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DOCLEA (Duklja) Crna Gora, Yugoslavia.

At the confluence of the Zeta and Morača 10 km N of Titograd.

The Docleatae, their capital at the later Roman city of Doclea, were conquered by Octavian in 35 B.C. (App. Ill. 16); Pliny (HN 3.143) mention them as part of the conventus of Narona. Ptolemy (Geog. 2.16) includes them among the inhabitants of the interior of S Dalmatia. The site of the city was already occupied in the pre-Roman period, probably by one of the dependencies of Illyrian Meteon. First a civitas, then a municipium (under the Flavians), the city became the most important center in SE Dalmatia. It retained its dominant position in Diocletian's new province of Praevalitana but under Justinian was administered by the Metropolitan See at Justiana Prima (Caričingrad), and, in the early 7th c., fell to the Avars.

The site of the city is a trapezoidal plateau, bounded on the S and W by the Morača and Zeta rivers and on the N by the mountain torrent Širalija. A stone wall with towers, dating from the Roman period, surrounds the site; the defenses of the unprotected E side were augmented with a double line of ditches.

The major buildings, known from excavations at the end of the 19th c., occupy the W half of the site along the principal E-W street. Most of the monuments date from the 2d c. A.D., the period of the city's greatest prosperity.

The main gate was in the W wall where the road from Diluntum and Narona entered the city and continued E to form the principal thoroughfare. East of the gate, beyond the foundations of a triumphal arch, lies the Temple of Dea Roma, the seat of the imperial cult transferred from Epidaurum to Doclea in the 2d c. The temple, distyle in antis with a single cella and apse, is situated within a precinct opening onto the main street. Farther E is a smaller temple, enclosed in a portico connected with an elegant town house. The building is square in plan and of unknown dedication. The adjoining house is organized around a central peristyle and. contains a small set of baths on its E side. The Temple of Diana, almost identical in plan to that of Dea Roma, is on the S side of the street in a peristyle temenos.

The public baths, E of the Diana Temple, were divided into men's and women's sections sharing a common entrance on the S side of the street opposite the forum. Excavations of the men's half have revealed the usual group of hot and cold rooms and a peristyle courtyard. The forum consisted of an open area, rectangular and unpaved, bordered on the N by a row of official buildings, on the E by shops, and on the W by a basilica with its long side facing the forum. The basilica is divided into two chambers with an apsed tribunal in the N wall.

In the E half of the city a three-naved Christian basilica and a small central-plan church were built.

The finds from the site are in the Archaeological Museum at Titograd.


G. Alačević, “Rovine ed iscrizioni di Doclea,” Bullettino di archaeologia e storia dalmata 5 (1882) 179-83; V. Petričević, “Dukljanske starine. Doclea,” ibid., 13 (1890) 99-105; P. Sticotti, Doclea, Die römische Stadt Doclea in Montenegro (Schriften der Balkankommission. Antiquarische Abteilung 6; 1913)MPI; D. Basler, “Problem rekonstrukcije prvobitnog isgleda antičkih hramova u Duklji,” Starine Crne Gore 1 (1963) 139-45I; J. J. Wilkes, Dalmatia (1969)MPI; A. Boëthius & J. B. Ward-Perkins, Etruscan and Roman Architecture (1970)P.


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    • Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia, 3.22
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