Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 7

ΙΝΣΤΙΤΟΥΤΟ ΤΟΠΙΚΗΣ ΑΝΑΠΤΥΞΗΣ "ΘΩΜΑΣ & ΑΦΡΟΔΙΤΗ ΠΑΠΑΝΙΚΟΣ"

INSTITUTE OF LOCAL DEVELOPMENT "THOMAS AND AFRODETE PAPANIKOS"

The Structure of Polis, Ethnos and Koinon of


Western Inland Greece

Jayoung Che
Assistant Professor
Busan University of Foreign Studies
South Korea

Sardinia, Valtos, Akarnania, Greece


27 July 2013

Σαρδίνια, Βάλτος, Ακαρνανία, Ελλάδα


Sardinia, Valtos, Akarnania, Greece

ΙΤΑΘΑΠ 1
ΙΝΣΤΙΤΟΥΤΟ ΤΟΠΙΚΗΣ ΑΝΑΠΤΥΞΗΣ "ΘΩΜΑΣ & ΑΦΡΟΔΙΤΗ ΠΑΠΑΝΙΚΟΣ"-ΙΤΑΘΑΠ
INSTITUTE OF LOCAL DEVELOPMENT "THOMAS AND AFRODETE PAPANIKOS"

Το Ινστιτούτο ιδρύθηκε το 2013 εις μνήμη του Θωμά Παπανίκου του Γρηγορίου και της
Σοφίας (1924-2011) με αποστολή να προάγει την εκπαίδευση και την οικονομία μικρών
κοινωνιών της Ελλάδος και ιδιαιτέρως στα χωριά και στις πόλεις της Ακαρνανίας.

The Institute was founded in 2013 in memory of Thomas Papanikos son of Gregory and
Sophia (1924-2011) with a mission to promote education and the economy of Greece's
small societies and especially in the villages and the cities of Akarnania.

Σαρδίνια (Θέση Πηγάδι), Βάλτος, Ακαρνανία Sardinia, Valtos, Akarnania


30500 Αιτολοκαρνανία 30500 Aitoloakarnania
Ελλάδα Greece
Τηλ./Tel: + 30 210 3634210 Fax: + 30 210 3634209
Email: itap@itap.gr URL: www.itap.gr

Printed in Sardinia, Greece by the Institute of Local Development "Thomas and


Afrodete Papanikos". All rights reserved. Reproduction is allowed for non-commercial
purposes if the source is fully acknowledged.

ISBN:

ΙΤΑΘΑΠ 2
I. Introduction: polis, ethnos, koinon

The sub-structure of polis consisted of pseudo-kinship organizations (phyle,


phratria, genos, etc.) or regional divisions (phyle, demos). It was more or less
equipped with administrative and judicial functions. According to situation, a
polis could be broken into smaller units. The distribution of political power or
function between the central and local government and among local
governments themselves differs one to another. The existence of phyle and genos
as a pseudo-kinship organization was a common phenomenon of all society of
ancient time, but Greek polis had, we can say, a more or less converged center of
power.
On the other hand, there was ethnos or koinon as the broader category of
polis. The political structure of ethnos or koinon could be understood as similar
to that of polis and its substructure. Polis used to have a center where people
frequently visit for political or economical purpose. Ethnos, however, refers to a
group of people of broader sense, irrespective of politically concentrated or
divided, such as Macedones, Eperotai, Thessaloi. Koinon, however, was in most
cases a federation of more centripetal tendency than ethnos. And, even if it was
politically not so much organized as polis. koinon was a kind of confederation
with a regular or irregular meeting to seek after common interests.
Three categories of group, polis, ethnos and koinon, however, could
sometimes be used reciprocally in similar context of meaning. For example,
Thessaloi (Thessalians), Ethnos of Thessaloi, Koinon of Thessaloi, and poleis of
Thessaloi were used reciprocally in their meaning.
And inside a larger federation there used to be plural smaller federations.
Such an example was the Koinon of Aitoloi in the western Greece. Even if this
Koinon, it seems, got to be much more consolidated later in the Hellenistic
period, and the degree of concentrated power differed according to situation, the
confederation began to develop from the earlier stage like as poleis.
This essay takes a look at the similarity in the constitutional structures
between polis and confederation in the Western inland Greece. Its representative
example was the Koinon of Aitoloi (Aitolians), as well as that of Phokeis, Lokroi
and Akarnanes.

II. The Koinon of the Western Inland Greece

1. The Koinon of Aitoloi


The oldest report on the Aitoloi comes from Thucydides. Citing the speak of
Messenioi (Messenians) of Naupaktos, he defined the character of the Aitoloi as a
big frame, militant, wild, and living dispersed afar to each. Its center consisted of
three races, Apodotoi, Opioneis and Euritanes. On the other hand, the Agraioi
were known stronger than others who enjoyed independency, on whom
however nothing has been known to us.

ΙΤΑΘΑΠ 3
The close federation of Aitoloi, it seems, came into effect after the death of
Alexander, and expanded its boundary into the neighborhood. First of all, the
Western Lokris, and thereafter in 280 B.C. Delphoi, were forced to take part in
the federation. Delphoi used to be self governed, but now and then subjugated
alternately to the hegemony of Phokis, Aitolia and Lakekaimonia.
And by 280 B.C. as the Koinon of Aitoloi controlled Herakleia, Trachinia, we
could then suppose, Doris in their neighborhood must have belonged to it. Doris
was a small alliance which certainly belonged to the Koinon of Aitoloi. It was
known to be consisted of tripolis (three poleis) or tetrapolis (four poleis). On the
epigraphy of the beginning of the 2nd century, the designation 'Koinon of
Dorieis' was shown.
After the invasion of Galloi around that time, Phokis and Eastern Lokris came
to join the Koinon of Aitoloi, and about 266 B.C. a part of Akarnanes were forced
to be allied to the Koinon. About 245 B.C. Boiotia joined the Koinon, and resigned
it in a few years. And in 229, the southern Thessaloi came to be affiliated with the
Koinon of Aiotoloi.
Furthermore, the poleis, or kind of koinon, lying far away from Aitolia came
to join the Koinon of Aitoloi. They were connected with the Aitoloi by symmachia
(alliance) and (or) sympoliteia (confederation). Elis in Peloponnesos joined the
Aitoloi from earlier time, and the poleis of Arkadia, such as Phigalia, Tegea,
Mantineia and Orchomenos, followed them. In 228. however, Tegea, Mantineia
and Orchomenos passsed over to the side of the Lakedaimonioi. On the other
hand, the islands near the Peloponnesos, Kephallenia (Ionian Sea) and Keos
(Cyclades), and those of northern Aegean Sea and Propontis, Lysimacheia
(Thrake), Chios and Chakedon, came to be allied with the Aitoloi.
The officials of the Koinon of Aitoloi were appointed after the vernal
equinox. The highest position was strategos, and the next, hipparchos
commanding cavalry. The third official of the Koinon was secretary
(grammateus) who was charged with drawing up official documents. The next,
Tamias controlled the depository of the Koinon.
There was a council (boule or synedrion) of the Koinon. It consisted of
assemblymen, called bouleutai or synedroi, or apoklētoi in Polybios, whom each
region of the Koinon dispatched in definite number according to the size of land.
The Koinon took charge of administrational and judicial function. The council
was convoked by strategos, two prostatai presiding it, and disposed of the affairs
which the strategos himself could not do up, and prepared agenda for the
confederate's assembly. Sometimes the council worked as a judicial court, as in
the case of those who, even if having guaranteed by the regulations of the Koinon
of Aitoloi, were pillaged by the members of the same Koinon.
The sovereignty of the Koinon of Aitotoi was formally assigned to the whole
members of the league, but in reality to the people who took actually part in
regular or extraordinary assembly. Each year regularly, the assembly of the
Koinon was held in Thermon (Therma) accompanying sacrificial rites and
festivals. Extraordinary assembly used to be convened as needed, in each city in

ΙΤΑΘΑΠ 4
rotation. The decision of the Koinon's assembly was indispensible for significant
affairs like as opening war, concluding peace or treaty.

2. The Koinon of Phokeis


The political structure of Phokis is shown in the treaty of 'sympoliteia
(confederation)' of steiris (Stiris) and Medeon around 200 B.C. There was an
assembly, a part of which used to fulfill the function of a trial, consisted of a fixed
age group of jurymen having sworn an oath.
The Koinon of Phokeis had an assembly, which continued to be, but
discontinued now and then, till 146 B.C. Its highest magistrate was also called
strategos. There had been two strategoi by the opening of the Third Sacred
War(356 BC–346 BC: waged between the Delphic Amphictionic League and the
Phokis), the higher strategos having superior power than the second. At the very
end of this war the number of strategoi increased to three. and, it seems, the
same situation continued after the war.
On an epigraphy the 'magistrate of title (eponymos archon)' of Phokis was
designated prytanis in the earlier stage, and archon later. and other magistrates
presented on epigraphy were tamias and mastros, who swore oath to keep away
the usurpation of public money. The supreme decision of the polis was drawn by
the agreement of legitimate process in the assembly held in agora.
The decision voted for in the agora of Phokis used to be a provisional agenda
of the council (boule, boula) which was held in Delphoi. By the Council of
Delphoi, there was a committee of two councilors of the tenure of a half year, and
they disposed of ordinary pending bills in cooperation with a secretary.
Each city of the Koinon of Phokis had their own magistrates. For example, in
Medeon there were magistrates called archontes, xenodikai, prakteles,
demiourgoi, On epigraphy, it is proved that there were 'the archon of title
(eponymos archon)' in several poleis of Phokis,

3. The Koinon of Lokroi


The Lokroi (people of Lokris) spread from the coastland opposite to Euboia,
to the west coastland. And they were divided by the land the Phokeis occupied
and the high mountains of the central Greece.
In case of Eastern and Western Lokris, we could apparently witness the
difference in the constitution of confederacy. The poleis of Eastern Lokris, even if
they definitely enjoyed independency and their own law, were in closer
connection between central and local government than the Western Lokris. On
the contrary, the latter was more decentralized.
The Eastern Lokroi were separated by a narrow slip of Phocis with the
Phokian seaport town of Daphnos and afterwards from the 5th century came to
be partly connected.
In the first half of the 5th century, Opus was a political center, and its
oligarchic government was managed by 1,000 members, who consisted of the
most distinguished and rich 100 families spreading in several poleis of Lokris.

ΙΤΑΘΑΠ 5
The government in Opus which consisted of 1,000 members had a kind of
monarch who was alternated every year. He, called archos or prostatas, was in
charge of administration and jurisdiction. The people of Lokrian poleis enjoyed
general citizenship, and could move into other polis on bearing registration fee.
We do not know how long the oligarchic government of Lokroi continued.
However, excepting the short period after the War of Oinophyta, it seems to last
till the 4th century. Afterwards, the Eastern Lokroi were forced to join the
Koinon of Aitoloi, and the situation continued until 189 B.C. with the only
exception of intermission. After the Aitoloi had been conquered by the Romans,
the Eastern Lokroi organized again the Koinon of Lokroi Hoioi (Koinōn tōn
Lokrōn tōn Hoiōn), and the influence of Opus increased.
The central government had the authority of jurisdiction as well as tax
gathering to some degree. The system of general tax applied generally to the
members of Lokris was a clear proof of political consolidation. However, even if
Opus was a political center, the poleis of Eastern Lokris enjoyed more or less
independency. Thus, we could say, in Estern Lokris there was a kind of
harmonious balance of political power between the confederation and each polis.
On the other hand, the people of Western Lokris were designated Lokroi
Fespatrioi or Ozolai. Contrary to Eastern Lokris, Western Lokris consisted of
decentralized small areas, which, now and then plundering with each other, were
independent until the opening of the Peloponnesian War. The most powerful city
among them was Naupaktos. Being not closely connected with each other, the
existence of federation could be proved only by the common holding of athletic
game.
In the second half of the 5th century some poleis of them had an oligarchic
constitution, and on epigraphy it is shown that there were archons in several
poleis.

4. Koinon of Akarnanes
The Koinon of Akarnanes came into being before 400 B.C., as it was firstly
heard in 391 B.C. whose meeting was held in Stratos. And later in 210 B.C. it was
mentioned again in the speech of an Akarnanian envoy.
The old center of the Koinon of Akarnanes was Stratos (called Stratike,
Polybios, 5.96.3), where the soldiers(stratos [army]) were concentrated from
each polis. In the Peloponnesian War (429~404 B.C.) the end of the 5th century
Akarnania coming to the fore, Akarnanes took sides with Athens against Sparta.
The remnants of the fortified Akropoleis and extending walls of the poleis of
Akarnania are still well preserved, being scattered on the solpe of the mountains,
such as the famous walls of Messene, Oiniades, Palairos and Limnaia. Already
before the end of the 5th century, it seems, at least six poleis were fortified:
Anaktorion, Palaios, Thyreion, Alyzia(Alyzeia), Astakos and Oiniades. And those
among them situated near to the sea must have been fortified before the end of
the 6th century. And other fortifications were built in the span from the middle
of the 5th century to the middle of the 4th century, like as Stratos, Koronta and

ΙΤΑΘΑΠ 6
Amphilochiko Argos. In the middle of the 4th century the new fortifications
continued to be built. According to Thucydides(II,80.8), Stratos was the largest
polis among the Akarnanes in the beginning (third year) of the Peloponnesian
War. And its scale was considerably extended around 341 B.C.
The supreme magistrate was strategos (Polybios, V.6), and there were the
council and its secretary. A small representative committee of this council were
designated promnamones on epigraphy, who originated in several poleis of
Akarnania.
The supreme authority, however, belonged to the general assembly of
Akarnanes, which used to be held in Leukas or Thyrion. Under the authority of
the assembly there was a prytanis and six substructure of administrator
(hypoprytanis). The assembly exercised the authority of dismissal of strategos,
the highest jurisdiction, foreign affairs, and the conferment of honor.
In the Hellenistic age, the Koinon of Akarnanes belonged to Makedonia,
Epeiros and Aitolia in turn, and came to be independent by the Roman
mediation.

III. The relationship between the members of the confederacy

The degree of adhesion and the mutual status of members of confederacy


varied chiefly according to the situation of power. Mutual relationship used to be
formally defined as in 'equality of rights (isonomia)'. Actually, however, this
principle sometimes did not apply as it is. For example, the poleis which
belonged to the Koinon of Aitoloi were either subjugated to the Aitoloi under
their garrison and forced to pay tax, or enjoyed 'real friendship.' And when the
political adhesion of a confederacy got intensified, the general tax could be
imposed to its members of poleis, as in the case of Eastern Lokris.
On the other hand, the mutual relationship of poleis in a federation was
much similar to that of a polis. For example, the members of a confederacy could
move to other polis on the condition of paying registration fee, as in Lokris
where the people (polites) had general citizenship. Then, the right of
immigration in a conferderacy was similar to the convention of Athens, as the
Athenians who lived in another demos which was not his home town paid land
tax (enktētikon). In case there were special agreements between poleis, the
immigrants could have the right of intermarriage (epigamia) and possessing land
(enktēsis), such as the Koinon of Chalkideis (Koino ton Chakideon) of Thrakia.
In conclusion, the political structure of koinon (or ethnos) had the elements
analogous to that of a polis, as they had not have any essential difference in the
distribution of political power between central and local government, whose
relativity changed according to situation.

ΙΤΑΘΑΠ 7