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VARVARIA (Bribir) Croatia, Yugoslavia.

A hill fort settlement of the Liburni in N Dalmatia 12 km NW of Scardona (Skradin). It was the center of the Varvarini, one of the 14 Liburnian communities (civitates) administered from their iudicial conventus at Scardona. First tribute exemption and then municipal rank was granted to the settlement, most probably by Augustus. Because the municipium was administered by the four viri, some judge that this grant dates from Caesar's reign. The families of native Liburnian origin kept their privileged positions in the Roman period.

Strong defensive walls from the Preroman period encircle the top of the hill, enclosing an area of 72,000 sq. m. The current excavations have uncovered large stretches of these walls, which were to 2 m thick and 3-4 m high constructed of big stone blocks. Mediaeval building destroyed much of the ancient settlement, but many ancient foundations and cisterns have been excavated. The forum was probably on the site of the present Turkish tower because many fragments of the monumental architecture have been found there. Many inscriptions, coins, and pottery fragments have been found. The settlement was destroyed in the invasions of the Goths and Slavs in the 6th and 7th c.

The finds are preserved in the Archaeological Museum at Zadar and in a small collection on the site.


M. Suić, Municipium Varvariae, Diadora 2 (1960-62) 179-98; M. Suić, “Bribir u antici,” Starohrvatska prosvjeta 3, 10 (1968) 217-34; G. Forni, “Varvariana,” Adriatica praehistorica et antiqua—Miscellanea Gregorio Novak dicata (1970) 573-77.


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