Cultural-historical development of the Illirian people of Naresi (civitas Narensium)


Amra Šačić Beća


Naresi were the second largest paople in Naronian convent (Narona conventus). Their historical development can be tracked from the late Iron Age to the 3rd century AD. The process of this community’s formation is related to the breakdown of Autariates ethnical complex, which makes them post-Autariat Illyrian people. It seems like Naresi populated area
from the source of Neretva river in the North to Prenj mountain in the South. Nowadays, it would refer to the area of municipalities: Kalinovik, Konjic, Jablanica and some parts of Prozor-Rama and Nevesinje. Literally, their name could be interpreted as Neretljani. It needs to be emphasized that they belong to Pliny’s Ilyrii proprie diciti, or Illyrians in the narrow sense. Naresi are one of the peoples that became a part of the Illyrian state which can be described as peoples alliance,
although sources don’t imply it. They are mentioned in the works of: Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus Maior), Appian of Alexandria (’Aππιανός ’Aλεξανδρεΰς) and Claudius Ptolemy (Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος). Although it’s also not mentioned in the
sources, there’s a big probability that Naresi participated in Bato’s revolt (AD 6–9). Their ethnic name appears on two epigraphic sacral monuments. Both monuments are dating from 2nd century AD when Illyrians ethnic awareness was not strong enough. In mentioned century started intensive romanisation of Naresi, which can be concluded based on detailed
analysis of epigraphic monuments from their registration area. Specifically, a large percentage of Aelius (41%) that exist on epigraphic monuments is a good enough proof for that conclusion. Domestic Illyrian names that were given by Naresi in the age of Roman Empire are: Boio, Laiscus, Dazas, Carvus, Iacus, Mandeta, Pines, Temus and Pinnius. In onomastics, Celtic
names appear, but statements that Naresi are Celtic- Illyrian are unfounded. In need to be emphasized that Celtic material and onomastics are represented in a very poor percentage and mostly came to teritory of Naresi by trade or matrimonial relations.  


How to Cite
Šačić Beća, A. (2022). Cultural-historical development of the Illirian people of Naresi (civitas Narensium). Godišnjak Centra Za balkanološka Ispitivanja, (41), 97–112.