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Illyria and Illyrian Wars

Illyria and Illyrian Wars

· 7 · 1993

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ne: 14-10-2004, 16:49:06
Between 233 and 231, the Illyrian king Agron had gathered stronger land and naval forces than any prior king of that country (Polybius, II.2.4). The Greek historian Polybius gives the number of the fleet as 100, and refers to the ships as lemboi, or lembi. These were the native ships of the piratical Illyrians, had wider beams than typical warships of the day, and lacked rams. After hearing of his success against the Aetolians, Agron made so merry that he caught a cough and died, according to Polybius.

He was succeeded by his wife Teuta, who sanctioned extensive privateer activity and authorized her commanders to use their substantial forces to attack, besiege, pillage, or plunder as they pleased. Epirus was plundered in this way. In 230 BC the Illyrian pirates stepped up their attacks on Italian merchants, and repeated protests by the latter brought the matter to the attention of the Roman Senate.

The senators dispatched two envoys, Gaius and Lucius Coruncanius, to Queen Teuta. Receiving the Romans haughtily, the queen guaranteed only that the official forces of Illyria would make no attacks; she was not responsible for the actions of privateers. One of the envoys responded angrily, and for this Teuta had him killed on his return voyage (Polybius, II.. This did not go over well with the Roman people, who consented to the raising of an expedition. The murder of the envoy sealed the popular opinion for war. This was an opportune time for the Romans to go to war, as the Macedonians, Illyria's chief allies, were occupied with other important matters.

229  First Illyrian War

In 229 BC, the consul Gnaeus Fulvius set off for Illyria with 200 quinqueremes, while his counterpart Aulus Postumius took the soldiers. Fulvius first set out for Corcyra, with hopes of relieving the siege by the Illyrian forces there. He was too late, but the commander of the Illyrian garrison on Corcyra, Demetrius of Pharos, turned the island over to the consul. It was placed under Roman protection.

Fulvius and the fleet joined Postumius and the army at Apollonia, and the Romans proceeded north, up the coast of Illyria, causing the Illyrians to abandon the sieges of Dyrrhachium (Epidamnus) and Issa, placing both of those cities under their protection. On the way, the fleet captured twenty lembi carrying off food in order to save it from capture (Polybius, II.11.14), also subduing several coastal settlements.

Teuta withdrew to her fortress at Rhizon for the winter, while the Romans left 40 ships under Postumius at Epidamnus.

The following spring, in 228 BC, the queen sued for peace and gained it, giving up in return portions of her kingdom, an amount of tribute to Rome, and the right to sail south of Lissus with more than two unarmed vessels (ibid. II.12.3). Rome retained control of 120 miles of Illyrian coast, from Lissus to Epirus, and set up Demetrius of Pharos with a client kingdom north of Teuta's, which also provided a barrier between Macedon and the sea.

Roman policy was decidedly anti-Macedon during this time, and the latter country would ally with Hannibal during the Second Punic War.
   
Eventually Demetrius proved no more reliable to the Romans, Italian traders suffered the same piracy


219  Second Illyrian War

Encouraged by the threats posed to Rome by Hannibal and the Gauls, the Illyrian Demetrius of Pharos raised a fleet of 90 lembi and sailed south of Lissus, in violation of the treaty. He made several unsuccessful attacks on Pylos and then, taking 50 of the ships, began pillaging the Cyclades (Polybius, III.16.3-4). The Romans responded quickly and sent Lucius Aemilius across the Adriatic in 219 BC. The fleet quickly captured Dimale, previously regarded as impregnable, and moved toward Pharos, where Demetrius had encamped. Aemilius detached 20 of his ships to make a show in Pharos' harbor, while the rest of the fleet secretly landed its troops behind the town. Demetrius sent his garrison out to meet the perceived threat of the 20 ships, and at that time the concealed Romans attacked his rear. The battle was decided in Rome's favor, and Demetrius barely escaped on a lembus to his benefactor Philip V of Macedon. The Romans returned to Italy to face Hannibal, leaving unscathed Demetrius' ally Scerdilaidas and concluding the Second Illyrian War.

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#1 ne: 14-10-2004, 16:51:03
At the close of the First Punic War (241 BC), Rome had at its disposal a considerable navy left over from that epic conflict. The navy was employed in smaller conflicts in the following years, but not until Pompey's anti-piracy campaign of 67 BCE was it again employed in such large and sustained actions.
In 238 BC, the Romans annexed Sardinia and Corsica (Thiel, p343), the occupation and pacification of which would have required a fleet, if in no other capacity than to transport soldiers to the islands. Thiel points out that it served as a "fleet in being," (p350) a strong presence which discouraged resistance, comparable to America's Great White Fleet of the late 19th century CE. Around the same time, the Senate ordered a campaign against the pirates of Liguria, an area in the northwest of Italy. This was undertaken, so far as I can determine, mostly on land, but showed concern for naval interests.

A more substantial operation was undertaken by the Romans against the Illyrians beginning in 230 BC (Polybius, II.8). Between 233 and 231, the Illyrian king Agron had gathered stronger land and naval forces than any prior king of that country (Polybius, II.2.4). The Greek historian Polybius gives the number of the fleet as 100, and refers to the ships as lemboi, or lembi in Latin. These, the native ships of the piratical Illyrians, had wider beams than typical warships of the day and lacked rams (Torr, p. 115). After hearing of his success against the Aetolians, Agron made so merry that he caught a cough and died, according to Polybius. He was succeeded by his wife Teuta, who sanctioned extensive privateer activity and authorized her commanders to use their substantial forces to attack, besiege, pillage, or plunder as they pleased. Epirus was plundered in this way. The Illyrian pirates stepped up their attacks on Italian merchants, and repeated protests by the latter brought the matter to the attention of the Roman Senate.

The senators dispatched two envoys, Gaius and Lucius Coruncanius, to Queen Teuta. Receiving the Romans haughtily, the queen guaranteed only that the official forces of Illyria would make no attacks; she was not responsible for the actions of privateers. One of the envoys responded angrily, and for this Teuta had him killed on his return voyage (Polybius, II.8). This did not go over well with the Roman people, who consented to the raising of an expedition. Thiel presents the case that the Senate had not ignored the piratical practices of the Illyrians because of their own indifference, but rather because they were hamstrung without the approval of the comitia centuriata. This assembly, responsible for discussing and confirming military matters, was firmly in the hands of the plebeians, or lower-class citizens, who were wary of military operations outside of Italy (Thiel, pp. 344-5). Consequently, the Senate had to wait until the increased attacks created a situation severe enough to draw the attention of the plebs. The murder of Coruncanius shifted the popular opinion in favor of war. Thiel further points out that this was an opportune time for the Romans to go to war, as the Macedonians, Illyria's chief allies, were occupied with important matters elsewhere.

In 229 BC, the consul Gnaeus Fulvius set off for Illyria with 200 quinqueremes, while his counterpart Aulus Postumius took the soldiers. Fulvius first set out for Corcyra, with hopes of relieving the siege by the Illyrian forces there. He was too late, but the commander of the Illyrian garrison on Corcyra, Demetrius of Pharos, turned the island over to the consul. It was placed under Roman protection. Fulvius and the fleet joined Postumius and the army at Apollonia, and the Romans proceeded north, up the coast of Illyria, causing the Illyrians to abandon the sieges of Epidamnus and Issa, placing both of those cities under their protection. On the way, the fleet captured twenty lembi carrying off food in order to save it from capture (Polybius, II.11.14), also subduing several coastal settlements. Teuta withdrew to her fortress at Rhizon for the winter, while the Romans left 40 ships under Postumius at Epidamnus. The following spring, in 228 BC, the queen sued for peace and gained it, giving up in return portions of her kingdom, an amount of tribute to Rome, and the right to sail south of Lissus with more than two unarmed vessels (ibid. II.12.3). Rome retained control of 120 miles of Illyrian coast, from Lissos to Epirus, and set up Demetrius of Pharos with a client kingdom north of Teuta's (Thiel, p. 354). Thiel explains that the former act was not so much to chastise Illyria as to provide a barrier between Macedon and the sea. Roman policy was decidedly anti-Macedon during this time, and the latter country would ally with Hannibal during the Second Punic War.

After this, the First Illyrian war, the Romans had to contend with a major invasion of the Gauls, which they successfully drove off. They were then faced with the appointment of Hannibal as Carthaginian commander in Spain and his subsequent attack on Saguntum. Encouraged by these perceived weaknesses in Roman power, the Illyrian Demetrius of Pharos raised a fleet of 90 lembi and sailed south of Lissos, in violation of the treaty. He made several unsuccessful attacks on Pylos and then, taking 50 of the ships, began pillaging the Cyclades (Polybius, III.16.3-4). The Romans responded quickly, hoping to put out the Illyrian fire before Hannibal could bring the Carthaginian torch to bear, and sent Lucius Aemilius across the Adriatic in 219 BC. The fleet quickly captured Dimale, previously regarded as impregnable, and moved toward Pharos, where Demetrius had encamped. Aemilius detached 20 of his ships to make a show in Pharos' harbor, while the rest of the fleet secretly landed its troops behind the town. Demetrius sent his garrison out to meet the perceived threat of the 20 ships, and at that time the concealed Romans attacked his rear. The battle was decided in Rome's favor, and Demetrius barely escaped on a lembus to his benefactor Philip of Macedon. The Romans returned to Italy to face Hannibal, leaving unscathed Demetrius' ally Scerdilaidas and concluding the Second Illyrian War.




Works Cited:

Polybius, The Histories. Loeb Classical Library. tr. W.R. Paton. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1922.
Thiel, J. H. A History of Roman Sea-Power Before the Second Punic War. Amsterdam: North-Holland Publishing Company, 1954.
Torr, Cecil. Ancient Ships. Chicago: Argonaut, 1964.


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#2 ne: 30-11-2005, 10:06:11
THE ILLYRIAN WARS CHAPTER I

Appian, The Foreign Wars (ed. Horace White)

THE ILLYRIAN WARS

CHAPTER I

Origin of the Illyrians - The Vengeance of Apollo - First Contact with the Romans

[1] The Greeks call those people Illyrians who occupy the region beyond Macedonia and Thrace from Chaonia and Thesprotia to the river Ister (Danube). This is the length of the country. Its breadth is from Macedonia and the mountains of Thrace to Pannonia and the Adriatic and the foot-hills of the Alps. Its breadth is five days' journey and its length thirty - so the Greek writers say. The Romans measured the country and found its length to be upward of 6000 stades and its width about 1200.

[2] They say that the country received its name from Illyrius, the son of Polyphemus; for the Cyclops Polyphemus and his wife, Galatea, had three sons, Celtus, Illyrius, and Galas, all of whom migrated from Sicily; and the nations called Celts, Illyrians, and Galatians took their origin from them. Among the many myths prevailing among many peoples this seems to me the most plausible. Illyrius had six sons, Encheleus, Autarieus, Dardanus, MÊdus, Taulas, and PerrhÊbus, also daughters, Partho, Daortho, Dassaro, and others, from whom sprang the Taulantii, the PerrhÊbi, the Enchelees, the Autarienses, the Dardani, the Partheni, the Dassaretii, and the Darsii. Autarieus had a son Pannonius, or PÊon, and the latter had sons, Scordiscus and Triballus, from whom nations bearing similar names were derived. But I will leave these matters to the archÊologists.

[3] The Illyrian tribes are many, as is natural in so extensive a country; and celebrated even now are the names of the Scordisci and the Triballi, who inhabited a wide region and destroyed each other by wars to such a degree that the remnant of the Triballi took refuge with the GetÊ on the other side of the Danube, and, though flourishing until the time of Philip and Alexander, is now extinct and its name scarcely known in the regions once inhabited by it. The Scordisci, having been reduced to extreme weakness in the same way, and having suffered much at a later period in war with the Romans, took refuge in the islands of the same river. In the course of time some of them returned and settled on the confines of Pannonia, and thus it happens that a tribe of the Scordisci still remains in Pannonia. In like manner the ArdiÊi, who were distinguished for their maritime power, were finally destroyed by the Autarienses, whose land forces were stronger, but whom they had often defeated. The Liburni, another Illyrian tribe, were next to the ArdiÊi as a nautical people. These committed piracy in the Adriatic Sea and islands with their light, fast-sailing pinnaces, from which circumstance the Romans to this day call their own light, swift biremes liburnicas.

[4] The Autarienses were overtaken with destruction by the vengeance of Apollo. Having joined Molostimus and the Celtic people called Cimbri in an expedition against the temple of Delphi, the greater part of them were destroyed by storm, hurricane, and lightning just before the sacrilege was committed. Upon those who returned home there came a countless number of frogs, which filled the streams and polluted the water. The noxious vapors rising from the ground caused a plague among the Illyrians which was especially fatal to the Autarienses. At last they fled from their homes, and as the plague still clung to them (and for fear of it nobody would receive them), they came, after a journey of twenty-three days, to a marshy and uninhabited district of the GetÊ, where they settled near the BastarnÊ. The god visited the Celts with an earthquake and overthrew their cities, and did not abate the calamity until these also fled from their abodes and made an incursion into Illyria among their fellow-culprits, who had been weakened by the plague. While robbing the Illyrians they caught the plague and again took to flight and plundered their way to the Pyrenees. When they were returning to the east the Romans, mindful of their former encounters with the Celts, and fearful lest they should cross the Alps and invade Italy, sent against them both consuls, who were annihilated with the whole army. This calamity to the Romans brought great dread of the Celts upon all Italy until Gaius Marius, who had lately triumphed over the Numidians and Mauritanians, was chosen commander and defeated the Cimbri repeatedly with great slaughter, as I have related in my Celtic history. Being reduced to extreme weakness, and for that reason excluded from every land, they returned home, inflicting and suffering many injuries on the way.

[5] Such was the punishment which the god visited upon the Illyrians and the Celts for their impiety. But they did not desist from temple robbing, for again, in conjunction with the Celts, certain Illyrian tribes, especially the Scordisci, the MÊdi, and the Dardani again invaded Macedonia and Greece together, and plundered many temples, including that of Dephi, but losing many men this time also. The Romans, thirty-two years after their first encounter with the Celts, having fought with them at intervals since that time, now, under the leadership of Lucius Scipio, made war against the Illyrians, on account of this temple-robbery, as they [the Romans] now held sway over the Greeks and the Macedonians. It is said that the neighboring tribes, remembering the calamity that befell all the Illyrians on account of the crime of the Autarienses, would not give aid to the temple-robbers, but abandoned them to Scipio, who destroyed the greater part of the Scordisci, the remainder fleeing to the Danube and settling in the islands of that river. He made peace with the MÊdi and Dardani, accepting from them part of the gold belonging to the temple. One of the Roman writers says that this was the chief cause of the numerous civil wars of the Romans after Lucius Scipio's time till the establishment of the empire. So much by way of preface concerning the peoples whom the Greeks called Illyrians.

[6] These peoples, and also the Pannonians, the RhÊrtians, the Noricans, the Mysians of Europe, and the other neighboring tribes who inhabited the right bank of the Danube, the Romans distinguished from one another just as the various Greek peoples are distinguished from each other, and they call each by its own name, but they consider the whole of Illyria as embraced under a common designation. Whence this idea took its start I have not been able to find out, but it continues to this day, for they farm the tax of all the nations from the source of the Danube to the Euxine Sea under one head, and call it the Illyrian tax. Why the Romans subjugated them, and what were the real causes or pretexts of the wars, I acknowledged, when writing of Crete, that I had not discovered, and I exhorted those who were able to tell more, to do so. I shall write down only what I know.

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#3 ne: 30-11-2005, 10:06:40
CHAPTER II

First Illyrian War - Second Illyrian War - War with Genthius - War with the Dalmatians

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[7] Agron was king of that part of Illyria which borders the Adriatic Sea, over which sea Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, and his successors held sway. Agron captured a part of Epirus and also Corcyra, Epidamnus, and Pharus in succession, where he established garrisons. When he threatened the rest of the Adriatic with his fleet, the isle of Issa implored the aid of the Romans. The latter sent ambassadors to accompany the Issii and to ascertain what offences Agron imputed to them. The Illyrian vessels attacked the ambassadors on their voyage and slew Cleemporus, the envoy of Issa, and the Roman Coruncanius; the remainder escaped by flight. Thereupon the Romans invaded Illyria by land and sea. Agron, in the meantime, had died, leaving an infant son named Pinnes, having given the guardianship and regency to his wife, although she was not the child's mother. Demetrius, who was Agron's governor of Pharus and who held Corcyra also, surrendered both places to the invading Romans by treachery. The latter then entered into an alliance with Epidamnus and went to the assistance of the Issii and of the Epidamnians, who were besieged by the Illyrians. The latter raised the siege and fled, and one of their tribes, called the Atintani, went over to the Romans. After these events the widow of Agron sent ambassadors to Rome to surrender the prisoners and deserters into their hands. She begged pardon also for what had been done, not by herself, but by Agron. They received for answer that Corcyra, Pharus, Issa, Epidamnus, and the Illyrian Atintani were already Roman subjects, that Pinnes might have the remainder of Agron's kingdom and be a friend of the Roman people if he would keep hands off the aforesaid territory, and agree not to sail beyond Lissus nor to keep more than two Illyrian pinnaces, both to be unarmed. The woman accepted all these conditions.

[8] This was the first conflict and treaty between the Romans and the Illyrians. Thereupon the Romans made Corcyra and Apollonia free. To Demetrius they gave certain castles as a reward for his treason to his own people, adding the express condition that they gave them only conditionally, for they suspected the man's bad faith; and before long he began to show it. While the Romans were engaged in a three years' war with the Gauls on the river Po, Demetrius, thinking that they had their hands full, set forth on a piratical expedition, brought the Istrians, another Illyrian tribe, into the enterprise, and detached the Atintani from Rome. The Romans, when they had settled their business with the Gauls, immediately sent a naval force and overpowered the pirates. The following year they marched against Demetrius and his Illyrian fellow-culprits. Demetrius fled to Philip, king of Macedon, but when he returned and resumed his piratical career in the Adriatic they slew him and utterly demolished his native town of Pharus, which was associated with him in crime. They spared the Illyrians on account of Pinnes, who again besought them to do so. And such was the second conflict and treaty between them and the Illyrians.

[9] The following events I have written as I have found them, not in due order according to their times of occurrence, but rather taking each Illyrian nation separately. When the Romans were at war with the Macedonians during the reign of Perseus, the successor of Philip, Genthius, an Illyrian chief, made an alliance with Perseus for money and attacked Roman Illyria. When the Romans sent ambassadors to him on this subject he put them in chains, charging that they had not come as ambassadors, but as spies. The Roman general, Anicius, in a naval expedition, captured some of Genthius' pinnaces and then engaged him in battle on land, defeated him, and shut him up in a castle. When he begged a parley Anicius ordered him to surrender himself to the Romans. He asked and obtained three days for consideration, at the end of which time, his subjects having meanwhile gone over to Anicius, he asked for an interview with the latter, and, falling on his knees, begged pardon in the most abject manner. Anicius encouraged the trembling wretch, lifted him up, and invited him to supper, but as he was going away from the feast he ordered the lictors to cast him into prison. Anicius afterward led both him and his sons in triumph at Rome. The whole war with Genthius was finished within twenty days. When Æmilius Paulus, the conqueror of Perseus, returned to Rome, he received secret orders from the Senate to go back on particular business relating to the seventy towns that had belonged to Genthius. They were much alarmed, but he promised to pardon them for what they had done if they would deliver to him all the gold and silver they had. When they agreed to do so he sent a detachment of his army into each town appointing the same day for all the commanding officers to act, and ordering them to make proclamation at daybreak in each that the inhabitants should bring their money into the market-place within three hours, and when they had done so to plunder what remained. Thus Paulus despoiled seventy towns in one hour.

[ 10 ] The Ardei and the Palarii, two other Illyrian tribes, made a raid on Roman Illyria, and the Romans, being otherwise occupied, sent ambassadors to scare them. When they refused to be obedient, the Romans collected an army of 10,000 foot and 600 horse to be despatched against them. When the Illyrians learned this, as they were not yet prepared for fighting, they sent ambassadors to crave pardon. The Senate ordered them to make reparation to those whom they had wronged. As they were slow in obeying, Fulvius Flaccus marched against them. This war resulted in an excursion only, for I cannot find any definite end to it. Sempronius Tuditanus and Tiberius Pandusa waged war with the Iapydes, who live among the Alps, and seem to have subjugated them, as Lucius Cotta and Metellus seem to have subjugated the Segestani; but both tribes revolted not long afterward.

[11] The Dalmatians, another Illyrian tribe, made an attack on the Illyrian subjects of Rome, and when ambassadors were sent to them to remonstrate they were not received. The Romans accordingly sent an army against them, with Marcius Figulus as consul and commander. While Figulus was laying out his camp the Dalmatians over-powered the guard, defeated him, and drove him out of the camp in headlong flight to the plain as far as the river Naro. As the Dalmatians were returning home (for winter was now approaching), Figulus hoped to fall upon them unawares, but he found them reassembled from their towns at the news of his approach. Nevertheless, he drove them into the city of Delminium, from which place they first got the name of Delmatenses, which was afterward changed to Dalmatians. As he was not able to attack this strongly defended town from the road, nor to use the engines that he had, on account of the height of the place, he attacked and captured some other towns that were partially deserted on account of the concentration of forces at Delminium. Then, returning to Delminium, he hurled sticks of wood, two cubits long, covered with flax and smeared with pitch and sulphur, from catapults into the town. These caught fire from friction and, flying in the air like torches, wherever they fell caused a conflagration, so that the greater part of the town was burned. This was the end of the war waged by Figulus against the Dalmatians. At a later period, in Y.R. 635 the consulship of CÊcilius Metellus, war was declared against the Dalmatians, although they had been guilty of no offence, because he desired a triumph. They received him as a friend and he wintered among them at the town of Salona, after which he returned to Rome and was awarded a triumph.

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#4 ne: 30-11-2005, 10:07:04
CHAPTER III

Julius CÊsar and the Illyrians - The Pannonians on the Danube

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[12] At the time when CÊsar held the command in Gaul these same Dalmatians and other Illyrians, who were then in a very prosperous condition, took the city of Promona from the Liburni, another Illyrian tribe. The latter put themselves in the hands of the Romans and appealed to CÊsar, who was near by. CÊsar sent word to those who were holding Promona that they should give it up to the Liburni, and when they refused, he sent against them a strong detachment of his army who were totally destroyed by the Illyrians. Nor did CÊsar renew the attempt, for he had no leisure then, on account of the civil strife with Pompey. When the civil strife burst forth in war CÊsar crossed the Adriatic from Brundusium in the winter, with what forces he had, and opened his campaign against Pompey in Macedonia. Antony brought another army to CÊsar's aid in Macedonia, he also crossing the Adriatic in mid-winter. Gabinius led fifteen cohorts of foot and 3000 horse for him by way of Illyria, passing around the Adriatic. The Illyrians, fearing punishment for what they had done to CÊsar not long before, and thinking that his victory would be their destruction, attacked and slew the whole army under Gabinius, except Gabinius himself and a few who escaped. Among the spoils captured was a large amount of money and war material.

[13] CÊsar was preoccupied by the necessity of coming to a conclusion with Pompey, and, after Pompey's death, with the numerous parts of his faction still remaining. When he had settled everything he returned to Rome and made preparations for war with the GetÊ and the Parthians. The Illyrians began to fear lest he should attack them, as they were on his intended line of march. So they sent ambassadors to Rome to crave pardon for what they had done and to offer their friendship and alliance, vaunting themselves as a very brave race. CÊsar was hastening his preparations against the Parthians; nevertheless, he gave them the dignified answer that he could not make friends of those who had done what they had, but that he would grant them pardon if they would subject themselves to tribute and give him hostages. They promised to do both, and accordingly he sent Vatinius thither with three legions and a large cavalry force to impose a light tribute on them and receive the hostages. When CÊsar was slain the Dalmatians, thinking that the Roman power resided in him and had perished with him, would not listen to Vatinius on the subject of the tribute or anything else. When he attempted to use force they attacked and destroyed five of his cohorts, including their commanding officer, BÊbius, a man of senatorial rank. Vatinius took refuge with the remainder of his force in Epidamnus. The Roman Senate transferred this army, together with the province of Macedonia and Roman Illyria, to Brutus CÊpio, one of CÊsar's murderers, and at the same time assigned Syria to Cassius, another of the assassins. But they also, being involved in war with Antony and the second CÊsar, surnamed Augustus, had no time to attend to the Illyrians.

[14] The PÊones are a great nation on the Danube, extending from the Iapydes to the Dardani. They are called PÊones by the Greeks, but Pannonians by the Romans. They are counted by the Romans as a part of Illyria, as I have previously said, for which reason it seems proper that I should include them in my Illyrian history. They have been renowned from the Macedonian period through the Agrianes, who rendered very important aid to Philip and Alexander and are PÊones of Lower Pannonia bordering on Illyria. When the expedition of Cornelius against the Pannonians resulted disastrously, so great a fear of those people came over all the Italians that for a long time afterwards none of the consuls ventured to march against them. Concerning the early history of the Illyrians and Pannonians, I have not been able to discover anything further, nor have I found in the commentaries of Augustus anything earlier in the chapters treating of the Pannonians.

[15] I think that other Illyrian tribes besides those mentioned had previously come under Roman rule, but how, I do not know. Augustus did not describe the transactions of others so much as his own, telling how he brought back those who had revolted and compelled them again to pay tribute, how he subjugated others that had been independent from the beginning, and how he mastered all the tribes that inhabit the summits of the Alps, barbarous and warlike peoples, who often plundered the neighboring parts of Italy. It is a wonder to me that so many great Roman armies traversing the Alps to conquer the Gauls and Spaniards, should have overlooked these tribes, and that even Gaius CÊsar, that most successful man of war, did not despatch them during the ten years that he was fighting the Gauls and wintering in that very country. But the Romans seem to have been intent only upon getting through the Alpine region on the business they were bestirring themselves about, and CÊsar seems to have delayed putting an end to the Illyrian troubles on account of the Gallic war and the strife with Pompey, which closely followed it. It appears that he was chosen commander of Illyria as well as of Gaul - not the whole of it, but as much as was then under Roman rule.

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#5 ne: 30-11-2005, 10:07:31
CHAPTER IV

Augustus invades Illyria - Subjugation of the Salassi and of the Iapydes - Hard Fighting at Metulus - Destruction of the City - War aggainst the Segestani - Their City Captured

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[16] When Augustus had made himself master of everything, he informed the Senate, by way of contrast with Antony's slothfulness, that he had freed Italy from the savage tribes that had so often raided it. He overcame the OxyÊi, the PerthoneatÊ, the BathiatÊ, the Taulantii, the CambÊi, the Cinambri, the Meromenni, and the PyrissÊi in one campaign. By more prolonged effort he also over-came the DocleatÊ, the Carui, the Interphrurini, the Naresii, the Glintidiones, and the Taurisci. From these tribes he exacted the tributes they had been failing to pay. When these were conquered, the Hippasini and the Bessi, neighboring tribes, were overcome by fear and surrendered themselves to him. Others which had revolted, the Meliteni and the Corcyreans, who inhabited islands and practised piracy, he destroyed utterly, putting the young men to death and selling the rest as slaves. He deprived the Liburnians of their ships because they also practised piracy. The MÅ“ntini and the AvendeatÊ,two tribes of the Iapydes, dwelling within the Alps, surrendered themselves to him at his approach. The Arrepini, who are the most numerous and warlike of the Iapydes, betook themselves from their villages to their city, but when he arrived there they fled to the woods. Augustus took the city, but did not burn it, hoping that they would deliver themselves up, and when they did so he allowed them to occupy it.

[17] Those who gave him the most trouble were the Salassi, the transalpine Iapydes, the Segestani, the Dalmatians, the DÊsitiatÊ, and the Pannonians, far distant from the Salassi, who occupy the higher Alpine mountains, difficult of access, the paths being narrow and hard to climb. For this reason they had not only preserved their independence, but had levied tolls on those who passed through their country. Vetus assaulted them unexpectedly, seized the passes by stratagem, and besieged them for two years. They were driven to surrender for want of salt, which they use largely, and they received a Roman garrison; but when Vetus went away they expelled the garrison forthwith, and, possessing themselves of the mountain passes, they mocked at the forces that Augustus sent against them, as unable to accomplish anything of importance. Thereupon Augustus, anticipating a war with Antony, acknowledged their independence and allowed them to go unpunished for their offences against Vetus. But as they were suspicious of what might happen, they laid in large supplies of salt and made incursions into the Roman territory until Messala Corvinus
was sent against them and reduced them by hunger. In this way were the Salassi subjugated.

[18] The transalpine Iapydes, a strong and savage tribe, drove back the Romans twice within the space of about twenty years, overran Aquileia, and plundered the Roman colony of Tergestus. When Augustus advanced against them by a steep and rugged road, they made it still harder for him by felling trees. As he advanced farther they took refuge in another forest, where they lay in ambush for the approaching foe. Augustus, who was always suspecting something of this kind, sent forces to occupy certain ridges which flanked both sides of his advance through the flat country and the fallen timber. The Iapydes darted out from their ambush and wounded many of the soldiers, but the greater part of their own forces were killed by the Romans who fell upon them from the heights above. The remainder again took refuge in the thickets, abandoning their town, the name of which was Terponus. Augustus took this town, but did not burn it, hoping that they also would give themselves up, and they did so.

[19] Thence he advanced to another place called Metulus, which is the chief town of the Iapydes. It is situated on a heavily timbered mountain, on two ridges with a narrow valley between them. Here were about 3000 warlike and well-armed youth, who easily beat off the Romans who surrounded their walls. The latter raised a mound. The Metulians interrupted the work by assaults by day and by night, and harassed the soldiers from the walls with engines which they had obtained from the war which Decimus Brutus1 had waged there with Antony and Augustus. When their wall began to crumble they built another inside, abandoned the ruined one, and took shelter behind the other. The Romans captured the abandoned one and burned it. Against the new forti*******tion they raised two mounds and from these threw four bridges to the top of the wall. Then, in order to distract their attention, Augustus sent a part of his force around to the rear of the town and ordered the others to dash across the bridges to the walls. He ascended to the top of a high tower to see the result.

[ 20 ] Some of the barbarians ran from the parapet to meet the Romans who were crossing, while others, unseen, sought to undermine the bridges with their long spears. They were much encouraged at seeing one bridge fall and a second one follow on top of it. When a third one went down a regular panic overtook the Romans, so that no one ventured on the fourth bridge until Augustus leaped down from the tower and reproached them. As they were not roused to their duty by his words, he seized a shield and sprang upon the bridge himself. Agrippa and Hiero, two of the generals, and one of his bodyguard, Lucius, and Volas ran with him, only these four with a few armor-bearers. He had almost crossed the bridge when the soldiers, overcome by shame, rushed after him in crowds. Then this bridge, being overweighted, fell also, and the men on it went down in a heap. Some were killed and others were carried away with broken bones. Augustus was injured in the right leg and in both arms. Nevertheless, he ascended the tower with his signals forthwith and showed himself safe and sound, lest dismay should arise from a report of his death. In order that the enemy might not fancy that he was going to give in and retire he began to construct new bridges; by which means he struck terror into the Metulians, who thought that they were contending against an unconquerable will.

[21] The next day they sent messengers to Augustus offering to give fifty hostages whom he might select, and promising to receive a garrison and to assign to them the highest hill while they themselves would occupy the other. When the garrison entered and he ordered them to lay down their arms they were very angry. They shut their wives and children up in their council-chamber and stationed guards there with orders to set fire to the building in case things went wrong with them, and then they attacked the Romans with desperation. Since, however, they made the attack from a lower position upon those occupying higher ground, they were completely overpowered. Then the guards set fire to the council-chamber and many of the women killed their children and themselves. Others, holding in their arms their children still alive, leaped into the flames. Thus all the Metulian youth perished in battle and the greater part of the non-combatants by fire. Their city was entirely consumed, and, large as it was, not a trace of it now remains. After the destruction of Metulus the remainder of the Iapydes, being terror-stricken, surrendered to Augustus. The transalpine Iapydes were then for the first time brought in subjection to the Romans. After Augustus departed the Poseni rebelled and Marcus Helvius was sent against them. He conquered them and after punishing the leaders of the revolt with death sold the rest as slaves.

[22] At an earlier time the Romans twice attacked the country of the Segestani, but obtained no hostages nor anything else, for which reason the Segestani became very arrogant. Augustus advanced against them through the Pannonian territory, which was not yet under subjection to the Romans. Pannonia is a wooded country extending from the Iapydes to the Dardani. The inhabitants do not live in cities, but scattered through the country or in villages according to relationship. They have no common council and no rulers over the whole nation. They number 100,000 fighting men, but they do not assemble in one body, because they have no common government. When Augustus advanced against them they took to the woods, from which they darted out and slew the stragglers of the army. As long as Augustus hoped that they would surrender voluntarily he spared their fields and villages. As none of them came in he devastated the country with fire and sword for eight days, until he came to the Segestani. Theirs is also Pannonian territory, on the river Save, on which is situated a city strongly fortified by the river and by a very large ditch encircling it. For this reason Augustus greatly desired to possess it as a magazine convenient for a war against the Dacians and the BastarnÊ on the other side of the Ister, which is there called the Danube, but a little lower down is called the Ister. The Save flows into it, and Augustus caused ships to be built in the latter stream to bring provisions to the Danube for him.

[23] For these reasons he desired to obtain possession of Segesta. As he was approaching, the Segestani sent to inquire what he wanted. He replied that he desired to station a garrison there and to have them give him 100 hostages in order that he might use the town safely as a base of operations in his war against the Dacians. He also asked for as much food as they were able to supply. The chief men of the town acquiesced, but the common people were furious, yet consented to the giving of the hostages, perhaps because they were not their children, but those of the notables. When the garrison came up, however, they could not bear the sight of them, but shut the gates in a mad fury and stationed themselves on the walls. Thereupon Augustus bridged the river and surrounded the place with ditch and palisade, and, having blockaded them, raised two mounds. Upon these the Segestani made frequent assaults and, being unable to capture them, endeavored to destroy them with torches and fire thrown from above. When aid was sent to them by the other Pannonians Augustus met and ambuscaded this reënforcement, destroyed a part of their force, and put the rest to flight. After this they got no more help from the Pannonians.

[24] Thus the Segestani, after enduring all the evils of a siege, were taken by force on the thirtieth day, and then for the first time they began to beg. Augustus, admiring them for their bravery and yielding to their prayers, neither killed nor banished them, but contented himself with a fine. He caused a part of the city to be separated from the rest by a wall, and in this he placed a garrison of twenty-five cohorts. Having accomplished this he went back to Rome, intending to return to Illyria in the spring. But a rumor becoming current that the Segestani had massacred the garrison, he set forth hastily in the winter. However, he found that the rumor was false, yet not without cause. They had been in danger from a sudden uprising of the Segestani and had lost many men by reason of its unexpectedness, but on the next day they rallied and put down the insurgents. Augustus turned his forces to Dalmatia, another Illyrian country bordering on Taulantia.

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#6 ne: 30-11-2005, 10:07:53
CHAPTER V

Second War against the Dalmatians - The City of Promona taken - Sunodium burned - The Dalmatians subdued

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[25] The Dalmatians, after the slaughter of the five cohorts under Gabinius and the taking of their standards, elated by their success, had not laid down their arms for ten years. When Augustus advanced against them they made an alliance with each other for mutual aid in war. They had upwards of 12,000 fighting men under a general named Versus. He occupied Promona, the city of the Liburni, and fortified it, although it was very strong by nature. It is a mountain stronghold surrounded on all sides by sharp-pointed hills like saw-teeth. The greater part of his forces were stationed in the town, but he placed guards on the hills and all of them looked down upon the Romans from elevated positions. Augustus in plain sight began to draw a wall around the whole, but secretly he sent his bravest men to seek a path to the highest of the hills. These, concealing themselves in the woods, fell upon the guards by night while they were asleep, slew them, and signalled to Augustus in the twilight. He led the bulk of the army to make an attempt upon the city, and sent another force to hold the height that had been taken, while the captors of it should get possession of the lower hills. Terror and confusion fell upon the barbarians everywhere, for they believed themselves to be attacked on all sides. Especially were those on the hills alarmed lest they should be cut off from their supply of water, for which reason they all fled to Promona.

[26] Augustus surrounded the town, and two hills which were still held by the enemy, with a wall forty stades in length. When Testimus, another Dalmatian general, brought an army to the relief of the place Augustus met him and drove him back to the mountains, and while Testimus was still looking on he took Promona before the line of circumvallation was finished. For when the citizens made a sally and were sharply repulsed, the Romans pursued them and entered the town with them, where they killed a third part of them. The remainder took refuge in the citadel, at the gates of which a Roman cohort was placed to keep watch. On the fourth night the barbarians asaulted them, and they fled terror-stricken from the gates. Augustus repulsed the enemy's assault, and the following day received their surrender. The cohort that had abandoned its position was obliged to cast lots, and every tenth man suffered death. The lot fell upon two centurions among others. It was ordered, as a further punishment, that the surviving members of the cohort should subsist on barley instead of wheat for that summer.


[27] Promona being thus taken, Testimus, who was still looking on, disbanded his army, telling them to scatter in all directions. For this reason the Romans were not able to pursue them long, as they feared to divide themselves into small bands, being ignorant of the roads, and the foot-prints of the fugitives being much confused. They took the town of Sunodium at the edge of the forest in which the army of Gabinius had been entrapped by the Dalmatians in a long and deep gorge between two mountains. There also they laid an ambuscade for Augustus, but after he had burned Sunodium he sent soldiers around by the summits of the mountains to keep even pace with him on either side while he passed through the gorge. He cut down trees and captured and burned all the towns he found on his way. While he was besieging the city of Setovia a force of barbarians came to its assistance, which he met and prevented from entering the place. In this conflict he was struck by a stone on the knee and was confined for several days. When he recovered he returned to Rome to perform the duties of the consulship with Volcatius Tullus, his colleague, leaving Statilius Taurus to finish the war.

[28] Entering upon his new consulship on the Calends of January, and delivering the government to Autronius PÊtus the same day, he started back to Dalmatia at once, the triumvirate still existing; for two years remained of the second five-year period which the triumvirs themselves had ordained and the people confirmed. And now the Dalmatians, oppressed by hunger and cut off from foreign supplies, met him on the road and delivered themselves up with supplications, giving 700 of their children as hostages, as Augustus demanded, and also the Roman standards taken from Gabinius. They also promised to pay the tribute that had been in arrears since the time of Gaius CÊsar and to be obedient henceforth. Augustus deposited the standards in the portico called the Octavia. After the Dalmatians were prostrated Augustus advanced against the Derbani, who likewise begged pardon with supplications, gave hostages, and promised to pay the past-due tribute.1 In like manner other tribes at his approach gave hostages for observing the treaties that he made with them. Some, however, he was prevented by sickness from reaching. These gave no hostages and made no treaties. It appears, however, that they were subjugated later. Thus Augustus subdued the whole Illyrian country, not only the parts that had revolted from the Romans, but those that had never before been under their rule. Wherefore the Senate awarded him an Illyrian triumph, which he enjoyed later, together with one for his victory over Antony.

[29] The remaining peoples, who are considered by the Romans to be parts of Illyria, are the RhÊtians and the Noricans, on this side of Pannonia, and the Mysians on the other side as far as the Euxine Sea. I think that the RhÊtians and Noricans were subdued by Gaius CÊsar during the Gallic war or by Augustus during the Pannonian war, as they lie between the two. I have found no mention of any war against them separately, whence I infer that they were conquered along with other neighboring tribes.

[30] Marcus Lucullus, brother of that Licinius Lucullus who conducted the war against Mithridates, advanced against the Mysians and arrived at the river where six Grecian cities lie adjacent to the Mysian territory, namely, Istrus, Dionysopolis, Odessus, Mesembria, Catalis, and Apollonia;2 from which he brought to Rome the great statue of Apollo which was afterward set up on the Palatine Hill. I have found nothing further done by the Roman republic as to the Mysians. They were not subjected to tribute by Augustus, but by Tiberius, who succeeded him as Roman emperor. All the things done by command of the people before the taking of Egypt have been written by me for each country separately. Those countries that the emperors themselves pacified after Egypt was taken, or annexed as their own work, will be mentioned after the affairs of the commonwealth. There I shall tell more about the Mysians. For the present, since the Romans consider the Mysians a part of Illyria and this is my Illyrian history, in order that it may be complete it seems proper to premise that Lucullus invaded Mysia as a general of the republic and that Tiberius took it in the time of the empire

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