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Roman Heritage /Heredité Romaine

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The Roman Iliria/Dalmacia includes the entire eastern coast of the Adriatic sea and it extends from the Danube to the border with the province of Macedonia. It would correspond at the moment to the Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania.

168 BC_ El Ilirio territory is annexed to the Roman Empire after the Third Ilírica War. The capital will be Salona (next to present Split in the Croatia)

48 BC takes place the battle of Dirraquium with adverse results for Julius Caesar in the Civil war against Cneo Pompey, that does not know to take advantage of the moment and will be defeated later in the battle of Farsalia.

395 AD Dividing line between both halves of the empire on the part of Diocleciano, that will later retire its last years to Split, where it constructs his palace, transformed into a medieval city:

∙           The Eastern zone of Iliria next to Macedonia, Tesalia, Epiro Viejo and New Epiro, Achaea and the Prevalitana is united to the Roman Empire of East

∙           Nórica, Panonia, Dalmacia, Saria and the Valeria Ripensis are adjudged to the Roman Empire of the West

The ilirios are a group of towns of Indo-European origin. They are organized in tribes, each with a king. Temporarily, several tribes can be united around a unique head for all whom she will also take the name from “king” but there will be no dynastic continuity. They own similar customs and a common language that will be extinguished around the 5th century AD.

With an economy based essentially on grazing and migrating of cattle, the ilirios towns are militant and frequently fight among themselves for the possession of better grass or important articles such as iron and other metals, or salt.  Its’ religion, until the diffusion of Christianity, included human sacrifices and the belief in a life after death. The interments in tumuli include arms and jewels that were considered necessary for the deceased in the other life.

In spite of their resistance, they undergo Celtic invasions from the north-western border that leave certain influences in their customs. And the Greek colonies in the coast and the islands give rise to a strong helenización in that region. Good constructors of boats, at the end of the 3rd century BC piracy becomes an excellent economic resource for the Ilirios. They use very small and quick boats that can quickly capture the big merchandise boats. Soon they become a danger for the commercial routes of the Adriatic and they even threaten the Roman ships in the Ionian sea, which will bring about the Ilíricas Wars.

229-228 BC. First Ilírica War. The queen of the Ardios, Teuta (she inherits the name of her step son Pineus), promotes piracy, conquers and fortifies Dyrrachium (present Dürres, in Albania) and captures several boats of the Roman Empire. Rome sends messengers who die or are jailed and therefore she next declares war.  A Roman squad of 200 ships crosses the Adriatic for the first time and defeats Teuta. They then prohibit that the Ilirios boats navigate south of Lissus (present Lezhë, in Albania).

220-219 BC. Second Ilírica War. Ten years later, Demetrius de Pharos whom queen Teuta betrayed is now a client of Rome, he allies with Skerdelaidas, king of another Iliria tribe, agrees with the Macedonians and descenda a Navy with 90 ships to the Aegean Sea. The Empire faces up to him and wins and Demetrius flees to the Macedonian court

168 BC. Third Ilírica War. King Gentius, at first an ally of Rome, is united with the Macedonians against the Empire and destroys Apollonia and Dyrrachium (present Dürres, in Albania) to the south of his dominions. In only a month he is surrounded in his capital, Shkodra, and defeated by the Roman armies under the command of Gaul. As of this Iliria/Dalmacia moment he happens to comprise of the Roman Empire.


Apollonia (near the present Fier). Theater Odeón, Bouleterion and porch Butrinto (next to present Saranda). Aqueduct, baths, forum, ninfeo, temple of Asclepio, amphitheatre. Important mosaics. Paleo-christian baptistry and basilica Dyrrachium (Durrës). Amphitheatre and baths. Archaeological museum


Medjugorje. Rest of Roman ways. Tablets in cemetery.

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