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Old 03-08-2009, 09:33 PM   #1
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Default The Illyrians

John Wilkes produced a very informative book about the Illyrians, and his work is considered authorative for Illyrian studies. It is considered to be one of the most in depth descriptions of this ancient people. I will post excerpts gradually, here are some to begin with:

Quote:
The southern-limit starts on the coast of central Albania and passes inland to Yugoslavia (**Note: book was written during Yugoslav state existence) to include the Lakeland, the Skopje basin and the Kosovo-Metohija region. Then it turns north to follow a line west of the river Morava to the vicinity of Belgrade on the Danube. On the north the Sava and Drava valleys are included along with an area north of the latter extending in the direction of Lake Balaton in western Hungary. From there the limit passes southwestwards, skirting the southeast Alps, to meet the Adriatic in Istria. Finally, the ancient districts of Calabria and Apulia in southeast Italy are included.
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Along the eastern margins of the Illyrians there is a broad area of intermingling or 'contact zone' between names of Illyrian and Thracian origin, running from the Danube below Belgrade down the west of the Morava valley to the Vardar and the northern border of Macedonia. The number of recorded native names in this area is not large. Those of Illyrian and Thracian origins occur together in the mining area of Mount Kosmaj south of Belgrade and there is another group of names from the Metohija area of Dardania. Native names of Roman soldiers recruited in the second century ad from Scupi (Skopje) in the south and Ratiaria (Archar) on the Danube include a few names of Pannonian Illyrian origin, for example, Dassius and Andio, but familiar Thracian names, Bitus, Sinna, Dolens, Drigissa, Mucco, Auluzon, Mucatral and Daizo, are in the majority.
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:52 PM   #2
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Literally dozens of Illyrian names resemble Slavic names and words today, here are some of the few that are more obvious:

Grabus (Grabai, Grb)
Glavus (Glava)
Billena (Biljana)
Mallika (Molika, Malenka)
Boria (Bori)
Pravaius (Prava)
Zorata (Zora)


And just for fun, and I am not kidding here either, it seems that the Greeks were right, the Sloveno-Croat of Yugoslavia did have a time machine, as the name Tito is also attested as an Illyrian name, lol
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Old 03-09-2009, 02:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Soldier of Macedon View Post
And just for fun, and I am not kidding here either, it seems that the Greeks were right, the Sloveno-Croat of Yugoslavia did have a time machine, as the name Tito is also attested as an Illyrian name, lol
Shit!
Tito DID have a time machine.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:48 AM   #4
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It seems as though the presence of Tattoos on the Thraco-Illyrian peoples was commonplace, when making reference to the Japodes, who lived in the bordering areas of what are now Croatia and Slovenia, John Wilkes cites the following passage by Strabo:

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Their armour is of the Celtic style. Their bodies are tattooed like those of the other Illyrian and Thracian people. Book 7.

John Wilkes appears to go along with the theory of a Slavic migration, however, he is also open (to a degree) to other suggestions regarding the relation between the ancient peoples and the Slavic-speaking people of today. Here is some more of what he wrote:

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The new setllers did not strive to eradicate the existing Illyrian and Roman cultures, and several of their major settlements grew up on the sites of Roman cities................
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Archaeological evidence has so far been unable to fill the gap between the end of Roman Illyricum and the tenth century. Few early Slav villages, with their hand-made pottery and cremation burials, have been identified in the Illyrian lands. Some Slavic material has been found on the sites of Roman cities and there are traces of an early settlement near Chapljina in the Neretva valley. It seems reasonable to assume that some of the local characteristics exhibited later by Slavs in the Illyrian lands were a consequence of assimilating existing local culture. The Illyrian heritage of the Adriatic Slavs is even today regularly invoked by Slovenes and Croats, while the Albanian claims to an Illyrian ancestry have encouraged Slavs to search for traces of their own Illyrian heritage. These include similarities in burial rites, stone-lined graves and the smashing of pottery; periodic redivision of land on the island of Pag, similar to that reported for the pre-Roman Delmatae; use of bread-making mould known in the Illyrian Iron Age; the tasselled Like cap of the Japodes and taste for tattooing which still survive in that area; and the possible descent of 'Mother Jana', forest goddess of the Balkan Slavs, from the Illyrian version Silvanus. Medieval documents indicate the survival of Illyrian personal names, Licca from Licca/Licco, Batoia from Bato, Pletto from Plator, etc. In the mountainous areas the two medieval sources, the twelfth-century priest of Duklja (Dioclea) and Thomas the Archdeacon of Split, refer to the Svachichs (Snachichs), who were evidently of pre-Slav origin. The Illyrian contribution to Slav popular culture included several less easily documented examples: the circle (kolo) dances of the southern Slavs and which seem to resemble those on funeral monuments of the Roman era; the sheperd's panpipes, five pipes of unequal lenth clamped together, which appear on situlae and on some Roman reliefs of Silvanus; and some polyphonic musical patterns, confined to the Slavs of Illyrian lands, which may be of ancient origin. Taken together, and there are probably several more examples which could be cited, they indicate a significant cultural inheritance but not necessarily an ethnic descent from Illyrians. In contrast a direct continuity from ancient Illyrians has been claimed, and contested, by the modern Albanians.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:37 AM   #5
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Any examples of Thracian tattoos?
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:44 AM   #6
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Here is something.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...rical_pg3.html

An Archaeological Perspective
Quote:
It is known from written Greek sources that many of the Eastern European and Central Asian tribes of the Scythian-Siberian culture such as the Dacians, Thracians, Illyrians and Pazyryk tattooed themselves. Archaeological evidence suggests that these tattoos marked high status and were only given to certain individuals. These cultures developed around the art of horse riding which allowed them unprecedented military advantages and allowed them to overrun neighboring tribes and rule large swaths of land stretching from Central Asia to the Eastern Balkans. It is also believed that it allowed them to have much wider contacts throughout Asia. "Archaeological discoveries confirm that the Pazyryk had contact with the Chinese and the Persians" (van Dinter 2005:28). In 1993, mummified bodies dating from about 2500 years ago were discovered in burial mounds in the Pazyryk valley in the High Altai Mountains of western and southern Siberia. Among them were two warriors, a male and a female, who were intricately and beautifully tattooed. Their well preserved skins show a variety of fantastical and stylized animal motifs that resemble the motifs incorporated into their jewelry, utensils, felt-work and those found in their tombs. The tattoos cover their arms, legs and shoulders and are so refined and sophisticated that "only recently could their quality be equaled in Europe" (van Dinter 2005:28). There are representations of tigers, deer, snakes, mountain goats, sheep and fish as well as mythical creatures. Analysis of the depth of the tattoos suggests that the technique used to create them was the skin pricking technique as opposed to the sewing-in technique used by Siberian tribes and the Inuit. This might indicate that this particular tattoo culture was more influenced by indigenous Southeast Asian tattooing such as that done in Burma. The quality of the tattoos rivals that found in Burma at the time and the representation of real and mythical animals is also a common feature of traditional Burmese tattoo. If these tattoo cultures are related, then we can also guess at the possible purpose of these warrior tattoos. In Southeast Asia, tattoos were considered magical and were applied for protection and good fortune while hunting and fishing, the same might be true of these Pazyryk tattoos (van Dinter 2005:25-29). "No instruments specifically designed for tattooing were found, but the Pazyryks had extremely fine needles with which they did miniature embroidery, and these were undoubtedly used for tattooing" (2006 Tattoo History). The fact that tattoos were only found on two of the warriors in the burial mound suggests that they were indicators of a special status in that society and were probably given only to important individuals. The fact that both the male and the female mummy were tattooed and buried as warriors suggests that tattooing was more strongly tied to status and role than gender.

According to Herodotus, the Scythians also tattooed themselves and it is most likely that the wide ranging contacts they were able to have across the continent is what spread the practice and art of tattooing from Asia into Eastern Europe as they encountered different tribes who were eager to copy the highly stylized and beautiful tattoos of the Scythian warriors. Tribes more firmly rooted in Europe, like the Thracians of Eastern Europe, the Agathyrsi of what is now Transylvania or the Dacians and Illyrians of the Balkan region, were also known to tattoo themselves. Depictions on Thracian vases from around 500 BC show tattooed women. The Greek historian Athenaeus provides one possibility for the origins of tattooing among the Thracians. He writes that the Scythians invaded Thrace and humiliated local women by marking their bodies with blue dots. After the Scythians left, these women covered their shameful markings with decorative designs. This would suggest therefore, that the Scythians were responsible for introducing tattooing and for spurring the development of a local tattoo culture in Thrace. The shared deer motif also points to some definite relationship between Thracian tattoo and Pazyryk tattoo. A Thracian vase exhibited in the Louvre in Paris from the 5th century BC depicts a woman with deer tattoos that resemble those of the Pazyryk warrior mummies showing definite links between the tattoo styles of these two groups of people (van Dinter 2005:30).
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Old 03-10-2009, 08:12 AM   #7
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http://www.bnr.bg/RadioBulgaria/Emis...azanluketc.htm

Check the girl's face at the bottom of the picture row, and ignore the Bulgarians dressed and behaving like the looney tune Hellenic Pagans in the 'Hellenic Religion' thread. The nerve of the Greeks and Bulgars, walking around in white rags and pretending to speak to the 12 gods, while they try and deny the right of the Macedonians to claim their own history.



Quote:
“It turns out the Thracian used the tattoo on various occasions,” Dora Petkova from the local community says. “We don’t know yet whether they used the tattoo as a means to brandish a guilty person, or as some kind of embellishment device. There are very many who consider that it was a form of stigmatization, as tattoos were most often laid on the arms and hands. On the other hand, adulterers and adulteresses were tattooed on the lips, face and neck, and the women on the breasts. We invited Bulgarian artists, who first studied the murals in the tombs in the Valley of Thracian Kings and then recreated the tattoos on the bodies of local girls.”
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Old 03-13-2009, 05:03 AM   #8
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Here are some scanned pages from the book of John Wilkes.

Some ancient sites and map.



Greek writing on an Illyrian helment, even though the Illyrians, like the Macedonians, are not Greeks.


Interesting designs and ornaments, looks similar to the national dress of Macedonian women.


This is an example of Illyrian culture used by the Christian Slavs.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:13 AM   #9
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RTG Wrote:

Quote:
Any examples of Thracian tattoos?
I couldn't find any Thracian examples, but here are some Illyrian (Croatian) ones. Seems the practice of tattooing amongst the Croatian population of Bosnia and Dalmatia was common until very recently. They probably give us a hint at what the Thracian ones might have looked like.


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Old 03-13-2009, 09:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Napoleon View Post
RTG Wrote:



I couldn't find any Thracian examples, but here are some Illyrian (Croatian) ones. Seems the practice of tattooing amongst the Croatian population of Bosnia and Dalmatia was common until very recently. They probably give us a hint at what the Thracian ones might have looked like.


Hey Napoleon, been a while, excellent pictures!
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