About 280 B.C. the Celts gathered a great host at the head of the Adriatic, and accompanied by the Illyrian tribe of Autariatae, they overthrew the Macedonians, overran Thessaly, and invaded Phocis in order to sack Delphi, but they were finally repulsed, chiefly by the efforts of the Aetolians (279 B.C.).
The district called Dardania (in Upper Moesia), inhabited by the Illyrian Dardani, was formed into a special province by Diocletian with capital Naissus (Nissa or Nish), the birthplace of Constantine the Great.
It was a fertile soil for Gaj's agitation, and in 1848 the Croatian nation found in Baron Jelacic a military leader who voiced the Illyrian idea and hoped to realize it in union with the Habsburg Dynasty and the other subject nationalities of Hungary.
The poem is probably intended to celebrate the victory gained in 129 by Gaius Sempronius Tuditanus (consul and himself an annalist) over the Illyrian Iapydes (Appian, Illyrica, 10; Livy, epit.
When, in 1809, Dalmatia was re-annexed to the Illyrian provinces, Dandolo returned to Venice, having received as his reward from the French emperor the title of count and several other distinctions.
It subsequently fell into the hands of Illyrian corsairs, until in 229 it was delivered by the Romans, who retained it as a naval station and gave it the rank of a free state.
To facilitate this reform, to overcome the ecclesiastical prejudices of the Roman Catholic Croats against the Eastern Orthodox Servians, and vice versa, certain Croatian patriots, led by Ljudevit Gaj, proposed that all the Slavonic peoples in the north-western part of the Balkan Peninsula should call themselves Illyri and their language Illyrian (see Croatia-Slavonia: Language and Literature and History).
At the time of the foundation of Aquileia by the Romans, the district which now includes Trieste was occupied by Celtic and Illyrian tribes; and the Roman colony of Tergeste (q.v.) does not seem to have been established till the reign of Vespasian.
Large galleys could not anchor in the bay of Zengg, which is shallow and exposed to sudden gales, so the Uskoks fitted out a fleet of swift boats, light enough to navigate the smallest creeks and inlets of the Illyrian shore, and easily sunk and recovered, if a temporary landing became necessary.
Besides the Italic alphabets already mentioned, which are all derived from the alphabet of the Chalcidian Greek colonists in Italy, there were at least four other alphabets in use in different parts of Italy: (i) the Messapian of the south-east part of the peninsula, in which the inscriptions of the Illyrian dialect in use there were written, an alphabet which, according to Pauli (Alt-italische Forschungen, iii.