It is possible to argue that the concept of civilisation in Strabo's Geography was so significant that Strabo composed at least some of his books following a rigid descriptive trajectory from barbarity to civilisation. Strabo', depiction of Illyricum stands oddly between these two categories. While pointing out barbarity in his cultural assessment, he often contradicts himself and shows that the area was culturally much more advanced than he was prepared to admit. This paper recognises certain reasons behind his inconsistency. One is Strabo's ideological intention to present Roman political and military force as the agent of civilisation in the framework of Augustan imperial discourse.