The dynamics of space of Polis and Necropolis between the times of opposition and coexistence
examples of cities in the province of Praevalis
Based on the results of archaeological research in cities of the province of Praevalis, such as Shkodra (Scodra), Lezha (Lissus), Duklja (Doclea), Kotor (Acruvium), Budva (Batua), Bar (Antibaris), Ulcinj (Olcinium), Svač (Suacium) and Shurdhah (Sarda), we have followed the space relationship between polis and necropolis from the late Roman period until the Middle Ages. It is a first effort to give an idea on this transformative evolution, which can be further enriched and redefined with the help of more comprehensive and informative new excavations. The above examples on the process of the gradual penetration of necropolis into the city spaces, demonstrate that Christian custom has gradually abrogated the ancient law of the burials extra urbem and has created a new Christian topography in the urban planning of the province cities Such process of transformation from the ancient opposition of polis and necropolis to the medieval coexistence brought changes in the nature of acculturation. This fact is already present, but must be studied in detail, with regard to the cities and other settlements of the province of Praevalis. The universal principles of this
process are obvious, but we must persist to note the all differences or the regional features. As regards this substantial transformation, the religion has often played an important but not ultimately decisive role. The Christianity itself does not create
a certain type of city or civilization, but it powerfully colored this process of the transformation of the city space during the period of transition from late Antiquity to the early middle Ages. The new urban allocation for the living and the dead people is certainly a significant feature of the Byzantine city. According to the most general characteristics of this transformation we can note the following respective examples of the province of Praevalis: a) The religious building is no longer distinguished from the residential area (examples of Lezha, Kotor, Stari Bar, Sarda and Shasi-Svač). b) The dead are merged with the living people in a space intra- or extraurbem (examples of Lezha, Sarda, Shasi-Svač etc.). In such situation, the relations between the sacred and the profane, history and legend, the real event and the commemoration have lost the proper meaning of time. More or less the same atmosphere is also reflected by the examples of funerary feasts of the Christian refrigerium with the use of the cups of Doclea and Kalldruni. c) The ecclesiastical wealth thus entered into the inherited property (the information is given by the inscription of the basilica B of Doclea).
d) Hagiography is dissolved with the legends and becomes an urban culture (hagiographic examples of Saints Sergius and Bacchus at Shirq and of Saint Tryphone at Kotor). The above examples taken from the territory of Praevalis province present an effort to shed light on a very complicated process of the substantial transformation from the civilization of city of antiquity to a medieval one. The new urban allocation for the living and the dead people is certainly a significant feature of the Byzantine city and acculturation. "The demographic disturbances help to explain it, meanwhile the Christianity gives it form and justification.”