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Illyrian Queen Teuta and the Illyrians in Polybius’s passage on the Roman mission in Illyria

By Amela Bajrić

Abstract

Polibije, grčki povjesničar i državnik dao je najdetaljniji prikaz rimske diplomatske misije u Iliriji. To je ujedno i prvi zabilježeni diplomatski kontakt između Rimljana i Ilira uoči 1. ilirskog rata. Za razliku od drugih starih pisaca, Polibije je jedini koji je iznio sadržaj razgovora. Odlomak se izdvaja višestrukim značenjem. Posebno je zanimljiv jer je upravo u njemu Polibije iznio stanovit broj istraživački atraktivnih bilježaka karakterizacije Ilira i ilirske vladarice Teute. Momenti iz odlomka koji dopuštaju da se analizira Polibijeva slika Ilira su: kritika institucije kraljevstva, razlike između rimskih i ilirskih običaja i izravne karakterizacije ilirske vladarice Teute. Polarizacija Rimljani – Iliri na političkom polju analogna je konceptualnoj shemi Grci – barbari, prema kojoj je grčko društvo demokratsko i ravnopravno, dok je barbarsko tiransko i hijerarhijsko. Poput Grka, Rimljani su predstavljeni kao ljubitelji slobode, zaštitnici prava i zakona, a Iliri kao kontrast svim načelima ljudskosti i rimskim vrlinama. Razlike između Ilira i Rimljana, Polibije je podcrtao suprotnošću između njihovih običaja i zakona. Ilirske radnje definirao je kao nepravedne i nezakonite, u velikoj mjeri kao sramotne u kontekstu načina stjecanja dobitka. Suprotno tome, rimski postupci koji su potjecali iz njihovih običaja i zakona, bili su pravedni i zakoniti, u skladu s općepriznatim civiliziranim normama. Kako bi objasnio vojne i političke poteze ilirske vladarice, Polibije je Teuti izravno pripisao prosuđivanje na ženski način, ukazujući da je bila politički kratkovidna i loša vladarica. Dion Kasije i Flor prihvatili su rimsku verziju događaja, pronalazeći razlog 1. ilirskog rata u postupcima ilirske vladarice. Shodno tomu, Teuta je kod njih negativan lik, a Apijanova Teuta pozitivan je lik.Polybius, a Greek historian and statesman, gave the most detailed view of the Roman diplomatic mission in Illyria before the First Illyrian War. This is also the first recorded diplomatic contact between the Romans and Illyrians. Unlike other ancient authors, Polybius was the only one who presented the content of the conversation. The passage stands out with its multiple meanings, but particularly interesting as a place where Polybius presents a certain number of the characterization notes of the Illyrians and their ruler Teuta. The moments in the passage that allow an analysis of Polybius’s image of the Illyrians are: the critique of the institution of the kingdom, the differences between Roman and Illyrian customs, and the explicit characterization of the Illyrian ruler, Teuta. Polarization between Romans and Illyrians is analogous with the conceptual scheme of the polarization of Greeks and barbarians, by which Greek society is democratic and equal, while barbaric society is tyrannical and hierarchical. Like the Greeks, the Romans are presented as lovers of liberty and protectors of law, and the Illyrians as a contrast to all principles of humanity and Roman virtues. Polybius underlines the differences between the Illyrians and Romans through the contradictions between their customs and laws. He defines Illyrian actions as unjust and illegal, largely as shameful in the context of ways of earning income. In contrast, the actions of Romans that originate from their customs and laws are fair and lawful, in accordance with universally recognized civilized norms. Polybius directly attributes to Teuta a woman’s natural shortness of view, in order to explain her military and political moves, saying that she was politically shortsighted and a bad ruler. Dio Cassius and Florus embrace the Roman version of events, finding the cause of the First Illyrian War in the procedures of the Illyrian ruler, therefore representing Teuta in a negative light. Appian’s Teuta is a positive figure

Topics: Polibije; rimska diplomatska misija; Teuta; Iliri; barbari; Rimljani, Polybius; Roman diplomatic mission; Teuta; Illyrians; barbarians; Romans
Publisher: The Zagreb Archaeological Museum
Year: 2014
OAI identifier: oai:hrcak.srce.hr:117877
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