1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Dalmatia
DALMATIA (Ger. Dalmatien; Ital. Dalmazia; Serbo-Croatian, Dalmacija), a kingdom and crownland of the Austro-Hungarian empire, in the north-west of the Balkan Peninsula, and on the Adriatic Sea. Dalmatia is bounded, on the landward side, by Croatia and Bosnia, in the N. and N.E.; and by Herzegovina and Montenegro, in the S.E. and S. Its area amounts to 4923 sq. m.; its greatest length, from north-west to south-east, is 210 m.; its breadth reaches 35 m. between Point Planca and the Bosnian frontier, diminishing to less than 1 m. at Cattaro. Near the ports of Klek and Castelnuovo the Herzegovinian frontier comes down to the sea, but only for a total distance of 1412 m.
Physical Features.—No part of the Mediterranean shore, except the coast of Greece, is so deeply indented as the Dalmatian littoral, with its multitude of rock-bound bays and inlets. It is sheltered from the open sea by a rampart of islands which vary greatly in size; a few being large enough to support several thousand inhabitants, while others are mere reefs, swept bare by the sea, or tenanted only by rabbits and seabirds. This Dalmatian archipelago, separated from the Istrian by the Gulf of Quarnerolo, forms two island groups, the northern or Liburnian, and the southern; with open water intervening, off Point Planca. In calm weather the channels between the islands and the mainland resemble a chain of landlocked lakes, brilliantly clear to a depth of several fathoms. As a rule, the surrounding hills are rugged, bleached almost white or pale russet, and destitute of verdure; but their monotony is relieved by the half-ruined castles and monasteries clinging to the rocks, or by the beauty of such cities as Ragusa, or Arbe, with its fantastic row of steeples overlooking the beach. The principal islands, Arbe, Brazza, Curzola, Lacroma, Lesina, Lissa and Meleda, are described under separate headings. The promontory of Sabbioncello, or Punta di Stagno, which juts out for 41 m. into the sea, between Curzola and Lesina, is almost another island; for its breadth, which nowhere exceeds 5 m., dwindles to about 1 m. at the narrow isthmus which unites it with the shore. There are two small ports on this isthmus—on the south, Stagno Grande (Serbo-Croatian, Ston Veliki), once celebrated for its salt and shipbuilding industries, and, on the north, Stagno Piccolo (Ston Mali). Dalmatia possesses a magnificent anchorage in the Bocche di Cattaro, and there are numerous lesser havens, at Sebenico, Traù, Zara and elsewhere along the coast and among the islands.
The country is almost everywhere hilly or mountainous. On the Croatian border rises the lofty barrier of the Velebit, which culminates in Sveto Brdo (5751 ft.), and Vakanski Vrh (5768 ft.). The Dinaric Alps form the frontier between Dalmatia and Bosnia; Dinara (6007 ft.), which gives its name to the whole chain, and Troglav (6276 ft.), being the highest Dalmatian summits. North-west of Sinj rise the Svilaja and Moseć Planinas; the ridges of Mosor and Biokovo, with Sveto Juraj (5781 ft.), follow the windings of the coast from Spalato to Macarsca; Orjen marks the meeting-place of the Herzegovinian, Montenegrin and Dalmatian frontiers, and the Sutorman range appears in the extreme south. The barren dry limestone of the Dalmatian highlands has been aptly compared with a petrified sponge; for it is honeycombed with underground caverns and water-courses, into which the rainfall is at once filtered. Thus arises a complete system of subterranean rivers, with waterfalls, lakes and regular seasons of flood. Even the few surface rivers vanish and emerge again at intervals. The Trebinjčica, for instance, disappearing in Herzegovina, supplies both the broad and swift estuary of Ombla, near Ragusa, and the fresh-water spring of Doli, which issues from the bottom of the sea. Apart from the Ombla, and the Narenta (Serbo-Croatian, Neretva; Roman, Naro), which creates a broad marshy delta between Metković and the sea, Dalmatia has only three rivers more than 25 m. long; the Zermagna (Zrmanja, Tedanium), Kerka, (Krka, Titius), and Cetina (Cetina; Narona or Tilurus). The Zermagna skirts the southern foothills of the Velebit and falls into the harbour of Novigrad. Better known is the Kerka, which rises in the Dinaric Alps and flows south-westward to the Adriatic. Near Scardona (Skradin) it spreads into a broad lake, and forms several fine waterfalls, after receiving its tributary the Cikola (Čikola), from the east. South of Spalato, the Cetina, which also springs from the Dinaric Alps, descends to the sea at Almissa (Omiš), after passing between the Mosor and Biokovo ranges. There are a few small lakes near Zara, Zaravecchia and the Narenta estuary; while the fertile, but unhealthy, hollows among the mountains fill with water after heavy rain, and sometimes cause disastrous floods. But most parts of the country suffer from drought.
For an account of the chief geological formations see Balkan Peninsula. Small quantities of iron, lignite, asphalt and bay salt are the only minerals of commercial importance.
The climate is warm and healthy, the mean temperature at Zara being 57° F., at Lesina 62°, and at Ragusa 63°. The prevailing wind is the sirocco, or S.E.; but the terrible Bora, or N.N.E., may blow at any season of the year. The average annual rainfall is about 28 in., but a dry and a wet year usually alternate.
Fauna.—Bears, badgers and wild cats, with a larger number of wolves and foxes, find shelter in the Dinaric Alps and on the heights of Svilaja, Mosor and Biokovo; while jackals exist on Curzola and Sabbioncello, almost their last refuges in Europe. Roedeer are uncommon, and the wild boar, chamois, red-deer and beaver are extinct; but hares and rabbits abound. The game-laws are not strict, and are often evaded by the Morlachs; but moderate sport may be obtained in the fens formed by the Cetina about Sinj, and the lagoons of the Narenta estuary; both regions being frequented by wild swans, geese, duck, snipe and other aquatic birds. Among land-birds, the commonest are quails, woodcock, partridges, and especially the so-called “stone-fowl” (Steinhuhn, Perdix Graeca). Tortoises are numerous; snakes, lizards, scorpions and innumerable sand-flies infest the dry hillsides; and the limestone caverns are peopled by sightless bats, reptiles, fish, flies, beetles, spiders, crustacea and molluscs.
Fisheries.—No region of Europe is richer in its marine fauna and flora. Sponge and coral fisheries afford a valuable source of income to the peasantry, many of whom also go northward for the sardine and tunny fisheries of the Istrian coast, while salmon, trout and eels are caught in the Dalmatian rivers.
Flora.—The olive, almond, fig, orange, palm, aloe, myrtle, locust-tree and other characteristic members of the Mediterranean flora thrive in the sheltered valleys of the Dalmatian littoral, where almond-blossoms appear in mid-winter, and the palm occasionally bears ripe fruit. The marasca, or wild cherry, is abundant, and yields the celebrated liqueur called maraschino. But at a little distance from the rivers and on the more exposed parts of the coast the aspect of the country changes entirely. Patches of thin grass, heather, juniper, thyme, tamarisks and mountain roses hardly relieve the bareness and aridity of the seaward slopes.
Forests.—Oaks, pines and beeches still, in a few parts, clothe the landward slopes, but, as a rule, the forests for which Dalmatia was once famous were cut down for the Venetian shipyards or burned by pirates; while every attempt at replanting is frustrated by the shallowness of the soil, the drought and the multitude of goats that browse on the young trees.
Agriculture.—Little more than one-tenth of the whole surface is under the plough; the rest, where it is not altogether sterile, being chiefly mountain pasture, vineyards and garden land. Asses are the favourite beasts of burden; goats are strikingly numerous; and sheep are kept for the sake of their mutton, which is almost the only animal food freely consumed by the peasantry. Cattle-breeding, bee-keeping, and the cultivation of fruit and vegetables, especially potatoes and beetroot, are among the principal resources of the people, while wheat, rye, barley, oats, Indian corn, hemp and millet are also grown. Viticulture is carried on with great and increasing success (see Wine).
Land-tenure.—Individual proprietorship of the soil is rare, for, despite the decadence of the zadruga or household community, the tenure of land and the privilege of using the communal domain still appertain to the family as a whole. There are a few large estates, but most of the land is parcelled out in small holdings.
Industries.—Besides fishing, farming and such allied trades as ship-building, wine and oil pressing, and the distillation of spirits, notably maraschino, a few other industries are practised, such as tile-burning and the manufacture of soap; but these are of minor importance. Certain crafts are also carried on by the country-folk, in their own homes; thus the peasant is sometimes his own mason, carpenter, weaver and miller. Manufactured goods and foodstuffs are imported, in return for asphalt, lignite, bay salt, wine, spirits, oil, honey, wax and hides; and there is a lucrative transit trade with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Turkey and various Adriatic and Mediterranean ports.
Communications.—Communications are defective, some parts of the interior being only accessible by the roughest of mountain roads. The principal railway, in point of size, traverses the central districts, linking together Knin, Spalato, Sebenico and Sinj; but the southern lines, which unite Dalmatia with Herzegovina and terminate at Ragusa, Metković and Castlenuovo on the Bocche di Cattaro, are almost of equal importance, Cattaro being one of the chief outlets for Montenegrin commerce, while the vessels which steam up the Narenta to Metković carry the bulk of the sea-borne trade of Herzegovina. In 1897 Dalmatia possessed 151 post and 98 telegraph offices.
Chief Towns.—The chief towns are Zara, the capital, with 32,506 inhabitants in 1900, Spalato (27,198), Sebenico (24,751), Traù (17,064), Ragusa (13,174), Macarsca (11,016), and Cattaro (5418). All these are described under separate headings.
Population and National Characteristics.—With a constant excess of male over female children, the population increased steadily from 1869 to 1900, when it reached 591,597. Of this total 1% are foreigners and about 3% Italians, whose numbers tend slowly to diminish. The Morlachs, who constitute the remaining 96%, belong to the Serbo-Croatian branch of the Slavonic race, having absorbed the Latinized Illyrians, Albanians and other alien elements with which they have been associated. The name of Morlachs, Morlaks or Morlacks commonly bestowed by English writers on the Dalmatian Slavs, though sometimes restricted to the peasantry of the hills, is an abbreviated form of Mavrovlachi, meaning either “Black Vlachs,” or, less probably, “Sea Vlachs.” It was originally applied to the scattered remnants of the Latin or Latinized inhabitants of central Illyria, who were driven from their homes by the barbarian invaders during the 7th century, and took refuge among the mountains. Throughout the middle ages the Mavrovlachi were usually nomadic shepherds, cattle-drovers or muleteers. In the 14th century they emigrated from central Illyria into northern Dalmatia and maritime Croatia; and these regions were thenceforward known as Morlacchia, until the 18th century. Gradually, however, the Mavrovlachi became identified with the Slavs, whose language and manners they adopted, and to whom they gave their own name. In northern Dalmatia the Slavs of the interior are still called Morlacchi; in the south this name expresses contempt. Of the Vlachs, properly so called, very few are left in the country; although the name Vlachs (q.v.) is frequently used by the Slavs to designate the Italians and the town-dwellers generally. The literary languages of Dalmatia are Italian and Serbo-Croatian; the spoken language is, in each case, modified by the introduction of various dialect forms.
The Morlachs wear a picturesque and brightly-coloured costume, resembling that of the Serbs (see Servia). In appearance they are sometimes blond, with blue or grey eyes, like the Shumadian peasantry of Servia; more often, olive-skinned, with dark hair and eyes, like the Montenegrins, whom they rival in stature, strength and courage; while their conservative spirit, their devotion to national traditions, poetry and music, their pride, indolence and superstition, are typically Servian. Dalmatian public life is deeply affected by the jealousies which subsist between the Slavs and the Italians, whose influence, though everywhere waning, remains predominant in some of the towns; and between Orthodox “Serbs,” who use the Cyrillic alphabet, and Roman Catholic “Croats,” who prefer the Latin.
Government.—Dalmatia occupies a somewhat anomalous position in the Austro-Hungarian state system. Itself a crown-land of Austria, returning eleven members to the Austrian parliament, it is severed geographically from the other Austrian lands by the Hungarian kingdom of Croatia. Ethnologically it is one with Croatia, and it is included in the official title of the Croatian king, i.e. the emperor. The political system is based on a law of the 26th of February 1861. The provincial diet is composed of 43 members, comprising the Roman Catholic archbishop, the Orthodox bishop of Zara and representatives of the chief taxpayers, the towns and the communes. Benkovac, on the main road from Zara to Spalato, Cattaro, Curzola, Imotski, 21 m. N. by E. of Macarsca, Knin, Lesina, Macarsca, Ragusa, Sebenico, Sinj, Spalato and Zara, give names to the twelve administrative districts, of which they are the capitals.
Defence.—Conscription is in force, as elsewhere in Austria, and the Dalmatian coast furnishes the Austrian—as formerly the Venetian—navy with many of its best recruits.
Religion.—Roman Catholicism is the religion of more than 80% of the population, the remainder belonging chiefly to the Orthodox Church. The Roman Catholic archbishop has his seat in Zara, while Cattaro, Lesina, Ragusa, Sebenico and Spalato are bishoprics. At the head of the Orthodox community stands the bishop of Zara.
The use of Slavonic liturgies written in the Glagolitic alphabet, a very ancient privilege of the Roman Catholics in Dalmatia and Croatia, caused much controversy during the first years of the 20th century. There was considerable danger that the Latin liturgies would be altogether superseded by the Glagolitic, especially among the northern islands and in rural communes, where the Slavonic element is all-powerful. In 1904 the Vatican forbade the use of Glagolitic at the festival of SS. Cyril and Methodius, as likely to impair the unity of Catholicism. A few years previously the Slavonic archbishop Rajčević of Zara, in discussing the “Glagolitic controversy,” had denounced the movement as “an innovation introduced by Panslavism to make it easy for the Catholic clergy, after any great revolution in the Balkan States, to break with Latin Rome.” This view is shared by very many, perhaps by the majority, of the Roman Catholics in Dalmatia.
Education.—Education progressed slowly between 1860 and 1900, attendance at school being often a hardship in the poor and widely scattered hamlets of the interior. In 1890 more than 80% of the population could neither read nor write, although schools are maintained by every commune. In 1893 the country possessed 5 intermediate and 337 elementary schools, 6 theological seminaries, 6 gymnasia, and about 40 continuation and technical schools.
Antiquities.—To the foreign visitor Dalmatia is chiefly interesting as a treasury of art and antiquities. The grave-mounds of Curzola, Lesina and Sabbioncello have yielded a few relics of prehistoric man, and the memory of the early Celtic conquerors and Greek settlers is preserved only in a few place-names; but the monuments left by the Romans are numerous and precious. They are chiefly confined to the cities; for the civilization of the country was always urban, just as its history is a record of isolated city-states rather than of a united nation. Beyond the walls of its larger towns, little was spared by the barbarian Goths, Avars and Slavs; and the battered fragments of Roman work which mark the sites of Salona, near Spalato, and of many other ancient cities, are of slight antiquarian interest and slighter artistic value. Among the monuments of the Roman period, by far the most noteworthy in Dalmatia, and, indeed, in the whole Balkan Peninsula, is the Palace of Diocletian at Spalato (q.v.). Dalmatian architecture was Byzantine in its general character from the 6th century until the close of the 10th. The oldest memorials of this period are the vestiges of three basilicas, excavated in Salona, and dating from the first half of the 7th century at latest. Byzantine art, in the latter half of this period and the two succeeding centuries, continued to flourish in those cities which, like Zara, gave their allegiance to Venice; just as, in the architecture of Traù and other cities dominated by Hungary, there are distinct traces of German influence. The belfry of S. Maria, at Zara, erected in 1105, is first in a long list of Romanesque buildings. At Arbe there is a beautiful Romanesque campanile which also belongs to the 12th century; but the finest example in this style is the cathedral of Traù. The 14th century Dominican and Franciscan convents in Ragusa are also noteworthy. Romanesque lingered on in Dalmatia until it was displaced by Venetian Gothic in the early years of the 15th century. The influence of Venice was then at its height. Even in the hostile republic of Ragusa the Romanesque of the custom-house and Rectors’ palace is combined with Venetian Gothic, while the graceful balconies and ogee windows of the Prijeki closely follow their Venetian models. Gothic, however, which had been adopted very late, was abandoned very early; for in 1441 Giorgio Orsini of Zara, summoned from Venice to design the cathedral of Sebenico, brought with him the influence of the Italian Renaissance. The new forms which he introduced were eagerly imitated and developed by other architects, until the period of decadence—which virtually concludes the history of Dalmatian art—set in during the latter half of the 17th century. Special mention must be made of the carved woodwork, embroideries and plate preserved in many churches. The silver statuette and the reliquary of St Biagio at Ragusa, and the silver ark of St Simeon at Zara, are fine specimens of Byzantine and Italian jewellers’ work, ranging in date from the 11th or 12th to the 17th century.
Dalmatia under Roman Rule, A.D. 9–1102.—The history of Dalmatia may be said to begin with the year 180 B.C., when the tribe from which the country derives its name declared itself independent of Gentius, the Illyrian king, and established a republic. Its capital was Delminium; its territory stretched northwards from the Narenta to the Cetina, and later to the Kerka, where it met the confines of Liburnia. In 156 B.C. the Dalmatians were for the first time attacked by a Roman army and compelled to pay tribute; but only in the time of Augustus (31 B.C.–A.D. 14) was their land finally annexed, after the last of many formidable revolts had been crushed by Tiberius in A.D. 9. This event was followed by total submission and a ready acceptance of the Latin civilization which overspread Illyria (q.v.). The downfall of the Western Empire left this region subject to Gothic rulers, Odoacer and Theodoric, from 476 to 535, when it was added by Justinian to the Eastern Empire. The great Slavonic migration into Illyria, which wrought a complete change in the fortunes of Dalmatia, took place in the first half of the 7th century. In other parts of the Balkan Peninsula these invaders—Serbs, Croats or Bulgars—found little difficulty in expelling or absorbing the native population. But here they were baffled when confronted by the powerful maritime city-states, highly civilized, and able to rely on the moral if not the material support of their kinsfolk in Italy. Consequently, while the country districts were settled by the Slavs, the Latin or Italian population flocked for safety to Ragusa, Zara and other large towns, and the whole country was thus divided between two frequently hostile communities. This opposition was intensified by the schism between Eastern and Western Christianity (1054), the Slavs as a rule preferring the Orthodox or sometimes the Bogomil creed, while the Italians were firmly attached to the Papacy. Not until the 15th century did the rival races contribute to a common civilization in the literature of Ragusa. To such a division of population may be attributed the two dominant characteristics of local history—the total absence of national as distinguished from civic life, and the remarkable development of art, science and literature. Bosnia, Servia and Bulgaria had each its period of national greatness, but remained intellectually backward; Dalmatia failed ever to attain political or racial unity, but the Dalmatian city-states, isolated and compelled to look to Italy for support, shared perforce in the march of Italian civilization. Their geographical position suffices to explain the relatively small influence exercised by Byzantine culture throughout the six centuries (535–1102) during which Dalmatia was part of the Eastern empire. Towards the close of this period Byzantine rule tended more and more to become merely nominal. In 806 Dalmatia was added to the Holy Roman empire, but was soon restored; in 829 the coast was ravaged by Saracens. A strange republic of Servian pirates arose at the mouth of the Narenta. In the 10th century description of Dalmatia by Constantine Porphyrogenitus (De Administrando Imperio, 29-37), this region is called Pagania, from the fact that its inhabitants had only accepted Christianity about 890, or 250 years later than the other Slavs. These Pagani, or Arentani (Narentines), utterly defeated a Venetian fleet despatched against them in 887, and for more than a century exacted tribute from Venice itself. In 998 they were finally crushed by the doge Pietro Orseolo II., who assumed the title duke of Dalmatia, though without prejudice to Byzantine suzerainty. Meanwhile the Croatian kings had extended their rule over northern and central Dalmatia, exacting tribute from the Italian cities, Traù, Zara and others, and consolidating their own power in the purely Slavonic towns, such as Nona or Belgrad (Zaravecchia). The Church was involved in the general confusion; for the synod of Spalato, in 1059, had forbidden the use of any but Greek or Latin liturgies, and so had accentuated the differences between Latin and Slav. A raid of Norman corsairs in 1073 was hardly defeated with the help of a Venetian fleet.
Rivalry of Venice and Hungary in Dalmatia, 1102–1420.—Unable amid such dissensions to stand alone, unprotected by the Eastern empire and hindered by their internal dissensions from uniting in a defensive league, the city-states turned to Venice and Hungary for support. The Venetians, to whom they were already bound by race, language and culture, could afford to concede liberal terms because their own principal aims was not the territorial aggrandizement sought by Hungary, but only such a supremacy as might prevent the development of any dangerous political or commercial competitor on the eastern Adriatic. Hungary had also its partisans; for in the Dalmatian city-states, like those of Greece and Italy, there were almost invariably two jealous political factions, each ready to oppose any measure advocated by its antagonist. The origin of this division seems here to have been economic. The farmers and the merchants who traded in the interior naturally favoured Hungary, their most powerful neighbour on land; while the seafaring community looked to Venice as mistress of the Adriatic. In return for protection, the cities often furnished a contingent to the army or navy of their suzerain, and sometimes paid tribute either in money or in kind. Arbe, for example, annually paid ten pounds of silk or five pounds of gold to Venice. The citizens clung to their municipal privileges, which were reaffirmed after the conquest of Dalmatia in 1102–1105 by Coloman of Hungary. Subject to the royal assent they might elect their own chief magistrate, bishop and judges. Their Roman law remained valid. They were even permitted to conclude separate alliances. No alien, not even a Hungarian, could reside in a city where he was unwelcome; and the man who disliked Hungarian dominion could emigrate with all his household and property. In lieu of tribute, the revenue from customs was in some cases shared equally by the king, chief magistrate, bishop and municipality. These rights and the analogous privileges granted by Venice were, however, too frequently infringed, Hungarian garrisons being quartered on unwilling towns, while Venice interfered with trade, with the appointment of bishops, or with the tenure of communal domains. Consequently the Dalmatians remained loyal only while it suited their interests, and insurrections frequently occurred. Even in Zara four outbreaks are recorded between 1180 and 1345, although Zara was treated with special consideration by its Venetian masters, who regarded its possession as essential to their maritime ascendancy. The doubtful allegiance of the Dalmatians tended to protract the struggle between Venice and Hungary, which was further complicated by internal discord due largely to the spread of the Bogomil heresy; and by many outside influences, such as the vague suzerainty still enjoyed by the Eastern emperors during the 12th century; the assistance rendered to Venice by the armies of the Fourth Crusade in 1202; and the Tartar invasion of Dalmatia forty years later (see Traù). The Slavs were no longer regarded as a hostile race, but the power of certain Croatian magnates, notably the counts of Bribir, was from time to time supreme in the northern districts (see Croatia-Slavonia); and Stephen Tvrtko, the founder of the Bosnian kingdom, was able in 1389 to annex the whole Adriatic littoral between Cattaro and Fiume, except Venetian Zara and his own independent ally, Ragusa (see Bosnia and Herzegovina). Finally, the rapid decline of Bosnia, and of Hungary itself when assailed by the Turks, rendered easy the success of Venice; and in 1420 the whole of Dalmatia, except Almissa, which yielded in 1444, and Ragusa, which preserved its freedom, either submitted or was conquered. Many cities welcomed the change with its promise of tranquillity.
Venetian and Turkish Rule, 1420–1797.—An interval of peace ensued, but meanwhile the Turkish advance continued. Constantinople fell in 1453, Servia in 1459, Bosnia in 1463 and Herzegovina in 1483. Thus the Venetian and Ottoman frontiers met; border wars were incessant; Ragusa sought safety in friendship with the invaders. In 1508 the hostile league of Cambrai compelled Venice to withdraw its garrison for home service, and after the overthrow of Hungary at Mohács in 1526 the Turks were able easily to conquer the greater part of Dalmatia. The peace of 1540 left only the maritime cities to Venice, the interior forming a Turkish province, governed from the fortress of Clissa by a Sanjakbeg, or administrator with military powers. Christian Slavs from the neighbouring lands now thronged to the towns, outnumbering the Italian population and introducing their own language, but falling under the influence of the Roman Catholic Church. The pirate community of the Uskoks (q.v.) had originally been a band of these fugitives; its exploits contributed to a renewal of war between Venice and Turkey (1571–1573). An extremely curious picture of contemporary manners is presented by the Venetian agents, whose reports on this war resemble some knightly chronicle of the middle ages, full of single combats, tournaments and other chivalrous adventures. They also show clearly that the Dalmatian levies far surpassed the Italian mercenaries in skill and courage. Many of these troops served abroad; at Lepanto, for example, in 1571, a Dalmatian squadron assisted the allied fleets of Spain, Venice, Austria and the Papal States to crush the Turkish navy. A fresh war broke out in 1645, lasting intermittently until 1699, when the peace of Carlowitz gave the whole of Dalmatia to Venice, including the coast of Herzegovina, but excluding the domains of Ragusa and the protecting band of Ottoman territory which surrounded them. After further fighting this delimitation was confirmed in 1718 by the treaty of Passarowitz; and it remains valid, though modified by the destruction of Ragusan liberty and the substitution of Austria-Hungary for Venice and Turkey.
The intellectual life of Dalmatia during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries reached a higher level than any attained by the purely Slavonic peoples of the Balkan Peninsula. Its chief monuments are described elsewhere,—the work of the Ragusan poets and historians as a part of Servian literature, the scientific achievements of R. G. Boscovich and Marcantonio de Dominis in separate biographies. Architecture and art generally have been discussed above. But this intellectual development was the work of a small and opulent minority in all the cities except Ragusa. Popular education was neglected; Zara had no printing-press until 1796; Venetian Dalmatia possessed only one public school, and that an ecclesiastical seminary; and even the sons of the rich, though free to visit the universities of Italy, France, Holland and England, ran the risk of exile or worse punishment if they brought home too liberal a culture. Poorer students learned what they could from the clergy, and the peasantry were wholly illiterate. Although the secular power of the Church was strictly limited, the country was overrun by ecclesiastics. When Fortis visited the island of Arbe in the 18th century, he found a population of 3000, mostly fishermen, contributing to the stipends of sixty priests. There were also three monasteries and three nunneries. Heavy taxes, the salt monopoly, reckless destruction of timber, and a deliberate attempt to ruin the oil and silk industries, were among the means by which Venice prevented competition with its own trade. Although justice was fairly well administered and some show of municipal autonomy conceded, the right of electing a chief magistrate had been withheld after 1420; and the Grand Council or Senate of each city, losing its original democratic character, had degenerated into a mere tool of the resident Venetian agents (provveditori), officials who held their post for thirty-two months and were subject to little effective control. Nevertheless, 150 years of war against the common Turkish enemy had drawn the Venetians and their subjects closely together, and the loyalty of the Dalmatian soldiers and sailors abroad, if not of their fellow-citizens at home, rests beyond doubt.
Dalmatia after 1797.—After the fall of the Venetian republic in 1797, the treaty of Campo Formio gave Dalmatia to Austria. The republics of Ragusa and Poglizza retained their independence, and Ragusa grew rich by its neutrality during the earlier Napoleonic wars. By the peace of Pressburg in 1805 the country was handed over to France, but its occupation was ineffectually contested by a Russian force which seized the Bocche di Cattaro and induced the Montenegrins to render aid. Poglizza was deprived of its independence by Napoleon in 1807, Ragusa in 1808. In 1809 the French troops were withdrawn, but in the same year Dalmatia was restored to France and united to the Illyrian kingdom by the treaty of Vienna. A British naval force under Captain Hoste, after a successful engagement with a small French squadron off Lissa, occupied the islands of Curzola, Lesina and Lagosta from 1812 to 1815, and established a considerable overland trade through Dalmatia, Austria and Germany. The allied British and Austrian forces drove out the last French garrison in 1814, and in 1815 Dalmatia was finally incorporated in the Austro-Hungarian empire, with which its history has since been identified. Its subsequent tranquillity has only been disturbed by the ineffectual risings of 1869 and 1881–1882, which took place near Cattaro (q.v.). For an account of the development of Croatian nationalism among the Dalmatians, during the 19th and 20th centuries, see Croatia-Slavonia.
Bibliography.—A minute and accurate account of Dalmatian history, art (especially architecture), antiquities and topography, is given by T. G. Jackson, in Dalmatia, the Quarnero and Istria (Oxford, 1887), (3 vols. illustrated). E. A. Freeman, Subject and Neighbour Lands of Venice (London, 1881), and G. Modrich, La Dalmazia (Turin, 1892), describe the chief towns, their history and antiquities. Much miscellaneous information is contained in the following mainly topographical works:—P. Bauron, Les Rives illyriennes (Paris, 1888); Sir A. A. Paton, Highlands and Islands of the Adriatic (London, 1849); Sir J. G. Wilkinson, Dalmatia and Montenegro (London, 1840); A. Fortis, Travels into Dalmatia (London, 1778); and the periodicals, Rivista Dalmatica (Zara, 1899, &c.), and Annuario Dalmatico (Zara, 1884, &c.). The best maps are those of the Austrian General Staff and Vincenzo de Haardt’s Zemljovid Kraljevine Dalmacije (Zara, 1892). See also for trade, the Annual British Consular Reports; for sport, “Snaffle,” In the Land of the Bora (London, 1897); for Roman and pre-Roman antiquities, R. Munro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Dalmatia (Edinburgh, 1904). Besides the works mentioned above, and those by Farlatus, Makushev, Miklosich, Theiner, Shafarik, Orbini and du Cange, which are quoted under Bosnia and Herzegovina, the chief authority for Dalmatian history is G. Lucio (Lucius of Traù), De regno Dalmatiae et Croatiae, a gentis origine ad annum 1480 (Amsterdam, 1666). To this edition are appended the works of the Presbyter Diocleas, Thomas of Spalato and other native chroniclers from the 12th century onwards. An Italian translation, omitting the appendix, was published at Trieste in 1892, entitled Storia del Regno di Dalmatia e di Croazia, and edited by Luigi Cesare. Lucio’s work is singularly trustworthy and scientific. See also P. Pisani, La Dalmatie de 1797 à 1815 (Paris, 1893). (K. G. J.)
- ↑ This arrangement is based on the terms of the peace of Carlowitz 1699 (articles IX. and XI. of the Turco-Venetian Treaty). It is due to the commercial and maritime rivalry between Venice and Ragusa. The Ragusans bribed the Turkish envoys at Carlowitz to stipulate for a double extension of the Ottoman dominions down to the Adriatic; and thus the Ragusan lands, which otherwise would have bordered upon the Dalmatian possessions of Venice, were surrounded by neutral territory.
- ↑ These figures, taken from the Austrian official returns, include the population of the entire commune, not merely the urban residents. Only in Zara, Spalato, Sebenico and Ragusa, do the actual townsfolk number more than 1000.
- ↑ Also written Dalminium, Deminium, and Delmis. Thomas of Spalato (c. 1200–1250) mentions that the site of Delminium had been forgotten in his time, although certain ancient walls among the mountains were believed to be its ruins. It has been variously identified, by modern archaeologists, with Almissa, on the coast, Dalen, in the Herzegovina, Duvno, near Sinj, and Gardun, in the same locality. It was evidently a stronghold of considerable size and importance, and Appian (De bellis Illyricis) alludes to its almost impregnable fortifications.
- ↑ Long extracts from these reports or diaries are published by Wilkinson, Dalmatia and Montenegro (London, 1840), ii. 297-350.