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1. Antique Sućuraj (Illyrians and Romans)

Athens’s triera  (Greek’s war ship) Athens’s triera
(Greek’s war ship)
"Liburska liburna" (Illyrians war ship) "Liburska liburna"
(Illyrians war ship)
Part of queen Teuta place in SucurajPart of queen Teuta place
in Sucuraj
Amphorae from sunken roman galleysAmphorae from sunken roman
galleys - founded near Sućuraj
Anchor from sunken roman galleysAnchor from sunken roman
galleys - founded near Sućuraj
Illyrian grave ("zgrčavac")Illyrian grave ("zgrčavac")
near Sućuraj
Graves in the shape of small housesGraves in the shape of small
houses - a remnant of old
roman customs
 

Velimir Trnski: Queen TeutaIn Oglavak and Koscak (near Sucuraj) by the tradition was the position of the Illyrian queen Teuta place (who lived here). Sucuraj lies on the foundations of the town she was building. It was not finished it because she lost the war with the Romans.

To confirm these legends there are no written documents because the Illyrians were illiterate. The historical facts are: in the middle 4th century BC the Illyrians tribe Ardians came to the sea and settled around the river Neretva and toady's Makarska Riviera; the Ardians where famous warriors, and after arriving to the coast they learnt the seaman ways and became pirates who first attacked Greeks and after Romans ships; for pirate-activity Sucuraj was ideal, because of it's deep bay where war-ships are invisible and the hill above Sucuraj was a excellent look-out for all ship traffic in this region; from Sucuraj they could quickly attack and conquer ships in the area. Besides the bay was a big fertile field, and it is known that Ardians had 300 000 serfs who worked in there fields while they were at war or having fiestas with lots of beer, wine and drink sweetened with honey.

In the middle 3rd century BC the Ardians king Argon united several Illyrians tribes and extended his country from Biograd (near town Zadar) to the river Drim (in today's Albania). King Argon died in 231 BC of enjoying too much alcohol. The authority over he kingdom inherited his wife Teuta because their son Pinnes was under-age. Teuta ruled until 219 BC, she was glorified by heir warlord Demetrius of Pharos (today town Stari Grad on the island Hvar). Teuta was in war with the Romans because of the pirate attacks. After the first successes she lost the war when Demetrius turned sides to the Romans. Teuta took refuge to the fortress Risan in Boka Kotorska (today in Montenegro). The big Illyrians country was reduced to the territory between Boka Kotorska and the river Drim.

So, if the legend of Queen Teuta it true, Sucuraj is one of the oldest towns in Europe. Contribution to this legend is many sunken Roman galleys around Sucuraj.

Soon after Demetrius of Pharos went into battle with the Romans who destroyed Pharos in 219 BC. By the legend the Illyrians soldiers fled over the island to the east and come to Sucuraj. With no were to go they occupied Teuta's fortress. Illyrians objects confirm that they fortify the harbour of Sucuraj and protected the village, which means that the Illyrians lived in Sucuraj after 219 BC.

The remains of the queen Teuta palace and the fortress of Demetrius of Pharos are still visible. Also, many Illyrians graves with bones, ceramic and seashells are found. There are many Illyrians stone-piles; the most famous is ''Velika Gomila'' (old Illyrians grave-yard). Around Sucuraj there are many more localities from the Illyrians time that testifying the presence of Illyrians before 2300 years.

The Romans conquerd island Hvar after the battle with the Illyrians 219 before Christ. In Sucuraj there are ruins of two Roman towns, proclaimed to the world 1525 by eridute Dominican Vinko Probojevic in his famous speech ''About origin and occasions of the Slavens''.

These towns were ruined in the Turk wars. The first Roman town in Sucuraj was located in today's Gornja Banda; the second was near Mlaska bay. The middle of the first town must have been in place of today's monastery, because of a white mosaic found there; most of it is preserved in the parish treasury. It came from a rich Romans place. At the location of the second town many remains can be seen, Roman walls, manors and country-houses a very well preserved well ("gustrina") and many other remains. In many locations in the sea around Sucuraj, remains of many Roman galleys and lots of Amfor's (jars for wine, oil, honey, etc.).

History of Sućuraj:
1. Antique Sućuraj (Illyrians and Romans)
2. Sućuraj in the Middle Ages (arrival of Croatians)
3. Sućuraj during Venetians (fighting the Ottomans)
4. Sućuraj in the 19th century (Austria, France and the Austria-Hungary kingdom)
5. Sućuraj in the 20th century (3 wars, 6 states)

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