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 […]

Dardania: Kingdom & Land of the Dardanians

Dardania is the name of the ancient region and state corresponding to the current territory of Kosova/Kosovo, current southern Serbia, northern part of North Macedonia, and eastern Montenegro. The population inhabiting Dardania were the Dardanians, a tribe part of the larger Illyrian population. Earliest Mention & Geographic Position They are mentioned for the first time as allies of the Hittites […]

Glaucias of Taulantii

Episode I: Glaucias of the Taulantii/King of the Illyrians Glaucias was, according to Arrian, king of the Taulantti, an Illyrian tribe that occupied the current region of Central Albania. On the other hand, Plutarch and Diodorus describe him as the king of the Illyrians. However, there should be no confusion between the terms “king of the Taulantii” and “king of […]

Demetrius of Pharos: World’s First Pirate

Episode I: Disputed Origin of Demetrius of Pharos Demetrius of Pharos was a political leader who ruled among the Illyrians during the late III century B.C.E. The sources available do not allow for determining Demetrius’ year of birth. As his name suggests, he was apparently born and/or raised in the island of Pharos (Hvar, Croatia), at the time a Hellenic […]