Sites & cities that bear the name of Stari Grad

Stari Grad

Today in : Croatia
First trace of activity : 384 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : today
Recorded names : Φάρος, Faros, Pharos, Cittavecchia di Lesina

Description : Stari Grad ("Old Town") (Italian: Cittavecchia or Cittavecchia di Lesina) is a town on the northern side of the island of Hvar in Dalmatia, Croatia. One of the oldest towns in Europe, its position at the end of a long, protected bay and next to prime agricultural land has long made it attractive for human settlement. Stari Grad is also a municipality within the Split-Dalmatia County. The most ancient part of Stari Grad falls within the UNESCO Protected World Heritage Site of the Stari Grad Plain, while the entire municipality lies within the surrounding buffer zone. The area around present day Stari Grad was settled by the neolithic tribes of the Hvar culture who occupied the island between 3500 and 2500 BC, and who traded with other settlements around the Mediterranean. Remains of their pottery and other artifacts have been found, along with that of the Illyrian tribe that succeeded them. The settlement lay at the lower end of Stari Grad Bay, defended by two strongholds on the north and south hillsides overlooking the harbour (Glavica and Purkin Kuk). In 384 BC, the town was formally founded by ancient Greeks from the island of Paros in the Aegean Sea. They gave the name Faros (ΦΑΡΟΣ) to their new settlement, an independent state permitted to mint its own money. The nearby plain was marked out with roads at right angles, and divided into fields of standard size. The Stari Grad Plain today represents one of the best-preserved examples of ancient Greek agriculture throughout the Mediterranean. In 218 BC, the Romans defeated the Illyrian army at Pharos during the Second Illyrian War, and the town was destroyed by the Roman army, but remained under Illyrian control. The town came under permanent Roman control by force in 168 BC, following the defeat of Gentius during the Third Illyrian War. An inscription from the 2nd century BC, refers to the Farians and their delegation to the Greek island of Paros and the oracle at Delphi. It makes mention of the Roman senate and the people (who are) well disposed and benevolent towards the city of Faros from the times of their ancestors. Further inscriptions, mosaics, tombstones, stone reliefs, fine pottery, jewellery, coins, villae rusticae in the Plain tell the story of life in and around the ancient Roman town.

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