Teuta (Ancient Greek: Τεύτα) was the queen regent[A] of the
Ardiaei tribe in Illyria, who reigned approximately from 231 BC to
227 BC.[better source needed]
1.1 War with Rome
2 See also
6 Further reading
After the death of her husband Agron, (250–230 BC) the former
king of the Ardiaei, she inherited the Ardiaean kingdom, which
included much of
Illyria proper, though its exact extent remains
unknown, and she acted as regent for her young stepson Pinnes.
According to Polybius, she ruled "by women's reasoning". Teuta
started to address the neighbouring states malevolently, supporting
the piratical raids of her subjects. She also gave the Romans their
first pretext to cross the Adriatic with an army; this occurred as
they started the conquest of the eastern Mediterranean.
Illyria during Teuta's rule
Illyrians soon captured and later fortified
Durrës, Albania) and
Phoenice (which was soon liberated with a truce
and a fee). While her ships were off the coast of Onchesmos, they
intercepted and plundered some Roman merchant vessels. Teuta's
forces extended their operations further southward into the Ionian
Sea, defeating the combined Achaean and Aetolian fleet in the battle
of Paxos and capturing the island of Corcyra, which put them in
position to breach the important trade routes between the mainland of
Greece and the Greek cities in Italy.
Roman Republic felt threatened by the opposing side of the
Adriatic in the very vicinity of its territories (where most of the
raids occurred), the senate was compelled to dispatch two
ambassadors to the city of Scodra to solicit reparations and demand an
end to all pirate expeditions. Queen
Teuta told the ambassadors that
according to the law of the Illyrians, piracy was a lawful trade and
that her government had no right to interfere with this as a private
enterprise. She also implied that "it was never the custom of royalty
to prevent the advantage of its subjects they could get from the
sea". One of the envoys reportedly replied that Rome would make it
her business to introduce better law among the
Illyrians as "we have
an excellent custom of punishing private wrongs by public revenge".
At any rate, one of the two present ambassadors expressed himself to
the queen so disrespectfully that her attendants were ordered to seize
the ambassadors' ship as it embarked back for Rome. One of the
ambassadors was killed and the other was put in captivity.
War with Rome
Main article: Illyrian Wars
In 229 BC, Rome declared war on
Illyria and for the first
time armies crossed the Adriatic to
Illyria (the western regions of
Balkan Peninsula in modern usage). An army consisting of
approximately 20,000 troops, 200 cavalry units and an entire Roman
fleet of 200 ships was sent to conquer Illyria. When the fleet
showed up by Corcyra, Teuta's governor, Demetrius surrendered the city
and sided with the Romans as their advisor for the remaining time of
the war; at the end of the war (228 BC) the Romans awarded him
resulting in Demetrius’ becoming the governor of Pharos and the
adjacent coasts. The remainder of the Roman army in the
meantime landed further north at Apollonia. The combined army and
navy proceeded northward together, subduing one town after another and
eventually besieging the capital Scodra.
Teuta herself was retreated
to Rhizon, the principal base of the Illyrian fleet, and finally
surrendered in 227 BC, having to accept an ignominious peace. The
Romans allowed her to continue her reign but restricted her to a
narrow region around Scodra, deprived her of all her other holdings,
and forbade her to sail an armed ship south of Lissus. They
also required her to pay an annual tribute and to acknowledge
the final authority of Rome.
Her rule was finally ended by the politician Aulus Postumius, after
she opted against Roman suppression. Very little is known of the
rest of her life. According to the folklore of the modern inhabitants
Teuta ended her life in grief by throwing herself from Orjen
List of rulers of Illyria
^ She was never referred to as a "queen" by
Appian since she was a
regent to Pinnes.
^ a b c d e Jackson-Laufer 1999, "Teuta", pp. 382–383.
^ Polybius, Scott-Kilvert & Walbank 1979, pp. 114–122; Wilkes
1995, pp. 80, 129, 167.
^ Hammond 1993, p. 105.
^ Berranger, Cabanes & Berranger-Auserve 2007, p. 136.
^ Wilkes 1995, p. 167.
^ Arthur M. Eckstein (2 January 1995). Moral Vision in the Histories
of Polybius. University of California Press. pp. 154–.
ISBN 978-0-520-91469-8. Such is the case, of course, with his
presentation of Queen Teuta, ruler of the Illyrian
Ardiaei (2.4-1 1).
Teuta succeeded her husband, Agron (himself a drunkard; cf. 2.4.6), in
Polybius sneers that she ruled "by women's reasoning” ...
^ Pennington, Reina (2003). Amazons to Fighter Pilots - A Biographical
Dictionary of Military Woman (Volume Two). Westport, Connecticut:
Greenwood Press. p. 430. ISBN 0-313-32708-4.
^ a b Wilkes 1995, p. 158.
^ a b c Strickland & Strickland 1854, pp. 290–291.
^ a b Meijer 1986, p. 167.
^ a b Arnold 1846, p. 259.
^ Wilkes 1995, p. 160.
^ a b c Freeman 1863, pp. 418–419.
^ a b c d Ceka 2013, pp. 180.
^ Jacques 2009, pp. 121.
^ Wilkes 1995, p. 161.
^ Evans 2006, p. 277.
^ Polybius. Histories, 2.12.
^ Berranger, Cabanes & Berranger-Auserve 2007, p. 133.
Arnold, Thomas (1846). The History of Rome. New York: D. Appleton
& Co. [better source needed]
Berranger, Danièle; Cabanes, Pierre; Berranger-Auserve, Danièle
(2007). Épire, Illyrie, Macédoine: Mélanges offerts au Professeur
Pierre Cabanes. Presses Universitaire Blaise Pascal.
Ceka, Neritan (2013). The
Illyrians to the Albanians. Migjeni.
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Barnes & Noble Books. ISBN 0760766916.
Evans, Arthur (2006). Ancient Illyria: An Archaeological Exploration.
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Freeman, Edward Augustus (1863). History of Federal Government: From
the Foundation of the Achaian League to the Disruption of the United
States. Macmillan and Co.
Hammond, Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière (1993). Studies concerning
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Jackson-Laufer, Guida Myrl (1999). Women Rulers throughout the Ages:
An Illustrated Guide. New York: ABC-CLIO, Inc.
Jacques, Edwin (2009). The Albanians: An Ethnic History from
Prehistoric Times to the Present. McFarland.
Meijer, Fik (1986). A History of Seafaring in the Classical World. St.
Martin's Press. ISBN 0312000758.
Polybius; Scott-Kilvert, Ian; Walbank, Frank William (1979). The Rise
of the Roman Empire. Penguin Classics. ISBN 0140443622.
Strickland, Jane Margaret; Strickland, Agnes (1854). Rome, Regal and
Republican: A Family History of Rome. A. Hall.
Wilkes, John (1995). The Illyrians. Wiley-Blackwell.
ISBN 0631198075. [better source needed]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
Illyria & Illyrians.
Prodanović, Nada Ćurčija; Ristić, Dus̆an (1973). Teuta, Queen of
Illyria. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192713531.
Grant De Pauw, Linda (2000). Battle Cries and Lullabies: Women in War
from Prehistory to the Present. University of Oklahoma Press.
Walbank, Frank William (1984). The Cambridge Ancient History: The
Hellenistic World (Volume 7, Part 1). Cambridge University
Jones, David E. (2000). Women Warriors: A History. Brassey's.
Born: Unknown Died: Unknown
Queen of the
Ardiaei (regent to Pinnes)
231–227 BC