In Greek mythology, Peleus was a hero whose myth was known to the hearers of Homer in the late 8th century BC. Peleus was the son of Aeacus, king of the island of Aegina, Endeïs, the oread of Mount Pelion in Thessaly, he married the sea-nymph Thetis with. Peleus and his brother Telamon were friends of Heracles, served in Heracles' expedition against the Amazons, his war against King Laomedon, his quest for the Golden Fleece alongside Jason and the Argonauts. Though there were no further kings in Aegina, the kings of Epirus claimed descent from Peleus in the historic period. Peleus and his brother Telamon killed their half-brother Phokos in a hunting accident and in an unthinking moment, fled Aegina to escape punishment. In Phthia, Peleus was purified by Eurytion and married Antigone, Eurytion's daughter, by whom he had a daughter, Polydora. Eurytion received the barest mention among the Argonauts "yet not together, nor from one place, for they dwelt far apart and distant from Aigina. Peleus was purified of the murder of Eurytion in Iolcus by Acastus.
Astydameia, Acastus' wife, fell in love with Peleus but he scorned her. Bitter, she sent a messenger to Antigone to tell her; as a result, Antigone hanged herself. Astydameia told Acastus that Peleus had tried to rape her. Acastus took Peleus on a hunting trip and hid his sword abandoned him right before a group of centaurs attacked. Chiron, the wise centaur, or, according to another source, returned Peleus' sword with magical powers and Peleus managed to escape, he pillaged Iolcus and dismembered Astydameia marched his army between the rended limbs. Acastus and Astydamia were dead and the kingdom fell to Jason's son, Thessalus. After Antigone's death, Peleus married the sea-nymph Thetis, he was able to win her with the aid of Proteus, who told Peleus how to overcome Thetis' ability to change her form. Their wedding feast was attended by many of the Olympian gods; as a wedding present, Poseidon gave Peleus two immortal horses: Xanthus. During the feast, Eris, in revenge for not being invited, produced the Apple of Discord, which started the quarrel that led to the Judgement of Paris and the Trojan War.
The marriage of Peleus and Thetis produced seven sons. The only surviving son was Achilles. Thetis attempted to render her son Achilles invulnerable. In the well-known version, she dipped him in the River Styx, holding him by one heel, which remained vulnerable. In an early and less popular version of the story, Thetis anointed the boy in ambrosia and put him on top of a fire to burn away the mortal parts of his body, she was interrupted by Peleus and she abandoned both father and son in a rage, leaving his heel vulnerable. A nearly identical story is told by Plutarch, in his On Isis and Osiris, of the goddess Isis burning away the mortality of Prince Maneros of Byblos, son of Queen Astarte, being interrupted before completing the process. On in life, Achilles is killed by Paris when he is shot in his vulnerable spot, the heel; this is. Peleus gave Achilles to the centaur Chiron. In the Iliad, Achilles uses Peleus' immortal horses and wields his father's spear. Though the tomb of Aeacus remained in a shrine enclosure in the most conspicuous part of the port city, a quadrangular enclosure of white marble sculpted with bas-reliefs, in the form in which Pausanias saw it, with the tumulus of Phocus nearby, there was no temenos of Peleus at Aegina.
Two versions of Peleus' fate account for this. In antiquity, according to a fragment of Callimachus' lost Aitia, there was a tomb of Peleus in Ikos, an island of the northern Sporades, and there was his tomb, according to a poem in the Greek Anthology. The only other reference to veneration of Peleus comes from the Christian Clement of Alexandria, in his polemical Exhortation to the Greeks. Clement attributes his source to a "collection of marvels" by a certain "Monimos" of whom nothing is known, claims, in pursuit of his thesis that daimon-worshipers become as cruel as their gods, that in "Pella of Thessaly human sacrifice is offered to Peleus and Cheiron, the victim being an Achaean". Of this, the continuing association of Peleus and Chiron is the most dependable detail. A Peleus by Sophocles is lost, he appears as a character in Euripides' tragedy Andromache. Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke I, ix, 16 and III, ix,2 and xii, 6- xiii,7. Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica IV,805- 879 Ovid, Metamorphoses VIII, 299-381.
Homer, Iliad XVIII, 78-87.
Phoenix (son of Amyntor)
In Greek mythology, Phoenix was the son of king Amyntor, a king of the Dolopians. Phoenix, on the urgings of his mother had sex with his father's concubine. Amyntor, discovering this, called upon the Erinyes to curse him with childlessness. In accounts of the story, Phoenix was falsely accused by Amyntor's concubine, blinded by his father, but Chiron restored his sight. Phoenix fled to Peleus, the king of Phthia, Achilles' father, where Pelleus made Phoenix a king of the Dolopians, gave him the young Achilles to raise. Phoenix participated in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar, was said to have given Achilles' son the name Neoptolemus; as an old man he accompanied Achilles to the Trojan War. By some accounts, after Achilles died, Phoenix was one of those sent to fetch Neoptolemus from Scyros. On his way home from Troy, Phoenix was buried by Neoptolemus, his tomb was said to be either in Trachis, Thessaly. Phoenix plays an important role in Book 9 of the Iliad of Homer. Achilles, the Greeks' greatest warrior, has withdrawn from the war because of his great anger at his ill treatment by the Greek commander Agamemnon.
Phoenix, in charge of Achilles upbringing, now an old man, has accompanied Achilles to the Trojan War. Phoenix is sent by Agamemnon to Achilles' tent, as part of an embassy with Ajax and Odysseus, to persuade Achilles to return to the battle. Odysseus speaks first, presenting Agamemnon's offer of reconciliation, an appeal which Achilles rejects utterly, saying that he will leave with his ships the next morning. Phoenix, "bursting into tears", pleads passionately with Achilles to put down his anger and return to the war. In a long speech covering 172 lines, Phoenix's speech presents an "exposition of heroic, traditional ethics". Phoenix begins by reminding Achilles. Phoenix's father was Amyntor, the son of Ormenus, a king in Hellas; when Amyntor forsook his wife, Phoenix's mother, for a concubine, at the urging of his jealous mother, Phoenix had sex with Amyntor's concubine. To punish this crime Amyntor called upon the Erinyes to curse Phoenix with childlessness. Outraged Phoenix intended to kill Amyntor, but was dissuaded.
Instead he decided to leave his father's kingdom. For nine days some of his friends and family kept watch over him to prevent his leaving, but on the tenth day he managed to escape, fleeing through Hellas, Phoenix came to Phthia, where king Peleus, the father of Achilles, took in Phoenix, treated him like a son. Peleus made Phoenix a king of the Dolopians, and Phoenix was given charge of the young Achilles. Having reminded Achilles of all this, Phoenix asks Achilles to "master thy proud spirit. Nay the gods can bend". Phoenix next relates two stories meant to persuade Achilles; the first story concerns daughters of Zeus, who follow along after Ate. This story is meant to show Achilles the dangers inherant in refusing prayers of supplication. After telling the story, Phoenix again asks Achilles to "cast aside thine anger" and heed the supplication of his comrads in arms and return to the battle. Phoenix reminds Achilles' that heroes of old, in their wrath, might be won over by gifts and pleadings.
He recounts the story of the hero Meleager, with its many parallels to Achilles' situation. Like Achilles, Meleager has withdrawn from battle in anger. Offering gifts, his friends and family beg Meleager to return to the battle, but when his own household is threatened heeding the pleas of his wife, he returns to the battle, but received no gifts and honors, for doing so. Phoenix urges Achilles not to be like Meleager, but to accept the gifts and honors Agammenon has offered, before it is too late, but Achilles says he has honor enough already. Further he admonishes Phoenix "not to confound my spirit by weeping and sorrowing," on Agamemnon's behalf. Achiles invites Phoenix to stay the night "and at break of day we will take counsel whether to return to our own or to tarry here."Brief mentions of Phoenix appear in Books 16, 17, 19, 23. In Book 16 Phoenix leads a company of Myrmidons into battle. In Book 17, Athena takes Phoenix's form. In Book 19, Phoenix is among those comforting Achilles in his tent after the death of Patroclus.
In Book 23, Phoenix is an umpire in Patroclus' funeral games. Besides the Iliad a few other mentions of Phoenix, from the epic tradition, are found in the Epic Cycle, a collection of epic poems about the Trojan War. According to scholia to Iliad 19, citing the Epic Cycle, prior to the Trojan War, Phoenix was sent with Odysseus and Nestor to seek out Achilles to recruit him for the war. According to the Cypria, Achilles' son Neoptolemus named Pyrrhus, was given the name Neoptolemus by Phoenix, because Achilles was a young man when he went to war. According to Proclus' summary of the Nostoi Phoenix, while traveling home from the Trojan War with Neoptolemus and was buried by Neoptolemus; the late sixth-century early fifth-century BC poet Pindar mentioned Phoenix, saying that he "held a throng of Dolopians, bold in the use of the sling and bringing aid to the missiles of the Danaans, tamers of horses." Phoenix appeared as a character in tragedian Aeschylus' lost play Myrmidons, which included an embassy scene, Phoenix's attempt to persuade Achilles to put aside his a
Plutarch named, upon becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, was a Greek biographer and essayist, known for his Parallel Lives and Moralia. He is classified as a Middle Platonist. Plutarch's surviving works were intended for both Greek and Roman readers. Plutarch was born to a prominent family in the small town of Chaeronea, about 80 kilometres east of Delphi, in the Greek region of Boeotia, his family was wealthy. The name of Plutarch's father has not been preserved, but based on the common Greek custom of repeating a name in alternate generations, it was Nikarchus; the name of Plutarch's grandfather was Lamprias, as he attested in Moralia and in his Life of Antony. His brothers and Lamprias, are mentioned in his essays and dialogues, which speak of Timon in particular in the most affectionate terms. Rualdus, in his 1624 work Life of Plutarchus, recovered the name of Plutarch's wife, from internal evidence afforded by his writings. A letter is still extant, addressed by Plutarch to his wife, bidding her not to grieve too much at the death of their two-year-old daughter, named Timoxena after her mother.
He hinted at a belief in reincarnation in that letter of consolation. The exact number of his sons is not certain, although two of them and the second Plutarch, are mentioned. Plutarch's treatise De animae procreatione in Timaeo is dedicated to them, the marriage of his son Autobulus is the occasion of one of the dinner parties recorded in the "Table Talk". Another person, Soklarus, is spoken of in terms which seem to imply that he was Plutarch's son, but this is nowhere stated, his treatise on marriage questions, addressed to Eurydice and Pollianus, seems to speak of the latter as having been an inmate of his house, but without any clear evidence on whether she was his daughter or not. Plutarch studied mathematics and philosophy at the Academy of Athens under Ammonius from 66 to 67. At some point, Plutarch received Roman citizenship; as evidenced by his new name, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, his sponsor for citizenship was Lucius Mestrius Florus, a Roman of consular status whom Plutarch used as a historical source for his Life of Otho.
He lived most of his life at Chaeronea, was initiated into the mysteries of the Greek god Apollo. For many years Plutarch served as one of the two priests at the temple of Apollo at Delphi, the site of the famous Delphic Oracle, twenty miles from his home. By his writings and lectures Plutarch became a celebrity in the Roman Empire, yet he continued to reside where he was born, participated in local affairs serving as mayor. At his country estate, guests from all over the empire congregated for serious conversation, presided over by Plutarch in his marble chair. Many of these dialogues were recorded and published, the 78 essays and other works which have survived are now known collectively as the Moralia. In addition to his duties as a priest of the Delphic temple, Plutarch was a magistrate at Chaeronea and he represented his home town on various missions to foreign countries during his early adult years. Plutarch held the office of archon in his native municipality only an annual one which he served more than once.
He undertook the humblest of duties. The Suda, a medieval Greek encyclopedia, states that Emperor Trajan made Plutarch procurator of Illyria. However, most historians consider this unlikely, since Illyria was not a procuratorial province, Plutarch did not speak Illyrian. According to the 8th/9th-century historian George Syncellus, late in Plutarch's life, Emperor Hadrian appointed him nominal procurator of Achaea – which entitled him to wear the vestments and ornaments of a consul. Plutarch spent the last thirty years of his life serving as a priest in Delphi, he thus connected part of his literary work with the sanctuary of Apollo, the processes of oracle-giving and the personalities who lived or traveled there. One of his most important works is the "Why Pythia does not give oracles in verse". More important is the dialogue "On the E in Delphi", which features Ammonius, a Platonic philosopher and teacher of Plutarch, Lambrias, Plutarch's brother. According to Ammonius, the letter E written on the temple of Apollo in Delphi originated from the following fact: the wise men of antiquity, whose maxims were written on the walls of the vestibule of the temple, were not seven but five: Chilon, Thales and Pittakos.
However, the tyrants Cleobulos and Periandros used their political power in order to be incorporated in the list. Thus, the E, which corresponds to number 5, constituted an acknowledgment that the Delphic maxims originated from the five real wise men; the portrait of a philosopher exhibited at the exit of the Archaeological Museum of Delphi, dating to the 2nd century AD, had been in the past identified with Plutarch. The man, although bearded, is depicted at a young age, his hair and beard are rendered in thin incisions. The gaze is due to the heavy eyelids and the incised pupils; the portrait is no longer thought to represent Plutarch. But a fragmentary hermaic stele next to the portrait did once bear a portrait of Plutarch, since it is inscribed, "The Delphians along with the Chaeroneans dedicated this to Plutarch, following the precepts of the Amphictyony". Plutarc
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology
The Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology is an encyclopedia/biographical dictionary. Edited by William Smith, the dictionary spans 3,700 pages, it is a classic work of 19th-century lexicography. The work is a companion to Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities and Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography; the work lists thirty-five authors in addition to the editor, an author for some definitions and articles. The authors were classical scholars from Oxford, Rugby School, the University of Bonn, but some were from other institutions. Many of the mythological entries were the work of the German expatriate Leonhard Schmitz, who helped to popularise German classical scholarship in Britain. With respect to biographies, Smith intended to be comprehensive. In the preface, he writes:The biographical articles in this work include the names of all persons of any importance which occur in the Greek and Roman writers, from the earliest times down to the extinction of the Western Empire in the year 476 of our era, to the extinction of the Eastern Empire by the capture of Constantinople by the turks in the year 1453.
Samuel Sharpe thought Edward Bunbury had plagiarised his work, as he wrote of in his diary entry on 3 September 1850: I felt mortified on reading the articles on the Ptolemies in Dr. Smith's "Dictionary of Classical Biography." They were all written by E. H. Bunbury with the help of my "History of Egypt," and with-out any acknowledgment, though he borrowed the volume from my brother Dan for the purpose. Many of the Dictionary's definitions and articles have been referred to in more recent works, Robert Graves has been accused of "lifting his impressive-looking source references straight, unchecked" from it when writing The Greek Myths; the work is now in the public domain, is available in several places on the Internet. While still accurate, much is missing more recent discoveries and epigraphic material. More the context in which ancient evidence is viewed has changed in the intervening century and a half. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
Vol. I online at University of Michigan Library. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. II online at University of Michigan Library. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. III online at University of Michigan Library; the Internet Archive has a derivative work: Smith, William. A new classical dictionary of biography and geography based on the "Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology.". London: Murray. Anthon, Charles. A new classical dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and geography: based upon the Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology by William Smith. New York: Harper and Brothers
William Smith (lexicographer)
Sir William Smith was an English lexicographer. He made advances in the teaching of Greek and Latin in schools. Smith was born in Enfield in 1813 of Nonconformist parents, he attended the Madras House school of John Allen in Hackney. Destined for a theological career, he instead was articled to a solicitor. In his spare time he taught himself classics, when he entered University College London he carried off both the Greek and Latin prizes, he was entered at Gray's Inn in 1830, but gave up his legal studies for a post at University College School and began to write on classical subjects. Smith next turned his attention to lexicography, his first attempt was A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, which appeared in 1842, the greater part being written by him. Followed the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology in 1849. A parallel Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography appeared in 1857, with some leading scholars of the day associated with the task. In 1867, he became editor of a post he held until his death.
Meanwhile, he published the first of several school dictionaries in 1850, in 1853 he began the Principia series, which marked an advance in the school teaching of Greek and Latin. Came the Student's Manuals of History and Literature, of which the English literature volume went into 13 editions, he himself wrote the Greek history volume. He was joined in the venture by the publisher John Murray when the original publishing partner met difficulties. Murray was the publisher of the 1214-page Latin–English Dictionary based upon the works of Forcellini and Freund that Smith completed in 1855; this was periodically reissued over the next thirty-five years. It goes beyond "classical" Latin to include many entries not found in other dictionaries of the period, including Lewis and Short; the most important of the books Smith edited were those that dealt with ecclesiastical subjects. These were the Dictionary of the Bible; the Atlas, on which Sir George Grove collaborated, appeared in 1875. From 1853 to 1869 Smith was classical examiner to the University of London, on his retirement he became a member of the Senate.
He sat on the Committee to inquire into questions of copyright, was for several years registrar of the Royal Literary Fund. He edited Gibbon, with Guizot's and Milman's notes, in 1854–1855. Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology Smith was created a DCL by Oxford and Dublin, the honour of a knighthood was conferred on him in 1892, he died on 7 October 1893 in London. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Smith, Sir William". Encyclopædia Britannica. 25. Cambridge University Press. Pp. 270–271. Works by William Smith at Project Gutenberg Works by or about William Smith at Internet Archive "Smith, Sir William". A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. 1910 – via Wikisource. A Short History of Ancient Greece with notes, study links and illustration by Elpenor Online facsimile version of Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology Online facsimile version of Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities
Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20, he spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful military commanders. During his youth, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until age 16. After Philip's assassination in 336 BC, he succeeded his father to the throne and inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. Alexander was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his father's pan-Hellenic project to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia. In 334 BC, he began a series of campaigns that lasted 10 years. Following the conquest of Anatolia, Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela.
He subsequently overthrew Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety. At that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River, he endeavored to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea" and invaded India in 326 BC, winning an important victory over the Pauravas at the Battle of the Hydaspes. He turned back at the demand of his homesick troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city that he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in the establishment of several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexander's surviving generals and heirs. Alexander's legacy includes the cultural diffusion and syncretism which his conquests engendered, such as Greco-Buddhism, he founded some twenty cities. Alexander's settlement of Greek colonists and the resulting spread of Greek culture in the east resulted in a new Hellenistic civilization, aspects of which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-15th century AD and the presence of Greek speakers in central and far eastern Anatolia until the 1920s.
Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics, he is ranked among the most influential people in history. Alexander was born on the sixth day of the ancient Greek month of Hekatombaion, which corresponds to 20 July 356 BC, although the exact date is disputed, in Pella, the capital of the Kingdom of Macedon, he was the son of the king of Macedon, Philip II, his fourth wife, the daughter of Neoptolemus I, king of Epirus. Although Philip had seven or eight wives, Olympias was his principal wife for some time because she gave birth to Alexander. Several legends surround Alexander's childhood. According to the ancient Greek biographer Plutarch, on the eve of the consummation of her marriage to Philip, Olympias dreamed that her womb was struck by a thunder bolt that caused a flame to spread "far and wide" before dying away.
Sometime after the wedding, Philip is said to have seen himself, in a dream, securing his wife's womb with a seal engraved with a lion's image. Plutarch offered a variety of interpretations of these dreams: that Olympias was pregnant before her marriage, indicated by the sealing of her womb. Ancient commentators were divided about whether the ambitious Olympias promulgated the story of Alexander's divine parentage, variously claiming that she had told Alexander, or that she dismissed the suggestion as impious. On the day Alexander was born, Philip was preparing a siege on the city of Potidea on the peninsula of Chalcidice; that same day, Philip received news that his general Parmenion had defeated the combined Illyrian and Paeonian armies, that his horses had won at the Olympic Games. It was said that on this day, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, burnt down; this led Hegesias of Magnesia to say that it had burnt down because Artemis was away, attending the birth of Alexander.
Such legends may have emerged when Alexander was king, at his own instigation, to show that he was superhuman and destined for greatness from conception. In his early years, Alexander was raised by a nurse, sister of Alexander's future general Cleitus the Black. In his childhood, Alexander was tutored by the strict Leonidas, a relative of his mother, by Lysimachus of Acarnania. Alexander was raised in the manner of noble Macedonian youths, learning to read, play the lyre, ride and hunt; when Alexander was ten years old, a trader from Thessaly brought Philip a horse, which he offered to sell for thirteen talents. The horse refused to be mounted, Philip ordered it away. Alexander however, detecting the horse's fear of its own shadow, asked to tame the horse, which he managed. Plutarch stated that Philip, overjoyed at this display of courage and ambition, kissed his son tearfully, declaring: "My boy, you must find a kingdom big enough for your ambitions. Macedon is too small for you", an
Acarnania is a region of west-central Greece that lies along the Ionian Sea, west of Aetolia, with the Achelous River for a boundary, north of the gulf of Calydon, the entrance to the Gulf of Corinth. Today it forms the western part of the regional unit of Aetolia-Acarnania; the capital and principal city in ancient times was Stratos. The north side of Acarnania of the Corinthian Gulf was considered part of the region of Epirus. Acarnania's foundation in Greek mythology was traditionally ascribed to son of Alcmaeon; the name of Acarnania appears to have been unknown in the earliest times. Homer only calls the country opposite Ithaca and Cephalonia, under the general name of "Epeirus", or the mainland, although he mentions the Aetolians; the country is said to have been inhabited by the Taphii, the Leleges, the Curetes. The Taphii, or Teleboae were chiefly found in the islands off the western coast of Acarnania, where they maintained themselves by piracy; the Leleges were more disseminated, were in possession at one period of Aetolia and other parts of Greece.
The Curetes are said to have come from Aetolia, to have settled in Acarnania, after they had been expelled from the former country by Aetolus and his followers. The name of Acarnania is derived from Acarnan, the son of Alcmaeon, said to have settled at the mouth of the Achelous. If this tradition is of any value, it would intimate that an Argive colony settled on the coast of Acarnania at an early period. In the 7th century BC, Greek influence in the region became prominent when Corinth settled Anactorium and Leucas, Kefalonia settled Astacus; the original inhabitants of the country were driven more into the interior. Settlements in Alyzeia, Limnaea, Oeniadae, Palaerus and Stratus are mentioned by Thucydides, this latter city being the seat of a loose confederation of Acarnanian powers, maintained until the late 1st century BC; the ancient Acarnanians, were Greeks, as such were allowed to contend in the great Pan-Hellenic games, although they were connected with their neighbours, the Agraeans and Amphilochians on the gulf of Ambracian Gulf, who were barbarian or non-Hellenic nations.
Like other rude mountaineers, the Acarnanians are praised for their courage. They formed good light-armed troops, were excellent slingers, they lived, for the most part dispersed in villages, when attacked, to the mountains. Strabo relates that they were united, however, in a political League, of which Aristotle wrote an account in a work now lost. Thucydides mentions a hill, named Olpae, near the Amphilochian Argos, which the Acarnanians had fortified as a place of judicial meeting for the settlement of disputes; the meetings of the League were held at Stratus, the chief town in Acarnania. At an early period, when part of Amphilochia belonged to the Acarnanians, they used to hold a public judicial congress at Olpae, a fortified hill about 3 miles from Argos Amphilochicum. Of the constitution of their League we have scarcely any particulars. We learn from an inscription found at Punta, the site of ancient Actium, that there was a council and a general assembly of the people, by which decrees were passed..
At the head of the League there was a general. The chief priest of the temple of Apollo at Actium seems to have been a person of high rank; because it is located strategically on the maritime route to Italy, Acarnania was involved in many wars. Their hatred against the Corinthian settlers, who had deprived them of all their best ports led the Acarnanians to side with the Athenians; the Acarnanians espoused the cause of the expelled Amphilochians, in order to obtain the restoration of the latter, they applied for assistance to Athens. The Athenians accordingly sent an expedition under Phormio, who took Argos, expelled the Ambraciots, restored the town to the Amphilochians and Acarnanians. An alliance was now formally concluded between the Athenians; the only towns of Acarnania which did not join it were Astacus. The Acarnanians were of great service in maintaining the supremacy of Athens in the western part of Greece, they distinguished themselves in 426 BC, when they gained a signal victory under the command of Demosthenes over the Peloponnesians and Ambraciots at the Battle of Olpae.
At the conclusion of this campaign they concluded a peace with the Ambraciots, although they still continued allies of Athens In 391 BC we find the Acarnanians engaged in war with the Achaeans, who had taken possession of Calydon in Aetolia.