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Solin (It. Salona) is a town in Dalmatia, Croatia. It has a population of 19,011 (2001) and it is the northern part of the Split conurbation.

Known as Salonae in ancient Roman times, it was the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia and the birthplace of Emperor Diocletian, who built a fortified palace nearby, where he lived from 305 to 313.

Salona was sacked by the Avars in the 6th century, and its refugees moved to Diocletian's palace, turning it into the fortified town of Spalato (Split).


In the late ancient times, Salona's importance was so great both politically and religiously that it could not have been forgotten by the remaining residents of Salona who, after the Avars retreated from those regions, founded a new city, Spalato (Split), at the location of the former caesar Diocletian's palace (probably around the middle 7th century). Christianity in Salona probably originated during the time of the apostles. The apostle Paul mentions that his pupil Apostle Titus traveled to Dalmatia (2 Tim 4, 10), so the assumption that he worked in Dalmatia's capital city of Salona, at least for a short time, is probable. That city, located on the Adriatic coast, with excellent sea connections with Italy and Middle East, attracted Christian messengers of faith.

Salona had a well-organized Christian community with a bishop as leader ever since the middle of the 3rd century (bishop martyr Venancie lived at that time). Since the fourth century, Salona praised in its large basillicas its glorious martyrs from the times of Diocletian's persecution: St.Duje (lat. Domnio, Domnius), craftsman Anastasius, deacon Septimia, priest Asteria and others. In the fifth Century, Salona's bishops started exercising more metropolitan duties (archbishop Hezihije), and in the sixth century they carried the archbishop title as well (arhiepiscopus), and fulfilled the duties associated with the title. (archbishops Stjepan, Honorie and others). That means that at that time they held primary positions in the western Iliric. Siscia's bishop from the region Panonia joined the Dalmatian bishops on the sinods held in Salona in the years 530 and 533 as a member with full rights.

After the fall of Salona and the whole region under the Avarian rule (first quarter of 7th century), worship of Salona's martyrs was moved to Rome. Namely, Pope John IV ordered transportation of parts of their relics, which he placed in a dedicated chapel close to the lateran baptistry. The images of those saints, which had been created in mosaic by the Pope's wish, can be found today in the apside of the chapel.

Search for relics for Rome was probably the incentive for Salona residents who inhabited the new town of Split, located only a few kilometers from the abandoned Salona. At the very least, they wanted to bring to Split the bones of their most important protectors: St. Duje and St. Anastasius. They placed them in what was once Diocletian's mausoleum, which was converted into a cathedral (built around year 300), and have been worshiped ever since, a clear sign that the final victory did not belong to persecutors and tirants, but to the martyr fr:Salone nl:Solin


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