41 research outputs found

    On the composition of the Achaian synodos in Polybios’ time

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    The question of who attended the regular assemblies (synodoi) of the Achaian koinon in the 2nd century BCE is still a subject of discussion. Two main theories prevail: the synodos either was a primary assembly of all citizens or a meeting of the federal council. However, the very existence of an elected council in the koinon can be doubted, since no trace of activity of this federal body in the 3rd and the 2nd centuries BCE can be found, either in literary, or epigraphic sources. The only evidence supposedly proving the existence of an Achaian council is the frequent mention of the word boule in Polybios’ accounts of the federal assembly meetings. Attentive consideration of these passages leads to the conclusion that, in the lexicon of the Achaian historian, boule is not the official name of a state institution and does not necessarily mean “a council.” Of the two theories, seeing the synodos as a meeting of the primary assembly seems to be the most compatible with the evidence. However, in light of the recently found inscription SEG LVIII 370, we may be certain that in Polybios’ time the synodos was a representative body – and therefore not a people’s assembly in the strict sense of the word. The only reasonable interpretation of this contradictory evidence appears to be the following: the synodos was a meeting of several thousand delegates representing all the Achaian poleis, the size of each delegation being determined in proportion to the population of the community. The list of these delegates varied from meeting to meeting, and therefore the synodos should not be regarded as a body with permanent membership, such as a state council. This kind of assembly also might have served as a model for the archairesiake ekklesia of the Lykians

    A Note on the history of Hellenistic Megara: Τhe date of the Antigonid garrison in Aegosthena

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    This paper presents a proposal for the date of the Antigonid military presence in Aegosthena near Megara, which is known only by a Megarian honorary decree for Boiotian Zoilos, the royal commander of the garrison (IG VII 1). The named king Demetrios in the inscription could be Poliorketes (306-284 BC) or his grandson, Demetrios II (239-229 BC). All the available evidences (philological, prosopographical, letters a.o.) are examined and the conclusion is that a date around 295-287 BC is the more preferable

    A Note on the history of Hellenistic Megara: Τhe date of the Antigonid garrison in Aegosthena

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    This paper presents a proposal for the date of the Antigonid military presence in Aegosthena near Megara, which is known only by a Megarian honorary decree for Boiotian Zoilos, the royal commander of the garrison (IG VII 1). The named king Demetrios in the inscription could be Poliorketes (306-284 BC) or his grandson, Demetrios II (239-229 BC). All the available evidences (philological, prosopographical, letters a.o.) are examined and the conclusion is that a date around 295-287 BC is the more preferable

    Megalopolis and the Achaian koinon: local identity and the federal state

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    This dissertation examines the relationship between the Arkadian city of Megalopolis and the Achaian koinon in the Hellenistic period. By arguing that Megalopolis was a polis which used its own local identity to carve out a prominent position for itself within the Achaian federation, this thesis is able to provide new insights into the study of the wider topic of the relationship between federations and their member states. To support this argument, the thesis is divided into three parts. In part one of the dissertation, the Megalopolitan identity is clearly established by identifying its basic components, which were the result of the city’s foundation by the Arkadian koinon around 368 BC as well as its Achaian membership of 235 BC. The Megalopolitan identity was marked by a complex structure; it was characterised by a deep and traditional hatred for Sparta, longstanding relations with the Macedonian kings, a clear understanding of the mechanisms of a federal state and multi-ethnic politics, and, by Polybius’ time, a connection to both Arkadia as well as Achaia. The second part examines the influence of this local identity on the koinon through the direct relationship of Megalopolis with the federal government via its Achaian membership. Within the Achaian League, Megalopolis was an active member, taking part in the federal institutions and minting coins. However, through its interactions with other members of the federal state, Megalopolis used its relationship with the federal state to its own advantage. Finally, the last part of the thesis explores the role of Megalopolis and its local interests in Achaian foreign politics. The polis seems to have influenced these through the emergence of a series of influential statesmen (such as Philopoimen and Lykortas) as well as several new policies pursued by the Achaians after Megalopolis’ membership. Examples of these new policies are the Achaian alliance with Macedon of 225 BC and the increased focus of the koinon on Sparta in the second century BC, something that also shaped Achaian interactions with Rome. Throughout the thesis particular attention is paid to the narrative of the historian Polybius and the problems his writings pose, since he was an important source for the history of the Achaian koinon and who, as a Megalopolitan, was an excellent example of this distinct Megalopolitan identity. By shedding light on the various ways in which Megalopolis affected the Achaian koinon and its politics, this thesis shows that Megalopolis merits more attention than it has received in the past, as it was more than just an Arkadian city that was a member of the Achaian koinon. Furthermore, the intricate analysis of the distinct Megalopolitan identity makes a novel contribution to the wider study on the interaction between the polis, as a civic unit, and the federal state, as a developing political structure

    Some observations on koina and monetary economy in Hellenistic Asia Minor

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    The koina of pre-Roman Asia Minor, comprising several major organisations along its western and southern coasts like the koina of Athena Ilias, the Lesbians, the Ionians, the Chrysaorians, and the Lykians, present a collection of federal states less well understood than better documented koina in mainland Greece. This paper highlights the regional characteristics of these Anatolian koina by examining their monetary and political economies. It first suggests that federalising behaviour in Hellenistic western Asia Minor tended to be centred on regional sanctuaries and festivals, and less involved in the formation of cohesive political institutions through federal law-making or military mobilisation. This also had the effect that they present the impression of being monetarily ‘light’, as is explained in the second section, because they were not by and large fiscally cohesive, or had close oversight of monetary supply, with the notable exception of the Lykian league – taxation was not hugely intrusive or extensive, and little federal coinage was produced. The last two sections consider this ‘lightness’ as a function of the regional specificities of political and economic power in the region, suggesting that koina functioned parasitically as organisations ensconced between imperial states and civic communities, both reflecting and shaping the dominant role in the region of these two types of polity in the Hellenistic period

    Продажа гражданства в городах эллинистической Ахайи

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    В статье содержится комментированный перевод на русский язык двух надписей, относящихся к III в. до н. э., из Димы и Тритеи, городов Ахайи, касающихся продажи гражданства в эпоху эллинизм

    Mediating, Arbitrating, Crossing Borders Constantly: Athletes as Envoys

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    Abstract Starting from the observation that the role of former athletes as envoys has not been sufficiently analyzed yet, this article examines on what kind of diplomatic missions Hellenistic athletes were sent after their career. Of special interest are their functions as interstate arbitrators and mediators in political conflicts, roles which were often assumed in the context of political conflicts with or within federal states. It is striking that Elian victors mediated and arbitrated even in such disputes in which their hometown had been one of the conflicting parties. This is remarkable since it reveals what significant a role the prestige gained by an agonistic victory played for becoming appointed envoy. Another main reason for being nominated as ambassador consisted in the athletes’ prior life realities as cross-border commuters which allowed them to build strong social and political networks from an early age. No doubt, former athletes, often ‘heavy weights’, served in many different capacities on diplomatic missions of the highest importance

    Hellenistic coins from Greece, Macedonia and Thrace found in northern Dalmatia and south-eastern Lika

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    Iz sjeverne Dalmacije i jugoistočne Like potječe 14 komada brončanoga helenističkog novca podrijetlom iz različitih monetarnih središta antičke Grčke, Makedonije i Trakije. Ovaj novac se rijetko nalazi u optjecaju na području Dalmacije i šireg zaleđa, pa predstavlja zanimljivu pojavu. Pretpostavka je da dolazi pomorskim putevima u Liburniju (sjevernu Dalmaciju), a na načine njegova širenja prema unutrašnjosti ukazuje topografija nalaza koja govori o pravcima usmjerenima prema južnom Velebitu i njegovim planinskim prijevojima. Ovaj tok novca odgovara i drugim poznatim emisijama koje su cirkulirale na ovome području u helenističko vrijeme.Northern Dalmatia and south-eastern Lika together yielded 14 Hellenistic bronze coins originally from the various minting centers of ancient Greece, Macedonia and Thrace. Such coins are rare finds in the territory of Dalmatia and its wider hinterland, so they constitute an intriguing phenomenon. The assumption is that they came to Liburnia (northern Dalmatia) via maritime routes, and the overland routes whereby they spread into the interior are indicated by the topography of the find sites, which say much about how they moved into the interior toward southern Velebit and its mountain passes. This flow of money corresponds to other known issues of currency that circulated in this territory during the Hellenistic era

    The Coinage and History of Achaiion in the Troad

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    International audienceTwo issues of bronze coinage from the Troad with the monogram AX (late 4th/early 3rd c. BC) have traditionally been attributed to Achilleion. However, excavations of Achilleion show that it was never more than a small fort. These coins should therefore be attributed to Achaiion, known to us from Strabo as the chief town of the nearby Tenedian peraia. In addition to the issues with the AX monogram, Achaiion also produced bronze coinage in the 2nd c. BC. It is argued that these two periods of minting probably represent periods of independence from Tenedos and thus prompt questions about the significance of the peraia to the Tenedian economy and the importance of bronze coinage in reconstructing the political history of the Hellenistic Troad.La provenance de deux exemplaires de monnaie de bronze de Troade avec le monogramme AX (fin IVe-début IIIe s. a.C.) a été habituellement attribuée à Achilleion. Cependant, les fouilles menées sur le site d’Achilleion n’ont jamais révélé autre chose qu’un fort. Ces pièces devraient donc être attribuées à Achaion, connu par Strabon comme la cité principale à proximité de la pérée de Ténédos. Outre ces exemplaires, Achaion a aussi frappé un monnayage de bronze au IIe siècle a.C. Ces deux périodes de frappe correspondent probablement à deux moments d’indépendance d’Achaion par rapport à Ténédos, interrogeant du même coup l’importance de la pérée dans l’économie ténédienne et celle du monnayage de bronze dans la reconstruction de l’histoire politique de la Troade hellénistique

    With and Without You: Megara’s Harbours

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    The main question that is addressed in this article is whether and how the harbour towns of the Megarid – Nisaia on the Saronic Gulf and Pagai, Aigosthena on the Gulf of Corinth – constituted local worlds in their own right. Exploring the entangled history of the polis Megara and its ports, this paper also points to the complexities behind scholarly approximations to the local horizon of an ancient Greek city-state
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