Historians’ Gender Bias Accounts Of Illyrian Queen Teute’s Roman Encounter

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Composite Bust of Queen Teuta of Illyria (CC BY-SA 4.0) Romanized Liburnus war ship (Public Domain)

Historians’ Gender Bias Accounts Of Illyrian Queen Teute’s Roman Encounter

In a clash of ego’s Teute, a third century BC widowed queen regent of the Ardiaei tribe of Illyria, faced off a Roman envoy, who challenged her policy on piracy, yet historians Polybius’ and Cassius Dio’s gender bias labelled her rage towards the Romans’ arrogance as female weakness, which, in their opinion, justified the First Roman-Illyrian War.

Kingdom of Agron of the Ardiaei and neighboring kingdoms (MaryroseB54/ CC BY-SA 4.0)

Kingdom of Agron of the Ardiaei and neighboring kingdoms (MaryroseB54/ CC BY-SA 4.0)

Located in western Europe's Balkan Peninsula, Illyria corresponds to modern-day Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia, and Albania. Despite several notable ancient tribes in the region, it was the Ardiaei, centred on the coastal part of Illyria, who rose to prominence during the third century BC. From 250 to 231 BC, the Ardiaean Kingdom expanded, led by King Agron, son of Pleuratus II, the founder of the Ardiaean Kingdom and the Ardiaean Dynasty, that ruled over much of the Adriatic coast for the next century. When Agron became king, he strengthened the Illyrian navy in the Mediterranean Sea and expanded his control all along the Adriatic coast. This approach was evidently successful as his kingdom rose to prominence, culminating in a decisive victory over Greece's Aetolians in 232 or 231 BC. Delighted by his victory, Agron celebrated his triumph with so much drinking and other vices that he suffered pleurisy and died in 231 BC.


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