Cultures > Corinthian League

Corinthian League

Background

The League of Corinth, also referred to as the Hellenic League (from Greek Ἑλληνικός Hellenikos, "pertaining to Greece and Greeks"[1][2][3]), was a federation of Greek states created by Philip II[4] during the winter of 338 BC/337 BC after the Battle of Chaeronea and succeeded by Alexander the Great at 336 BC, to facilitate the use of military forces in the war of Greece against Persia.[5] The name 'League of Corinth' was invented by modern historians due to the first council of the League being in Corinth. It was the first time in history that most of the Greek states (with the notable exception of Sparta, which would only later join under Alexander's terms) managed to become part of a single political entity.[6] Earlier, in 346 BC, Isocrates urged Philip (Philppus oration) to unify Greece against the Persians[7]

The League was governed by the Hegemon[8][9][10] (strategos autokrator[11][12] in a military context),[13] the Synedrion[14] (council) and the Dikastai (judges). Decrees of the league were issued in Corinth, Athens, Delphi, Olympia and Pydna.[15] The League maintained an army levied from member states in approximate proportion to their size, while Philip established Hellenic garrisons (commanded by phrourarchs, or garrison commanders) in Corinth, Thebes, Pydna[16] and Ambracia.

The decision for the destruction of Thebes as transgressor of the above oath was taken by the council of the League of Corinth by a large majority.[19] Beyond the violation of the oath, the council judged that with this way, Thebeans were finally punished after a long time because they betrayed the Greeks during the Persian Wars.[20][21] The League is mentioned by Arrian (I, 16, 7), after the Battle of Granicus (334 BC). Alexander sent 300 panoplies to the temple of Pallas Athena in Athens, with the following inscription.

Also, Diodorus Siculus (Βίβλος ΙΖ’ 48.[6]) mentions the Council's decision in 333 BC, after the Battle of Issus, to send ambassadors to Alexander that will bring the Excellence of Greece (Golden Wreath).[23] During 331 BC after the Battle of Megalopolis, Sparta appealed to Alexander for terms, to which he agreed on condition that the Lacedaemonians now joined the League of Corinth.[24] During the Asiatic campaign, Antipater was appointed deputy hegemon of the League[25] while Alexander personally recommended Athenians to turn their attention to things, in case something happens to him, Athens would take over the power in Greece.

The League was dissolved after the Lamian War (322 BC).[27] During 302 BC Antigonus I Monophthalmus and his son Demetrius Poliorcetes tried to revive the federation against Cassander. Antigonus III Doson (king of Macedon from 229 BC to 221 BC) also revived the League against Sparta during 224 BC.

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