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Pannonia, Illyria, Illyricum, and Dalmatia

These names all describe roughly the same area in what is known today as the Northern Balkan Peninsula. Dalmatia refers to the portion of the peninsula that lies on or close to the Adriatic coast. The modern countries of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro emerged from the breakup of Marshal Tito’s Yugoslavia. This area, known to historians as ancient Illyria, was home to tough mountain barbarians during Pre - Roman times. After the area was conquered by Rome and became the Roman provinces of Illyricum and Pannonia, these same hardy barbarians enlisted in the Roman army and became some of the best soldiers in the legions. Pannonia thus became one of the prime recruiting areas for the Roman legions. Many excellent generals came from Pannonia and Illyricum. During the late Third and early Fourth Centuries, several Roman emperors came from this area. Experienced and competent generals like Trajan Decius, Claudius Gothicus, Aurelian, Probus, Diocletian, Galerius, Maximianus, and Constantius Chlorus became Roman emperors by being elevated by the troops or appointed by Diocletian to form his efficient and ruthless Tetrarchy, who brought the Roman Empire back from the brink of chaos in the late Third and early Fourth Centuries.

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