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subota, 1. siječnja 2011.


Zadar is a city in Croatia on the Adriatic Sea. It is the centre of Zadar county and the wider northern Dalmatian region. Zadar faces the islands of Ugljan and Pašman, from which it is separated by the narrow Zadar Strait. The promontory on which the old city stands used to be separated from the mainland by a deep moat which has since become a landfill. The harbor, to the north-east of the town, is safe and spacious. Zadar is the seat of a Catholic archbishop.

In antiquity, Iadera and Iader, the much older roots of the settlement's names were hidden, the names being most probably related to a hydrographical term. It was coined by an ancient Mediterranean people and their Pre-Indo-European language. They transmitted it to later settlers, the Liburnians. The name of the Liburnian settlement was first mentioned by a Greek inscription from Pharos (Stari grad) on the island of Hvar in 384 BC, where the citizens of Zadar were noted as Ίαδασινοί (Iadasinoi). According to the Greek source Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax the city was Ίδασσα (Idassa), probably a vulgar Greek form of the original Liburnian name.

During Antiquity the name was often recorded in sources in Latin in two forms: Iader in the inscriptions and in the writings of classic writers, Iadera predominantly among the late Antiquity writers, while usual ethnonyms were Iadestines and Iadertines. The accent was on the first syllable in both Iader and Iadera forms, which influenced the early-Medieval Dalmatian language forms Jadra, Jadera and Jadertina, where the accent kept its original place.

In the Dalmatian language, Jadra (Jadera) was pronounced Zadra (Zadera), due to the phonetic transformation of Ja- to Za-. That early change was also reflected in the Croatian name Zadar, developed from Zadъrъ by vocalizations of the semi-vowel and a shift to male gender. An ethnonym graphic Jaderani from the legend of St. Krševan in 9th century, was identical to the initial old-Slavic form Zadъrane, or Renaissance Croatian Zadrani.

The Dalmatian names Jadra, Jadera were transferred to other languages; in Venetian language Jatara (hyper urbanism in 9th century) and Zara, Tuscan Giara, Latin Diadora (Constantine VII in DAI, 10th century), Old French Jadres (Geoffroy de Villehardouinin in the chronicles of the Fourth Crusade in 1202), Arabic Jadora (Al-Idrisi, 12th century), Iadora (Guido, 12th century), Spanish Jazara, Jara, Sarra (14th century) and the others.

Jadera became Zara when it fell under the authority of the Republic of Venice in the 15th century. Zara was later used by the Austrian Empire in the 19th century, but it was provisionally changed to Zadar/Zara from 1910 to 1920; from 1920 to 1947 the city became part of Italy as Zara, and finally was named Zadar later on.

You can read much more about Zadar on Wikipedia

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