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Teuta

*Teu=ta), wife of Agron, king of the Illyrians, assumed the sovereign power on the death of her husband, B. C. 231. Elated by the successes recently obtained by the Illyrian arms [AGRON], she gave free scope to the piratical expeditions of her subjects, while she herself fitted out an armament which attacked the coast of Epeirus, while Scerdilaidas, with an army of 5000 men, invaded that country by land, and reduced the wealthy city of Phoenice. An invasion of the Dardanians soon compelled her to recal her forces: but she had meanwhile provoked a more dangerous enemy. The injuries inflicted by the Illyrian pirates upon the Italian merchants had at length attracted the attention of the Roman senate, who sent two ambassadors, C. and L. Coruncanius, to demand satisfaction. But the haughty language of these deputies gave such offence to the Illyrian queen, that she not only refused to comply with their demands, but caused the younger of the two brothers to be assassinated on his way home. (Plb. 2.4, 6, 8; Dio Cass. Fr. 151; Zonar. 8.19; Plin. Nat. 34.6; Liv. Epit. xx.) This flagrant breach of the law of nations led to an immediate declaration of war on the part of the Romans, who sent both the consuls, Cn. Fulvius and A. Postumius, with a fleet and army, to punish the Illyrian queen. Meanwhile Teuta, who was herself engaged in the siege of Issa, had early in the spring (B. C. 229) sent out a large force under Demetrius the Pharian, who made himself master of the island of Corcyra, and laid siege to Epidamnus. On the arrival of the Roman fleet, however, Demetrius treacherously surrendered Corcyra into their hands, and lent every assistance to the further operations of the two consuls. These were so rapid and decisive that the greater part of Illyria quickly fell into their hands, and Teuta herself was compelled to fly for refuge to the strong fortress of Rhizon. From hence she made overtures for peace, which she at length obtained from the Roman consul, A. Postumius, in the spring of B. C. 228, on condition of giving up the greater part of her dominions, and restraining her subjects from all voyages beyond the island of Lissus. By this treaty she appears to have retained the nominal sovereignty of a small territory, while her stepson Pinnes obtained the greater part of her kingdom; but we do not again meet with her name, and it is probable that she soon after abdicated this small remnant of power. (Plb. 2.9-12; Dio Cass. Fr. 151; Zonar. 8.19 ; Appian. Illyr. 7.)

[E.H.B]

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