Taulantii or Taulantians[1] (Greek: Ταυλάντιοι) was the name of a cluster of Illyrian tribes.[2]

According to Greek mythology Taulas (Tαύλας), one of the six sons of Illyrius, was the eponymous ancestor of the Taulantii.[3] They lived on the Adriatic coast of Illyria (modern Albania), in the vicinity[4] of the city of Epidamnus (modern Durrës). This tribe played an important role in Illyrian history of the 4th–3rd centuries BC, when Glaucias (335 BC- 302 BC) ruled over them as king.

The name Taulantii appears to be connected with the Albanian word tallandushe, dallëndyshe which means "swallow" in English.[5]


  1. ^ James R. Ashley, The Macedonian Empire, McFarland, 2004, p. 172.
  2. ^ Hammond, N. G. L. (1994). "Illyrians and North-west Greeks". The Cambridge Ancient History Volume 6: The Fourth Century BC. Cambridge University Press: 423. 
  3. ^ Appian, The Foreign Wars, III, 1.2
  4. ^ Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, 1.24.1, "The city of Epidamnus stands on the right of the entrance of the Ionic gulf. Its vicinity is inhabited by the Taulantians, an Illyrian people. The place is a colony from Corcyra, founded by Phalius, son of Eratocleides, of the family of the Heraclids, who had according to ancient usage been summoned for the purpose from Corinth, the mother country..."
  5. ^ Wilkes, John (1992). The Illyrians. Wiley. p. 244. ISBN 9780631146711.  "Names of individuals peoples may have been formed in a similar fashion, Taulantii from ‘swallow’ (cf. the Albanian tallandushe) or Erchelei the ‘eel-men’ and Chelidoni the ‘snail-men’."