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The Ardiaei were an Illyrian
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residing on territory of present-day
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,
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, Montenegro, and
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between Adriatic coast on the south, Konjic on the north, along the
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river and its right bank on the west, extending to Lake Shkodra to the southeast. From the 3rd century BC to 168 BC the capital cities of the Ardiaean State were Rhizon and Scodra. The Ardiaean kingdom was transformed into a formidable power—both by land and sea—under the leadership of Agron. During this time, Agron invaded part of Epirus, Corcyra, Epidamnos and
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in succession, establishing garrisons in them. The Ardiaean realm became one of
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's major enemies, and the primary threat in the Adriatic Sea. A Illyrian Wars, series of wars were fought between the Roman Republic and the Illyrian (Ardiaean-Labeatae, Labaeatan) kingdom in the 3rd–2nd centuries BC. Polybius (203 BC–120 BC) writes that they were subdued by the Ancient Rome, Romans at events that occurred at 229 BC. The Epitome of Livy, Epitome of Livy reports that Roman Republic, Roman consul Servius Fulvius Flaccus, Fulvius Flaccus put down an uprising in 135 BC undertaken by Ardiaei and Pleraei in Roman Illyria. In earlier times the Ardiaei were enemies of the Autariatae for a long period over salt source. Appian (95–165) writes that the Ardiaei were destroyed by the Autariatae and that in contrast to the Autariatae they had maritime power.


Etymology

The ''Ardiaei'' are attested since the 3rd century BC. They often appears in ancient accounts describing the Illyrian Wars and Macedonian Wars. Their name was written in Ancient Greek language, Ancient Greek as Ἀρδιαῖοι, ''Ardiaioi'', or Οὐαρδαῖοι, ''Ouardaioi'', and in Latin as ''Vardiaei'' or ''Vardaei''. The tribal name ''Ardiaei'' may be related to the Latin ''ardea'' meaning "heron", a symbol of Illyrian religion#Totemism, animal totemism.


Location

Accounts in ancient sources create much confusion about the original location of the Ardiaei. Up to the 4th century BC the Ardiaei were not a coastal people as they were described by later Roman historiography from the mid-3rd century BC and onwards. Their inland location in older times can be inferred by the cause of war between them and the Autariatae – a long-running conflict over the possession of salt sources near their common border. If they had lived in the Adriatic coastal area, they would not have had such a pronounced need to undertake a dangerous war because of the mountain salt springs. The arrival of the Ardiaei on the coast must have occurred at some time after the mid-4th century BC, as the Periplus of Pseudo-Skylax, ''Periplus'' of Pseudo-Skylax dating back to that time does not mention this Illyrian tribe at all. In that time the lower course of the Neretva, Naro river was inhabited by the Manioi, while the middle course was likely inhabited by the Ardiaei. The territory of the Ardiaei and Autariatae must have met somewhere along the upper Naro valley, near the 'Great Lake', which was attested in the ''Periplus'' and has been identified with Hutovo Blato. The Autariatae most likely inhabited the other side of the lake. During the 2nd century BC the Manioi disappeared from historical sources, being replaced in some of their former regions by the Ardiaei and Daorsi, while some of the earlier Autariatan territories were inhabited by the Narensii. Their tribal name indicates that Narensii certainly inhabited some of the areas along the Naron river, and that they probably appeared in historical sources after the disintegration of the coalition that was dominated by the Autariatae. In the 3rd century BC, the Ardiaei took on political importance and conquered territories from the Autariatae until they acquired control of the entire Adriatic coast from the region of the Daorsi at the mouth of the Naro river down to that of the Labeatae around Lake Skadar, Lake Scodra. It is possible that at that time their capital was in Rhizon in present-day Montenegro. In Roman times the Ardiaei were attested in the area of southern Illyria that was centered around the Bay of Kotor, with Rhizon as a capital city, expanding from the Neretva, Naro river in present-day
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and Croatia, along the Adriatic coast southwards to Scodra (another capital of the Illyrian kingdom) in present-day
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, as well as to the broad region of Lissus.


History

Due to widespread piracy perpetrated in the Adriatic by the Ardiaei and other Illyrian tribes, the Romans campaigned against them in the events of the Illyrian Wars. They were viewed as heavy drinkers in comparison, by the Greeks. In earlier times the Ardiaei were enemies of the Autariatae for a long period over salt source. The Ardiaei had briefly attained military might, during 230 B.C. under the reign of king Agron (an Ardiaean by tribal origin). His widow, Queen Teuta attempted to gain a foothold in the Adriatic but failed due to Roman intervention. Historic accounts hold that King Agron was hired by king Demetrius of Macedonia repel the invasion of Macedonia by the invading Aetolians. The Ardiaei had 20 decuriae. The ancient geographer, Strabo, lists the Ardiaei as one of the three strongest Illyrian peoples – the other two being the Autariatae and the Dardani. Strabo writes; King Agron, son of Pleuratus who belonged to the ruling house of the Ardiaei, disposed of the most powerful force, both by land and sea, of any of the kings which had reigned in Illyria before him.


Ardiaean dynasty

The following list reports the members of the Ardiaean dynasty documented as such in ancient sources: *Pleuratus II, Pleuratus ( 280 BC): father of Agron * Agron (– 231 BC): married Triteuta with whom he had Pinnes; he then divorced his first wife and married Teuta *Teuta (231 – 228): married Agron and was queen regent for Pinnes after Agron's death *Demetrius of Pharos, Demetrius ( 228 – 219 BC): married Triteuta and was king regent for Pinnes after Teuta's abdication *Pinnes (220 – after 217): son of Agron and Triteuta The branch of Scerdilaidas, and his successors Pleuratus III and Gentius, is generally considered a Labeatae, Labeatan dynasty, that emerged after the fall of Agron and Teuta in the First Illyrian War, First Roman–Illyrian War. Indeed, the Illyrian king Gentius is also attested as reigning among the Labeatae.; ; ; .


See also

*List of ancient Illyrian peoples and tribes *List of ancient tribes in Illyria


References


Bibliography

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Further reading

* {{Montenegro topics Illyrian tribes Illyrian Albania Illyrian Bosnia and Herzegovina Illyrian Croatia Illyrian Kosovo Illyrian Montenegro Ancient tribes in Albania Ancient tribes in Bosnia and Herzegovina Ancient tribes in Croatia Ancient tribes in Kosovo Ancient tribes in Montenegro Tribes conquered by Rome Tribes conquered by Roman republic History of Dalmatia