How did Split get its name and what was here before the Romans – the Gecko explains all …

Steven Publicity

So, how did Split get its name? The origin of the name Split is a question our guests often ask us on our Split walking tour so here’s the answer:
Split walking tour
It’s interesting as the origin of the Split name from the Greek colony of Aspálathos, in Latin became “Spalatum“, Italian version Spalato, 19th century name Spljet all the way to its nowadays name Split. Split name is related to yellow flowers with very a pleasant scent and found in profusion locally called Brnistra with their Greek name aspalathos (ασπαλατηος).

So what did the Romans do for us? Well, quite a lot really but here’s what happened before:

Although the origin of Split city was associated with the construction of Diocletian’s Palace (295 and 305), some archaeological finds excavated after 2000 (sacral facilities, the amphitheater, the port on the north side of Marjan), demonstrate that this area was settled in ancient Roman times, long before Diocletian.

It is likely that this was one of the Greek colonies because of its favourable geographical position and probably the large Illyrian tribe settlement here at the time but Split predates the Greeks and goes back more that 4000 years ago and evidence has been found of local people using the first objects made of copper. Nearby Solin (Salona) archeologists found some metal weapons and jewelry.

Many traces from the Stone Age period, stone tools and weapons were found in the nearby Klis settlement (only 8 miles from Split), Grapceva cave on the island Hvar and Radosic village near Sinj and other locations, demonstrate the rich history of this town.

In 400 BC the Greeks are certainly here and founded the town of Issa – Vis island, Pharos – Stari Grad (Hvar island), Tragurij – Trogir and Epitium – Stobrec.

The Gecko Salona, Klis, Trogir half day tours this all in and much more:
Salona, Klis and Trogir tour
There are not many cities in the world that can be proud such as Split of almost two millennium history. Read more about Diocletian’s palace, a city within a city and the timeline of Split and Croatia history, date by date in my next blog!
Split Croatia museums are testimonies of its rich history from ancient times to the present day and Ill do a short blog on this too.