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A Coin of the Cypriote League

Koinon (Greek: Κοινόν, pl. Κοινά, Koina), meaning common, in the sense of public, had many interpretations, some societal, some governmental.[1] The word was the neuter form of the adjective, roughly equivalent in the governmental sense to Latin res publica, "the public thing." Among the most frequent uses is "commonwealth," the government of a single state, such as the Athenian.

Frequent in the historical writings is a sense of "league" or "federation" an association of distinct city-states in a sympoliteia. As government of a league, koinon comprised such functions as defense, diplomacy, economics, and religious practices among its member states.[2] The word was carried over to other political associations in mediaeval and modern Greek history.

In Epirus itself there had in ancient times existed the Koinon of the Molossians. There was a Lacedaemonian League, centred on Sparta and its old dominions for a period under Roman rule, a Koinon of the Macedonians, also under Roman rule. In modern Greek history, during the Greek War of Independence, a local self-government termed Koinon was set up in the islands of Hydra, Spetses and Psara.

Some federations termed Koinon were:

  • Ionian League (Κοινὸν Ἰώνων, Koinon Ionon), formed in the 7th century BC
  • Koinon of the Aeinautae, recorded on an inscription which was found in Eretria, island Euboea, dated to the 5th century BC
  • Acarnanian League (Κοινὸν τῶν Ἀκαρνάνων, Koinon ton Akarnanon), existing 5th century BC to c. 30 BC, with interruptions
  • Chalcidian League (Κοινὸν τῶν Χαλκιδέων, Koinon ton Chalkideon), existing c. 430 to 348 BC
  • Phocian League (Κοινὸν τῶν Φωκέων, Koinon ton Phokeon), existing 6th century BC to 3rd century AD, with interruptions
  • Thessalian League (Κοινὸν τῶν Θεσσάλων, Koinon ton Thessalon), existing 363 BC to 3rd century AD, with interruptions
  • League of the Magnetes (Κοινὸν τῶν Μαγνητῶν, Koinon ton Magneton), existing 197 BC to 3rd century AD, with interruptions
  • Aenianian League (Κοινὸν τῶν Αἰνάνων, Koinon ton Ainianon)
  • Arcadian League (Koinon ton Arkadon)
  • League of the Oeteans (Κοινὸν τῶν Οἰταίων, Koinon ton Oitaion)
  • Euboean League (Κοινὸν τῶν Εὐβοιέων, Koinon ton Euboieon)
  • Epirote League (Κοινὸν τῶν Ἠπειρωτῶν Koinon Epiroton), existing from c. 320 to c. 170 BC
  • League of the Islanders (Κοινὸν τῶν Νησιωτῶν, Koinon ton Nesioton), existing from c. 314 to c. 220 BC and 200 to 168 BC
  • Cretan League under the Roman Empire to the 4th century
  • Koinon of Macedonians existing from 3rd century to Roman period
  • Lycian League, founded in 168 BC
  • League of Free Laconians, a league of cities in Laconia established by Roman emperor Augustus in 21 BC
  • Koinon of the Zagorisians under the Ottoman Empire, 1670–1868
  • Aetolian League (Κοινὸν τῶν Αἰτώλων, Koinon ton Aitolon), early 3rd century BC to roughly 189 BC when it came under Roman influence
  • Achaean League (Κοινὸν τῶν Ἀχαιῶν, Koinon ton Achaion), 280 BC to 146 BC, dissolved by the Romans after the Battle of Corinth (146 BC)


  1. ^ The full range of meanings can be found under κοινός in LIddell & Scott. "A Greek-English Lexicon".
  2. ^ Mackil, Emily (May 18, 2013). Creating a Common Polity. University of California Press. p. 347. ISBN 9780520953932. Retrieved October 21, 2014.