Dalmatia (Croatian: Dalmacija, Croatian pronunciation: [dǎlmaːt͡sija]; see names in other languages) is an historical region of Croatia on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. The hinterland, the Dalmatian Zagora, ranges from fifty kilometres in width in the north to just a few kilometres in the south. The Dalmatian dog received its name from Dalmatia, as does the dalmatic, a Roman Catholic liturgical vestment worn by deacons and bishops.
The name Dalmatia derives from the name of the Dalmatae tribe, which is connected with the Illyrian word delme (“sheep”).
In antiquity the Roman province of Dalmatia was much larger than the present-day Split-Dalmatia County, stretching from Istria in the north to historical Albania in the south. Dalmatia signified not only a geographical unit, but was an entity based on common culture and settlement types, a common narrow eastern Adriatic coastal belt, Mediterranean climate, sclerophyllous vegetation of the Illyrian province, Adriatic carbonate platform, and karst geomorphology.
Among other things, the ecclesiastical primatical territory today continues to be larger because of the history: it includes part of modern Montenegro, notably around Bar, the (honorary) Roman Catholic primas of Dalmatia, but an exempt archbishopric without suffragans while the archbishoprics of Split (also a historical primas of Dalmatia) have provincial authority over all Croatian dioceses except the exempt archbishopric of Zadar.
The southernmost transitional part of Dalmatia, the Gulf of Kotor, is part of Montenegro and considered in Dalmatia by some sources.
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