Illyrian king Bardulis I


August 14, 2022

Bardülis (Ancient Greek Βάρδυλις, Latin Bardylis, Bardulis; around 448 BC - after 358 BC) is the first ruler known by name of the ancient Illyrian Kingdom(wd), who c. e. started before 393 and i. e. During his long reign, which lasted until 358, he united the tribes of southern Illyria and ensured the dependence of a part of Epirus and Macedonia through frequent warfare. From his grandson of the same name, II. To distinguish him from Bardülisz, his name also appears in historical works as Bardüliss I or Bardüliss the Elder. Bardülisz, of disputed origin - according to the known theories, belonging to the tribe of the Enkheles, the Dardanians or the Dassaretes - went from being a simple charcoal burner to becoming a Haram leader, and then, having acquired great wealth, the king of the Illyrians. Its center of power was formed in the vicinity of the Lünkéstiszi lakes, in the historical regions of Enkhelé and Dassárétia. His reign, which certainly exceeded three decades, raised the Illyrians from the sea of ​​peoples of the southern Balkans that were about to be Hellenized and made them a military factor on a par with the Macedonians and the Epirotes. I. e. In 393 he defeated and made Illyria a client state III. Amyntas(wd)'s Macedonia. During the repeated campaigns in the following decades, he ensured the submission of the Macedonian kings: i. e. III. again in 383–382. Amüntast, i. e. In 369 II. Alexander(wd), i. e. and in 359 III. He defeated Perdikkas. Dionysius I as an ally of the tyrant of Syracuse i. e. In 385, he inflicted a crushing defeat on Epirus, and he also made King Alcetas I of Epirus (wd), who came to the throne afterwards, a client. Against the successors of Alketas i. e. victorious in 365, i. e. And in 360 he started a losing war. The latter predicted his downfall: the ally of the Epirotes, the newly enthroned II. Macedonian King Philip I e. In 358, he inflicted a crushing defeat on Bardülisz in the Battle of the Erigón Valley, and the Illyrian army's central army fell on the battlefield. With this, Bardülisz and his son Kleitos continued to rule in Macedonian subjugation, presumably in Dassaretia.


The ancient Illyrian Kingdom in the i. e. It became a significant geopolitical factor in the second half of the 5th century, the first records referring to its existence in the i. e. They can be dated to the 430s. The organization of this semi-barbaric state structure was polydynastic and federative, that is, at a given time, the Illyrian king emerged from the ranks of the tribe that was superior in terms of military and economic power among the regional kingdoms that existed side by side. The ancient authors addressed the first ruler mentioned by name, Bardülis, exclusively as "Illyrian king" or "king of the Illyrians" (bassileus Illürión / βασιλεὺς Ίλλυριῶν; basileus tón Illürión / βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰλλυριῶν), the ruler's tribal affiliation is one of the most controversial topics in Illyrian history. Based on the facts known about the reign and wars of Bardülis, he knew that his power center was in the wider area of ​​the Lünkéstiszi lakes (today's Ohrid and Prespa lakes) wedged between Epirus and Macedonia at the time, which historically can be identified with the regions of Dassaretia and Enkhelé. In 1877, the German historian Gustav Zippel(wd) raised the possibility that Bardülisz came from the tribe of the Enkhele Illyrians. This hypothesis is supported on the one hand by the Greek origin legend about the mythological origin of the Illyrians, according to which the ancestor of the Illyrians, Illúrios, was also the king of the Encheles, on the other hand, according to some assumptions, it can be linked to the Encheles i. e. 7–6. century Trebeništai (wd), and i. e. 4–3. century royal tombs in Selca and Poshtme in Dassaretia. N.G.L.