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Caricin Grad - Ivstiniana Prima

Caricin Grad leži na blagim padinama koje se spuštaju od planine Radan ka Leskovackoj kotlini, na mestu van glavnih putnih tokova. Istraživanje ostataka grada, koja su vekovima budila maštu meštana, zapoceto je 1912. godine i traje, sa vecim i manjim prekidima, do današnjih dana. Prvi istraživac grada Vladimir Petkovic, ponešen velicinom grada, otkricem velike crkve, mnoštvom arhitektonske plastike i ostacima mozaika, izneo je prve hipoteze o imenu naseobine i njenom trajanju, koje i danas zaokupljaju pažnju strušnjaka. Pretpostavio je da je rec o Justinijai Primi koju je podigao vizantijski car Justinijan I (527-565) u blizini mesta svog rodenja, dok je njen nestanak sa istorijske pozornice vezao za vreme cara Iraklija (610-641) i najezde Slovena. Justinijana Prima je predstavlljala važno crkveno sedište. Car Justinijan I je novu prestonicu podigao u rang arhiepiskopije sa jurisdikcijom nad severnim Ilirikom, cime je pravo Soluna ograniceno na južne delove provincije.

Iako je identifikacija Justinijane Prime i Caricinog Grada i dalje hipoteticka, buduci da to nije potvrdeno nalazom natpisa, ona je prihvacena od vecine strucnjaka na osnovu utemeljenih postavki:

•  Hronologija grada : rec je o veštackoj tvorevini sagradenoj na utrini pocetkom vladavine cara Justinijana I - u VI veku kada je podizanje urbanih centara na Balkanu predstavljalo izuzetnu pojavu,

•  Geografski položaj : grad se nalazi u provinciji Sredozemna Dakija, blizu granice sa Dardanijom i nedaleko od Naisusa, što u potpunosti odgovara navodima pisanih izvora,

•  Položaj u odnosu na putne pravce : grad nije podignut na mestu koje se nalazi u osi moravske-vardarskog pravca, ni na zapadnom putnom pravcu koji je vezivao Naisus (Niš) i Skupi (Skoplje), preko Hameuma (Prokuplje) i Justinijane Sekunde (Gracanica), kao ni na jednoj važnoj transverzali, bez cega teško možemo zamisliti podizanje novog grada na ovom mestu, bez nekog narocitog povoda, kao što je želja vladara da ovekoveci mesto svog rodenja.

 

Mapa okoline Caricinog Grada

 

Istocna kapija Caricinog Grada

Caricin Grad lies on the gentle slopes that roll down from Mount Radan towards the Leskovac basin, for away from the major routes of communication. Research on the remains of the city, which had stirred the imagination of local inhabitants for centuries, began in 1912, and still continues with longer or shorter intermissions, today. The first explorer of this city, Vladimir Petkovic, amazed by the size of the city, the discovery of the large basilica, the multitude of the architectonic plastics and the remains of mosaics, presented the first hypotheses as to the name of the settlement and its duration, which still occupies the attention of experts, even today. His assumption was that this was Justiniana Prima, erected by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I (527-565) near his birthplace, and he linked its disappearance from the historical scene to the time of the emperor Heraclius (610-641) and the Slav migrations. Justiniana Prima was an important ecclesiastical seat. The emperor Justinian I raised the new capital to the rank of an archdiocese with jurisdiction over northern Illyricum, thereby limiting the authoriry of Thessalonica to the southern parts of the province.

Although the identification of Caricin Grad with Justiniana Prima is still hypothetical, given that this was not established in the inscriptions found, it has been accepted by the majority of experts on the basic of established postulates:

•  the chronology of the city: it involves an artifical settlement, built on pastureland at the beginning of the region of the emperor Justinian I - in the VI century - when the construction of urban centers in the Balkans was an unusual phenomenon,

•  the geographical position: the city is in the province of Mediterranean Dacia, near the border with Dardania, not far from Naissus, which corresponds fully to the data offered in written sources,

•  the position in relation to the communication routes: the city was not erected in a place within the axis of the Morava-Vardar route nor on the western communication route, linking Naissus (Nis) and Scupi (Skoplje) via Hammeum (Prokuplje) and Justiniana Secunda (Gracanica), nor on any important transversal, without which is would be hard to imagine building a new city in this location for no particular reason but the ruler,s wish to memorialise the place of his birth.

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