The Achaean League was a Hellenistic-era confederation of Greek city states on the northern and central Peloponnese. The league was named after the region of Achaea in the northwestern Peloponnese, which formed its original core; the first league was formed in the fifth century BC. The second Achaean League was established in 280 BC; as a rival of Antigonid Macedon and an ally of Rome, the league played a major role in the expansion of the Roman Republic into Greece. This process led to the League's conquest and dissolution by the Romans in 146 BC; the League represents the most successful attempt by the Greek city states to develop a form of federalism, which balanced the need for collective action with the desire for local autonomy. Through the writings of the Achaean statesman Polybius, this structure has had an influence on the constitution of the United States and other modern federal states; the first Achaean League became active in the fifth century in the northwestern Peloponnese. After the catastrophic destruction of the ancient capital Helike by an earthquake and tsunami in 373 BC, it appears to have lapsed sometime in the fourth century.
The regional Achaean League was reformed in 281/0 BC by the communities of Dyme, Patrae and Tritaea, joined in 275 by Aegium, which controlled the important sanctuary of Zeus Homarios. The league grew to include the entire Achaean heartland, after a decade it had ten or eleven members; the key moment for the League's transformation into a major power came in 251, when Aratus, the exiled son of a former magistrate of Sicyon, overthrew the tyranny in his native city and brought it into the Achaean League. Since the Sicyonians were of Dorian and Ionian origin, their inclusion opened the League for other national elements. Aratus only twenty years old became the leading politician of the League. In the thirty two years between 245 and his death in 213, Aratus would hold the office of general a total of sixteen times. At this time, Central Greece and the Peloponnese were dominated by the Macedonian Kingdom of Antigonus II Gonatas who maintained garrisons at key strategic points such as Chalcis and Acrocorinth, the so-called "fetters of Greece".
In other cities of the Peloponnese, namely Argos and Megalopolis, Antigonus had installed friendly rulers who were perceived as tyrants by the Achaeans. Aratus, who had lost his father by the hands of such a man, called for the liberation of these cities and secured financial support for the League from Ptolemy II of Egypt, an enemy of the Antigonids, he used the money to challenge the Macedonian hold on the Peloponnese. Aratus' greatest success came when he captured Corinth and the fortress of Acrocorinth in 243 BC in a daring night attack; this blocked Macedonian access to the Peloponnese by land, isolating their allies at Megalopolis and Argos. In light of this success, a number of Greek communities, including Epidaurus and Megara joined the League and Ptolemy III increased Egypt's support for the Achaeans, being elected as the League's hegemon in return. Antigonus Gonatas made peace with the Achaean League in a treaty of 240 BC, ceding the territories that he had lost in Greece; the increased size of the league meant a bigger citizen army and more wealth, used to hire mercenaries, but it led to hostility from the remaining independent Greek states Elis, the Aetolian League and Sparta, which perceived the Achaeans as a threat.
Corinth was followed by Megalopolis in 235 BC and Argos in 229 BC. However the league soon ran into difficulties with the revived Sparta of Cleomenes III. Aratus was forced to call in the aid of the Macedonian King, Antigonus III Doson, who defeated Cleomenes in Sellasia. Antigonus Doson re-established Macedonian control over much of the region. In 220 BC, the Achaean League entered into a war against the Aetolian League, called the "Social War"; the young king Philip V of Macedon sided with the Achaeans and called for a Panhellenic conference in Corinth, where the Aetolian aggression was condemned. After Aratus's death, the League joined Rome in the Second Macedonian War, which broke Macedonian power in mainland Greece; the Achaean League was one of the main beneficiaries. Under the leadership of Philopoemen, the League was able to defeat a weakened Sparta and take control of the entire Peloponnese; the League's dominance was not to last however. During the Third Macedonian War, the League flirted with the idea of an alliance with Perseus of Macedon, the Romans punished it by taking several hostages to ensure good behavior, including Polybius, the Hellenistic historian who subsequently wrote about the rise of the Roman Republic.
In 146 BC, the league's relations with Rome collapsed, leading to the Achaean War. The Romans under Lucius Mummius defeated the Achaeans at the Battle of Corinth, razed Corinth and dissolved the League. G. T. Griffith has written that Achaean War was "a hopeless enterprise for the Achaeans, badly led and backed by no adequate reserves of money or men." Lucius Mummius received the agnomen Achaicus for his role. The original name Koinon of Achaeans continues to exist in epigraphy, denoting either the previous Peloponnesian members or the whole of Roman Achaea. In c. 120 BC Achaeans of cities in the Peloponnese dedicated an honorary inscription to Olympian Zeus, after a military expedition with Gnaeus Domitius against the Galatians in Gallia Transalpina. In Athens, in AD 221–222, the koinon of Achaeans, when the strategos was Egnatius Brachyllus, decided to send an embassy to the emperor Caracalla The government of
Carthage was the center or capital city of the ancient Carthaginian civilization, on the eastern side of the Lake of Tunis in what is now the Tunis Governorate in Tunisia. The city developed from a Phoenician colony into the capital of a Punic empire dominating the Mediterranean during the first millennium BC; the legendary Queen Dido is regarded as the founder of the city, though her historicity has been questioned. According to accounts by Timaeus of Tauromenium, she purchased from a local tribe the amount of land that could be covered by an oxhide. Cutting the skin into strips, she laid out her claim and founded an empire that would become, through the Punic Wars, the only existential threat to Rome until the coming of the Vandals several centuries later; the ancient city was destroyed by the Roman Republic in the Third Punic War in 146 BC and re-developed as Roman Carthage, which became the major city of the Roman Empire in the province of Africa. The city was sacked and destroyed in the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb in 698.
The site remained uninhabited, the regional power shifting to the Medina of Tunis in the medieval period, until the early 20th century, when it began to develop into a coastal suburb of Tunis, incorporated as Carthage municipality in 1919. The archaeological site was first surveyed by Danish consul Christian Tuxen Falbe. Excavations were performed in the second half of the 19th century by Charles Ernest Beulé and by Alfred Louis Delattre; the Carthage National Museum was founded in 1875 by Cardinal Charles Lavigerie. Excavations performed by French archaeologists in the 1920s first attracted an extraordinary amount of attention because of the evidence they produced for child sacrifice. There has been considerable disagreement among scholars concerning whether or not child sacrifice was practiced by ancient Carthage; the open-air Carthage Paleo-Christian Museum has exhibits excavated under the auspices of UNESCO from 1975 to 1984. The name Carthage /ˈkarθɪdʒ/ is the Early Modern anglicisation of French Carthage /kaʁ.taʒ/, from Latin Carthāgō and Karthāgō from the Punic qrt-ḥdšt "new city", implying it was a "new Tyre".
The Latin adjective pūnicus, meaning "Phoenician", is reflected in English in some borrowings from Latin—notably the Punic Wars and the Punic language. The Modern Standard Arabic form قرطاج is an adoption of French Carthage, replacing an older local toponym reported as Cartagenna that directly continued the Latin name. Carthage was built on a promontory with sea inlets to the south; the city's location made it master of the Mediterranean's maritime trade. All ships crossing the sea had to pass between Sicily and the coast of Tunisia, where Carthage was built, affording it great power and influence. Two large, artificial harbors were built within the city, one for harboring the city's massive navy of 220 warships and the other for mercantile trade. A walled tower overlooked both harbors; the city had 37 km in length, longer than the walls of comparable cities. Most of the walls were located on the shore, thus could be less impressive, as Carthaginian control of the sea made attack from that direction difficult.
The 4.0 to 4.8 km of wall on the isthmus to the west were massive and were never penetrated. The city had a huge necropolis or burial ground, religious area, market places, council house, a theater, was divided into four sized residential areas with the same layout. In the middle of the city stood a high citadel called the Byrsa. Carthage was one of the largest cities of the Hellenistic period and was among the largest cities in preindustrial history. Whereas by AD 14, Rome had at least 750,000 inhabitants and in the following century may have reached 1 million, the cities of Alexandria and Antioch numbered only a few hundred thousand or less. According to the not always reliable history of Herodian, Carthage rivaled Alexandria for second place in the Roman empire. On top of Byrsa hill, the location of the Roman Forum, a residential area from the last century of existence of the Punic city was excavated by the French archaeologist Serge Lancel; the neighborhood, with its houses and private spaces, is significant for what it reveals about daily life there over 2100 years ago.
The remains have been preserved under embankments, the substructures of the Roman forum, whose foundation piles dot the district. The housing blocks are separated by a grid of straight streets about 6 m wide, with a roadway consisting of clay. Construction of this type presupposes organization and political will, has inspired the name of the neighborhood, "Hannibal district", referring to the legendary Punic general or sufet at the beginning of the second century BCE; the habitat is typical stereotypical. The street was used as a storefront/shopfront. In some places, the ground is covered with mosaics called punica pavement, sometimes using a characteristic red mortar; the merchant harbor at Carthage was developed, after settlement of the nearby Punic town of Utica. The surrounding countryside was brought into the orbit of the Punic urban centers, first commercially politically. Direct management over cultivation of neighbouring lands by Punic owners followed. A 28-volume work on agriculture written in Punic by Mago, a retired army general, was trans
Battle of Cannae
The Battle of Cannae was a major battle of the Second Punic War that took place on 2 August 216 BC in Apulia, in southeast Italy. The army of Carthage, under Hannibal and decisively defeated a larger army of the Roman Republic under the consuls Lucius Aemilius Paullus and Gaius Terentius Varro, it is regarded both as one of the greatest tactical feats in military history and as one of the worst defeats in Roman history. Having recovered from their losses at Trebia and Lake Trasimene, the Romans decided to engage Hannibal at Cannae, with 86,000 Roman and allied troops, they massed their heavy infantry in a deeper formation than usual, while Hannibal used the double-envelopment tactic and surrounded his enemy, trapping the majority of the Roman army, who were slaughtered. The loss of life on the Roman side was one of the most lethal single day. Only about 15,000 Romans, most of whom were from the garrisons of the camps and had not taken part in the battle, escaped death. Following the defeat and several other Italian city-states defected from the Roman Republic to Carthage.
As news of this defeat reached Rome, the city was gripped in panic. Authorities resorted to extraordinary measures, which included consulting the Sibylline Oracles, dispatching a delegation led by Quintus Fabius Pictor to consult the Delphic oracle in Greece, burying four people alive as a sacrifice to their Gods. To raise two new legions, the authorities lowered the draft age and enlisted criminals and slaves. Despite the extreme loss of men and equipment, a second massive defeat that same year at Silva Litana, the Romans refused to surrender to Hannibal, his offer to ransom survivors was brusquely refused. With grim determination the Romans fought for 14 more years until they achieved victory at the Battle of Zama. Although for most of the following decades the battle was seen as a major Roman disaster, by modern times Cannae acquired a mythic quality, is used as an example of the perfect defeat of an enemy army, it was studied by German strategists prior to World War II, General Norman Schwartzkopf claimed to have drawn inspiration from Hannibal's success for his devastatingly effective land offensive in the First Gulf War.
Shortly after the start of the Second Punic War, Hannibal crossed into Italy by traversing the Pyrenees and the Alps during the summer and early autumn of 218 BC. He won major victories over the Romans at Trebia and at Lake Trasimene. After these losses, the Romans appointed Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus as dictator to deal with the threat. Fabius used attrition warfare against Hannibal, cutting off his supply lines and avoiding pitched battles; these tactics proved unpopular with the Romans who, as they recovered from the shock of Hannibal's victories, began to question the wisdom of the Fabian strategy, which had given the Carthaginian army a chance to regroup. The majority of Romans were eager to see a quick conclusion to the war, it was feared that, if Hannibal continued plundering Italy unopposed, Rome's allies might defect to the Carthaginian side for self-preservation. Therefore, when Fabius came to the end of his term, the Senate did not renew his dictatorial powers and command was given to consuls Gnaeus Servilius Geminus and Marcus Atilius Regulus.
In 216 BC, when elections resumed, Gaius Terentius Varro and Lucius Aemilius Paullus were elected as consuls, placed in command of a newly raised army of unprecedented size and directed to engage Hannibal. Polybius wrote: The Senate determined to bring eight legions into the field, which had never been done at Rome before, each legion consisting of five thousand men besides allies.... Most of their wars are decided with their quota of allies, but on this occasion, so great was the alarm and terror of what would happen, they resolved to bring not only four but eight legions into the field. Rome employed four legions each year, each consisting of 4,000 foot soldiers and 200 cavalry. Perceiving the Carthaginian army as a real threat, for the first time the Senate introduced eight legions, each consisting of 5,000 foot soldiers and 300 cavalry, with allied troops numbering the same amount of foot soldiers but 900 cavalry per legion—more than triple the legion numbers. Eight legions—some 40,000 Roman soldiers and an estimated 2,400 cavalry—formed the core of this massive new army.
Livy quotes one source stating the Romans added only 10,000 men to their usual army. While no definitive number of Roman troops exists, all sources agree that the Carthaginians faced a larger foe. Consuls were each assigned two of the four legions to command employing all four legions at once to the same assignment. However, the Senate feared a real threat and not only deployed all four legions to the field but all eight, including allies. Ordinarily, each of the two consuls would command his own portion of the army, but since the two armies were combined into one, Roman law required them to alternate their command on a daily basis; the traditional account puts Varro in command on the day of the battle, much of the blame for the defeat has been laid on his shoulders. However, his low origins seem to be exaggerated in the sources, Varro may have been made a scapegoat by the aristocratic establishment, he lacked the powerful descendants that Paullus had, descendants who were willing and able to protect his reputation—most notably, Paullus was the grandfather of Scipio Aemilianus, the patron of Polybius.
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Second Punic War
The Second Punic War referred to as The Hannibalic War and by the Romans the War Against Hannibal, was the second of three wars between Carthage and the Roman Republic, with the participation of Greek polities and Numidian and Iberian forces on both sides. It was one of the deadliest human conflicts of ancient times. Fought across the entire Western Mediterranean region for 17 years and regarded by ancient historians as the greatest war in history, it was waged with unparalleled resources and hatred, it saw hundreds of thousands killed, some of the most lethal battles in military history, the destruction of cities, massacres and enslavements of civilian populations and prisoners of war by both sides. The war began with the Carthaginian general Hannibal's conquest of the pro-Roman Iberian city of Saguntum in 219 BC, prompting a Roman declaration of war on Carthage in the spring of 218. Hannibal surprised the Romans by marching his army overland from Iberia to cross the Alps and invade Roman Italy, followed by his reinforcement by Gallic allies and crushing victories over Roman armies at Trebia in 218 and on the shores of Lake Trasimene in 217.
Moving to southern Italy in 216, Hannibal at Cannae annihilated the largest army the Romans had assembled. After the death or imprisonment of 130,000 Roman troops in two years, 40% of Rome's Italian allies defected to Carthage, giving her control over most of southern Italy. Macedon and Syracuse joined the Carthaginian side after Cannae and the conflict spread to Greece and Sicily. From 215–210 the Carthaginian army and navy launched repeated amphibious assaults to capture Roman Sicily and Sardinia but were repulsed. Against Hannibal's skill on the battlefield, the Romans adopted the Fabian strategy – the avoidance of battle against Hannibal and defeating his allies and the other Carthaginian generals instead. Roman armies recaptured all of the great cities that had joined Carthage and defeated a Carthaginian attempt to reinforce Hannibal at Metaurus in 207. Southern Italy was devastated by the combatants, with hundreds of thousands of civilians killed or enslaved. In Iberia, which served as a major source of silver and manpower for the Carthaginian army, a Roman expeditionary force under Publius Cornelius Scipio captured Carthago Nova, Carthage's capital city in Iberia, in 209.
Scipio's destruction of a Carthaginian army at Ilipa in 206 permanently ended Carthaginian rule in Iberia. He invaded Carthaginian Africa in 204, inflicting two severe defeats on Carthage and her allies at Utica and the Great Plains that compelled the Carthaginian senate to recall Hannibal's army from Italy; the final engagement between Scipio and Hannibal took place at Zama in Africa in 202 and resulted in Hannibal's defeat and the imposition of harsh peace conditions on Carthage, which ceased to be a great power and became a Roman client state until its final destruction by the Romans in 146 BC during the Third Punic War. The Second Punic War overthrew the established balance of power of the ancient world and Rome rose to become the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin for the next 600 years. Carthage's defeat in the First Punic War meant the loss of Carthaginian Sicily to Rome under the terms of the Roman-dictated 241 BC Treaty of Lutatius. Rome exploited Carthage's distraction during the Truceless War against rebellious mercenaries and Libyan subjects to break the peace treaty and annex Carthaginian Sardinia and Corsica to Rome in 238 BC.
Under the leadership of Hamilcar Barca and his family, Carthage defeated the rebels and began the Barcid conquest of Hispania from 237 BC onward. Control over Spain gave Carthage the silver mines, agricultural wealth, military facilities such as shipyards and territorial depth to stand up to future Roman demands with confidence; the Second Punic War was ignited by the dispute over the hegemony of Saguntum, a Hellenized Iberian coastal city with diplomatic contacts with Rome. After great tension within the city government, culminating in the assassination of the supporters of Carthage, Hannibal laid siege to the city of Saguntum in 219 BC; the city called for Roman aid. Following a prolonged siege of eight months and a bloody struggle, in which Hannibal himself was wounded, the Carthaginians took control of the city. Many of the Saguntians chose to commit suicide rather than face subjugation by the Carthaginians; the loss of Saguntum as a potential base of operations in Carthaginian Iberia was a serious setback to the main Roman strategic objective in Spain: the eviction of the Carthaginians from the peninsula.
The Roman Senate sent an embassy to the Carthaginian Senate that declared war on Carthage in early 218 BC over the attack on Rome's Saguntine ally. Before the war and Hasdrubal the Fair had made a treaty. Livy reports that it was agreed that the Iber should be the boundary between the two empires and that the liberty of the Saguntines should be preserved; the highest priority in Carthaginian strategy was to keep the war away from Carthage's agricultural heartland in Africa and protect the property of the wealthy Carthaginian landowners who controlled Carthaginian politics. Spanish mines and sources of manpower comprised the second pillar of the Carthaginian power base and their protection was essential to maintaining Carthage's status as an independent continental great power. Hannibal's invasion of Italy forced the Romans to abandon their intended invasion of Africa and de-prioritize the reinforcement of Roman armies in Spain. Most Roman troops during the war fought in Italy, which became the main theater of the war as a result of Hannibal's offensive.
Africa remained undisturbed by a Roman invasion army until 204 BC and the Roman military presence in Spain was confined to its northeastern corn
Philopoemen was a skilled Greek general and statesman, Achaean strategos on eight occasions. From the time he was appointed as strategos in 209 BC, Philopoemen helped turn the Achaean League into an important military power in Greece, he was called "the last of the Greeks" by an anonymous Roman. The son of Craugis of Megalopolis, his father died early in his life, he was adopted by an important citizen of Megalopolis, Cleander. Philopoemen was educated by academic philosophers Demophanes. Both were Megapolitans, who had helped to depose previous tyrants of Megalopolis and Cyrene. Thus, he was inculcated with notions of democracy. Philopoemen strove to emulate the 4th-century BC Theban statesman, Epaminondas. Philopoemen believed that as a public servant, personal virtue was at all times a necessary condition. So Philopoemen wore humble garments for the rest of his life. Philopoemen first came to the attention of key Greek politicians when he helped defend Megalopolis against the Spartan king Cleomenes III in 223 BC.
Cleomenes III had seized Megalopolis. Philopoemen was amongst the first defending the city. During the battle, Philopoemen lost his horse and he was wounded, he remained involved in the battle until the end. His actions helped give the citizens of Megalopolis enough time to evacuate the city; the king of Macedonia, Antigonus III Doson was keen to restore Macedonian influence in the Peloponnese for the first time in two decades. In 224 BC, he signed an alliance with the Achaeans, Boeotians and the Acarnanians. With his rear secured by treaties, Antigonus invaded the Peloponnese and drove the Spartans out of Argos, taking Orchomenus and Mantineia in the process; when he advanced against Laconia, Antigonus found that Cleomenes had blocked all the mountain passes except for one. It was there, near Sellasia. Philopoemen commanded a cavalry force, he was supported by Illyrian infantry. When the latter entered into the battle, they were surrounded by the enemy. So Philopoemen launched his own attack. While his forces suffered many casualties, the surprised Spartan forces fled.
In the encounter, Philopoemen's horse fell and he was wounded by a javelin. Yet he continued to fight behind the enemy's lines. In the end the Spartan forces were massacred by the Macedonians and their allies and Cleomenes was forced to flee to Egypt; as the leader of the Achaeans, Philopoemen's actions impressed Antigonus III. He subsequently spent 10 years from 221 BC in Crete as a mercenary captain. Returning to mainland Greece in 210 BC, Philopoemen was appointed commander of the cavalry in the Achaean League. In the same year, in one of the battles associated with the First Macedonian War between Macedonia and the Roman Republic, Philopoemen faced Damophantus, whose army was composed of Aetolians and Eleans, near the Larissa river. During the battle, Damophantus charged directly against Philopoemen with his spear. Bravely, Philopoemen didn't retreat, but waited with his lance, which he mortally thrust into Damophantus' chest; the enemy fled from the battlefield. By this action, Philopoemen's fame increased across Greece.
Philopoemen was appointed strategos of the Achaean League in 209 BC. Philopoemen used his position to modernise and increase the size of the Achaean army and updated the soldiers’ equipment and battle tactics, his efforts to make the Achaeans an effective fighting force bore fruit a couple of years later. In the years following the defeat of the Spartan king Cleomenes III at the Battle of Sellasia, Sparta experienced a power vacuum that led to the Spartan kingship being bestowed on a child, for whom Machanidas ruled as regent; the Battle of Mantinea was fought in 207 BC between the Spartans led by Machanidas and the Achaean League, whose forces were led by Philopoemen. The Achaeans defeated the Spartans. In the battle, Philopoemen killed the Spartan ruler Machanidas in one-on-one combat. Afterward, the Achaeans erected at Delphi a bronze statue which captured the fight between Machanidas and Philopoemen. With his victory at Mantinea, Philopoemen was able to go on to capture Tegea, move with his army as far as the Eurotas River.
Following Machanidas' death, Nabis, a nobleman from the royal house of the Eurypontids, a descendant of King Demaratus, rose to power in Sparta and became the new regent for Pelops. Nabis soon overthrew Pelops. Under Nabis, Sparta continued to trouble the Peloponnese. In 205 BC, Philip V of Macedon made a temporary peace with Rome on favourable terms for Macedonia thus ending the First Macedonian War. After the Peace, Nabis went to war against the Achaean League. However, Philopoemen was able to expel Nabis from Messene. Philopoemen was appointed strategos for the Achaean League between 201 and 199 BC. In 201 BC, Nabis captured Messene. However, the Spartans were forced to retreat when the Achaean League army under Philopoemen intervened. Nabis' forces were decisively defeated at Tegea by Philopoemen and Nabis was forced to check his expansionist ambitions for the time being; the Cretan city of Gortyna asked for Philopoemen's help. So in 199 BC Philopoemen returned to Crete again as a mercenary leader.
Philopoemen had to change his tactics as the fighting on the island was more in the style of guerrilla warfare. Nonetheless, with Philopoemen's experience, he was able to defeat his enemies. Philopoemen spent six years in Crete. In the meantime, Nabis took advantage of Philopoemen's absence, laying siege to Megalopolis for a
Sparta was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece. In antiquity the city-state was known as Lacedaemon, while the name Sparta referred to its main settlement on the banks of the Eurotas River in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. Around 650 BC, it rose to become the dominant military land-power in ancient Greece. Given its military pre-eminence, Sparta was recognized as the leading force of the unified Greek military during the Greco-Persian Wars. Between 431 and 404 BC, Sparta was the principal enemy of Athens during the Peloponnesian War, from which it emerged victorious, though at a great cost of lives lost. Sparta's defeat by Thebes in the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC ended Sparta's prominent role in Greece. However, it maintained its political independence until the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 BC, it underwent a long period of decline in the Middle Ages, when many Spartans moved to live in Mystras. Modern Sparta is the capital of the Greek regional unit of Laconia and a center for the processing of goods such as citrus and olives.
Sparta was unique in ancient Greece for its social system and constitution, which configured their entire society to maximize military proficiency at all costs, focused on military training and excellence. Its inhabitants were classified as Spartiates, mothakes and helots. Spartiates underwent the rigorous agoge training and education regimen, Spartan phalanges were considered to be among the best in battle. Spartan women enjoyed more rights and equality to men than elsewhere in the classical antiquity. Sparta was the subject of fascination in its own day, as well as in Western culture following the revival of classical learning; this love or admiration of Sparta is known as Laconophilia. At its peak around 500 BC the size of the city would have been some 20,000–35,000 citizens, plus numerous helots and perioikoi; the total of 40,000–50,000 made Sparta one of the largest Greek cities. The French classicist François Ollier in his 1933 book Le mirage spartiate warned that a major scholarly problem regarding Sparta is that all the surviving accounts were written by non-Spartans who presented an excessively idealized image of Sparta.
The earliest attested term referring to Lacedaemon is the Mycenaean Greek, ra-ke-da-mi-ni-jo, "Lacedaimonian", written in Linear B syllabic script, being the equivalent of the written in the Greek alphabet, latter Greek, Λακεδαιμόνιος, Lakedaimonios. The ancient Greeks used one of three words to refer to the home location of the Spartans; the first refers to the main cluster of settlements in the valley of the Eurotas River: Sparta. The second word was Lacedaemon. Herodotus seems to denote by it the Mycenaean Greek citadel at Therapne, in contrast to the lower town of Sparta, it could be used synonymously with Sparta, but it was not. It denoted the terrain. In Homer it is combined with epithets of the countryside: wide, lovely and most hollow and broken; the hollow suggests the Eurotas Valley. Sparta on the other hand is the country of a people epithet; the name of the population was used for the state of Lacedaemon: the Lacedaemonians. This epithet utilized the plural of the adjective Lacedaemonius.
If the ancients wished to refer to the country more directly, instead of Lacedaemon, they could use a back-formation from the adjective: Lacedaemonian country. As most words for "country" were feminine, the adjective was in the feminine: Lacedaemonia; the adjective came to be used alone. "Lacedaemonia" was not in general use during the classical period and before. It does occur in Greek as an equivalent of Laconia and Messenia during the Roman and early Byzantine periods in ethnographers and lexica glossing place names. For example, Hesychius of Alexandria's Lexicon defines Agiadae as a "place in Lacedaemonia" named after Agis; the actual transition may be captured by Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae, an etymological dictionary. He relied on Orosius' Historiarum Adversum Paganos and Eusebius of Caesarea's Chronicon as did Orosius; the latter defines Sparta to be Lacedaemonia Civitas but Isidore defines Lacedaemonia as founded by Lacedaemon, son of Semele, relying on Eusebius. There is a rare use the earliest of Lacedaemonia, in Diodorus Siculus, but with Χὠρα suppressed.
The immediate area around the town of Sparta, the plateau east of the Taygetos mountains, was referred as Laconice. This term was sometimes used to refer to all the regions under direct Spartan control, including Messenia. Lakedaimona was until 2006 the name of a province in the modern Greek prefecture of Laconia. Sparta is located in the south-eastern Peloponnese. Ancient Sparta was built on the banks of the Eurotas River, the main river of Laconia, which provided it with a source of fresh water; the valley of the Eurotas is a natural fo
For the English football league, see Aetolian League. The Aetolian League was a confederation of tribal communities and cities in ancient Greece centered in Aetolia in central Greece, it was established during the early Hellenistic era, in opposition to Macedon and the Achaean League. Two annual meetings were held at the Panaetolika, it occupied Delphi from 290 BC and gained territory 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, Dolopes, part of Thessaly and Acarnania. In the latter part of its power, certain Greek city-states joined the Aetolian League such as the Arcadian cities of Mantineia, Tegea and Kydonia on Crete. During the classical period the Aetolians were not regarded by other Greeks, who considered them to be semi-barbaric and reckless, their League had a complex political and administrative structure, their armies were 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.
Still, 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. The Aetolians were a recognised ethnic group with a religious centre at Thermos from at least the seventh century BC. During the Peloponnesian War, the Aetolians were neutral, but when the Athenians tried to invade Aetolia in 426 BC, the Aetolians forced them to retreat. In the course of the fourth century, the league offered passive support to more powerful states and was rewarded for it, receiving Aeolis from the Thebans in 367 BC and Naupactus from Philip of Macedon in 338 BC. Sometime in this century, the League of the Aetolians was founded. One suggestion is that the league was founded by Epaminondas in 367 B. C. Grainger believes that it was founded much around the time of the rise of Philip II of Macedon. Archaeology indicates that settlements in Aetolia began to grow in size and complexity over the course of this century. After the death of Philip II in 336 BC, the Aetolians joined the Thebans in opposing Alexander the Great and the stress of their defeat caused the league to implode.
Over the next decade it seems to have been reconstituted and in the years of Alexander's reign the Aetolians seized Oeniadae against his will. The Aetolian League joined the Athenians in the Lamian war against Antipater which broke out after Alexander's death and continued to oppose Macedonian power throughout the Wars of the Diadochi, participating in invasions of Macedon in 320, 316/5 and 313 BC. Around 301 BC, the Aetolians took control of Parnassus, including the panhellenic sanctuary of Delphi, which they would continue to control for over a century. Demetrius Poliorcetes launched the Fifth Sacred War in an attempt to remove them, but was defeated and driven from Macedonia altogether with the help of Pyrrhus of Epirus. A Sixth Sacred War, led by Areus I was rebuffed by the Aetolians alone and in 280 BC, they took control of Heraclea in Trachis, which gave them control over the crucial pass at Thermopylae. 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 Social War, the Aetolian League fought against the Kingdom of Macedonia. Philip V of Macedon invaded Aetolia and sacked the city of Thermos as a response to the Aetolians' invasion at the city of Dodona in Epirus; the league was the first Greek ally of the Roman Republic, siding with the Romans during the First Macedonian War, helping to defeat Philip V of Macedon at the Battle of Cynoscephalae in 197 BC, during the Second Macedonian War. However, it grew hostile to Roman involvement in Greek affairs and only a few years 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. 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.
The league had a federal structure, which could raise armies and conduct foreign policy on a common basis. It implemented economic standardization, levying taxes, using a common currency and adopting a uniform system of weights and measures. There may not have been any central archive of state documents. However, the constituent communities of the league enjoyed substantial autonomy. At times the league was unable to prevent its members from undertaking military actions against states that had treaties with it; the league members were grouped together in a number of districts, which seem to have had administrative and juridical powers of some sort. The league's central administrative apparatus consisted of an assembly, a council, a number of magistrates; the Assembly was open to all citizens of all member communities of the league. The assembly was the ultimate authority within the league, with responsibility for declarations of war and peace, but its power was limited by the infrequency with which it met.
Two meetings took place a year, one at the Thermica festival which wa