What Was Albania Called in Ancient Greece?

Albania, a small country located in the Balkans, has a rich history dating back to ancient times. While it is known by its current name today, what was Albania called in ancient Greece?

Illyria – The Ancient Name of Albania

During ancient times, the region that we now know as Albania was inhabited by the Illyrians. The Illyrians were an Indo-European tribe that lived in the western part of the Balkans. They were a fierce warrior people who fiercely protected their borders from neighboring tribes and empires.

Illyrian Kingdoms

The Illyrian territory was divided into several kingdoms, including the Ardiaean Kingdom, which was centered in what is now modern-day Albania. The kingdom was ruled by King Bardylis during the 4th century BCE.

Another notable Illyrian kingdom was the Taulantii Kingdom, which was located in what is now northern Albania. This kingdom was ruled by King Agron and his wife Queen Teuta during the 3rd century BCE.

Ancient Greek Influence

During this time, Albania had close ties with ancient Greece. The Greeks referred to the region as Illyria and considered it to be a land of barbarians. However, they recognized that the Illyrians were skilled warriors and valued their military prowess.

Greek historians such as Herodotus wrote about the battles between the Greeks and the Illyrians. One notable battle was between King Bardylis of Ardiaean Kingdom and Alexander the Great during his conquest of Persia.

Roman Conquest

In 168 BCE, Rome conquered Illyria and divided it into two provinces: Illyricum Superius (Upper Illyricum) and Illyricum Inferius (Lower Illyricum). These provinces covered much of what is now modern-day Albania, Montenegro, and Croatia.


In conclusion, Albania was known as Illyria during ancient times. The region was inhabited by the Illyrian tribe, which was divided into several kingdoms.

Albania had close ties with ancient Greece and was conquered by the Romans in 168 BCE. Today, Albania is a modern country with a rich cultural heritage that reflects its ancient history.