Epidaurus (Greek: Ἐπίδαυρος, Latin: Epidaurum) or Epidauros was an ancient Greek colony founded sometime in the 6th century BC[1] and renamed to Epidaurum /ˌɛpɪˈdɔːrəm/ during Roman rule in 228 BC, when it was part of the province of Illyricum and later of Dalmatia.[2] It is located at present-day Cavtat[2] in Croatia, 15 km (9 mi) south of Dubrovnik.

During the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey the city was besieged by M. Octavius but saved by the arrival of the consul Publius Vatinius.

Pliny the Elder mentions Epidaurum in section 3.26.1 of Natural History while describing Dalmatian cities and settlements, "The colony of Epidaurum is distant from the river Naron 100 miles."[3]

The city was destroyed by Avars and Slavic invaders in the 7th century.[4] Refugees from Epidaurus fled to the nearby island Laas or Laus (meaning "stone" in Greek),[5] from which Ragusa (through rhotacism) was founded, which over time evolved into Dubrovnik.[6]

Several Roman inscriptions are found amongst its ruins: the sepulchre of P. Cornelius Dolabella, who was the consul under Augustus and governor of Illyricum, and the remains of an aqueduct.[7]

In the Middle Ages, the town of Cavtat (Ragusa Vecchia) was established in the same area.

See also


  1. ^ Austria: Her People & Their Homelands (1913) by James Baker. London: John Lane. p. 167
  2. ^ a b Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992, ISBN 0-631-19807-5, page 216, "... hand, the Deraemestae (30) were formed from several smaller groups in the vicinity of the new Roman colony established at Epidaurum (Cavtat near Dubrovnik). ..."
  3. ^ Novak, Sonja. "Why Learning Cavtat History Makes You Want to Visit It More". Kompas.hr.
  4. ^ Researches on the Danube and the Adriatic by Andrew Archibald Paton (1861). Contributions to the Modern History of Hungary and Transylvania, Dalmatia and Croatia, Servia and Bulgaria- page 247
  5. ^ Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, word λᾶας (laas).
  6. ^ Dalmatia and Montenegro by Sir John Gardner Wilkinson
  7. ^ Notizie Istorico-Critiche Sulla Antichita, Storia, e Letteratura de' Ragusei (published in two vols) by Francesco Maria Appendini.


42°34′56″N 18°13′03″E / 42.5822°N 18.2175°E / 42.5822; 18.2175