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The Nature And Variety Of Late Classical And Early Hellenistic Greek States

1411 words - 6 pages

13. Megalopolitans: The people from Megalopolis in Arcadia in the western Peloponnese. It was in the Achaean League during the time being described. It would have been considered a Polis and as such would not have been seen as just a single entity or brain, rather [The Greeks] ‘saw the relationship between the individual and the state as organic’ (Green, 1993). The nature and variety of late classical and early Hellenistic Greek states were unique. Not one appeared to be the same as any other. One system favoured democracy (Athens), another may favour a diarchy (Sparta) and others may be led by a tyrant. However A polis at this time did not just have to be a big city. A small village on a mountainside could be considered as a polis because it was led by a body of citizens. Poleis arguably started to decline during the Hellenistic period when they relied more and more on benefactors who would contribute wealth to a city in exchange for political power. A polis in Ancient Greek times would have meant more than just a city, rather it would be a territory, and a state; which is why a polis can be described as a city-state.
Aetolians: The Aetolians are from the area of Aetolia which is a mountainous region north of Corinth in central Greece. It was the base of the Aetolian League which was created to rival Macedonia and the Achaean League. By the 340’s it was the leading power in Greece in which Green explains: ‘The Aetolians now controlled most of central Greece’ (Green, 2007). Polybios is heavily anti-Aetolian in his writing, perhaps because Polybios himself was from Megalopolis which was part of the Achaean League, or that he based most of his work for this time (220’s) on Aratus of Sicyon’s memoirs. His father was also a leading Achaean commander (Shipley, 2000). Polybius is known to be quite anti-Aetolian in his views. He was born in Megalopolis, a city part of the Achaean League and his father was a politician in the league. In a lot of his writings he can be seen as very pro-Achaean in many things. For example he attempts to prove that the Aetolians invaded the Peloponnese for a single reason, to plunder. However we know this not to be the case. It is more likely that the Aetolians, reasonably assuming that Philip V would not intervene, thought they would attempt to hold their ally from joining the Achaean League. In these two chapters (thirteen and fourteen), there appears to be little in the way of agenda towards either league. One remark that Polybius makes is that the generals: ‘Scopas and Dorimachus were doing their best to disturb the existing settlement and stir up war’ (Polybius, ch13). In this he is attempting to show a more pirate like view of the Aetolians. Therefore Polybius cannot be considered a truly unbiased or truthful historian. He is willing to bend the truth for his own ends.
Methydrium: Pausanias said it was founded by Orchomenus (not the city, the son of Lycaon). Was a member of the Achaean League and helped to found...

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