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Historical significance of the undermentioned texts taken from “ M.M. AUSTIN ‘The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest ( 1981 ) ‘ ”Text: 52,53,81,84,85,93,94


52, This is a edict of Chios honoring the members of the Aetolian conference and is set in the mid 3rdcentury. The Aetolian League was non a creative activity of the Hellenistic age, but originated in the Classical period. It merely began to come to prominence with the decease of Alexander the Great ; the Aetolians participated in the Lamian war upon his decease, and, although defeated, did non endure reprisals in the same manner that larger province, such as Athinais did. This edict shows the turning power of the League, it is basically a edict proclaiming about joint citizenship between Chios and the Aetolian League. The decree demonstrates the turning power of the Aetolians, Chios was to have protection from Aetolian plagiarists at sea ( showing the deficiency of a individual dominant naval power in the period possibly ) and a place on the Amphictyonic council, in return the Aetolians continued to spread out be basically geting a naval base at Chios.

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53, The Achaean League, much like the Aetolian discussed in the old transition, were elagues of Alliess, differing from the Symmachies of the classical period in that they were non dominated be a individual province in the same manner the Boeotian League was dominated by Thebes. These were more democratic with no taking single province. The 3rd century saw a considerable rise in the power of the Achaean League as this transition demonstrates. Leagues such as these grew through the extension of citizenship, once more unlike the classical age where conquering or entry through the payment of testimonial was common. Both the Achaean League and the Aetolian rose in countries that did non hold a traditional polis history, possibly explicating the deficiency of a dominant power, one time dominant metropoliss like Athens refused to fall in the Achaean League, and Sparta did merely reluctantly. Polybius shows considerable prejudice in this transition, as he does in others. He was, himself a Grecian and dweller of the Achaean part and was a solon of this part, therefore he is obviously biased towards the Achaeans against the Aetiolians. Polybius besides demonstrates a general ill will to the enemies of the Achaean League.


In transition 81, Polybius takes a to a great extent moralising line, knocking the whole of the Grecian universe for basically leting themselves to go weak by disregarding the issue of population diminution. He is clearly stating us of this general place using to virtually the whole of the Greek universe, but in making so does uncover bias. As with about every historiographer, he is mentioning specifically to the upper categories, the category to which he belonged. We have really small cognition as to whether this state of affairs applied to the lower categories in the Grecian universe excessively, if it did non so the Grecian provinces may non hold been rather every bit hebdomad as Polybius implies here.

84, Again we see Polybius moralising ; this clip sing the province of the justness system in Boeotia. He tells us clearly that the Boeotian metropoliss were non in a province of pandemonium, that they were still being administered, and apparently really good given the usage of forts and foreign expeditions, along with no intimation of invasion for 25 old ages. He is moralizing sing the deficiency of justness, saying that justness could basically be bought by the wealthy. I would reason that this may non hold been entirely uncommon in the ancient universe and that his stance is funny, given that the provinces were otherwise being administered in obviously a successful manner. The stance taken by Polybius can be explained be his desire to show the Boeotians in a negative visible radiation, why he would want this is ill-defined from these transitions.

85, In contrast to the old transition, here Polybius is knocking Elis, in the Peloponnese for being over populated: although it is more that the population had chosen to be state inhabitants instead than to populate metropoliss. He stresses that they enjoyed great wealth and security. They were content as they were and did non utilize ( or necessitate? ) the usage of jurisprudence tribunals, nor did they take to interfere with neighbouring provinces. From the point of position of the Elians they were obviously content and had a high criterion of life, but for Polybius this was unacceptable. To non be interested in metropolis life, in jurisprudence tribunals, and in the wider universe in incomprehensible.


Rhodes was obviously a powerful province in the Hellenic period as evidenced by these two infusions. The temblor was stultifying to Rhodes and its economic system, but the metropolis had a repute and was powerful plenty that the neighbouring Hellenic lands felt it worth wooing Erodes by assisting with the Reconstruction attempts. His is an interesting going from the Classical period when we can presume no such aid ( or at least non on this graduated table ) would hold been offered. Polybius seems misanthropic in impeaching the Rhodians of utilizing the temblor to their ain advantage, were they making anything other than merely accepting aid? Passage 93 besides offers a image of considerable wealth in Greece the Hellenistic period and of a part incorporating many important powers, all competing for the friendly relationship of Rhodes through the offering of gifts.

Passage 94 demonstrates clearly that merely 7 old ages after the temblor that caused such harm, the Rhodians had re-established their place as the dominant naval power in the Grecian universe. When bargainers wished to kick about the infliction of revenue enhancements for travel through the Hellespont they appealed to Rhodes ; another interesting going from the Classical period when Athens was the dominant naval power. We besides see that so shortly after the temblor, Rhodes was prepared and able to travel to war over this issue. Polybius once more seems to expose a little anti Rhodes prejudice, connoting that diplomatic negotiations should hold achieved more than it did.


M. M. Austin, The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest ( Cambridge 1981 )

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