Dalmatian /dælˈmeɪʃən/ or Dalmatic /dælˈmætɪk/ was a Romance language spoken in the Dalmatia region of present-day Croatia, and as far south as Kotor in Montenegro. The name refers to a tribe of the Illyrian linguistic group, Dalmatae. The Ragusan dialect of Dalmatian was the official language of the Republic of Ragusa, although in later times Venetian (representing the Romance language population), then Eastern Herzegovinian dialect of Serbo-Croatian (for the Slavophone population), came to supersede it.
Dalmatian speakers lived in the coastal towns of Zadar (Jadera), Trogir (Tragur, Traù), Spalato (Split; Spalato), Ragusa (Dubrovnik; Raugia, Ragusa), and Kotor (Cattaro), each of these cities having a local dialect, and on the islands of Krk (Vikla, Veglia), Cres (Crepsa), and Rab (Arba).
|Native to||Croatia, Montenegro|
|Region||Adriatic coast (Mostly Croatia, Montenegro, Italy)|
|Extinct||10 June 1898 (death of Tuone Udaina)|
Almost every city developed its own dialect. Most of these became extinct before they were recorded, so the only trace of these ancient dialects is some words borrowed into local dialects of today's Croatia and Montenegro.
Ragusan is the Southern dialect, whose name is derived from the Romance name of Dubrovnik, Ragusa. It came to the attention of modern scholars in two letters, from 1325 and 1397, and other mediaeval texts, which show a language influenced heavily by Venetian. The available sources include some 260 Ragusan words including pen 'bread', teta 'father', chesa 'house', and fachir 'to do', which were quoted by the Dalmatian Filippo Diversi, the rector of Ragusa in the 1430s.
The Maritime Republic of Ragusa had, at one time, an important fleet, but its influence decreased over time, to the point that, by the 15th century, it had been reduced to only about 300 ships. The language was threatened by the Slav expansion, as the Ragusan Senate decided that all debates had to be held in lingua veteri ragusea (ancient Ragusan language) and the use of the Slav was forbidden. Nevertheless, during the 16th century, Ragusan fell out of use and came to the brink of extinction.
Vegliot (the native name being Viklasun) is the Northern dialect. The language's name is derived from the Italian name of Krk, Veglia, an island in Kvarner, called Vikla in Vegliot. On the inscription dating from the beginning of the 4th century CE, Krk is named as Splendissima civitas Curictarum. The Serbo-Croatian name derives from the Roman name (Curicum, Curicta), whereas the younger name Vecla, Vegla, Veglia (meaning "Old Town") was created in the mediaeval Romanesque period.
Dalmatian evolved from the vulgar Latin of the Illyro-Romans. It was spoken on the Dalmatian coast from Fiume (now Rijeka) as far south as Cottora (Kotor) in Montenegro. Speakers lived mainly in the coastal towns of Jadera (Zadar), Tragurium (Trogir), Spalatum (Split), Ragusa (Dubrovnik) and Acruvium (Kotor), and also on the islands of Curicta (Krk), Crepsa (Cres) and Arba (Rab). Almost every city developed its own dialect, but the most important dialects we know of were Vegliot, a northern dialect spoken on the island of Curicta, and Ragusan, a southern dialect spoken in and around Ragusa (Dubrovnik).
The oldest preserved documents written in Dalmatian are 13th century inventories in Ragusa (Dubrovnik). Dalmatian is also known from two Ragusan letters, dated 1325 and 1397. The available sources include roughly 260 Ragusan words. Surviving words include pen 'bread', teta 'father', chesa 'house', and fachir 'to do', which were quoted by the Dalmatian, Filippo Diversi, Rector of the republic of Ragusa in the 1430s. The earliest reference to the Dalmatian language dates from the tenth century and it has been estimated that about 50,000 people spoke it at that time, though the main source of this information, the Italian linguist Matteo Bartoli, may have exaggerated his figures.
Dalmatian was influenced particularly heavily by Venetian and Serbo-Croatian (despite the latter, the Latin roots of Dalmatian remained prominent). A 14th-century letter from Zadar (origin of the Iadera dialect) shows strong influence from Venetian, the language that after years under Venetian rule superseded Iadera and other dialects of Dalmatian. Other dialects met their demise with the settlement of populations of Slavic speakers.
In 1897, the scholar Matteo Bartoli, himself a native of nearby Istria, visited burbur ('barber' in Dalmatian) Tuone Udaina (Italian: Antonio Udina), the last speaker of any Dalmatian dialect, to study his language, writing down approximately 2,800 words, stories, and accounts of his life, which were published in a book that has provided much information on the vocabulary, phonology, and grammar of the language. Bartoli wrote in Italian and published a translation in German (Das Dalmatische) in 1906. The Italian language manuscripts were reportedly lost, and the work was not re-translated into Italian until 2001.
Once it was thought to be a language that bridged the gap between the Romanian language and Italian, it was only distantly related to the nearby Romanian dialects, such as the nearly extinct Istro-Romanian, spoken in nearby Istria, Croatia.
Some of its features are quite archaic. Dalmatian is the only Romance language that has palatalised /k/ and /ɡ/ before /i/, but not before /e/ (others have palatalised them in both situations, except Sardinian, which has not palatalised them at all): Latin: civitate > Vegliot: cituot ("city"), Latin: cenare > Vegliot: kenur ("to dine").
Some Dalmatian words have been preserved as borrowings in South Slavic languages, mainly in Chakavian.
Among the similarities with Romanian, some consonant shifts can be found among the Romance languages only in Dalmatian and Romanian:
Vlachs (Aromanians) from Herzegovina and Dalmatia were known as "Caravlachs" during Turkish occupation. "Cara" means black in Turkish and North in Turkish geography. Translated in Italian, the name became Morlachs (from Mauro Vlachs) Vlachs or Morlachs spoke a language close to Romanian Vlachs or Morlachs were spreding in all Dalmatian spaces including Adriatic isles and towns. Majority were Slavicized and many of them were Islamized or Catholicized.  Today there are only a dozen of Morlachs in Croatia and they lost their matern Romance-speaking language.
An analytic trend can be observed in Dalmatian: nouns and adjectives began to lose their gender and number inflexions, the noun declension disappeared completely, and the verb conjugations began to follow the same path, but the verb maintained a person and number distinction except in the third person (in common with Romanian and several dialects of Italy).
Dalmatian kept Latin words related to urban life, lost (or if preserved, not with the original sense) in Romanian, such as cituot "city" (in old Romanian cetate means "city"; in modern Romanian "fort"; compare also Albanian qytet, borrowed from Latin, which, too, means "city"). The Dalmatians retained an active urban society in their city-states, whereas most Romanians were driven into small mountain settlements during the Great Migrations of 400 to 800 AD.
Venetian became a major influence on the language as Venetian commercial influence grew. The Chakavian dialect and Dubrovnik Shtokavian dialect of Serbo-croatian, which were spoken outside the cities since the immigration of the Slavs, gained importance in the cities by the 16th century, and it eventually replaced Dalmatian as the day-to-day language. Nevertheless, some words were loaned into coastal Serbo-Croatian varieties:
|5||you (plural)||vu, voi|
|37||man (adult male)||jomno, vair|
|38||man (human being)||jomno|
|58||bark (of a tree)||*scorta|
|123||to lie (as in a bed)||*jaurer|
|126||to turn (intransitive)||*girar|
|191||sharp (as a knife)||*acu|
|192||dull (as a knife)||*obtus|
|Pater noster, qui es in caelis,||Tuota nuester, che te sante intel sil,||Oče naš, koji jesi na nebesima,||Pari nestri, che tu sês in cîl,||Padre nostro, che sei nei cieli,||Ciace nostru car le ști en cer,||Tatăl nostru care ești în ceruri,||Our Father, who art in heaven,||Padre nuestro, que estás en los cielos,|
|sanctificetur Nomen Tuum.||sait santificuot el naun to.||sveti se ime tvoje.||che al sedi santifiât il to nom.||sia santificato il tuo nome.||neca se sveta nomelu teu.||sfințească-se numele tău.||hallowed be thy name.||santificado sea tu nombre.|
|Adveniat Regnum Tuum.||Vigna el raigno to.||Dođi kraljevstvo tvoje.||Che al vegni il to ream.||Venga il tuo regno.||Neca venire craliestvo to.||Vie împărăția ta.||Thy kingdom come.||Venga a nosotros tu reino.|
|Fiat voluntas Tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra.||Sait fuot la voluntuot toa, coisa in sil, coisa in tiara.||Budi volja tvoja, kako na nebu tako i na zemlji.||Che e sedi fate la tô volontât sicu in cîl cussì ancje in tiere.||Sia fatta la tua volontà, come in cielo così in terra.||Neca fie volia ta, cum en cer, așa și pre pemânt.||Facă-se voia ta, precum în cer, așa și pe pământ.||Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven.||Hágase tu voluntad, en la tierra como en el cielo.|
|Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie.||Duote costa dai el pun nuester cotidiun.||Kruh naš svagdanji daj nam danas.||Danus vuê il nestri pan cotidian.||Dacci oggi il nostro pane quotidiano.||Pera nostre saca zi de nam astez.||Pâinea noastră cea de toate zilele, dă-ne-o nouă astăzi.||Give us this day our daily bread.||Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día.|
|Et dimitte nobis debita nostra,||E remetiaj le nuestre debete,||I otpusti nam duge naše,||E pardoninus i nestris debits,||E rimetti a noi i nostri debiti,||Odproste nam dutzan,||Și ne iartă nouă păcatele noastre,||And forgive us our trespasses,||Perdona nuestras ofensas.|
|Sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris.||Coisa nojiltri remetiaime a i nuestri debetuar.||Kako i mi otpuštamo dužnicima našim.||Sicu ancje nô ur ai pardonìn ai nestris debitôrs.||Come noi li rimettiamo ai nostri debitori.||Ca și noi odprostim a lu nostri dutznici.||Precum și noi le iertăm greșiților noștri.||As we forgive those who trespass against us.||Como también nosotros perdonamos a los que nos ofenden.|
|Et ne nos inducas in tentationem,||E naun ne menur in tentatiaun,||I ne uvedi nas u napast,||E no stâ menânus in tentazion,||E non ci indurre in tentazione,||Neca nu na tu vezi en napastovanie,||Și nu ne duce pe noi în ispită,||And lead us not into temptation,||No nos dejes caer en tentación.|
|sed libera nos a Malo.||miu deleberiajne dal mal.||nego izbavi nas od zla.||ma liberinus dal mâl.||ma liberaci dal male.||neca na zbăvește de zvaca slabe.||ci ne izbăvește de cel rău.||but deliver us from evil.||y líbranos del mal.|
The Dalmatae or Delmatae (or Dalmati) were an ancient people who inhabited the core of what would then become known as Dalmatia after the Roman conquest at the eastern Adriatic coast, in what is present-day Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, between the rivers Krka, on the northwest, the Neretva on the east, and the river Rama on the northeast. The Delmatae are mostly classed as an Illyrian tribe.Dalmatia
Dalmatia (; Croatian: Dalmacija [dǎlmaːtsija]; Italian: Dalmazia; see names in other languages) is one of the four historical regions of Croatia, alongside Croatia proper, Slavonia, and Istria.
Dalmatia is a narrow belt of the east shore of the Adriatic Sea, stretching from the island of Rab in the north to the Bay of Kotor in the south. The hinterland (Dalmatian Zagora) ranges in width from fifty kilometres in the north, to just a few kilometres in the south; it is mostly covered by the rugged Dinaric Mountains. Seventy-nine islands (and about 500 islets) run parallel to the coast, the largest (in Dalmatia) being Brač, Pag, and Hvar. The largest city is Split, followed by Zadar, Dubrovnik, and Šibenik.
The name of the region stems from an Illyrian tribe called the Dalmatae, who lived in the area in classical antiquity. Later it became a Roman province, and as result a Romance culture emerged, along with the now-extinct Dalmatian language, later largely replaced with related Venetian. With the arrival of Croats to the area in the 8th century, who occupied most of the hinterland, Croatian and Romance elements began to intermix in language and culture. During the Middle Ages, its cities were often conquered by, or switched allegiance to, the kingdoms of the region. The longest-lasting rule was the one of the Republic of Venice, which controlled most of Dalmatia between 1420 and 1797, with the exception of the small but stable Republic of Ragusa (1358–1808) in the south. Between 1815 and 1918, it was a province of the Austrian Empire known as the Kingdom of Dalmatia. After the Austro-Hungarian defeat in the First World War, Dalmatia was split between the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes which controlled most of it, and the Kingdom of Italy which held several smaller parts, and after World War II, SFR Yugoslavia took complete control over the area.Dalmatian
Dalmatian may refer to:
Dalmatia, a region mainly in the southern part of modern Croatia
Dalmatae, an ancient Illyrian tribe in Dalmatia
Dalmatian language, an extinct Romance language
Dalmatian (dog), a breed of dog
Dalmatian pelican, a large bird native to central Europe
Dalmatian (band), a South Korean boy band
Dalmatian (EP), its self-titled EP
Dalmatians (band), a punk band from Seattle, Washington, US
Serbo-Croatian language, also known historically as DalmatianDalmatian grammar
This article outlines the grammar of the Dalmatian language.Dubrovnik subdialect
The Dubrovnik subdialect is a subdialect of the Shtokavian dialect of Serbo-Croatian. It is spoken on the area of Dubrovnik and Littoral of former Republic of Ragusa, from Janjina on the Pelješac peninsula to Croatian border with Montenegro.
It is the least widespread of the Serbo-Croatian subdialects in Croatia. It is an Ijekavian accent of Shtokavian dialect, with significant presence of Chakavisms and Ikavisms. Unlike Eastern Herzegovinian, the Dubrovnikan subdialect shares some common features of Ikavisms from Eastern Bosnian subdialect. Neoshtokavisation gave similar results in Dubrovnik as in East Herzegovina, but starting points were different for both. This subdialect was once considered independent; however, today it is considered a part of Ijekavian Neoshtokavian (East Herzegovina subdialect). Some features are still different, like certain vowels.
The majority of loanwords come from the Ragusan dialect of the Dalmatian language and from Italian (Florentine and Venetian dialects).History of Dalmatia
The History of Dalmatia concerns the history of the area that covers eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea and its inland regions, from the 2nd century BC up to the present day.
The earliest mention of Dalmatia as a province came after its establishment as part of the Roman Empire. Dalmatia was ravaged by barbaric tribes in the beginning of the 4th century. Slavs settled in the area in the 6th century, the White Croats settled Dalmatia the following century. In 1527 the Kingdom of Croatia became a Habsburg crown land, in 1812 the Kingdom of Dalmatia is formed. In 1918, Dalmatia was a part of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, then the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. After World War II, Dalmatia became part of Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in SR Croatia.Istriot language
Istriot is a Romance language spoken by about 400 people in the southwestern part of the Istrian peninsula in Croatia, particularly in Rovinj and Vodnjan. It should not be confused with the Istrian dialect of the Venetian language.Italo-Dalmatian languages
The Italo-Dalmatian languages, or Central Romance languages, are a group of Romance languages spoken in Italy, Corsica (France) and formerly in Dalmatia (Croatia).
Italo-Dalmatian can be split into:
Italo-Romance, which includes most central and southern Italian languages.
Dalmatian Romance, which includes Dalmatian and Istriot.The generally accepted four branches of the Romance languages are Western Romance, Italo-Dalmatian, Sardinian and Eastern Romance. But there are other ways that the languages of Italo-Dalmatian can be classified in these branches:
Italo-Dalmatian is sometimes included in Eastern Romance (which includes Romanian), leading to: Western, Sardinian, and Eastern branches.
Italo-Dalmatian is sometimes included in Western Romance (which includes the Gallic and Iberian languages) as Italo-Western, leading to: Italo-Western, Sardinian, and Eastern branches.
Italo-Romance is sometimes included in Italo-Western, with Dalmatian Romance included in Eastern Romance, leading to: Italo-Western, Sardinian, and Eastern branches.
Corsican (from Italo-Dalmatian) and Sardinian are sometimes included together as Southern Romance, or Island Romance, leading to: Western, Italo-Dalmatian, Southern, and Eastern branches.Italo-Western languages
Italo-Western is, in some classifications, the largest branch of the Romance languages. It comprises two of the branches of Romance languages: Italo-Dalmatian and Western Romance. It excludes the Sardinian language and Eastern Romance.Karst
Karst is a topography formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves. It has also been documented for more weathering-resistant rocks, such as quartzite, given the right conditions. Subterranean drainage may limit surface water, with few to no rivers or lakes. However, in regions where the dissolved bedrock is covered (perhaps by debris) or confined by one or more superimposed non-soluble rock strata, distinctive karst features may occur only at subsurface levels and be totally missing above ground.
The study of karst is considered of prime importance in petroleum geology because as much as 50% of the world's hydrocarbon reserves are hosted in porous karst systems.Kotor
Kotor (Montenegrin Cyrillic: Котор, pronounced [kɔ̌tɔr]; Italian: Cattaro) is a coastal town in Montenegro. It is located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor. The city has a population of 13,510 and is the administrative center of Kotor Municipality.
The old Mediterranean port of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period. It is located on the Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska), one of the most indented parts of the Adriatic Sea. Some have called it the southern-most fjord in Europe, but it is a ria, a submerged river canyon. Together with the nearly overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovćen, Kotor and its surrounding area form an impressive landscape.
Since the early 2000s Kotor has seen an increase in tourists, many of them coming by cruise ship. Visitors are attracted by the natural environment of the Gulf of Kotor and by the old town of Kotor. Kotor is part of the World Heritage Site dubbed the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor.
The fortified city of Kotor was also included in UNESCO's World Heritage Site list as part of Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra – western Stato da Mar in 2017.Krk (town)
Krk (Italian: Veglia) is the main settlement of the island of Krk, Croatia.Matteo Bartoli
Matteo Giulio Bartoli (22 November 1873 in Labin/Albona – 23 January 1946 in Turin) was an Italian linguist from Istria (then a part of Austria-Hungary, today part of modern Croatia).
He obtained a doctorate at the University of Vienna, where his adviser was Wilhelm Meyer-Lubke, in 1898. He was influenced by certain theories of the Italian philosopher Benedetto Croce and the German linguist Karl Vossler. He later also studied with Jules Gilliéron in Paris. From Gilliéron he acquired a penchant for fieldwork, and from 1900 on he published numerous dialectological studies of Istrian dialects. In 1907 he became professor of comparative history of classical and neo-Latin languages the Faculty of Letters at the University of Turin, where he served until his death.His study on the Dalmatian language, Das Dalmatische (2 vol. 1906) is the only known complete description of the language, which is now extinct. It remains "the standard work on Dalmatian," and contains every known text in the language. Bartoli used data gathered in 1897 from the last speaker of Dalmatian, Tuone Udaina, who was killed in an explosives accident on 10 June 1898.
He also wrote Introduzione alla neolinguistica ("Introduction to neolinguistics", 1925) and Saggi di linguistica spaziale ("Essays in spatial linguistics", 1945) and was the teacher of Antonio Gramsci.Reichenau Glosses
The Reichenau Glosses were compiled in the 8th century in Picardy to help local monks understand archaic terms in the Vulgate, which had been written over three centuries prior. The words used as glosses were ordinary local Romance words written in Latinate form, while the archaic terms that needed explaining had become extinct, although in some cases they lived on in other Romance Languages or indeed in French itself but with different meanings.
Presented below is an alphabetized list of the glosses, along with modern derivatives of both the terms used as glosses and the original Vulgate terms being glossed. Neologisms such as Spanish óptimo or borrowings such as Italian formaggio, which is from Old French formage, are not considered in the derivative tables. The IPA transcriptions reflect standard European norms and Robert Hall's reconstructions for Proto-Romance and Old French.Sassarese language
Sassarese (Sassaresu or Turritanu) is an Italo-Dalmatian language and transitional variety between Corsican and Sardinian. It is regarded as a Corsican–Sardinian language because of Sassari's historic ties (and neighborhood) with Tuscany and Corsica. Despite the heavy Sardinian influences (especially in the vocabulary and phonetics), it still keeps its Tuscan roots, which closely relate it to Gallurese. The latter is regarded as a Corsican dialect despite the geographic location, although this attribution is a matter of controversy. It can be considered a transitional language between Italo-Dalmatian languages and Sardinian. It has several similarities to Italian and in particular the old dialects of Italian from Tuscany.Sassarese is spoken by approximately 100,000 people, out of a total population of 175,000, in the northwest coastal areas of Sardinia, Italy. Large Sassarese-speaking communities are present in Sassari, Stintino, Sorso, and Porto Torres. Sassarese's transition varieties towards Gallurese, known as the Castellanesi dialects, can be heard in Castelsardo, Tergu, and Sedini.
Sassarese emerged as an urban language of commerce in the late part of the age of the Judicates (13th–14th century); it is based on a mixture of different languages, namely Corsican, Tuscan, and Ligurian; a strong Logudorese influence can be felt in its phonetics, syntax, and vocabulary; a minor influence in vocabulary was exercised by Catalan and Spanish. There exist many modern and older works both on and in Sassarese, and a number of cultural, social, and theatre events are held regularly in connection with it.
In 1943 the German linguist Max Leopold Wagner wrote:
... A vernacular which, by all indications, was gradually formed from the 16th century, after several very deadly plagues decimated the city's population; the bulk of the survivors were of Pisan and Corsican origin, there were even Genovese. Thus, this hybrid dialect was born, and is now spoken in Sassari, Porto Torres and Sorso, whose base is Tuscan-shifted with traces of Genovese, in addition to not a few Sardinian words.Serafino Cerva
Serafino Cerva (Croatian: Serafin Crijević; 1696–1759), also known as Saro, was the author of Ragusan Library, the first encyclopedia in the Dalmatian language, which comprised 435 biographies of ancient men and of the "Athens of the Adriatic" (Ragusa). He translated some minor local literary works into Italian. He belonged to the Cerva family.Southern Romance languages
The Southern Romance languages make up a sub-group of the family of Romance languages proposed by Ethnologue and Glottolog. According to Ethnologue and Glottolog, the family would include Sardinian (classified as a macrolanguage by virtue of comprising the Tuscan-related Sassarese and Gallurese) and Corsican. However, the classification of Corsican and Sardinian into the same linguistic group has received little support among other linguists.
In mainstream linguistics, Corsican is in fact labelled as an Italo-Dalmatian language, along with Gallurese and Sassarese, and is considered closely related to Tuscan; because of such linguistic proximity, it is closer to standard Italian than the other Italian dialects. On the other hand, Sardinian makes up a Romance group of its own, being that it is not part of the Italo-Dalmatian family to which both Corsican/Italian and the Italian dialects are instead ascribed.
Glottolog additionally proposed to classify the Southern Italo-Dalmatian dialects of Lucanian as a divergent branch within Southern Romance; this classification is controversial as well and has not been endorsed by most other linguists.
The philologist Lausberg was the first linguist to divide the Romance-speaking world into a Western group (Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, French, etc.), an Eastern group (Italian/Corsican, Dalmatian, Romanian) and a Southern group, which include the extinct African Romance dialects, the extinct Corsican language as it was spoken prior to the island's Tuscanization and, finally, modern Sardinian, today standing as the sole living language of the group.Tuone Udaina
Tuone Udaina (1823 – June 10, 1898; Antonio Udina in Italian) was the last person to have any active knowledge of the Dalmatian language, a Romance language that had evolved from Latin along the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. He was the main source of knowledge about his parents' dialect, that of the island of Veglia (Krk in Croatian), for the linguist Matteo Bartoli, who recorded it in 1897. No sound recordings were ever made. Vegliot Dalmatian was not Udaina's native language, as he had learned it from listening to his parents' private conversations. Udaina had not spoken the Dalmatian language for nearly 20 years at the time he acted as a linguistic informant. Udaina worked as a marine postman and as a sexton; he bore the nickname Burbur ("grumpy" in Dalmatian).When Udaina was killed at 74 in an explosion during road work on June 10, 1898, the Dalmatian language is generally assumed to have become extinct.Zadar
Zadar (Croatian: [zâdar] (listen); see other names) is the oldest continuously inhabited Croatian city. It is situated on the Adriatic Sea, at the northwestern part of Ravni Kotari region. Zadar serves as the seat of Zadar County and the wider northern Dalmatian region. The city proper covers 25 km2 (9.7 sq mi) with a population of 75,082 in 2011, making it the second largest city of the region of Dalmatia and the fifth-largest city in the nation.
The area of present-day Zadar traces its earliest evidence of human life from the late Stone Age, while numerous settlements have been dated as early as the Neolithic. Before the Illyrians, the area was inhabited by an ancient Mediterranean people of a pre-Indo-European culture. Zadar traces its origin to its 9th-century BC founding as a settlement of the Illyrian tribe of Liburnians known as Iader.
In 59 BC it was renamed Iadera when it became a Roman municipium, and in 48 BC, a Roman colonia. It was during the Roman rule that Zadar acquired the characteristics of a traditional Ancient Roman city with a regular road network, a public square (forum), and an elevated capitolium with a temple.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and the destruction of Salona by the Avars and Croats in 614, Zadar became the capital of the Byzantine theme of Dalmatia. In the beginning of the 9th century, Zadar came under short Frankish rule, and was returned to the Byzantines by the Pax Nicephori in 812. The first Croatian rulers gained brief control over the city in 10th century. In 998 Zadar swore allegiance to Doge Pietro Orseolo II and became a vassal of the Republic of Venice. In 1186 it placed itself under the protection of Béla III, King of Hungary.
In 1202, Zadar was reconquered and sacked by the Venetians, with the help of the Crusaders. Hungary regained control over the city in 1358, when it was given to king Louis I of Hungary. In 1409, king Ladislaus I sold Zadar to the Venetians. When the Turks conquered the Zadar hinterland at the beginning of the 16th century, the town became an important stronghold, ensuring Venetian trade in the Adriatic, the administrative center of the Venetian territories in Dalmatia and a cultural center. This created an environment in which arts and literature could flourish, and between the 15th and 17th centuries Zadar came under the influence of the Renaissance, giving rise to many important Italian Renaissance figures like Giorgio da Sebenico, Giorgio Ventura, Andrea Meldolla and Giovanni Francesco Fortunio, who wrote the first Italian grammar book, and many famous Croatian writers, such as Petar Zoranić, Brne Krnarutić, Juraj Baraković and Šime Budinić, who wrote in the Croatian language.
After the fall of Venice in 1797, Zadar came under the Austrian rule until 1918, except for the period of short-term French rule (1805–1813), still remaining the capital of Dalmatia. During the French rule, the first newspaper in the Croatian language, Il Regio Dalmata – Kraglski Dalmatin, was published in Zadar (1806–1810). During the 19th century, Zadar was a center of the Croatian movement for cultural and national revival, in a context of increasing polarization and politicization of ethnic identities between Croats and Dalmatian Italians.
With the 1920 Treaty of Rapallo Zadar was given to the Kingdom of Italy. During World War II, it was bombed by the Allies and witnessed the evacuation of ethnic Italians. The city was captured on 1 November 1944 and later ceded to SR Croatia, a federal constituent of the SFR Yugoslavia, whose armed forces defended it in October 1991 from the Serb forces who aimed to capture it.
Today, Zadar is a historical center of Dalmatia, Zadar County's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, educational, and transportation centre. Zadar is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zadar. Because of its rich heritage, Zadar is today one of the most popular Croatian tourist destinations, named "entertainment center of the Adriatic" by The Times and "Croatia's new capital of cool" by The Guardian. In 2016, Zadar was named "Best European Destination" by the Belgian portal Europe's Best Destinations.com after a three-week period of online voting and more than 288,000 cast votes.The fortified city of Zadar was also included in UNESCO's World Heritage Site list as part of Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra – western Stato da Mar in 2017.