else you must deliberately 

Ch. XVII.] Verboska. 2 1 5 

pull a piece down and build it up again behind you, 
unless, as some people do, you leave the proprietor 
to do it for you. After about an hour's walking we 
got free of the stone walls into an open and barren 
district, pleasanter however to walk in, for the 
paths winding in and out among the enclosures are 
monotonous and tiresome enough. Here we met 
the Parroco of Verboska in the middle of a troop of 
his parishioners on his way to market at Cittavecchia, 
who expressed his regret that he could not stay to 
do the honours of his church* He was luxuriously 
seated on a large soft pillow on the back of a well 
caparisoned mule, and held a huge umbrella over his 
head, and though somewhat hot looked a picture of 

Two hours' easy walking brought us to Verboska, a 
village of whitewashed houses piled up the steep sides 
of a rocky inlet of the sea. Strangers would seem 
to be rare, for our appearance caused considerable 
excitement, and a large part of the population 
followed us from church to church, and even entered 
the buildings with us. There are two churches, of 
which the more interesting is that at the far end of 
the village, castle and church in one, intended as a 
refuge for the Verboskans in case of a sudden 
inroad of Turks or Uscocs. It seems to have 
been fortified at more than one period, and the 
defences have in a humble way followed the pro- 
gress of the art of engineering. The body of the 
church is crenellated like a mediaeval castle, square 
internally, but having externally what seem at first 

2i6 Verboska, [Ch. xviL 

sight eastern and lateral apses, but prove to be in 
reality bastions with chambers and embrasures for 
small cannon. They shewed us a kind of flue 
constructed in the thickness of the wall over an 
embrasure to carry off the smoke of the discharge. 
Besides this there is at the other end of the church 
a small spur-shaped bastion in the later style of 
Sanmiichieli or Vauban. The building is undoubt- 
edly very curious and deserved a sketch, but 
we were so pestered by inquisitive natives that it 
was out of the question to sit down and produce 
drawing things ^ 

Over the high altar is a fairly good but not very 
interesting picture of the birth of the Virgin, which 
is attributed to Paolo Veronese. There are two 
other pictures of considerable merit over the side 
altars by Alamardi, a painter of whom, if his name 
was given me correctly, I must confess I had never 
heard, and who is not to be found either in Vasari 
or Lanzi. 

In another church dedicated to San Rocco is a 
really fine painting, either by Titian or of his school, 
which is now cut into three to fit the compartments 
of a gorgeous modem carved and gilt altar piece, 
but once formed a single picture. The centre com- 
partment contains St. Lawrence in the lower part 
with angels and the Virgin above : to the proper 

* There is another fortified church at Gelsa some miles further 
down the coast ; and at the same place is or was a tower of 
primsBval workmanship probably coeval with the Cyclopean walls 
of Cittavecchia. 

Ch. xvii] Lesina. 2 1 7 

right is S. Rocco, and to the proper left a bishop, 
possibly St. Augustine. 

We were much entertained with the raptures of 
a person whom we took for the custode. He threw 
himself about with contortions of delight, making a 
telescope of his hand, and moving us and himself to 
different spots for favourable views of the picture, 
breaking out all the while into ejaculations of 
wonder, as if he had never seen it before. As he 
must have seen it every day we coidd not help 
admiring his enthusiasm, and thought the church 
fortunate in a cicerone who played his part so well. 
Among the crowd which swarmed round us, all 
dressed much alike, he seemed the proper person to 
whom to offer the usual fee, but our horror may be 
imagined when he drew back and pointed to the 
proper recipient, and when we found out from 
Giorgio that he was a Signore and an amateur. It 
was an awkward blunder, but I did my best to 
repair it, and I think we parted good friends. 

But Cittavecchia is not the only town on the 
island ; there is the town of Lesina, and though 
everyone at Cittavecchia, high and low, told us it 
was a poor decayed place full of priests and not fit 
to be named in the same day as Cittavecchia, we 
determined to go there and judge for ourselves. 
The journey could be made either on mules over the 
mountains in five or six hours without our heavy 
luggage ; or, if the wind served, by boat in the 
same time ; or better stLQ if we could go with only 
a hand-bag, we might land at a place called Soco- 

2 1 8 Lesina. [Ch. xvn. 

lizza, which we could reach in two hours, cross the 
hills by a mountain path, and so drop down on 
Lesina on the other shore, avoiding the long circuit 
round the western end of the island* This last 
seemed the best plan, for the iU report of the place 
so far influenced us that we thought a visit of 
twenty-four hours would be quite enough, and that 
we might keep the boat and come back the next 
day for our heavy luggage in time for the steamer 
to Curzola. 

Terms were soon struck with Giorgio Zaglevi<5, 
and we started in an open boat the following morn- 
ing with him and his mate. There was not much 
wind, or Giorgio promised we should shew the 
steamer Delfino, which was starting for Trieste, a 
clean pair of heels, for the Austrian Uoyd boats are 
slow travellera After a pleasant nm of two hours 
we reached Socolizza, a place consisting of two 
houses and a ruin at the far end of /t deep bay, 
where we left the boat in charge of the mate, and 
started on foot to cross a low shoulder of the moun- 
tain backbone of the island which divided us from 
the open Adriatic. The hill was stony, but among 
the white marble rocks that were strewn over the 
surface flourished a niraiber of aromatic herbs that 
scented the air agreeably. Rosemary grows abun- 
dantly here and elsewhere in the Dalmatian islands ; 
there were thickets of myrtle bushes, now full of 
purple berries ; and arbutus, hung with lovely fiiiit 
of crimson or apricot colour, shining like jewels in 
their setting of rich dark foliage. A gigantic heath. 


T.G.J. del. 1884. 



Ch. XVII.] Lesina. 219 

growing in bushes six feet high, and fiiU of white 
and pink blossom, made a splendid show ; and 
wherever the ground was most bare and stony and 
other plants failed there was sure to be a low glau- 
cous leaved plant, a kind of centaury, so like in 
colour to the lichen of the stones that at a short 
distance the eye could not detect the presence of 
any vegetation at all. The plants that grow on 
these sterile rocks are generally hard and shrubby 
as if they imbibed the severity of the soil they 
sprang from, and they are generally aromatic like 
those characters whose latent sweetness is only 
brought out by adversity. 

At last we reached the ridge, and the sea lay 
spread out to view before as well as behind us ; 
behind WM the archipelago of islands with inter- 
lying canals and the mountains of Herzegovina in 
the background, in front was the open Adriatic 
with the outlying island of Lissa in the middle 
distance, blue and hazy, awakening 'memories of 
ancient Greek colonization, Roman intervention for 
the first time in Illyrian waters, English triumphs, 
and Italian reverses. Above us to the left towered 
a great modem fortress, the Fort Napoleon of the 
French, rechristened Forte S. Nicol6 by the Austrians, 
whose guns command the roadstead. Giorgio had 
served his time in the Austrian navy and his enthu- 
siasm took fire ; * If ever the Italians come near 
Lesina,' said he, * Addio 1 Addio ! perch^ T Austria h 
pill forte.' 

Another castle, older and more picturesque, the 

2 20 Lesina, [Ch. xvir. 

Forte Spagunolo, lay on a nearer height, and below 
and beyond it the white houses of the town of 
Lesina began to appear over the shoidder of the 
hill on which we were. Warned by our disappoint- 
ment at Cittavecchia, and by the poor accounts we 
had had of the place, we had been preparing our- 
selves for the beatitude of those who expect 
nothing, but our composure was soon dispelled as 
one graceful campanile after another came into view 
with shafted windows of white marble, and it was 
finally converted into enthusiasm as we reached the 
shore after a rapid descent and found ourselves on 
the quay of the little harbour, with a splendid 
loggia to our left, the old Venetian arsenal to our 
right, and a spacious piazza stretching away between 
ancient Venetian buildings to the Duomo which 
with its lofty campanile closed the vista (Plate 
XXVII). Cittavecchia was forgotten, or remem- 
bered only to make us regret the time we had 
wasted there, which might have been so much 
better spent at Lesina. 

As we advanced up the Piazza the interest 
increased instead of diminishing, tempered however 
by regret for the decay and decline everywhere 
visible. On all sides we saw roofless walls set with 
beautifid traceried windows through which the blue 
sky was seen, and handsome palaces with rich 
balconies now deserted or turned into magazines 
and storehouses. The prosperity and importance of 
Lesina are now matters of the past. She is no 
longer needed as an outpost to watch the dreaded 




Porta Magigiore 

Ch. xviL] Lestna. 2 2 1 

Turk, nor do trading ships on their way to Venice 
or Trieste require frequent stations to touch at as in 
the old days before steamers were invented. The 
population has sunk to 2000, there are but few 
vessels in the roads, and little activity in the streets, 
and but for the signs of former opulence and even 
splendour that meet the eye at every turn, it would 
be difficult to believe that Lesina had ever been on 
the highway of European commerce. 

The town consists of two parts on opposite hills 
divided by a level plain. On one hiQ is the old 
town, stUl entered by three gates, and enclosed by the 
old walls which stretch up the hill side to meet the 
Forte Spagnuolo\ Within the walls are narrow 
steep streets, with here and there Venetian palaces, 
one of which, the Palazzo Raimondi, adjoins the 
south or principal gate and actually rests on the 
town wall (Plate XXVIII). It has been a fine build- 
ing of fifteenth centm^y Venetian Gothic, and the 
traceried windows remain though the roof is gone, 
the proprietor being unequal to the expense of 
repairing it, and having built himself a cottage 
within the four walls of the older building. The 
opposite hill has also many fine palaces on it still 
perfect and occupied, though no longer hyfamiglie 
signorili. Some are let in apartments to poor 
families, and others serve as magazines for drying 
fruit or chrysanthemum flowers, or for storing 
other produce. The little streets are scarcely 

' Over one of the two small doors of this fortress is the date 
MDLI. with the Venetian lion. 

222 Lestna: the Duomo. [Ch. xvn. 

altered since the fifteenth or sixteenth century, and 
abound in charming bits of Venetian architecture; 
the ancient shops remain with their stone coimter 
half way across the open archway, and almost every 
house has the jutting balconies so dear to the 
Venetian architect. Between the two parts of the 
town lies the piazza or forum of the old Commime, 
smoothly flagged and level as a floor, with just one 
step across its whole width near the old marble 
well in front of the Duomo. This grand open space 
bordered by graceful architecture gives Lesina a 
very stately and aristocratic air, and even reflects 
in a measure the grandeur of the great piazza of 
the mistress city. 

At the lower end of the piazza is the little port, 
with Sammichieli's sumptuous arcaded loggia, and 
the old arsenal with its wide arch by which a galley 
coTild be taken into the covered dock that forms the 
lower story, the upper being occupied by a theatre. 
Before the loggia, where the judges used to sit 
(Plate XXIX), still remains the white marble base 
of the flag post whence floated the standard of the 
Serene Eepublic, and the view is closed by the lofty 
though half ruined campanile of S. Marco, which 
surpasses in richness that of the Duomo itself. 

The Duomo. The bishopric of Lesina dates from 
1145^, but of the ancient cathedral of those times 
nothing has survived the repeated attacks of fire and 
foe to which Lesina has been exposed. The choir is 
possibly older than the rest, but it has no architec- 
* Vid. supra, vol. I. p. 47 and vol. II. p. 205. 

Plate JXK. 


i-.'^ . ■■' ^ 

Oh. XVII.] Lestna: the Duomo. 223 

tural detaik by which to tell its age. The facade, 
toned by time and weather to a delicious mellow 
ochre, is simple and graceful but not remarkable, 
except as affording an instance of the influence 
exercised on Dalmatian church architecture by the 
cathedral of Sebenico, whose semicircular gable end 
supported by a quadrant on either hand to close the 
aisles is faithfully repeated here, though without the 
daring roof construction that generated it \ This 
facade dates from the sixteenth century after the 
burning of the city by Uliz-Ali in 1571, and the 
campanile is probably of the same date, if we may 
judge from the analogy of the other campaniles at 
Lesina, The doorway is apparently older than the 
rest of the front, and has some good early renaissance 
details. In the tympanum is a statue which may 
have belonged to the mediaeval church. 

The interior contains some stalls of walnut, carved 
and pierced like those at Arbe and so many other 
places in Dalmatia, which date from the middle of 
the fifteenth century. The design of the pierced 
tracery work is very good, and the flowing foliage is 
free and excellent in its way, but unfortunately the 
upper half of the backs and carved divisions is 
missing. On one of the standards are the arms and 
name of a coimt or proweditore, marc® antonio 
VENiEB, and the date 1579, which however have 
evidently been inserted afterwards, for the stalls 

^ The same form occurs in the facades of St. Maria at Zara, the 
votive church of S. Salvatore at Bagusa, and the duomo at Citta* 

224 Lestna: the Duomo. [Ch. xvil. 

cannot be later than 1 450. The canons were talking 
of discarding their old stalls and having entirely 
new ones, and had actually obtained a plan which 
they shewed me, but I believe I succeeded in per- 
suading them to retain the old, restoring, if they 
must, the missing upper part. At each side of the 
entrance to the choir is an ambo of stone, and beside 
it a lectern also of stone, supported by a single shaft. 
The whole arrangement is curious and unusual 
(Plate XXX). Each ambo stands on four colimms, 
but its upper part is octagonal, and the transition 
from square to octagon is oddly contrived by breaking 
each of the four round arches into two planes. The 
foliage is of late Venetian Gothic, and the whole 
dates probably from the fifteenth centiuy like the 
stalls. Under each ambo is a small altar. 

The nave of the church has been modernized and 
stuccoed, the work probably of the year 1 706, when, 
according to an inscription over the sacristy door, a 
reconsecration took place. 

Near the west end is now placed a stone reredos 
of Venetian Grothic with figures in niches under a 
pointed arch, which formerly stood above an altar in 
the south aisle. The arches are Gothic, but the 
shell appears m the head of the niches, a feature 
to which Italians clung through nearly all the styles. 
The figures are well carved in a severe and restrained 

The treasury contains several objects of consider- 
able interest. It is rich in embroideries of the 
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries of very beauti- 




Interior of Duomo 

Ch. XVIL] Lesina: the Duomo. 225 

fill design and work, and possesses one fine embroi- 
dered cope of the fifteenth century sadly injured by 
age and wear. The most magnificent vestments are 
a piviale or cope and two pianete or chasubles of 
gold embroidery on crimson silk made by the nuns 
of S. Lorenzo at Venice in the time of Napoleon, 
which are of extraordinarily fine work. The real 
interest of the collection however centres in the 
silversmith's work, and in the very curious pastoral 
staff of gilt brass (Plate XXXI). This strongly re- 
sembles that in the treasury of the duomo at Zara, 
and though inferior to it in point of art is even more 
quaint and original. The crook, or quasi crook, for 
it is really completed into a circle, is composed of a 
serpent whose sides are enriched with rosettes on a 
band of base silver. His head lies inside the circle, 
and on it stands a statuette of the Virgin placed 
sideways with her face to the circumference, and the 
mystic Dove above her. Before and behind her are 
two queer little figures ending below the waist in a 
twisted stem and a calix, fi:om which their upper 
half emerges. Their conical caps and odd termina- 
tion give them the look of old fashioned chessmen. 
The one facing the Virgin is an archangel who places 
a crown on her head, and the one to whom she turns 
her back is Moses, who has put off his shoes which 
may be seen to the right and left of the serpent's 
jaws, and who bears a scroll with the inscription — 


The outer circumference is Mnged like the pastoral 


226 Lesina : the Duomo. [Ch. xvil. 

staff at Zara with a border of little radiating busts, 
Christ in the centre and the apostles right and left 
of him, each little head with its nimbus springing 
from the calix of a flower, whUe beyond the apostles 
follow the twelve prophets, six on a side, arranged 
like crockets on the lower part of the circumference. 
Though very similar, the little figures are really cast 
in different moulds, for each apostle has his proper 

Each figure is named, the apostles by a letter on 
their nimbus, the prophets by scrolls in their hands. 
Our Lord has a cross on his nimbus ; the apostles 
before him are marked I — Ph with a cross — B — M 
with a spear — S — Th with a saw — M ; and the six 
prophets that follow are osee : pro — ^iohel : pro — 


The apostles behind our Lord are P holding a key — 
P holding A sword — A with a cross — I with a staff 
^-I with chalice and dragon — T with a staff; and 
the six following prophets are navm : pro — ^abachvc : 


Beyond is a dolphin which joins the main stem. The 
upper tier of niches contains Elijah in a hairy garment 
with bare arms and legs to whom a raven brings a 
semicircular cake ; St. John Baptist in a similar garb 
with the addition of an upper garment, holding a cross 
and scroll with the words dirigite viam dni ; and 
the four evangelistic emblems erect, holding books 
and with long wings folded to their sides. Below 
follow twelve little busts of patriarchs springing 
from flowers, and each having his name on a label 


English inches. 

Plate XXXI. 








A.D. 1509 J 52a. 

Ch. xvn.] Lesina: the Duomo. 227 

written alternately from right and left, ivdas^ — 



NiMAiNEB. In the lower tier of niches forming the 
knop or largest part of the stem are two friars, a 
pope with cross and palm branch, St. Peter with 
book and key, St. Paul with book and sword, and in 
the sixth space an angel holding a shield surmoimted 
by a mitre, the scutcheon no doubt of Bishop 
Patrizio the donor ; the coat is a plain field with a 
fess. The six saints below have no names, but St. 
Jerome is distinguishable by his hat, and the others 
are a monk, a pope, and three bishops. Below this 
are the six days of creation, represented by an arc of 
a circle containing the emblem of each day's work, 
while above are two figures and the dove to symbo^ 
lize the Trinity. Beneath are these legends, fiat. 


AREP — FiciAM : HO. Eound the neck of the staff is 
inscribed pastorale : francnci : pritich : episcop : 
PHARESIS : ET : brchiesis. 

The little cherubs' heads, shells, and swags in the 
lower part of the design betray its later origin in 
comparison with the staff at Zara (Plate VI, vol. I. 
p. 282), which dates from 1460. Francesco Patrizio 
was bishop here from 1509 tUl 1522. 

The arms of Bishop Tomaso Tomasini, who died in 
1484, occur on a parcel gQt chalice with figiu'es 
embossed in low relief and chased in excellent style, 
and there is also a monstrance given by the same 
bishop with very fine cresting of German rather than 

Q 2 

22& Lesina: San Marco. [Oh. xvn. 

Italian charapCter, surmoTinted by two little angels 
dos-a-dos, holding scrolls with the words robvr fee 
AVXTLIVM, completing the opening words of the hymn 
* O Salutaris/ &c. which are seen in raised letters 
round the margin below. 

San Marco. This church was often the scene of 
patrician and popular gatherings in the foiuteenth 
and fifteenth centuries, and was the favourite place 
of sepulture of the nobility of Lesina. It was 
abandoned to ruin during the French occupation, 
the monks were pensioned off, the pictures dispersed, 
the altars sold, and the roof removed ^ More lately 
the campamle, which originally was finished with a 
small cupola, was injured by lightning, which shat- 
tered the upper part and reduced it to its present 
condition (Plate XXVII). The interior of the church 
is fuU of the sepulchral slabs and monimients of the 
Jak&i Hektorevid Ivani6 and other noble families, 
now indistinguishably smothered by a rank growth 
of nettles and brambles. 

Fbanciscan Convent of La Madonna delle 
Grazie. Beyond the southern and extramural 
division of the town a pleasant footpath overhung 
by caroba trees and olives skirts the rocky margin 
of a bay and leads to the Franciscan convent of 
S. Maria delle Grazie, which stands on a low cliff 
close to the water's edge. The church has some 
traces of Italian Gothic in the side windows (Fig. 56), 
which seem to be as old as the foimdation of the 
convent in 1461, but both the convent and church 
^ Boglid, p. 62. 

Oh. XVIL] Lesina: S. Maria delle Grazie. 229 

suffered severely in the conflagration of 1571 when 
the Turks under Uliz-Ali gave a large part of 
the city to the flames, and the whole was restored 
and in great measure rebuilt in 1574, with the aid 
of a general contribution from the citizens^. This 
appears to be the date of the fine campanile, which 
rises with stage after stage of double colonnettes and 
round-arched lights to an octagonal story at the top 
crowned by a little cupola. It resembles the cam- 
panile of S. Marco which, as I have said, terminated 
in the same way before it 
was struck by lightning, 
and also that of the duomo, 
though the latter is square 
from top to bottom, and 
has a low pyramidal roof. 
There is little doubt that 
all were rebuilt at the Fig. 56. 

same time, after the Turkish invasion in 1571, 
and they seem to be all by the same hand. The 
three form a group with a very distinctive character, 
and are unlike any others I know. The taU slender 
round-headed lights, the columns doubled one 
behind the other, and the rosettes and discs in relief 
which decorate the wall space all display a good deal 
of invention ; and these Lesina campaniles may claim 
a high place among works of their class and date. 

The west front, starred with cannon balls of Ttirks, 
or French, or Russians, contains a graceful doorway, 
probably of the date of the restoration in 1574, with 
^ Fabianich, vol. ii. p. 149. 

230 Lesina: S.Maria delle Grazie. [Ch. xvil. 

fluted pilasters supporting a richly sculptured archi- 
trave, above which in a lunette are the figures of the 
Madonna and Child between two angels, recalling 
similar compositions of DeUa Robbia ware (Plate 

The interior is not remarkable, but there is a 
pretty fifteenth century screen of pierced stonework 
across the north aisle, and there are three good 
paintings by Francesco di Santa Croce, a painter 
whose work abounds in Dalmatia^. One of them 
represents the Madonna and Child with St. Jerome 
on the right and St. John the Baptist on the left, 
and three little angels below. Another is over the 
high altar and seems to have been much restored. 
These three pictures are said to have been given to 
the church by members of the noble family of 
Griffico, now extinct, who either brought the 
pictures or invited the artist from Venice 2. 

There are other pictures in the church attributed 
to Palma Giovane and Bassano. 

* There are two painters of the surname Sta. Croce, or da Sta. 
Croce, Francesco and Girolamo. Some, according to Lanzi, have 
made Francesco son to Girolamo, but this is disproved by Bidolfi 
who speaks of them only as members of the same family, and by 
the fact that the list of dated works of Girolamo begins and con- 
tinues later than that of the works of Francesco. Yasari does not 
piention either of them. Francesco Eizzo da Sta. Croce in the 
territory of Bergamo was a pupil of Carpaccio, and his paintings 
range from 1 507- 1 54 1 . Like his master he clung to the older style, 
and his pictures have an archaic air not warranted by their date. 
Girolamo was a painter of more note, who resembled Titian and 
Giorgione in style and even approached them in merit. His works 
range from 1520-1549. Vid. Lanzi, vol. iii. p. 52. 

* Fabianich, vol. ii. p. 155. 




v?^^ .- . 



Ch.xvii.] Lesina: S.Maria delle Grazie. 231 

The treasury contains a pretty and simple Grothic 
chalice of unusual design, and another with figures 
of the cinquecento period, which is still kept in the 
original leather case resembling a hat-box : there is 
also some exquisite Greek lace; and a beautiful 
' pianeta ' with a stole belonging to it, red on one 
side and white on the other, worked through and 
through with a gold pattern shewing alike on both 

But the great treasure at the convent is the 
* Cenacolo,* a painting the equal of which the 
Lesignani say is not to be found in the whole world. 
The artist was Matteo Rosselli, a Florentine, who was 
bom in 1578 and died in 1650. Driven to Lesina 
by stress of weather as he was crossing the Adriatic 
from Italy to Ragusa, he fell ill, and was taken care 
of by the Franciscan friars, to whom out of gratitude 
he presented this picture. Fabianich says^ 'to 
compensate them for their good offices he presented 
the worthy fatherSy his fortunes being at a low ehb, 
with the said canvas, which vxis one of the most 
finished that he was carrying with him, and which 
fitted very well the size of the place where it was to 
he put.^ But it fits the place so well that few who 
see it can doubt that it was painted expressly to fit 
it, to say nothing of the improbability of a painter 
carrying about with him among other pictures on 
canvas one that must measure at least 160 or 170 
superficial feet. 

The picture is in the refectory, a large low room 
* Vol. ii. p. 158. 

232 Lestna : S. Maria delle Grade. [Ch. xvil. 

panelled to the height of about six feet, and sur- 
rounded by tables of dark wood on stone legs, 
arranged as in our English college halls. The 
whole end wall from the dado up to the ceiling is 
covered by the picture, which occupies the same 
position as Leonardo's Cenacolo in the refectory at 
Milan, the subject being of course a usual one in 
convent refectories. The figures are large, I suppose 
of life size, and the agitation of the Apostles at the 
announcement of the intended betrayal is admirably 
expressed. The painting, which is in excellent con- 
dition, resembles in style the work of Titian and 
Tintoret rather than that of the painters of the 
age of the Caracci, to which Rosselli chronologically 
belongs. This agrees with what Lanzi says of him, 
that though he studied under Pagani and Passig- 
nano, the latter of whom was one of the masters 
of Ludovico Caracci, Rosselli studied still more dili- 
gently the works of the older masters at Florence 
and Rome \ 

I do not remember ever having derived more 
pleasure from the work of a post-Raffaellite master 
than I did from this little-known masterpiece of 
a not very weU-known painter. 

Anxious to bestow as much time on Lesina and 

^ Lanzi praises him for his amiability, and says he was an ex- 
cellent teacher : ^ nel dipingere ebbe molti uguali, nell' insegnare 
pochissimi, si per facile comunciativa, si per esenzione da inyidia, si 
per accortezza in conoscer gl' ingegni, e in guidar ciascuno per la sua 
via. ... la sua maggiore lode d V aver vestito verso i suoi quell, 
animo patemo che Quintiliano sopra ogni cosa desidera ne' maestri.' 
Lanzi, vol. i. p. 296. 

Ch. xvil] Lesina. 233 

as little on Cittavecchia as we coaild, we postponed 
our return tiU late in the afternoon, and we were 
consequently caught by one of those sudden changes 
of wind and weather which make travelling among 
these islands so difficult : for before the hour fixed 
for our departure the wind shifted to the north-east 
and became a Greco or Bora, which did not serve 
for Cittavecchia, and our return was consequently 
impossible. Under these circumstances we made 
a fresh bargam on Uberal terms with Giorgio, who 
imdertook to fetch our luggage from Cittavecchia 
in time for a steamer which was to touch at Lesina 
two days later. After he had started with an in- 
stalment of his money the storm fairly broke upon 
us. All that night it thimdered and lightened 
incessantly, blew a hurricane, and rained in tor- 
rents, and we felt very uneasy at having sent 
him on what we feared had turned out a danger- 
ous errand. Day broke, but the weather did not 
mend ; it rained as if another deluge were impend- 
ing over the world, and the wind howled in the 
gorges of the mountains and came down in fearftd 
gusts, each one enough to seal the fate of Giorgio's 
open boat. Towards the following afternoon the 
storm blew itself out ; our spirits rose with the 
brightening sky, and things did not look so gloomy 
as in the night-watches. The daylight however 
failed without any sign of Giorgio, but he arrived 
just after dark, with all our luggage on ' animali,' 
safe and sound. He had not been in the danger 
we imagined, though he had had a very rough 

234 Lesina. [Ch. xvn. 

time of it, for finding on reaching Socolizza that 
it was impossible to go by sea, he and his mate 
had reached Cittavecchia on foot by a rugged 
mule-path, difficult enough to follow in the dark 
and rain, on the roughness of which he expatiated 
feelingly. It was two in the morning when they 
arrived at Cittavecchia, and they started again 
early with our boxes, which they brought half-way 
in a boat, and the rest of the way on mules over 
the mountains. Giorgio had done the whole thing 
admirably, and so carefully protected the luggage 
that very little of its contents had been injured by 
wet. We praised him as he deserved, and told 
him we had been very anxious about his safety. 
* Ah,' said he, ' I had promised to come in time, and 
nothing should have stopped me: had it been to 
have my head cut off I should have come all the 

Our imprisonment at Lesina had not been un- 
pleasant : we had very fair lodgings ; our hostess, 
though her repertoire was not very extensive, 
cooked for us very tolerably within its narrow 
limits, and perhaps if our stay had been longer we 
should have got beyond the tomato soup and beef 
boiled to rags which were served to us with great 
regularity twice a day. The ceiling of the lower 
part of the house was hung thickly with clusters of 
grapes which were being half-dried to make a rich 
sweet wine called Prosecco, for which Lesina is 
renowned. The grapes are hung till they are half 
converted into raisins, when they are taken down. 

Ch. xvil] Lesina. 235 

the bunches are carefully looked over, and every 
berry that is in the least mouldy or decayed is 
rejected, so that when expressed the juice is the 
purest essence of the grape ; ' sincero come V occhio,^ 
as our landlord Guglielmi put it, slightly holding 
his eyelid open with his forefinger by way of illus- 
tration. The prosecco thus made is a liqueur rather 
than a wine, extremely luscious, very strong, and I 
should say extremely gouty. 

The cultivation of the wild chrysanthemum is 
largely carried on at Lesina as indeed it is through- 
out the province. The flowers and leaves are dried 
and sent in sacks to Trieste to be pulverized and 
made into the insecticide powder which is the 
traveller's comfort. As nature has endowed the 
Dalmatian flea with uncommon powers of attack, 
one cannot but feel thankful that she has been 
equally bountiful to mankind in supplying them 
on the spot with suitable means of defence. 

Another industry of the island is the making of 
rosemary oil and rosemary water, Acqiui regia, of 
which at the time of our visit every alley and 
street was redolent. It is exported largely for use 
in perfumery, and in making soap. The figs of 
Lesina are also famous, and the wine is excellent, 
especially at Cittavecchia. Palms flourish in the 
open air, and the island climate is so mild that it 
has been proposed to make an Austrian Madeira 
by founding an establishment at the town of Lesina 
to receive consumptive persons. While wishing 
every success to the enterprise one may at the same 

236 Lesina. [Oh. xviI. 

time protest against the contemplated Vandalism of 
removing two of the three picturesque towers ad- 
joining the Loggia of Sammichiele (Plate XXIX), 
and building in theii* place a huge vulgar barrack-like 
edifice to which the beautiful loggia is apparently 
to serve as a vestibule, and by which it would be 
crushed into insignificance. A more tasteless and 
barbarous design was never put on paper, and it is 
to be hoped the good taste of the Dalmatians will 
interfere to prevent it. There are plenty of excel- 
lent sites elsewhere on the sea-shore where the 
* stahilimento ' could be erected without injury to 
the beauty of the little town, and without involving 
the destruction or overshadowing of any of its 
interesting monuments. 

The two towers whose existence is threatened 
formed part of the official residence of the count, 
the place of assembly for the gran consiglio, the 
centre of the municipal life of Lesina and the seat 
of the government ; and independently of the beauty 
of the architectural group of which they form so 
conspicuous a part, their historical associations 
ought to give them sufficient value in the eyes of 
the Lesignani to protect them from the wanton 
destruction with which they are threatened 

Fig. 57. 


The Island of Curzola. 

History of the Island and City. The Duomo, Domestic and 
Communal Buildings. The Badia. The Island of M^leda. 

CoRCYRA NIGRA, black with the pine- woods that 
stiU largely cover its surface, the modem Curzola, 
retains like Lesina numerous caims and sepulchral 
monuments of its inhabitants in prehistoric times \ 
Little is known of its early colonization: Greek 
coins are found at Blatta in the interior according 
to Sir Gardner Wilkinson, and a Greek inscription 
on a tablet which was ploughed up there in 1883 
has been published by Professor Vid Vuleti6 Vuka- 
sovic of Curzola^, He has also published another 

^ Farlati, tom. yi. p. 363, < acervos saxorum, qui in superciliis 
montium adhuc extant, subterraneis loculis impositos.' 

* It is given me by Prof. Vid. Vuletid Vukasovid as follows : — 
XAPIH. The tablet was about two feet high, and had a kind of orna- 

238 Curzola: History. [Ch. xviil. 

consisting of about a hundred names from a tablet 
of which five fragments were found at Lombarda 
near Curzola, the rest, which contained the purport 
of the inscription, being unhappily lost^ 

In the tenth century Constantino Porphyrogenitus 
mentions the island as belonging to the Serbs of 
Pagania, that is to the Narentines, and he says 
there was a town on it^ so that, like the neigh- 
bouring island of Pharos, Curzola had it would seem 
lost the old Latin civilization and become a Slavonic 
community. The Curzolani were the first people 
who oflPered resistance to the expedition of Pietro 
Orseolo II in 998, and they were reduced by him 
to submission ^ Like the rest of Dalmatia the 
island passed under Hungarian rule at the beginning 
of the twelfth century. It was afterwards for a time 
occupied by the Grenoese, from whom it was recovered 

mental pediment over it. Vid. Epigraphische Mittheilungen, Vienna, 
1884, p. 87. ^ 

^ There exists at Curzola, in the possession of the family Dimitri, 
a MS. history of Curzola by Dr. Antonio Paulini a physician of the 
island, written about 1750. Extracts from it are in process of 
publication by Prof. Vid. Vuletid Vukasovi^, who has been good 
enough to furnish me with the proof-Bheets of which I have made 
great use. I have also to thank him and the Canonico Don An- 
tonio Alibranti of Curzola for numerous valuable extracts from 
the local chroniclers Padre Biceputi, Giovanni de Zorzi, and 
Pietro Dimitri, whose works exist only in manuscript, and are pre- 
served at Curzola in the libraries of the families Capor, Boschi, and 

* Const. Porph. de adm. Imp. ch. xxxvi. Vid. sup. vol. I. 
p. 17, note. 

- * ' Ciurzolae insulae habitatores suis recusantes parere jussionibus 
valida manu acqiiisivit, suaeque potestati subjugavit.' And. Dan- 
dolo, Chron. lib. ix. c. i. pars xxviii. 

Ch. XVIIL] Curzola: History. 239 

for the Venetians in 11 29 by Popone Zorzi, a 
Venetian patrician, with an armament fitted out at 
his own expense; to whom and to his heirs the 
Republic granted the government of the island, as 
an encouragement to other citizens to undertake 
similar enterprises. The Curzolani however did 
not submit to the Zorzi with a good grace, and 
maintained their independence against not only the 
Venetians but also the dukes of Chelmo. The statute 
of 1 2 14, said to be the oldest in Dalmatia, has no 
name of any count prefixed, nor that of the Venetian 
republic, but nms simply in the name * Comunis 
et hominum civitatis et insulae Curzolae . . . per 
minus et Tnajus et generate consilium ejusdem civi- 
tatis et insulae' In 1254, however, the Curzolani 
elected for their count MarsUio Zorzi, at that time 
the Venetian count of Ragusa and Mdleda, which 
island was then dependent on Ragusa. MarsUio how- 
ever tried to change his elective magistracy into an 
hereditary principality, and after two years he was 
expelled by the Curzolani. Trying to re-establish 
himself by force of arms he was worsted and 
woimded and lost his standard, in place of which 
he hoisted the bloody bandage from his woimded 
limb, the likeness of which, a fascia or fess gules on 
an argent field, was thenceforth blazoned on the 
family escutcheon^. Defeated at first, he withdrew 
to a strong position round which he rallied his 

. * And. Dandolo, lib. x. c. vii. pars i, also Farlati, torn. vi. p. 364 ; 
Paulini, Excerpt, p. 6 ; Galvani, II R^ d' armi, vol. ii. p. 91. The 
former scutcheon of the Zorzi was chequered or and gules. 

240 Curzola : History. [Ch. xvm. 

followers, and being supported by the country- 
people, between whom and the townspeople there 
seems to have been no sympathy, he finally regained 
the town and the whole island. With this event 
the independence of Curzola came to an end, and 
the island was thenceforth held by the family of 
Zorzi as feudatories of the Serene Republic. The 
rule of Marsilio was not imdisturbed, but it was 
supported by the Venetians, \^ho in 1262 sent 
Giacomo Grimani as provveditore or count to settle 
the disputes by which the island was agitated. 
The proclamation of his authority was addressed to 
the Latini et Sclavi of the island ^ an interesting 
distinction, affording another instance of the ten- 
dency of the urban population of Dalmatia to 
became latinized even when, as at Curzola, they 
probably came from the same Slavonic stock as the 
rural population*. 

Marsilio bequeathed his rights to his successor 
Ruggero Zorzi, making the Republic of St. Mark 
his testamentary executor. Ruggero was confirmed 
in his position by the Senate in 1 271-2; and 
although no hereditary right in the Zorzi was ever 

* Quoted in full by Lucio, de Reg. iv. viii. p. 174. 

' I append to this chapter the text of the engagement ewom to 
by Marsilio and the Comune of Curzola in 1265, recognising an 
hereditary right in his heirs, subject, in case of dispute or inca- 
pacity, to the decision of the Procurators of the republic of St Mark» 
or the Doge in council. I am indebted to the kindness of Can- 
onico Don Andrea Alibranti of Curzola for a copy of this interesting 
document. It has been published in a volume containing statutes 
of Curzola from 12 14-1558, by Prof. Dr. J. J. Hanel, Zagabria 
{=Agram), 1877. 

Ch. XVIII.] Curzola: History. 241 

formally acknowledged by the Venetians, the count- 
ship in fact descended from father to son in that 
family imtil the island ceased to be Venetian terri- 
tory in the fomijeenth century. 

In 1298 the great naval battle took place off 
Curzola in which the Venetians were defeated by 
the (Genoese and the proweditore Andrea Dandolo 
was taken prisoner, who, to avoid an ignominious 
exposure in chains, dashed out his brains against 
the side of the galley. 

Marino Zorzi succeeded his father Ruggero in 

1 300, and was afterwards elected Doge of Venice. 
In 1 301 the bishopric of Curzola was founded in 
a somewhat singular way, the Curzolani inviting 
Giovanni Crosio, bishop of Stagno, to leave that see 
which was made uncomfortable for him by the 
Bogomiles, and to establish himself at Curzola, on 
condition that he should at his own expense procure 
the papal licence, and defend any suit that might 
be brought by the bishop of Lesina, in whose 
diocese Curzola had hitherto been included. The 
consent of Pope Boniface VIII was obtained in 

1301, three years after he had established the new 
bishopric of Sebenico at the instance of Maria of 
Hungary queen of Naples, and the counts of Bribir. 
The new diocese of Curzola included the island 
itself and the neighbouring islets or scogli, and until 
1 541 was united with that of Stagno, and, like it, 
subject to the metropolitan of Ragusa. The Ragu- 
isans long complained of the inconvenience of this 
union, Stagno being in their territory, and Curzola 


242 Curzola : History. [Ch. xviil. 

in that of a foreign power ; and in 1541, after the 
death of Nicol6 Niconizio the eighteenth bishop of 
Stagno and Curzola, the Ragnsans obtained from 
Pope Paul III a decree for the division of the sees; 
Curzola was at the same time removed from the 
jurisdiction of the archbishop of Eagusa\ The 
bishopric continued till 1806, when it was sup- 
pressed on the death of Bishop Giuseppe Cossevich, 
and the island was once more attached to the see 
of Lesina. 

The last count of the Zorzi family under the 
suzerainty of the Republic was Zuane Zorzi, who 
on Feb. 28, 1358, was commissioned by the Senate 
to surrender the island to Lewis of Hungary in 
pursuance of the treaty of Zara. In vaini did the 
Zorzi plead their ancient rights- by virtue of the 
wiU of Marsilio, and apply for compensation first to 
Venice and then to Hungary; for it was decided 
by both powers that the Zorzi had no hereditary 
rights, but had merely governed as officers of th6 
Republic, that is to say, as counts or rectors, not as 
* signori.* , 

Under Lewis and his daughter Maria and her 
husband Sigismimd, from 1358 to 1382, the island 
was governed for Himgary by counts of Lesina and 
Curzola, who sometimes included Brazza and Al- 
missa within their jurisdiction. During the disputes 
about the succession to the Hungarian throne 
between Maria and Charles III the documents cited 
by Paulini have no royal name prefixed, nor does 
^ Farlati, vi. p. 388. 

Ch. xviii.] Curzola : History, 243 

any reappear till the marriage of Maria and Sigis- 
mund in 1388, an int^esting illustration of the 
perplexed ciurent of affairs. To documents of 1 390 
and 1 39 1 is prefixed the name of * our most serene 
Prince and Lord Stephen Tvartko, D. G. Eaxie 
Boxne Dahruitie Maritimeqice Rex IncUtics.\ That 
of Sigismund reappears in 1393: Ladislaus of 
Naples instituted a count in 1404; Hervoye duke 
of Spalato held the countship from 1408 to 141 3, 
governing the island by vice-counts until his 
disgrace, after which the name of Sigismund again 
reappears on the public documents, his elevation to 
the Empire being duly observed in the change of 

In the summer of 141 3 Curzola with Lesina and 
Brazza was given by Sigismimd, as has been related 
above^ to the republic of Ragusa, the first Eagu- 
san count of Curzola being Michele de Menze*. 
During the Ragusan occupation the name of Sigis- 
mund is prefixed to the public acts, the islands 
being held by the Ragusan republic horn the 
Emperor in return for an annual rent. In 1417 
Curzola, like Lesina, was surrendered to Ladislao 
Jakfia, * Governor of Dalmatia and Count of the 
Islands,' and the Ragusan dominion came to an 
abrupt end. 

In 1420 Curzola finally passed with the rest of 
Dalmatia under Venetian rule, the people spon- 
taneously declaring for the Republic on April 24, 
and swearing fealty in their cathedral, the first to 
* Vid, supra, p. 209. * Bogli<;, Lesina, p. 97. 

R 2 

244 Curzola : History. [Ch. xvill. 

take the oath being the rector Dubroslavo di 

On the return of Venetian dominion the Zorzi 
once more reappeared with their ancient claims, 
which were once more dismissed on the ground that 
they had not been signori but only rettori, and all 
that was awarded them by way of compensation 
was a grant for six years of the castle of Zumella in 
the Trevisan. The name of Zorzi often appears 
subsequently in the list of Venetian counts of 
Curzola, but their pretensions to the lordship of the 
island were never revived. 

In August 1485, during the war between Inno- 
cent VIII and Ferdinand I of Naples, in which the 
Venetians secretly supported the Pope, Curzola was 
attacked by the Catalan troops, who ravaged the 
territory and besieged the town. The citizens how- 
ever defended themselves stoutly under their count 
Zorzi Viaro, and drove the invaders to their ships, 
capturing their camp and military engines. Several 
shields taken from the enemy were tiU lately to be 
seen suspended in the cathedral as trophies of this 

That Curzola prospered under Venetian rule is 
shewn by the many public and private buildings 
with which it was at this time embellished. Be- 
tween 1420 and 1570 the duomo was enlarged, the 
campanile built, the palazzo puhhlico and that of the 
count erected, public wells were made, the streets 
and squares paved, tribunals and loggie provided, 
and the streets adorned with numerous fine houses 

Oh. XVIII.] Curzold : History. 245 

of beautiful architecture which still remain, though 
here, as at Lesina, often in ruins. Here as there, 
the winged lion of St. Mark meets the eye at every 
turn, frowning from every bastion not always with 
the word pax on his book, and presiding over every 
loggia, piazza, and pubhc palace. 

In 1 571 the Turkish corsair Uliz-Ali, fresh from 
the capture of Ihilcigno Antivari and Budua, ap- 
peared in force before Curzola, which had been 
abandoned by the Venetian governor Antonio Balbi, 
who had withdrawn the garrison and fled to Zara 
under pretence of seeking reinforcements. Only two 
hundred men capable of bearing arms remained 
within the walls, but the city was saved by the 
resolution of this slender garrison, under the comr 
mand, according to Farlati, of the archdeacon 
Rosaneo, and aided by the heroism of the women 
and boys, who served their defenders with powder 
and shot and helped in keeping watch. To dis- 
guise their numerical weakness they arrayed the 
women and non-combatants in armour and shewed 
them on the walls, and Uliz-Ali, thinking the gani- 
son stronger than it really was, and finding the 
siege likely to take more time than he could afford, 
withdrew his forces on the second day. Before his 
departure he gave the Borgo to the flames, and then 
sailed to the easier conquest of Lesina, which he 
sacked and burned as has been related ^ Some of 
the Turkish cannon-balls were for a long time pre- 

* The Archdeacon Rosaneo wrote an account of the defence from 
which Farlati quotes. Tom. vi. p. 393. 

246 Curzola: History. [Ch. XVIII. 

served as trophies in the cathedral, and one may 
still be seen at the Comune. 

The two ports between which the town is placed, 
with the safe haven of Porto Pedocchio close by, 
offered such superior convenience that, in 1776, the 
Venetians transferred their arsenal from Lesina to 
Curzola, the latter place also being better situated 
for watching the lower coasts of Dalmatia and the 
Turks. The pinewoods with which about four-fifths 
of the island^ are to this day covered suppHed the 
navy with timber, and Curzola became the principal 
naval station and arsenal of the Venetians in these 

During the great European war Curzola was oc- 
cupied alternately by the Russians and the French. 
The English took it in 181 3, and governed it till 
the peace of 181 5, when, like the rest of Dalmatia, 
it was ceded to Austria. It is gratifying to an 
Englishman to find that here as elsewhere in Dal- 
matia where the people have had experience of 
our rule they remember it with pleasure. We read 
with interest the proclamations of the English 
Governor, and the regulations he drew up for the 
government of the city by a council of citizens 
under his presidency, perhaps the only taste of 
local self-government enjoyed by the Ciu'zolani since 
the 13th century. Under English rule the quay 
was begxm if not completed, and the handsome 
road laid out which runs along the northern shore 

* Sir G. "Wilkinson, i. p. 251, says that out of 57,130 acres 
43,471 are covered with pinewoods. 

Ch. xvin.] Curzola. 247 

as far as Lombarda, passing on the way a fine 
hemicycle of stone seats with an inscription in 
honour of the English Governor under whose aus- 
pices these improvements were effected : — 




We left Lesina in the evening; the day had 
been fine, but after sunset the rain came down 
again pitilessly, and the lightning was vivid and 
incessant. It was half-past eleven before we hove 
to in the narrow channel which divides the town 
of Curzola from the mainland, and saw the lanterns 
of the Httle boats that were to fetch us off come 
travelling like glow-worms through the darkness. 
At any time of day and in any weather this landing 
in little boats is a nuisance, but it is a veritable 
penance when it is pitch dark and the sky seems 

248 Curzola. [Ch. xviil. 

falling in solid sheets of water. Our luggage was 
got on deck, and stood pitiably in the rain which 
threatened to dissolve it into pulp, and when it 
had been safely passed over the side, and we had 
satisfied ourselves that none of it had been dropped 
into the sea, we groped our way after it down the 
slippery ladder, hoping to be equally fortunate our- 
selves. The boat was half-ftill of water, and after 
landing we had to tramp a quarter of a mile in 
the rain along a badly-lighted quay to the custom- 
house with all our luggage on the backs of the 
boatmen, and then all the way back again to the 
sea-gate of the town, where the familiar lion of 
St. Mark seemed to greet us as an old friend ; and 
it was long after midnight before we reached the 
humble inn, where we found a very tolerable room 
had been prepared for us, on the floor of which our 
three porters, ourselves, and our damp luggage were 
soon making a very respectable puddle. 

Curzola occupies an oval peninsula ^ jutting for- 
ward boldly towards the opposite shore of Sabbion- 
cello, and united to the main bulk of the island by 
a spit of low ground. On the summit of the hill 
which constitutes the peninsula stands the duomo 
with an imposing campanile, forming a worthy apex 
to the pile of buildings that climb the hill-side from 
the sea-shore (Plate XXXIII). The principal gate 

* Farlati, vi. p. 367, compares its shape to a human heart, and 
quotes a poet who amuses himself by deriving Corcula, one form 
of the name of the island, from its shape : — 

* Et parvi cordis moenia uomen habent.' 


Oh. XVIII.] Curzola: the Duomo. 249 

is at the isthmus, and the High Street of the town 
leads thence along the ridge of the penmsnla to 
the small Piazza del duomo in the heart of the 
towiL From this central artery narrow streets run 
steeply down on either side towards the sea, con- 
sisting of flights of steps alternating with inclined 
planes, and not unfrequently bridged across by 
archways and galleries from house to house. The 
old town walls have been partly removed, and 
a wide quay now smrounds the whole peninsula 
with a pleasant promenade ; but the walls remain 
tolerably perfect on the north side, and many of 
the old bastions elsewhere have survived the re- 
moval of their connecting curtains. More than one 
line of defences can be traced, especially near the 
land gate, where the lofty Gothic * Torre Lombardo,' 
built in 1448, stands behind and within a great 
bastion some half century its junior. When per- 
fect the whole circuit of walls must have been for- 
midable enough to explain the disinclination of 
Uliz-Ali to attack the city. 

Space is too valuable within the walls to allow 
of a large piazza in front of the duomo, and it is 
difficult to get far enough away from the facade 
to judge of its effect ; but like all the building it 
is very interesting, and may even without exagger- 
ation be pronounced beautiful. There is a large 
proportion of plain wall space, which gives value 
to the few architectural features and enhances the 
refinement of their workmanship ; and there is true 
artistic feeling in the gradual increase in richness 

250 Curzola: the Duonto. [Ch. xvm. 

towards the upper part, the great gable being 
splendid with cornices and finials, while the cam- 
panile, plain and almost featureless till near the 
top, bursts suddenly into magnificence with an 
arcaded parapet of trefoiled arches, fix)m which 
rises a graceful lantern or belvedere of two octa- 
gonal stories resting on clustered columns, and 
finishing with an enormous vane rod whose branch- 
ing arms are furnished each with a triple set of 
balls like the crosses over Greek churches. Unlike 
the generality of southern campaniles this tower is 
not isolated from the church, but joined on to it, 
forming part of the facade, and partly obliterating 
the western end of the north aisle, which once 
evidently ran out to the front and corresponded 
with the lean-to aisle on the south. This arrange- 
ment was obviously dictated by want of space, and 
the same reason will explain the curious obliquity 
of the whole facade which forms an acute angle 
with the south side, producing a strangely exag- 
gerated perspective effect (Plate XXXIV), while the 
campanile again is placed in a different plane to the 
rest of the front. It is evident the architect was 
driven to economise every inch of ground. 

The features of the facade proper are a doorway, a 
round window above, and a highly-enriched gable 
cornice. The doorway is a good piece of Italian 
Gothic, with spirally twisted jamb shafts and square 
capitals carrying a pointed arch in two orders, the 
principal mouldings of which are cabled in continu- 
ation of the spiral jamb shafts. There is a square 




The Duomc 

lNH-»MOTO b»^»t I I • V, lOM!^ 

Ch. XVIIL] Curzola: the Duomo. 251 

lintel, and the tympanum is pierced with a window 
quite like Grerman or French doorways, in the centre 
of which is a statue of St. Mark, a later addition. 
The strangest part of the design is the pair of huge 
brackets jutting forward above the springing of the 
door arch, and supported by coupled and knotted 
shafts. From the analogy of many Italian porches 
one would expect these to carry a semicircular 
hood or canopy, and in fact a semicircular arch is 
traced on the wall by a projecting moulding ; but 
instead of anything of this kind they carry two 
couchant lions of that conventional type that does 
such good service in Italian porches, though here 
they serve no purpose at all. Figures of Adam and 
Eve are carved on the brackets, and preside over 
the entrance of the church as they do at Trail 
and Sebenico. 

The rose-window above is, as Mr. Freeman ob- 
serves, * not a mere wheel ; the diverging lines run 
off into real tracery, such as we might see either 
in England or France ^.' 

The cornice that crowns the pediment is very 
rich and not a little puzaJing ; parts of it, especially 
the knots of interlaced monsters, and the trefoil 
tracery at the springing of the gable, seem genuine 
Gothic work ; but what can we make of the frill 
of little arches that run up the raking lines, each 
filled with the scallop-shell dear to the renaissance 
architect, while the running leaf-pattern above them, 
and the rich finial on the apex cannot but be of 
^ Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice, p. 209. £. A. Freeman. 

252 Curzola: the Dtumto. [Ch. xvin. 

Gothic workmanship? Evidently things cannot be 
here in their original state. 

In the centre of the gable, occupying the very 
point of it, is a female head which has exercised 
the ingenuity of the curious for several generations. 
Spon, writing in 1688, whose simplicity saw in the 
duomo of Curzola a building of the Emperor Dio- 
cletian, says he was told it was a bust of the wife 
of that emperor, for which however he would not 
vouch, as her face was not known to him on medals 
or in antique statuary. Farlati* thinks it repre- 
sents Maria, daughter of the Emperor Lsuscaris, and 
wife of Bela IV who reigned from 1234 to 1270. 
Dr. Paulini thinks it represents Maria of Hungary, 
queen of Charles 11 of Naples, who may have used 
her influence with the Pope for the establishment 
of this bishopric, as she did for that of Sebenico, 
and whom the grateful citizens may have commem- 
orated in this way. Maria died in 1323. Others 
suppose the bust to represent Elizabeth, the wife 
of Lewis the Great, who was murdered at Novigrad 
in 1387, or Maria her daughter, the wife of Sigis- 
mund, who died in 1395. A general tradition 
prevails that the church was built with the aid 
of a grant of money from a queen of Hungary, 
but the date of the building and the identity of 
the queen are equally matters of dispute among all 
who have written about the matter. The figure, 
which seems evidently intended for a portrait, re- 
presents a woman no longer young, with wrinkled 
* Tom. vi. 368. 




Interior of Duomo 

Ch. xvm.] Curzola: the Duomo. 253 

forehead and deep lines in the cheeks, and there- 
fore cannot be the youngest queen Maria, who died 
at the age of twenty-five. The hair is elaborately 
carved, and stands away from the face on each side 
in a mass of curls, and the head is encircled by 
a jewelled band The gown is pleated, and has 
tight-fitting sleeves, slashed, and is finished with 
an embroidered border round the neck within which 
appears an imder-garment laced up at the throat. 
The costume is that of the end of the thirteenth or 
beginning of the fourteenth century, and the figure 
may therefore stand for the second Maria of Hun- 
gary, who at the time of her death, in 1323, must 
have been at least seventy years old \ 

The interior of the church (Plate XXXV) offers as 
many problems as the outside. The plan consists of 
a nave of five bays with side aisles ending eastward 
in three round apses. The bays of the aisles are 
square, cross-groined without diagonal ribs, but with 
flat wide transverse arches to divide bay from bay. 
These arches, and also those opening to the nave, are 
pointed, and are tied by iron rods both lengthways 
and across. The nave was never vaulted, but had 
an open timber roof which was not hidden by the 
present flat plaster ceiling till the beginning of the 
present century, when the church was sadly spoiled 
by the last bishop of Curzola. Above the nave 
arcades is a triforium consisting of two-light open- 

* I do not know the year of her birth, but at the time of her 
husband's accession in 1284 ^^^ eldest son Carlo Martello was 
in his thirteenth year. Vid. Giaiinone, 1. xx and xxi. 

254 Curzola: the Duomo. [CH.xvm. 

ings with short coupled columns set one behind the 
other in the thickness of the wall. Above this, 
again, is a clerestory of single-light windows with 
a trefoil cusp. The triforium openings were closed, 
and the clerestory windows mutilated internally by 
the same bishop who spoiled the ceiling. The apses 
open to the body of the church with round arches, 
and are covered with half-domes. There is a savour 
of northern Gothic perceptible in the pointed arches 
of the nave springing from widely spreading capi- 
tals, and iQ the triple arrangement of arcade tri- 
forium and clerestory, the triforium, though now 
blocked, having once been a real triforium open to 
the roof space over the aisle vaults. Round and 
pointed arches are used at random, the triforium 
arches being roimd, while the nave arches below 
and the clerestory windows above are pointed. The 
nave is five bays long, but the space of one bay 
on the north side is occupied by the tower, which 
even encroaches on the next arch. The columns 
are monoliths, not tapered, and they rest on tall 
Attic bases with square plinths and leaves at the 
angles. They carry massive spreading capitals with 
shallow square abaci, which vary widely both in 
design and date. The capitals of the four angle 
responds are formed of the Evangelistic emblems ; 
the lion of St. Mark occupies the south-east respond 
with the motto pax tibi, &c. in Lombardic letters 
on his book, and he stands on waves of the sea ; 
St. Matthew is hidden by the gallery ; St. Luke, 
who occupies the north-west respond, is finely de- 




Capital in Duomo. 

Ch. XVIIL] Curzola: the Duomo. 255 

signed ; but St. John, at the north-east comer, has 
been clmnsily repaired after injury by lightning in 
1783, and his abacus bears the date 1788. The 
foliage introduced below the figures is of Venetian 
diaracter, corresponding with that of the capitals in 
the south arcade. These are rather coarsely exe- 
cuted, and resemble in character those in the nave at 
Sebenico, though inferior to them in point of execu- 
tion. The best is that shewn in the illustration (Plate 
XXXVI), which, though roughly carved, is finely 
imagined. Four leaves make the whole capital. The 
three capitals of the north arcade on the contrary 
are rudely cut and abound in cornucopias, volutes, 
grotesque semifigures with large breasts and wigs 
springing out of leaves, all in the debased style of 
the seventeenth century. With the aid of a glass 
I detected on the necking of one of them the date 
1670, though the necking had the regular Venetian 
billet moulding of the fifteenth century. Their 
presence in the midst of a perfectly Gothic design 
can only be explained by some extensive rebuilding 
or repair of this side of the chiurch of which no 
record can be found in Paulini's MS., nor could 
the local antiquaries help me to any account 
of it. 

At the end of the north aisle is a veiy handsome 
door (Fig. 58) leading to the sacristy, in which the 
northern feeling I have noticed elsewhere in this 
chiurch is strongly marked, for, after making allow- 
ance for certain differences, the architectural details 
and the general style of the design are thoroughly 


Curzola : the Duomo. [Ch. XVIII. 

Ch. XVIIL] Curzola: the Duomo. 257 

Grerman\ In the tympanum is St. Michael, who is 
dispatching a very frightful devil with a very long 
sword. In his left hand he holds the scales, at one 
of which the vanquished fiend makes a despairing 
clutch ; while behind stand two souls, represented 
by naked children, awaiting judgment. The arch of 
the tympanum is pointed and slightly horseshoed, 
but the label, which runs up into a slight ogee point, 
is not horseshoed, but rises perpendicularly from the 
shaft which carries it. This shaft is of course not 
in accordance with true northern Gothic principles, 
but the mouldings of the jambs and arch have far 
more relation to northern than to southern Gothic ; 
the rolls have fillets on them, the necking of the 
capital and upper moulding of the base are broken 
out to receive the fillet as they would be in northern 
work, and the tall proportion of the moulded bases 
reminds one of Vienna or Cologne. The lintel is 
supported by a pair of brackets, each decorated 
with the figure of a boy playing on a musical in- 
stiTiment, one on drum and pipe, the other on a 
zampogna or bag-pipe. Above the doorway the 
original carved stringcourse that runs round the 
church has been cut away to make room for the 
finial, shewing that the doorway is an insertion of 
later date than the church wall. 

The campanile, which has been already described, 

' There was a Glerman architect at work in Curzola in 1388 
In that year the Rettore and Giudici contracted with Jo. di Ant^. da 
Viena ' facere unam logiam apud Ecclesiam St». Mariee.' Mem. di 
Pietro Dimitri, MS. This loggia is no longer in existence. 


258 Curzola: the Duomo. [Ch, xvin. 

has obliterated one bay of the original north aisle, 
leaving a fragment of the sloping roof and coping to 
prove that this aisle did once come out to the front. 
It is said by Giov. de Zorzi, a chronicler of Curzola, 
that the campanile was begim directly after the 
surrender of the island to the Venetians in 1420. 
In 1438 the Comune of Curzola sold to the 
brothers Angeli a property at Blatta to purchase 
with the proceeds stone for the campanile, and in 
1440 they made a contract for its completion with a 
'lapicida,' architect and contractor in one, named 
Vatco Bratcovich^ ; but as the arms of Bishop Tom- 
maso Malumbra appear on the belvedere or gallery 
which crowns the campanile the work cannot have 
been completed before 1463. 

The latest part of the building is a fourth aisle 
added on the north side, which was provided to 
aflPord additional space for interment within the 

* The contract runs thus : — 'JESUS. 1440, Ind. 3* et die 22. 
mensis Junii in Episcopali Palatio praesentibus f Marco Gigla- 
zovich et magistro Faticho Vicarich Testibus ibique Magister 
Vatcus Bratcovich Lapicida et cum Rmo. in Christo Patre et Do- 
mino nostro Dei et Apostolicae Sedis Gratia Episcopus Curzolensis 
et Stagnensis Ecclesiae Domino Marco Martich et f Joanne Petri 
Procuratoribus Ecclae divi Marci concessit et concordavit ad labor- 
andum et fabricandum ac aptandum Campanile dictae ecclesiae 
S. Marci ad laudem boni laboratoris et Magistri simul cum uno 
magistro et ejus discipulo incipiendo a prima die mensis Julii 
proximi venturi usque per totum mensem Octobris et ante plus 
quanto praedicto Dno Episcopo et dictis Procuratoribus melius et 
utilius videbitur. Versa vice dictus Dnus Episcopus et Procura- 
tores promiserunt solvere die quolibet prout ante habuit cum 
laboravit supra dictum campanile L. (?) 29, &c.' P. Dimiiriy 

Ch. xviir.] Curzola: the Duomo. 259 

church walls. It was apparently completed before 
1532 as it is alluded to in the testament of Ser 
Vincenzo Michieli Dobrid dated in that year ; — ' item 
voluit et ordinavit quod per comisarios sv^s Jiat 
unum cdtare in eccla S. Marci in Coemeterio noviter 
confecto ; ' but as the portal bears the arms not only 
of Bishop Nicol6 Niconizio (i 5 15- 1 541) but also 
those of Bishop Leoni (145 3- 146 2), the building 
seems to have been projected and probably begun 
in the preceding century ^ It is said to occupy the 
site of the public loggia which was pulled down to 
make way for it. 

The main fabric of the nave and aisles is unfor- 
tunately the part about which we are most in want 
of documentary evidence to guide us to the date of 
its construction. Here as elsewhere in Dalmatia 
the tendency of the local antiquaries is to exag- 
gerate the antiquity of their buildings, and though 
the theory of the temple of Diocletian has been 
given up since the date of Dr. Spon's visit, the 
church has been assigned by various writers to any 
period from the tenth to the end of the thirteenth 
century. The oldest known documents which con- 
tain any mention of it are the deed of sale of a 
house in 1329, which is described as standing next 
to and behind the church of S. Marco, and other 

' Farlati says this aisle was built to cover a cemetery ' quod 
erat sub Dio,' in which were interred the plebeian victims of tho 
plague of 157 1| their noble fellow-sufferers having exhausted the 
space in the south aisle of the church, the older cemetery. But 
tliis is contradicted by the episcopal scutcheons over the door and 
by the testament of 1532. 

S 2 

26o Curzola: the Duomo. [Ch. xvill. 

deeds bearing the dates 1342 and 1344, which con- 
tain the names of canons of the church of S. Marco 
in Curzola^. From these documents we gather that 
a collegiate church of S. Marco existed early in the 
foui-teenth century, and this no doubt was the 
cathedral of the new see, and the college of canons 
was the same which Farlati mentions as founded by 
the new prelate. The question remains whether 
the present chiu'ch is the same which was then 
standing, and if so whether it was an old or a new 
church at that time. On this point the building 
must speak for itself, and unfortunately in Dal- 
matia the styles do not speak for themselves so 
positively as they do elsewhere. 

The romanesque style, as we have seen at Zara 
Spalato and Trali, prevailed in Dalmatia throughout 
the thirteenth and well into the fourteenth century; 
and since at Curzola, though the round arch un- 
doubtedly occurs, there is nothing that can be called 
romanesque, for the pointed arches of the nave and 
the wide windows of the apse are obviously later 
than the round arches and narrow slits of Trail or 
Zara, we may safely fix the earlier part of the 
fourteenth century as one limit of the period during 

* In Dr. Paulini's MS. Storia di Curzola, c. xxii. 

*Anno Din. m.cccxxix. Indict, xii. Tempore dictorum Jacob! 
Sanoje et Berci Judicum vendidit domuni unam positam intus in 
civitate Curzulae juxta et post ecclesiam 8. Marci,* &c., &c. 

'1342. die 22 Octobris actum Curzulae in domo epiacopatus 
Curzulae . . . praesentibus praesbyteris Marinich Canonico Eccl. 
S. Marci in Curzula,' &c., &c. 

1344. Extract from testament of Niksa Vuli^fevich : 'Item 
relinquo Diio Georgio Canonico 8. Marci de Curzula/ &c., &c. 

Ch. XVIII.] Curzola: the Duomo. 261 

which the church may have been built. On the 
other hand we have the fact that part of the 
original building was pulled down to make way for 
the campanile in 1420, or at the latest 1440, and 
this fixes the other limit. Consequently the erec- 
tion of the nave and aisles took place during a 
period limited approximately by the years 1 3CX) and 
1420. As the beginning of this period coincides 
with the institution of the bishopric, a natural 
inference would be that the Curzolani set about 
building their cathedral as soon as they received 
their new bishop, that is to say about 1 3CX) ; but 
the puzzle is to find anything in the building that 
can safely be referred to so early a date. Although 
on one hand, firom the analogy of the building 
known as the Sponza at Ragusa, the apses nave 
arcades and triforium might be attributed to that 
date, on the other the sculptiu'e within and without 
the chiu'ch seems to be nearly a hundred years 
later : for if the west doorway and the nave capital 
(Plates XXXrV and XXXVI) be compared with 
the doorway and capital at Sebenico (Plates XIII 
and XIV, Vol. I. pp. 384, 388), of which the date is 
known to lie between 1430 and 1441, there will 
seem to be every reason for attributing them to the 
fifteenth century rather than the fourteenth. 

If then the main fabric of the church was built 
during the fourteenth century, we have to account 
for the fact that the nave capitals date firom the 
middle of the following century. It is on record 
that a great deal was done to the building by Bishop 

262 Curzola : the Duomo. [Ch. XVIIL 

Andrea Canavella (1450-145 3), and by Vito Ostoich, 
who from being a canon of Curzola had been pro- 
moted to the see of Corbavia, which he resigned 
in 1453, and who came to end his days in his 
native place, where he died in 1459. The roof was 
found to be in a decayed and dangerous condition 
and was replaced by a new one, possibly that which 
is now hidden by the stucco ceiling of Bishop Cosse- 
vich ; new altars were given by Bishop Ostoich, and 
a new pulpit of fine Curzolan stone on eight columns, 
which was also destroyed by the same bishop Cosse- 
vich and replaced by a modem vulgarism^. These 
repairs must also have extended to the main 
structiu'e, for to this date at the earliest must be 
attributed the oldest capitals of the nave (Plate 
XXXVI), the west doorway, the rose-window of the 
west front, and the elaborate cornice of arches and 
shells in the gable above, in which however are 
worked up parts of the older work, namely the 
springing stones with their groups of monsters, and 
the finial, together with the band of running foliage 
which agrees with that in the aisles. The mysterious 
bust in the centre, if it represents as I imagine Maria 

* Fjirlati, vi. p. 368, mentions the extensive repairs made by 
Bishop Canavella, and the gifts of Bishop Ostoich. In another 
place he says of Ostoich that * cum aedes Cathedralis Corcyrensis 
vitium fecisset ad earn restaurandam plurimum pecuniae suppedi- 
tavit' It would not surprise me if it were found that the church 
was nearly rebuilt at this time, and that little of the original 
church of 1 300 remains except the east end with its apses and the 
lower part of the side walls. The capitals of the wall shafts in the 
aisle are as late as those of the arcade, i.e. of the fifteenth century. 

Ch. XVIII.] Curzola: the Duomo. 263 

the queen of Charles II, must have been reset at 
the same time in the new gable, where it must be con- 
fessed it has the air of being somewhat out of place. 

From this time forward the history of the build- 
ing is less obscure. In the seventeenth century 
some injury to the north side of the church, perhaps 
a stroke of lightning such as afterwards befell it, 
made it necessary to renew the three capitals of the 
north arcade, on one of which as I have said I 
detected the date 1670. In 1715, and again in 
1 783, the tower was seriously injiu'ed by lightning, 
which threw down one of the angles, destroyed the 
clock, and, entering the church, injured the organ 
and organ-loft, and on the latter occajsion also 
damaged the respond with the emblem of St. John, 
as I have before mentioned. 

The last bishop of Curzola, Giuseppe Cossevich, 
however did much more damage than the lightning : 
he removed the marble balustrades from the side 
intercolimmiations of the baldacchino and placed 
the top rails absurdly, as we now see them, on the 
balustrades at the entrance of the choir ; he blocked 
the triforium arches, spoiled the clerestory windows, 
destroyed the pulpit, concealed the old roof by a 
plaster ceiling, and white- washed the whole church, 
an indignity from which it has lately been rescued. 

Another piece of mischief of which he was guilty 
was to obliterate the epitaph on the sarcophagus of 
Bishop Malumbra and substitute another to the 
memory of two later bishops, whose remains he 
removed from the nave and placed here. The 

264 Curzola: the Duomo. [Ch. xvni. 

original inscription^ recorded the erection of the 
monument by Bishop Nicolo Niconizio to the 
memory of his predecessor 


The arms of Malmnbra and Niconizio within wreaths 
still remain on the sarcophagus. 

The exterior of the apses is remarkable for a 
ntmiber of mason's marks which are collected very 
curiously into a cluster in the middle of each apse 
wall. They look as if they were grouped in this 
manner with some intention, but if so no explana- 
tion of it has been found. The marks themselves 
have the forms of Greek letters, but this probably 
is accidental ; Greek letters ai^e the result of simple 
combinations of lines, and English masons may be 
seen any day marking their stones with Greek letters 
without knowing it. The masonry is well squared 
and laid in regular couraes, the face being hammer- 
dressed or pointed, and left slightly rough, except 
that there is a clean drafted edge about an inch in 
width round each stone. The mason's mark is in the 
middle of the rough part. The marks are shewn on 
the accompanying cut (Fig. 59) in their proper 
relative positions, though not at their proper dis- 

* It ifl preaerved by Farlati, vi. 387. Tommaso Malombra of a 
noble Venetian family was bishop from 1463-1515. Nicolb 
Niconizio a Curzolano was coadjutor from 1 505-1 51 5 and bishop 
from 1515-1541. He was the last bishop of the united sees of 
Stagno and Curzola. 

Ch. xvni.] Curzola : the Duomo. 265 

C h 

\ I -ILhI 

< Li 

9 UmL h 

o a4 O - 

4 V 

H -o !-*.>< + 
C I -10 o> <+ ^^ 
MnA I - O /. >< 

g /. o A "^ + 

< r^-+ o o < - + 

r( iHi-oo< + 
3 TN-^r — iio^ + ^ 
g H^( OH>o<<<+ « 
- )j1 I- - o<o <+ ^ 

^ wD K - h 0> + 

c 0+ < + 

I- N HI o^ H 

\- H- -O 

L 15 

N 10 

Nil Lii-o I I 
"FT V > I- O O 

C 00 

IT L-o<o 

/^( - I H"<I O O 

>'^TrA4 1 - o < < 

LO J > ->0 V 

N n 1 o o > 

266 Curzola : the Duomo. [Ch. XVIIL 

tance apart, the stones being large and the marks 
very smalls 

A very picturesque object in the interior is the 
ciborio or baldacchino over the high altar, a 
pyramidal composition of three receding stories 
pierced with geometrical tracery, and carried by four 
fine columns with excellent renaissance capitals, of 
which the two hindermost are simply imitated from 
Corinthian, and the two in front are well designed 
and executed with sphinxes and dolphins. In spite 
of its date the pierced work of the upper part is 
Gothic in character. The marble balustrading of 
colonnettes and round arches in the Venetian style 
which originally filled the intercolimmiation on each 
side has been removed, as I have before stated. 

Behind the high altar is a good picture, attributed 
to Tintoret, but so placed, and in such a wretched 
light, that it is impossible to get a fair view of it. In 
the fourth or northern aisle, over a side altar, is a 
fine picture by Ridolfi in three compartments ; the 
figures of St. Laurence and St. Vincent are unusually 
good. In the treasury are a few good chalices of 
the fifteenth century, one of which is said to be the 
gift of Bishop Ostoich, and some embroidered vest- 
ments at least as old as the chalices, some of which 
are too far gone to be used, and are to find a place 
in the museum which it is proposed to establish in 

^ I am indebted to Don Andrea Alibranti for the copy of these 
marks from which my illustration is taken. Very similar marks 
from the cathedral of Gurk in Carinthia, also resembling Greek 
letters, are illustrated in the Mittelalt. Kunstdenk. vol. ii. p. 148. 

Ch. XVin.] Curzola. 267 

one of the many Kttle disused churches of the city. 
There are several other chiu'ches and oratories in 
Curzola, but none of them calls for any remark ex- 
cept that of Ogni Santi, where there is another 
ciborio very like that at the duomo, but of an 
even more decidedly renaissance character. 

The town is fiill of charming bits of Venetian 
architectiu'e in the best style of the fifteenth 
century, but the streets are so narrow that it is not 
always easy to see them. A rumed house in a 
street that runs down the eastern slope of the hill 
has a splendid window with carvings of birds and 
serpents in the capitals, which tDl lately was perfect 
with its balconies on carved brackets; but the 
balconies and brackets have all been sold to an 
American who has taken them to adorn a villa in 
New York, and the window itself is in danger of 
falling into the unclean hands of the curiosity 
dealers, Jew or Greek, who are even now haggling 
over it with the impoveiished owner, the difference 
between them being, it is said, reduced to the 
question of a few florins. I believe the conser- 
vators lately appointed by the Austrian govern- 
ment have very sufficient powers to prevent the 
destruction or sale of objects of artistic interest 
such as this, and may call in the police to their aid 
if necessary. They may even override the pro- 
prietor's rights, and prohibit him from selling or 
destroying such objects without, so far as I know, 
giving him any compensation or buying the monu- 
ment in question for the state. These powers ought 



[Ch. XVIII. 

surely to be enough to prevent the spoliation of 
these interesting old towns, which without such 
protection will be placed by the poverty of their 
inhabitants at the mercy of collectors and their 
agents from all parts of Eiirope and America. 

Several of the finer palaces at Curzola are roofless 

and in ruins, having 
been burned by way 
of disinfection after 
the plague, but others 
are still inhabited by 
the descendants of 
the ancient nobility. 
Among the latter is 
the Palazzo Arneri, 
which has many good 
architectural features, 
and a very splendid 
bronze knocker of the 
sixteenth century re- 
presenting Neptune 
between two lions, 
which resembles the 
work of Giovanni da 
Bologna (Fig. 60). 
The trident which the figure grasped with his 
right hand has been broken away in an attempt 
that was once made to steal the knocker. It may 
be compared with the famous knocker of the Pisani 
palace at Venice, representing Neptune between 
two horses, to which it is not inferior in artistic 

Fig. 60. 

Ch. XVIII. ] Curzola, 269 

merits The arms of the Ameri, three pears on a field 
per bend azure and or, allude to the more ancient 
family name Perussich. Arnero Perussich fought 
with distinction in the Venetian service and fell at 
the siege of Candia ; his memory was honoiired by 
the Republic and a liberal pension granted to his 
family, and in his honour the family name was 
changed from Perussich to Ameri*. In the court- 
yard of the palace are several relics of old Venetian 
times, the figure-head of a galley, and a statue of 
the great proweditore Leonardo Foscolo^ with the 
inscription leonak fvscvl vietvtis effigiem iaco- 

ner Arneri, the present owner of the palace, was 
podestk of Curzola when we were there. 

The public loggia and communal palace stand in 
the small piazza del Salizo, just within the principal 
town-gate. The loggia has had its arches filled 
with glazed sashes, but otherwise retains its original 
character, with the stone table of the judges, and the 
Venetian lion on the wall above. Over an upper 
window on the outside is this inscription : — 


In the same piazza is a diminutive column with 
the Venetian lion, which has the initials and arms of 
Count Battista Michieli who governed Curzola from 

* An illustration of the Pieani knocker is given in Digby Wyatt's 
Metal-work of the Kiddie Ages. 

' So Mr. Paton was told by the representatives of the family in 
1846. Highlands and Islands of the Adriatic, i. 45. 

' Vid. G^eneral History, vol. I. p. 159. 

270 Curzola, [Ch. xviii. 

1 569-1 57 1, preceding Antonio Balbi the count who 
deserted his post on the approach of Uliz-AIL It 
bears this inscription : — 

z • B • V 



IVLII • M • D -LX • IX 

The tail and wings of the lion have been broken 
oflP, an injury inflicted, according to tradition, at the 
downfall of the Venetian republic by a neighbouring 
apothecary, who owed the government a grudge, and 
relieved himself by thus giving a kick to the dying 

This little piazza and that in front of the duomo 
were the only two open spaces within the waUs, 
and seem to have been the conmaon lounge and 
play-ground of the citizens, who from the narrow 
area of the latter overflowed into the duomo itself, 
where they walked and talked in their ordinary 
tone of voice even during divine service, much to 
the disturbance of the clergy. The piazza was used 
by the citizens for games at ball, and it was here 
that early in the seventeenth century a future 
bishop of Curzola disported himself in a way that 
scandalized the canons ^. This was Jacopo Faganeo, 
a monk from Fiesole, not less renowned for his 
learning and eloquence than for his urbane and 
popular manners. The commander of the Venetian 
fleet in the Adriatic, in order to enjoy his company, 
persuaded him to go on a cruise, and when they 

* Farlati, vi. 401. 

Ch. XVIII.] Curzola. 271 

were in port at Curzola his companions proposed a 
game at ball to relieve the tedium of the voyaged 
Jacopo wUlingly consented, and an adjournment 
was made to the Piazza del duomo, where Jacopo 
with his monk's gown tucked up displayed a skill 
and agility in receiving and returning the ball 
which won him enthusiastic applause from the 
admiring crowd of citizens. Lent was at hand, 
and it was proposed that the opportunity of hear- 
ing so renowned a preacher as Jacopo should not be 
lost, but the canons were scandalized by his per- 
formances in the piazza, and refiised to admit him 
to their pulpit, little knowing that they were soon 
to receive as a bishop him whom they refused as 
a preacher. Yet so it was ; the bishopric became 
vacant, and, at the instance of his friend the 
admiral, who had interest with Pope Urban VIII, 
Jacopo Faganeo was appointed bishop of Curzola in 
1626. He deported himself with becoming dignity 
in his new position, and won golden opinions ; but it 
may be gathered that he still preserved his old 
genial humoTU* from the text which he inscribed 
on a pillar in his hall — ' Lapidem quern reprobave- 
runt hie factum est in caput anguliJ 

It rained the gi*eater part of the time we were at 
Curzola, and we seldom got beyond the town. One 
evening we strolled out by the road made under 
English auspices towards Lombarda. It passes Porto 
Pedocchio, — * Port Lousy,' — the station of the Ve- 

* Perhaps foot-ball was the game. 'RogcUus Jacohus a aociis 
quibuscum venerat vettetne . . . pila majori ludere,* &c. 

272 Curzola. [Ch. xviii. 

netian galleys and galley-slaves, from whom it gets 
its name, and also the hemicycle of stone seats with 
the inscription put up by the grateful Curzolani in 
honoTu* of the English governor ^ The island, so far 
as we saw it, is much better covered with vegeta- 
tion than the greater part of Dalmatia, though we 
did not get far enough to see the pinewoods which 
cover so large a part of the surface. Nor did we 
see any of the jackals which are to be found in 
Curzola, especially towards Blatta, the largest town 
in the island. In the sixteenth century a still less 
desirable animal was added to the fauna of the 
island by an unkind practical joke of some unfriendly 
neighbour. An unknown vessel one night landed 
a pair of wolves, whose progeny multiplied in the 
woods until the inhabitants were obliged to form a 
cordon and sweep the island. Nine wolves were 
killed, the last being the old she-wolf, which was 
driven to the promontory Privala, where an inscrip- 
tion with the date 1576 was cut on the rock to 
record her fate: — qui t stata uccisa la lupa^. 
Although there are now no wolves on the island, 
jackals are still numerous, and Prof. Vuletid Vuka- 
sovi6 once had a pair of them, but never succeeded 
in making them really tame. They were very hand- 
some, with golden-coloiu'ed coats, but they howled 
all night when tied up, and were such a nuisance 
that their master was glad when a friend begged 

^ See above, page 247. 

' The story is preserved in an unpublished work of Pietro 

Ch. XVIII.] Curzola. 273 

them of him. Jackals used to exist also on the 
neighbouring islands of Mdleda and Giupana, but 
are now thought to be extinct there. Spon, who 
travelled here in 1688, heard of these wild beasts, 
but failed to see them. He imagined them a kind 
of hyaena, an animal of which the ancients fabled 
that it changed its sex year by year, and imitated 
the human voice so well as sometimes even to learn 
the names of the shepherds, whom by that means 
it enticed into an ambush and so devoiu'ed them^ 

Undismayed by these dangers we made another 
short excursion in the opposite direction westwards 
to the Dominican convent of S. Nicolb, which stands 
on the brink of the sea. There is not very much to 
see here, but the plan of the double nave is singu- 
lar, and the arabesqued piers and architraves of the 
arcade that divides the two naves are original and 
suggestive. The convent was established in 1 509 ^ 
which may be the date of the building. 

A more interesting excursion is that to the Badia 
or Franciscan convent, on a small island to the 
east of Curzola. On this * scoglio ' or rock, as the 
Dalmatians style their islets, a Benedictine convent 
existed in 997 ^ but no traces of either convent or 
chiurch remained at the beginning of the fourteenth 
century, both having been destroyed by pirates^ 
and the very name of the establishment was then 
a matter only of popidar tradition. About 1350 a 

» Vid. Plin. Nat. Hist. viii. xxx. 

* Paulini, Excerpt, p. 62. 

' So says Fabianich, vol. ii. p. 10 1. 


274 Curzola: the Badia. [Ch. xviil. 

canon of Curzola, Biagio Ivanovich, with two com- 
panions, retired hither to lead a contemplative life, 
and bmlt a church and small * coenobimn,* but after 
his death the island was again deserted. In 1 392 
the Franciscans were settled here, and in 1 394 the 
council of Curzola, assembled to the number of 
forty-five by the sound of the bell as was the 
custom, ordered for the comfort and tranquillity of 
the brotherhood that no one should cut wood or 
sow the ground within sight of their monastery 
without their leave, and that their islet should not 
be invaded by any member of the fair sex ^nisi 
causa indvlgentiarum' 

The existing buildings date from the succeeding 
century for the most part, though the church was 
not consecrated till 1533. 

The convent is situated out of sight of Cm'zola, in 
a little bay close to the shore, and with its campanile, 
cloister-walls, and angle vedette, makes a suflSciently 
imposing show. Through a square doorway of white 
marble, bordered with a cleverly twisted running 
pattern of leaves and flowers, we entered what is 
perhaps the loveliest cloister in Dalmatia (Plate 
XXXVII). TrefoUed arches resting on round columns 
with square capitals, and with a very ingenious 
stilt to give them sufficient importance and height, 
are divided by more massive piers into groups of 
three ; and this arrangement is interrupted in two 
places by wide arches, richly cusped, through which 
steps lead to the central enclosure with its two 
marble cisterns. The design is light and delicate 


Ch. XVIII.] Curzola: the Badia. 275 

without any appearance of fragility, and the result 
is thoroughly successful. Here too, as so frequently 
in Dalmatia, occiu^ that happy mixture of Gothic 
and classic forms which is so suggestive to us 
modems who must of necessity be eclectic. The 
cusped heads, the arches, and the including mould- 
ings are all in ordinary Venetian Gothic of the 
fifteenth century; but the columns on which they 
rest have regular Attic bases, and capitals with 
concave abaci and angle volutes in the early style 
of the renaissance, whUe over the arcades is some- 
thing like a regular classic entablature with frieze 
and cornice. The date is given by an inscription 
on a border surrounding the monogram ij^s over the 
door leading from the cloister to the interior of the 
convent : — 


Sea-air and rain percolating from above have done 
much towards ruining this gem of Dalmatian, I may 
say of Gothic art. The plaster on waUs and vault- 
ing has perished, exposing the bare rubble masonry, 
and unless measures are promptly taken to make 
the terrace roof watertight the architecture may be 
irreparably damaged. 

The church, according to Fabianich, was begun in 
1493, ^^d an inscription records its consecration in 
1533 by Niconizio, bishop of Curzola and Stagno. 
It is very plain, and has the peculiarity of a square 
east end, of which there are several examples in 
Dalmatia. There is no east window. The chancel 

T 2 


Curzola: the Badia. 


is covered with a quadripartite vault on slender 
ribs, and the nave with a pointed waggon vault. 
The floor is fiill of incised sepulchral slabs dated 
^500, 1523, 1540, &c., but there is one of earlier 
date (Fig. 61), to the memory of a Curzolan archi- 
tect, which reads thus : — 

CUW^Ol-A 1430 






Fig. 61. 

Many of these slabs bear representations of work- 
men's tools referring to the craft of the person 
interred below, the graves of masons bearing the 
compasses, chisel and mallet, and so on. Through- 
out Dalmatia these sepulchral slabs abound, and 
-are often of considerable beauty as well as of 
historical interest. 

There is here an ancient wooden crucifix, very 
fine of its kind though too painfully expressive, 
which is said to have been brought from Bosnia 
after the battle of Kossovo by reftigees who fled to 
Easischie on the island of Curzola ^ 

The west front has a graceful door and rose-win- 
dow, but the Madonna in the tympanum is of inferior 
workmanship. The front edge of the gable coping is 
* Fabianich, vol. ii. p. 105. 

Ch. XVinj Curzola: the Badia. 277 

evidently copied jfrom that of the duomo of Curzola, 
with the same running pattern of foUage issuing at 
each end from the mouth of a sea-monster, and the 
finial on the apex is also imitated from the grand 
finial of the duomo, though the execution here is 
inferior and the date evidently much later. This 
front bears evident signs of the conflagration made 
by the Turks in 1571. 

The library contains two amphorae found at 
Ragusa Vecchia, and a MS. of Aristotle written on 
thick vellum-like paper ; also a life of St. Jerome 
printed at Venice in 1475 ^7 Crabrielli Petri, and a 
theological work by Aslefanus de Ast (?) ordinis 
minorum, printed at Ratisbon in 1480, with initials 
illuminated by hand in gold and colour. 

The Badia has suffered outrage more than once, 
and it was not for nothing that the little projecting 
vedette towards the sea was built as an outlook and 
defence. Uliz-Ali, failing before Curzola, revenged 
himself and earned an easy triumph by setting fire 
to this monastery and churcL Again, in 1660, 
' the noted pirate Bellalich of Castelnuovo with a 
numerous horde sacked the sacred fumiturey pursued 
the friars who had taken refuge in the campanile, and 
moide off after having laid hands on everything that 
eoccited devotion or adorned the sanctuary^.' Even 
as recently as 1836 the solitude of the place tempted 
some robbers who pillaged the convent^. Since 
that time the friars have remained unmolested. 

* Fabianicb, vol. ii. p. 104. 

* Sir Q. Wilkinson, vol. i. p. 262. 

278 Sabbioncello. [Ch. xvm. 

There are now but two resident within the walls 
with one manservant, and, except in the large 
establishments at Zara and Eagusa, this number is 
rarely exceeded in the convents of Dahnatia. 

The weather cleared towards the end of our visit 
to Curzola, and we had a bright day for our journey 
to Ragusa, the next stage in our travels. As we 
left Curzola and steamed down the channel between 
that island and the mainland, we left behind us 
the old Venetian province and entered on the 
waters of the ancient Republic of Eagusa. The 
peninsula of SabbionceUo with its lofty mountains 
to our left, the distant island of Lagosta far out at 
sea on our right, and the nearer group of islands 
within which we soon found ourselves running, were 
aU subject to the standard, not of St. Mark, but of 
St. Blaize. 

Behind the long mountainous ridge of Sabbion- 
ceUo runs the Canale di Narenta, which nearly meets 
the inlet of Stagno, the two seas only being divided 
by an isthmus of low ground a mile in width, which 
saves SabbionceUo from perfect isolation. In this 
narrow channel of the Narenta the feeble tides of 
the Adriatic, pent up in a graduaUy narrowing space, 
manage to produce a *bore' or *eger' several feet high 
like those on the Seine or Severn, as I was assured by 
a sailor who had seen that in the Bristol Channel 
near Gloucester. Here was the home of the dreaded 
Narentines, who in the tenth century levied a toll 

Oh. xvm.] Island of Mdeda. 279 

on the commerce of Venice, and disputed the lord- 
ship of the Adriatic with her until the expedition 
of Pietro Orseolo II put an end to their pretensions. 
Towards sunset we were running inside a long 
rugged island which, by its name if nothing more, 
awakened a thrill of interest — M^leda, the ancient 
Melita, the place, according to some, of St. Paul's 
shipwreck. The theory has much to recommend it, 
and is at least as old as the time of Constantino 
Porphyrogenitus, who speaks as if it were undis- 
puted^. The natives are stOl persuaded of its truth, 
and a St. Paul's bay is shewn here as it is at Malta. 
The place was described to me by a sea-captain, who 
knew it well, as a bay with an inner basin, sur- 
rounded by shelving hiQs of no great height, the 
inner part being one of those sea lakes common in 
the coast of Dalmatia with a narrow entrance from 
the sea. This entrance at Mdleda is too shallow for 
a large vessel to pass, and any ship of the size of 
that which carried St. Paul would be stranded in 
the attempt. A Ragusan priest on board mentioned, 
in confirmation of the theory that this is the real 
Melita of St. Luke's story, that there are poisonous 
snakes on the island of M^leda, while on the neigh- 
bouring islands there are none. However this may 
be, as the sun went down in glory behind the island, 

^ He mentions M^leda as an island belonging to the Serbs of 
Pagania, Le. the Narentines ; t^o-or kri^ ntydkrf rh McXcra ffroi t6 
MaXo^corot, fjv ip tclIs frpd^to'i r&v dnoo'Tokcov 6 Syws AovKag fic/xi/i/rcu, 
MtXiTTjp ravTTfv vpotrayoptvtdv* iv 3 Koi ^xis t6v Sytov JlavKov dir6 tov 
toKTvKov vpoaijf^arOy fyf mi r^ irvpi 6 Syios llavXos xoref^Xf ^. De Adm. 
Imp. cb. xxxvi. p. 163, Ed. Bonn. 

28o Gravosa. Ragusa. [Ch. xviiL 

and every crag and peak of its jagged backbone 
stood out in black relief against a flaming sky, we 
agreed that for one night at all events we would 
forget that there was another island that claimed 
to be the home of those barbarous people who 
shewed no little kindness to the great missionary of 
the West. 

It was almost dark as we passed the other islands 
of the old Ragusan state, Guipana, Mezzo, and Cala- 
motta which some would have it was the enchanted 
isle of Calypso, and entered the deep bay at the far 
end of which twinkled the lights of Gravosa, the 
principal port of the ancient republic during the 
latter part of its history. The harbour of Ragusa is 
small and inconvenient, and is now nearly deserted 
for the more spacious haven of Gravosa or Santa 
Croce. The distance between the two places is 
about two miles, across a lofty isthmus which 
connects a rocky pine-clad peninsula with the main- 
land. A sharp descent on the other side ends in a 
grove of gigantic mulberry trees outside the Porta 
Pile, where we were landed at the Albergo Miramar 
and installed in excellent rooms on the first floor of 
what had evidently once been the palace of a Ragu- 
san merchant prince. 


CUBZOLA IL 1*^ ApBJLB 1 265. 

Divine providencie justdtia de coelo prospexit que per 
mundi gubernatores et principes sine personarum acceptione 
confert unicuiqne jura sua, de cujus trono procedit gladius bis 
acutus, Bcindens ab utraque parte, justum dividens ab injusto^ 
stateram tenens pre manibus, omnibus equa librans. 

Id circo nos Marsilius Georgij comes insularum Curzole 
et Mellete una cum universitate urbis ejusdem Curzole per 
semitam justitiae proponentes incedere, ne aliquis civium 
forensium ductus errore, ferratur arbitrarie per avaritiae 
fiuctus, ut navis sine regimine, karismatis gratiam invocantes^ 
decemimus statuta, de novo inrenovata urbe, noviter con^ 
dere, quibus unusquisque possit regi et debeat utriusque 
sexus etasque unanimiter gaudeat jure suo. 

Nos vero comuuitas Curzolae omnes et singuli bona fide, 
fraude postposita, sponte, vi aliqua non coacti, juramus per 
sancta Dei evaugelia, quod de cetero domino Marsilio pre-» 
libato, tamquam nostro comiti et domino in perpetuum fidelea 
erimus et ipsum habebimus amodo in antea pro nostro comite 
et domino in perpetuum^ sicut juravimus et habuimus et 
habere debuimus a principio, quando supposuimus sibi nos 
et terram, et quando ipse venit et cepit eam rehedificare 

Et liceat ei dimittere loco suo aliquem vice comitem cum 
ipse residentiam non fecerit pro sue arbitrio voluntatis, et 
quilibet comes pro suo habebit salario quingentas libras 
denariorum Venetorum parvorum pro comutatione decimarum 
et bannorum, que decime de cetero comiti nee alicui pertinentes 
ad comitatum et bona deveniat in comune, quorum medie- 
tatem sibi solvere teneamur in festo sanctorum apostolorum 
Phylipi et Jacobi. Heredum namque post mortem prefati 

282 Appendix, [Ch. xvni. 

comitis Marsilii, qui de ejusdem exierit sanguine, habebimus 
unum majorem etate pro comite et domino in perpetuum, si 
erit masculus ei tenebimus sicut domino Marsilio in omnibus 
et omnia tamquam pro nostro comite obedire et in rebus 
debitis respondere sive masculus erit sive femina heres : et si 
beres hnjusmodi ante quintum decimum annum obierit peccatis 
exigentibus sine heredibus, liceat prelibato domino Marsilio de 
sua propinquorum progenie sen cognatione heredem et sue- 
cessorem relinquere et instituere ad comitatum Curzole et 
Mellete secundum quod ipse ordinavit vel ordinaverit ad suum 
velle, qui heres vel successor in introitu comitatus jurabit ad 
sancta Dei evangelia vexillum sancti Marci in manibus tenendo, 
regere nos fideliter secundum statuta nostra condita et con- 
denda, et custodire, manutenere, et non contravenire ; et nos 
jurabimus eidem esse fideles et obbedire preceptis ejus tamquam 
nostri comitis juxta statuta scripta et scribenda, at dictum est. 
Et si heres erit femina, erit nostra comitissa, et suns vir noster 
comes et rector ; et si ipsa obedierit^ vel decesserit absque herede, 
deveniat comitatus ad unum propinquiorem de sua progenie, 
ut dictum est, secundum quod ipse Marsilius ordinavit vel ordi- 
naverit ; et sic de herede in heredem comitatus procedat. Et 
si non erit heres in legittima etate, a procuratoribus sancti 
Marci, qui per tempora fuerint, eligatur comes et rector unus 
propinquior de sua progenie, qui regat civitatem et insulas, 
quamdiu pervenerit ad legittimam etatem, vel nupserit si 
femina erit alicui probo viro, et ille electus a procuratoribus 
antedictis tertiam partem salari et totius reddittus comitatus 
dare teneatur tam heredi masculo, quam femine, usque ipse 
pervenerit ad quintum decimum annum et tantum dabit minus 
tertiae partis, quantum placuerit domino Marsilio ordinare et 
si masculus tantum erit, femine solvat; et si ille comes 
propinquior, qui de sua erit progenie sen cognatione, non erit 
sufficiens, sit in examinatione et providentia domini ducis qui 
pro tempore fuerit et sui parvi et magni consilii discemere 
utrum sit ille sufficiens aut non; quod si non, et habeat 
heredem in minori etate, eligatur comes a procuratoribus 
sancti Marci, qui pro tempore fuerint, unus de cognatione 
sua qui regat civitatem et insulas maior etate et propinquior, 

Ch. XVIII.] Appendix. 283 

dum unns heredum illias insufficientis maior etate ad decimum 
octavum annum pervenerit. Et cum ipse pervenerit ad illud 
tempas, succedat in comitata, non obstante patris insufficientia. 
Quod si non habuerit heredem ille insufficiens^ de sua progenie 
propinquior et major etate semper gradatim de herede in 
heredem comitatus procedat. 

Item nos universitas Curzolae, eongregata ad sompnum 
campanae, damus et concedimus unanimiter nostro comiti 
Marsilio Georgio omnes terras et possessiones comitatus 
Curzolae, ut habeat potestatem dandi, possideudi, infeudandi 
illas, scilicet hominibus forensibus, qui voluerint esse cives, 
qui teneantur omnia facere sicut civis quilibet urbigena, et 
omnia faciendi de ipsis in perpetuum libere et absolute tum in 
possessionibus quam in animalibus et rebus aliis pro suo velle, 
quas comitatus habuerit ex antique, salvo illo, quod juste et 
pacifice possedimus nos homines insulae ab illo die, quo 
pervenit Marsilius in Curzolam ad rehedificandam civitatem 
per unum annum ante, ut inferius denotatur. 

Item nos Marsilius Georgius comes Curzolae et Mellete 
concedimus universis et singulis hominibus insulae Curzolae 
omnes terras et possessiones quas possidebant et laborabant ac 
tenebant sine fraude in comitatu predicto, secundum quod 
juste et pacifice et quiete possidebant et habebant per unum 
annum ante nostrum adventum ad predictam insulam, qui fuit 
currente anno domini millesimo ducentesimo quinquagesimo 
sexto ^ penultimo die Juli, quod pacifice et quiete habebant 
et possidebant ipsi et sui heredes in perpetuum ; et de ipsis 
suum velle faciant, tam si ille possessiones vel terre fuerint ab 
eis habitate vel possesse et a suis antecessoribus, quam si 
fuerint de nostro comitatu predicto. 

Item nos Marsilius antedictus ordinando jubemus, quod si 
aliquis comitum, qui per tempera fuerint de nostris heredibus, 
vel successoribus, alienaverit, vendiderit, donaverit, impigno- 
raverit, infeudaverit, minuerit jura comitatus, vel comitatum 
in plures partes diviserit, ita quod duo comites vel plures 
simul et semel uno tempore comitatum regant, cadat de 
comitatu et solvat yperpera mille, quorum medietas deveniat 
ad meos commissaries sen constitutes seu constituendos 

284 Appendix. [Ch. xvm. 

universitati ejusdem insule Curzolae^ res comitatus tarn mobiles 
quam stabiles, et major etate propinquorum de mea progenie 
gradatim succedat in comitatam, redimat et reducat comitatam 
et sua jura tam realia, quam personalia mobilia et immobiUa 
in statum pristinum integre absque aliqua diminutione. Et si 
> quis civium universi et singidi fecerint aliquid contra hec 
statuta, et probatum fuerit per idoneos testes et indicatum per 
judices comanis juratos, cadant ab omni jure suo ad velle 

Ego Marsilius comes Curzolae et Mellete juro bona fide 
sine fraude regere comitatum, custodire, manutenere, defendere 
homines istius civitatis et insulae ejus ad honorem Dei et 
bonum statum civitatis Curzolae, et non diminuere comitatum 
nee res comitatus, ut supradictum est et facere rationem 
omnibus et singulis civibus eque sine personarum acceptione 
secundum civitatis scripta statuta et scribenda cum laude 
majoris partis civitatis, et que scripta non sunt, secundum 
puram conscientiam, justitiam dare equaliter cunctis, per hec 
sancta Dei evangelia ^ 

' Ego p. juro ad saucta Dei evangelia bona fide sine fraude 
servare fidelitatem domino Marsilio nostro comiti et custodire 
ilium in persona et rebus mobilibus et immobilibus et in 
omnibus rationibus sui comitatus, et adjuvare ilium contra 
omnes homines, qui malitiose vel aliquo modo vel ingenio 
palam vel clam voluerint ilium offendere personaliter vel 
realiter, et observabo ei fidelitatem in perpetuum et adjuvabo 
ipsum ad manutenendum bonum statum civitatis Curzolae et 
comitatus illius et veritatem dabo ad omnes rationes suas et 
justitias complendas et non ero in aliqua societate vel com- 
pagnia per sacramentum vel fidantiam aut per promissionem, 
aut per uUum ingenium contra honorem domini nostri comitis 
et contra salutem civitatis Curzole aliquo tempore, et si sum 
in aliqua compagnia districtione sacramenti rumpam eam pro 
posse et non tenebo illud juramentum vel fidantiam seu promis- 
sionem, nee aliud de cetero faciam in aliqua compagnia, immo 
dabo operam toto posse conamine rumpendi eam, et si scio vel 
scirem aliquam compagniam factam, quam citius potero mani- 
festabo eam domino, et quando dominus comes quesierit a me 

Oh. XVIII.] Appendix. 285 

conBilium, dabo ei rectum et fidelem, et veritaiem dicam et 
rationes et jostitias et directum in omnibus que pertinent ad 
comitatum Curzolae manifestabo et manutenebo, et omnia, que 
mihi dominus comes juste perceperit observabo, et si aliquis 
de ipsis justitiis vel rationibus habet aliquid, manifestabo 
domino comiti sine mora, et si ego habeo aliquid, reddam 
quam citins potero, et amplius non tollam, et promitto bona 
fide sine fraude predicta omnia observare, et quod facio predicto 
domino Marsilio meo comiti tenear facere sibi et suis succes- 
soribus de quarto in quartum annum. 

^ Obediertt, apparently in sense of * going away, abdicating.* 
' It will be obsenred that this date is inconsistent with the date in the 

* Some SQoh words as et tradat seem wanting here. 

* The oath to be taken by the Count ends here. What follows is the oath 
of fealty to be taken by each citizen, which apparently was renewed every 
fourth year. 



History. Territory. List and Dates of Principal Buildings. 

Constan- "Ort ri Kdarpov tov *Vaov<rlov ov KoXetroi *Paov<n/ ry 
p^® _°^, *PcDfia£a)if bia\iKT<j^, iX\' iir^l iirivai t&v Kprnxv&v tararai, 
tas. Hifl Xiyerai bi ^Pw/uwiorl 6 Kprffivh^ \av, iKXriOri(rap iK tovtov 
foundation Aaovcraiot ijyovv ol Ka$€(6ix€voi cZy rhv KprnxvSv. ^ b^ Koivfi 
of Ragow. (rvvri$€La, ^ iroXXiKi^ ik^rwftO^lpovaa ret 6v6ixaTa t^ ivaXXayfj 
T&v ypafifidrcov, fi^rafioKova-a rriv kXtjciv 'Poovcrai'ovy tovtovs 
iKikfo-^v. ol bi avToi ^Faova-aioi rb irakaibv iKpirovv to kAt 
arpov Th iirikeyofxevov HCravpa, koI iircibri rfVLKa rh XoLirh 
iKpaTrj$ri<rav Kdarpa irapa t&v ^KXip<ov t&v Svt<ov iv r^ 
OipxjLTk iKparrjOrj Koi rb toiovtov Kiarpov, Koi ol likv ^(r<^<i- 
yqa-av ol be ^xMoXwrfcr^iycrai;, ol bi bvirqBivres iK<l>vytlv kcU 
bia<roiiBr\vaL ds rovs viroKpi^fivov^ rcfTrovy KaTi^Kr\(TaVf Iv <f 
iarXv iprCio^ rb KiarpoVy olKobop,ri<rairr€^ avrb itpSr^pov puKpbv 
KoX TsiXiv fAcrct ravra p^ldovy koX jxcTci ravra irAkiv rb rctxoy 
avTov av^(ravT€9 p^iyjp^ S' ix^iv rb Kdarpov bib. rb irXaTV" 
V€(r$ai avTohs icar' Sklyov koX v\rj6vv€(r0ai. iK bi t&v ii€'' 
ToiKr}<rivT(av cZy rb *Paov<riov eZcrly ovrot, Tpriy6pio9y 'Ap<r(l<^i09, 
BiKT(aplvo9y Bvrikiosy Bakevrivos i ip\ibiiKOi>Vy BoXemvoy S 
Trarifp tov irpcoToaTradaplov ^T€(f>dvov. i(f}* ov bi iirb ^ak&va 
pAT(^K7\<rav cZs *Paot{(rioi;, da-Xv frri (f)' (500) /^^XP* '^^ aijiiepovi 
^Tis IvbiKTi&vos kpb6ixrj9 hovs ,5'vvC (^457 = Christi 949 ^). 
iv bi r^ avT^ Ki,arp(^ Kctrat 6 dytos YlavKpAno^ iv r<p va^ 
TOV iyCov ^T€(f>avov r^ 6vn pA<rov tov avrov Kdarpov, 

Const. Porph. de Adm. Imp., ch. xxix. 

^ This passage gives the date of Constantino's account of 
Dalmatia. The reckoning was 5508 years from the Creation 

Ch. XIX.] Ragusa: History . 287 

The origin of Ragusa is very obscure, but all f*^^ 
accounts agree in this, that it was not an ancient by Roman 

... refugees. 

city, but founded by refiigees from ancient cities 
destroyed by those barbarians who settled in the 
Balkan peninsula during the decline of the Roman 
empire. According to some the first settlement 
of Roman fugitives here took place when Epi- 
daurus, a Greek city standing on the site of 
Ragusa vecchia, ten miles away, was destroyed 
by Goths in a.d. 265; yet Epidaurus certainly 
survived till A. D. 640, when it was destroyed by ^.d. 640. 
the barbarians at the same time as Salona. Again destroyed. 
Constantino Porphyrogenitus speaks of refiigees 
arriving from Salona about A.D. 449^. These 
confiised accounts and inconsistent dates lead 
modem historians to the sensible conclusion that 
the colonization of Ragusa was gradual and ex- 
tended over a long period, though she received 
no doubt a sudden accession of numbers when 
Epidaurus and Salona were destroyed in the 
seventh century. Whatever may have been the 
date of their arrival the refiigees brought with 
them the ancient Roman language and culture, 
and Rausium is one of the towns mentioned by 

to the Christian era, which plus 949 gives the year 6457. 
Yid. notes on Savina near Castelnuovo, infra, chapt. xxiii. 

^ It has heen suggested that the «=:5oo of Constantino 
Porphyrogenitus may be an error in transcription for T=300, 
which would correspond better with the generally accepted 
date of the destruction of Epidaurus. Yid. Antiquarian Re- 
searches in Blyricum by Mr. A. J. Evans, Archaeologia vol. 

288 Ragusa: History. [Ch. xrx. 

Porphyrogenitus as continuing in his day Eoman 
in the midst of a country peopled by Slavs \ 
Early ex- The oiimnal city corresponded to the southern 

puunon of ^d j r 

tiiecitj. half of modem Eagusa, situated on a craggy 
peninsula, which was in those days insulated by 
a shallow marshy canal, running east and west 
from sea to sea on the site of the present Corso. 
This island, sloping gradually upward from the 
canal, but scarped abruptly with sheer precipices 
towards the sea, was the Kpniivo^ or \ad where the 
Boman refugees established themselves. Oppo- 
site them, beyond the canal, on the slopes of 
M. Sergio, a rival colony of Vlachs or Bosnians 
settled themselves, and across the intervening plain 
the rival colonies — Latin and Vlach — watched 
one another from their respective hills, much as the 
Romans and Sabines had done long before from 
Palatine and Capitoline across the marshy level 
which afterwards became the forum of the joint 
community. As time rolled on, however, the 
Eoman citizens burst their boimds, absorbed the 
opposite colony, and enclosed it with themselves 
in one general line of towers and walls, corres- 
ponding more nearly to the circuit of the present 
A.D. 867. Dioing 200 years, first under Byzantine rule 
miffitime ^^^ *^®^ Under Byzantine protection, Ragusa 
1^^" advanced in power and importance. In 867-8 
^iwft- she withstood a Saracen siege for fifteen months, 
and after her relief by Basil I, the Macedonian, 

^ Vid. sup. vol. I. p. 16, note. 

Ch. XIX.] Ragusa: History. 289 

her maritime resources were equal to the trans- 
port of the imperial troops to Apulia, on their 
way to the successfiil campaign which broke the 
power of the Saracens and resulted in the forma- 
tion of the Greek theme of Lombardy. 

During the struggle for the dominion of the ^.d. 998. 
Adriatic between Venice and the Narentines sion to 
policy induced the Ragusans to favour the Naren- after*de- 
tines, and with their fall Ragusa herself seems to Ntren- 
have come xmder the rule of the Venetians. This ^^^' 
point, however, is debated with great heat be- 
tween the historians of either side, the Ragusans 
arguing that there was a mere treaty on equal 
terms, the Venetians that the Ragusans made 
an absolute submission and received a governor 
and garrison^. We need not here enter into 
this controversy ; the truth probably being that 
Venice established a certain supremacy over 
Ragusa, without directly interfering with her 
autonomy. Nor need we linger over the fabu- Legendary 
lous accounts of the defence of Ragusa against of early 
the Saracen Spucento by the Paladin Orlando, h^^^ 
whose statue now stands in the Piazza, nor of 
the seven years' siege by Bodino, nor of the wars 
with the Servians, legends whose object seems to 
be to paint Ragusa as the champion of Roman 
orthodoxy against the Bogomiles or Paterenes, 
whose influence in Bosnia and Herzegovina en- 
dangered the fabric of Papal supremacy. The 

^ Dandolo, lib. ix. c. xv. pars 30. Vid. Bup. Qeneral History 
in vol. i. p. 30. 


290 Ragusa : History. [Ch. xix. 

genuine history of Ragusa begins with her direct 
connexion with Venice and the end of her nominal 
dependence on the Eastern Roman Empire. Pro- 
fessor Gelcich^ closes this first or Byzantine period, 
Eod of^^ during which the city still professed obedience to 
Byzantine \)^q empire and borrowed her arts and culture 

penod. *■ 

from Byzantium, about the year 11 75. 

WmVZ^* During the latter part of the twelfth century 

vL^^ fr^sh troubles arose on religious grounds between 

^ *^r *^^ Patarene Bans Boric and Culin and Ragusa. 

Manuel. The city was also embroiled with Venice by the 

war between the Republic and the Emperor 

ManueJ, who occupied Ragusa, and the Venetian 

historians claim a fresh conquest ^ which the 

Ragusan historians again deny. The event which, 

according to the latter, first brought Ragusa 

under the rule of Venetian governors was the 

A.D. 1331. go-called conspiracy of Damiano Giuda, who 

^^?^ like another Marino Faliero tried to make him- 


Giuda. self absolutc, and of whom the Ragusans rid 

Venetian ^ , , ° 

counties- themsclves by calling in the Venetians and ac- 

tablished. '^ ^ 

' Dello sviluppo civile di Ragusa, G. Gelcich. Bagusa, 1884. 

' Dux autem . . . Bagusinos pollicitae fidelitatis imniemores 
eibi rebelles fore invenit . . . bellicis instiiiineDtis Urbem im- 
pugnari jussit. Veueti autem quod jussum fuerat audacter 
exequentes continuis insultibus eadem die quasdam turres aa- 
cenderunt, et depositis Impeiialibus insignibus Beati Marci 
Evangelistae effigiem desuper posueruiit . . . Dux cum hymcis 
et laudibuB Civitatem intravit, et consuetae fidelitatis sacra- 
menta renovavit . . . Archiepiscopus consentientibus clero et 
Populo contentus fuit suam ecclesiam subjicere Qradensi Patri- 
archae si hoc a Papa poterit obtineri, quibus Dux Baynerium 
Zane dedit in Comitem. Dandolo, lib. ix. c. xv. pars 24. 
The doge wasVitale Michieli II, the year 1172. 

Ch. XIX.] Ragusa: History. 291 

cepting a Venetian count. There is another 
version, to the effect that Ragusa being akeady 
under Venetian rule Damiano's only offence was 
that of trying to set his country free. If this be 
so his memory has been somewhat ungratefully 
blackened by his coimtrymen. A third explana- 
tion of the story which has been suggested is that 
Damiano was a champion of the rights of the 
commonalty then in process of extinction by the 
party which was already forming itself into a 
compact aristocracy, and which only triumphed 
over him by the aid of the Venetians ^ 

Here, as in the othier Dalmatian cities, the scope character 
of the Venetian government was not absolute tianrou 
rule, but rather a kind of protectorate. Ragusa ** ^^^^ 
paid homage and tribute, and received a count 
from Venice, as of old she had accepted a duke 
from Byzantium ; she admitted delegates to 
watch over Venetian interests; and she sent a 
contingent to the Venetian fleet in time of war. 
On the other hand, Venice kept the police of the 
Adriatic, and put down piracy, a task to which 
she alone was equal. The internal affairs of the Ragotan 
state were left to the Ragusan signory, imder the *nder°the 
presidency, of course, of the Venetian count, and ®^®***^ 
we find the Ragusans taking independent action 
towards other Dahnatian states and the ^vltror 
montane^ princes, and even making fresh acces- 
sions of territory without any interference on the 
part of Venice. For all laws the joint consent of 
' Kazna6id 'alcune pagine bu Ragusa,' 1881. 
U 2 


292 Ragusa: History. [Ch. xix. 

count, signoria, and people was necessary^, and 
on his first landing the new count swore to ob- 
serve the customs and laws of Ragusa, holding 
the flag of S. Biagio in his hand ^. This oath he 
renewed in the cathedral, and not till then was 
the flag of St. Mark displayed in the piazza and 
the homage of the people paid to the repre- 
sentative of the Most Serene Eepublic *. 
A.D. 1273. Tj^^ establishment of the new rule was followed 


develop- by the wholesome measure of codifying into a 
body of statutes the floating customs by which 
the state had hitherto been governed Guilds of 
various trades were formed, nuncj or consuls were 
placed at Venice and in the ports on both shores 
of the Adriatic, and colonies of Ragusan traders 
settled in the interior of the Balkan peninsula 
to open a way for commerce with Italy, taking 
with them into those countries the influences of 

^ For instance, the heading of the new Statutes of the 
Custom House in 1277 runs thus: — ' Liher^ Statutorum doane 
conpillatus tempore nobilis et egregij uiri domini Marci Jus- 
tiniani Comitis honorabilis Ragus^ cum uoluntate maioris et 
minoris consilij et cum laudo populi publica concione adunati 
per Bonum campanarum ut moris est/ Quoted Eitelberger, 
p. 357, ed. 1884. 

' Gelcich. Lo sviluppo civile di Eagusa, p. 30. 

• Of the fact of this homage there can be no doubt : ' Clamat 
(unus) clamat alter clamant omnes universe: vivat dominum 
nostrum («tc) N. N. inclytum ducem Veneciarum quod omnes 
et singuli Bagusii et sui districtus perpetualiter erant fideles 
praedicti Dni Ducis et comunis veneciarum,* &c., &c. Reform, 
and Statutes, cited by Qelcich, p. 31. I am told that there is 
a Venetian lion sculptured over a gateway now buried among 
modem buildings. Yid. Gelcich, P* 42. 

Ch. XIX.] Ragusa: History. 293 

superior civilization. The principal exports from Ragnwui 
the interior were live-stock skins cheeses wax 
and silver, in return for which salt wine oil and 
woven stuffs were imported from Italy. 

In this year the island of Lagosta was bought a.d. iai6. 
by Ragusa from Stefano Nemagna II of Servia, 
not entirely with the consent of the inhabitants 
who oflPered some resistance. 

In 1225 the Dominicans, and in \2X^ the a.d. 1335. 
Franciscans, were established at Ragusa, to com- ment of 
bat the growing influence of the Bogomiles. Both cant 
at first were settled outside the walls, not where 
their present convents stand. The duomo also, 
now alas ! destroyed, was built early in this cen- 
tury. Popular tradition ascribes its foundation 
to a ffift from Richard Coeur de Lion, who was Richard 

° . . Cceurde 

nearly shipwrecked on his way home from the lion. 
Crusades. At La Croma, an island off the har- 
bour mouth of the city, he was going to build the 
church he had vowed to our Lady on the spot 
where he should touch dry land in safety, but at 
the entreaty of the Ragusans it is said he con- 
sented to build it in the city instead. 

At this time the only buildings of stone were 
the chmrches and the castle, all the rest being of 
wood, hewn on what are now the barren slopes of 
M. Sergio ; another proof, if one were necessary, 
of the possibilities of Dalmatian soil and climate 

, , A.D. 1292. 

with proper care^ A fire, which broke out oncitydes- 
Aug. 16, 1292, burned to the groimd the greater ap^ ^ 
' Dubrovnik, the Illyric name of Kagusa, means * the woody.' 

294 Ragusa: History. [Ch. Xix. 

paxt of the city, while at the same time the terri- 
tory was ravaged by Ourosh, king of Sei-via ^, in 
alliance with the people of Cattaro, and an epi- 
demic raged within the walls. Oppressed by this 
combination of misfortunes the Ragusans thought 
of deserting their city and flying to some other 
Dalmatian town, or to Puglia, and the influence 
and prudent counsels of one of the patricians, 
Vicenzo Vukassovich, with difficulty prevailed 
over their despair. Subscriptions were raised to 
assist the needy, and measures were taken for 
Rebuild- rebuilding the houses on a better plan and with 
dty. more durable materials, according to a * building 
act ' which was carried in September of the same 
year. The plan of the town as then laid out is 
that of the present day, and so no doubt is the 
shell of many of the houses, however much they 
may have lost or changed their architectiu'al 
Veiti^^* In 1298 the Eagusan contingent to the Vene- 
defeatat tian fleet shared in the defeat ofi'Curzola by the 

Curaola. ^ •^ 

Genoese, but their galleys escaped, and the city 
was able shortly afterwards to triumph over the 
A.D. 130T- Cattarines, Ragusan trade continued to floiu'ish, 
and free access to the interior was given by the 
great Czar of Servia, Stephen Dushan, who was 
more friendly than his predecessor. 

^ Stephen Milutin Ourosh 11 reigned 1 275-1321. Vid. 
notes on History of Cattaro. But in Sir Grardner Wilkinson's 
list of Kings of Servia he is called Ourosh III. There are 
several discrepancies in the various tables to which I have had 

Ch. XIX.] Ragusa: History, 295 

At this time the important addition of Stagno a.d. 1333 
was made to the territory of Ragusa. It hadAoqaUi- 
belonged to the family of Branivoj, against whom s^o. 
the Ragusans waged a war of extermination, 
marked by atrocities not to be justified by the 
standard even of that age. 

The year 1 348 is memorable for the great ad. 1348. 
plague, or hl(xck death, which swept across Europe, plague. 
At Ragusa the mortality is said to have amounted 
to 11,000, more than twice the niunber of the 
present inhabitants. The crucifix still hanging 
in the Dominican church, and the votive church of 
S. Biagio, since rebuilt, are memorials of this 
dreadful visitation. 

In 1358 the treaty was signed by which Venice ^^^^^' 
ceded to Lewis of Hungary the whole of her Dal- pawee nn- 
matian territory from Istria to Durazzo including gwrian 
Ragusa^. But the Ragusans had been prepared 
for the coming revolution, and had already in 
1349 begun to pay court to the rising power of 
Lewis when he visited Ragusa on his way back 
from Naples. On the departure of Marco Sanudo, 
the last Venetian count, in 1358, the transference 
of allegiance was completed, and thenceforth 
Hungary assumed the protectorate which Venice 
had hitherto exercised. 

The Ragusans were to pay to Lewis the tribute Conditions 
hitherto paid to the king of Rascia or the Ban of j«c*ion to 

^ ^ Hungary. 

* * * * *Specialiter civitatibus Nonae, Jadrae, Scardonae 
Sibenici, Tragurii, Spalati, et Hagusii,' &c^ &c. Treaty cited 
in Lacio, ir. p. 236 ; v. sup. Vol. I. pp. 112, 113. 

296 Ragusa : History. [Ch. xix. 

Conditions Bosnia, to fumish a contingent of armed galleys, 

ofsnbjeo- _ . ^ _ , , - 

tionto to use the royal flag, and to observe the royal 
^ngwy- f^g^iyojg On the other hand Lewis engaged 
himself to protect the Republic against its enemies, 
and to aUow it to govern itself by its own .laws 
as it had done under the Venetian dominion. He 
confirmed the Ragusans in their possession of 
Stagno, and agreed that if he were at war with 
Rascia, or Venice, they might all the same con- 
tinue to trade with those countries 'saving our 
honour\' In 1360 he conceded to them the right 
of electing their own count, whomsoever they 

Ragusan pleased, provided he were not a Venetian nor an 


with the enemy of Hungary, and he also obtained for them 
from the Pope leave to trade with the infidels*. 
Other privileges were granted by Maria and 
Sigismund, and Ragusa under Hungarian pro- 
tection being left tolerably to herself, steadily 

The city advanced in prosperity. On the departure of the 

refortified. . . . 

last Venetian count the city was refortified on a 
gigantic scale, the great ditch was dug, and a 
larger area inclosed, comprising the Dominican 
convent which had till then formed an outwork to 
the general lines. Another important work at 
this time was the building of a palace for the 

* Brunelli; notes to De Diversis, p. 104. 

^ The Ragusans astutely foresaw the greatness of the Turks, 
the importance of being on good terms with them, and the 
opening which an alliance would afford to their commerce. 
They had already made terms with Orchan, Emir of Brussa, 
who died in 1360, and secured freedom of trade with his sub- 
jects for an annual payment of 500 zecchini. 

Ch. XIX.] Ragusa: History. 297 

government to replace the old castle, which was a.d. 1388. 
antiquated, and inadequate to the increased im- Palace 
portance of the community. The palace of the pubUo 
grand council beside it, which survived till de- erect^^ 
stroyed by fire in 18 16, was probably built about 
the same time. A great campanile for the duomo 
was also begun, but it never rose above the first 
stage, the scheme being then abandoned for that 
of a new baptistery ^ which survived the great 
earthquake of 1667, but was destroyed in modem 

In 141 3 the Ragusans for a short time tasted ^•^- ^4«3- 
the sweets of government over the three impor- RagnBan 

, govem- 

tant islands of Lesina Brazza and Curzola. On ment at 


the fall of Hervoye Spalato and Ragusa both Braaza and 
applied to Sigismund for a grant of these islands, 
of which Hervoye had held the countship. Sigis- 
m\md was needy and ready to listen to the 
highest bidder, and the prize fell to the Ragusans 
who had the longer purse. An armed force took 
possession of the islands with but little resistance, 
and a count was appointed in each. But the 
rule of the Ragusans was not popular, and their 
magistrates were not respected ^ Sigismund was 

^ It is described as an octagonal building with long narrow 
windows. Qelcich, p. 43. 

' 'Jam caepenint Ragosini praetores mittere, qui insulanis 
jus dicerent : quos cum viderent, Pharenses praesertim, regendis 
populis minime idoneos, utpote jurisdicundi, literarum inscitia, 
imperitos (Kagusani enim soli paene mercaturae per ea tempora 
dediti erant, pauci admodum Uteris, quae nunc quoque perrarae 
sunt Kagusae, dabant operam) ; ad hoc quum audirent Cana- 
lensem agrum inique et per summam iiiguriam yeteribus pos- 

298 Ragusa : History. [Ch. xix. 

petitioned to resume the direct government, and 
in 141 7 the Ragusans were compelled by an im- 
perial order to surrender their new possessions. 
Ki^:^b^ When the rest of the country passed once more 
^T^^i, into the hands of Venice, there came to Ragusa 
at last the hour of complete independence ^ The 
exact date of this happy revolution is uncertain, 
but it was probably marked by the erection of 
the pillar of Orlando for the flag-post of the 
Republic, which was put up either in 141 8 or 
1423, the figures being unluckily legible either 
way on the brass plate, which was discovered 
when the pillar was blown down in 1825 ^ 

Mcccc y. : : in de maggio patto nel tempo di papa mar 


Bessoribus ereptum adeo consternati sunt, ut, ni saniori consilio 
vis prohibita esset praetores urbium violati fuissent/ Lud. 
Tuberonis Commentariorum de temporibus suis, 1. y. c. vi. 
Cited Boglic. Lesina, p. 99. But the mention of Canali seems 
incorrect. Hesti says Ragusa did not acquire Canali till she 
lost the islands. Vid. infra, p. 299. 

^ The shadow of Hungarian supremacy was, however, still 
maintained as a useful protection against Venetian and Turkish 
aggression; and this connexion was never lost, the Republic 
relying to the last on the support of the Kings of Hungary, and 
subsequently that of the Empire and the House of Austria, 
whenever hard pressed by other powers. A petition to Maria 
Theresa dated 1775 speaks of 'quel stretto obbligo dichientela 
di cui si pregia (la repubblica).' Cited by Eitelberger, p. 29. 

' Gelcich. p. 50. 

Ch. XIX.] Ragusa : History, 299 

At this time too the territory of the state reached bw ex- 
its utmost expansion. In 1399 the Primorie diRagusan 
Stagno, or coast from near Ragusa northwards "* 
to Stagno, was granted or sold to the Republic by 
Ostoya king of Bosnia, and the Canali or plain 
southwards to Punta d' ostro at the mouth of the 
Bocche di Cattaro was purchased in 1420-7. The 
territory of Trebinje, and that of Almissa with 
the Kraina or coast north of the Narenta, were 
cautiously refused for fear of offending the Turks, 
and an alliance which had been made with Orchan 
was renewed with his successor. 

With the period of her freedom and autonomy siomigh- 
Ragusa entered on a career of increased activity Sfn^^the 
and progress; the city was adorned with niunerous puUic. ' 
public buildings and various public improvements 
were effected. The legislation of the time does 
honour to the humanity of the citizens. In 1417 
slave dealing was prohibited as base, wicked, and 
abominable ^ In 1432 a foundling hospital was 
established to counteract the practice of exposing 
infants, and in 1435 public schools were formed, 
in which education was given gratuitously by 
masters of eminence, who were invited from Italy 2. 

* ' Perch^ turpe, scellerato, ed abonoinevole.' 

* Among these teachers was Filippo de Diversi de Quarti- 
giani, of a noble family at Lucca, who fled at the usurpation of 
Paolo Quinigi. He first established himself at Venice as 
teacher of grammar, rhetoric, and philosophy, and thence came 
to Ragusa in 1434 at the invitation of the republic. He has 
left us an account of the buildings and customs of Ragusa, dated 
at the end of the work, 1440. It was published by Prof. 
Brunelli of Zara, in 1882. 

300 Ragusa : History. [Ch. xix. 

Water was conveyed to the city from Gionchetto, 
eight miles off, and laid on to conduits, under the 
direction of the Neapolitan architect Onofrio di 
La Cava, who erected the handsome foimtain, still 
standing though much defaced, near the Porta 
Pile, and the smaller one at the Corpo di Guardia 
near the Dogana. 
AD. 1435. Onofrio found another opportunity for the dis- 

The palace ... . . 

burned play of his skill in the rebuilding of the palace, 

rebuilt, which was destroyed in 1432 by a fire and an 

explosion of gunpowder in the adjoining arsenaL 

The new palace was begun in 1435, ^^^ ^^ 

Diversis, who saw it building, has left an account 

of it. 

Slavonic At this time Ragusa became the refiige of 

from the many noble and wealthy families from the 

interior ,. i/ii/» imi 

setUedat mtcrior, who fled from the Turks at the fall of 


the Slavonic kingdoms. Prof Grelcich gives a 
long list of the principal houses thus added to 
the list of citizens. All of them seem to have 
become Italianized, and most of them engaged in 
commerce, many among them having brought 
considerable wealth to their new home. Even 
here, however, it seemed doubtful for a moment 
A.D. 1453. whether they would be secmre. The Tmrks, now 
masters of Constantinople Servia Bosnia and the 
Morea, meditated fresh conquests beyond the 
Adriatic. Italy was the dream of Ottoman 
ambition, and the eastern sea-board of the Adri- 
atic was the step to its realization. Ragusa was 
marked down for occupation by Mahomet 11 ; his 

Ch. XIX.] Ragusa: History. 301 

armies advanced on the city, and the Eagusans aj>. 1460. 
were ordered to surrender their territory andSlre^ned 
confine themselves to their walls. Unable tOhomerii. 
resist by force they had recom'se to policy, and 
declared that if these terms were insisted on they 
would give up their city to the king of Hungary, 
and Mahomet therefore contented himself with 
exacting a tribute. The immediate peril was 
thus averted, but the Eagusans in alaim collected 
money fromPopePiusII and strengthened their for- 
tifications, levelling the houses and churches in the 
suburbs lest they should aflPord shelter to an enemy. 

While thus employed a fi'esh calamity befell ^•^- m^^- 
them. A fire broke out which destroyed the ti»« p*ia«« 

^ ^ Again 

upper part of the rector s palace and other build- tamed, 
ings, and an outbreak of the plague carried off 
2QOO citizens. The subsequent restoration of the a.d. 1464. 
palace in 1464 practically reduced it to the form ^ 
it stiQ retains, and is an important event to 
remember in dealing with its architectural history. 

Undismayed by these disasters, fire, pestilence, Contmued 
and terror of the Turk, Eagusa grew rapidly and of S^si 
prospered. She fortified herself against the in- 
fidel, but wisely made Mends with him at the 
same time, and obtained leave fi'om the Pope to 
trade with him. The city was embellished con- 
tinually with fi'esh public buildings, and in spite 
of the heavy dues imposed by the jealousy of 
Venice on Eagusan vessels entering any of her 
ports, the trade of the little Eepublic rapidly 
increased. She had factories in the main ports 

302 Ragusa : History. [Ch. XIX. 

of the Mediterranean and even beyond the pillars 
Aj). 1494, Qf Hercules, and made treaties of commerce with 

XT ' 

foreign Spain in 1494, France in 1508, and Egypt in 
1 5 10, which last opened her a way to the Indies. 
The harbour was enlarged and the mole built by 
Pasquale Michele, the government engineer, and 
a modus vivendi was even established with Venice, 
at this time threatened with ruin by the league 
of Cambrai, and looking around for firiends. These 
were the halcyon days of the Republic of S. Biagio, 
when she was at peace with her neighbours and 
respected by her rivals, and when \m&£ ' argosies}^ 
were to be found in every commercial port. 
Twenty-one confiutemities or guilds of diflterent 
industries existed in the city, besides others with- 
out the walls, and besides several trades not 
represented by a guild 
A.D. 1520. ^ calamity of a new kind, the harbinger of 
quftke. stiQ worse visitations hereafter, befell the city 
in 1 520. On May 1 7 in that year an earthquake 
prostrated many houses and damaged the duomo 
and many public buildings, so that ioo,ocx5 zec- 
chini did not more than cover the damage within 
the walls, and 50,000 that in the tenitory 
without ^. For twenty months shocks continued 
to be felt, and it is said that it was at this time 

* The word * argosy or ragosy ' b said to have meant origin- 
ally a ship of Eagasa ; y. Johnson's Diet. ; also Dr. Murray's 
New Eng. Diet. 

' In the later days of the Venetian repuhlic the sequin, 
zecchino, or gold ducat was worth 99. 6cf., and the silver ducat 
39. ^\d, English money. 

Ch. XIX.] Ragusa : History, 303 

the custom arose of putting the cypher 1 4 s as 
a pious invocation of Divine protection — a kind 
of Passover — ^above the doorways of all Ragusan 
buildings, where it may generally be seen to this 
day. The Senate vowed a church to the Saviour, 
and the graceful little chapel of San Salvatore, 
close inside the Porta Pile, remains a monimient 
of their terror and gratitude. 

The plague visited the city again in 1526, aj). 1536. 
brought in stuffs from Ancona by a merchant viiitation 
whom the infuriated citizens carted through the ^i|^e. 
city and tortured. The Senate fled to Gravosa, 
and the city was tenanted only by a small guard, 
but the plague continued for six months, and 
carried off it is said 20^000 victims. Fresh 
troubles followed owing to the difficulty of 
maintaining the neutrality of the Republic 
between the contending forces of Charles V and 
the Turks. But Charles found it better worth A.D.1531-5. 
while to employ the blood and treasiu'e of Ragusa owi^to 
in his expeditions against Algiers Tunis andJ^uJi^v, 
Tripoli than to quarrel with her, and as Ragusa 
sacrificed yyo vessels and innumerable lives of 
her citizens in the service of Charles and his 
successors, it has very properly been questioned 
whether the republic would have found their 
enmity more ruinous than their friendship ^ 

It is from this period and from these causes Decline of 
that the decline of the republic must be traced. ^*^™*' 

^ A Bagusan contiDgent served and suffered with the Spanish 
Armada which attempted the invasion of England in 1588. 

304 Ragusa: History. [Ch. xix. 

To add to their troubles the Uscocs, who after 
harrying the Ragusan tenitory carried their 
depredations across the Turkish frontier, nearly 
A.D. 1580. involved Ragusa as they did Venice in hos- 
tilities with the Porte, and this danger lasted until 
the final dispersion of these ruffians in 161 7. 
Never was the course of the state more difficult 
to steer ; for both sides, Tinrks and Venetians, 
presumed on her weakness and preyed on her 
resources. Pestilence also reappeared, and the 
earthquakes of 1580 and 1639 revived the terrors 
A.D. 1640. of 1520. By the time peace was restored and 
her com- the Ragusaus had more leismre to attend to their 


commerce, they found that commerce itself had 
begun to take fresh departures. England and 
Holland had become maritime powers, the trade 
of the Mediterranean had passed ahnost entirely 
to the Venetians, and the traffic with Herze- 
govina was almost all that remained. 
Aj).i667. We arrive now at the catastrophe which has 

The great , ^ 

earth- perhaps done more than anything else to make 
the name of Ragusa familiar to the world. Early 
in the morning of April 6, 1667, without any 
warning, a shock of earthquake prostrated the 
greater part of the public bmldings, and a 
multitude of private houses. Ghetaldi rector 
of the republic with 50CXD citizens perished in 
the ruins. The cathedral was so injmred as to 
require entirely rebuilding; the churches of 
S. Biagio S. Francesco and S. Domenico lost 
their roofs ; the palace and the dogana were half 

Ch. XIX.] Ragusa: History, 305 

ruined ; the town took fire ; and hordes of 
plunderers from the country, and possibly from 
the city itself, began to rifle and carry off 
anything they could find of value, including 
many treasures from the churches. Order was 
at length restored by the presence of mind of 
some of the leading citizens, and aid was 
forthcoming from several Italian and European 
states for the rebuilding of the city. Various 
schemes were proposed for moving it to a securer 
spot, and one less haunted by unhappy memories, 
but the majority of the people were not to be 
persuaded to abandon the ancient site, and 
Ragusa stiQ stands where it ever did, more 
fortunately perhaps for students of art and 
history than for the inhabitants ; for earthquakes 
recur at least every twenty years, and there are 
few adult Ragusans now living who have not 
been frightened into the streets by the dread 
of falling walls and roofs. 

The Turks alone had the brutality to take The Turk. 

** avail them- 

advantage of the calamities of Ragusa, ^^'''^ ^^!^*^^ 
Mustapha demanded an explanation of the armed ity to 

_f 1 1 J threaten 

resistance made by the Ragusans to the bands Ragusa. 
of marauders who had pillaged the town, and 
he levied fresh imposts on their commerce on 
various pretexts. It was hard to find any one 
willing to go as ambassador to this ferocious 
despot, and when at last two patriots, Nicola 
Bona and Marino Gozze, \mdertook the task for 
the good of their country, their fate justified the 

VOL. II. x 

3o6 Ragusa : History. [Ch. XIX- 

Aj). 1678. apprehensions of their j&iends, for they were 

of*SS^ thrown into prison at SUistria, where Bona died. 

^^^j^ A grateftJ inscription set up by the State to 
his memory is still in existence. Two other 
Ragusans, Marino Caboga and Vladislavo Bucchia, 
who nobly volunteered to go as ambassadors 
to Constantinople, met with similar ill-treatment. 
Caboga, who redeemed the profligacy of his youth 
by the imselfish patriotism of his riper years, 
after languishing in a Tiu'kish prison, and refiising 
to betray his coimtry as the price of his liberty, 
lived to retmn to Bagusa and receive the 
honours which his grateful countrymen were 
waiting to shower upon him ^. 

A.D. 1683. The defeat of the Turks before Vienna, and 

Decline of 

TurkiBh the death of Kara Mustapha relieved Bagusa 
from the danger of immediate attack, and in 
fact the decline of the Turkish power had set 
in. In 1687 the Venetians took from them 
Castelnuovo in the Bocche di Cattaro, and the 
conquest was confirmed by the peace of Carlovitz 
in 1699. This acquisition, however, was a fresh 
danger to the commerce of Bagusa, as the Turkish 
caravans began to go to Castelnuovo rather than 
to Bagusa, and the Venetians b^an to take salt 
into the interior. The matter was adjusted 
by the treaties of Carlovitz in 1699, and Passa- 
rovitz in 1718, when Venice agreed not to 
interrupt the Bagusan trade with the Grand 

^ An interesting sketch of Marino Caboga is given by 
Mr. Paton, Highlands and Islands of the Adriatic. 

Ch. XIX.] Ragusa : History. 307 

Signor; and as a security against aggression on 
her part a small strip of territory wa« ceded 
to the Turks at Klek on the Canale di Narenta, a.d. 1718. 
at the north end of Eagusan territory, and atsutoriwk 
the valley of Sutorina on the Bocche di Cattaro 
to the south, to form an impassable barrier 
between the lands of the two republics. There 
is a tradition that this condition was inserted 
into the treaty of Passarowitz at the instance 
of the English ambassador, who was moved 
thereto by the suggestions and entreaties of his 
Eagusan servant^. 

Tranquillity being restored, the Ragusans had f^^^^ 
leisure for domestic matters. The Jesuits' church, works dur- 

iiig the 

a vast but uninteresting pile, was begun in 1699, eighteenth 
and finished in 1725, and the grand flight of 
stairs by which it is approached was completed 
in 1735, from the design of Padalacqua, an 
eminent Roman architect. It is an imposing 
and not unsuccessful work of *barocco' archi- 

The church of S. Biagio, which had suffered 
severely by the earthquake, seems to have been 
finally destroyed by fire in 1706, and to have 
been then rebuilt in its present form. Though 
not less * barocco ' in detail than the Gesuiti, the 
general idea of the interior plan is excellent 
and deserves study. The rebuilding of the 
duomo was not decreed till 1671, when plans 

* Sorgo. Quoted by Eaznaci^, * Alcune pagine 8u Eagusa,' 
pp. 41, 42. 

X 2 

3o8 Ragusa : History. [Ch. xix. 

were invited from Andrea Ruffalini of Urbino, 
and money borrowed from the Monte di Piet^ 
at Rome. The architecture is not remarkable. 
With these buildings the series of architectural 
works of the Republic closes. The rest of the 
century was devoted to clearing away and re- 
pairing the ruin of the earthquake, though even 
to the present day many gaps remain unfilled by 
new buildings. 
Internal The terrible events of the seventeenth century 
lation. seem to have disorganised the state and left 
disorder and faction behind them. The govern- 
ment was paralysed by disputes about the election 
of magistrates and the distribution of dues. The 
old nobility, that which was of older date than the 
seventeenth century, and the new nobility which 
came to the front when commerce had begun 
to flow in new channels, were constantly in 
opposition, their very fellow-citizens disapproving 
Decline of their scnselcss feuds. Trade declined, and the 


commerce. Turk, uow rcduccd to court the favour of the 
Venetians whom he formerly defied, directed the 
stream of his conunerce towards Venice rather 
than Ragusa. Vain attempts to revive the trade 
in salt, and absurd laws to increase the con- 
sumption of that article only provoked a revolt 
of the Canalesi, which helped to bring about the 
final ruin of the Republic. 

The fall of Venice in 1 797 seemed to throw 
fresh opportunities for commercial activity into 
the way of the Ragusans, and the mercantile 

Ch. XIX.] Constitution of Ragusa. 309 

marine rose rapidly to 400 sail. But both France a.d. 1797. 
and Russia hungered for her, and neutrality Ra^ln° 
became impossible. A short stay for repose ^^i^f® 
within the walls, which it was impossible to refuse ^®^^ 
the French troops, brought upon Ragusa tbe?»^^ 
hostility of Russia, and the forces of the latter ty Rub- 

, , BiaiLB and 

power, aided by Montenegrins and the still Montene- 
discontented Canalesi, attacked and bombarded 
the city, ravaged the territory, and destroyed the 
suburbs. The French ultimately reoccupied the 
city in 1806, and the Republic of Ragusa * ceased FaU of th© 
to exist,' by a word from those lips by which of Ragusa, 
so many greater states than this were made and isos.^ ' 

In 1 8 14 the combined efforts of the English a.d. 1814, 
and Austrians drove the French from the city, w^^ 
and from that time Ragusa has followed the fate 
of all Dalmatia, and remained under Austrian 

The constitution of the Republic of Ragusa Ariatocrat- 

• 1 . • 1 wwy-x 1 • ical consti- 

was strictly aristocratical. The population wastutionof 
divided into three classes, the nobles, the com-^^"** 
mons or cittadini, and the artizans. The last 
had no voice at all in the government, and were 
not admissible to any office. To the cittadini 
a few offices were open, but only such as had 
no political importance. The whole government 
was entrusted to the nobility, a close aristocracy, 
which never permitted any admixture of plebeian 
blood by intermarriage with the inferior orders, 

3 1 o Constitution of Ragusa. [Ch. xix. 

and which was limited to certain families in- 
scribed in the Specchio di Maggior Consiglio, the 
Ragusan Libro d' Oto\ For the most part the 
nobles of Ragusa were merchants like those of 
Venice, and there were but very few who lived 
merely on their rental ; for the territory of the 
Republic was small and sterile, and there was 
no opportunity for the formation of a landed or 
feudal aristocracy. 

V^l^^ At the age of eighteen every noble of the 
privileged families took his seat on the Gran 
Consiglio, the supreme governing body of the 
state. It confirmed all laws, ratified or annulled 
sentences, and elected to all the principal magis- 

The tracies. The chief magistrate was the Rector, 
who resided in the public palace, and never 
appeared in public but in state, accompanied by 
his lictors or chenesagli. These officers always 
preceded him two and two, and, in imitation of 
the consular cortege of ancient Rome, it was 
made unlawful for any one to step between him 
and his attendants, unless it were his own little 

TheMinore Closoly associatod with the Rector was the 
Minore Consiglio, at first consisting of eleven 
members, five of them judges who with the 
Rector formed the highest tribunal, and six 
consiglieri. Their number was reduced to seven 

^ De DiverBis gives the names of the thirty-three families 
which constituted the Ragusan nobility in his time; p. 58, 
ed. Brunelli. 

Ch. XIX.] Constitution of Ragusa. 3 1 1 

after the great earthquake. This lesser council 
possessed the initiative of all measures, and in 
certain cases had final authority^. More im- 
portant matters were carried to the Gran 
Consiglio, or to an intermediate body, the Kogati ^^ . 
or Pregati, the Senate, consisting of forty-five 
members, among whom were included the eleven 
of the Minore Consiglio and the Eector. These 
two bodies were called together by the Minore 
Consiglio when occasion required The ftmctions 
of the Rogati seem, in the earlier times of the 
Republic at all events, to have been chiefly those 
of a consultative committee, to which discretion- 
ary power was delegated in difficult and involved 
matters by the Gran Consiglio. 

The jealousy characteristic of an aristocratical Short 
Republic hedged these various magistracies around magis- 
with numerous . checks and precautions. The 
Rector held his office but for one month, and was 
reeligible only after an interval of two years ; the 
Minore Consiglio was elected afiresh every year, 

^ ' Quae agenda videntur primum ad Minus Consilium afifer- 
nntur quod . . • quae sui fori fuerint expedit ; alia autem pro- 
ponit vel in Rogatis vel in principali Gonsilio. Potest enim et 
debet Minus Consilium superiora convocare cum opus videtur. 
Rogati res ardaas discutiunt quarum, cum habeantur cae- 
tens prudentioreSy auctoritas ipsis est a principali commiBsa, 
non tamen queont officiales nisi aliquos ut Capitaneum vel 
Supercomitos seu Patronos Qalearum armandarum contra piratas 
eligere. Est enim eonim etiam potestas multis legibus ad- 
stricta/ Dc Diversis, p. 58, ed. Bronelli. Mr. Evans (Through 
Bosnia, p. 402) says the senators were elected for life, but con« 
firmed annuallv. 

312 Constitution of Ragusa. [Ch. xix. 

and the same persons could not be reelected the 
following year; and the three Proweditori, 
officers whose authority extended even to the 
suspension of the law till the matter in question 
coidd be reexamined by the Rogati, held their 
office only for twelve months, 
s^^^ The continued existence of the little Republic 
■aa for so many centuries is the greatest tribute to 

govern- , , , , 

ment. the sagacity of its rulers. Its position * exposed 
it to constant alarmSy surrounded as it was hy 
troublesome neighbours^ and subject alternately to 
the intrigues and ambition of Venice, the unsettled 
and discordant projects of the Slavonian princes, 
the unstable friendship of the Hungarians, the 
selfish views of the Spaniards, and the capricious 
insolence of the Turks, to the ignominy of whose 
protection the hostility of Venice obliged it to 
submit; and the whole career of the Ragusan 
Republic vxis a struggle for self-preservation, and 
the maintenance of its independence in the midst 
of constant danger ^ ' 

In this her history reminds us of that of the 
greater Republic of St. Mark, which, though 
stronger and of greater weight in Europe, was 
also more immediately exposed to political com- 
plications, and whose continued existence down 
almost to the present century, was largely due 
to the cautious policy of her rulers, and the 
accurate information of the secrets of other 

* Sir Gardner Wilkinson, vol. i. p. 351. 

Ch. XIX.] Ragusan Culture and Art. 313 

cabinets, which she obtained from her skilfiil and 
devoted agents. 

Sir Grardner Wilkinson pays a well-merited ^^ai^ty 
tribute to the shelter which Ragusa al way s b^j^ *<>- 
afforded 'to the unfortunate, with a noble dis-pouticai 


regard to the menaces of an offended and powerful 
neighbour,' and to her usefulness as the medium 
of communication during two centuries between 
Christian Europe and the Turk. 

I have in a former chapter touched slightly on Ragiuan 

, literature* 

the character of Eagusan ctdture, and mentioned 
some of the illustrious citizens whose achievements 
in the field of literature and science have done 
honour to the Republic that gave them births 
In the field of art Raffusa has been less dis-^f'*?"*^ 

. . artistB. 

tinguished, for though native artists were not 
wanting among the Ragusans, they have been 
indebted to strangers for their principal buildings. 
One of themselves, Ludovico (Tubero) Cerva, who 
lived in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, 
complains that his countrymen cared little for 
anything but commerce, and very little for 
literature ^ ; and the number of Ragusan artists 
who worked at Florence at Rome and at the 
court of Hungary, and earned for themselves both 
bread and fame in foreign coimtries, proves that 
they had Uttle prospect of winning either at 
home \ 

* General History, vol. L p. 179. ■ Vid. supra, p. 297. 

• A considerable list is given by Professor Gelcioh, Ragusa, 
pp. 78-82. 

314 Ragusan Territory. [Ch. xix. 

lUgaBan The territory of Bagusa at its widest extension 
*^ ^* consisted of the coast from the valley of Sutorina 
in the Bocche di Cattaro to Klek in the Canale 
di Narenta, with the peninsula of Sabbioncello, 
and the islands of Lagosta M^leda Giupana Mezzo 
and Calamotta. The length of the territory on 
the mainland, from Pimto d' Ostro on the Bocche 
to the northern end of Sabbioncello, was not 
quite one hundred miles, and the width never 
exceeded the few miles that lie between the 
mountains and the sea. 

The home territory, fr om Bagusa Vecchia north- 
wards past Bagusa to Val di Noce, including 
Breno Gravosa Ombla Malfi Gionchetto, &c., 
was granted by Stephen, ban, or king of Dal- 
matia, as far back as about 950 ^. 

The islands of Mezzo Giupana and Calamotta 
were purchased from Silvester, king of Dahnatia 
in 1080. 

The island of Mdleda was ceded by Dessa Duke 
of Chelmo in 1141. 

The island of Lagosta was bought from the 
Nemagna in 12 16. 

Stagno was taken from the Branivoj in 1 298. 

The Primorie di Stagno, or coast between Val 
di Noce and Stagno, was purchased from Ostoya 
in 1399. 

The Canali, from Punto d* Ostro to Bagusa 
Vecchia, was purchased in 1420-27. 

* Gelcich, p. 6. 

Ch. XIX.] Ragusan Buildings. 


The following is a chronological list of the List and 

dates of 

principal public edifices still standing at Ragusa, prmcipai 
and those of which the dates are known and at lUgusa. 
descriptions exist, although the buildings them- 
selves have disappeared. I have grouped them 
under the periods into which Professor Grelcich 
divides the history. 


Ninth or 
tenth century 

ditto r?) 
Eleventh or 
twelfth cen- 

Santo Stefiemo. 

S. Giaoomo in Feline. 
Doorway on hill near Duomo. 

Ruined by earthquake of 1667. 

Four walls and fragments 

Exists, y. fig. 63. 


1 200-1 250. 




Dominican Church opened. 

SponzS) ground and first floors 
of Cortile (date uncertain). 

Franciscan Church Convent 
and Cloister by Mycha di 

Palazzo del Gran Oonsiglio. 

Dominican Convent begun. 
S. Biagio. 

Destroyed by earthquake of 

Exists, though much modern- 
ized. SooUiem doorway and 
choir are andent. 


Cloister perfect. Church and 
convent modernized. 

Injured by fire 1462. De- 
stroyed 1 816. 

Cloister perfect. Convent 
pretty well preserved. 

Destroyed by fire, 1706, and 



Palazzo del Rettore, on site of 

ancient Castle. 

Destroyed by fire in 1432. 
Destroyed in modem times. 


Ragusan Buildings. 

[Oh. XIX. 










Tower of Dominioui Convent, 
by Fra Stefimo. 

New PalazBo del BeUore, be- 
gun by Onofrio di La 0»va. 

Foantains by Onofrio. 

Church of Dan6e. 

PalazBo del Rettore, r^Mdred 
and partly reboilt by Mi- 
chelosEo and Giorgio Orflini. 

Torre Menze, by Gior. Orsini 

Torre del Campanile. 

S. Salvatore. 

Sponza, upper story and por- 

Church of the Eosario. 

Duomo rebuilt. 

Jesuits* Church. 

S. Biagio rebuilt. 

Stairs to Jesuits* Church. 

Exists. Top stage modem. 

Ruined by fire 146a, but a 
great part still remains in 
the present building. 

The larger one ruined, but the 
smaller perfect. 

Exists, but altered. 






The Corso and Piazza. Tlie Churches of S. Ste£Eino and S. Qiacomo 
in Feline. The Rectorial Palace. The Duomo and Treasury. 
The Sponza. Dominican and Franciscan Convents. Church and 
Statuette of S. Biagio. L' Orlando. Churches of S. Salvatore 
and Le Dan<^. 

The traveller who descends from the grove of 

ancient mulberries in front of the Albergo Miramar 

by the winding road that leads him under the 

shadow of enormous mediaeval fortifications to the 

Porta Pile, and who finds himself for the first time 

within the walls of Ragusa, will not fail to feel the 

difference between this and other Dalmatian cities. 

The stately Corso that lies before him, running with 

an even and imposing width between regularly built 

houses, which though not older than the great 

earthquake of 1667 are not without a certain grave 

dignity, contrasts strongly with the narrow streets 

of picturesque Zara which make one think of an 

oriental bazaar, or the tortuous and squalid alleys 

huddled together within the walls of Diocletian's 

^ The account of the Bectorial Palace and the Duomo was 
originally published in the Annuario Dalmatico for i88g, with 
Plates XXXIX, XLI, and XLIV, which must be my apology for 
their Italian titles. 

3 1 8 Ragusa. [Ch. xx. 

house at Spalato. As he advances between the 
gracefiil votive church of S. Salvatore and the 
public fountain of Onofrio di La Cava and traverses 
the length of the Corso, the interest increases in 
proper dramatic ratio ; fresh buildings come suc- 
cessively into view; and when he arrives at the 
Dogana and a new vista opens to the right, dis- 
closing the palace of the rectors of the Republic, the 
duomo, and the church of S. Biagio, a very imposing 
architectural climax is reached. 

But Ragusa is imlike the other Dalmatian cities, 
not only in being more spacious and more regularly 
built, but also in the character of her architecture, 
which reflects the difference of her history. Like 
the ancient free cities of the Low Coimtries and 
Italy, she possesses all the material apparatus of an 
independent commonwealth. As in ancient Greece, 
so here the splendour of the city depends on the 
public buildings, which were the common property 
of the citizens ; — ^the palace of theii* Rector, the 
Sponza where their revenues were collected and 
their coinage struck, the town campanile where 
hung the great bells which summoned them to the 
piazza to ratify or reverse the resolutions of the 
government, the pillar of Orlando whence floated 
the gonfalon of their patron St. Blaize, and the 
churches where they assembled for devotion. There 
is something here to remind one even of the great 
rival republic that ruled the Adriatic, for the Corso 
and Piazza lie at right angles like the Piazza di 
S. Marco and the[^Piazzetta, and the palace of the 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa. 319 

Rector stands exactly in the same relative position 
as that of the Doge, and holds the same pre- 
eminence among the architectural monuments of 
the city. 

Entering Ragusa full of memories of the great 
earthquake of 1667, one expects at first to find little 
of antiquity : and yet, with the exception of the 
duomo and the church of S. Biagio, the greater 
number of the public buildings and convents that 
were standing in the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries have come down to us in a more or less 
perfect condition. There are also very many private 
houses of mediaeval date in the narrow streets that 
intersect one another at right angles on the hills 
north and south of the Corso, the result no doubt 
of the more regular rebuilding after the fire of 1292. 
When therefore we read in the contemporary 
accounts of the Venetian provveditore of Cattaro, 
who happened to be at Gravosa at the time of the 
earthquake, * that^ with the exception of the public 
granary the dogana the fortifications and the lazza- 
retti, all the houses both public and private together 
with the palace the churches and the convents were 
ruined and destroyed ; * or again, in the letter of Fra 
Vitale Andriasci to Diodono Bosdari at Ancona\ 
that * nothing of the city remained standing but the 
fortresses and the circuit of the vxiUls, which were 
injured in many places, and a few dismantled 
houseSy^ we must suppose that many of the damaged 

* Quoted in 'O Treanjama grada Dubrovnika.' Gekich, pp. 

320 Ragusa. [Oh. XX. 

buildings were easily repaired, and perhaps make 
some allowance for the horror and uncertainty of 
eye-witnesses. The houses in the Corso were no 
doubt thrown down, for they have evidently been 
rebuilt all at one time and their style agrees with 
the date of the earthquake ; we know also that the 
duomo was destroyed, and the church of S. Biagio 
much injured; but it soon becomes apparent that 
the ruin caused by the earthquake was mainly con- 
fined to the valley of the Corso and Piazza, and 
that the buildings on the hills to either side fared 
better. Even in the vaUey the ruin was by no 
means complete, for the two great convents with 
their cloisters and campaniles have survived, and so 
has the Torre deU' orologio, though somewhat 
shaken from the perpendicular. 

Further enquiry proves that it was generally in the 
valley that the earthquakes did most harm, not 
only in 1667, but on all other occasions of which the 
accounts have been preserved. In the suburbs of 
Ragusa the shocks are much slighter. Sir Grardner 
Wilkinson^ says that no shock of earthquake has 
ever been felt at Gravosa ; and though this is con- 
tradicted by the records of the great earthquake of 
1667, which ruined many buildings at Gravosa and 
Ombla and on the island of Mezzo, there is no doubt 
that earthquakes are much less felt in the neigh- 
bourhood than the city, and much less in the hiUy 
parts of the city than in the central level of the 
Corso and Piazza. 

* Sir G. Wilkinson, vol. i. pp. 344, 364. 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa. 321 

There is then no modem newness to disappoint 
the visitor. Even the seventeenth century houses 
of the Corso or Stradone are now grey, and, being 
built in the traditional way with arches on the 
ground floor open to the street, and stone counters 
half-way across the opening, they are quite pictur- 
esque enough, and the general view of this fine 
street is dignified and interesting. In the open 
shops on either hand the tradesmen are to be 
seen busy at their various crafts. Here is a silver- 
smith making the beautiful buttons of silver filagree 
with which the peasants cover their jackets, or long 
hairpins like rapiers with a little bird perched on 
the crosshilt, or earrings with pendent pearls, all of 
antique and traditional designs, often quite Byzan- 
tine in character and possibly actually derived from 
Byzantine patterns. Here cross-legged on the raised 
counter sit two or three tailors in loose black Turkish 
trousers, — Albanians probably ,^-engaged in embroi- 
dering with silver or gold braid the jackets and 
caps of the men and women of the Canali, or of 
Montenegro, the patterns being all worked by eye 
without any traced lines, and no two being quite 
alike, though all conforming to a common scheme of 
ornament. Other shops are all ablaze with brilliant 
scarfe and gay handkerchiefs, the specialty of the 
women of Ragusa, who dress like the Italians in 
printed cottons and plain gowns, and not after the 
quaint fashions of the Slavs of the neighbourhood. 
Of the latter the town is always ftdl, and the splen- 
dour of their dress surpassed anything we had seen 

VOL. n. Y 

322 Ragusa. [Ch. XX. 

before. There were Canalesi women with brilliantly 
white coifs stiffly starched and pleated, and Herzego- 
vinian women with red beretta and flowing white 
handkerchief like a bridal veil. Both men and 
women wear waistcoats and jackets covered with 
rich embroidery in gold and silver braid and hung 
with buttons of silver gilt filagree, the matron being 
further distinguished by an edging of gold braid 
added at marriage to the gorgeous waistcoat which 
was the lover s gift. The men wear full Turkish 
breeches of dark blue, girdled with rich sashes sup- 
porting the leather pouch and various knives and 
pistols. Their headdress varies from the turban of 
the Bosnians to the ordinary red cap of Dalmatia, or 
the ' pork-pie ' beretta of Herzegovina, black edged 
and red crowned, with a half-eclipsed circle of gold 
braiding, amid which sometimes is seen the cypher 
N • I proclaiming the wearer a subject of the free 
highland principality of Nicolas I of Montenegro. 

A passage under the archway of the town belfry 
leads to the gateway of the old harbour of the 
Republic, small and difficult of entry, and now 
generally forsaken for the more commodious haven 
of Gravosa. Here are the moles of Pasquale di 
Michele^ the Ragusan engineer who improved the 
harbour in 1495 ; huge walls and towers encircle the 
basin on the sea side ; and across the entrance used 
to be drawn a chain in time of danger. Vast arches 
in the back wall, now built up, led to the sheds or 
boat-houses of the galleys which were drawn up 

^ (Jelcich, Ragusa, p. 70. 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa. 323 

inside 843 in the old arsenal at Lesina ; the ^galearum 
domus in qua triremes pulchrae et hiremes resident^.* 
From the port a winding ascent leads through at 
least three encircling walls and gates to the Porta 
Plocce and the road to Cattaro. These walls are 
literally stupendous, and I know no mediaeval forti- 
fications that give a stronger impression of impreg- 

Ragusa is perhaps the most agreeable place in 
Dalmatia for a prolonged stay. The buildings are 
full of interest, the smoothly flagged streets are 
bright and clean, gay with open shops, and peopled 
with brilliant costumes ; there are pleasant caflF^s, 
and really tolerable eating-houses, though cooking 
is perhaps the most backward art in Dalmatia for 
want no doubt of better materials, and excellent 
rooms are to be had in the old palace outside the 
Porta Pile, now converted into the Albergo 
Miramar. The coast scenery is exquisite, with 
lofty mountains and broken foreshore, against which 
beats the bluest of seas, the rich coloiu:ing of the 
rocks being set off by dark evergreens, grey olives, 
and glaucous green aloes. So near do the mountains 
come to the sea that Ragusa completely bars the 
passage, blocking the coast road, which in fact 
runs through the city from gate to gate. Scarcely 
among all the enchanting shores of the Mediter- 
ranean and its dependent seas can be foimd scenes 
to surpass that which presents itself as one issues 
from the town by the Porta Plocce, and follows 
* De Diversis, p. 42. 
Y 2 

324 Ragusa. [Ch. XX. 

the coast road southwards. We never tired of 
sauntering here in the evening, when the fading 
light had put a stop to sketching, and the day's 
work was done, to watch the heightened tints on 
rock and tree gathering fresh splendour from the 
dying sun, while behind us the ancient city with 
all its towers and bastions stood sharply cut out 
against the flaming sky. As we returned, and 
passing the drawbridge threaded the threefold 
girdle of massive walls and gates with the pro- 
tecting figiure of S. Blaize above us, and descended 
the steep winding street under the shadow of the 
great Dominican convent, there was nothing wanting 
to stir the imagination. Ragusa has preserved 
completely the character of a mediaeval city. From 
whatever side you regard her, she appears sur- 
rounded by a chain of frowning towers, and girt 
by mighty walls over which little more than the 
towers of the churches can be seen, while towards 
the sea she presents nothing but a line of walls 
and towers, crowning the verge of an inaccessible 

Behind this cliff the ground falls inward to the 
Corso, which divides the town in two, and this 
hill between the Corso and the sea was the seat 
of the original colony. In the middle of this part 
of the town, therefore, we must, according to Con- 
stantino Porphyrogenitus \ look for the church of 
Saint Stephen. And here in fact are shewn the 
four walls of a himible edifice, to which tradition 
' See above, p. 286. 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: S. Stefano. 325 

points as the ancient fane of the refugee dwellers 
on the crags. Little enough can be gathered from 
the building itself: that it should be mean and 
humble is rather in favour of its claim to be the 
mother-church of Ragusa. Professor Gelcich well 
describes the probable appearance of a church such 
as this in the tenth century in southern Dalmatia. 
* Instead of a work of art we must imagine a chapel 
capable of containing few beyond the ministers of 
the altar; low-vaulted, decorated inside, and often 
outside, with frescoes, with an apse no larger than 
ivas required for the altar, and lighted only by a 
few rays entering through an uneven number of holes 
made in the slab of stone that closed the single 
vrindow, generally placed over the altar ^ J That this 
is not too humble a picture is proved by the analogy 
of three or four ancient churches at Zara, two at; 
Nona, and one at Trati, and we need not therefore 
be shocked at the meanness of the building here 
shewn as the church of the Holy Stephen, which, 
though once the duomo of Eagusa, is now neither 
more nor less than a hen-house, adjoining the 
roofless area of a larger church, to which it had 
in later ages served as a sacristy. Both churches 
were ruined by the earthquake of 1667, and the 
site of the larger one is now a green sward, used as 
B, drying-ground, where we found the carcase of 
an eagle hung up to dry, a trophy of the gun of 
the servant who admitted us. Over the door of 
this enclosure is fixed a very interesting Byzantine 
* Gelcicb, Ragusa, p. 14. 

326 Ragusa: S. Giacomo in Peline. [Ch. xx. 

sculpture ^ of two arches, each containing a cross, 
and this with other fi-agments of interlacing or- 
nament that remain near it is in the Byzantine 
manner, and may be of the ninth century. Prof 
Gelcich says the pierced window slab still exists, 
but we did not see it. 

The next church in point of antiquity is that 
of San Giacomo in Peline *, which is still complete, 
and even used now and then for service. Externally 
there is nothing to proclaim it a church, and we 
had to enter it through an adjoining cottage. It 
consists of a nave about eight feet wide and three 
bays long, each bay measuring six feet in length, 
and it ends eastward with an apse. The vault is 
a compromise between groined and barrel con- 
struction, for there are lateral arches, though they 
are very low and the groins are very slightly 
developed ; but the building suffered by the earth- 
quake of 1667, and possibly the vault is not in its 
original state. The only object of any interest which 
it contains is a fourteenth century painting of the 
Madonna over the altar. 

The other chiu:ches of the Byzantine period, 
S. Maria in Castello and S. Nicolb in Prijeka, have 
been rebuilt, and Ragusa now contains nothing more 
of the Byzantine period, unless a fine early doorway 
on the hiU near the duomo (Fig. 62) may be as 

^ See illustration, PI. I. Fig. i, Vol. I. p. 214 supra. 

^ Feline is the Slav name of the herb Salvia, which has given 
its name to the northern half of the city on the slopes of Monte 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa : the Rectors Palace. 


old as the twelfth century. Eitelberger says * of 
Eastern Byzantine buildings no vestige remains, and 
only the names of Monte Sergio and some saints 
remind one of the East and the Eastern church ^.' 
This is not absolutely correct, as we have seen, but 
yet it is not far from the truth. The architectural 
retaains of Ragusa date from the time of Venetian 

Fig. 62. 

rule, or the period of Independence, and the noblest 
monument of her ancient freedom and prosperity 
is the Palace of the Rectors of the Republic. 

The Rector's Palace. 

In order to trace the history of this, the most 
interesting building in Ragusa — I had almost said 
in Dalmatia — ^we must go back to the early days of 
' Eitelberger, ed. 1884, p. 314. 

328 Ragusa: the Rector^ s Palace. [Ch. XX. 

the settlement, when the Corso was occupied by 
a shallow marshy channel or canal, which ran east 
and west from sea to sea, making an island of the 
Roman settlement on the craggy hill to the south, 
and separating it from the rival colony of Vlachs. 
Against these doubtful neighbours the AawraFoi 
built a fort on their side of the canal, just where the 
palace of the Rectors now stands. And when the 
two colonies were joined together and enclosed by 
one common line of towers and walls, the old castle, 
no longer needed as an outpost, became the seat 
of government, and residence of the prefect, prior, 
or coimt, or whatever might be the title of the 
chief magistrate for the time being. 

Various improvements and alterations were doubt- 
less made in this building to fit it for its purpose, 
and probably very few traces remained of the original 
structure in 1388, when it was removed altogether 
to make way for a new palace for the Rector ^. 

The new palace, however, had not been long com- 
pleted when it became a prey to the flames. On 
the loth of August, 1435, ^ ^^ broke out, which is 
described by De Diversis, an eye-witness, as having 
consumed the 'spacious Palace of Ragusay which 
wa^ in ancient times the Castle^ together with certain 
towerSy and nearly all the ammunition and aimis 
which were kept there for the defence of the city and 
armcmient of the galleys \' These towers must have 

' Gelcich, Dello Sviluppo Civile di Ragusa, p. 43 
' De Diversis, p. 41, ed. Bnmelli. He settled at Bagusa the 
year before this accident. 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: tJie Rector s Palace. 329 

been part of the arsenal which stood by the port 
and adjoined the back of the palace, and the mis-^ 
chief was in great measure caused by the explosion 
of the powder magazines, which the Eagusans, 
though warned by repeated accidents, kept in 
dangerous vicinity to their principal municipal 

The next step will be best described in the words 
of De Diversis himself ^ He says ^the Ragusan 
gwernment decided that the Palace should he rebuilt 
with more magnijicent construction^ sparing no ex- 
pense, and that the greater part of the former castle 
which the fiery fiame had not consumed should he 
levelled with the ground, the architect being a certain 
Master Onofrio CHordani di La Cava, of the Tdngdom 
of Naples. The walls are made of ashlar stones 2, 
finely wrought and very ornamentally carved, with 
great vaults resting on tall and stout columns which 
were brought by sea from Curzola. The- capitals, or 
upper parts of these colwmns, are carved with great 
pains. There are five large entire columns, but two 
other half columns, one attached to one tower the 
other to the other ; on the first was carved Aesculapius, 
the restorer of medical art, at the instigation of that 
remarkable poet and most learned man of letters, 
Nicolo de Lazina^, a noble of Cremona, a man 

^ I translate from the HS. in the Franciscan convent at Ragasa, 
which contains passages not to be found in Prof. Bmnelli's pub- 
lication of the MS. at Zara. 

* Lajfndibua vivia ; he elsewhere explains ' lapidibus non terreis 
sed ut communi nomine ntar vivis,' p. 29, ed. Brunelli. 

' Thus in the Franciscan MS., but Brunelli calls him Larina and 

330 Ragusa : the Rector's Palace. [Oh. XX. 

beyond doubt of great weight, and among the learned 
approved for his worthy deserts, who, in order to re-^ 
tire for a little from the dissensions of his country, 
undertook to exercise arid bear the burden of the 
chancellorship of Ragusa, and is now bearing it. 
For he, since he knew and had learned in his 
literary studies that Aesculapius had his origin at 
Epidaurus, which is now called Ragusa, took the 
greatest pains and trouble that his image should be 
carved on the building, and he composed a metricaX 
epitaph to him, which uxis fixed in the wall. On a 
certain column of the entrance of the Palace is seen 
sculptured the first righteous judgment of Solomon. 
In a certain angle of the principal door is the like- 
ness of the Rector hearing offences. At the entrance 
of the Lesser Council, of which I shall have to speak 
by and bye, is a certain sculpture of Justice holding 
a ''briefs on which is read as follows — '' Jussi strni- 
ma mei sua vos cuicunque tueri''' 

It was not very long before this second palace 
was overtaken by a fate similar to that which befel 
the first. On Aug. 8, 1462, a fire broke out, fol- 
lowed by the explosion of the powder magazine in 
the arsenal, which, by a strange perversity, the 
Eagusans persisted in keeping close to their prin- 

Gelcich LazirL Cremona was at this time often the battlefield of 
the contending armies of Filippo Maria Yisconti and the allied 
forces of Venice and Florence. In 1427 there was a naval engage- 
ment on the Fo, near Cremona, and in 143 1 Carmagnola there met 
with the check at the hands of Francesco Sforza which roused 
the suspicions of the Venetians and occasioned hb disgrace and 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: the Rectors Palace. 331 

<5ipal buildings, and the greater part of the Rector's 
palace was destroyed, the ground-floor alone, as we 
are told ^ escaping the general ruin. 

The Grand Council at once set about repairing 
this misfortune, and entrusted the work to two 
famous artists, Michelozzo Michelozzi * and Giorgio 
Orsini, or, as his admiring countrymen call him, 
Giorgio Dalmatico. Michelozzo had been a pupil of 
Donatello, and had earned considerable reputation 
as a sculptor. * But in one thing I says Vasari, ' he 
surpassed Tnany, and himself also ^ namely y that after 
Brundleschi he vxxs reckoned the most able architect 
of his time, the one who most conveniently ordered 
and disposed the accommodation of palaces convents 
and houses, and the one who shewed most judgment 
in introducing improvements' Michelozzo was one 
of the early masters of the classic renaissance, and 
his influence may probably be detected in the adop- 
tion of the new style for the alterations and repains 
in the palace. He seems to have been personally at 
Ragusa in March, 1463, superintending the con- 
struction of the city walls ; and on Feb. 11, 1464 the 
Consiglio dei Rogati ordered that the palace be re- 
built according to the design jand advice of Michel- 

^ Gelcich, p. 63. 

' In 1430 Michelozzo begun the palace for Cosimo dei Medici 
now known as the Palazzo Eiccardi at Florence. Accompanying 
his patron into exile in 1433, he went with him to Venice, where 
he built the Library of S. Giorgio Haggiore. He returned to 
Florence with Cosimo in 1434, where he made yarioas ingenious 
repairs to the Palazzo Vecchio, and built the Convent of S. Marco, 
1437-52. Vasari does not give the date of his death, which seems 
to have occurred in 1478. 

332 Ragusa: the Rector^ s Palace. [Ch. xx. 

otio ingeniaro'^. His important engagements else- 
where perhaps prevented his staying to complete 
his work at Ragusa, and in the following June 
Giorgio Orsini was appointed to carry on the work *, 
following, no doubt, the general instructions and 
plans of Michelozzo. The history of Giorgio Orsini 
belongs more properly to Sebenico, and his name is 
inseparably connected with its beautiful cathedrals 
By these two architects the palace was reduced 
pretty nearly to the form in which it has come 
down to us ; for although the building was injured 
at the earthquake of 1667 and underwent extensive 
repairs, so that for a time the Rector had to be 
housed elsewhere *, it has no details of much archi- 
tectural importance later than those of 1464. The 
foregoing is its history, so fax as it has been gathered 
from documents. Our task is to compare these 
written accounts with the actual building, and to 
distinguish the work of Onofrio di La Cava in 1435 

^ Atti dei Kogati, communicated to me by Prof. G. Gelcich. 

' Minute of the Great Council of Ragusa in the year 1464, 
Dec. 2. < Prima pars est de reassumendo ad salarium Communis 
no8tri Magistrum Georginm de Sibenico ingeniarium per menses 
octo, inceptos die qua finierunt primi quatuor menses, videlicet 
die 23 Octobris, cum salario consueto, videlicet ad rationem iper- 
perorum sexcentorum in anno.' Fosco, La Cathedrale di Sebenico, 
p. 15. I have in a former chapter (vol. I. p. 398) alluded to 
the theory of another writer that Giorgio was converted from 
a Gothic into a Classic architect by his association with Michelozzo 
at Ragusa. It seems to me only partially true, for the work he 
did at Sebenico before coming to Ragusa was already tinged with 
renaissance feeling. 

• Vid. supra, ch. ix. on Sebenico, vol. I. pp. 389-393. 

* Gelcich, pp. 67, 68. 

\2 >^ 


m " 






- del 

R etto re. 

a 6 

I i 1 1 1 1 1 m 


T G.J 

^oUoQ^f^eC /43S^ 

,r.^ -i^ F>^ ' : >. r.-^.hr, 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: the Rectpr^s Palace^ 333 

from that of Michelozzo and Giorgio Orsini in 

The architectural history of the palace at Ragusa 
is very similar to that of the duomo of Sebenico. 
In both buildings we find different architects at 
work at a short interval, and during that interval 
we find that architectiu*e had begun to pass into a 
new phase. Antonio the Venetian at Sebenico, and 
Onofrio the Neapolitan at Ragusa, were both of 
them Gothic architects, while Michelozzo and 
Giorgio Orsini, the latter of whom took up their 
work in both places, were the apostles of the 
Classic renaissance in Dalmatia, and, if we bear 
this in mind, the architecture of the two periods 
will be as easily distinguished here as at Sebenico, 

The facade towards the Piazza is two stories 
high. The upper floor has a range of eight two-light 
Gothic windows, and the lower a loggia of six arches 
between two solid structures which contain windows 
(Plates XXXVIII, XXXIX). The reason why the 
arcade is not continued to the ends of the building, 
as Professor Freeman^ would have had it, is ex- 
plained by the allusion of De Diversis to a tower at 
each end of the front, which would of course demand 
a solid substructure. The little silver model of this 
palace in the hand of the statue of S. Biagio (Plate 
XLIX) seems to shew a low tower at either end of 
the facade, raised only by one extra story above the 
rest of a two-storied building *. 

' Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice, p. 245. 

^ In these towers we may perhaps find the explanation of the 

334 Ragusa: the Rector^ s Palace. [Ch. xx. 

No sooner does the eye fall on the Loggia than it 
encounters the Aesculapius capital devised by the 
Cremonese chancellor, which De Diversis saw in the 
carver's hands in 1435 (Plate XL), and on the wall 
close by it is the chancellor's metrical ^ epitaph ' : — 


Here there is unmistakeably a piece of Onofiio's work, 
and from this Professor Gelcich^ not unnaturally 
concludes the whole portico to be his. Professor 
Eitelberger ^, on the contrary, concludes that this 
capital is a relic of the older building, but that ' the 
other capitals with angels, festoons, and foliage, have, 
like the whole structure of the pillars, the decided 
character of the renaissance.' Professor Freeman * 
seems of the same opinion as Professor Gelcich. It 
seemed to me, however, from the first, that the 
problem was not to be solved so simply; on one 
hand the arcade obviously contains much more of 

tradition that there was a third story to the palace (i. e. ground 
first and second floors), and that the second floor was thrown down 
by the earthquake of 1 667, and not rebuilt. Vid. Brunelli ; notes to 
De Diversis, p. 43. GFelcich, pp. d^^ 67. 

^ Gelcich, p. 63. • Eitelberger, p. 320, ed. 1884. 

• Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice, p. 246. 




Capital of Palace 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: the Rector s Palace. 


Onofiio's work than this one Aesculapius capital, 
and on the other it obviously contains much that 
is later than his time, and in a style that is not 
his. The six round arches, for instance, cannot be 
iiis, for they are unmistakeably of renaissance work, 
with festoons of oak leaves twined with ribbons in 

Fig. 63. 

true classic fashion. So also are the three central 
capitals marked c. D. E. (vid. Plate XXXIX), which 
are made up of amorini festoons and other familiar 
Kievices of the period, not particularly well executed 
(Fig. (>i). But the other four capitals, G. F. B, and 

336 Ragusa: the Rector's Palace. [Ch. XX. 

the Aesciilapius capital A, are in a totally diflferent 
style from the central three, and of a far higher 
order of merit. The three renaissance capitals are 
only mediocre works, but the other four are veritable 
gems of Gothic sculpture. One of them especially, — 
that marked B (Plate XLI), — ^is exquisite in design 
and perfect in execution ; the tender rigidity of the 
foliage, the delicate pencilling of the fibres, and 
the just proportioning of light and shade in this 
lovely piece of sculptiu*e can hardly be surpassed. 

These four capitals — ^A. B. F. G. — ^may without hesi- 
tation be ascribed to Onofrio di La Cava, and the 
remaining three — c. D. E. — ^to the later architects of 
1464. To the later date also belong the heavy 
abaci, with their four rows of classic enrichments, 
which crown all the seven capitals both early and 
late. By careful examination from a ladder I found 
they were all on distinct stones from the capital 
proper, and moreover it appeared that the older 
capitals had originally only a very shallow abacus, 
decorated in some cases with a band of running 
leaves, as may still be seen in the respond G, (viA 
Plate XXXIX) where the original abacus remains 
below the later superimposed abacus, and also in 
another capital to be described by and bye. 

The columns, although they are regularly dimin- 
ished with an entasis in classic fashion, belong to this 
earlier date, and the responds are probably exactly 
as Onofrio built them, untouched since his time. 

This being so, the story of the loggia is as fol- 
lows. We have of Onofrio's work the fom* extreme 




Capitello a Gravosa. 

T G.J, del 

Oh. XX.] Ragusa: the Rector's Palace. 337 

capitals A. b. f. g, the whole of his five columns of 
Curzolan stone, and the two half columns at the ends. 
His also are the interior walls of the loggia, on 
which may still be read the inscription recording 
the erection of the palace in 1435, *^® second yeai' 
of the Emperor Sigismund^ with the brackets or 
consoles that carry the vaulting, the groimdfloor 
and mezzanine windows, and the magnificent door 
in the back wall that admits to the interior cortile. 
All this was preserved by the later architects when 
they took the building in hand, as indeed we are 
told their instructions directed. Three of the old 
capitals, however, those in the centre of the row, 
apparently being too much injured for use, were 
replaced by Giorgio with new ones of his own. On 
all seven he then placed his massive abaci, by no 
means to the injury of their architectural effect, and 

^ That is to say the second year after his coronation at Rome in 
1433. ^® ^^ ^^ elected Emperor in 14 10, crowned at Aix-la- 
Chapelle in 14 14 and at Milan in 1431. The inscription runs 
thus: — 











K • A 

A • D • M • CCCC • XXXY • 8IGI8MYKDO » IMP • A • 5 • 


338 Ragusa: the Rector's Palace. [Ch. xx. 

then turned his round arches with their classic fes- 
toons and ribands. 

The correctness of this theory would be proved 
beyond a doubt if one or all of the three missing 
capitals of Onofrio's work could be found, a hopeless 
task after the lapse of more than four centuries but 
for a clue furnished by a passage in Professor Free- 
man's book. De Diversis mentions a capital in the 
entrance of the palace carved with the judgment of 
Solomon, and Professor Freeman saw a capital with 
this subject lying in a garden at Gravosa, but as the 
jfront arcade was complete without it he was at a 
loss to find a place for it ^. There is no difficulty, 
however, in this, on the theory that three of the 
present capitals of the arcade are interlopers. I 
started, therefore, for Gravosa with the hope that 
this might be, after all, one of the three missing 
capitals, which, having been in the centre of the 
arcade and in front of the doorway leading to the 
interior, might fairly be described by De Diversis as 
*m columna introitus PalatiV And so in feet it 
proved to be (Plate XLI); it corresponds exactly 
in dimensions with Onofrio's capitals ; it would fit 
exactly one of his columns ; it has the original shal- 
low abacus decorated with running foliage which I 
noticed as remaining in one of his capitals ^ below 
the later one imposed by Giorgio, and the design of 

* Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice, p. 250. Professor 
Freeman says the description 'cannot refer to the outer arcade, 
where none of the capitals show this subject/ The Solomon 
capital was I believe first noticed by Mr. Arthur Evans. 

* That marked o in my plan. 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: the Rector's Palace. 339 

the foliage on the back and sides is exactly the same 
as that on one of Onofiio's capitals (that marked 
g), which I had been drawing that very morning, 
with the selfsame birds perched in the middle and 
pecking fruit. The proof is conclusive and irresis- 
tible, but further confirmation was not wanting, for 
Count Caboga, to whom the capital belongs, said 
casually that he had heai'd there were two more 
capitals lying about somewhere, but that he had 
not been able to find them. Could we but find 
these we should have the entire series of Ono- 
fi[io's seven capitals ^ magna studio sculpta' in the 
year 1435 ^ 

The question occimg why Giorgio required the 
high massive abaci which he added to the capitals ; 
and, considering that Onofirio's building was in the 
Gothic style, and Giorgio's work in that of the 
renaissance, and that all the door and window 
arches in Onofirio's work are pointed, one is driven 
to the conclusion that the portico also originally 
had pointed arches springing fi:*om the shallow 
abacus which is in the solid stone of the capital, 
and that Giorgio, in order to make his round arches 
high enough for the vaulting, was driven to the 
expedient of raising their springing by means of 
these lofty abaci. The effect of the original arcade 
waa probably not unlike that of the nave arcades 
of the duomo of Curzola, though the sculpture there 

^ I must not fail to express my thanks to Count Caboga for 
a courteous reception and leave to study and draw the capital in 

Z 2 

340 Ragusa: the Rector^ s Palace. [Ch. xx. 

cannot be compared in point of merit with that of 
Onofrio's work at Ragusa. 

Fresh perplexities meet us in the upper story, for 
the carved stringcourse at the first floor level axid 
the eight windows above are all of good and genuine 
Gothic work of 1435, although they stand above 
renaissance work of 1464. About the end windows 
there is no difficulty; they came under the towers, 
and have windows of the same date below them, 
and have probably never been disturbed. But what 
about the central six over the portico ? The only 
explanation seems to be this : — that the fire and 
powder explosion so injured the central part of the 
loggia and the wall above it, where of comTse the 
structure was weakest, that it had to be taken 
down and rebuilt ; — that the ends of the building 
being more solid, escaped better, and required no 
rebuilding ; — ^and that after the arcade of the loggia 
had been rebuilt, the central part of the upper story 
was restored by resetting the old stonework and the 
old windows, together with the old carved string- 
course below them. This conjecture is confirmed 
by a minute of the grand council, Dec. 11, 1464, 
written in a ciuious half Italianized Latin, from 
which it seems that the front was not actually 
thrown down, but had to be partly taken down 
and reconstructed, which would account for the 
good preservation of these windows ^ 

^ ' Prima pars est de faciendo dein qaod restat de fabrica palatii, 
videlicet de fazata anteriori eo quia secundum parere magistri est 
periculosa sic stando et petras ponendi in fabrica dicti palatii 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: the Rector's Palace^ 341 

The doorway which leads from the loggia to the 
interior of the palace is very magnificent. A scroll 
of foliage rims round the pointed arch, from which 
emerge at intervals little half-length figm*es, while 
the capitals, and the stilted imposts that are inter- 
posed between capital and arch-springing, are rich 
with sculpture. The capitals proper are composed 
of animals and leafage intertwined ; that to the 
right is evidently carved by the same master-hand 
as the capital b (Plate XLI) while the other is 
very inferior, resembling ordinary late Venetian 
work. The stilted imposts and the arch are by 
the superior artist, and are admirably done. On 
the right hand impost the front face has four little 
boys with wings and nimbus ; one plays the organ, 
a second blows the bellows for him, and the other 
two are blowing trumpets. On the retiu'n face 
are three naked men with javelins and shields, 
who are advancing as if to disturb the harmony. 
On the other impost the inner return face is 
devoted to the peaceful, and the front face to the 
disorderly subject. The former represents a man 
embracing his wife with a winged boy by their side, 
while round the comer is a riotous troop of figures, 
one blowing a horn, and the others dancing or 
struggling or racing. All these are admirably 
carved, and full of life and fancy. This doorway- 
is part of Onofrio's buUding, and so is the Porta 
della Caritk at the south end of the loggia, where 

quod ad presens laboratur.' Fosco, Ija Cathedrale di Sebe- 
nico, p. 15. 

342 Ragusa : the Rector^ s Palace. [Ch. xx. 

the poor assembled in time of dearth to receive 
grain at moderate prices or on easy credit ^, as well 
as the other small door near it which led by a 
private stair to the haU of the Lesser Council in 
the Mezzanine story. So also are the arcaded 
marble seats running along the back wall, where 
* Sotto i voltiy as the old docimients phrase it, the 
rector and the great council sat in state on grand 
days. To the right of the doorway the seats are 
two tiers high, to the left only one tier^ those 
to the right being the more honourable seats of the 
rector, with the archbishop on his right, the repre- 
sentative of the empire on his left, and his lesser 
council around him \ 

Passing through the great gateway, and not 
omitting to notice the bronze knockers on the 
double door, one of which, a fine Byzantine lion's 
head, may possibly have survived from the palace of 
1 388 or from the still older castle, we find ourselves 
in the interior cortile, a square enclosed by two 
stories of arcades and not deficient in dignity 
(Plate XLII). All the arches are round, and both 
the upper and lower cloisters are vaulted, the iron 
ties so general in Italian architecture being here 

* Gelcicb, p. 63. 

* Shown incorrectly with two tiers in Prof. Eitelberger's draw- 
ing, PL xxiii, and in the sketch in Prof. Freeman's book, p. 245. 
There are, however, two tiers in the return across the north end. 

* The three northern arches were apparently once closed by 
a balustrade, of which the stopping is to be seen in the bases of 
the columns. This part may have been reserved originally for 
the magistracy. 

Rag USA. 

Plah> X/JI. 


/ 1__\ Twt to scale,. r r— J- 

.^iru^af *r'/J%cft^»W Landton 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: the Rector's Palace. 343 

for a wonder dispensed with. The lower arcade 
rests on plain cylindrical undiminished columns, 
with square plinths, and toes to the lower torus ; 
the capitals are of a well-known renaissance type, 
with shallow square abaci, and the width of the 
impost of the arches is confined, classic fashion, 
to the top diameter of the shaft, the mouldings 
being rather clumsily distorted and pinched in at 
their springing to reduce the impost sufficiently* 
All the mouldings are stopped on square stoolings. 

The upper arcade has twin colimaris, one behind 
the other, the efiect of which is spoiled by a glazed 
partition set in the openings, — a sad disfigurement \ 
The carving is coarse, and the details commonplace. 
These arcades are not older than the fire of 1464, 
but the wall behind stOl contains doors with pointed 
tympanum, and windows of Venetian Gothic, which 
all belonged to Onofrio's palace. 

On the left hand, as you enter, an imposing flight 
of stone steps of no great antiquity leads to the 
upper story, now the residence of the Capitano 
Distrettuale. But to the right, under the cloister, 
is a smaller staircase of Onofi:io's building, which 
leads to the Mezzanine story and the hall of the 
Minore consiglio, and beside the door of this hall 
still remains the figure of Justice, * Quaedara 
justitiae sculptura' of De Diversis, holding her 
* breve ' with the now scarcely legible words * Jussi 
smnma mei,' &c. &c. She is carved on a bracket 
or console, and from behind her flowing drapery, 
^ This glazed partition is omitted in the illustration. 


Ragusa : the Rector's Palace. [Ch. XX. 

crinkled in crisp Dureresque folds, peep out the 
mutilated figures of two lions keeping guard, one on 
each side of her (Fig. 64). Here too is preserved 
that other capital of the rector administering 
justice (Plate XLIII) which De Diversis describes. 
It is not however in its original place, but serves as 

part of the capital of a detached square shaft, 
though a moment's observation shows that it once 
fitted a round attached shaft, and it is only adapted 
to the square pier by a rudely cut leaf which eases 
off the inconvenient angle. The style of the %ures, 

Plate XLin . 


Capital in the Palace. 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: the Rector s Palace. 345 

though they are on a much smaller scale, corresponds 
exactly with those of the ^sculapius and Solomon 
capitals, and the rector here wears the coif of 
a doctor of law, just as Solomon's principal law 
officer does. The culprit who is brought up for 
sentence has a dogged look, and the satisfied and 
complacent air of the officer who has ' run him in ' 
is most amusingly expressed. On the return side 
is the secretary seated at a desk with a prisoner 
before him in custody of another officer. 

This was evidently the capital of a respond or 
door jamb, and so agrees with De Diversis's lan- 
guage, ^ In quodam angvlo januae principalis 
habetur Rectoris injurias audientis similitudo.' The 
janua principalis may have been the inner arch of 
the passage from the piazza. 

The interior of the palace has been modernized, 
and contains little of interest, except two pictures. 
One hangs in the drawing-room of the Capitano 
Distrettuale, and is easily recognized by an English- 
man as a duplicate of the Daphnis and Chloe, by 
Paris Bordone, in our National Gallery. The other 
picture is a lunette in a room of the Mezzanine, 
the old anteroom of the hall of the lesser council. 
It is an oil painting on canvas, in fair condition, 
and represents the Baptism of our Lord, with the 
three figures of Christ, an angel, and St. John. 
The faces are very beautiful, and the figures though 
lean and severe are well drawn. The water is 
treated conventionally, and stands on a heap, as 
in the Gothic sculptures. This interesting painting 

346 Ragusa : the Duomo. [Ch. xx. 

is in the manner of Mantegna, and probably of his 

The Duomo. 

Of all the losses Ragusa sustained by the great 
earthquake of 1667 that of the ancient duomo is 
most to be regretted. Built about the opening of 
the thirteenth century, whether by the aid of 
King Richard of England or not we need not 
here stay to enquire, it must have been the most 
splendid monument in Dalmatia of a period which 
is but sparingly represented there. The description 
in De Diversis ^ is strangely incomprehensible in 
some particulars, but it produces a tantalizing im- 
pression of mosaic floors, vaulted roofe on lofty and 
massive columns, figures of animals inserted in the 
masonry, walls pictured with histories from the Old 
and New Testaments, marble thrones for the arch- 
bishop and the rector, a ciborium over the high 
altar resting on four columns, a silver ^ pala ' or rere- 
dos, a pulpit or ambo on columns of marvellous 
workmanship, and coloured glass in every window, 
great and small, casting a dim religious light on all 
these sacred objects. We make out that it was a 
church with nave and side aisles, the nave being 
appropriated to the men and the aisles to the 
women ; custom would have required that it should 
end in three apses, though there is some evidence 
to the contrary, as we shall see hereafter 2; and, 

* De Diversis, ed. Brunelli, p. 28. 

* Vid. infra, pp. 366 and 377. 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa : the Duomo. 347 

with the additional aid of the model of Ragusa in 
the hand of the statuette of S. Biagio, we further 
gather that it had a cupola mounted on a drum 
pierced with windows, and that the nave had a low 
clerestory. There seems also to have been some- 
thing of the nature of a triforium ; at least in no 
other way can I understand the ^ quaedam capdla 
non tarn pulchra quam devota' which was formed 
above "the vaulting of the aisles, and above which 
again were * cdii et supeHores architecti usque fere 
ad operturam inferiorem templi/ that is, up to the 
exterior roofing of the side aisles. One of the most 
singular parts of the design must have been the 
covered ambulatory or cloister decorated with carv- 
ings of various animals, which surroimded the chm-ch 
and reached to more than half the height of the 
aisle walls, and was covered by a leaden roof ^ 

Thus much we may gather from the account of 
De Diversis, and the little silver model in the hand 
of the statue of S. Biagio. The details we must fill 
up from imagination by the analogy of other Dal- 
matian churches. This church was building at the 
same time that the naves of Lincoln and of Wells 
were rising in our own country in perfectly developed 
pointed architectm-e, but we must not suppose that 
the cathedral of Ragusa had, like them, shaken off 

* De Diversis, p. 29, ed. Bronelli. 'Exterius habentes (sc. 
parietes) columnulas circum, unde facilis est gressus et deambulatio 
circa templum. Transcendit autem locus iste in modum deambu- 
latorii medium altitudinis murorum cum multis diversorum ani- 
malium simulacris muris insertis, cooperatura ipsius plumbea.' 

348 Ragusa : the Duomo, [Ch. xx. 

the earlier style. Like the duomo of Lucca, with 
which it was also coeval, it must have been a round- 
arched building, but unlike the Lombard buildings 
it no doubt retained the Byzantine detail, the 
crisply curved and sharply raffled leaves, and the flat 
shallow surface carving which prevails throughout 
Dalmatia, from Veglia and Arbe to Zara and Spa- 
lato, even in buildings that do not go back to the 
period of Byzantine rule. 

Of the new duomo, built between 1671 and 171 3, 
it is not necessary to say much. It is a fine spacious 
building in a tolerably pure classic style, which owes 
whatever charm it may possess to the lovely cream- 
coloured stone — almost a marble — of which it is 
built. The attractions it now offers are confined to 
the contents of the treasury and to a few of the 
pictures that hang on the walls. 

The treasury is famous even among Dalmatian 
treasuries for the value and beauty of its contents. 
It is enclosed within massive doors and bars, and 
admission is only gained by the joint consent of the 
bishop, the commime, and the treasurer of the 
church, who have each a separate key to open a 
separate lock. It is extremely difficult to get leave 
for a prolonged examination of the contents or to 
take drawings of them, and till lately it seems to 
have been difficult even to enter the treasury at 
aU. Mr. Neale^ gazed hopelessly through the 

* Notes on Dalmatia by the Rev. J. M. Neale, M.A., Warden of 
Sackville College, published 1861. Hayes, Lyall Place, Eaton 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa : the Duomo. 349 

bars, and sighed in vain for only one half-hour to 
examine the precious objects behind them more 
closely, although he exhausted all the arts of per- 
suasion and all the seductions of bribery upon the 
incorruptible attendants. I am indebted to the 
good offices of my kind fiiend Professor Giuseppe 
G^lcich for the permission, which was most liberally 
accorded me by the authorities of the church and the 
commune, to study and draw whatever I liked, and 
to stay as long as I wished ; and the length of my 
observations was only limited by consideration for 
the courteous priest who attended as treasurer of 
the chiu-ch, and the two servants of the archbishop 
and the commune, who also had to wait in charge of 
their respective keys as long as I remained there. 

The principal object of interest in the collection is 
the crown-shaped casket of enamelled work, in which 
the Eagusans venerate the skull, or part of the skull, 
of their patron S. Biagio or St. Blaize (Plate XLIV). 
It measures 64 inches in diameter at the base, swells 
out to 64- inches, and is closed by a domed top, the 
total height being six inches ; and it is just large 
enough to contain a skull without the lower jaw. 
The surface is covered with filagree and enamels. The 
groimdwork, which is probably of copper, is entirely 
concealed by twenty-four distinct plaques of metal, 
on which the enamels and filagree are laid. These 
plaques are placed close together, edge to edge, but 
are not attached to one another ; they are secured 
to the groimdwork by little gold pins, and each is 
enclosed by a border of gold twist. Eight of them 

350 Ragusa: the Duomo. [Ch. XX* 

surround the base, eight more the middle of the 
case, and the dome is formed by a circle of 'fili- 
grana ' in the centre, round which are the remaining 
eight plaques, four of them being triangular gussets 
and the other four rather more than squares. Set- 
ting aside the four triangular plaques, the other 
twenty have in the centre each a small medallion of 
thick metal, held by a vandyked border which is 
turned over to clip it. The eight in the middle tier 
are round and square alternately, and each bears 
the half-length figure of a saint in enamel on a gilt 
field, those on the square medallions being named 
successively from left to right sajh^s blasivs — 


These names are in Lombardic letters, and Professor 
Eitelberger remarks that they have been added 
subsequently to the original enamelling. The saints 
on the roimd medallions are anonymous. 

In the lower tier all the medallions are roimd, 
and bear alternately a figm^e and an ornamental 
pattern. The figures are our Lord with the mono- 
grams ic • xc — s • 10 • BAPT — s • ^enobius — 
s • Id^es £bSgelisa\ i. e. Evangelista. 

On the dome are four saints, s. M, which Professor 
Eitelberger interprets * Saint Michael,' §. blasivs for 
the second time, s. petrvs also for the second time, 

and S. ANDREAS. 

The whole surface, where not occupied by the 
medallions, is covered with the richest and most 

^ Prof. Eitelberger, p. 329, reads this name s. iohes. s. babesis, 
St. John of Bari (??). 

Gh. XX.] Ragusa: the Duomo. 351 

delicate enamel work; amid which in the upper 
part are introduced rosettes of pearls, each separate 
pearl pinned on with a little gold naU through it ; 
and little flies or bees modelled in relief and with 
enamelled wings are crawling towards these precious 
flowers as if to sip their sweets \ 

Of the date of this reliquary no one has spoken 
with any confidence. Resti believes it to have been 
brought hither from the Levant in 1026. De Diversis 
does not mention it in his account of the treasures of 
the duomo. Professor Eitelberger merely observes 
that it has lost some of its value by the addition of 
names to the saints in the thirteenth or fourteenth 
century, or even later. The close examination, how- 
ever, which, by the courtesy of the custodians, I 
was allowed to make of this reliquary, which is 
generally only venerated at a distance and seldom 
handled, has enabled me to ascertain the exact date 
of at all events the greater part of the casket as it 
at present exists. 

When studied closely it becomes apparent that 
the reliquary is the work of very different hands 
and widely different periods. The medallions are 
executed in a manner quite different from the rest ; 
but in order to make this difference intelligible to 
general readers it will be necessary perhaps to ex- 
plain briefly the two methods of enamelling practised 
during the middle ages. 

The first kind, ^cloisonni^ enamel, to use the 
French name, or filagree-mosaic enamel, as Digby 
* These flies are omitted in Prof. Eitelberger's Plate xxvi. 

352 Ragusa: the Duomo. [Ch. XX. 

Wyatt^ calls it, was a Byzantine art which was 
practised from the time of Justinian downwards, 
and the method of workmanship is described in a 
treatise by the artist-monk TheophUus, written pro- 
bably about the eleventh century, when this art 
attained its perfection. The method is this. Long 
narrow ribands of gold set on edge are bent to the 
forms of the patterns desired, and are then soldered 
down to a plate of metal ; the cells thus formed are 
filled in with enamel made of powdered glass, and 
the whole is fired tiU the glass melts and adheres to 
the metal back and the dividing ribands. The sur- 
face is then rubbed down and polished, and the 
design is given by the mosaic of enamel, sharply 
outlined by the thin gold line which is the edge of 
the gold riband. 

ChcumplevS enamel is exactly the reverse of 
cloisonn6. As before, the object is to form cells to 
contain the enamel ; but they are formed by being 
chased out of a solid plate of copper, and the divid- 
ing lines are left in the solid metal of the plate 
instead of being put on as in the Byzantine method. 
The enamel is put in, fired, and the whole polished, 
when the effect is very like that of cloisonnd enamel, 
though the dividing lines are less delicate, and being 
of copper instead of gold they require to be gilt. 
This was the method of the early Limoges enamels 
of the twelfth thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. 

The medallions in this reliquary of S. Biagio are 
executed principally though not entirely in the 
* Digby Wyatt, Metal- work, &c., p. xlv. 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: the Duomo. 353 

cloisoim6 manner. The whole space within the 
outline of the figure is sunk or * champlevSi but the 
dividing fillets are put on as in cloisonne work, not 
left in the solid metal of the plate as in true 
champlev^. The colours in these medallions are 
flat and uniform, not graduated, and are aU divided 
by metal lines which give the drawing. Even the 
minute black lines of the eyebrows are enclosed 
within a gold line, and so is the red colour of the 
lips, whUe the nose is only defined on the white 
enamel of the face by the gold thread with which it 
is drawn. These medallions are apparently Byzantine 
works of the eleventh or more likely the twelfth 

The lovely scrolls of flowers and leaves that cover 
the whole surface of the casket between the medal- 
lions are executed in a totally diflferent way. They 
too foUow to some extent the cloisonne mode, for 
they are all made by fixing gold ribands on edge 
upon the back plate and filling enamel into the cups 
or cells so formed. But in the first place, only the 
flowers and leaves and finiits are filled in with 
enamel, while their stalks are simply represented by 
the gold threads, and the ground is not filled in at 
all, — a startling departure fi:om ordinary use, — the 
copper back plate being exposed, and all the 
enamelled scrolls consequently being raised above it 
by the width of the gold ribands. In the next 
place the enamel of the flowers is shaded and 
marked with little fibres and spots in other colours, 
and instead of being polished smooth the surface 

VOL. II. A a 

354 Ragusa: the Duonw. [Ch. xx. 

remains as it came out of the furnace, slightly 
rounded and uneven. 

As I went on hour after hour with my drawing 
the conviction grew stronger that this part of the 
work must be very modem indeed compared with 
the plaques of Byzantine enamel, and at last the 
casket itself yielded to my perseverance and gave 
up its secret. Some erratic little lines of twisted 
gold close to the lower edge began to shape them- 
selves into letters, and finally, to my astonishment, 
I read as follows : — 

Franco Fen-o Venet^ • F . A • 1694 

The reliquary is in fact only 190 years old, though 
it has afl&xed to it twenty-four medallions of Byzan- 
tine work, which are no doubt part of an older 
casket. It may however be doubted whether these 
medallions all belonged originally to the same object, 
for it will be observed that there are two pictures of 
St. Blaize and two of St. Peter, which may once 
have formed parts of two diflFerent sets. 

The delicacy and beauty of the later enamel 
almost passes belief; so minute is it that it is im- 
possible to draw it correctly without the help of 
a powerful lens. The petals of the little flowers are 
exquisitely pencilled with rose or puce colour, and 
in the little pomegranates near the base the seeds 
are represented by dots of raised gold smaller than 
the smallest pin's head. The rich effect of the whole 
is due in a great measure to the pattern being raised, 
and to the deep reddish colour of the copper ground 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: the Duomo. 355 

Among the other treasures of the duomo is a fine 
ostensorio or monstrance, surmounted by a crucifix 
and sparingly decorated with enamel, whose crisply 
curling and wiry leaves seem to proclaim its origin 
in the land of Albert Durer. There is also a fine 
cross with an elegant firUling of sUver, containing 
what the Eagusans exhibit with pride as an un- 
usually large piece of the true cross. Also a silver 
hand-case with lovely filagree, and leg cases and 
arm cases of late fourteenth century work, some 
perhaps earlier, and one inscribed as the gift of 


has some good enamels. 

More curious and amazing is the famous ewer and 
basin, the same, according to tradition, which was 
made for Archbishop Maffei by Giovanni Progonovid, 
of the island of Mezzo, and intended as a present to 
Matthias Corvinus. The archbishop died in 1470, 
before the gift was effected, and left the ewer and 
basin by will to his nephew, Cristoforo Maffei. 
Nothing more deceptively natm^ has ever been 
done in the silversmith's art. The ewer holds what 

^ Thomas Palaeologus, Despot of Achaia, was the youngest brother 
of the Emperor Constantine XL A silver bull of his in 1451 
confers on the Ragusans certain commercial advantages, and the 
right of a loggia of their own, and a consul of their own appoint- 
ment with jurisdiction over their countrymen. He was expelled 
by the Turks in 1460, and died at Rome 1465. Du Cange, quoted 
Eitelberger, p. 329. This reliquary was given by him to Giorgio 
Radovanovid Crescimani in gratitude for the offer of a ship to 
convey him away in safety when the Turks invaded his state. 
Qelcich, Ragusa, p. 60. 

A a 2 

356 Ragusa : the Duomo. [Ch. xx. 

eeems at first sight a bunch of dried grasses and 
leaves, which prove to be of silver like the ewer 
itself, enamelled and stained with extraordinary 
fidelity to nature. The dish is strewn with fern 
leaves that tempt you to take them up, and among 
them are numerous eels lizards and creeping things 
modelled in silver, tinted to imitate natm-e with 
wonderfiil skill, and fixed loosely so as to seem to 
wriggle naturally when water was poured into the 
dish. It is the fi:eak of a clever workman, but too 
laborious for a fireak, and too deceptively natural to 
be ranked high as a work of art. 

It would be interesting if it could be proved that 
the ewer and basin were made by goldsmiths of 
Ragusa or Mezzo, but the plate mark, an n within a 
circle, is not that of Ragusa, and it is suggested by 
Prof Grelcich that it may be that of Nuremberg. 
That they can be the pieces of plate mentioned 
in the will of Archbishop Maffei in 1470 is quite 
impossible ; the design and style of workmanship 
belong to a much later period, and the real date is 
probably quite at the end of the sixteenth if not in the 
seventeenth century ^ The character of the design 

^ The will of Archbishop Maflfei, of which the following is an 
extract, does not describe the plate bequeathed : — 
' Ex testamto. Thimothei Maffei Archiepi. Racufini d. d. xx Apr. 


' . . . . habeo librof, pecuniaf et argenteriaf, qu^ intendo distri- 
buere pro anima mea : pro nunc dico quod inter alia habeo Boccale 
et Bacile de argento, quae feci fieri pro itinere Hungari^, quod 
Bacile et Boccale est adhuc in manibuf aurificif : dictum Boccale 
et Bacile dono, trado, et afigno Christophoro nepoti meo sibi, tibi 
notario recipienti pro ipso Christophoro, quia ipsum amavi ut 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: the Sponza. 357 

confirms the conjecture based on the plate mark, 
that the workmanship is that of Nuremberg. That 
it has no resemblance to the work of the silversmiths 
of Mezzo in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries 
may be seen at a glance by comparing it with the 
famous chalice of Mezzo, which probably dates from 
about the year 1 500 (infra, Plate L). 

The most important painting in the duomo is a 
very beautiful early Flemish triptych in the style 
of Memling, and not unworthy of his hand. It is 
described at length by Prof. Eitelberger. 

The Dogana or Sponza. 

The most striking building in Ragusa, next to the 
palace, is undoubtedly the Sponza or Dogana, the 
ancient custom-house and mint of the Republic. It 
stands in the Corso, overshadowed by the town 
belfry, and facing the open space that corresponds to 
the Venetian Piazzetta, on one side of which is 
situated the rectorial palace. Viewed in the reverse 

filium, et nihil sibi folvi pro mercede sua annorum trium, quibus 
mihi servivit, volo quod d. Boccale et Bacile sit suum et quodam 
mode intelligatur suum, et tauquam ref sua propria, et quod vide- 
atur cuniputum pecuniarum quas habuit aurifex pro d. Boccali et 
Bacili . . . et si quid restat solvi pro refiduo pretii ipsiuf Boccalif 
et Bacili f, solvatur def meif pecuniif, dicto aurifici . . . 

(Ex margine dicti instnimenti) die 27 Aprilis mcccclxx. 
' Christophoruf de Mafifeis, cui facta fuit donatio, traditio, et 
adignatio conscripta Boccalif et Bacilif de argento, confefTuf fuit, 
quod habuit et accepit a Joanne Progonovich aurifice dictum 
Boccale et Bacile, quod B. et B. ponderatum fuit et recepturo est 
ad rectum ponduf Libraf sex, unciam unam, exagia quatuor .... 
*Ex Metropolif Racufin§ Historia de Seraphini Cerva, n. 41.' 

358 Ragusa: the Sponza. [Ch. xx. 

direction from the steps of the duomo these two 
buildings and the civic campanile combine to form a 
group of public buildings and present a picture of 
mediaeval municipal life not easily to be matched 
for beauty and interest, the effect being enhanced 
by the mighty mass of Monte Sergio, against which 
they are relieved (Plate XXXVIII). 

The Dogana is a three-storied building, surround- 
ing a courtyard. The groundfloor was occupied by 
the Sponza or custom-house where, as the name 
implies, were the public scales for weighing merchan- 
dize, which hung in the arch at the end of the court, 
above which in lead letters inlaid in the stone may 
be read this distich — 


The first floor was devoted to social gatherings and 
literary assemblies of the nobility and men of learn- 
ing, and in the second floor was the mint. 

Prof Eitelberger publishes the statutes of the 
Dogana compiled in 1277 \ in the time of Marco 
Giustiniani, count of Eagusa. The preamble states 
that these rules are drawn up because the numerous 
rules of preceding counts were * confusa, in plerisqice 
contraria, discrepantia in nonnullis, et in plurihus 
defectiva, quod plerumqice tcmt inter judices quam 
inter doanerios contentiones oriehantur et ipsorum 
voluntates et oppiniones discrepahant in plurimisJ 
They deal with export dues on Ragusan manu- 

^ Vid. above, note to p. 292. 



La Sponza 

lM*-PMOTn. &»««»GUf •C'r lOMOOH 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: tfie Sponza. 359 

factures or articles sold from the city to foreigners, 
with duty on the purchase of slaves* or their 
removal from Ragusan territory, with duty on 
purchase of land houses or other real property, 
and on export of hawks (from which Vene- 
tians are exempted), with duty on the sale of 
fresh and salt meat in the public market, with 
excise on wine and oil, and duty on goldsmith's 
work. No one was to leave Ragusa with or without 
merchandize unless he presented himself to the 
doganieri and made oath, and no ship was to sail 
without their licence. Other ordinances by sub- 
sequent counts and rectors follow, and after 1332, 
for the first time, the Italian language begins to 
appear instead of Latin, though only occasionally. 

The Sponza (Plate XLV) is obviously the work of 
two, if not three, epochs. The original building was 
probably the groundfloor with its arcades and 
warehouses surrounding the courtyard. It was 
already an ancient building in 1440 when De Diver- 
sis described it 2, and it is certain that a ^Sponza 
was standing in 13 12, because the government in 
that yeai' ordered its completion ^ If the groundfloor 
is older than that date the work then ordered and 

^ Slave-dealing was afterwards condemned by the statutes of 
141 7. Vid. supra, p. 299. 

* ' Est et alter locus ibi prope qui spongia vel potius mercan- 
tiarium extimatio, quae in ballis extra feruntur, ab omnibus nun- 
cupatur. Hanc domum antiqui struxerant amplam cum cistema 
et cameris et porticrbus, semotam quidem a vicioia, ut advenarum 
hoBpitium existeret.' De Diversis, ed. Brunelli, p. 42. 

• * Quod Sponzia compleatur.' Qelcicb, Kagusa, p. 73. 

360 Ragusa : the Sponza. [Ch. xx. 

begun was probably the first floor surrounding the 
interior coitile with an upper order of arches. But 
there is very little difference in date between the 
two stories : both have the same square soffits to the 
arches, the details of their mouldings are extremely 
alike, and although in the long sides of the oblong 
court the upper tier of arches are pointed while 
those below are round, in the narrow ends of the 
court the arches are round both on ground and first 

This double cloister is an admirable piece of 
plain, useful, and not ungraceful architecture, not 
too showy for the commonplace pmposes of the 
building, and yet well proportioned and carefiilly 
built. It would be difficult to devise anything 
more suitable and appropriate (Plate XLII). The 
lower arcade springs from octagonal columns, with 
no bases, and with very short capitals abruptly 
stopped out into a square abacus and impost. 
The arch has a plain square soffit and a richly 
moulded label. The upper arcade has two arches 
to one of those below, with square piers over the 
inferior columns, and columns over the centre of 
the arch. The capitals are foliated, some 'd 
crochet,^ some with deflected leaves at the angles, 
according to a well known Italian type. The early 
work ends with the moulded stringcourse above 
this story. The third story or second floor, belongs 
apparently to the date of the inscription on the 
end wall 1520, and the monogram ihs above it 
was, no doubt, put there after the great earthquake 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: the Sponza. 361 

of that year^. The inscription is of lead letters 
beaten into the stone, and reads thus : — 






AS- M D X X 

L • C • P • L 

The initials are those of Elio Lampridio Cerva, 
poet laureate, who died in 1520, the year of this 
inscription. The doors of the warehouses opening 
from the lower cloister have the names of saints 
over them, sioannes baptista — s-petrvs-et-pavlvs 


s • BLASivs. The other three have been altered. 
The warehouses within are covered with plain cross 
vaulting without ribs. 

The facade towards the piazza has in front of it 
a very handsome renaissance loggia, prettily pro- 
portioned and full of good detail. This, like the 
third story, was no doubt added in 1520. Behind 
this, on the groundfloor, are the windows and 
doors of the dogana; while the first floor above 
has a grand arrangement of Gothic windows, with 
tracery and ogeed head, so thoroughly Venetian 
in style that they might have been brought irom the 
grand canal, which cannot be older than the 

* Vid. supra, p. 302. 

362 Ragusa: the Sponza. [Ch. xx. 

fifteenth century. The upper story of the front, 
like that of the ulterior, is of renaissance work. 

Composite as it is in style and date, the build- 
ing is a very charming one, and not a little 
of its piquancy is due to the fantastic battle- 
ments, or shall we call them pinnacles, that stand 
along the eaves, like those of the Ca d' oro at 

The building still serves as the dogana of the 
city ; its court is piled with cases and packages, 
though not so thickly as in the palmy days of the 
republic, and is crowded with contadini in the gay 
costume of the Canali. Here too as of old one 
may hear the disputes between the * doanerii ' and 
the citizens whose ^voluntates et oppiniones dis- 
crepant in plurimisy in spite of the labours of 
Marco Giustiniani and others. The rooms on the 
first floor, where the learned societies of Ragusa 
used to meet*, are now offices. Here must often 
have been seen the mathematicians Ghetaldi and 
Boscovich, whose European reputation reflected 
such honour on their country, Elio Lampridio 
Cerva the poet laureate, Archbishop Beccatello the 
correspondent of our English Cardinal Pole, and 
the friend of Michelagnolo Buonarroti who ad- 
dressed him in a sonnet 2, and the other illustrious 

* Prof. Eitelberger, p. 324, ed. 1884, mentions two such societies. 
That known as the * Concordi * was founded principally for the cul- 
tivation of Italian literature, though some attention was apparently 
paid to South Slavonian literature as well. 

' Sonnet LXI. a Monsignor Lodovico Beccadelli arcivescovo 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa : S. Domenico. 363 

Eagusans who earned for their little republic the 
title of the Dalmatian Athens ^ 

The Dominican Convent. 

The Dominicans on their arrival at Ragusa were 
first established in the little old church of S. 
Giacomo in Peline, described above *, and did not 
move to their present site till between 1245 and 
1253, and their new church was not opened for 
divine worship till 1 306 ^ In 1 348 the convent 
with its cloister seems to have been completed ; and 
1424, according to Prof Gelcich, is the date of the 
campanile, the architect being Fra Stefano a 
brother of the order, though that can be only the 
date of its beginning, for De Diversis in 1440 
speaks of it as stUl incomplete and growing daily *. 
Though built in the fifteenth century this campanile 
has round arches, and shafts set back to the centre 
of the wall — Prof WUlis's *midwall shafts' — as 
if it had been built in the eleventh or twelfth. The 

di Ragusi. Michelagnolo regrets the unlikelihood of their meeting 

*Pur s' aspra terra e mar difficil tiene 
U un dall' altro lontan, lo spirto e '1 zelo 
Non avra intoppi n^ per neve o gielo 
N^ r all del pensier lacci o catene.' 
' Vid. supra, General History, vol. I. p. 179. 
^ Vid. p. 326. 

• Gelcich, Ragusa, pp. 17, 23. 

* * Campanile nondum completum in dies crescit,' De Diversis, 
ed. Brunelli, p. 35. 

364 Ragusa : S. Domenico. [Ch. xx. 

original part finishes below the lantern with a 
cornice of round arches. The lantern stage is 
* barocco/ 

The church consists of a single vast nave, which 
is crossed towards the east end by a triple arch, 
defining the choir and two lateral chapels, a not 
uncommon plan in the churches of the preaching 
orders. The east end is polygonal. Earthquakes 
and repeated repairs have left but little of the 
original building; the choir may be ancient, but 
is so simple as to have hardly any architectural 
character ; and the only feature of any interest that 
belongs to this date is the fine south doorway, with 
a round arch of many receding orders under an 
ogee crocketted hood mould, the whole having a 
strong flavour about it of German Gothic, which is 
increased by the tall moulded bases of the jamb 
shafts ^. The occurrence of this German feeling in 
Dalmatia is always worth noticing. 

But in the cloister (Plate XL VI) there is no 
trace of a northern hand. The Dalmatian was here 
left to work out his Gothic in his own way, and 
though he failed to grasp the idea of receding orders 
in the arch, or consistent mouldings in his tracery, 
he succeeded in evolving out of his inner con- 
sciousness a charming cloister, shocking in many 
ways to the northern purist, but perhaps on that 
account the more interesting to those who love to 
see the workman reflected in his work, and value 

^ Eitelberger, p. 336, gives an elevation of this doorway, and 
p. 333 a plan of church and convent. 




Dominican Convent. 

• CV VCNO--.* 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa : S. Domenico. ' 365 

evidence of thought more than architectural pro- 
priety. Classic traditions are vindicated in the 
robust columns with Attic base and square capital, 
but their foliage is of Venetian Gothic, and the 
solid shield of the semicircular head is pierced with 
two circles containing quatrefoUs alternately with 
a delicate ornament formed of interlacing circles 
unknown to pure Gothic architecture, but not on 
that account the less piquant and effective. The 
cloister forms a charming pictm-e, with its Venetian 
well, its cherry and orange trees, and its evergreens 
whose rich dark foliage so well relieves the mellow 
white of the walls. The convent that surrounds it 
still retains a good deal of its original architectm-e, 
and contains some rooms with fair plaster ceilings 
of a later date. The well in the centre of the 
cloister bears the date 1623. 

I must not forget to mention the very fine triple 
arch (Plate XL VII) now standing across the west 
end of the nave, whither it has been removed from 
the north side, where it once contained three altars. 
The removal took place about three years ago, and 
in the process the lower part of the ornaments of 
the piers was by some carelessness lost or destroyed. 
Aided by two of the fnars, and their servant boy 
with a lantern, I searched two or three lumber 
vaults of the convent for the missing fragments, 
but in vain. More is the pity, for the part that 
is lost is said to have been especially good. The 
whole is in a mixed style, the arched recesses being 
of renaissance work, and the crockets of late Gothic 

366 Ragusa : S. Domenico. [Ch. xx. 

like those over the doorways of S. Zaccaria and 
S. Stefano at Venice. 

There are some good early pictures in the choir 
chapels which deserve study, and the painted crucifix 
in a dry Byzantine style that hangs over the choir 
arch is interesting, as having been vowed during 
the hlack death of 1 348. One of the early pictures, 
on a gold ground, resembles so closely the work of 
a Ragusan artist, Nicol6, who painted about 1520, 
that there can be Uttle doubt of its being by his 
hand. It is valuable historically because it re- 
presents S. Biagio with a model of the town in 
his hand, but unluckily the rector's palace is hidden, 
and the part containing the old duomo is broken 
away, though enough remains to shew that the 
facade had tiers of arcading, and that there was no 
apse at the east end. 

Over the first altar to the left hand in the church 
is a picture by Titian, in good condition, given by 
one of the Pozza family which is still resident at 
Ragusa. In the centre is the Magdalen with 
clasped hands and flowing tressea To her right 
is a fine figure of S. Biagio in white mitre and 
crimson velvet robe, his pastoral staff in his right 
hand, and a model of the city in his left. To her 
left, in the comer, kneels the donor Pozza with 
a little child, over whom bends a youthful angel 
with dark blue dress and wings, a very graceful and 
attractive figure. The two latter figures are Tobit 
and the angel Raphael, and probably Raffaelle and 
Maddalena were the names of the donor and his wife. 




S Domenico 

tHlk M«OTO b^«A«UC • Co luNtWN 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: S, Frafuesco. 367 

In the sacristy is preserved a silver cross of 
Ourosh the Great of Servia. It is of the patriarchal 
form, with two cross arms, and is covered with 
inscriptions in the Illyric language, but has nothing 
else specially Slavonic about it^ It was restored in 
1548, to which date may belong the Ponza or Hall 
mark of Ragusa which I found on it, and to the 
same period may belong the pierced paterae of 
ordinary Italian Gothic work which form its only 

Professor Gelcich^ points out that the two great 
convents, especially that of the Dominicans which 
actually abuts on the town walls, were evidently 
intended to add to the strength of the town. In 
fact by the rules of the city the Dominicans were 
charged with the defence of Porta Plocce, and the 
Franciscans with that of Porta Pile, while the 
canons of the duomo were responsible for that of 
Porta Pescheria. In the same way, since most of 
the towers and bastions on the walls formed part of 
patrician houses, each proprietor was charged with 
the duty of manning and maintaining that belonging 
to him, while the State itself undertook the charge 
of the more important towers and forts. 

Franciscan Church and Convent. The original 
settlement of the Minorites, who arrived at Ragusa 
in 1235, was outside the Porta Pile, and it was not 

^ The inscriptioiiB are g^ren at length by Prof. Qelcich, Ragusa, 

p. 59- 
* Qelcich, Bagusa, pp. 26, 27. 

368 Ragusa : S. Francesco. [Oh. XX. 

till 1 3 1 7 that they were removed to the inside. At 
that time Ragusa was harassed by constant inva- 
sions of the Servians under Ourosh*, and the con- 
vent afforded a convenient shelter to his troops, to 
prevent which the republic destroyed it and built 
the fiiars a new convent at the public expense* 
within the Porta Pile. 

The church and convent were seriously injured at 
the time of the great earthquake in 1667, less by the 
convulsion itself than by the subsequent fire and the 
marauders who availed themselves of the confiision 
to ply their trade. The infirmary was thrown down 
by the shock, burying a sick brother in its ruins, 
and the fnars fled the town, leaving the lay sacrist 
Elia da Canali in charge of the buildings. The 
depredators tried several times to set fire to the 
cloister, but Fra Elia succeeded in putting the 
flames out till at last, on the third day, the confla- 
gration spread from a neighboiuing house to the 
choir of the church. It burned the * miraculcnis 
cntcifix that rested on the beam over the high altar, 
burned many pictures by able pencils, burned the 
precious altar of massive silver and twenty-six silver 
statues a braccio and a half high that adorned it, 
and burned the very beautiful ceiling of the church, 
a masterpiece of carving and gilding \ The fire also 
destroyed the marvellous choral books given to the 

* Vid. History of Ragusa, above, p. 294. 

* Besti and Ragnina, quoted Bronelli, p. 40. 

* Decorated with paintings attributed to Titian. Oelcich, 
Ragusa, p. 80. 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: S. Francesco. 369 

ccmveyd hy Catterina queen of Bosnia\ wife of 
Tommaso Cotroman, when the Ottoman conquests 
drove her into exile from her realm. The wonderful 
delicacy of the gilded miniatures with which they 
were adorned, and the profuse magnijlcence of their 
binding had made them an object of admiration and 
of wonder to all who possessed a sense of artistic 
beauty. More than 65CXD precious volumes, arranged 
in good order in the ample and very elegant library, 
in which were preserved the archives of the Province, 
rich in very ancient and precious manuscripts, were 
unhappily reduced to ashes^.' 

It may be easily understood from this that the 
convent has been extensively modernized; but it still 
contains a great deal of interesting architecture. 
The fine campanile remains, and forms one of the 
main ornaments of the Corso. The top stage with 
its cupola is later than the earthquake, but the rest 
is of the original building in the fourteenth centiuy, 
and it is instructive to notice how the use of the 
round arch was retained even at that date, though 
mixed with pointed architecture. There is also a 
fine doorway of late Italian Gothic in the side of 

' She was the daughter of Stefano Cosaccia, duke of S. Sava or 
Herzegovina, and wife of Stephen Thomas, the last legitimate king 
of Bosnia, murdered in 1460 by his half-brother and his illegiti- 
mate son Stephen Tomasovid, the last king of Bosnia, who was 
himself flayed alive by Hahomet II in 1463 (vid. vol. i. pp. 13 19 
1 45)- Qaeen Catherine fled to Bagusa and resided there till 1475, 
when she retired to a convent in Bome, where she died. Mr, Evans 
(Bosnia and Herzegovina) gives a representation of her tomb in the 
church of Ara Celi, copied from an engraving of 1677. 

^ P. Evang. Cusmich, quoted by Fabianich, vol. ii. p. 186. 

VOL. II. B b 


Ragusa : S. Francesco. 

[Ch. XX. 

the church that flanks the Corso, with a * piet^ ' in 
a central niche. With these the interest of the 
church ends, but as we pass through the door into 

the cloister we find 
nothing further to 
awaken oiu* regrets. 
The cloister (Plate 
XLVni) is a piece 
of architectm-e so sin- 
gular and interesting 
that one almost for- 
gets to regret the art 
treasures of which the 
earthquake and the 
Morlacchi have de- 
prived us. Though 
built in the first half 
of the fourteenth cen- 
tury all its arches are 
round and its details 
have a romanesque cha- 
racter. Each bay con- 
sists of a group of 
six roundheaded lights 
divided by coupled oc- 
tagonal shafts, above 
which the tympanum 
of the roxmd including 
arch is pierced with a large circle. Most of these 
circles are cusped into a quatrefoil, but the central 
one on each side of the cloister is not cusped but 

Fig. 65. 






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N^^£^- B i^^^H 


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pr 1 M 

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1 1 

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Franciscan Convent. 

Ch. XX.] 

Ragusa : S. Francesco. 


ornamented by a rich border of acanthus leaves laid 
on the waved section of the splay and radiating 
from the centre outwards. The coupled shafts stand 
one behind the other, 
and have a common 
base and a common 
abacus, which is long 
enough to receive the 
full thickness of the 
wall above. The capi- 
tals (Figs. 65, 66, 67) 
are fantastic and ca- 
pricious in the highest 
degree, recalling the 
wildest and most gro- 
tesque fancies of early 
romanesque work, full 
of grinning heads, 
masks, animals, mon- 
sters of various kinds, 
dragons and winged 
beasts, mixed up with 
conventional foliage, 
spiral volutes, and 
block leaves that are 
quite primitive in the 
rudeness of their de- 
sign. Except in one place, where one pair of 
shafts and the stone that first rests on them have 
been shifted a few inches from under their load, the 
earthquake hiad no effect on this cloister, its escape 

B b 2 

Fig. 66. 


Ragusa : S. Francesco. 

[Ch. XX. 

being the more remarkable on account of the extreme 
lightness of the colimms that support it. 

It is one of the most singular pieces of architec- 
ture I have ever seen, 
and it is still more in- 
teresting because the 
name and birthplace of 
its architect, Master 
Mycha, an Albanian of 
Antivari, are fortunately- 
preserved to us. His 
epitaph (Fig 68) remains 
cut in the south-east 
angle pier, without the 
date it is true, but in 
proximity to two other 
inscriptions (Figs. 69, 70), 
dated 1363 and 1428, 
with which it may be 
compared; and as the 
style of the lettering is 
if anything earlier than 
that of 1363, we may 
fairly conclude that the 
cloister was built shortly 
after the foundation of 
the new convent in 131 7. 
From the east wall three fine arches of good 
detail open into the old chapter-house, which how- 
ever is no longer used for that purpose. The 
elegant balustraded parapet remains only on one 

Fig. 67. 

Ch. XX.] 

Ragusa: S. Francesco. 




Ilg. 68. 

JTiomuijsus 5U 

side of the cloister : it corresponds in style with the 
work below, and must 
be of the same date, in 
spite of the fact that 
the year 1629 is cut on 
the back of one of the 
stones, the date pro- 
bably of some repairs. 

This cloister with its 
orange trees, shrubs, 
and fountain, and the 
tempting seats where 
the fiiars sit in shade 
or sunshine according 
as the hour or season 
may invite, is not less 
charming than that of 
the Dominicans^. 

In the sacristy is a 
beautifiil monstrance, 
said to be the work of 
the famous goldsmiths 
of Mezzo. The grand 
old Gothic case in which 
the church plate is kept 
is also well worth see- 
ing ; it opens like a 
cupboard with great 
doors above the altar, 

^au^A .1363 

Fig. 69. 






Kg. 7o« 

^ De Divereis speaks of the fountain and the lawri ei aranciomm 
arbores in this cloister in his time. 

374 Ragusa: S. Biagio, [Ch. xx, 

and is painted with the arms of the patrician house 
of Bona, a ladder bendwise and an eagle (gules) on 
a canton^. The same aims occur over the door of 
a palace near the duomo. 

S. Biagio. The church of S. Biagio was built 
originally in consequence of a vow -made during the 
visitation of the plague in 1348, and it was finished, 
according to Ragnina, within three years, that is 
before 1352. Though a century later than the 
duomo it seems to have been built in a similar style : 
De Diversis speaks of the same kind of decoration 
by carvings of animals, the same outer cloisters 
surrounding the walls, and says that, * setting aside 
the number of altars, the size of the huUdingy and 
the chapels or chapel of the relics, you saw in the 
church of S. Biagio a resemblance in form and 
decoration to the cathedral churchJ The church 
survived the great earthquake of 1667, but was 
burned in 1706, and rebuilt in its present form in 

There is nothing now to be seen here of any 

remarkable interest except the silver statuette of 

S. Biagio (Plate XLIX), which occupies a niche 

over the high altar, and is an object of much 

superstitious reverence. I was anxious to have an 

opportunity of studying this figure closely, not only 

because of its artistic merit, but because it holds in 

, * Vid. Wappenbuch des Konigsreichs Dalmatien, von Hosenfeld. 
Nurnberg, 1874. 


Plate XLIX. 

English fffif 


4 - 






Ch. XX.] Ragusa : S. Biagio. 375 

its hand the silver model of the town to which I 
have several times referred, and which shews the 
buildings of which the great earthquake of 1667 
and subsequent calamities have deprived us. The 
sanctity of the image however made it very difficult 
to get leave to remove it from its niche and examine 
it. The bishop indeed raised no difficulty, and made 
light of the scruples of the clergy of S. Biagio, who 
constitute a chapter between which and the canons 
of the duomo no little jealousy prevails. But it 
took a great deal of diplomacy on the part of my 
friend Prof. Gelcich to induce the Parroco of S. 
Biagio to consent ; and when at last, armed with the 
bishop's fiat, I got my way, it was almost pitiable to 
see the genuine terror with which the guardians of 
the church removed the image and consigned it to 
the vestry table to be drawn and measured and 
profanely examined. 

Deposed from its niche the statuette proved to 
have only a front of silver, the back being a shape- 
less block of wood. The silver front itself is not 
wholly in its original state ; its present dumpy pro- 
portion must surely be the result of some curtail- 
ment ; the mitre has been renewed in later times, 
and so has the crook of the pastoral staff, and it is 
doubtful whether the dalmatic or under vestment is 
of the same date as the upper vestment or chasuble, 
the workmanship of which is far superior. The 
head is well imagined, the expression venerable and 
the execution good, and the hair and beard are very 
carefiilly chased. The head and the chasuble seem 

376 Ragusa: S. Btagto. [Ch. xx. 

to me the oldest parts of the figure ; and as the 
diaper on the latter cannot, from its character, be 
earlier than the fourteenth century, I should imagine 
that the figure was origrnallj made at the same time 
that the church was built, that is to say about the 
year 1350, and that it was altered ajid restored in 
the fifteenth century and again in renaissance times, 
the mitre being an addition of the last century. 
The little model of the town which the saint holds 
in his left hand is later than the original figure, for 
it shews the great Torre Menze, which was built by 
Giorgio Orsini in 1464, and the Torre dell' orologio of 
1480. As it does not shew the votive church of 
S. Salvatore, which was begun in 1520, it must have 
been added before that time, and its real date is 
probably about 1480 or 1490. 

The Ragusa of that time was girt with mighty 
towers and walls like the Ragusa of to-day; a wide 
open street represents the present Corso, and we 
recognize at once the Franciscan and Dominican 
convents, the harbour, the Piazza del duomo, the 
Torre Menze, and other familiar features of the town, 
which are represented with so good an attempt at 
topographical accuracy that one is disposed to accept 
with confidence the representation of those build- 
ings that have disappeared. Behind the Franciscan 
convent is the large garden with trees which De 
Diversis admired, and opposite is the fountain of 
Onofrio di La Cava, in its right place. The Corso 
seems to be regularly paved ; many of the houses 
that line it have gabled fronts, and some have pro- 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: S. Biagio. 377 

jecting pents to shelter the shops. Opposite the 
statue of Orlando, which supports a monstrouer 
standard and banner, is the original church of S. 
Biagio, which has an eastern apse, a nave with 
aisles, and apparently a low outer aisle, which may 
be the ambulatory mentioned by De Diversis. Part 
of this outer building is higher than the rest, bring- 
ing it nearly to the level of the aisle, but this is 
confused and obscure, and not well distinguished 
from the duomo. The duomo has no apse repre- 
sented, in the absence of which it agrees with the 
picture in the Dominican convent ; it has a nave with 
aisles, clerestory windows, and a cupola in the middle 
of the roof; and the exterior walls of the aisle have 
what looks like arcading, but there is no sign of the 
ambulatory described by De Diversis. The Dogana 
has no portico ^ but a projecting pent or awning 
over the groimdfloor windows ; there seem to be only 
two stories, and the upper story shews the existing 
arrangement of a three light window between two 
single lights. In the Corso stands the little church 
of SS. Pietro Andrea and Lorenzo of Cattaro, which 
is now gone : near the foimtain of Onofirio is shewn 
the church of S. Chiara, now enclosed in a barrack, 
and there are little churches where those of S. 
Stefano and S. Giacomo should be. 

Additional information about the church of S. 
Biagio may be obtained from the picture I have 
alluded to in the Dominican church. From that we 

^ This agrees with the date of 1520 given above for the upper 
story and the portico. Vid. supra, p. 360. 

378 Ragusa: Statue of Orlando. [Ch.xx. 

learn that it had an apse, like those of Jik Trail and 
Sebenico, so much lower than the gable wall that 
there was a rose window above it; and that the 
nave and aisles were covered, like the duomo at 
Zara or the Lombard churches, with several tiers of 

- From the dedicatory inscription on the modem 
church it appears that it was rebuilt on a larger scale 
than the old one. Though barocco in style it is very 
cleverly and effectively planned, and the general 
interior view is pleasing. The outer walls enclose a 
square, which is brought by four columns into a 
crucifoim plan with a central cupola, and the only 
irregularity is an extension of one arm for the 

In front of the church of S. Biagio stands the 
statue of Orlando aflSxed to a marble pilaster, the 
erection of which is supposed to mark the era of 
independence. From the summit of the pilaster the 
public crier, with the soimd of tnunpet, proclaimed 
the decrees of the state ; aroimd it were assembled 
the free citizens when the state required the solemn 
^laudo popuW; and here criminals convicted of 
capital offences were executed. Such monuments 
were common in free municipalities, and they gener- 
ally had attached to them the figure of an armed 
man, to shew that the state had the jus gladii\ 

^ ' Statuam annati hominis gladhim ferentis hoc jus Bupremam 
quod jus gladii ostendentis . . . ibi esse forum publicum cau- 
earum, jurisdictionum, locum justitiae, districtum territoricum.' 
Grifiando, cited by Qelcich, Kagusa, p. 49. 

CH. XX.] Ragusa: Statue of Orlando. 379 

Legend states that such statues were set up by 
order of Charlemagne in every city of the Empire. 
The usage however is much older than that. A 
statue of Marsyas or Silenus used to be set up as a 
sign of liberty in the marketplaces of those cities of 
the Eoman Empire which had the Jus Italicum, who 
testified by his outstretched hand * nihil urbi deesse^' 
The custom was continued by the free cities of 
Germany, and by the municipalities of our own 
country. Kemble, talking of the Anglo-Saxon burgh 
of the tenth century, says : * In the centre of the 
square stands the symbolic statue which marks the 
freedom of jxmsdiction and of commerce, balance in 
hand to shew the right of unimpeded traffic, sword 
in hand to intimate the " jus gladii," to judge and 
punish, the right to guard with weapons of men all 
that men hold dearest ^' He adds, 'whether the 
Germanic populations derived their pillar, figure, or 
statue from the Soman custom seems imcertain ; 
certain however it is that the Eolandseule, the pillar 
or figure of Orlando, and it is sometimes said of 
Charlemagne, denotes equaUy " nihil urbi deesse." ' 

Such a monmnent with the figure of Orlando 
still stands in front of the Bathhaus of Bremen. 

The Orlando of Ragusa was overthrown by a 

^ * Bacchus apte urbibus libertatis est dens, nnde etiam Marsyas 
ejus minister est in ciyitatibos (in foro positus) libertatis indicium 
qui erecta manu testatur nihil urbi desse.' Servius on Yirg. Aen. 
4. 58. So also Horace, Satir. i. yi. 119 : — 

'Deinde eo dormitum, non sollicitus mihi quod eras 
Snrgendum sit mane, obeundus Marsya . .' 
* Kemble, Anglo-Saxons, vol. ii. ch. vii. p. 313. 

380 Ragusa : San Salvatore. [Ch. xx. 

hurricane in 1825, when a brass plate was discovered 
with the inscription which has been given above 
(p. 298). It was restored in 1878. 

San Salvatore is the last of the churches within 
the town that need be described. It was built, as 
stated on the inscription over the door, in conse- 
quence of a vow made by the government at the 
time of the great earthquake of 1 520, the first of the 
fatal series fi:om which Bagusa has suffered. Prov- 
veditori were appointed to regulate the expense, the 
nobles carried stones for the building barefooted, and 
even noble matrons lent a hand to the work^. But 
with the shocks of the earthquake, the piety or 
terror of the city subsided, and the little church, 
whose gracefiil front adorns the end of the Corso 
just inside the Porta Pile, was no less than sixteen 
years in building. It stands north and south, and 
consists of a nave about thirty-six feet by twenty- 
one feet, and an apse at the north end with a chord 
of about twelve feet. Classic pilasters divide it into 
three bays, but the vaulting is of Grothic construc- 
tion, and so are the side windows, with their narrow 
lights and simple tracery like that at S. Francesco 
Lesina (vid. Fig. 56, supra, p. 229). The cornice is 
arcaded in Gothic fashion, but like that at Curzola has 
each arch filled with a renaissance shell. The front 
has a semicircular gable between two quadrants like 
that of the churches at Lesina and Cittavecchia, a 
fashion perhaps borrowed from the cathedral at 

* Gelcich, p. 76. 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: Le Dande. 381 

Sebenico, where however the rounded gables actually 
close and are generated by the constructive form of 
the vaultmg behind them. Like other buildings in 
Dalmatia, this little building is an example of the 
tenacity with which in that country architecture clung 
to the older forms when the art elsewhere was travel- 
ling away from them into newer developments. It is 
probable that the architect was one Bartolommeo da 
Mestre, mentioned in the acts of the notary Butrisic 
of Sebenico as ' protomagister fabricae sancti Jacobi ' 
(i.e. the duomo of Sebenico), who was at work in 
that city in 15 17 and 1523, but absent in 1520, the 
year in which this church was begun at Ragusa\ 

Chiesa Allb Dan<5e. 

One of the pleasantest walks in the outskirts of 
the town leads from the Boschetto outside the Porta 
Pile to the little church * alle Dan6e.' Descending 
through the narrow streets of the Borgo, the first 
thing that strikes the attention is the grand fortalice 
of San Lorenzo, * the Gibraltar of Eagusa,' perched 
on an almost isolated rock that rises sheet out of the 
sea and projects boldly forward from the main coast 
line. As we climbed the hill beyond, a superb pic- 
ture imfolded itself of this magnificent castle and 
the sea-front of Bagusa beyond, with the whole 
circle of walls and towers descending to the level 
of the Corso and climbing the slopes of Monte Sergio 
behind it, where they finished worthily with the 
* (lelcich, p. 77. Vid. supra, vol. i. p. 401. 

382 Ragusa : Le Dande. [Ch. xx, 

stupendous Torre Menze\ There is perhaps no 
spot from which the topography of Eagusa is more 

Following the footpath over a bare stony down 
with a roxmded summit we descended the gentle 
slope on the other side towards the sea, here an 
unbroken expanse, unchequered by islands, with 
nothing between us and the Apulian shore. At the 
very verge of the low cliff against which the sea 
beats we found the little * chiesa alle Dan6e,' which 
was begun by public decree in 1457, to provide a 
resting place after death for the city poor, as an 
inscription attests which is affixed to the wall on 
one side of the chancel arch — 




VIII • Idvs • Decembris • M • ccccLvn 


Though building for a pauper cemetery the Ragusan 
senate did not starve the design as a modem vestry 
might have done. On the contrary, the church is 
very pretty and the west doorway is even magnifi- 
cent, and though the interior is plain it contains 

^ This magnificent bastion was the work of Giorgio Dalmatico in 
1464. The family of Menze, from which it takes its name, is 
variously derived from Home or Bosnia. It survived till the 
present century; vid. Brunelli, P* ^4* 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: Le Danie. 383 

some good pictures which have an especial interest 
because the painter was a native Ragusan. There 
are two pictures, of which the more interesting one 
hangs on the north wall. It is divided by pillars 
into three compartments which have flat arched 
and cusped heads, with a frieze and cornice above, 
surmounted by a lunette. All the frame is original, 
and it is carved with arabesques prettily relieved 
by gilding from a deep purplish blue ground. 

In the lunette is a picture of the crucifixion. Little 
cherubs' heads float round the Saviour; the Magdalen 
is at the foot of the cross, and the Virgin and St. 
John stand right and left, while two kneeling female 
figures occupy the comers of the lunette. The 
landscape behind is Peruginesque. 

In the central compartment of the three is the 
Madonna with the infant Saviour ; she is dressed in 
red, and wears a golden robe diapered in black line. 
The pattern is drawn flat over the surface of the 
panel, not adapted to the folds, which are painted 
across it, as was commonly done in ancient painted 
glass. The Child holds a bunch of grapes and 
three ears of wheat, and the Virgin holds a book. 
The expression of the faces of both figures is very 
sweet, but the flesh tints are grey and cold, and the 
hands and feet are not drawn so well as the rest. 

Aroimd their heads little cherubs with ruby wings 
and a gilt nimbus float on a blue background, and at 
their feet kneels an infant St. John with a scroll :— 


384 Ragusa: Le Dance, [Oh. xz. 

On the plinth of the throne is the name of the 
artist and the date — 


The right-hand niche contains the figure of St. 
Martin on horseback cutting away his coat with his 
sword ; the beggar below has already wrapped him- 
self in it, and is represented as Christ with the cross 
on his nimbus. The background is of gold. 

The left-hand space contains St. Gregory as a pope, 
with a richly embroidered cope of gold diapered, 
in the way described above, with a reddish line ; the 
embroidered borders have figures of saints in niches 
like many of the vestments we saw in Dalmatia. 
The saint holds a long staff with a crucifix in his left 
hand, and a white dove rests on his shoulder. 

Below is a predella similarly divided into three. 
Under Gregory is a seated pope placing the tiara on 
his head in the midst of a host of bishops and cardi- 
nals. In the centre is St. George slaying the dragon : 
Una kneels in the background. Under St. Martin 
is the saint enthroned, and being crowned with a 
mitre by bishops amid surroimding clergy and monks. 
These little subjects are much damaged, but the rest 
of the picture is in fair condition. The whole is on 
panel. The execution is somewhat rough, but the 
general design and feeling are pleasing and possess 
considerable merit. The Madonna and Holy Child 
are disfigured by barbarous votive offerings of tin 

Ch. XX.] Ragusa: Le Dance, 385 

crowns and glass beads, which it is to be hoped may 
some day be removed. 

The other picture is placed over the altar, and is 
enclosed in a wooden frame of less happy design than 
the first. In an upper panel is the figure of the first 
person of the Trinity as an old man holding an orb 
in the left hand and blessing with the right ; the 
background is of gold with ruby angels. The lower 
part has a Madonna with the infant Christ in the 
central panel, and on each side are two small panels, 
one over the other, with St. Nicolas and St. George 
to the right, St. Blaize and St. Francis to the left. 
This picture is almost entirely concealed by barbarous 
silver plating and offerings of artificial flowers, and 
little can be seen of it but the faces, which are not 
inferior to those in the other picture. 

These pictures are interesting as proving the exist- 
ence of a native school of painters who modelled 
their style on that of Italy, though painting, like 
architecture, lagged behind in Dalmatia, these paint- 
ings of Nicol6 Raguseo in 1 5 1 7 being as archaic in 
style as those of Crivelli sixty or seventy years 

VOL. II. c c 


The Island of Mezzo. 

It is an hour's journey by a little coasting steamer 
from Gravosa to Mezzo, the central island of the 
group of the Elaphites insulae, and one of the earliest 
territorial acquisitions of the Republic of Ragusa. 
Leaving Gravosa, the boat touches at Cannosa on 
the mainland, a place famous for two enormous 
plane trees, said to have been transplanted from 
Constantinople three centuries ago, one of which 
is so large that six men with open arms can hardly 
gird the tnmk. Neither village nor trees, however, 
are visible from the deck of the steamer. From 
Cannosa the boat stands across to the island of 
Mezzo, and, rounding the lofty fortified promontory 
which forms its northern end, comes at once in view 
of the little capital of the island lying along the 
marg^ of a bay. Two lofty campaniles and a 
stately castle give it an air of consequence, and 
several ruins of palaces with Venetian windows tell 
of wealth and prosperity now passed away. For 
Mezzo, which is said to have had a population of 
14,000 souls, and to have been famous for its gold- 
smiths, has now dwindled to 500 inhabitants, very 

Ch. XXL] The Island of Mezzo. 387 

few of whom can ever have seen a piece of gold in 
any form, and among whom the paper which repre- 
sents that metal in the dominions of his imperial 
and kingly majesty is, I fear, far from being 

The island is destitute of any accommodation for 
visitors, but we had an introduction to the Parroco, 
Don Antonio Kovacevic, who received us with that 
friendly hospitality to which we had become used in 
Dalmatia, and not only insisted on our being his 
guests at dinner, but gave up his whole time to us 
during our stay. 

The treasures of the church are kept in the 
Parroco's own house, and consist of some very 
remarkable church plate, and an asciwgwmano or 
towel, which was given by Charles V to Michele 
Prazatto, and bequeathed by him to the church. 
It is a long cloth, such as barbers use to cover their 
customers when they shave them, pleated at the 
top like an apron, and made of strips of fine lawn 
woven, it is said, of sycamore fibre, divided by strips 
of gold and silver lace. Hereby hangs a tale. 
Prazatto was a native of the island of Mezzo, who 
from a humble origin made his way to great wealth 
and high position. Twice did his capital foimder 
with the ill-fated argosy that carried it, but as he 
was thinking of giving up commerce in despair, a 
lizard that he saw trying to climb a wall taught 
him the lesson of Robert Brace's spider. Like the 
lizard, having failed twice, he succeeded in a third 
venture, and rose rapidly to wealth, which does not 

c c 2 

388 The Island of Mezzo. [Ch. xxi- 

6eem to have spoiled him, if one may judge from 
the following story of the towel. Prazatto was on 
one occasion in attendance at the emperor's levee, 
when Charles, who was at the moment in the 
barber's hands, asked what he should do for him 
in acknowledgment of his services in carrying com 
to Spain during a time of scarcity. Prazatto re*- 
plied, * I am rich enough not to desire wealth ; I am 
king on board my own carracks and need not desire 
honours ; I am a citizen of Ragusa and desire no 
titles ; but as a memorial of your favour you may 
give me this towel.' 

At his death Prazatto made the Republic of 
Ragusa his heir, and his statue, a rather mean 
affair, is placed in the courtyard of the Rector's 
palace (vid. Plate XLII). The ruins of his house 
were pointed out to us in the little town of Mezzo. 

The church plate is very interesting. It consists 
of a chalice and paten, and an ostensorio. The 
chalice (Plate L) is of silver gQt, and very large, 
measuring no less than six inches at the brim and 
1 3-5- inches in height, and weighing eighty ounces. 
On the lower part of the bowl are the emblems of 
the evangelists in relief, with their names in Roman 
lettering, and on the foot is S. Biagio. But the 
inost curious part is the pair of little angels that 
hang on to the sides, with one foot touching the 
jewelled knop, one hand resting on the bowl of the 
cup, and the body flying in the air, although the 
wings that evidently once existed are now lost. 
Never was anything more quaintly or prettily 


Rale L. 

TG J. 

Ch. xxi] The Island of Mezzo ^ 389 

imagined. The sUver gilt ostensorio has also a pair 
of flying angels, but they are inferior to those on 
the chalice, and perhaps not original ; the lid and 
base and part of the stem also seem later than the 
rest. On the chalice I detected a hall-mark, a 
bearded bishop's head, the stamp or 'ponza ' of the 
mint of Ragusa, which of course is consistent with 
the chalice having been made on the island of 
Mezzo. Its date must be quite at the end of th0 
fifteenth century, for semi-classical forms appear in 
the embossed arabesques of the foot, and the Gothic 
lettering of the fifteenth century has given way to 

Before dinner we walked with the Parroco to see 
the chiesa matrice or mother-church of Mezzo, which, 
strangely enough, is not in the town but at the far 
end of the island. A fair mule-track led upwards, 
between olive yards and paddocks that were really 
green, to a high plateau, forming a saddle between 
the two great hills which make the island. The old 
stone walls on either hand were full of lovely ferns 
and mosses, and behind us, through the glancing 
foliage of the olives, were enchanting views of sea 
and mountain under a briQiant sky, with the fore- 
shortened island of Giupana, and a little sparkling 
town on its nearest shore vis-k-vis with Mezzo. On 
reaching the central plateau we had another equally 
lovely view forwards ; the sea lay deep down in a 
bay to the right, and in front was the open Adriatic, 
and the hilly peninsula that forms the haven of 
Gravosa and hides Ragusa. 


The Island of Mezzo. 

[Ch. XXI. 

On the southern slope of the island, looking to- 
wards Ragusa, we found the lonely church we had 
come to see. It is approached through a forecourt 
surrounded by a broken down wall, and by the ruins 
of the parsonage and the base of an unfinished 
campanile, in which hang three bells in little arches 
near the ground. The church, into which you de- 
scend by six steps, is a simple building of the 
fifteenth century, as appears fi:om the character of 
the side windows (Fig. 71) and an inscription on a 



Fig. 71. 

tablet in the wall, which records the dedication 
in 1488. There is a good sixteenth century altar- 
piece, with gilt arabesques on a blue ground, 
firaming a strange collection of large painted and 
gilt wooden figures assisting at the assumption 
of the Virgin. Below, as a predella, are roughly cut 
carvings of the last supper and the washing of the 
apostles' feet, now much choked up with bad paint- 
ing. Local tradition says that this altar-piece be- 
longed to , Henry VIII of England, and was turned 
out of one of the royal chapels at the Eeformation 

Ch. XXL] The Island of Mezzo. 391 

and bought by a citizen of Mezzo, who brought it 
home with him \ 

The chancel has a handsome waggon ceiling of 
blue panels divided by gilt ribs and white cabling. 
The altar raOings of stone balustrading are pretty, 
though much defaced by whitewash, and there is a 
rich renaissance font. 

Over a side altar enclosed by an iron grill is 
an early painting, much altered and made up. The 
central part, with the Madonna and three saints 
on each side under trefoU-cusped niches of gUt 
woodwork, is original and good. A crucifixion 
above, with a mutUated Venetian canopy, does not 
seem to belong to the rest, and three small half- 
length figures on either side of the Crucifixion are 
also . evidently out of their place. The whole is 
enclosed in a renaissance altar-piece of the same 
date as that over the high altar. 

Another pictiu^e in the church is interesting, 
although it is a complete wreck, the planks of wood 
upon which it is painted having actually started 
apart. The subjects are the Virgin and ChUd, with 
Saints Catherine and Sebastian, and another figure 
with a pilgrim's staff and a hat hanging on his 
back, perhaps St. James. The heads are well 

In the sacristy, which contains a Venetian 

* This somewhat improbable story is disposed of by Prof. 
Gelcich, who gives the names of the artists Magister Urbanus 
Georgii de Tenum, Derfort Banakus fiftbrolignarius, who were com- 
missioned to make it in 1636 by Biagio Allegretti. Gelcich, 
Ragusa, p. 80. 

39^ The Island of Mezzo. [Ch. xxi. 

* lavabo/ is to be seen some exquisite embroidery 
on a * velo (ymeralel a kind of scarf used at bene- 
dictions, worked with roses between rays of gold, 
the roses of a creamy sahnon brown with lines of 
dark brown. The church also contains a very fine 
fifteenth century processional cross of sUver. On 
one side are the figures of Christ and the four 
Evangelists, — at least St. John should be here, 
though he has been shifted to the back, — and on 
the other the Madonna, S. Biagio, S. Nicolb, the 
angel Gabriel with a lily, and St. Peter, who 
has changed places with St. John. The knop below 
is later. 

On the iron grill in the nave it is somewhat 
of a surprise to find the scutcheon of the Visconti, 

* la vipera che il Melanese accampa.^ This venom- 
ous beast, which would have been more at home 
in the island of M^leda, a few nules off, gives its 
name also to the neighbouring bay del BiscionCy 
— in Venetian * Bissone,' — and to the wind that 
blows thence to Mezzo, and the chiesa matrice 
itself is known to the natives as S. Maria del 
Bissone ^ 

On the way back to the town, by a scarcely less 
lovely path than that by which we came, the Parroco 
told us a good deal about Mezzo, and the life led by 

* I do not know what connexion existed between Mezzo and the 
Visconti. It may have arisen from commercial relations between 
Bagusa and Milan. An altar of S. Ambrogio in the church of 
S. Biagio at Kagusa was erected by the Sforza of Milan and 
repaired and embellished by Ludovico Sforza in 1499. Vid. GWcich, 
p. 38. 

Ch. XXL] The Island of Mezzo. 393 

the peasants on these smaller islands. They are very 
poor, and a bad year reduces them to great straits. 
Olives are their main crop ; in a good year the com- 
munity makes as much as £2000, but in bad years 
very little ; and as the last two years had been bad, 
and the harvest promised to be good only here and 
there, the people were likely to be pinched a good 
deal during the coming winter. They grow cab- 
bages and a few potatoes for their own consumption; 
they have no cows, and their sheep are kept for milk 
and not for eating ; once a week only, on Saturdays, 
a ship from the mainland brings them some meat, 
but many of them taste it only four or five times 
in the twelvemonth, and the fishery is not good. 
Communication with the mainland was very un- 
certain till quite lately, for till the steamers began 
to touch there five months before our visit there 
was no communication but by small boats. On 
this account the people were sometimes put to 
actual straits for food ; and in one winter, when the 
weather was so rough for three weeks that no 
boat could get across, they had actually to put 
themselves on rations of flour. The consequence 
of a bad harvest is that the peasants get into debt 
with the money-lenders at Ragusa, to whom they 
have to give interest at the rate of six or eight 
per cent. ; but their credit has hitherto been good, 
and no instances have yet occurred of the debtors 
being sold up. 

Returning to the town we went first to the 
Dominican convent. The church was struck by 


The Island of Mezzo. 

[Ch. XXI. 

lightning and abandoned in 1862, the convent itself 
had been deserted previously, and both now stand 
open to the winds, and are falling into ruin. The 
buildings seem to be all of the later part of the 
fifteenth century, including the belfry (Fig. 72), 
which, however, keeps in a late style the 'mid- 
wall ' shafts, to use Professor Willis's term, of the 
tenth, eleventh, and twelfth cen- 
turies. The dismantled church 
consists of a single nave with 
long windows of Italian Grothic, 
and still contains the ruin of a 
fair picture of the Annunciation 

From the church we wandered 

into the deserted refectory, where 

^ ^r^^^ ^BP^ the stone legs that once carried 

I M ^ tjie tables still remain though 

1 \/^ \ i^j the tables themselves ai'e gone; 

and instead of the savoury steam 
of the kitchen, there is now only 
the fume of the pitch which the 
fishermen boU here in large caul- 
drons for caulking their boats. We regained the 
beach through the neglected convent garden. 

The Franciscan convent of S. Maria di Spilitza 
( = Ital. Spelonchetta) stands on a low cliflf at 
the other end of the town. Here, too, the con- 
vent is deserted and falling rapidly into ruin, 
but the church is kept up, and is now generally 
used as the parish church instead of the distant 

Fig. 72. 

Ch. XXL] The Island of Mezzo. 395 

chiesa matrice. The convent is said to have 
been founded in 1484, and the church is of 
that date, though the convent and cloister have 
evidently been rebuUt since. The nave windows 
are plain lancets, and those of the eastern part 
have two narrow hghts with trefoiled heads and a 
quatrefoiled circle as at S. Francesco on the island 
of Lesina dated 1461, and the chiesa matrice in 
this island dated 1488 (Figs. 56, 71). The choir is 
fitted with very rich stalls of fifteenth centmy 
Venetian Gothic in the same style as those at Arbe 
Zara and Lesina, and it is interesting to notice how 
even in this late work the leaves retained the crisp 
Byzantine raffling, and are packed within one 
another and fluted quite in the ancient manner, 
while the little capitals of the elbow posts have 
still more thoroughly the look of Byzantine work. 
It is to be regretted that the original arrangement 
of these stalls has been destroyed, the return stalls 
which enclosed the fiiar's choir having, since the 
church has been turned to congregational use, 
been removed and placed against the walls of the 

The altar piece is very fine ; it is made of wood, 
painted blue and gilt, and contains the pictures in- 
dicated in the accompanying diagram. (See next 
page.) The central niche and the statue of the Virgin 
which it contains are not original 

From the convent cloister and garden may be 
reached one of the two castles that defended Mezzo. 
It is quite ruined, and contains nothing of interest. 


The Islaftd of Mezzo. 

[Ch. XXL 

but forms a very picturesque feature in the general 
view of the town. The castles are called respec- 
tively the *• English ' and the ' Spanish ' castle. The 
English occupied Mezzo, as they did Curzola Lissa 
and Lagosta, from 1813 till 181 5. 





r-\ r^ 

2 TTNicKtrr CO 7t 5 



Fig. 72 fl. 

Returning to the parroco's hospitable roof we 
found dinner awaiting us, one of those stupendous 
midday meals to which we could never quite ac- 
commodate our English constitutions. His mother, 
an active lady of eighty years, who could talk no 

Ch. XXL] The Island of Mezzo. 397 

Italian, and with whom we had been obliged to 
exchange civilities in dumb-show, was cook and 
housekeeper, and consequently we lost the pleasure 
of her company at dinner, but she came afterwards 
to say good-bye before retiring for her siesta. A 
very satisfying minestra of rice and broth was 
succeeded by fowls and a curious leathery fried 
substance which I believe to have been cuttle fish, 
and after that by some excellently cooked harboni 
or red mullet, which came unfortunately to blunted 
appetites. Finally, we had some quince cheese, a 
staple dish of this country in which quinces seem to 
abound. The wine, which was made on the spot, 
was very good, and altogether our repast was only 
on too magnificent a scale for our habits. 

Besides the three churches I have described 
Mezzo had once eighteen or twenty chapels. Many 
of these still remain, though roofless and in ruin. 
One more perfect than the rest stands with open 
doors on the cliff* as you approach from the mainland, 
and contains a tomb which, I believe, deserves a 
visit, and which we were to have seen had time per- 



11; 'III 

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