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ISSA (Vis) Croatia, Yugoslavia.

A town on an island of the same name in the central Adriatic. It was settled by Illyrians, who were under the domination of Liburni from the 8th to the 6th c. B.C. At the beginning of 4th c. B.C. it was colonized by Syracusan Greeks as part of a plan of Dionysios the Elder to control the Adriatic. During the 3d c. Issa founded the emporia Tragurion (Trogir) and Epetion (Stobreč) on the Illynan mainland. Its predominance in the region lasted until the first Illyro-Roman war 229-219 B.C. when it became a pawn in the battles of greater powers. In the civil war it sided with Pompey and consequently lost its privileges and autonomy in 47 B.C. when it was reduced to the rank of the oppidum civium Romanorum and was dependent on the newly founded colony at Salona. As a polis Issa minted its own money, and these coins of many types had wide circulation.

The town, situated on a slope on the W side of a large bay, was defended by strong Hellenistic walls, still visible in an irregular quadrangle (265 x 360 m) that enclosed an area of 9.8 ha. The street grid and foundations of houses have been found. The necropolis has yielded many pieces of the pottery, including some from S Italy. The wall of the cavea of the theater, built in the Roman period, is incorporated into the present Franciscan Monastery. It could seat about 3000 persons.

Inscriptions, statues, coins, and pottery are preserved in the archaeological museums at Split and Zagreb.


M. Nikolanci, “Helenistička nekropola Isse,” Vjesnik za arheologiju i historiju dalmatinsku 63-64 (1961-62) 57-90; G. Novak, Vis (1961); B. Gabričević, Antički spomenici otoka Visa, Viški spomenici (1968) 5-60 (English summary).


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