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PARENTIUM (Poreč) Croatia, Yugoslavia.

On the peninsula ca. 400 m long E-W and 200 m wide N-S, in the center of the W coast of Istria, a site settled by the Illyrians in the Late Bronze Age. Livy mentions it in the battles between the Romans and the Histri in 178-177 B.C. (41.11.1). In the second half of the 2d c. B.C. a castrum was built here on the consular road along the coast. Later it developed into an oppidum civium Romanorum (Plin. HN 3.19.129). Octavian gave the settlement the rank of municipium, and in the 1st c. A.D. Tiberius made it Colonia Iulia Parentium.

The colony had a large ager centuriatus extending between the Mirna (Ningus) river and Limski Channel. The settlement developed an orthogonal street grid with cardo and decumanus. Some of the ancient insulae are still preserved in the town grid. The decumanus is the principal street today and bears this name in its Croatian form (Dekuman). The forum (46 x 45 m), situated at the W end of the decumanus and peninsula, had glimpses of the sea. Its W side was closed by temples of Mars and Neptune, typical of Classical temple architecture in the 1st c. A.D. Poreč still preserves an important Early Christian church, the basilica of Bishop Euphrasius from the 6th c. In the environs of Poreč are many ancient villa sites with mosaics.

Tombs with the interesting tombstones are preserved with the other finds in the local Museum of Poreč County.


A. Degrassi, Inscriptiones Italiae, X/II (1934); id., Parentium (1934); M. Prelog, Poreč, Grad spomenici (1957); Š. Mlakar, Die Römer in istrien (3d ed., 1966); A. Šonje, “La costruzione preeufrasiana di Parenzo,” Zbornik Poreštine 1 (1971).


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