In the spring of 334, Alexander crossed with an army of between 30,000 and 40,000 men, Macedonians, Illyrians, Thracians and the contingents of the Greek states, into Asia.
They are probably the descendants of the earliest Aryan immigrants, who were represented in historical times by the kindred Illyrians, Macedonians and Epirots; the Macedonians and Epirots are believed by Hahn to have formed the core of the pre-Hellenic Tyrrheno-Pelasgian population which inhabited the southern portion of the peninsula and extended its limits to Thrace and Italy.
The Illyrians were also "Pelasgian," but in a wider sense.
Of these cognate races, which are described by the Greek writers as barbarous or non-Hellenic, the Illyrians and Epirots, he thinks, were respectively the progenitors of the Ghegs, or northern, and the Tosks, or southern, Albanians.
Fragment 3) describes as forming the boundary between the Illyrians and Epirots, practically corresponds with the course of the Shkumb, which now separates the Ghegs and the Tosks.
They are described by Strabo as a mixed race of Celts and Illyrians, who used Celtic weapons, tattooed themselves, and lived chiefly on spelt and millet.
He joined the Illyrians in an attempt to plunder the temple of Delphi, pillaged the temple of Caere on the Etruscan coast, and founded several military colonies on the Adriatic. In the Peloponnesian War he espoused the side of the Spartans, and assisted them with mercenaries.
But he had many enemies at home; in 383 he was driven out by the Illyrians, but in the following year, with the aid of the Thessalians, he recovered his kingdom.
The Thracians differed only dialectically from the Illyrians (Strabo), their tongue being closely allied to Greek.
During the reign of Philip Parmenio obtained a great victory over the Illyrians (356); he was one of the Macedonian delegates appointed to conclude peace with Athens (346), and was sent with an army to uphold Macedonian influence in Euboea (342).
But his true motives were soon apparent; his object was to play off the nationalism of the " Illyrians " against the radicalism of Magyars and Germans, and thus to preserve his province for the monarchy; and the Hungarian radicals played into his hands.
With their help he set himself to win the confidence of a public still inclined to distrust the author of the proscriptions of 43 B.C. Brigandage was suppressed in Italy, and the safety of the Italian frontiers secured against the raids of Alpine tribes on the northwest and of Illyrians on the east, while Rome was purified and beautified, largely with the help of Agrippa (aedile in 33 B.C.).
Akad., 1861, p. 114) makes the Leleges an aboriginal people akin to Albanians and Illyrians; K.
The Celts represented Indo-European q by p, whilst the Greeks, Illyrians, Thracians, Ligurians, and aborigines of France, Britain and Ireland represented it by k, c or qu.
The original population appears to have consisted of Illyrians, who after the great emigration of the Gauls became subordinate to various Celtic tribes, chief amongst them being the Taurisci, probably called Norici by the Romans from their capital Noreia (Neumarkt).