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Gentius (ruled 180–168 BC) of the Ardiaei[1] was an Illyrian king. He was the son of the Illyrian king Pleuratus II, of the tribe of the Labeates. His kingdom had his capital at Scodra.

In 180 BC the Dalmatians declared themselves independent from his rule. In 171, he was allied with the Romans against the Macedonians, but in 169 he changed sides and allied himself with Perseus of Macedon. He arrested two Roman legati and destroyed the cities of Apollonia und Dyrrhachium, which were allied with Rome. In 168 he was defeated at Scodra by a Roman force under L. Anicius Gallus, and in 167 brought to Rome as a captive to participate in Gallus' triumph, after which he was interned in Iguvium. The date of his death is unknown.

Gentiana lutea, and by extension the Gentiana genus, is named after king Gentius according to Pliny the Elder because he had discovered the plant's healing capacities.

He married the daughter of the Dardanian Monunius[2].

The name appears to derive from PIE * g'en- "to beget", cognate to Latin gens, gentis "kin, clan, race".

Gentius is depicted on the reverse of the Albanian 50 lekë coin, issued in 1996 and 2000,[3] and on the obverse of the 2000 lekë banknote, issued in 2008.[4]


  1. ^ Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992, ISBN 0631198075,page 221,"Ardiaei from which intoxicated men were conveyed home by their women who had also participated to the overindulgence of their kings Agron and Gentius"
  2. ^ The Illyrians by J. J. Wilkes,1992,ISBN 0631198075,,page 85"... Longarus, Bato and Monunius, whose daughter Etuta was married to the Illyrian king Gentius, are all Illyrian
  3. ^ Bank of Albania. Currency: Albanian coins in circulation, issue of 1995, 1996 and 2000. – Retrieved on 23 March 2009.
  4. ^ Bank of Albania. Currency: Banknotes in circulation. – Retrieved on 23 March 2009.

See also



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