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Contributor Contrib.ArdianU on 6/5/2008
Ardian is a personal name deriving from the name of an Illyrian tribe of Ardiaei, whose original homeland was the valley of the Neretva river, in present day Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, the name is mainly present among modern Albanians, as they consider themselves to be the direct descendants of ancient Illyrians. The Illyrians lived in a vast territory stretching from Slovenia all the way down to northern Greece. The Greek and later Roman historians describe them as fierce and proud warriors, excellent ship-makers and seafarers, but also giant castle makers and independent highlanders. (see 'Bato I', and 'Illyrians')The Ardiaei were known for putting up a great heroic resistance against the invading Romans. Under the pressure of Celts and later Romans, they moved inland, where they were reduced in numbers and assimilated into other Illyrian clans, or into later Romanized Illyrian population.The etymology of the Ardiaei is subject to debate, but the most obvious connection is found with 'Ardea/Ardeae', a Latin word for 'Heron'. Interestingly enough, there is a small town located precisely where the ancient home of the Ardiaei once was, in the valley of the Neretva river (Bosnia and Herzegovina). The name of the town is 'Čapljina', deriving from 'Čaplja', which in south-slavonic languages (not related to Illyrian or Albanian languages) means precisely 'Heron'. So, 'Čapljina' would then mean ' place of Herons'.Some Albanian schoolars connect Ardiaei to the Albanian word 'ardhja', meaning 'descent', or 'arrival'. In that sense, Ardian would mean ' A Descendant', or ' Offspring'.