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King Grabos
Reign 358 BC - c.356 BC
Predecessor Bardyllis
Successor Pleuratus I
Dynasty Grabaei
Father Grabus

Grabos (ruled c. 358 – 356 BC) was an Illyrian king of the Grabaei State. Grabos also spelt Grabus, was the most powerful Illyrian king after the death of Bardyllis in 358 BC.[1] He was from the royal house of Grabaei although this tribe may have been incorporated into the Taulantii State realm of which Grabos became king.[2][3] The Grabaei State was a minor Illyrian State located in the region of Mirdite near Lake Scutari in the northern part of modern Albania. The region is rich with copper and iron deposits, with its eastern territories falling within the Macedonian king Philip II's sphere of influence .

Grabos was a descendant of the previous King Grabus, with whom Athens entered into an alliance when the city state was active in the region of Epidamnus in the 430s BC. Grabos was defeated by Philip II's forces in 358/7 BC. The king began negotiating with Olynthus, probably offering to re-establish the Chalcydic link with the silver mines of Damastion near Lake Lynchnitis then controlled by the Macedonians following Philip II's recent annexation of the area. Grabos thus allied himself briefly with the Chalcidian League although this treaty was soon terminated. An unfinished version of the treaty of alliance between the two has been found at Olynthus. The unfinished state of the inscription and the fact that it had been thrown into a riverbed probably suggests that the treaty was never ratified. The Olynthians found other alliances more attractive.[4]

Later in 356 BC Grabos joined with Athens, the Paeonian king Lyppeius and the Thracian king Cetriporis in a coalition. This coalition was formed at the behest of the Athenians to resist the growing power of the Macedonians whom the Athenians feared. However, Philip took his enemies by surprise. His general, Parmenio, was able to act against this coalition before they had a chance to comer together. In the summer of 356 BC, Grabos was defeated by Parmenio in a major battle and he was forced to ally himself with Macedonia.[5] This victory isolated the Taulantii State and the Parthini, who became allies of Philip II. Parmenio consolidated his advance by building fortified posts in Illyria.

Grabos was not heard of after his defeat and was succeeded by Pleuratus I.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harding, p. 93: "Grabos became the most powerful Illyrian king after the death of Bardyllis in 358."
  2. ^ Studies concerning Epirus and Macedonia before Alexander, Volume 2 of Collected Studies, Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond, Hakkert, 1993, p. 106
  3. ^ N. G. L. Hammond, The Macedonian State. 2004
  4. ^ From the end of the Peloponnesian War to the battle of Ipsus by Phillip Harding
  5. ^ The Cambridge ancient history: The fourth century B.C., Volume 6 of The Cambridge ancient history, Iorwerth Eiddon Stephen Edwards, ISBN 0-521-85073-8, ISBN 978-0-521-85073-5, Authors: D. M. Lewis, John Boardman , Cambridge University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-521-23348-8, ISBN 978-0-521-23348-4, p. 438


  • Harding, Philip. From the End of the Peloponnesian War to the Battle of Ipsus, 1985. ISBN 0-521-29949-7