The regional imperial cult in the Roman province of Dalmatia

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The province of Dalmatia was divided into three juridical districts (conventi iuridici): Scardona, Salona and Narona, of which the first was organized on the basis of the territorial principle and encompassed a higher number of municipalities…


The provincial imperial cult was organized in the territories of Hispania Citerior (Tarraconensis), south-west Germania and Illyricum, thus in those provinces in which major wartime gains and conquests were achieved precisely by the cult’s founders, Gaius Julius Caesar and Octavian Augustus.


Of the three districts (conventi) recorded in the province of Dalmatia, the archaeological remains indicate official worship of a regional imperial cult within the Scardona conventus, and probably within the Salona conventus as well.


According to epigraphic material that mentions ara Augusti Liburnorum, sacerdos Liburnorum and civitates Liburniae, the cult was organized only for the Liburnian community. Archaeological evidence from the territory of Narona speaks of organized imperial worship already during the lifetime of Augustus, although they all indicate the cult’s municipal level. During the era of the Flavian dynasty, the regional imperial cult in Scardona was revived, while a new regional imperial cult was established for the communities of south-east Dalmatia in Doclea.

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