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Monday 02 October

"History of Jews in Split (Croatia)"

Time: 8 pm to 9 pm

Contact: Connie Rodriguez · rodrigue@loyno.edu · 865.2287

Location: Whitney Bank Presentation Room, Thomas Hall

A Lecture by

Dr. Ana Lebl

Split, Croatia

free admission and free parking on campus (West Road Garage and the Horseshoe)

Co-sponsored by the Department of Classical Studies and the New Orleans Society of the Archaeological Institute of America

Archaeological and historic sources provide evidence for the strong Jewish presence on the Eastern Adriatic coast since the antiquity. Jews had an important role in trade and other economic activities, particularly in Salona, the capital city of the Roman province of Dalmatia and the most important harbor and market place in that part of the Empire. Based on historical and archaeological research, we have recently proved the presence of a substantial Jewish community within Diocletian’s Palace in Split, situated only a few miles from Salona. Although the Jewish community of Split never surpassed 300 people, it has a rich history and has been very important for the economic and cultural life of the city. In the 16th century, when Sephardic Jews from the Ottoman Empire and from Venice settled in Split, a new synagogue was established in the northwest part of Diocletian’s Palace, in the midst of the Jewish quarter, which was later called the ghetto. In the second half of the sixteenth century Daniel Rodrigez, a Spanish Jew from Venice enlarged the port of Split and founded what became the largest lazaretto in the Mediterranean. He also established the Jewish cemetery on the Marjan hill overlooking the city. The eighteenth century saw the arrival of the Ashkenazi Jews, and modern developments they brought to the city. In the nineteenth century cement industry, a distillery, a book shop, a print house, and a bank were all introduced by several prominent Jewish families. Half of the community perished in the Holocaust, and during the recent war in Bosnia, Jewish refugees from Sarajevo found safe heaven in Split. Today a tiny, but vibrant community of around 100 members plans to open a Jewish museum and thus become more attractive, boost local Jewish identity, enhance the quality of the community life and make it sustainable.

Tuesday 03 October

"Complexity and Contradiction in Diocletian’s Palace"

Time: 8 pm to 9 pm

Contact: Connie Rodriguez · rodrigue@loyno.edu · 865.2287

Location: Whitney Bank Presentation Room, Thomas Hall

 

A Lecture by

Dr. Goran Nikšić

City of Split, Service for the Old City Core,

Obala kneza Branimira

The Charles Eliot Norton Memorial Lectureship of the AIA

free admission and free parking on campus (West Road Garage and the Horseshoe)

Co-sponsored by the Department of Classical Studies and the New Orleans Society of the Archaeological Institute of America

The meaning of Diocletian’s Palace has been oversimplified in most of scientific research during the past two centuries. Although the original purpose of this building has recently been established as the imperial manufacture of textiles, the consequences of such new historical approach on the understanding of the architecture have not been contemplated. The well-known interpretation of the Palace as a classical monument is being substituted with an analysis based on Venturi’s terms, describing the complexity and contradiction of the building on both formal and functional levels. The general design is both schematic and intricate, utilitarian and symbolic. Architectural elements depart from their usual treatment – columns support themselves and are decorative rather than structural, spaces are at the same time open and enclosed. On the functional level there is a clash between the industrial and domestic use, between the profane and sacred, proletarian and imperial. However, these contradictions and ambiguities were not intentional; they are a result of the pragmatic procedure of the architect obliged to solve the seemingly incompatible requirements by the emperor. Following many centuries of constant change and adaptation to the demands of a living city, today the Palace is faced with a challenge of being reduced to a mere tourist attraction. Understanding of the real meaning of the place as a complex, ambiguous and contradictory building could help rectify such a one-dimensional view.

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