The Achaean League - World History

The Achaean League - World History
Posted on 30-12-2022

The Achaean League ( 230 ) The Achaean League disputes the domain of the Peloponnese to Sparta and Macedonia.

In 230 Attalus I of Pergamum assumed the royal title. He was a great protector of Hellenistic culture. He expanded the library of Pergamum and adorned the city with many monuments, among which the gigantic altar of Zeus stands out, whose frieze, 200 meters long, represents the combat of the gods against the titans, symbol of the fight of Hellenism against the Galatian barbarians. Meanwhile, the kingdom of Illyria was ruled by Teuta,the widow of the recently deceased King Agrón. The rugged Illyrian coast had become a nest for pirates who operated across the Adriatic with the connivance of the royal house, much to the despair of the Greek merchants. In addition, Teuta maintained the alliance that her husband had established with Demetrius II of Macedonia, which allowed him to attack Epirus, where she killed some Italian merchants established in the capital, Fenice. After this incident, the Greeks considered that it was the right time to ask Rome to help them eradicate Illyrian piracy. Rome sent two ambassadors to Illyria, but Teuta had one of them assassinated.

In 229 Demetrius II of Macedon died. His son was twelve years old, so the throne was occupied by his tutor Antigonus II. Meanwhile, Demetrius of Faros,one of Teuta's generals, conquered the island of Corcyra. However, Illyria's prosperity could not last long. That same year, 200 Roman ships arrived on its shores ready to ask the queen for an account. After an easy victory, Teuta had to commit not to leave the Adriatic beyond Smooth. Demetrius of Faros negotiated independently with the Romans, ceding Corcyra to them, and in exchange, Rome imposed him as governor of a part of Illyria. In addition, Rome established its protectorate over various points on the coast (Partinia, Atintania, Epidamno, Apollonia, Orico and Corcyra). The Greeks were grateful to the Romans. They were even allowed to participate in some religious festivals, sign that they considered the Romans a civilized people on a par with the Greeks. King Zialeas of Bithynia also died, and was succeeded by his sonPrussias I.

In 228 Hamilcar Barca died. He had besieged the city of Helice (perhaps present-day Elche), but a leader from Oretano named Orissón came to free her, Amílcar had to flee and drowned in a river at the age of 42. The government of the Carthaginian troops in Spain passed into the hands of Asdrúbal, who reorganized the army with indigenous mercenaries and African contingents. Through a conciliatory policy he consolidated the territories occupied by his father-in-law Amílcar. Meanwhile, Athens managed to expel the Macedonian garrison that was occupying it and joined the Achaean League, which then reached the height of its power. However, he could not stop King Cleomenes III of Sparta from winning one victory after another. However, the king was more interested in gaining prestige than taking advantage of his victories. In226 considered that his authority in Sparta would no longer be disputed, so he returned to the city, had the ephors executed, and put into practice the economic reforms that Agis IV had planned.

Seleucus II was having some success against the Parthians, but had to give up before an attack by his brother Antiochus in Asia Minor. Antiochus was defeated and killed, and then Seleucus prepared to attack Attalus I of Pergamum, but was killed during the preparations. He was succeeded by his son Seleucus III, who set out to continue his father's plans against Pergamum.

Hasdrubal kept advancing north, and this worried two Greek colonies on the Mediterranean coast: Sagunto and Massalia (present-day Marseilles). Both had signed an alliance with Rome, so they appealed to her and Rome sent an embassy to Hasdrubal, for which he was forced to accept that the Carthaginian expansion would not exceed the Iberian river (the Ebro) and that the independence of Sagunto (despite the fact that it was further south of the Ebro). Hasdrúbal considered that the agreement left him enough room for manoeuvre. In 225 he founded a new city south of Alicante, which he called New Carthage. The Romans translated the name to Cartago Nova, the current Cartagena.

Meanwhile, some Gallic tribes crossed the Alps, and in alliance with their relatives from Cisalpine Gaul, launched themselves into Etruria, reaching the city of Clusium. Rome sent Gaius Flaminius north, who was not a very good general, and in a first encounter he was defeated. He had to receive a lot of reinforcements to finally get a victory.

in 224an earthquake destroyed the colossus of Rhodes. Later the Greeks exaggerated its size. They said that it had leaned on the two ends of the port, so that the ships passed between its legs, but the truth is that it had not been that big. That year the Spartan king Cleomenes III considered that Sparta was in a position to reclaim control of the Peloponnese. He set out again and defeated the armies of the Achaean League, capturing and sacking Megalopolis. He also captured Argos, while Corinth and other cities surrendered and entered into an alliance with Sparta. This was the end of the Achaean League, but Arato preferred to deliver it to Macedonia rather than to Sparta. He appealed to Antigonus II,

In 223 Seleucus III was fighting against Attalus I of Pergamum, but was assassinated by one of his officers, and the Seleucid Empire passed into the hands of his brother Antiochus III.

In 222 Antigonus II, at the head of his own Macedonian army plus that of the Achaean League and in alliance with the Illyrian Demetrius of Faros, descended to the south and found the Spartan army at Sellasia, about five miles north of Sparta. Although the Spartans fought as in the old days, their enemy was far superior, and they were defeated. Furthermore, this time Sparta did not have the miraculous luck that had saved it on similar occasions. Antigonus II occupied the city, restored the ephors, and forced Sparta to join the Achaean League. Cleomenes III had to take refuge in Egypt.

Gaius Flaminius led a new campaign by which Cisalpine Gaul was finally submitted to Rome. Now the entire Italian peninsula up to the Alps was under Roman rule.

In 221 Antigonus II was killed in battle against the Illyrians, and the Macedonian throne passed to Philip V, the son of Demetrius II. Ptolemy III also died, who was succeeded by his son Ptolemy IV. In Spain, Hasdrubal died at the hands of a slave of the Celtic king Tago, who wanted to avenge his lord, executed by order of Hasdrubal. At his death, Carthaginian rule extended to present-day Salamanca and Zamora. Command of the Carthaginian armies passed to Hannibal, Hamilcar's son, who was then 26 years old.

But the most remarkable event that year took place in faraway China, where the kingdom of Qin conquered that of Qi, bringing all of civilized China together under King Cheng. At this time, the monarch decided to change his name to Qin Shi Huang Di, which could be translated as "First Divine Emperor of China".The emperor claimed that the dynasty he inaugurated would rule China for 10,000 generations. He modified the religion to state that the emperor was not only above all Chinese, but also above all Chinese gods. As if the gods weren't helping him enough, he took steps to completely dismantle the previous feudal system. The peasants ceased to be tenants, to become owners who paid a fixed tax. The old territorial divisions were abolished, and new ones were established. The empire was divided into commanderies or prefectures subdivided in turn intodistricts. At the head of each command there was a civil governor, a military governor and an inspector, all of them officials whose positions were not hereditary, but could be appointed and removed at any time by the imperial chancery. The capital of the Empire was established in Xiang Yang(in the eastern part of the former state of Qin). The imposing bureaucratic machinery of Qin was applied to all of China. This included not only the strict legislative code, but also the entire system of weights and measures and coins. One of the most important initiatives for unification was the simplification and standardization of the script, which presented variants in the different regions. The emperor had a sumptuous palace built that reflected the ideas of the time about what the abode of the gods was like. He also dedicated himself to traveling throughout his domain, partly to earn the respect of his subjects, partly to interact with the local gods of the Empire. According to him he said,

In 220 Gaius Flaminius was elected censor, and began the construction of what would be called via Flaminia, a road that would link Rome to the north so that soldiers could quickly go in case of need. When it was finished, the Via Flaminia crossed Italy obliquely through the Apennines and reached the Adriatic coast, on the border with Cisalpine Gaul.

That year King Mithridates II of Pontus died and was succeeded by his son Mithridates III. Around this time Cappadocia gained independence from Pontus under its king Ariarates IV. Diodotus II of Bactria also died, but Euthydemus, the satrap of Sogdiana (a former Persian satrap that was now part of Bactria) dispossessed his offspring and usurped the throne. Under his reign Bactriana extended its borders towards India.

In Egypt a sad incident happened. While Ptolemy III had welcomed the Spartan king Cleomenes III, his son must have seen him as a nuisance and had him virtually arrested in Alexandria. Taking advantage of the fact that Ptolemy IV was absent from the city, Cleomenes escaped, and then tried to raise the Greeks of Alexandria against the king, but although he spoke of freedom, of the ancient prestige of Greece, and the like, people did not see in him More than a crazy old man. The following year he committed suicide.

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