Ancient Illyrians w. Dr Danijel Džino

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The ancient Illyrians were indigenous communities along the Dalmatian coast and stretching across to the central Balkans. Dr Danijel Džino, Senior Lecturer, Macquarie University, joins the show to discuss what’s known about these peoples.

Some topics explored

  • Who the Illyrians (territorially known as Illyricum) were
  • What’s known about how they identified themselves
  • Writing about the Illyrians in present day and thoughtful considerations around nomenclature
  • Previous writers on the Illyrians (e.g., Pliny the Elder, Pomponius Mela)
  • The Illyrians
  • Their governance structure being a monarchy (previous monarchs)
  • Kings that were known to have commissioned coinage
  • What’s known about their languages
  • Different clans that existed
  • Their architecture and what survives
  • Their economy
  • The degree to which their communities urbanized
  • Geopolitics including their relations with Rome, Greeks, and the Kingdom of Macedon
  • Their approach to foreign policy and military matters
  • The Illyrians being labelled as “pirates” in ancient Roman writing and the veracity of these accounts
  • Their use of Lemboi (plural; singular as Lemb / Lembus) ships / galleys, which were (invented in the Aegean region
  • The Illyrians as shipwrights
  • How are they are known to have travelled via sea
  • King Macedon V of Macedon’s engaging the Illyrian shipwrights to build ships for his kingdom
  • Their religious orientation and a tradition about a former King of Thebes who travelled to Illyricum and turned into a snake
  • The theories about Albanian being a successor of the Illyrian language(s) (consensus hasn’t been reached in the scholarly community regarding this)
  • Their sovereignty status by the end of the ancient period including their eventual incorporation into the Roman Empire and becoming provincialized
  • Their culture becoming more Romanized over time (e.g., Roman names, adopting the Latin language over time)

Listen to the episode

The episode can be streamed below and is also available on major podcast apps: Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Amazon Music.

Show Notes

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