Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Common Peace or League of Corinth - Macedonia forged by Philip II - 13

The Common Peace or the League of Corinth (338-337 BC)
Philip now had to deal with the fate of the states he conquered. The Thebans came first, obviously I would say. They had to pay a ransom for those killed during the battle; the Thebans taken prisoner were sold as slaves. In the west, he soon controlled the entire north-south route from de Gulf of Corinth  all the way to Epirus.

Athens was an entirely different ballgame. The king sent a delegation with an offer of peace (once again), followed by an official embassy led by nobody less than Alexander in the company of Antipater and Alcimachus. They took the ashes of the cremated Athenians from the battlefield with them, as well as the two thousand Athenian prisoners taken at Chaeronea for which no ransom was demanded. They only requested that an Athenian embassy would go to Philip to discuss a mutual peace. Why Philip was so lenient towards Athens is a question that remains unanswered (Alexander also treated them differently from the other cities), but one important reason may have been his plans to invade Asia. He could hardly set out to punish the Persians for destroying Athens if he himself were to attack and loot the city now. After two years of warfare, both parties finally agreed on a treaty of friendship and alliance. The Athenians went even as far as conferring citizenship to Philip and Alexander, which by itself was not an exceptional gesture but it shows they made a step towards pleasing Philip. They even erected an equestrian statue of him on the Agora.

With peace restored in central Greece, Philip could and should now focus on the Peloponnese where Sparta still had the power (and probably the ambition) to create an uproar – something the king could do without if he were to cross over to Asia. The Spartans remained stubborn and since Philip did not want to engage in another war, he simply isolated Sparta by winning the surrounding states to his cause. Simple but effective.

That winter, Philip summoned all the Greek states to send their delegates to Corinth. There was nothing else they could do but comply and soon the Community of the Greeks (to koinon ton Hellenon) was born, the treaty we call The League of Corinth. I’m amazed how timely and topical the concept and the language of this treaty sounds! Our European “Union” can still learn from this and I feel it is worth to take a closer look of its contents.

[picture graciously shared by Jim]

Each state individually had to swear not to harm any other member of the Common Peace (or Philip or his descendants for that matter) and not to interfere in their internal affairs. They also swore not to become ally with any foreign power that could damage any member of the Treaty. No member could undertake any operation that might endanger the peace or overthrow its constitution. It sounds so simple, so logical and yet, still today, a near impossibility.

A new council (synedrion) headed by a hegemon (this was evidently to be Philip) was created to enforce the peace and each state had to send a number of council members elected by their own political organs to the synedrion’s meetings. This council would decide by a majority vote on all military, financial, domestic and foreign matters of the league. In fact, this synedrion was the final authority to settle any dispute between individuals or between member states. They had to help each other if one of the members was attacked, but were not allowed to accept support from foreign powers. Whoever would not adhere to these basic rules would face serious reprisals.

The very first meeting was held that same winter in Corinth and the Greeks (except Sparta, of course) all voted in favor of Philip’s settlement. This done, the members went home and Philip returned to Pella. He had finally defeated the Athenians, paralyzed the Thebans and neutralized the Peloponnese, in short Greece was now his. Before Philip, Greece as such did not exist except for an agglomeration of several cities and city-states. We owe the first national state ever created to Philip and this was Greece – an aspect that is generally forgotten or belittled, unfortunately. 

Click here to read the full story about Philip II from the beginning

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