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Epirus before the reign of Alexander the Molossian

Epirus was the name of an ancient region in the lands corresponding to current southern Albania and northwestern Greece. The name of Epirus seems to originate from the ancient Greek word “Epeiros” which means “land” or “continent”. It is clear that this term came from an islanders’ perspective, namely the Greek islanders settling in the many islands off Epirus’ coast. […]

Epirus

Epirus: Geography and Populations Epirus was the name of an ancient region in the lands corresponding to current southern Albania and northwestern Greece. The name of Epirus seems to originate from the ancient Greek word “Epeiros” which means “land” or “continent”. It is clear that this term came from an islanders’ perspective, namely the Greek islanders settling in the many […]

Pyrrhus of Epirus

Pyrrhus of Epirus: Lineage and Character Pyrrhus of Epirus (also known as Pyrrhus I, Pyrrhus, or Phyrrhus), was born in 319/318 B.C.E. in Epirus. He was the son of Aeacides, king of Epirus (ruled 331-316, 313) part of the ruling Epirot tribe of the Molossians, and Phthia, a noblewoman from Thessaly, daughter of Menon. Pyrrhus was also the second-cousin of […]

The Istrian War

Episode I: An Ignored War Classical sources suggest that the Romans fought a brief war during 221-220 B.C.E. against the Istrians. According to these accounts, the war was caused by piratical assaults from the Istri against the Roman ships in northern Adriatic. Also, it is suggested that the Istri may have been collaborating as allies with Demetrius of Pharus against […]

Bardylis: World Class King Who Missed the Spotlight

Bardylis (“Bardhyll” in modern Albanian language meaning “White-Star”) was king of the Illyrians during 393-358 B.C.E. He was born around 448 B.C.E. as a member of the Illyrian tribe of the Enchelei. The Enchelei inhabited primarily the area around lake Lychnidus (Ohrid). Background Although from a humble origin, Bardylis would soon become the ruler of many Illyrian tribes and form one of […]

Gentius, the last king of the Illyrians

Episode I: Gentius,  A New Young King Gentius was king of the Illyrians (Rex i Illyricorum) during 181-167 B.C.E. Gentius was a royal member of the Illyrian tribe of the Ardiaei, son of Pleuratus and Eurydice. Thus, his state is referred either as the kingdom of Illyria or as the kingdom of the Ardiaei. According to Livy, Gentius had one […]

Dardania under Roman Rule

Episode I: Establishing Roman Rule over Dardania The successful campaign of Sribonus Curio (75-73 B.C.E.) against Dardania was not followed by the immediate annexation of this region from the Roman Republic. The Dardanians continued the resistance against the Romans. It can be stated that, after Curio’s campaign, their territory was turned into a semi-independent state (foedus iniquum). The Dardanians resisted […]

Lissus: Illyrians’ Sophisticated Military Base

Lissus or Lissos was an ancient city located in the current city of Lezha on the northwestern Albanian coast. From the evidence on-site and classical sources, the city of Lissus must have been a heavily fortified city, serving more as a military base rather than as a civic or agricultural community. Early Establishment Lissus occupied a strategic position: its eastern […]

Damastion: The Secret Story of a Silver-Rich City

Damastion was a city that thrived during classical antiquity in the Balkan hinterland. It was famous for its nearby silver mines and silver coinage. The city was likely founded during the Peloponnesian War though the founders remain unknown.  Damastion as a colony of refugees from Aegina and Mende According to a palmfest discovered in the Vatican which amends Strabo’s description […]