The objective of the proposed project is to investigate and extend scientific information to aid in solving as yet unanswered questions about the significance of the Roman army in changes that occurred in the period from the first contacts with Rome (229 BC) to the end of the Marcomannic Wars (AD 180) on the territory of what is now the Republic of Croatia. The geopolitical strategy of Rome in newly conquered regions was to encourage the process of integration, where the Roman army gave their contribution
Archaeological data testify that the indigenous communities of Illyricum reacted differently to the process of integration. Some were highly willing to accept Roman heritage (e.g. Liburni), while others (e.g. Delmatae) were providing active resistance. The degree of readiness to accept Roman achievements is directly related to the integration and interaction of Roman and indigenous elements in the process of acculturation. Given previous research today we have a number of valuable studies dealing with certain aspects of Roman domination. However, they are primarily focused either on the ancient written sources or the archaeological material of the Roman Dalmatia and Pannonia. In contrast, this research of the integration process would scientifically cover for the first time the whole area of Croatia that was located on the former part of the Illyricum, i.e. Roman provinces of Dalmatia and Pannonia.
Such research will involve the collection, examination, comparison and evaluation of all available data, both archaeological and ancient sources. As such an investigation has never been carried out in this region, either at international or local level, this project can be characterized as pioneering research work.
Through successful implementation of the project, information will be obtained about various aspects of the integration of the autochthonous population into the Roman world and the impact of the specific geographic position extending from the Mediterranean to the Danube
In the process of evolving from an Apennine to a Mediterranean power, Rome gradually spread its influence into the area of present-day Croatia. One of the components that guided the course of historical events in the region of Croatia and the development of Roman culture is its unique geographical position between the Mediterranean and the Danube. The specific and unique nature of such a location is characterized by four significant geographic features: the Adriatic Sea, the Dinarides Mountains, the Pannonian Plain, and the Danube River.
Modern archaeological science emphasizes geographic location, and experts stress how much geography can affect historical events
Research into historical events is primarily carried out by classical historians, who depend on the records of ancient writers, whose views of various events remain the subject of numerous discussions. Among other things, this suggests that although the literary records are of immeasurable use, they should be approached with a certain amount of caution, as the classical authors made their observations from the point of view of the conqueror and a subjective approach cannot be avoided. Hence various archaeological methods are utilized in order to comprehend the historical events objectively. To ensure the scientific results of the best quality and to gain as much scientific data as possible, this research project suggests using two confirmed and successful archaeological methods: 1) archaeological survey, and 2) the classification of existing archaeological data using the variable of geographic origin. The collected information would be used to set up computer databases and archaeological archives. Only with the input of new information it would be possible to offer answers to the questions of the actual role of the Roman military in the changes that occurred. It would then also be possible to determine whether the specific geographical location played a role in these changes, and also in various aspects of the integration of the autochthonous population into the Roman world.
Through implementation of the project objectives, Croatian and international archaeological science would finally have at its disposal valid scientific results about the role of Roman military in the mobility of people, goods, and ideas manifested at the time of the Roman penetration from the Mediterranean (Adriatic) coast to the Danube. The obtained data would be stored on a computer database and the web page of the project that would serve interested scientists in their research.
The lengthy and successful research to the present carried out by the project leader and her research associates testifies to their complete competence, which is reflected not merely in their regular scientific publications, presentations at relevant international meetings, but also the extant infrastructure for performing the research.