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Reign c. 337 – c. 335 BC
Ancient Greek Πλευρίας

Pleurias (Ancient Greek Πλευρίας; ruled c. 337 – 335 BC) was an Illyrian king of the Autariatae State. In 337 BC Pleurias almost succeeded in killing Philip II of Macedon when he was on his Balkan campaigns. Pleurias took on a minor role in the Illlyrian Revolt of 335 BC in blockading Alexander the Great advances southwards.[1][2]

Military activities[edit]

In 337 BC, Philip's aim was to subdue the Autariatae State under Pleurias, during his Balkan campaigns. While Pleurias was engaged in a battle with Philip, he almost succeeded in killing Philip if not for a bodyguard receiving Pleurias' sword. After receiving on his body all the blows directed at Philip, the bodyguard died.[3][4]

In 335 BC, Pleurias entered into an alliance with Gluacias of the Taulantii State and Cleitus of the Dardanian State for the Illyrian Revolt. Cleitus had persuaded Pleurias to attack Alexander on his march south to meet him. On the meanwhile, Glaucias and Cleitus would join forces and meet Alexander at the city of Pelion in the south.[5] Langarus, an ally of Alexander promised him that he would deal with the Autariatae State while Alexander would advance towards Cleitus. Langarus invaded their territory and defeated Pleurias, and thus brought a setback to Illyrian Revolt from the start.

In the 5th century BC the Autariate State reached its peak of political and economic development. At the time of Pleurias' rule, the Autariatae State was in a decline due to the Celtic migrations.[6] Pleurias's successors faced great hardship and the gradual decline of the Autariatae State which ended in 310 BC with their sudden disappearance.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Readings in Greek History: Sources and Interpretations by D. Brendan Nagle and Stanley M. Burstein, 2006, page 245: "For a few days later, when Philip joined battle with Pleurias, the king of the Illyrians,..."
  2. ^ The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 6: The Fourth Century BC by D. M. Lewis, ISBN 0-521-23348-8, 1994, page 785
  3. ^ (Hamond, Kingdoms in Illyria)
  4. ^ Diodorus (16.93,6)
  5. ^ The Macedonian Empire: The Era of Warfare Under Philip II and Alexander the Great, 359-323 B.C. by James R. Ashley, 2004, ISBN 0786419180,page 171, "Pelium which was actually lightly held at the time"
  6. ^ Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992, p. 75, ISBN 0-631-19807-5, "Alföldy suggests that this Celtic component may derive from the impact of the migrating Celts on the Illyrian Autariatae, but it now seems that they dwelt not there but further south between the 'real Illyrians' around the Lake of..."