Scanned text contains errors.
regarded as dependent, and bound to obey in every respect the federal government, and those officers who were entrusted with the executive. (Polyb. ii. 37, &c.) No town therefore was allowed to treat with any foreign power without the sanction of the others. Aegium, for religious reasons, was at first appointed the central point of the league, and retained this distinction until the time of Phi-lopoemen, who carried a decree that the meetings might be held in any of the towns of the confederacy. (Liv. xxxviii. 30.) Aegium therefore was the seat of the government, and it was there that the citizens of the various towns met at regular and stated times, to deliberate upon the common affairs of the league, and if it was thought necessary, upon those of separate towns, and even upon individuals, and to elect the officers of the league. After having thus established a firm union among themselves, they zealously exerted themselves in delivering other towns also from their tyrants and oppressors. The league, however, acquired its great strength in B. c. 251, when Aratus united Sicyon, his native place, with it, and some years later gained Corinth also for it. Megara, Troezene, and Epidaurus soon followed their example. Afterwards Aratus persuaded all the more important towns of Peloponnesus to join the confederacy, and thus Megalopolis, Argos, Hermipne, Phlius, and others were added to it. In a short period the league reached the height of its power, for it embraced Athens, Megara, Aegina, Salamis, and the whole of Peloponnesus, with the exception, of Sparta, Elis, Tegea, Orchomenos, and Mantineia. Greece seemed to revive, and promised to become stronger and more united than ever, but it soon was clear that its fresh power was only employed in self-destruction and annihilation. But it would be foreign to the object of this work to enter further into the history of the confederacy: we must confine ourselves to an outline of its constitution, as it existed at the time of its high.est prosperity.
Polybius (ii. 38) remarks that there was no other constitution in the world, in which all the members of the community had such a perfect equality of rights, and so much liberty, and, in short, which was so perfectly democratical and so free from all selfish and exclusive regulations, as the Achaean league ; for all members had equal rights, whether they had belonged to it for many years, or whether they had only just joined it, and whether they were large or small towns. The common affairs of the confederate towns were regulated at general meetings attended by the citizens of all the towns, and held regularly twice every year, in the spring and in the autumn. These meetings which lasted three days, were held in a grove of Zeus Homagyrius in the neighbourhood of Aegium, and near a sanctuary of Demeter Panachaea. (Polyb. ii. 54, iv. 37, v. 1, xxix. 9; Liv. xxxii. 22, xxxviii. 32 ; Strab. viii. p. 385 ; Paus. vii. 24.) In cases of urgent necessity, however, extraordinary meetings might be convened, either at Aegium or in any other of the confederate places. (Liv. xxxi. 25 ; Polyb. xxv. 1, xxix. 8 ; Plut. Aral. 41.) Every citizen, both rich and poor, who had attained the age of thirty, might attend the assemblies, r.peak and propose any measure, to which they Avere invited by a public herald. (Polyb. xxix. 9 ; Liv. xxxii. 20.) Under these circumstances the assemblies were sometimes of the most tumultuous kind, and a wise and experienced man
ACHAICUM FOEDUS. 5
might find it difficult to gain a hearing among the crowds of ignorant and foolish people* (Polyb. xxxviii. 4.) It is, however, natural to suppose that the ordinary meetings, unless matters of special importance were to be discussed, Avere attended chiefly by the wealthier classes, who had the means of paying the expenses of their journey, for great numbers lived at a considerable distance from the place of meeting.
The subjects Avhich were to be brought before the assembly were prepared by a council (/3ouA.^), which seems to have been permanent. (Polyb. xxiii. 7, xxviii. 3, xxix. 9 ; Plut. Arat. 53.) The principal subjects on Avhich the great assembly had to decide Avere—peace and war (Polyb. iv. 15, &c.) ; the reception of neAv towns into the confederacy (Polyb. xxv. 1) ; the election of the magistrates of the confederacy (Polyb. iv. 37. 82 ; Pint. Arat. 41) ; the punishment of crimes committed by these magistrates, though sometimes special judges Avere appointed for that purpose, as well as the honours or distinctions to be conferred upon them. (Polyb. iv. 14, viii. 14, xl. 5. 8 ; Pans. vii. 9.) The ambassadors of foreign nations had to appear before the assembty, and to deliver the messages of their states, Avhich Avere then discussed by the assembled Achaeans. (Polyb. iv. 7, xxiii. 7, &c., xxviii. 7 ; Liv. xxxii. 9.) The assembly likeAvise had it in its poAver to decree, as to Avhe-ther negotiations Avere to be carried on with any foreign power or not, and no single town Avas al-lo\ved to send embassies to a foreign power on its own responsibility even on matters of merely local importance, although othenvise every separate toAvn managed its oAvn internal affairs at its own discretion, so long as it did not interfere Avith the interests of the league. No toAvn further Avas allowed to accept presents from a foreign power. (Polyb. xxiii. 8 ; Paus. vii. 9.) The votes in the assembly Avere given according to towns, each having one vote, Avhether the toAvn Avas large or small. (Liv. xxxii. 22, &c.)
The principal officers of the confederacy Avere. 1. at first two strategi (trrpcmyyoi), but after the year b. c. 255, there Avas only one (Strab. viii. p. 385), Avho in conjunction with an hipparchus ('i-TTTrap^os) or commander of the cavalry (Polyb. v. 95, xxviii 6) and an under-strategus (vTroo-rpa-TTjyos, PolvL. iv. 59) commanded the annv fur-
• » j \j / t/
nished by the confederacy, and was entrusted Avith the whole conduct of -war ; 2. a public secretary (ypaju/iaTeus), and 3. ten demiurgi (J8i]fjLiuvpyoi9 Strab. I. c. ; Liv. xxxii. 22, xxxviii. 30 ; Polyb. v. 1, xxiii. 10, Avho calls the demiurgi apxovres). These officers seem to have presided in the great assembly, where they probably formed the body of men which Polybius (xxxviii. 5) calls the yepoutrfa; the demiurgi or the strategus might convene the assembly, though the latter only Avhen the people were convened in arms and for military purposes. (Polyb. iv. 7 ; Liv. xxxv. 25.) All the officers of the league Avere elected in the assembly held in the spring, at the rising of the Pleiades (Polyb.-ii. 43, iv. 6. 37, v. 1), and legally they were invested with their several offices only for one year, though it frequently happened that men of great merit and distinction were re-elected for several successive years. (Plut. Arat. 24. 30, Cleom. 15.) If one of the officers died during the period of his office, his place Avas filled by his predecessor, until the timg for the new elections arrived. (Pohrb. xl. 2.) Tha