, Ion. Ἀχαιΐη
: Eth. Ἀχαιός
, Eth. Achaeus
and ad j. Ἀχαιάς
: Adj. Ἀχαϊκός
A district in the S. of Thessaly, in which Phthia and Hellas were situated.
It appears to have been the original abode of the Achaeans, who were hence called Phthiotan Achaeans (Ἀχαιοὶ οἱ φθιῶται
to distinguish them from the Achaeans in the Peloponnesus. [For details see ACHAEI
] It was from this part of Thessaly that Achilles came, and Homer says that the subjects of this hero were [p. 1.13]
called Myrmidons (Eth. Μυρμιδών
, and Hellenes, and Achaeans. (Il. 2.684
This district continued to retain the name of Achaia in the time of Herodotus (7.173
), and the inhabitants of Phthia were called Phthiotan Achaeans till a still later period. (Thuc. 8.3
An account of this part of Thessaly is given under THESSALIA
Originally called AEGIALUS or AEGIALEIA
(Αἰγιαλός, Αἰγιάλεια, Hom. Il. 2.575
; Paus. 7.1.1
; Strab. p. 383), that is, “the Coast,” a province in the N. of Peloponnesus, extended along the Corinthian gulf from the river Larissus, a little S. of the promontory Araxus, which separated it from Elis, to the river Sythas, which separated it from Sicyonia. On the S. it was bordered by Arcadia, and on the SW. by Elis. Its greatest length along the coast is about 65 English miles: its breadth from about 12 to 20 miles. Its area was probably about 650 square miles. Achaia is thus only a narrow slip of country, lying upon the slope of the northern range of Arcadia, through which are deep and narrow gorges, by which alone Achaia can be invaded from the south. From this mountain range descend numerous ridges running down into the sea, or separated from it by narrow levels.
The plains on the coast at the foot of these mountains and the vallies between them are generally very fertile.
At the present day cultivation ends with the plain of Patra, and the whole of the western part of Achaia is forest or pasture.
The plains are drained by numerous streams; but in consequence of the proximity of the mountains to the sea the course of these torrents is necessarily short, and most of them are dry in summer.
The coast is generally low, and deficient in good harbours. Colonel Leake remarks, that the level along the coast of Achaia “appears to have been formed in the course of ages by the soil deposited by the torrents which descend from the lofty mountains that rise immediately at the back of the plains. Wherever the rivers are largest, the plains are most extensive, and each river has its correspondent promontory proportioned in like manner to its volume.
These promontories are in general nearly opposite to the openings at which the rivers emerge from the mountains.” (Peloponnesiaca,
The highest mountain in Achaia is situated behind Patrae; it is called MONS PANACHAICUS by Polybius, and is, perhaps, the same as the Scioëssa of Pliny (τὸ Παναχαϊκὸν ὄρος,
Pol. 5.30; Plin. Nat. 4.6
It is 6322 English feet in height. (Leake, Travels in Morea,
vol. ii. p. 138, Peloponnesiaca,
There are three conspicuous promontories on the coast. 1. DREPANUM
: C. Dhrepano
), the most northerly point in Peloponnesus, is confounded by Strabo with the neighbouring promontory of Rhium, but it is the low sandy point 4 miles eastward of the latter. Its name is connected by Pausanias with the sickle of Cronus; but we know that this name was often applied by the ancients to low sandy promontories, which assume the form of a δρέπανον,
or sickle. (Strab. p. 335; Paus. 7.23
. §. 4; Leake, Morea,
vol. iii. p. 415.) 2. RHIUM
: Castle of the Morea,
4 miles westward of Drepanum, as mentioned above, is opposite the promontory of ANTIRRHIUM
sometimes also called Rhium (Ἀντίρριον
: Castle of Rumili
), on the borders of Aetolia and Locris.
In order to distinguish them from each other the former was called τὸ Ἀχαϊκόν,
and the latter τὸ Μολυκρικόν,
from its vicinity to the town of Molycreium.
These two promontories formed the entrance of the Corinthian gulf.
The breadth of the strait is stated both by Dodwell and Leake to be about a mile and a half; but the ancient writers make the distance less. Thucydides makes it 7 stadia, Strabo 5 stadia, and Pliny nearly a Roman mile. On the promontory of Rhium there was a temple of Poseidon. (Thuc. 2.86
; Strab. pp. 335, 336; Plin. Nat. 4.6
; Steph. B. sub voce
Dodwell, Classical Tour,
vol. i. p. 126; Leake, Morea,
vol. ii. p. 147.) 3. ARAXUS
), W. of Dyme, formerly the boundary between Achaia and Elis, but the confines were afterwards extended to the river Larissus. (Pol. 4.65; Strab. pp. 335, 336; Paus. 6.26.10
The following is a list of the rivers of Achaia from E. to W. Of these the only two of any importance are the Crathis (No. 3) and the Peirus (No. 14). 1. SYTHAS
or SYS (Σύθας, Σῦς
), forming the boundary between Achaia and Sicyonia. We may infer that this river was at no great distance from Sicyon, from the statement of Pausanias, that at the festival of Apollo there was a procession of children from Sicyon to the Sythas, and back again to the city. (Paus. 2.7.8
; Ptol. 3.16.4
; comp. Leake, Morea,
vol. iii. p. 383, Peloponnesiaca,
p. 403.) 2. CRIUS
), rising in the mountains above Pellene, and flowing into the sea a little W. of Aegeira. (Paus. 7.27.11
.) 3. CRATHIS
), rising in a mountain of the same name in Arcadia, and falling into the sea near Aegae.
It is described as ἀένναος,
to distinguish it from the other streams in Achaia, which were mostly dry in summer, as stated above. The Styx, which rises in the Arcadian mountain of Aroania, is a tributary of the Crathis. (Hdt. 1.145
; Callim. in Jov.
26; Strab. p. 386; Paus. 7.25.11
,8.15. § § 8, 9, 8.18.4; Leake, Morea,
vol. iii. pp. 394, 407.) 4. BURAICUS
: river of Kalavryta,
or river of Bura), rising in Arcadia, and falling into the sea E. of Bura.
It appears from Strabo that its proper name was Erasīnus. (Paus. 7.25.10
; Strab. p. 371; Leake, l.c.
) 5. CERYNITES
), flowing from the mountain Ceryneia, in Arcadia, and falling into the sea probably E. of Helice. (Paus. 7.25.5
; Leake, l.c.
) 6. SELINUS
: river of Vostitza
), flowing into the sea between Helice and Aegium. Strabo erroneously describes it as flowing through Aegium. (Paus. 7.24.5
; Strab. p. 387; Leake, l.c.
) 7, 8. MEGANITAS (Μεγανίτας
) and PHOENIX
), both falling into the sea W. of Aegium. (Paus. 7.23.5
.) 9. BOLINASUS (Βολιναῖος
), flowing into the sea a little E. of the promontory Drepanum, so called from an ancient town Bolina, which had disappeared in the time of Pausanias. (Paus. 7.24.4
.) 10. SELEMNUS
), flowing into the sea between the promontories Drepanum and Rhium, a little E. of Argyra. (Paus. 7.23.1
.) 11, 12. CHARADRUS
: river of Velvitzi
) and MEILICHUS
: river of Sykena
), both falling into the sea between the promontory Rhium and Patrae. (Paus. 7.22.11
.) 13. GLAUCUS
), falling into the sea, a little S. of Patrae.. (Paus. 7.18.2
; Leake, vol. ii. p. 123.) 14. PEIRUS
), also called Achelous, falling into the sea near Olenus.
This liver was mentioned by Hesiod [p. 1.14]
under the name of Peirus, as we learn from Strabo.
It is described by Leake as wide and deep in the latter end of February, although no rain had fallen for some weeks. Into the Peirus flowed the Teutheas (Τευθέας
), which in its turn received the Caucon. The Peirus flowed past Pharae, where it was called Piërus(Πίερος
), but the inhabitants of the coast called it by the former name. (Strab. p. 342; Hdt. 1.145
; Paus. 7.18.1
; Leake, vol. ii. p. 155.) Strabo in another passage calls it Melas (Μέλας
), but the reading is probably corrupt. Dionysius Periegetes mentions the Melas along with the Crathis among the rivers flowing from Mt. Erymanthus. (Strab. p. 386; Dionys. A. R. 416
.) 15. LARISUS (Λάρισος
), forming the boundary between Achaia and Elis, rising in Mt. Scollis, and falling into the sea 30 stadia from Dyme. (Paus. 7.17.5
; Strab. p. 387; Liv. 27.31
The original inhabitants of Achaia are said to have been Pelasgians, and were called Aegialeis (Αἰγιαλεῖς
), or the “Coast-Men,” from Aegialus, the ancient name of the country, though some writers sought a mythical origin for the name, and derived it from Aegialeus, king of Sicyonia. (Hdt. 7.94
; Paus. 7.1
.) The Ionians subsequently settled in the country.
According to the mythical account, Ion, the son of Xuthus, crossed over from Attica at the head of an army, but concluded an alliance with Selinus, the king of the country, married his daughter Helice, and succeeded him on the throne. From this time the land was called Ionia, and the inhabitants lonians or Aegialian lonians.
The lonians remained in possession of the country till the invasion of Peloponnesus by the Dorians, when the Achaeans, who had been driven out of Argos and Lacedaemon by the invaders, marched against the lonians in order to obtain new homes for themselves in the country of the latter Under the command of their king Tisamenus, the son of Orestes, they defeated the lonians in battle.
The latter shut themselves up in Helice, where they sustained a siege for a time, but they finally quitted the country and sought refuge in Attica. The Achaeans thus became masters of the country, which was henceforth called after them Achaia. (Hdt. 1.145
; Pol. 2.41; Paus. 7.1
; Strab. p. 383.)
This is the common legend, but it should be observed that Homer takes no notice of lonians on the northern coast of Peloponnesus; but on the contrary, the catalogue in the Iliad distinctly includes this territory under the dominions of Agamemnon. Hence there seems reason for questioning the occupation of northern Peloponnesus by the Ionians and their expulsion from it by Tisamenus; and it is more probable that the historical Achaeans in the north part of Peloponnesus are a small undisturbed remnant of the Achaean population once distributed through the whole peninsula. (Grote, History of Greece,
vol. ii. p. 17.)
The Ionians are said to have dwelt in villages, and the cities in the country to have been first built by the Achaeans. Several of these villages were united to form a town ; thus Patrae was formed by an union of seven villages, Dyme of eight, and Aegium also of seven or eight. The Achaeans possessed twelve cities, the territory of each of which .was divided into seven or eight demi. (Strab. p. 386.)
This number of 12 is said to have been borrowed from the lonians, who were divided into 12 parts (μέρεα
), when they occupied the country; and who accordingly, refused to allow of more than twelve cities in their league. Although there are good reasons for believing that there were more than twelve independent cities in Achaia (Grote, Hist. of Greece,
vol. ii. p. 614), yet the ancient writers always recognize only 12, and this seems to have been regarded as the established number of the confederation.
These cities continued to be governed by the descendants of Tisamenus down to Ogygus, after whose death they abolished the kingly rule and established a democracy. Each of the cities formed a separate republic, but were united together by periodical sacrifices and festivals, where they arranged their disputes and settled their common concerns.
In the time of Herodotus (1.145
) the twelve cities were Pellene, Aegeira, Aegae, Bura, Helice, Aegium, Rhypes, Patreis (ae), Phareis (ae), Olenus, Dyme, Tritaeeis (Tritaea).
This list is copied by Strabo (pp. 385, 386); but it appears from the list in Polybius (2.41
), that Leontium and Ceryneia were afterwards substituted in the place of Rhypes and Aegae, which had fallen into decay. Pausanias (7.6.1
) retains both Rhypes and Aegae, and substitutes Ceryneia for Patrae; but his authority is of no value in opposition to Polybius.
The bond of union between these cities was very loose, and their connection was of a religious rather than of a political nature. Thus we find them sometimes acting quite independently of one another. Pellene alone joined the Lacedaemonians at the commencement of the Peloponnesian war, while the rest remained neutral; and at a later period of the war Patrae alone espoused the Athenian cause. (Thuc. 2.9
.) Their original place of meeting was at Helice, where they offered a common sacrifice to Poseidon, the tutelary god of the place; but after this city had been swallowed up by the sea in B.C. 373 [HELICE
], they transferred their meetings to Aegium, where they sacrificed to Zeus Homagyrius, or Homarius, and to the Panachaean Demeter. (Paus. 7.24
;. Pol. 5.94.)
The Achaeans are rarely mentioned during the flourishing period of Grecian history. Being equally unconnected with the great Ionian and Doric races, they kept aloof for the most part from the struggles between the Greek states, and appear to have enjoyed a state of almost uninterrupted prosperity down to the time of Philip. They did not assist the other Greeks in repelling the Persians. In B.C. 454 they formed an alliance with the Athenians, but the latter were obliged to surrender Achaia in the truce for thirty years, which they concluded with Sparta and her allies in B.C. 445. (Thuc. 1.111
In the course of the Peloponnesian war they joined the Lacedaemonians, though probably very reluctantly. (Thuc. 2.9
.) They retained, however, a high character among the other Greeks, and were esteemed on account of their sincerity and good faith. So. highly were they valued, that at an early age some of the powerful Greek colonies in Italy applied for. their mediation and adopted their institutions, and at a later time they were chosen by the Spartans and Thebans as arbiters after the battle of Leuctra. (Pol. 2.39.)
The first great blow which the Achaeans experienced was at the battle of Chaeroneia (B.C. 338), when they fought with the Athenians and Boeotians against Philip and lost some of their bravest citizens. Eight years afterwards (B.C. 330) all the Achaean towns, with the exception of Pellene, joined the Spartans in the cause of Grecian freedom, and shared in the disastrous defeat at Mantineia, in which Agis fell.
This severe blow left them so prostrate that they were unable to render [p. 1.15]
any assistance to the confederate Greeks in the Lamian war after the death of Alexander. (Paus. 7.6
But their independent spirit had awakened the jealousy of the Macedonian rulers, and Demetrius, Cassander, and Antigonus Gonatas placed garrisons in their cities, or held possession of them by means of tyrants. Such a state of things at length became insupportable, and the commotions in Macedonia, which followed the death of Lysimachus (B.C. 281), afforded them a favourable opportunity for throwing off the yoke of their oppressors; and the Gaulish invasion which shortly followed effectually prevented the Macedonians from interfering in the affairs of the Peloponnesus. Patrae and Dyme were the first two cities which expelled the Macedonians. Their example was speedily followed by Tritaea and Pharae ; and these four towns now resolved to renew the ancient League.
The date of this event was B.C. 280. Five years afterwards (B.C. 275) they were joined by Aegium and Bura, and the accession of the former city was the more important, as it had been the regular place of meeting of the earlier League after the destruction of Helice, as has been already related.
The main principles of the constitution of the new League were now fixed, and a column was erected inscribed with the names of the confederate towns. Almost immediately afterwards Ceryneia was added to the League.
There were now only three remaining cities of the ancient League, which had not joined the new. confederation, namely, Leontium, Aegeira, and Pellene; for Helice had been swallowed up by the sea, and Olenus was soon afterwards abandoned by its inhabitants.
The three cities mentioned above soon afterwards united themselves to the League, which thus consisted of ten cities. (Pol. 2.41; Strab. p. 384; Paus. 7.18.1
The Achaean League thus renewed eventually became the most powerful political body in Greece; and it happened by a strange coincidence that the people, who had enjoyed the greatest celebrity in the heroic age, but who had almost disappeared from history for several centuries, again became the greatest among the Greek states in the last days of the nation's independence.
An account of the constitution of this League is given in the Dictionary of Antiquities (art. Achaicum Foedus
), and it is therefore only necessary to give here a brief recapitulation of its fundamental laws.
The great object of the new League was to effect a much closer political union than had existed in the former one. No city was allowed to make peace or war or to treat with any foreign power apart from the entire nation, although each was allowed the undisturbed control of its internal affairs.
This sovereign power resided in the federal assembly (σύνοδος, ἐκκλησία, συνέδριον
) which was held twice a year originally at Aegium, afterwards at Corinth or other places, though extraordinary meetings might be convened by the officers of the League either at Aegium or elsewhere.
At all these meetings, every Achaean, who had attained the age of 30, was allowed to speak; but questions were not decided by an absolute majority of the citizens, but by a majority of the cities, which were members of the League.
In addition to the general assembly there was a Council (Βουλή
), which previously decided upon the questions that were to be submitted to the assembly.
The principal officers of the League were: 1. The Strategus
or general (Στρατηγός
), whose duties were partly military and partly civil, and who was the acknowledged head of the confederacy. For the first 25 years there were two Strategi; but at tho end of that time (B.C. 255) only one was appointed. Marcus of Ceryneia was the first who held the sole office. (Pol. 2.43; Strab. p. 385.)
It was probably at this time that an Hipparchus
) or commander of the cavalry was then first appointed in place of the Strategus, whose office had been abolished. We also read of an Under-Strategus (ὑποστρατηγός
), but we have no account of the extent of his powers or of the relation in which he stood to the chief Strategus. 2. A Secretary of State
). 3. Ten Demiurgi
), who formed a kind of permanent committee, and who probably represented at first the 10 Achaean cities, of which the League consisted.
The number of the Demiurgi, however, was not increased, when new cities were subsequently added to the League. All these officers were elected for one year at the spring meeting of the assembly, and the Strategus was not eligible for re-election till a year had elapsed after the expiration of his office. If the Strategus died under the period of his office, his place was filled up by his predecessor, until the time for the new elections arrived.
It remains to give a brief sketch of the history of the League.
At the time of its revival its numbers were so inconsiderable, that the collective population of the confederate states was scarcely equal to the inhabitants of a single city according to Plutarch. (Arat.
9) Its greatness may be traced to its connection with Aratus. Up to this time the League was confined to the Achaean cities, and the idea does not seem to have been entertained of incorporating foreign cities with it.
But when Aratus had delivered his native city Sicyon from its tyrant, and had persuaded his fellow-citizens to unite themselves to the League (B.C. 251), a new impulse was given to the latter. Aratus, although only 20 years of age, became the soul of the League.
The great object of his policy was to liberate the Peloponnesian cities from their tyrants, who were all more or less dependent upon Macedonia, and to incorporate them with the League; and under his able management the confederacy constantly received fresh accessions. Antigonus Gonatas, king of Macedonia, and his successor Demetrius II., used every effort to crush the growing power of the Achaeans, and they were supported in their efforts by the Aetolians, who were equally jealous of the confederacy. Aratus however triumphed over their opposition, and for many years the League enjoyed an uninterrupted succession of prosperity. In B.C. 243 Aratus surprised Corinth, expelled the tyrant, and united this important city to the League.
The neighbouring cities of Megara, Troezen, and Epidaurus followed the example thus set them, and joined the League in the course of the same year.
A few years afterwards, probably in B.C. 239, Megalopolis also became a member of the League; and in B.C. 236 it received the accession of the powerful city of Argos.
It now seemed to Aratus that the time had arrived when the whole of Peloponnesus might be annexed to the League, but he experienced a far more formidable opposition from Sparta than he had anticipated. Cleomenes III., who had lately ascended the Spartan throne, was a man of energy; and his military abilities proved to be far superior to those of Aratus. Neither he nor the Spartan government was disposed to place themselves on a level with the Acaean towns; and accordingly when Aratus attempted to obtain possession of Orchomenus, Tegea, [p. 1.16]
and Mantineia, which had joined the Aetolian League and had been ceded by the latter to the Spartans, war broke out between Sparta and the Achaean League, B.C. 227.
In this war, called by Polybius the Cleomenic war, the Achaeans were defeated in several battles and lost some important places; and so unsuccessful had they been, that they at length resolved to form a coalition or alliance with Sparta, acknowledging Cleomenes as their chief. Aratus was unable to brook this humiliation, and in an evil hour applied to Antigonus Doson for help, thus undoing the great work of his life, and making the Achaean cities again dependent upon Macedonia. Antigonus willingly promised his assistance; and the negotiations with Clemenes were broken off, B.C. 224.
The war was brought to an end by the defeat of Cleomenes by Antigonus at the decisive battle of Sellasia, B.C. 221. Cleomenes immediately left the country and sailed away to Egypt. Antigonus thus became master of Sparta; but he did not annex it to the Achaean League, as it was no part of his policy to aggrandize the latter.
The next war, in which the Achaeans were engaged, again witnessed their humiliation and dependence upon Macedonia. In B.C. 220 commenced the Social war, as it is usually called. The Aetolians invaded Peloponnesus and defeated the Achaeans, whereupon Aratus applied for aid to Philip, who had succeeded Antigonus on the Macedonian throne.
The young monarch conducted the war with striking ability and success; and the Aetolians having become weary of the contest were glad to conclude a peace in B.C. 217. The Achaeans now remained at peace for some years; but they had lost the proud pre-eminence they had formerly enjoyed, and had become little better than the vassals of Macedonia.
But the influence of Aratus excited the jealousy of Philip, and it was commonly believed that his death (B.C. 213) was occasioned by a slow poison administered by the king's order.
The regeneration of the League was due to Philopoemen, one of the few great men produced in the latter days of Grecian independence.
He introduced great reforms in the organization of the Achaean army, and accustomed them to the tactics of the Macedonians and to the close array of the phalanx.
By the ascendancy of his genius and character, he acquired great influence over his countrymen, and breathed into them a martial spirit.
By these means he enabled them to fight their own cause, and rendered them to some extent independent of Macedonia. His defeat of Machanidas, tyrant of Sparta (B.C. 208), both established his own reputation, and caused the Achaean arms again to be respected in Greece.
In the war between the Romans and Philip, the Achaeans espoused the cause of the former, and concluded a treaty of peace with the republic, B.C. 198. About this time, and for several subsequent years, the Achaeans were engaged in hostilities with Nabis, who had succeeded Machanidas as tyrant of Sparta. Nabis was slain by some Aetolians in B.C. 192; whereupon Philopoemen hastened to Sparta and induced the city to join the League.
In the following year (B.C. 191) the Messenians and the Eleans also joined the League. Thus the whole of Peloponnesus was at length annexed to the League; but its independence was now little more than nominal, and its conduct and proceedings were regulated to a great extent by the decisions of the Roman senate. When the Achaeans under Philopoemen ventured to punish Sparta in B.C. 188 by razing the fortifications of the city and abolishing the laws of Lycurgus, their conduct was severely censured by the senate; and every succeeding transaction between the League and the senate showed still more clearly the subject condition of the Achaeans. The Romans, however, still acknowledged in name the independence of the Achaeans; and the more patriotic part of the nation continued to offer a constitutional resistance to all the Roman encroachments upon the liberties of the League, whenever this could be done without affording the Romans any pretext for war.
At the head of this party was Philopoemen, and after his death, Lycortas, Xenon, and Polybius. Callicrates on the other hand was at the head of another party, which counselled a servile submission to the senate, and sought to obtain aggrandizement by the subjection of their country.
In order to get rid of his political opponents, Callicrates, after the defeat of Perseus by the Romans, drew up a list of 1000 Achaeans, the best and purest part of the nation, whom the Romans carried off to Italy (B.C. 167) under the pretext of their having afforded help to Perseus. The Romans never brought these prisoners to trial, but kept them in the towns of Italy; and it was not till after the lapse of 17 years, and when their number was reduced to 300, that the senate gave them permission to return to Greece. Among those who were thus restored to their country, there were some men of prudence and ability, like the historian Polybius; but there were others of weak judgment and violent passions, who had been exasperated by their long and unjust confinement, and who now madly urged their country into a war with Rome.
A dispute having arisen between Sparta and the League, the senate sent an embassy into Greece in B.C. 147, and required that Sparta, Corinth, Argos, and other cities should be severed from the League, thus reducing it almost to its original condition when it included only the Achaean towns.
This demand was received with the utmost indignation, and Critolaus, who was their general, used every effort to inflame the passions of the people against the Romans. Through his influence the Achaeans resolved to resist the Romans, and declared war against Sparta.
This was equivalent to a declaration of war against Rome itself, and was so understood by both parties.
In the spring of 146 Critolaus marched northwards through Boeotia into the S. of Thessaly, but retreated on the approach of Metellus, who advanced against him from Macedonia.
He was, however, overtaken by Metellus near Scarphea, a little S. of Thermopylae; his forces were put to the rout, and he himself was never heard of after the battle. Metellus followed the fugitives to Corinth. Diaeus. who had succeeded Callicrates in the office of General, resolved to continue the contest, as he had been one of the promoters of the war and knew that he had no hope of pardon from the Romans. Meantime the consul Mummius arrived at the Isthmus as the successor of Metellus. Encouraged by some trifling success against the Roman outposts, Diaeus ventured to offer battle to the Romans. The Achaeans were easily defeated and Corinth surrendered without a blow. Signal vengeance was taken upon the unfortunate city.
The men were put to the sword; the women and children were reserved as slaves: and after the city had been stript of all its treasures and works of art, its buildings were committed to the flames, B.C. 146. [COTINTHUS.] Thus perished the Achaean [p. 1.17]
League, and with it the independence of Greece; but the recollection of the Achaean power was perpetuated by the name of Achaia, which the Romans gave to the south of Greece, when they formed it into a province. (Paus. 7.16
, sub fin.)
The history of the Achaean League has been treated with ability by several modern writers.
The best works on the subject are:--Helwing, Geschichte des Achäischen Bundes,
Lemgo, 1829; Schorn, Geschichte Griechenland's von der Entstehung des Aetol. und Achäischen Bundes bis auf die Zerstörung Corinths,
Bonn, 1833 ; Flathe's Geschichte Macedoniens,
vol. ii., Leipz. 1832; Merleker, Achaicorum Libri III.,
Darmst. 1837; Brandstäter, Gesch. des Aetolischen Landes, Volkes und Bundes,
Berlin, 1844; Droysen, Hellenismus,
vol. ii., Hamburg, 1843 ; Thirlwall, History of Greece,
The following is a list of the towns of Achaia from E. to W.: PELLENE
with its harbour Aristonautae, and its dependent fortresses Olurus and Gonoëssa, or Donussa: AEGEIRA
with its fortress Phelloë: AEGAE : BUBA: CERYNEIA : HELICE : AEGIUM, with the dependent places Leuctrum and Erineum: the harbour of PANORMUS
between the promontories of Drepanum and Rhium: PATRAE
with the dependent places Boline and Argyra: OLENUS
with the dependent places Peirae and Euryteiae : DYME
with the dependent places Teichos, Hecatombaeon and Langon.
In the interior PHARAE: LEONTIUSM: TRITAEA. The following towns, of which the sites are unknown, are mentioned only by Stephanus Byzantinus: Acarra (Ἄκαρρα
): Alos (Ἄλος
) : Anace (Ἀνάκη
) : Ascheion (Ἄσχειον
): Azotus (Ἄζωτος
) : Pella (Πέλλα
) : Phaestus (Φαιστός
): Politeia (Πολίτεια
): Psophis (Ψωφίς
): Scolis (Σκόλις
): Tarne (Τάρνη
): Teneium (Τήνειον
): Thriūs (Θριοῦς
), which first belonged to Achaia, afterwards to Elis, and lay near Patrae. Athenaeus (xiv. p. 658) mentions an Achaean town, named Tromileia (Τρομίλεια
) celebrated for its cheese.
Respecting the geography of Achaia in general see Müller, Dorians,
vol. ii. p. 428, seq.; Leake's Morea,
vols. ii. & iii., and Peloponnesiaca;
p. 15, seq.; Curtius, Peloponnesos,
vol. i. p. 403. seq.
|COIN OF ACHAIA.|
the Roman province, including the whole of Peloponnesus and the greater part of Hellas proper with the adjacent islands.
The time, however, at which this country was reduced to the form of a Roman province, as well as its exact limits, are open to much discussion.
It is usually stated by modern writers that the province was formed on the conquest of the Achaeans in B.C. 146; but there are several reasons for questioning this statement.
In the first place it is not stated by any ancient writer that Greece was formed into a province at this time.
The silence of Polybius on the subject would be conclusive, if we possessed entire that part of his history which related the conquest of the Achaeans; but in the existing fragments of that portion of his work, there is no allusion to the establishment of a Roman province, although we find mention of various regulations adopted by the Romans for the consolidation of their power. 2. Many of these regulations would have been unnecessary if a provincial government had been established. Thus we are told that the government of each city was placed in the hands of the wealthy, and that all federal assemblies were abolished. Through the influence of Polybius the federal assemblies were afterwards allowed to be held, and some of the more stringent regulations were repealed. (Pol. 40.8--10 ; Paus. 7.16.10
The re-establishment of these ancient forms appears to have been described by the Romans as a restoration of liberty to Greece. Thus we find in an inscription discovered at Dyme mention of ἡ ἀποδεδομένη κατὰ κοινὸν τοῖς Ἕλλησιν ἐλευθερία,
and also of ἡ ἀποδοθεῖσα τοῖς Ἀχαίοις ὑπὸ Π̓ωμαίων πολὶτεια,
language which could not have been used if the Roman jurisdiction had been introduced into the country. (Böckh, Corp. Inscript.
No. 1543; comp. Thirlwall, vol. viii. p. 458.) 3. We are expressly told by Plutarch (Plut. Cim. 2
), that in the time of Lucullus the Romans had not yet begun to send praetors into Greece (οὔπω εἰς τὴν Ἑλλάδα Ῥωμαῖοι στρατηγοὺς διεπέμποντο;
and that disputes in the country were referred to the decision of the governor of Macedonia.
There is the less reason for questioning this statement, since it is in accordance with the description of the proceedings of L. Piso, when governor of Macedonia, who is represented as plundering the countries of southern Greece, and exercising sovereignty over them, which he could hardly have done, if they had been subject to a provincial administration of their own. (Cic. c. Pis. 40
) It is probable that the south of Greece was first made a separate province by Julius Caesar; since the first governor of the province of whom any mention is made (as far as we are aware) was Serv. Sulpicius, and he was appointed to this office by Caesar; (Cic. Fam. 6.6. 10
In the division of the provinces made by Augustus, the whole of Greece was divided into the provinces of Achaia, Macedonia, and Epeirus, the latter of which formed part of Illyris. Achaia was one of the provinces assigned to the senate and was governed by a proconsul. (Strab. p. 840; D. C. 53.12
.) Tiberius in the second year of his reign (A. D. 16) took it away from the senate and made it an imperial province (Tac. Ann..
1.76), but Claudius gave it back again to the senate (Suet. Clad.
In the reign of this emperor Corinth was the residence of the proconsul, and it was here that the Apostle Paul was brought before Junius Gallio as proconsul of Achaia. (Acta Apost.
7.12.) Nero abolished the province of Achaia, and gave the Greeks their liberty; but Vespasian again established the provincial government and compelled the Greeks to pay a yearly tribute. (Paus. 7.17
. § § 3,4; Suet. Vesp.
The boundaries between the provinces of Macedonia, Epeirus, and Achaia, are difficult to determine. Strabo (p. 840), in his enumeration of the provinces of the Roman empire, says: Ἑβδόμην Ἀχα̈́αν μέχρι Θετταλίας καὶ Αἰτωλῶν καὶ Ἀκαρνάνων, καί τινων Ἠπειρωτικῶν ἐθνῶν, ὅσα τῇ Μ̣̣εδονίᾳ προσώρισται.
“The seventh(province)is Achaia, up to Thessaly and the Aetolians and Acarnanians and some Epeirot tribes, which border upon Macedonia.” Most modem writers understand μέχρι
as inclusive, and consequently make Achaia include Thessaly, [p. 1.18]
Aetolia, and Acarnania. Their interpretation is confirmed by a passage in Tacitus, in which Nicopolis in the south of Epeirus is called by Tacitus ((Ann.
2.53) a city of Achaia; but too much stress must not be laid upon this passage, as Tacitus may only have used Achaia in its widest signification as equivalent to Greece. If μέχρι
is not inclusive, Thessaly, Aetolia, and Acarnania must be assigned either wholly to Macedonia, or partly to Macedonia and partly to Epeirus. Ptolemy (3.2
, seq.), in his division of Greece, assigns Thessaly to Macedonia, Acarnania to Epeirus, and Aetolia to Achaia; and it is probable that this represents the political division of the country at the time at which he lived (A.D. 150). Achaia continued to be a Roman province governed by proconsuls down to the time of Justinian. (Kruse, Hellas,,
vol. i. p. 573.)