Dalmatia (theme)

Dalmatia (theme)
Θέμα Δελματίας
Theme of Dalmatia
Theme of the Byzantine Empire
ca. 870 – 1060s
Location of Dalmatia
Map of the western Balkans ca. 925
Capital Zadar
Historical era Middle Ages
 - Establishment as a theme ca. 870
 - Collapse of Byzantine control 1060s

The Theme of Dalmatia (Greek: θέμα Δαλματίας/Δελματίας, thema Dalmatias/Delmatias) was a Byzantine theme (a military-civilian province) on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea in Southeastern Europe, headquartered at Zadar.


Dalmatia first came under Byzantine control in the 530s, when the generals of Justinian I seized it from the Ostrogoths in the Gothic War. The invasions of the Avars and Slavs in the 7th century destroyed the main cities and overran much of the hinterland, with Byzantine control limited to the islands and certain new coastal cities such as Split and Dubrovnik, while Zara (Zadar) became the local episcopal and administrative center, under an archon.[1]

At the turn of the 9th century, Dalmatia was seized by Charlemagne, but he returned it to Byzantine authority in 812. It is unclear whether the region was under actual rather than nominal Byzantine authority after that; the local cities appear to have been virtually independent. Nevertheless, an archon of Dalmatia is mentioned in the 842/843 Taktikon Uspensky, and a seal of a "strategos of Dalmatia" dated to the first half of the century may indicate the existence of a Dalmatian theme, at least for a short time.[2] Traditionally, however, the establishment of Dalmatia as a regular theme is placed in the early years of the reign of Basil I the Macedonian (r. 867–886), following the expeditions of Niketas Oryphas.[1][2]

In the late 10th and early 11th centuries, Byzantine authority was rivalled by Venice, the Serbian principalities, Croatia and Hungary. Except for Dubrovnik and the southern third of Dalmatia, Byzantine control collapsed in the 1060s. Byzantine predominance was restored under Manuel I Komnenos (r. 1143–1180), but vanished after his death and was replaced by Venetian control.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Kazhdan (1991), pp. 578–579
  2. ^ a b Nesbitt & Oikonomides (1991), p. 46


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dalmatia — For the eponymous Roman province, see Dalmatia (Roman province). Dalmatia (dark blue) within Croatia (light blue) Dalmatia (Croatian: Dalmacija, Croatian pronunciation: [dǎlmaːt͡sija]; see names in other languages) is …   Wikipedia

  • Dalmatia —    The eastern coast of the Adriatic (q.v.) and its hinterland, from the region of Istria to Kotor, bounded by the Dinaric range, which runs parallel to the coast. It was a Roman province until the fourth century, when it became a diocese (q.v.) …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • Cephallenia (theme) — Κεφαλονία, θέμα Κεφαλληνίας Theme of Cephallenia Theme of the Byzantine Empire …   Wikipedia

  • Dalmatie (thème) — Le thème de Dalmatie est une province de l Empire byzantin correspondant en grande partie à la province romaine et romaine tardive homonyme, sur la côte Adriatique, centrée autour des villes principales de Split et Dubrovnik. L organisation de la …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Croatian art — Part of a series on the Culture of Croatia Timeline …   Wikipedia

  • Duklja — Doclea or Duklja (Serbian Cyrillic: Дукља[a]) was a medieval state with hereditary lands roughly encompassing the territories of present day southeastern Montenegro, from Kotor on the west to the river Bojana on the east and to the sources of… …   Wikipedia

  • Art of Croatia — Croatian art describes the visual arts in Croatia from medieval times to the present. In Early Middle Ages, Croatia was important centre for art and architecture in Southeastern Europe. There were many Croatian artists during the Medieval periods …   Wikipedia

  • Italy — /it l ee/, n. a republic in S Europe, comprising a peninsula S of the Alps, and Sicily, Sardinia, Elba, and other smaller islands: a kingdom 1870 1946. 57,534,088; 116,294 sq. mi. (301,200 sq. km). Cap.: Rome. Italian, Italia. * * * Italy… …   Universalium

  • Pagania — in the 9th century, according to De administrando imperio …   Wikipedia

  • Republic of Venice — Most Serene Republic of Venice Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia (it) Serenìsima Respùblica de Venexia (vec) ← …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.