World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Aetolian League

For the English football league, see Aetolian League (football).
Ancient regions of central Greece including Aetolia, prior to its expansion
Territory of the Aetolian League in 200 BC.

The Aetolian League (also transliterated as Aitolian League) was a confederation of tribal communities and cities[1] in ancient Greece centered on Aetolia in central Greece. It was established, probably during the early Hellenistic era, in opposition to Macedon and the Achaean League. Two annual meetings were held in Thermika and Panaetolika. It occupied Delphi from 290 BC and gained territory steadily until, by the end of the 3rd century BC, it controlled the whole of central Greece outside Attica and Boeotia. At its peak, the league's territory included Locris, Malis, Dolopes, part of Thessaly, Phocis, and Acarnania. In the latter part of its power, certain Greek city-states joined the Aetolian League such as the Ardadian cities of Mantineia, Tegea, Figaleia and Kydonia on Crete.[2]

During the classical period the Aetolians were not highly regarded by other Greeks, who considered them to be semi-barbaric and reckless.[3] Their League had a complex political and administrative structure, and their armies were easily a match for the other Greek powers. However, during the Hellenistic period, they emerged as a dominant state in central Greece and expanded by the voluntarily annexation of several Greek city-states to the League. However, the Aetolian League had to fight against Macedonia and were driven to an alliance with Rome, which resulted in the final conquest of Greece by the Romans.

Contents

  • Origins of the League 1
  • History 2
  • Administrative system 3
  • A pirate state? 4
  • References 5
  • Sources 6
  • External links 7

Origins of the League

It is uncertain when the League of the Aetolians (Koino ton Aetolon) was founded. There are suggestions of the year 367 B.C.[4] It has also been suggested that it may have been founded by

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

External links

  • John D. Grainger (1999) The League of the Aitolians (Google Books).
  • C. Michael Hogan, Cydonia, Modern Antiquarian, January 23, 2008 [2]
  • Krzysztof Kęciek (2002) "Kynoskefalaj 197 p.n.e" Serie Historic Battles Published in Warsaw by Bellona.
  • Joseph B. Scholten (2000) The Politics of Plunder: Aitolians and Their Koinon in the Early Hellenistic Era (Google Books).
  • Willis Mason West (1902) Ancient History to the Death of Charlemagne, Allyn and Bacon.

Sources

  1. ^ Grainger, 1999
  2. ^ Hogan, 2008
  3. ^ West, 1902
  4. ^ http://omiriki-ereuna.blogspot.gr/p/blog-page_2325.html
  5. ^ N. Tod, A selection of Greek Historical Inscriptions, vol. 2, p. 137
  6. ^ John D. Grainger, The League of the Aetolians, p. 49
  7. ^ Istoriai, Thoucydides pages 243-246
  8. ^ Scholten, 2000
  9. ^ Walbank , CAH (2) VII 1, 232 and 255
  10. ^ CAH (2) VII 1, 107
  11. ^ John D. Grainger, The League of the Aetolians, chap. 2

References

The Aetolian League acquired a reputation for piracy and brigandage. Though there is some recognition that Polybius was to an extent following an Achaean bias in his portrayal of the League thus, many modern historians have accepted this portrayal as in the main justified. For example, Walbank is explicit in seeing the Aetolians as systematically using piracy to supplement their income because of the meager resources of their region[9] while Will simply assumes the truth of the charge.[10] Grainger devotes a whole chapter to examining Aetolian involvement in piracy along with the charges that the Aetolians were temple robbers. He finds it hard to credit that Aetolia was involved in piracy given that they lacked a fleet of even the basic sort. Further, by contrast with more general historians, those that have made specific studies of piracy and brigandage barely mention Aetolia. He lists the times that the Aetolians were accused of temple robbery and argues that the weight of these accusations should take into account that these are usually made by political opponents of the League and refer to occasions that were already some way in the past when the accusations were made.[11]

A pirate state?

According to Scholten, the Aetolian League consisted of elites at the top, but was fundamentally a society of farmers and herders.[8] The league had a federal structure consisting of a federal council in which the level of representation was proportional to the size of a community's contribution to the league's army, a popular assembly of all citizens, which met twice a year in Thermon, and an inner council equivalent to a federal government. It could raise armies and conduct foreign policy on a common basis. It also implemented economic standardization, levying taxes, using a common currency and adopting a uniform system of weights and measures.

Thermon, capital of the Aetolian League

Administrative system

The league was the first Greek ally of the Roman Republic, siding with the Romans during the First Macedonian War (215-205 BC), and helping to defeat Philip V of Macedon at the Battle of Cynoscephalae in 197 BC, during the Second Macedonian War. However, it grew increasingly hostile to Roman involvement in Greek affairs and only a few years later sided with Antiochus III, the anti-Roman king of the Seleucid Empire, during the Roman-Syrian War. The defeat of Antiochus in 189 BC robbed the league of its principal foreign ally and made it impossible to stand alone in continued opposition to Rome. The league was forced to sign a peace treaty with Rome that made it a subject ally of the republic. Although it continued to exist in name, the power of the league was broken by the treaty and it never again constituted a significant political or military force.

In 279 BC, they were victorious in battle against the Gauls, who had invaded Greece and were threatening the sanctuary of Delphi. After their win, they earned the appreciation of the rest of the Greeks and they were admitted as a new member into the Amphictyonic League. In the First Allied War (220-217 BC), the Aetolian League fought against the Kingdom of Macedonia. Philip V of Macedon invaded Aetolia and sacked the city of Thermo as a response to the Aetolians' invasion at the city of Dodoni in Epirus.

During the Peloponnesian War, the Aetolians were initially neutral, but they later fought against the Athenians, who tried to invade Aetolia in 426 BC, but were forced to retreat.[7] The region of Aetolia emerged as one of the most important Greek states after the formation of its League at the second half of the 4th century BC. Its capital city, administrative and religious center was Thermo. In the period following the death of Alexander the Great, the Aetolian League revolted against Antipatros (323 BC) and succeeded in maintaining its independence. As of 290 BC, the League had expanded over its neighboring regions.

Theater of Calydon, Aetolia

History

[6]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.