Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Diocese of Cattaro (Catharum)

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 3
Diocese of Cattaro (Catharum)

by Umberto Benigni


DIOCESE OF CATTARO (CATARENSIS).

Suffragan of Zara. Cattaro, the principal town in one of the four divisions of Dalmatia, is situated at the foot of steep limestone rocks, on one of the small bays of the Adriatic, and nearly surrounded by mountains. The Gulf of Cattaro, itself a natural port, is divided into four smaller bays called Bocche di Cattaro, one of the most picturesque sites in Europe. The ancients called the town Ascrivium, and its gulf, Sinus Rhizonicus. Early in the Christian Era Ascrivium became a Roman colony; it was destroyed about 860 by the Saracens, but was rebuilt by the inhabitants of the town of Cattaro, who had been driven from home by the Hungarians. In the twelfth century, Cattaro seems to have been a republic; as early as 1178 its coins appear, bearing the image of St. Trypho. Later on it passed successively under Byzantine and Servian rule, and in 1368 formed an alliance with King Louis of Hungary. Having sided with the Genoese against the Venetians it was captured and burned by the latter (1378). In 1423 Cattaro voluntarily submitted to Venice, though retaining a certain autonomy. The long rule of Venice is reflected in the architecture of the town. During the Napoleonic period it passed successively into the hands of the Austrians, the French, the Russians, the French, and the Montenegrins, who sacked it after the departure of the French (1814). It then fell under Austrian rule, and is now a seaport of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, and the commercial outlet of Montenegro. Situated as it was, Cattaro must have received the Gospel at an early period, according to legend from St. Boimus. The list of bishops, however, does not go farther back than 877. The Catholic population of the diocese is 13,363, the non-Catholic, 15,000. There are 19 parishes, 11 vicariates, 50 secular and 12 regular priests.

U. BENIGNI