because the woman's place is wherever the woman is...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Queen Teuta

Queen Teuta lived a couple of hundred years BCE (Before Common Era) in Illyria, which latest research has placed in what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina. She was the widow of King Agron and Regent for their son and she followed in the Ardaei tribal traditions of heavy drinking and pirate activity on the Adriatic Sea. Even the Romans, though they eventually defeated Queen Teuta, saw the Ardaei as formidable opponents and a real problem.

At one point, when the Romans tried to negotiate some kind of peaceful co-existence, Queen Teuta simply explained to them that Illyrian law considered piracy -- like fishing -- a lawful enterprise and her government had no right to try to stop people from engaging in it. The Roman ambassadors didn't appreciate her attitude and let her know it. So when they boarded their ships to return to Rome, she had her troops seize the ships, kill one of the emissaries, and take the other captive.

It took 20,000 troops, 200 horsemen, and the entire Roman fleet of 200 ships to conquer Queen Teuta and her people. They took her holdings, severely restricted her movements, and demanded an annual tribute, all of which Queen Teuta initially accepted. Eventually, however, in-your-face woman that she was, she decided she'd rather step down than continue to live under their rules. Her resistance to Roman oppression got her honored on an Albanian coin in the year 2000 because some historians believe that Albania is the true site of the Illyrian kingdoms. In-your-face women's faces are liable to pop up anywhere and anytime and be claimed by many. So be on the lookout!


  1. Illyria, IS ALBANIA TODAY !!
    NOT BOSNIA&Herzegovina, miss Rebecca !
    Open more books and read who Illyrians were and where Illyria was !
    Thanks !

    1. You raise a primary disagreement between historians, Elidon. From what I can gather, John Wilkes' book The Illyrians (published by Oxford Press in 2000) is the latest word on the matter, presenting arguments that Bosnians are the descendants of the earlier Illyrian peoples. Subsequent genome research appear to bear out his arguments. However, since this disagreement is still going on (as you so clearly demonstrate), I have changed the text of my post on Queen Teuta to reflect it. Thank you for your comment so that I could learn more.

    2. Hello, when you say genome research bears out his argument what do you mean sorry? they agree with it? by the way thanks for the blog, very interesting.

  2. That is true.Illyrian land was Bosnia,Croatia,Montenegro,

    almost all teritory of the former yougoslavia and Albania.

    But now Illyrians are only left in Albania,Kosovo,Macedonia

    due to wars against the Roman Empire and due to Slavic


    Now Croatia,Bosnia,Serbia

    are inhabited with slavic people.

    And according to encyclopedia britannica they

    have no connection with Illyrians

    1. In fact this is wrong, genetic studies have shown that in Dalmatia (today's Croatia) dominant genes are Slavic second Illyrian. In some more remote parts of the Dalmatian inland Illyrian genes are dominant

    2. And Queen Teuta has ruled in today's Dalmatia (Croatia) I have many times visited the ruins of its castle from which ruled Dalmatia. The castle is located on the island Zirje

  3. And finally my conclusion after 5 days google

    study is that albanians had a bad luck,or they

    were to generous or too self-confident to let

    other people just like that settle in their


    In simple words :

    they had a one big house with 10 rooms

    and through the time they let others invade 8 rooms

    and now they have only two rooms in the same house.

  4. Teuta was Illyrian, which is now Albanian. The territory of Illyrians was as big as you are describing it (where now Bosina is) but that doesnt make her a Bosnian ancestor. She is an Albanian ancestor. Even the name Teuta is only used by Albanian. Pure Albanian.
    To bad hat the Albanian(Illyrian) territory has shrinked this way how it is today. A lot of personalities and events have been stolen an not given credit to Albanians.

  5. ILLYRIAN=ALBANIAN nothing bosnian on it.....


    1. Dear Rebecca :), I put your link at wikipedia ;)

      excellent article! And Ilirya was on the territory of Balkans today, including Bosnia.....

    2. Thank you, Elma! I appreciate your helping to publicize my work.

    3. ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

  7. Thank you for writing about Teuta, Rebecca! I think the article is well measured, in its consideration of Teuta's exact origins, which are exact enough, considering how long ago she existed. I have been trying to find out more about Teuta for some time, but the story of her that you illustrate is all I come across. If anyone reading this can suggest any further readings, that would be most appreciated. For example, is it known whether she went into battles herself? Any details of the victories and losses etc.? Thanks, again! Pleased I found your blog! Could luck with the book!

  8. 100 % ALBANIAN,slavics just invaded our lands,and now the ILLYRIANS,live in Albania,Kosovo,west Macedonia south montenegro and some in greece (arvanites)and italy (arbereshe).They just took our territories.

  9. Great story, also just wanted to correct something. The main city where this kingdom was stated is Durres( ancient Dyrrah), which is in Albania. But Illyria, ruled by the family of "Taulant" in these period, layed until North of Croatia today. This city , Durres, is very ancient , but all these valuable treasures that are found are being lost by new buildings. If there are interested archeologist , that want to search about Illyria, my city is the place. And hopefully someone would do something about the issue of hidding these ancient ruins.

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  11. Hello blogger,
    First of all, Teuta was not the mother of the future king, the was the other wife of Agron.
    I appreciate your will about putting in front women throughout history and I am glad that you took the initiative to write about Teuta.
    I would've suggested you to do a more deep research, but now you've posted it.
    I read the comments and I think you have done a superficial research on this figure. The book by John Wilkes "The Illyrians" is definitely not the last word and it is not the law. Of course it is a source.
    It seems that you avoid the work of Albanian Archaeologists and Historians. I guess that there is no need to mention here that we albanians as well have historians and archaeologists and we have studied our history and culture.
    It is not your fault that you (maybe) don't speak or read albanian language so you can have access on albanian scholar' work but I can give a site to you: This link is about one Ruler of Illyria but in this site you can find more information about Illyria and albanian scholars' work in general.

  12. Illyrian was only Albanian,the castle of queen teuta is in durachium today durrës.

  13. It is funny that Albanians use Teuta as a girl's name, to show their 'Illyrianness' but Teuta is an exonym, i.e. non-Illyrian, used by Greeks.

    What is her real, ethnic name?