Before the Roman Empire

Archaeological, linguistic, and anthropological studies show that Albania is occupied by its native people from thousands of years ago. In ancient history, these people were known as the Illyrians. In earliest history Illyricum was a conglomeration of many tribes. This "tribal" paradigm has survived to modern times. During the communist era, a clan mentality existed in the mountainous regions with "chieftains" ruling towns and villages. Even today, blood feuds remain a part of Albanian society in these regions.
The earliest known Illyrian king was Hyllus (The Star), who died in 1225 BC. Illyricum reached its zenith about 400 BC under the rule of King Bardhylus (White Star). The borders of Illyria, under these ancient kings, extended into Bosnia, Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, a large part of modern Serbia, Montenegro, and Dalmatia. The Illyrian Kingdom declined beginning with the attacks of Philip II of Macedonia (father of Alexander the Great).