Scordisci


Scordisci

Scordisci were, in ancient geography, a war-like tribe inhabiting the southern part of lower Pannonia, comprising parts of the present-day countries Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, between the Savus (Sava), Dravus (Drava) and Danube rivers. Their tribal name may be connected to the name of the Scordus mountain (Šar mountain) which was located between Illyria and Paionia.

The Scordisci were a Celtic [Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992,ISBN 0631198075,Page 140,"... Autariatae at the expense of the Triballi until, as Strabo remarks, they in their turn were overcome by the Celtic Scordisci in the early third century Sc. ..."] [Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992,ISBN 0631198075,page 84,"... 84 The Search for Illyrians valley of the Morava. The survival of Celtic Scordisci away from the river Danube is impossible to gauge from any variety of evidence currently available, ..."] [Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992,ISBN 0631198075,Page 82,"... confirmed also by tombstones with Celtic symbols and fashions of dress. Alföldy has detected descendants of the Celtic Scordisci once dominant in the central Balkans. ..."] tribe, belonging to the Segovesus branch. Evidence can be found in the testimony of Torgus Pompejus who already came in contact with them in that area. Strabo mentions the Celts already in the area as early as 300 BC. The Scordisci did not pose an active threat to the Greeks until other tribes invading the area pushed the Celts more southwards.

There is a hypothesis that it was the Scordisci who met with Alexander the Great, according to Arrian and Strabo. It took the Celtic delegation only a couple of day's travel to reach Alexander. Since there were no records of other Celtic tribes in the region historians presume these were the Scordisci.

In 279 BC, after their clash with the Greeks, Scordisci started progressing towards Pannonia, settling at the point where Moesia and Balkans end, at the confluence of two rivers, Sava and Danube, where they erected fortresses in Singidunum and Taurunum, founding today's city of Belgrade.

In 135 BC they were defeated by Cosconius in Thrace. In 118 BC, according to a memorial stone discovered near Thessalonica, Sextus Pompeius, probably the grandfather of the triumvir, was slain fighting against them near Stobi. In 114 BC they surprised and destroyed the army of Gaius Porcius Cato in the western mountains of Serbia, but were defeated by Minucius Rufus in 107 BC.

Nevertheless, they still from time to time gave trouble to the Roman governors of Macedonia, whose territory they invaded in combination with the Maedi and Dardani. They even advanced as far as Delphi and plundered the temple; but Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus finally overcame them in 88 BC and drove them across the Danube. In Strabo's time they had been expelled from the valley of the Danube by the Dacians. The Scordisci later became subject to the Dacians.They started receiving Roman citizenship during Trajan's rule. [Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992,ISBN 0631198075,Page 256,"... reign of Trajan (AD 98-117), does the Roman citizenship begin to appear among the Illyrian communities of southeast Pannonia, the Andizetes, Scordisci and Breuci. ..."] .

References


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