Appian’s Illyrike

the final stage of the Roman construction of Illyricum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Appian's Illyrian book (Illyrike) was originally intended to be just an appendix to his Macedonian book and today remains the only extant ancient work dealing with the early history of Illyricum which is preserved in its entirety. In this short work Appian puts together different local and regional histories in order to create a unified historical narrative and determines the historical and mythological coordinates of Illyricum inside the ancient world. This paper will discuss Illyrike in the context of the Roman construction of Illyricum as a provincial space, similar to some other regions in continental Europe such as, for example, Gaul or Britain. They were all firstly created through the needs of Roman political geography and later written into literary knowledge through the works of ancient history and ethnography. This paper will argue that Appian's Illyrike represented the final stage of the Roman construction of Illyricum from an imaginary to a provincial space, which was the point of its full coming of age as an integral part of the ancient world and the Roman Empire.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-83
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Appian
  • Illyricum
  • Roman empire
  • imperial geography

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