The Illyrians were a group of Indo-European tribes in #antiquity, who inhabited part of the western #Balkans. The territory the #Illyrians inhabited came to be known as Illyria to Greek and Roman authors, who identified a territory that corresponds to #Croatia, Bosnia and #Herzegovina, #Slovenia, #Montenegro, #Kosovo and most of central and northern #Albania, between the #Adriatic Sea in the west, the Drava river in the north, the Morava river in the east and the mouth of the Aoos river in the south. The first account of Illyrian peoples comes from the Periplus of Pseudo-Scylax, an ancient Greek text of the middle of the 4th century BC that describes coastal passages in the Mediterranean.
The Dardanians; a powerful #Illyrian tribal group in the south-western part of #Moesia superior, strongly influenced by #Thrace, particularly in the east of the region. The region was within the sphere of influence of the Macedonians, who gained control over Dardania in 335 BC. However, the Dardanians continued to strive for a certain degree of #independence. In 284 BC they were united under the rule of one king and waged prolonged wars against the #Macedonians. In 229 they defeated Demetrius II, who died soon after his defeat. #Rome asserted itself in Dardania during the 1st cent. BC. The country was finally annexed in 29/8 by M. Licinius Crassus (cos. 30 BC). The Dardanians were known as a #warlike people and there is evidence of their deployment in various auxiliary units during the #Roman Imperial period. Their country was famous for its wealth of ore deposits (iron, lead, silver). The #Dardanian ore mines were managed independently and constituted an important part of the #imperiale #state. From the time of #Diocletian, #Dardania was administrated as a separate province with its centre in #Scupi (Plin. HN 3,149; Ptol. 3,9,2). Source:
Burian, Jan (Prague) and Scheer, Tanja (Rome), “Dardani”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider. Consulted online on 11 June 2017
First published online: 2006