Another illyrian community that in its political development reached a higher degree of political organization, were the Peonians.
They inhabited the region of today's southern (In addition: Rep.)Macedonia (upper 'Vardar', Stobi and 'Crna Rijeka'), but its borders were changing through a longer period of time. On the east towards the Thracians the border went with the river 'Mesta' from its mouth to its source 'Arda', and from there towards 'Krdjolsko' lake and further towards north. Accoring to sources from some writers (Strabon, VI, 331, 11; 'Plinije'(=Plinius?), IV, 35; 'Livije'(=Livius?), XL, 33, 14), it can be concluded that in its earlier era that their area covered much wider area, including here the parts of northern Greece, on the expense of some of the local communities there. They resided in also Halkidiki.
That the Peonians were belonging to a community of older and more important Balkan peoples that were politically and culturally were much more advanced from other Balkan communities , it can be witnessed by the fact that they are mentioned by Homer as participants of the Trojan war, were they were fighting on the side of Trojans ( ILL. XVII , 350). During Philip II , Peonians recognized Macedonian rule ('Diod.' XVI , 4). After his death they incited rebellion and Alexander had to stop it.
Peonians being direct neighbour of the Greeks maintained close trade religions and as a result fell early under their cultural influence. Thanks to that they were among the first Illyrian communities to have stepped towards civilisational events. Close relations with Greece is confirmed by data that states that certain Peonian rulers were granted honored citizenship rights ('proksenija'='proxenia'?) by some Greek states. That was given in order to thank them for certain services (assistance in wheat, monetarily, military aid and similar). Such relations were especially strong with Athens, which in its own foreign politics and relations with Macedonia was frequently relying on connections with Illyrian and Thracian kings.
Original sources tell us of names of three peonian kings. At the year of 357. B.C. the throne was occupied by 'Agis'. His heir was 'Likpej' (='Likipeas'?) , and at the year of 306. B.C. on the throne was king 'Audoleont' (='Autoleantos'). His son was 'Ariston' , while 'Dropion' was contemporary of Macedonian king 'Demetrije'(='Demetrius'?) II. 4
High economical and cultural development of Peonia is showed through minting of monetary coins. It is known that the Peonian rulers were minting coins as far back as during the era of Greek - Persian wars. This is a witness that the economy of Peonia was based on trade-monetary relations, with all the accompanying institutions. Minting of monetary coins occurred in continuity across long period of time. At the year of 306. B.C. king ' Audoleont' (= 'Autoleontos' ?) minted coins that stated the title 'basileus' (='vasileus'?) , in a likewise manner that Hellenistic monarchs did. The title of 'Basileus' points that the Peonia represented state organization, for if we were talking about tribal organization with tribal leader as a ruler such title ('Basileus') would not be present.
That there was a high level of political organization in Peonia also points advanced urbanisation of the country. Peonian towns were mentioned also by Herodotus ('Doberos' and 'Bymazos' ), and from younger era there were 'Stuberra', 'Astraion', 'Argos', 'Bryanion', 'Bylazora', 'Stobi', 'Idomene' and others. Since for the development of urbanisation precondition is to have strong economic base, in this case there were all the required conjectures. The country had at its disposal large surplus of products, primarily in wheat and metals, which in the trade with Greeks represented strategic goods. Bringing (or coming) of means had increased the wealth of the country, which, and had conditioned peonian society into early class differentiation. This during the course of development has resulted in establishing strong political organization, that in the finishing stage has growned to state organization. 5
Heirs of king 'Audoleont' ruled over Peonia up until middle of II century B.C. From the political standpoint, from those heirs important one was 'Dropion' , contemporary of Macedonian king 'Demetrije' II and 'Dozon' (='Doson'?). During his rule Peonia in the sources is called 'koinon ton Paionon' (state-political community of Peonians). 6 Greeks with the legal expression 'koinon' had marked statehood , characteristic for their own (Greek) communities. Peonian 'koinon' varied from Greek one to a degree that it included villagers, while with Greeks it was based on 'simpoliteja' (='simpoliteria'?) , among whom societal base was a polis, and among Poenians it was a village.
On elements of political organization of illyrian communities
Prilozi', 30, Sarajevo, 2001., pages. 25-41