Last updated

The Thunatae (Ancient Greek: Θουνᾶται) were a Romanized Thraco-Illyrian [1] tribe of Dardania alongside the Galabri. [2] The Thracian Maedi tribe bordered the Thunatae eastwards. [3]

In AD 6, the Dardani were conquered by Rome and became part of the province of Moesia Superior (corresponding to present-day Kosovo, northern fringes of North Macedonia and northern Bulgaria). According to Strabo, the Dardani were not part of Illyria, [4] and they were divided into two sub-groups, the Galabri and the Thunaki. [5]

Related Research Articles

Bastarnae historical ethnical group

The Bastarnae were an ancient people who between 200 BC and 300 AD inhabited the region between the Carpathian Mountains and the river Dnieper, to the north and east of ancient Dacia. The Peucini, described as a branch of the Bastarnae by Greco-Roman writers, occupied the region north of the Danube Delta.

Thracians ancient Indo-European people that lived in eastern parts of Europe

The Thracians were an Indo-European people who inhabited large parts of Eastern and Southeastern Europe in ancient times. They spoke the Thracian language and shared a common culture. The study of the Thracians is known as Thracology.


The Scordisci were a Celtic Iron Age cultural group centered in the territory of present-day Serbia, at the confluence of the Savus (Sava), Dravus (Drava) and Danube rivers. They were historically notable from the beginning of the third century BC until the turn of the common era, and consolidated into a tribal state. At their zenith, their core territory stretched over regions comprising parts of present-day Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania, while their influence spread even further. After the Roman conquest in the 1st century AD, their territories were included into the Roman provinces of Pannonia, Moesia and Dacia.

Paeonia (kingdom) historical region

In antiquity, Paeonia or Paionia was the land and kingdom of the Paeonians (Παίονες).


The Dardani were a Paleo-Balkan tribe which lived in a region which was named Dardania after their settlement there. The eastern parts of the region were at the Thraco-Illyrian contact zone. In archaeological research, Illyrian names are predominant in western Dardania, while Thracian names are mostly found in eastern Dardania. Thracian names are absent in western Dardania; some Illyrian names appear in the eastern parts. Thus, their identification as either an Illyrian or Thracian tribe has been a subject of debate; the ethnolinguistic relationship between the two groups being largely uncertain and debated itself as well. The correspondence of Illyrian names - including those of the ruling elite - in Dardania with those of the southern Illyrians suggests a "thracianization" of parts of Dardania. Strabo in his geographica mentions them as one of the three strongest Illyrian peoples, the other two being the Ardiaei and Autariatae.

Getae name of several Thracian tribes

The Getae or Gets were several Thracian tribes that once inhabited the regions to either side of the Lower Danube, in what is today northern Bulgaria and southern Romania. Both the singular form Get and plural Getae may be derived from a Greek exonym: the area was the hinterland of Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast, bringing the Getae into contact with the ancient Greeks from an early date. Although it is believed that the Getae were related to their westward neighbours, the Dacians, several scholars, especially in the Romanian historiography, posit that the Getae and the Dacians were the same people.

Maedi Thracian tribe in antiquity

The Maedi were a Thracian tribe in antiquity. In historic times, they occupied the area between Paionia and Thrace, on the southwestern fringes of Thrace, along the middle course of the Strymon, between the Kresna Gorge and the Rupel Pass. Strabo says that the Maedi bordered eastward on the Thunatae of Dardania, and that the Axius flowed through their territory.

Bessi Ancient Thracian tribe

The Bessi were an independent Thracian tribe who lived in a territory ranging from Moesia to Mount Rhodope in Northern Thrace, but are often mentioned as dwelling about Haemus, the mountain range that separates Moesia from Thrace and from Mount Rhodope to the northern part of Hebrus.

Histri were an ancient tribe, which Strabo refers to as living in Istria, to which they gave the name.

The Autariatae were an Illyrian people that lived between the valleys of the Lim and the Tara, beyond the northern Albanian mountains, and the valley of West Morava. Their territory was located inland from the Ardiaei and the Lake Skodra, extending east to the Dardani and north or northeast to the Triballi. Along with the Ardiaei and the Dardani, the Autariatae are mentioned by Strabo in his Geographica as one of the three strongest Illyrian peoples in the pre-Roman Balkans. Following defeat during the Celtic invasions of the Balkans in the 4th century, a part of the Autariatae who remained in Bosnia adopted Celtic culture later in their history. Another part moved southwards and after an agreement with the Kingdom of Macedonia, 20,000 settled in the Parorbelian mountain range, in the borderlands between modern southeastern North Macedonia, northern Greece and southwestern Bulgaria.

Ardiaei Illyrian people

The Ardiaei were an Illyrian people residing on territory of present-day Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina between Adriatic coast on the south, Konjic on the north, along the Neretva river and its right bank on the west, extending to Lake Shkodra to the southeast. From the 3rd century BC to 168 BC the capital cities of the Ardiaean State were Rhizon and Scodra.

Dardania (Roman province) Roman province

Dardania was a Roman province in the Central Balkans, initially an unofficial region in Moesia (87–284), then a province administratively part of the Diocese of Moesia (293–337). It was named after the tribe of the Dardani who inhabited the region in classical antiquity prior to the Roman conquest.

Celticisation, or Celticization, was historically the process of conquering and assimilating by the ancient Celts. Today, as the Celtic inhabited-areas significantly differ, the term still refers to making something Celtic, usually focusing around the Celtic nations and their languages.

The Galabrii were a Romanized Thraco-Illyrian tribe of Dardania alongside the Thunatae. They held a region in what is now eastern Kosovo, southern Serbia and northern Macedonia, the towns of "Vendenae", between Ad Fines (Kuršumlija) and Viminacium (Kostolac), "Vicinianum" between Vendenae and Theranda, "Tranupara" between Astibus (Štip) and Scupi (Skopje)

The best known cultural archaeological discoveries from the prehistoric period on the territory of modern-day Serbia are the Starčevo and Vinča cultures dating back to 6400–6200 BC.


The Peresadyes were a tribe that lived in the ancient region of Illyria and ruled over, or with the Enchelii, or the Sesarethi, and were part of the Taulantii group of tribes. About their classification they had been identified as Illyrian tribe, however, recent research has strengthened the possibility that they were Thracians.


  1. Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992, ISBN   0-631-19807-5, page 85, "Whether the Dardanians were an Illyrian or a Thracian people has been much debated and one view suggests that the area was originally populated with Thracians who then exposed to direct contact with illyrians over a long period."
  2. "To the Dardaniatae belong also the Galabrii, among whom is an ancient city, and the Thunatae"
  3. James Cowles Prichard, Researches into the physical history of mankind, Vol 3, 1841
  4. The central Balkan tribes in pre-Roman times by Fanula Papazoglu, 1978, page 217
  5. Strabo: Books 1–7, 15–17 in English translation, ed. H. L. Jones (1924), at LacusCurtius