Растко ВАСИЋ

Археолошки институт,



Апстракт: Грчки географ Страбон наводи да су Аутаријати једном били највеће и најјаче илирско племе. Историјска збивања у којима се помињу датују у другу половину IV века пре н.е. где се они не одликују ни снагом ни величином. После овога датума више се не помињу у изворима. Стога је логично закључити да њихове звездане часове треба датовати пре IV. века пре н. е.



The Greek Geographer Strabo says the Autariatae used to be the largest and the strongest of Illyrian tribes. The historical context in which they are mentioned is dated to the second half of the fourth century BC, but the tribe is described as neither strong nor large. After that date, there is no further record of them. Therefore the inference seems reasonable that their acme should be dated to a period prior to the fourth century BC.

According to archaeologists and modern historians, the Autariatae lived in south-eastern Bosnia, south-western Serbia and northern Montenegro, i.e. in the territory where a powerful Early Iron Age group has been identified and named the Glasinac group after the Glasinac plateau east of Sarajevo. It was at the peak of its power between the mid seventh and mid fifth centuries BC, as dated by settlements and graves as well as a large number of small finds, weapons, pottery, jewellery, imported bronze vessels etc. On the strength of these chronological and chorological parallels, numerous instances of correspondence that cannot be coincidental, the author presumes a possible link between the Glasinac group and the Autariatae.

And yet, despite many arguments for the identification of the Autariatae with the Glasinac group, it remains a hypothesis, more or less plausible. Identifications of the kind are always tentative. But if there is in the central Balkans an archaeologically attested group that may be identified with a tribe referred to in classical sources, then it certainly is the case of the Glasinac culture and the Illyrian tribe of Autariatae.

The issue should be viewed from a different angle too. Namely, despite the relatively clear chronology of the Iron Age in the Balkans, with precisely delineated developmental stages and with classes of material typical of each stage, regional groups are difficult to differentiate. The only one that stands out as a distinctive cultural whole in all of its developmental phases is the Glasinac group in the west, while in other areas the small number of graves still makes reliable identification of groups impossible despite plentiful finds. For that reason one cannot speak with any certainty about the material culture of the Triballi, the Dardanians or even the Paeonians, to mention but the main ethnic groups. Or, more precisely, at present there are no groups as clearly differentiated as the Glasinac culture that may be identified with those tribes. Further research will undoubtedly clarify these obscurities. Meanwhile, patience is needed and the acceptance of what seems plausible at the moment – a connection between the Glasinac group and the Autariatae.