The Emperor Diocletian is to be thanked for the foundation of Split, as he constructed a large villa on the Adriatic shores of Dalmatia. It served as his retirement home, where he rested from the intrigues of the Roman higher ranks and enjoyed the lovely surroundings of what will one day become Croatia.
Yet, such a large structure had to be defended in case of an attack, so a contingent of soldiers was always ready to defend the emperor and care for his safety. Today, Roman soldiers of the time can be observed during numerous cultural events which occur in Split throughout the year. The costumed actors do a good job of presenting the archaic military personnel, and are great scenery for tourist photographs.