So where to start. Area of Balkan has huge and rich culture and history. It was crossroad for many civilizations, empires, states. It isnt surprising that Illyrians didnt survive til this day as separate people. Many todays people such as Albanians, Serbs, Bosniaks, Croats, Slovenians, Montenegroians etc. claim that Illyrians were there ancestors. Many people connect them with Bosniaks because of Stećak mounuments and Bogumils which is realy hilarious and obvious that those people dont understand term time line. Todays people on Balkan are mostly South Slavic people which came in 6 and 7 century. But spirit of Illyrians live. After Slavs came on Balkan they took many Illyrians customs. Like breaking ceramics on grave of loved ones. Strabo wrote that Illyrians (Dalmatians) every eight years divide their land which is common good and own by everyone. Those dividng of landscape continue till 17 centuries on Island Pag in Croatia. Illyrians mosty melt with Slavic people and with Avars ( which came before Slavic people or about same time as one theory goes that Croats are Avars.). St.Jerome wrote about Huns who came in area. So when you look history of area, Illyrians were between Rome and Greece, Etruscan, Italic tribes,Thracians,Celts, then came Huns, Avars, Slavs, Ottomans, Venetian republic, Republic of Ragussa, Byzant, Franks, Mongols, Hitler and Napoleon. So it isnt surprising that Illyrians kind of lost battle for they own state. But as I would show later they werent weak. They were well organized, its just they didnt have luck to built their civilization on crossroads. Illyrians survive till this day in people which I mention before. Their name was used in propaganda for nationalism, to name provience like Romans and Napoleon, to name cultutal movement like Illyrian movement in Croatia and so on. Illyrians influenced Rome. Illyrians wounded one Roman emperor and save one Roman Emperor. Illyrics Witch doctors from Panonia healed Hadrian from fever. Liburnia or Liburnica is Roman ship which Romans steel from Liburnians (Illyric tribe on Adriatic sea) because it was faster then their ship. White liturgic dress called Dalmatica was originated from Dalmatians (Illyric tribe on Adriatic sea). Many herbs as cure Roman accepted such as Gentiana or Iris Illyrica. Since thread about Illyrians are wide I will try to mention many things but I will focus on Croatian tribes since Im from Croatia and I studied them a lot. I will call Illyrians tribes- tribes although I dont agree with that term. For me they were civilization even they didnt have written word, as far as we know. I will not try to connect Illyrians with Vinča culture or Pelasgians. I will be objective in this for me very interesting thread. Personally I like japodes, Daorsi, Dardanians,Histri, Dalmatians and their strugle with Rome, Liburnians since they were last one who become „Illyrizated“ and mantain original, who worshiped mother, have had Matriarch society, who burried they people in fetus position, who had female godesses, who were called pirates by Greeks and Romans, who had fast ships, who had colonies in Italy and have wars with Umbrians and maybe Etruscan there (For example Port Truentum.) Liburnians were driven off from todays Italy by Umbrians. They have had their music instrument called Siringa. They have had their own weapon called Sica.
Illyrians were lost to history mostly because they didnt have written word and because many armies went trough area. We know about them from Greek accounts and Roman accounts. And from archaeology. I will mention that Greeks and Romans were anti –Illyrian. I think that says all. Pseudo Skilak shown us that he dont know heart of Balkan peninsula. Greeks knowldege about Illyrians was pure. Romans too but they did wrote more. Pliny wrote that among Ilyrians there some who could curse you and that they have had two pupil in one eye. Same things mention Aulus Gellius, Roman writer. Archaeology helped but more research must be done. I hope that in future Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia will become archaeological hot spot same as Bulgaria is now with almost everyday new discovery about Thracians.
We now know that Illyrians have had many cities. Sumer, Greece,Etruscans have had city states but Illyrians have had kingdoms. They were organized. For example: Ardiaei kingdom, Enchelei kingdom, Taulanti kingdom, Autariatae kingdom, Dardani kingdom.
So who were Illyrians?
Illyrians inhabit todays Slovenia,Croatia,Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, part of Greece, part of Italia and part of Bulgaria from 2nd millennium BC - 9 A.D. They spoke Illyrian language. They were Indo European race with IE language. Illyrian language is lost but there are some known words on Illyrian. For example it is suspected that Gentian flower cames from Illyrians, sika (curved knife) sibina (spear),abaeis (snake),bagaron (heat), deuadai (satyrs), rinos (fog), sabaia (beer), Bosona (Bosna river), derbanoi (tree). When I mentioned Sica (curved sword) it was original Illyrian weapon which later Romans adopted. Anyway, we often hear that Illyrians were not one civilization. That there were different civilizations, tribes. I mean when we look today definiton of one nation which is: territory, language, traditions,culture it is obivious that Illyrians have had all. They shared land. They speak same language and have same traditions and culture. They have had religion of totemism. There are two major cults. Cult of the sun in the north and cult of the serpent in the south.Sacrifice and ritual killings were not something unknown to Illyrians. Historian Arrian wrote that Cleitus, sacrificing three boys, three girls and three rams before battle against Alexander the great. So are they Barbarians because of that? We found in many civilizations human sacrifaces yet we dont call them barbarians such as Rome and Chartage. Also it was only once that I know that we can found that Illyrians doing sacrifice. To support theory that they were compact civilization is fact that names Illyrians give in Pannonia we can also find in Dalmatia. Same thing with Liburnias and Dalmatians. They have cities such as Aquileia, Nesactium, Pola, Arupium, Aneona, Iader, Asseria, Rider, Scardona, Delminium, Narona, Rhizon. Butua, Olcinium. Herodian discribe Illyrians as strong and ready to fight. They often wear tunics and woman wear tunics with cloak. They keep livestock and they have done farming and mining.Roman historian Appian talk about Poseidons son Polyphemus who had three sons with Galatia. One of son Illyrius founded Illyria. Homer tells us in Iliad that Trojans have had allies Dardanians. Also on battle near Kadesh between Egyptians and Hittites it was written that Hittites have had allies Drdny. Are they Illyrians- Dardanians?Livy mention that Illyrians have had a council of male elders who elected their kings. 300 BC, Justinius wrote that Dardanians offered the king of Macedon 20 000 soldiers for defend his kingdom from a Celtic invasion. Also in Greek mythology Illyrians were mentioned. Specifically in the legend of Cadmus and Harmonia.Illyrians were mentioned in Greek history, one of the first was by Anaximander around the 6th century BC who created a "world map" and included "Illyris" as the territory north-west of Hellenic lands of Epirus and Macedon. Further I hear theory that Illyrians came on Balkan after Troy was destroyed or another theory after fall of Hittite empire.
Many connect them with snake myth with Hittites. Hittites have had myth snake Illira as I remember.(?)Of course with Phoenicans becuase Illyrius was son of Cadmus.
What is also interesting is that recently we found Kokino ancient observatory in todays Macedonia.It dates 2000 BC. It is real mystery.
“The U.S. space agency NASA included the site on its list of ancient observatories in 2005.
1. Abu Simbel, Egypt,2. Stonehenge, Great Britain,3. Angkor Wat, Cambodia,4. Kokino, Macedonia,5. Goseck circle, Germany”
“The United States Space Agency (NASA) recognized the megalithic observatory "Kokino" as a significant heritage of this type in its "Timeless knowledge" project in 2005. "Kokino" is listed side by side with ancient observatories as Stonehenge (Great Britain), Abu Simbel (Egypt), Angkor Wat (Cambodia), Machu Picchu (Peru) etc.”Unesco
No one can say was Kokino Illyrian or not but people under table suggests thats might be true. If so we have people who have had certain astonomical knowledge, have medicine, built ships, have towns, have kingdoms, made coins,swords,spears,axes and so on. Recently Marina Prusac from Oslo University claimed that they found in Desilo near Čapljina in Bosnia and Herzegovina 16-30 Illyrian ships with amphoraes , ruins, artifacts that all dates BC. From Roman accounts we know that Romans had three wars against Illyrians tribes. First Illyrian war was 229 BC, seceond Illyrian war was 219 BC and third was in 168 BC. From wiki:
“In 168 BC the Illyrian king Gentius allied himself with the Macedonians. First in 171 BC, he was allied with the Romans against the Macedonians, but in 169 he changed sides and allied himself with Perseus of Macedon. He arrested two Roman legati and destroyed the cities of Apollonia and Dyrrhachium, which were allied with Rome. In 168 he was defeated at Scodra by a Roman force under L. Anicius Gallus, and in 167 brought to Rome as a captive to participate in Gallus' triumph, after which he was interned in Iguvium” How is it possible that Illyrian tribes resisted Roman empire for 61 years and destroyed so many legions if they were not well organized. If you know who were Romans and to know that some resist 61 years on their doorstep is quite amazing.
We divide Illyrians into Illyirian-: Venetic tribes, Celtic tribes, Thraco tribes, Hellenic tribes, Proper tribes.Some of the tribes often allied with Romans, Macedonians and Greeks. They often had war between states for example Daorsi and Dalmatians, Liburnians and Dalmatians. You will notice that some tribes were different in their achivements then others. Such as Dardanians, Teutons, Liburnians, Dalmatians, Daorsi…
1. Thraco Illyrians
Lived near Thracians.
Agrianes-allies of Alexander the Great in 335 BC against Autariatae who wanted to attack Macedonia.
Tribali-made wars with Philip the Great in 339 BC
Paeones-were melted in Macedonia kingdom.
Dardanians – have love for music and dance. They fought with Macedonians. Maybe Troy allies.
2. Celtic Illyrians
Celts came in area known as Pannonia in fourth century BC. In Pannonia lived tribes: Japodes, Pannonians, Breuci, Scorisci. Pannonia is valley between Sava and Drava river. From east Croatia to Serbia.
Japodes- Strabo wrote that they have had celtic armor but that they have tattoos like Illyrians. Augustus defeat them in 35 BC.
Breuci-Rebels against Rome in 14 BC and 6 AD under Bato.
Scordisci were tribe which is known for practicing and dringink from human skulls.
Veneti - They lived near todays Venice and it is assumed that they migrated from Asia Minor , possibly Troy.
Elder Pliny (C. Plinius Secundus) .Elder Pliny’s Naturalis historia is like encyclopedia of many different Antics knowledge.In his III., IV., V. i VI books we can find geographic discription of known world. Especially inside Roman borders.In his III. Book Pliny X. region (=Venetia et Histria) he said:
„In mediterraneo regionis decimae coloniae Cremona, Brixia Cenomanorum agro, Venetorum autem Ateste et oppida Acelum, Patavium, Opitergium, Velunum, Vicetia. Mantua Tuscorum trans Padum sola reliqua. Venetos Troiana stirpe ortos auctor est Cato,Cenomanos iuxta Massiliam habitasse in Volcis. Feltrini et Tridentini et Beruenses Raetica oppida, Raetorum et Euganeorum Verona, Iulienses Carnorum. Dein quos scrupulosius dicere non attineat, Alutrenses, Asseriates, Flamonienses Vanienses et alii cognomine Curici, Foroiulienses cognomine Transpadani, Foretani, Nedinates,Quarqueni, Tarvisani, Togienses, Varvari.“
Venetos is Troy origin according to Cato and Cenomans lived before with Volcs near Massiliam (todays Marseilles.).
Histri-Well known for piracy. Livy in his work „Ab Urbe Condita“ wrote how Histri have had three cities Nesactium ,Mutilla i Faveria. Livy also wrote that Istrians were pirating Roman ships. Histri were well known for Roman resistance.They won several battles against Romans until 177 BC Romans destroyed Nesactium and later Mutilla and Faveria. How important victory it was it tell us fact that Romans celebrates victory for two days. At Nesactium siege king Epulon (Epulo, Epulone, Aepulo) commits suicide when he realize that they lost battle. He rather died then to become slave. Some historians think that they were totaly seperate culture like Etruscan. Also I wonder could it be that Etruscian themselves were Illyrians? I also noticed that they have used same symbols like swastika and others.
Liburni – History discribe Liburnians as sea people who were lords of the Adriatic Sea . I said on purpose Sea people because there were theories that they are ones who came on shores of Egypt. They were masters of east coast and west coast of Adriatic sea. In iron age Liburnians establish colonies in Apulia and Picenum in Italy. Pliny the Elder wrote that Liburnians loose thier colonies in 6BC because od invasion of Gauls Umbri and Celts and because of rising Etruscan civilization. Liburnian war ship Roman copied and name after Liburnians. Liburnians have great navigation skills. Quick ships which gave them mobility. Strabo wrote the oldest known battle between the Greeks and Illyrians when Chersicrates the Corinthian won ovet the Liburni. Battle happened near island Corcyca todays Corfu. We must understand that Greeks didnt defeated Illyrians on their own. They have had Taulanti (One of the biggest Illyrian tribe) on their side. In fact Taulanti asked help from Greece because of Liburnians.Strabo also told us that Liburnians used Corcyra island for controlling the enterence in Adriatic sea. It is inteteresting what Scylax wrote about Illyrians. He wrote that Liburni were dominated by women who were sexually free to have sex with who ever they want. Also Roman writer Varro wrote about sexual freedom of unmarried woman. From his notes we can conclude that they were a matriarchal society . They burried they people in fetus position. Called pirates by Greeks and Romans. They have had very fast mobile ships and have colinies in todays Italy. such asPort Truentum. Liburnians were driven off from todays Italy by Umbri as I said. They have had their music instrument called Siringa. Theopompus of Chios wrote that Liburni established city Adria in Italy. Some even argue that term Adriatic sea came from Liburni. Strabo wrote how in year 734 BC Luburni were driven off from Corcyra todays Corfu by Corinthian ruler Hersikrates. So they were active from Italy to Greece.
The great astronomer, mathematician and geographer Ptolemy of Alexandria, in his geography put Asseria (Assesia) along with other cities of the interior of Liburnia.
Tedijast 39° – 44°50’ (unknown)
Arukija 39° – 44° 45’ (Arupij (Vital near Otočca)
Ardotij 40° – 44° 50’ (in Lika)
Stulpi 39° 30’ – 44° 50’ (unknown)
Kurkum 40° 30’ – 44° 30’ (unknown)
Ausankalij 41° 30’ – 44° 45’ (in Lika)
Varvarija 41° 10’ – 44° 10’ (Bribir)
Salvija 41° 20’ – 44° 40’ (near Glamoča)
Adra 42° 30’ – 44° 40’ (near Zrmanja)
Arauzona 42° 30’ – 44° 40’ (Vel. Mrdakovica near Zaton)
Asesija 42°15’ – 44° 20’ (=ASSERIA)
Burnum 42° 45’ – 44° 20’ (near Ivoševaca on Krk river)
Sidrona 43° 30’ – 44° 30’ (Medviða)
Blanona 42° 10’ – 44° (Stabanj near Biograda)
Voporum 43° – 44° (Promona?)
Nedinum 44° 30’ – 44° 15’ (Nadin)
4. Hellenistic Illyrians
Lived in almost on south and very south of Illyria. Todays Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovinia
Chaoni-This tribe didnt even cook food sisnt surprising that Greeks though on Illyrians as Barbarians. Roman Appian said that from there Illria stops and Greece start.
Encheleae - They controlled most of southern Illyria and were at the height of their power in the eighth and seventh centuries BC. They were the first to have an organized Illyrian tribal-state (around Lake Ohrid in Albania).
Daorsi-They lived in todays Bosnia and Herzegovina. They built cyclopean walls. They coined money. City Daorson ( ΔΑΟΡΣΩΝ )wall were 65 meters long and 4,5 meters high. They used Greek alphabet. In Daorson we found helmet with Nika, Dionysius, Pegasus and Aphrodite. Interesting that we found statue of Cadmus and Harmonia. Dalmatians attacked them often. They ask Rome for help and after Romans conquer Illyria Daorson had immunity.
Ardiaei – Strabo wrote that they were one of three most powerfull tibes (Others too Autariatae and Dardani) which lived in todays Montenegro. They fight with Romans, Autariataeans, Macedonians and Celts. Theopompus of Chios wrote that they have had 300 000 slaves. Doubtfull number but it tells us that how people seen them.
Autariatae – They planed to attack Maceodnia and made war with Ardiaedians.
Dalmatians – Appian said that they were last tribe to be conquered of all Illyrians in year 9 AD. Dalmatians center was Salona. They made war with Rome. They attacked Liburnians, Daorsi and others.They lived in city of Narona. In 1st century BC Cicero wrote to the Illyrians in Narona that they find for him one of his missing slave. Cicero didn’t care about that slave but that slave stole some books from the library and those books were important. Name of the slave was Dionysius and he was the chief librarian of Cicero. Story is irrelevant but shows us how important was city Narona when Romans wrote to Narona city. And that Illyrians have had center. Cicero wrote to Illyrians in Narona that they stoped the Dionysius. Their white dress called Dalmatica influence Rome.
Taulanti – lived in totays Albania. Allies of Athens during Peloponnesian was. Thucydides notes this tribe in his history of the Peloponnesian War as allies of Athens. Greek beutifull city Apollonia was late place where Taulantis settled.
Hecataeus of Miletus around 500 BC wrote about Adriatic shores and Legend of agronauts show us how Greeks know nothing about inland of Illyria.
Pliny wrote that Illyrian tibes were settle in Italy in Poediculi. Historians agrees that we know very little about Illyrians in Italy such as in area Picenum. Hans Krahe, German philologist and linguist, specializing over many decades in the Illyrian languages. He wrote that Messapian language of southeastern Italy, Apulia is Illyrian language. He wrote that Messapian language is in fact Illyrian in his work „Die sprache der Illyrier“. Theopompus of Chios wrote that Liburni established city Adria in Italy. Some even argue that term Adriatic sea came from Liburni.
Strabo wrote how in year 734 BC Luburni were driven off from Corcyra todays Corfu by Corinthian ruler Hersikrates. They strech from Italy to Greece. And many times they won over Greeks. Fore example near Medion under Illrian King Argon. Or as battle over city Foinike.
Here is short info about Illyrian Roman wars. Rome sent envoys to ask Illyrian Queen Teuta to not attacking their ships in Adriatic pool and that Illyrians save city of Issa from constant raiding. On their way home they were killed by Illyrians which cause Rome Illyrian wars. Illyrians then conquered Corcyra. It shows us that Rome seen Queen Teuta as ruler of Illyrians. And how Illyrians feel that they possess power to resist Romans. Fulvius Centumal, Roman consul in reponse sent 200 ships to Corcyra. Imagine Rome sent 200 ships. After Demetrius of Pharos change side to Roman and become ruler of Pharos. Second Illyrian Roman war start when Demetrius change side again this time with Macedons against Rome. He start pirate campaign in 216 BC. Rome then made was with Illyrians again and after battle of Pharos, Demetrius ran in Macedonia. Then Genitius Illyrian King didnt want to becom vassal of Rome and again made alliance with Macedonians. Rome tried to offer peace with Dalmatians in Delminium but dalmatians refused peace.
In 129 BC Caius Sempronius Tuditanus won Liburni and Japodes. In 78 BC Dalmatians conquered Salona. In 50 BC Dalmatians attack Liburni for city Promna. Liburni ask for help Caesar but Dalmatians won Caesar troops. Then again in 4 BC near town Synodium Dalmatians won. Resistance of Dalmatians was enormous. I must stressed out that later in same area Mongols leave their pants on sticks. Octavian himself in 35 BC attacked Illyrians and he was wounded during siege of Setovia. Two years later Setovia has fallen from Romans under healed Octavian. Resistance in Dalmatia was lead by Illyrians Verzo Dalmat in Promona and Testimos as guerilla leader. Later Illyrians rebeled under Bato command with „200 000“ soldiers and 9000 mount soldiers. Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus wrote that was hardest war after Chartage. Germanicus and Tiberius were sent by Rome to silenced rebeled Illyrians. When Rome eneter in city Ardubi hope was lost for Illyrians. Interesting we still dont know where is this city. Possibly Vranduk but thats just speculation. Here is what wiki say about rebelion:
„The Breuci were led by their general, Bato and the Daesitaitis were led by their king baring the same name as the general of the Breuci also called Bato. With the Romans advancing, King Bato led his troops into Sirmium (Pannonia) with General Bato taking the Breuci into Salona (Dalmatia). However, both suffered heavy losses to the Romans and King Bato was seriously injured and retreated to Apollonia in southern Illyria. General Bato and the Breuci along with the Dalmatae continued the war but the general had other plans (personal gain, kingship). He disobeyed the orders from his king, Pinnes, to continue the battle and upon surrendering, he delivered up Pinnes to the Romans. King Bato received word of the shameless act of the Breucian and returned to Pannonia and captured the traitor general. Before a Pannonian tribunal, King Bato had his namesake executed.King Bato once again led charged but the Roman legions were a military machine and their discipline was exemplary. Illyrian towns, set ablaze, fell one by one to the Romans. King Bato who had probably forseen an onslaught surrendered in 9AD and asked that the lives of his men be spared. King Bato was soon exiled to Ravenna (Italy) until his death. When asked by the Roman Commander Tiberus as to why he rebelled, King Bato replied, "You Romans are to blame for this; for you send as guardians of your flocks, not dogs or shepherds, but wolves."
to be continued.
Edited by the L, 07 October 2012 - 02:11 PM.