The Illyrian Wars were a set of conflicts of 229 BC, 219 BC and 168 BC when Rome overran the Illyrian settlements and suppressed the piracy that had made the Adriatic unsafe for Italian commerce. There were three campaigns, the first against Teuta, the second against Demetrius of Pharos and the third against Gentius. The initial campaign in 229 BC marks the first time that the Roman Navy crossed the Adriatic Sea to launch an invasion.
The Second Illyrian War lasted from 220 BC to 219 BC. In 219 BC, the Roman Republic was at war with the Celts of Cisalpine Gaul, and the Second Punic War with Carthage was beginning. These distractions gave Demetrius the time he needed to build a new Illyrian war fleet. Leading this fleet of 90 ships, Demetrius sailed south of Lissus, violating his earlier treaty and starting the war.
Demetrius' fleet first attacked Pylos, where he captured 50 ships after several attempts. From Pylos the fleet sailed to the Cyclades, quelling resistance they found on the way. Demetrius foolishly sent a fleet across the Adriatic, and, with the Illyrian forces divided, the fortified city of Dimale was captured by the Roman fleet under Lucius Aemilius Paulus. From Dimale the navy went towards Pharos. The forces of Rome routed the Illyrians and Demetrius fled to Macedon where he became a trusted councilor at the court of Philip V of Macedon, and remained until his death at Messene in 214 BC.
In 168 BC, the Illyrian king Gentius allied himself with the Macedonians. First in 171 BC, he was allied with the Romans against the Macedonians, but in 169 he changed sides and allied himself with Perseus of Macedon. He arrested two Roman legati and destroyed the cities of Apollonia and Dyrrhachium, which were allied with Rome. In 168 he was defeated at Scodra by a Roman force under L. Anicius Gallus, and in 167 brought to Rome as a captive to participate in Gallus' triumph, after which he was interned in Iguvium.
Illyria was finally conquered in 168 BC. After forty years of intermittent fighting Illyria became a province; it took another hundred years, however, before the coastal Illyrian and Dalmatian tribes were finally subjugated following the Great Illyrian Revolt.
^Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992, p. 120, ISBN 0-631-19807-5, Page 158,"... ' Illyrian success continued when command passed to Agron's widow Teuta, who granted individual ships a licence to universal plunder. In 231 ac the fleet and army attacked Ells and Messenia ..."
^A History of Rome to A.D. 565 – page 111 by Arthur Edward Romilly Boak, William Gurnee Sinnigen, "The island of Pharos and some adjacent territory in Illyria were given to a Greek adventurer, Demetrius of Pharos"
^Wilkes, J. J., The Illyrians, 1992, p. 120, ISBN 0-631-19807-5,Page 160,"... ' The Roman invasion of Illyria in 229 sc appears to have caught Teuta and the Illyrians completely off guard. As soon as the weather permitted, the queen had ordered south a naval expedition ..."
^Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992, p. 120, ISBN 0-631-19807-5.,Page 177,"... who appears to have ruled after 168 Bc at Queen Teuta's old stronghold Rhizon (Risan). His silver issues are rare, but bronze coins, without the royal title, occur on Hvar, both ..."
^Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992, p. 120, ISBN 0-631-19807-5,page 161, "... Gulf of Kotor. The Romans decided that enough had been achieved and hostilities ceased. The consuls handed over Illyria to Demetrius and withdrew the fleet and army to Epidamnus , ..."
^Hannibal: A History of the Art of War Among the Carthagonians and Romans Down to the Battle of Pydna, 168 B.C. by Theodore Ayrault Dodge, ISBN 0-306-80654-1,1995 ,Page 164,"... Hannibal was anxious to make his descent on Italy before 'the Romans had got through with the Gallic and Illyrian wars. He had made many preparations to this end, not only in men and material, but in reconnoitring the to ..."
^Polybius: The Rise of the Roman Empire, Book 6.16, "Demetrius of Pharos...had broken his treaty with the Republic by sailing beyond Lissus with fifty boats"
^Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992, p. 120, ISBN 0-631-19807-5.,Page 163,"... ' Unlike Teuta in 229 BC, Demetrius was prepared for the Roman invasion. He placed a garrison in Dimale (Dimallum), a fortress inland ..."
^Public Organization in Ancient Greece: A Documentary Study — by Nicholas F. Jones — 1987,ISBN 0-87169-176-0
^Polybius: The Rise of the Roman Empire, Book 6.16, "the Romans dispatcehd Lucius Aemilius with an army [to face Demetrius]
^Polybius: The Rise of the Roman Empire, Book 6.18, "having accepted [Dimale's] submission...the consul then sailed to Pharos to attack Demetrius himself"
^Polybius: The Rise of the Roman Empire, Book 6.19, "Demetrius...arrived unexpectedly at the court of King Philip of Macedon, where he remained for the rest of his life"
^Battles of the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Chronological Compendium of 667 Battles to 31Bc, from the Historians of the Ancient World (Greenhill Historic Series) by John Drogo Montagu,ISBN 1-85367-389-7,2000,page 47