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ARCA´DICUM FOEDUS

ARCA´DICUM FOEDUS (κοινὸν, τὸ Ἀρκαδικόν συνέδριον κοινὸν Ἀρκάδων ἁπάντων), the Arcadian League, was established soon after the battle of Leuctra, in B.C. 371, when the victory of Epaminondas had destroyed the Spartan supremacy in the Peloponnesus, and restored the independence of the Arcadian towns. The person who took the most active part in forming this league was a native of Mantineia, named Lycomedes, and the project was supported by Epaminondas. A new city was founded, named Megalopolis or the Great City, which was the seat of the league, and of which Epaminondas was regarded as the οἰκιστὴς or founder (Paus. 8.27.2). Its population was drawn from about forty petty Arcadian townships. Of the constitution of the new confederation we have very little information.1 We only know that the great council of the nation, which used to meet at Megalopolis, was called Μύριοι, or the “Ten Thousand.” As representative of all Arcadia, the Ten Thousand concluded war and peace, and tried all officers or other Arcadians brought before them on accusations of public misconduct. The Athenian orators Demosthenes and Aeschines pleaded before it on various occasions. (Xen. Hell. 6.5, § 3 seq., 7.1.38; Diod. 15.59, 72; Paus. 8.27.1 seq.; Dem. Fals. Leg. p. 344.11; Aeschin. Fals. Leg. p. 257.79; Harpocr., Suid., Phot., s. v.) Whether this council represented the numbers, more or less exact, which might be brought together for the purpose of consultation, or whether the name was used in a vague sense for a great multitude, cannot be determined. Thirlwall points out that it is strange that there should be no mention of a select council, which, according to the uniform custom of the Greek states, should have prepared the business to be transacted by the assembly of the Ten Thousand; but he conjectures that the council-house, called Thersilium, which Pausanias (8.32.1) describes as the place of meeting of the Ten Thousand, may really have been the smaller council or senate of the larger assembly of the Ten Thousand. We read of a standing army called Epariti (Ἐπάριτοι)--probably a word belonging to the Arcadian dialect--consisting of 5000 men, to defend the common interests of the confederation. (Xen. Hell. 7.4, § 34, 7.5.3; Diod. 15.62, 67; Hesych. sub voce ἐπορόητοι.) The new confederation succeeded for only a short time in giving a certain degree of unity to the Arcadians; and its

Coin of the Arcadian League. (Brit. Museum.)

influence soon declined. For its subsequent history, see Dict. of Gr. and Rom. Geogr., s. vv. Arcadia and Megalopolis. Coins were struck by the league. The one figured above represents the head of Zeus on the obverse, and Pan, the national god of the Arcadians, on the reverse. (Thirlwall, Hist. of Greece, v. p. 85 seq.; Grote, Hist. of Greece, x. pp. 306, 317 seq.; Wachsmuth, Hell. Alterth. i.2 p. 282 seq.

[W.S]

1 Aristotle wrote a treatise entitled κοινὴ Ἀρκάδων πολιτεία, which is lost (Harpocr. s. v. Μύριοι; Fragm. Hist. Graec. ii. p. 134, ed. Müller).

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