Jack Willoughby

Department: Classics and Ancient History
Discipline: Classics and Ancient History

Project Summary

Provisional Title: 'Adriatic Hostilities: The Illyrian Wars with Rome 230 BC - 14AD' My research looks into the conflicts between Rome and Illyria during the period, focusing on Roman hostilities with the rising power of the Ardiaeian kingdom and the development of a Roman province on the Eastern seaboard through a series of military engagements. Although limited Illyrian sources have survived, the surviving historical record provided by Greek and Roman authors is comparatively plentiful. The accounts of Livy, Polybius, Cassius Dio and Appian among others provide a useful means to get to grips with the conflicts in question and to gauge Roman and Greek opinions on the inhabitants of the region and the wars themselves. My research subsequently closely examines these historical accounts to critique their handling of the events in question and attempt to rectify the factual discrepancies that exist. The reception of Illyrian culture and identity has altered in the past few years after the political turmoil surrounding the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and this has ensured greater clarity into these areas. My research also examines the surviving material culture in the region and the relevant geography to gain a more nuanced understanding of the area itself. My research moreover shall attempt to place these events in the wider context of Roman expansion and imperialism during the Middle and Late Republic and during the Augustan Age. As the initial intervention by the Republic on foreign soil, Illyria has an important role to play in the changing nature of Roman foreign policy. The progression of Roman dealings with a perceived barbarian kingdom over the course of this period can provide a useful means to better understand the development of Rome's outlook across the Adriatic and beyond. As such my research looks at the wider implications of these wars and where they fit into Rome's diplomatic and military engagements of the time.

Supervisory Team

Primary Supervisor: Prof. David Braund Secondary Supervisor: Dr. Martin Pitts

Wider Research Interests

My wider research interests include: The foreign policy of the Roman Republic and Empire, the development of foreign provinciae, Diplomacy and Warfare in the Ancient World, the evolution of Roman military practice and doctrine, Roman attitudes to kingship, Polybius' Histories and the shift of power from East to West therein.