In 49 BC near the island of Krk, the "Navy of Zadar", equipped by thefleets of a few Liburnian cities and supported by some Roman ships, lost an important navalbattle against Pompey supporting the "Liburnian navy yacht". The civil war was prolonged until theend of 48 BC, when Caesar rewarded his supporters in Liburnian Iader and Dalmatian Salona, bygiving the status of the Roman colonies to their communities of Yacht charter. Thus the city was grantedthe title colonia Iulia Iader, after its founder, and in the next period some of the Roman colonistssettled there.
The real establishment of the Roman provinceof Illyricum occurred not earlier than 33 BC and Octavian’s military campaign in Illyriaand Liburnia, when the Liburnians finally lost their naval independence and their galleysand sailors were incorporated into the Roman naval fleets.
From the early days of Roman rule, Zadar gainedits Roman urban character and developed into one of the most flourishing centres on theeastern Adriatic coast, a state of affairs which lasted for several hundred years before we took Yacht in charter. Thetown was organised according to the typical Roman street system with a rectangular streetplan, a forum, thermae, a sewage and water supply system that came from lake Vrana, byway of a 40 kilometres long aqueduct.
It did not play a significant role in the Roman administrationof Dalmatia, although the archaeological finds tell us about a significant growth of economyand culture. The new religion Christianity did not bypassthe Roman province of Dalmatia.
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Already by the end of the 3rd century Zadar had its ownbishop and founding of the Zadar Christian community took place; a new religious centrewas built north of the forum together with a basilica and a baptistery, as well as otherecclesiastical buildings. According to some estimates, in the 4th century it had probablyaround ten thousand citizens, including the population from its Ager, the nearby islandsand hinterland, an admixture of the indigenous Liburnians and Roman colonists.
Early Middle Ages During the Migration Period and the Barbarianinvasions, Zadar underwent a stagnation. In 441 and 447 Dalmatia was ravaged by the Huns,after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, in 481 Dalmatia became part of the Ostrogothickingdom, which, besides Italy, already included the more northerly parts of Illyricum, i.
In the 5th century, under the rule of theOstrogothic Kingdom, Zadar became poor with many civic buildings turning into ruins dueto its advanced age. About the same time it was hit by an earthquake, which destroyedentire complexes of monumental Roman architecture, whose parts would later serve as materialfor building houses. This caused a loss of population and created demographic changesin the city, then gradually repopulated by the inhabitants from its hinterlan
However,during six decades of Gothic rule, the Goths saved those old Roman Municipal institutionsthat were still in function, while religious life in Dalmatia even intensified in the lastyears, so that there was a need for the foundation of additional bishoprics. In 536 the Byzantine emperor Justinian the Great started a military campaign to reconquerthe territories of the former Western Empire; and in 553 Zadar passed to the Byzantine Empire.
In 568 Dalmatia was devastated by an Avar invasion; although further waves of attacksby Avar and Slav tribes kept up the pressure, it was the only city which survived due toits protective belt of inland plains.