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Thread: RTR VII Preview III The Ardiae

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    Default RTR VII Preview III The Ardiae

    RTR VII Preview III
    The Ardiae


    • Introduction
    • Illyria and the Illyrians
    • Ardiae Faction Roster
    • Battle Images
    • Afterword


    The Rome:Total Realism Team is proud and excited to bring you Preview III - The Ardiae(Illyrians). Back in 2005 RTR was the the first major mod team to include the Illyrians as a faction. In RTR VII they will appear as the Ardiae, which was one of the major tribes that populated the Adriatic coast in the time frame of RTR VII. The Ardiae are quite a challenging and interesting faction to play as. Between their unique faction roster where both barbarian and Greek influences can be found, coupled with their precarious position on the map, the Ardiae are sure to be favorite in RTR VII.

    Our Chief Historian HamilcarBarca, has again provided us with a terrific essay, this time focusing exclusively on the ancient Illyrians. Also, our Illyrian unit roster has almost been totally revamped. So read on and enjoy!

    Illyria and the Illyrians

    At its widest definition, ‘Illyria’ (Latin: ‘Illyricum’) encompassed the eastern coastline of the Adriatic and the mountainous interior of the western Balkans (modern Albania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia). Illyria was inhabited by a collection of Indo-European tribes known as Illyrians, who spoke a common language and shared a common material culture. Several notable Illyrian tribes migrated to Italy as late as the 7th-8th century BC, including the Iagyges and Messapi. The Etruscanized Veneti, who inhabited the head of the Adriatic Sea, were also probably related to the Illyrioi. In the eighth century BC the Greeks established colonies such as Epidamnos and Apollonia along the Adriatic coast, establishing an active trade with the surrounding Illyrian tribes.

    ‘Illyria’ at its widest definition

    Illyria was populated by a multitude of tribes deemed "barbarous" by Greek and Roman historians. Along the southern Adriatic coastline were the Ardiaei, who became rich and powerful as pirates; the northern Adriatic coastline was home to the Liburni (northern Croatia) and Delmatae (southern Croatia), both of whom were coastal tribes and seafarers. In the hinterland lay the Autariatae (Bosnia) and the Dardanoi (Serbia).

    Physical geography shaped Illyria into three distinguishable eco-geographical zones: the Dalmatian coast with its islands and immediate hinterland, the mountain belt of the Dinaric Alps, and the Pannonian plains.
    A narrow Adriatic coastal belt together with the Italian coast represents a distinctive geographical unit; in fact it is difficult to argue with Braudel’s understanding that the Adriatic was one of the most coherent maritime regions in the Mediterranean. Because of its privileged position, this zone remained strongly linked with the rest of the Mediterranean world, and archaeology reveals the strong impact of Mediterranean ‘globalisation’ even before Greek colonisation in the central Adriatic in the fourth century BC. The Adriatic islands have a significant quantity of arable land, and some were chosen for Greek colonisation, such as Issa (Vis), Pharos (Hvar), and Korkcyra Nigra (Korcula). The North Adriatic islands in Quarnerno (Kvarner) gulf also provided an opportunity for agriculture and were inhabited in ancient times; these include Crexa (Cres), Curicum (Krk), Arba (Rab), etc. The coast is mostly separated from the hinterland by mountains, and there are only a few plains in the immediate hinterland; for example the plains between Zadar and Split, or the alluvial plains in the lower stream of the Neretva. There are only a few passes which enable communication with the hinterland, such as the pass through the Velebit Mountain near Senia (Senj), Ravni Kotari behind Iader (Zadar), the pass of Klis behind Salona (Solin bear Split) and the valleys of the rivers Naron (Neretva) and Drilo (Drin). The mild Mediterranean climate offered the possibility for growing grapes and olives, and the coast and islands had numerous positions for harbours, therefore it is not surprising that the coast was the most appreciated area of Illyria in ancient literature.
    In the hinterland began the intermediary zone of the Dinaric Alps, which stretched in a north-west-south-east direction, parallel with the coast. They were a powerful physical obstacle, especially in antiquity, standing between the Mediterranean world and the continent, but remaining very open and receptive to the influences radiating from the coastal belt. There are only a few passes, usually the valleys of the rivers such as the Neretva, Bosna, Drina, Una or Vrbas, which offered the possibility for communication between the coast and the Pannonian plains, and were used for Roman roads. The southern part (Lika – Gorski Kotar – Herzegovina – Montenegro regions) is dominated by the karst – the mountainous landscape made of porous limestone, characterised by the lack surface water and vegetation, interrupted only by poljes (sing. polje), occasional depressions between the mountains with fertile soil. The mountainous northern part, however (Krajina, Bosnia), is covered with thick forests and abundant vegetation. There was no significant indigenous urbanisation, the region did not offer much opportunity for agriculture, but there were significant deposits of metal ores in this area, which the Romans would later exploit.

    Finally, there are the Panonnian plains. They open towards continental Europe but are also linked with Italy via the Ocra pass, and with the Black Sea through the valleys of the Drava, Sava and Danube, as well as the south-eastern Balkan Peninsula and Greece through the valley of Morava. Despite occasional swamplands and forested regions, the region offered significant potential for agriculture, but little natural defence from any potential invader from the north. There was no significant indigenous urbanisation, although Pannonia was effected by the phenomena of oppida, and proto-urban settlements in Pannonia, such as Segestica, pre-dated Roman conquest. Cold, snowy winters in the Dinaric Alps and Pannonia made them both very unpopular for the ancient reader, as we can see in the descriptions of the authors such as Dio (49.26.2-3) or Strabo (7.5.10).

    Economic and political power in the eastern Adriatic in pre-Roman times lay with the Hellenistic foundations on the Adriatic islands, such as Issa and Pharos. In fact, the cultural influence and economic power of Apollonia and Epidamnos (Latin: ‘Dyrrachium’ , modern Durres) lasted much longer and had much more impact on Illyria than Issa, but after c. 300 BC the political power of these cities was insignificant. Issa was founded primarily as a trade settlement and a political outpost of Syracuse. Depicting all these cities as Greek does not describe accurately their population, as onomastic evidence shows a strong indigenous presence in the population, and we can assume that a strong acculturation process occurred there as elsewhere within Greek colonies in the western Mediterranean.

    The Greeks in the Adriatic never seriously penetrated the hinterland, which was inhabited by various indigenous communities. When the need for stronger agricultural production arose, the Greeks of Issa expanded on the mainland and founded its colonies of Epetium (Gr. Epetion, modern Stobrec) and Tragurium (Gr. Tragurion, modern Trogir) in the mid-third century BC, or even earlier. Thus the Greeks came into conflict with the Delmatian alliance, which was expanding towards the coast. The strategic and political insecurity of these colonies is confirmed by traces of the strong walls built around Epetium. However, the largest and the most significant city in Illyria became a mall port-of-trade, the emporium of Salona, founded between Epetium and Tragurium as a trading post for Issean exchange with the indigenous population. Some indigenous coastal communities, known from Hellenistic times under the names of the Hyllaei, Nesti and Manii, were either part of it or joined with Issa in an alliance against the common enemy from the hinterland – the Delmatian alliance. They became part of the Delmatian alliance at times of civil war after the Issean commonwealth was dissolved. Pharos (Latin: ‘Pharus’) was the other significant Hellenistic settlement. It has been speculated that Pharos was economically based much more on agriculture than trade, but evidence for agricultural production is sparse. It regained autonomy from Rome after the Illyrian Wars, and remained an important ally and logistics base for Roman military interventions in this area until the end of the Republic.

    Illyria was under the strong influence of the expansion of La Tene cultural templates from Central Europe, and the most significant exponents were political alliances known as the Taurisci and (after 279 BC) the Scordsici. The Taurisci inhabited a strategically important area in the eastern Alps, and controlled the trade route from north-east Italy to Pannonia via their settlement and the portorium Nauportus (cf. Strabo 7.5.2). At the same time they threatened the security of North Italy, and made frequent raids in that direction. The Taurisci did not establish a monarchy like their neighbours in Noricum. Scholars agree that it was an alliance of several communities, referred to in the ancient sources under the common name ‘Taurisci’. They were economically advanced, controlled important mining resources such as iron and gold (Strabo 4.6.12), and minted their own currency in the first century BC, the so-called East Noricum coinage, which was locally used. They represented the most significant political force in the eastern Alpine area. North of the Taurisci, the inhabitants of the Transdanubian plains were also strongly influenced by La Tene. The most important were the Boii, whose power was crushed by the Dacian king Burebista in the 60s BC.

    The Adriatic hinterland and the wider area of the Dinaric Mountains and southern Pannonia, including the territory of the later Roman province of Moesia, were inhabited by people known by the common stereotypical term as ‘Illyrians’. ‘Illyrian ethnogenesis’ remains one of the most disputed archaeological and historical problems in this area. The methodology related to the research of group identities in Illyria was developed in the 1960s and it rests on the methodological tripod made of: the archaeology of Iron Age cultures, onomastics, and the interpretation of written ancient sources. Scholars usually divide the indigenous population of pre-Roman Illyricum into five distinctive cultural-ethnic groups based on shared cultural characteristics seen through archaeology and onomastics, combined with the terminology used by Graeco-Roman written sources. The groups at the beginning of the Hellenistic period are the southern Illyrians, the Delmatae, the Liburni, the Histri, the Iapodes and the Pannonii.

    The Kingdom of Illyria

    Politically, the organization of those indigenous groups in Illyria was deeply rooted in its kinship structure, rather than in the development of the more sophisticated institutions of the polis or kingdom. The only exception is the Illyrian kingdom, which underwent a significant social transformation in the period between the fourth and second centuries BC, influenced by the impact of the Hellenic and Hellenistic world. The southern Illyrians had a complex society, which was transforming rapidly.

    This transformation also extended to other communities on the Adriatic coast, so that the Histri and particularly the Liburni developed an urbanised society and political institutions of their own. The intensity of the transition affected the process of social stratification and hierarchical settlement patterns in the hinterland as well, so that the Iopodes and Delmatae, and to a lesser extent the Pannonii, began to form polities in the third and second centuries BC. The contacts with the Mediterranean world played a crucial role in the development of more centralised and hierarchical social structures amongst the populations of Iron Age continental Europe.

    The southern Illyrian communities such as the Ardiaei, Daorsi, Pleraei, Narensii, Taulantii etc, the so-called ‘political Illyria’, were under stronger Hellenistic influences, more engaged in maritime trade, economically more advanced than the peoples in the hinterland, and they enjoyed the highest levels of urbanisation in the region, apart from Liburnia. The nature of the internal structure of the Illyrian kingdom is disputed, as some scholars, such as Hammond, see it as the dominion of the most powerful people over others, while Papazoglu sees it as a strongly centralised kingdom with an unbroken tradition from the fourth century BC. The Illyrians kings had major difficulties in controlling the power of the leaders of neighbouring communities nominally subjected to their power in the third and second centuries BC, while attempting to establish a more centralised kingdom following Hellenistic models, in particular the Macedonian kingdom. Some of the stronger and economically more advanced south Illyrian peoples, such as the Daorsi or Taulantii, had an interest in forming an alliance with Rome and escaping the dominion of the Illyrian kings.
    Hence, the ‘kingdom of Illyria’ existed among the Illyrian peoples of southern Illyria, and appears to have consisted of certain tribes and strongmen – called kings in the ancient sources – establishing their pre-eminence among their neighbours. Ancient sources mention a certain Galaour, the ruler of the Taulantinoi, who, towards the end of the seventh century BC, waged wars against the king of Macedonia. Modern historians, interpreting a passage from Herodotus, have indicated that at this time an army of ‘Encheliae’, who lived around Lake Lychnitis (the present Lake Ochrid), invaded Greece and pushed as far as Delphi where they pillaged the sanctuary of the Oracle. For the next two centuries, wars became more frequent in southern Illyria and on its boundaries. The Illyrian tribes aimed not just at pillage; the Illyrian kings aimed to subjugate other Illyrian tribes into their federation.

    The first great unifier of the southern Illyrians appears to have been named Bardhylus (“White Star”), who was probably from the Taulantinoi , who was able to establish a multi-tribal alliance. In 385 BC this Bardyhlus, with allied troops provided by the tyrant Dionysius I of Syracuse, launched a successful campaign into north-western Greece, defeating the Greek-speaking Epirotic tribes, and establishing himself as the strongest power in southern Illyria. In the period c. 380-300 BC it appears that the southern Illyrian tribes were dominated by the Taulantinoi, who inhabited the region of modern central Albania. At their peak, the Taulantinoi seized the Greek city-state of Epidamnos, minting coins there, and even challenged Alexander the Great in 339 BC. By 250 BC the Taulantinoi appear to have broken into smaller Illyrian tribes, like the Atintani and Parthini.

    The Greek-speaking tribes of Epieros (modern southern Albania), such as the Chaoni, Thesprotians and Molossi may have originally been Hellenized Illyrian tribes. The linguistic, ethnic and cultural border between the Illyrians and the Epirote tribes was fuzzy, but could be found in the region between Oricum and Apollonia, between the rivers Aous and Osum.

    Different geographic conditions and unequal economic and social development prevented the Illyrians from ever forming a united state. Southern Illyria was alternatively dominated by the supra-tribal kingdoms of the Taulantinoi (c. 385-300 BC) and then later the Ardiaei (250-168 BC), both of which had a federative character and (like neighbouring Epirus) were distinguished by the instability of their royal power. The kingdoms of the Dardanoi and Paionians were strong throughout this period, alternating between threatening Macedon and falling under its sway.

    The Delmatae were politically and militarily the most significant indigenous formation in the mountains of the mid-Adriatic hinterland, and the most formidable opponents of the Romans in the region. They show a very distinctive character in their material culture, displaying characteristics of both the southern Illyrians and the Pannonii. Their economy is assumed, on account of insufficient and circumstantial evidence, to be pastoral, depending on the small quantity of usable land in the karst fields in the rocky Dinaric Alps. The Delmatae, who first recognised the supreme power of the Illyrian kingdom, gained full independence some time before its destruction in 168 BC, and tried to fill the vacuum of power after the Illyrian kingdom was destroyed. It seems from the historical sources and archaeological evidence, which include settlement patterns, that the civitas of Delmium (Dalmion), located in the plains surrounding modern Tomislavgrad (Duvanjsko polje), was initially the political core of the alliance. The Delmatian alliance expanded and absorbed the smaller, culturally kin communities surrounding Delmium and, in time, the name of the alliance was applied to the smaller and weaker neighbouring civitates, although they had not been linked with the Delmatae in the earlier sources. The political structure of the Delmatae is disputed, whether they united only in times of war, retaining full independence of individual communities in times of peace, or were a more permanent political formation dominated by the principes of individual civitates, at first dominated by Delmium, but after its destruction in 155 BC, based on more decentralised foundations. Difficult terrain and a sophisticated system of hillforts – gradine – made the Delmatae a very difficult military target for all the later Roman military operations.

    The Iapodes are the next important cultural group. They lived in territory similar to that of the Delmatae, bordering on the Julian Alps and the Istrian peninsula in the mountains behind the Liburnian coast (modern Lika). Scholars believe that sometime after the fifth century BC they possibly expanded towards the valley of the river Una, acquiring arable land and easier access to metals. Strabo wrote that they had significant ‘Celtic’ heritage, but onomastic and archaeological arguments are inconclusive and instead suggest the unique character of the Iapodean cultural habitus.

    The Liburni were probably linguistically closer to the Veneti of North Italy than to the other peoples from Illyria. Their material culture and economy were loosely linked with northern Italy, and considered stereo-typically in the Greek sources to be a term for the whole population of the Adriatic. The Liburni inhabited the north-east Adriatic coast and the islands between the rivers Titius (Krka) and Tedanius (Zrmanja). They were engaged in an intensive maritime trade with Magna Graecia, Picenum and Sicily as well as with their neighbours, especially the Iapodes and Delmatae. The Liburni appear to be the most urbanised people in the region before the Roman conquest, apart from the southern Illyrian communities. The differentiation of the local elite in Liburnia is obvious after the fourth century BC, causing rapid social change and urbanisation, while the Italian expansion of Rome, especially in Picenum, put the Liburni into strong and intensive trade and cultural contact with the Romans.

    The Histri inhabited the Istrian peninsula stretching to the neighbouring Triestine Gulf and bordering the Iapodes in the hinterland of Tarsatica. Appian and Strabo described them stereotypically as ‘Illyrians’. Their geographical position enabled them to have more intensive trade contacts with central and southern Italy, and cultural exchange with the Mediterranean world through those contacts. Thus, it is no surprise that the Histri were relatively and successfully included in Italy in the time of Augustus (Strabo, 7.5.3). In the third century BC Histrian communities united under the leadership of their principes from the most significant pre-Roman civitas of Nesactium, and formed, what the sources called, the Histrian kingdom.

    King Philip II of Macedon and the Illyrians

    In the period 393 to 359 BC the southern Illyrians exercised significant political influence over the Macedonian kingdom and Epeiros. King Philip II of Macedon even spent some time in his youth as a hostage of the ‘Illyrians’ in the court of Bardylis, and the Macedonians were forced to pay tribute to Bardylis.
    King Philip II came to the throne at a time when Macedonia appeared likely to be overwhelmed by its enemies. The Illyrians, led by Bardylis, had invaded Upper Macedonia and won a decisive victory over Philip’s elder brother, King Perdikkas III. Perdikkas and some 4,000 Macedonians were killed in the disaster. Bardylis proceeded to expand his dominion into Upper Macedonia – and he may even have fought Perdikkas III of Macedonia as an ally of the Lynkestians. To add to the crisis overwhelming Macedonia, it appeared that the Paionians led by King Agis would soon attack Macedon’s northern border, and that King Kotys of Thrace would soon attack Macedon’s eastern borders.

    It was amid this crisis in 359 BC that Philip II assumed the throne of Macedon (359-336 BC). He raised an army of 10,000 Macedonian foot and 600 cavalry and moved into Upper Macedonia to confront Bardylis; Philip won a decisive victory, some 7,000 of the 10,000 Illyrian invaders were slain, and Philip (re)established Macedonian authority in Upper Macedonia. Bardylis, reportedly ninety years old at the time of the battle, is heard of no more and may have been killed. Philip II then made peace with the defeated Illyrians, and married the Illyrian princess Audata, who took the Greek name Eurydike.

    Philip II then moved to deal with the threat posed by the neighbouring Paionians and Thracians;

    “... the Paionians, who lived near Macedonia, began to pillage their territory, showing contempt of the Macedonians, and the Illyrians began to assemble large armies and prepare for an invasion of Macedonia, while a certain Pausanias, who was related to the royal line of Macedon, was planning with the aid of the Thracian king [Berisades] to join the contest for the throne of Macedon” (Diodorus, 16.2.5).

    Philip “... sent an embassy to the Paeonians, and by corrupting some with gifts and persuading others by generous promises he made and agreement with them to maintain peace for the present. In similar fashion he prevented the return of Pausanias by winning over with gifts the [Thracian] king who was on the point of attempting his restoration” (Diodorus, 16.3.4).

    Through a combination of battlefield prowess and wily diplomatic manoeuvring, King Philip II had consolidated his reign and secured (temporarily) Macedon’s borders. In the coming years, Philip imposed his central authority on Upper Macedonia and its dynasts, and created a national army, based around the Macedonian infantry levy being reformed into fighting in a deep phalanx formation, and armed and trained to fight with the long sarissa pike in coordination with heavy shock cavalry, the hetarioi (‘companions’).
    In 357 BC the Illyrians again sought to challenge Macedonia. A certain Grabos (perhaps of the Grabaei or Taulantinoi tribes) came to power among the southern Illyrian tribes and made alliance with Lyppeois the Paionian, Ketriporis the Thracian and Athens. Philip II dispatched his general Parmenion to face the Illyrian threat, and Grabos was decisively defeated in 356. In 352/351 Philip campaigned against the Thracians, and in 351/350 against the Illyrians.

    “In Macedon three kings combined against Philip, - the kings of the Thracians, Paeonians, and Illyrians. For these peoples, inasmuch as they bordered on Macedonia, eyed with suspicion the aggrandizement of Philip; singly, however, they were not capable of sustaining a combat, each having suffered a defeat in the past, but they supposed that, if they should join their forces in a war, they would easily have the better of Philip. So it was that, while they were still gathering their armies, Philip appeared before their dispositions were made, struck terror into them, and compelled them to join forces with the Macedonians” (Diodorus, 16.22.3).

    Philip II forced the defeated Illyrian tribes on Macedon’s north-western borders to acknowledge his sovereignty and pay him tribute, and he established forts and Macedonian settlements at key points. In 350 BC Philip invaded Epieros and forced it to also accept tributary status; Philip II married the Epirote princess Olympias, and in 342 he installed his young brother-in-law Alexandros as King of the Molossi.

    The sphere of Macedonian power is demonstrated by the fact that in 345 BC King Philip II campaigned against King Pleuratus of the Ardiaei, this being the Illyrian tribe that dominated the region of Skodra and the Dalmatian coastline. In 337 Philip campaigned against Pleurias of the Dardanoi on the upper White Drin. Thereafter all the tribes of southern Illyria were subject to tribute paying and to the recruitment of auxiliaries.

    Ardiae Faction Roster

    Generals and Officers

    A - Strat Map "Captain"
    B - General
    C - Officer
    D - Strat Map "General"

    Truproje e Prijesit ("chieftain's bodyguards")

    Douloi Sphendonetes (Slave Slingers)

    Douloi Akontistai (Slave Javelinmen)

    Gaisophoroi (Light Spearmen)

    Grosphomachoi (Illyrian Thureophoroi)

    Sibunetes (Light Hoplites)

    Delmatae Hoplitai (Heavy Spearmen)

    Kalores te Lehte

    Grosphomachoi (Illyrian Thureophoroi)

    Sibunetes (Light Spearmen)

    Battle Images

    On the move

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Taking fire


    General leading by example


    Here comes the cavalry

    Not so fast


    Currently the RTR Devs are hard at work balancing the many inticate gameplay systems that can be found in RTR VII. Theses systems, when balanced, will provide a challenging campaign for the player, while the AI will receive help due to some fine work being done on traits. Work also continues on units, while the vast majority of the work is complete, there's still some factions that need some TLC. Also, the beta is very stable and hasn't had a ctd for quite some time and testing continues unabated with the main focus at the minute being on campaign balance and unit issues.

    Also, if you are interested in becoming an RTR team member, either Dev or beta tester, drop one of us a pm with a brief introduction of yourself.

    I hope you enjoyed our third preview of RTR VII. We hope to bring you another before very long, although we have yet to decide the focus of it. Anyway stay tuned.

    Until next time, all the best from the RTR Team.
    Last edited by -Finn-; 08-07-2010 at 11:40.


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