League of Corinth

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Hellenic League
Πανελλήνιο Συνέδριο
338 BC/337 BC–322 BC
The Hellenic League after the death of Philip II
The Hellenic League after the death of Philip II
Common languagesAncient Greek
Ancient Greek religion
Hegemon, Strategos Autokrator of Greece 
• 338 BC/337 BC
Philip II
• 336 BC
Alexander III, the Great
• 304 BC
Demetrius I Poliorcetes
• 224 BC
Antigonus III Doson
• Established
338 BC/337 BC
• Disestablished
322 BC
Preceded by
Succeeded by
City states
Empire of Alexander the Great

The League of Corinth, also referred to as the Hellenic League (from Greek Ἑλληνικός Hellenikos, "pertaining to Greece and Greeks"[1][2][3]), was a confederation of Greek states created by Philip II[4] in 338–337 BC. The League was created in order to unify Greek military forces under Macedonian leadership (hegemony) in their combined conquest of the Persian Achaemenid Empire.[5][6][7]

King Philip was initially urged by Isocrates (in Isocrates' Philippus oration), in 346 BC, to unify Greece against the Persians.[8][9] After the Battle of Chaeronea, the league became controlled by King Philip.

The title 'League of Corinth' was invented by modern historians because the first council of the League took place in Corinth, and the Greek word synedrion is better translated as congress or conference rather than league. The organization was the first time in history that the Greek city-states (with the notable exception of Sparta, which would join only later under Alexander's terms) would unify under a single political entity.[10]


The League was governed by the Hegemon[11][12][13] (strategos autokrator[14][15] in a military context),[16] the Synedrion[17] (council) and the Dikastai (judges). Decrees of the league were issued in Corinth, Athens, Delphi, Olympia and Pydna.[18] The League maintained an army levied from member states in approximate proportion to their size, while Philip established Hellenic garrisons (commanded by phrourarchs, or garrison commanders) in Corinth, Thebes, Pydna[19] and Ambracia.

Treaty of the Common Peace[edit]

(A fragmentary inscription found in Athens)[20][21]


[․․․․․․․․․21․․․․․․․․․․ Ποσ]ειδῶ ․․5․․

․․․․․․․․․․22․․․․․․․․․․ς ἐμμεν[ῶ ․․․․] ․․․․․․․․․․22․․․․․․․․․․νον[τ]ας τ․․․․ [․․․․․․․․18․․․․․․․․ οὐδ]ὲ ὅπλα ἐ[π]οί[σω ἐ]- [πὶ πημονῆι ἐπ’ οὐδένα τῶν] ἐμμενόντ[ω]ν ἐν τ- [οῖς ὅρκοις οὔτε κατὰ γῆν] οὔτε κατὰ [θ]άλασ- [σαν· οὐδὲ πόλιν οὐδὲ φρο]ύριον καταλήψομ- [αι οὔτε λιμένα ἐπὶ πολέ]μωι οὐθενὸς τῶν τ- [ῆς εἰρήνης κοινωνούντ]ων τέχνηι οὐδεμι- [ᾶι οὔτε μηχανῆι· οὐδὲ τ]ὴν βασιλείαν [τ]ὴν Φ- [ιλίππου καὶ τῶν ἐκγόν]ων καταλύσω ὀδὲ τὰ- [ς πολιτείας τὰς οὔσας] παρ’ ἑκάστοις ὅτε τ- [οὺς ὅρκους τοὺς περὶ τ]ῆς εἰρήνης ὤμνυον· [οὐδὲ ποιήσω οὐδὲν ἐνα]ντίον ταῖσδε ταῖς [σπονδαῖς οὔτ’ ἐγὼ οὔτ’ ἄλ]λωι ἐπιτρέψω εἰς [δύναμιν, ἀλλ’ ἐάν τις ποε̑ι τι] παράσπονδ[ον] πε- [ρὶ τὰς συνθήκας, βοηθήσω] καθότι ἂν παραγ- [γέλλωσιν οἱ ἀεὶ δεόμενοι] καὶ πολεμήσω τῶ- [ι τὴν κοινὴν εἰρήνην παρ]αβαίνοντι καθότι [ἂν ἦι συντεταγμένον ἐμαυ]τῶι καὶ ὁ ἡγε[μὼ]- [ν κελεύηι ․․․․․12․․․․․ κα]ταλείψω τε․․ — — — — — — — — — — — — — :𐅃 [— — — — — — — — — — : Θεσ]σαλῶν :Δ [— — — — — — — — — — — ῶ]ν :ΙΙ [— — — — — — — — — Ἐλειμ]ιωτῶν :Ι [— — — — Σαμοθράικων καὶ] Θασίων :ΙΙ — — — — — — — — — ων :ΙΙ: Ἀμβρακιωτ[ῶν] [— — — — — — — ἀ]πὸ Θράικης καὶ [— — — — — :] Φωκέων :ΙΙΙ: Λοκρῶν :ΙΙΙ [— — — — Οἰτ]αίων καὶ Μαλιέων καὶ [Αἰνιάνων :ΙΙΙ: — καὶ Ἀγ]ραίων καὶ Δολόπων :𐅃 [— — — — — — : Πε]ρραιβῶν :ΙΙ

[— — — — — : Ζακύνθο]υ καὶ Κεφαληνίας :ΙΙΙ


Oath. I swear by Zeus, Gaia, Helios, Poseidon and all the gods and goddesses. I will abide by the common peace and I will neither break the agreement with Philip, nor take up arms on land or sea, harming any of those abiding by the oaths. Nor shall I take any city, or fortress, nor harbour by craft or contrivance, with intent of war against the participants of the war. Nor shall I depose the kingship of Philip or his descendants, nor the constitutions existing in each state, when they swore the oaths of the peace. Nor shall I do anything contrary to these agreements, nor shall I allow anyone else as far as possible. But if anyone does commit any breach of the treaty, I shall go in support as called by those who need and I shall fight the transgressors of the common peace, as decided (by the council) and called on by the hegemon and I shall not abandon--------

of Thessalians--Elimiotes--Samothracians and Thasians---Ambraciots---from Thrace and---Phocians, Locrians Oitaeans and Malians and Ainianes --and Agraeans and Dolopes---Perrhaebi---of Zacynthus and of Cephalenia.

The League during the Alexandrian campaigns[edit]

The decision for the destruction of Thebes as transgressor of the above oath was taken by the council of the League of Corinth by a large majority.[22] Beyond the violation of the oath, the council judged that the Thebans were thus finally punished for their betrayal of the Greeks during the Persian Wars.[23][24] The League is mentioned by Arrian (I, 16, 7), after the Battle of Granicus (334 BC). Alexander sent 300 panoplies to the temple of Pallas Athena in Athens, with the following inscription.

Alexander, son of Philip, and the Hellenes, except the Lacedaemonians, from the barbarians inhabiting Asia[25]

Also, Diodorus Siculus (Βίβλος ΙΖ’ 48.[6]) mentions the Council's decision in 333 BC, after the Battle of Issus, to send ambassadors to Alexander that will bring the Excellence of Greece (Golden Wreath).[26] During 331 BC after the Battle of Megalopolis, Sparta appealed to Alexander for terms, to which he agreed on condition that the Lacedaemonians now joined the League of Corinth.[27] During the Asiatic campaign, Antipater was appointed deputy hegemon of the League[28] while Alexander personally recommended that the Athenians turn their attention to things; in case something happened to him, Athens would take over the power in Greece.[29]


The League was dissolved after the Lamian War (322 BC).[30] During 302 BC Antigonus I Monophthalmus and his son Demetrius Poliorcetes tried to revive the federation against Cassander. Antigonus III Doson (king of Macedon from 229 BC to 221 BC) also revived the League against Sparta during 224 BC.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ἑλληνικός, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  2. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Book 16, 64.[3]: «Φίλιππος ἀπὸ τούτων τῶν χρόνων ἀεὶ μᾶλλον αὐξόμενος τὸ τελευταῖον διὰ τὴν εἰς τὸ θεῖον εὐσέβειαν ἡγεμὼν ἀπεδείχθη τῆς Ἑλλάδος πάσης καὶ μεγίστην βασιλείαν τῶν κατὰ τὴν Εὐρώπην περιεποιήσατο»
  3. ^ The reason Arrian wrote about Alexander: «ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ ἔστιν ὅστις ἄλλος εἷς ἀνὴρ τοσαῦτα ἢ τηλικαῦτα ἔργα κατὰ πλῆθος ἢ μέγεθος ἐν Ἕλλησιν ἢ βαρβάροις ἀπεδείξατο» Arrian, Alexander Anabasis [1.12.4.]
  4. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Book 16, 89.[3] «διόπερ ἐν Κορίνθῳ τοῦ κοινοῦ συνεδρίου συναχθέντος διαλεχθεὶς περὶ τοῦ πρὸς Πέρσας πολέμου καὶ μεγάλας ἐλπίδας ὑποθεὶς προετρέψατο τοὺς συνέδρους εἰς πόλεμον. τέλος δὲ τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἑλομένων αὐτὸν στρατηγὸν αὐτοκράτορα τῆς Ἑλλάδος μεγάλας παρασκευὰς ἐποιεῖτο πρὸς τὴν ἐπὶ τοὺς Πέρσας στρατείαν...καὶ τὰ μὲν περὶ Φίλιππον ἐν τούτοις ἦν»
  5. ^ Arrian, Alexander Anabasis, [4.11.7.] «καὶ ἐγὼ τῆς Ἑλλάδος μεμνῆσθαί σε ἀξιῶ, ὦ Ἀλέξανδρε, ἧς ἕνεκα ὁ πᾶς στόλος σοι ἐγένετο, προσθεῖναι τὴν Ἀσίαν τῇ Ἑλλάδι»
  6. ^ Kinzl, Konrad H. (2010). A Companion to the Classical Greek World. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 553. ISBN 978-1444334128. He [Philip] also recognized the power of pan-Hellenic sentiment when arranging Greek affairs after his victory at Chaironeia: a pan-Hellenic expedition against Persia ostensibly was one of the main goals of the League of Corinth.
  7. ^ Davis Hanson, Victor (2012). Makers of Ancient Strategy: From the Persian Wars to the Fall of Rome. Princeton University Press. p. 119. ISBN 978-0691156361. Afterwards he [Alexander] revived his father's League of Corinth, and with it his plan for a pan-Hellenic invasion of Asia to punish the Persians for the suffering of the Greeks, especially the Athenians, in the Greco-Persian Wars and to liberate the Greek cities of Asia Minor.
  8. ^ Philip [16]: «μέλλω γάρ σοι συμβουλεύειν προστῆναι τῆς τε τῶν Ἑλλήνων ὁμονοίας καὶ τῆς ἐπὶ τοὺς βαρβάρους στρατείας: ἔστι δὲ τὸ μὲν πείθειν πρὸς τοὺς Ἕλληνας συμφέρον, τὸ δὲ βιάζεσθαι πρὸς τοὺς βαρβάρους χρήσιμον. ἡ μὲν οὖν περιβολὴ παντὸς τοῦ λόγου τοιαύτη τίς ἐστιν» [1]
  9. ^ Harle, Vilho (1998). Ideas of Social Order in the Ancient World. Praeger. p. 24. ISBN 031330582X. The idea of the city-state was first challenged by the ideal of pan-Hellenic unity supported by some writers and orators, among which the Athenian Isocrates became a leading proponent with his Panegyrics of 380 suggesting a Greek holy war against Persia. However, only the rise of Macedonia made the realization of pan-Hellenic unity possible.
  10. ^ Pohlenz, Max (1966). Freedom in Greek Life and Thought: The History of an Ideal. Springer. p. 20. ISBN 978-90-277-0009-4.
  11. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Book 16, 91.[2]: «ἐπὶ δὲ τούτων Φίλιππος ὁ βασιλεὺς ἡγεμὼν ὑπὸ τῶν Ἑλλήνων καθεσταμένος καὶ τὸν πρὸς Πέρσας πόλεμον ἐνστησάμενος Ἄτταλον μὲν καὶ Παρμενίωνα προαπέστειλεν εἰς τὴν Ἀσίαν, μέρος τῆς δυνάμεως δοὺς καὶ προστάξας ἐλευθεροῦν τὰς Ἑλληνίδας πόλεις»
  12. ^ Plutarch, Alexander [14.1] «Εἰς δὲ τὸν Ἰσθμὸν τῶν Ἑλλήνων συλλεγέντων καὶ ψηφισαμένων ἐπὶ Πέρσας μετ᾽ Ἀλεξάνδρου στρατεύειν, ἡγεμὼν ἀνηγορεύθη»
  13. ^ Alexander’s letter to Darius after the battle of Issus: «Οι υμέτεροι πρόγονοι ελθόντες εις Μακεδονίαν και εις την άλλην Ελλάδα κακώς εποίησαν ημάς. Εγώ δε των Ελλήνων ηγεμών κατασταθείς και τιμωρήσασθαι βουλόμενος Πέρσας διέβην ες Ασίαν, υπαρξάντων υμών» Arrian, Alexander Anabasis [2.14.4.]
  14. ^ Diodorus, Book 17.3[9]: «τοῦ δ᾽ Ἀλεξάνδρου παραγγείλαντος εἰς Κόρινθον ἀπαντᾶν τάς τε πρεσβείας καὶ τοὺς συνέδρους, ἐπειδὴ συνῆλθον οἱ συνεδρεύειν εἰωθότες, διαλεχθεὶς ὁ βασιλεὺς καὶ λόγοις ἐπιεικέσι χρησάμενος ἔπεισε τοὺς Ἕλληνας ψηφίσασθαι στρατηγὸν αὐτοκράτορα τῆς Ἑλλάδος εἶναι τὸν Ἀλέξανδρον καὶ συστρατεύειν ἐπὶ τοὺς Πέρσας ὑπὲρ ὧν εἰς τοὺς Ἕλληνας ἐξήμαρτον»
  15. ^ Diodorus Sicilus, Book 16, Τάδε ἔνεστιν ἐν τῇ ἑκκαιδεκάτῃ τῶν Διοδώρου ἱστορικῶν βίβλων: «ὡς οἱ Ἕλληνες αὐτοκράτορα στρατηγὸν εἵλοντο Φίλιππον. ὡς Φίλιππος μέλλων διαβαίνειν εἰς τὴν Ἀσίαν ἀνῃρέθη»
  16. ^ Alexander the Great: A New History By Alice Heckel, Waldemar Heckel, Lawrence A. Tritle Page 103 ISBN 1-4051-3082-2
  17. ^ Diodorus Sicilus, Book 16, 89.[3]: «διόπερ ἐν Κορίνθῳ τοῦ κοινοῦ συνεδρίου συναχθέντος διαλεχθεὶς περὶ τοῦ πρὸς Πέρσας πολέμου καὶ μεγάλας ἐλπίδας ὑποθεὶς προετρέψατο τοὺς συνέδρους εἰς πόλεμον»
  18. ^ A History of Macedonia: Volume II: 550-336 B.C. Page 639 ISBN 0-19-814814-3
  19. ^ Diodorus Sicilus, Book 16.8.[3]: «τόπων εὐφυῶς πολλὰ συνεβάλετο τῷ Φιλίππῳ πρὸς αὔξησιν. εὐθὺ γὰρ τὴν μὲν Πύδναν ἐχειρώσατο»
  20. ^ IG II² 236
  21. ^ Rhodes, P.J. and Robin Osborne. Greek Historical Inscriptions, 404-323 BC, p. 373 ISBN 0-19-921649-5
  22. ^ Arrian 1.9.9-10, Diodorus Siculus 17.14.1, Justin 11.3.6
  23. ^ Arrian [1.9.7] «ὡς τῆς τε ἐν τῷ Μηδικῷ πολέμῳ προδοσίας τῶν Ἑλλήνων διὰ μακροῦ ταύτην δίκην ἐκτίσαντας Θηβαίους»
  24. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Book 17, 14.[2][3][4]: «τοὺς δὲ συνέδρους τῶν Ἑλλήνων συναγαγὼν ἐπέτρεψε τῷ κοινῷ συνεδρίῳ πῶς χρηστέον τῇ πόλει τῶν Θηβαίων. [2] προτεθείσης οὖν βουλῆς τῶν ἀλλοτρίως διακειμένων τοῖς Θηβαίοις τινὲς ἐπεχείρουν συμβουλεύειν ἀπαραιτήτοις τιμωρίαις δεῖν περιβαλεῖν αὐτούς, ἀπεδείκνυον δ᾽ αὐτοὺς τὰ τῶν βαρβάρων πεφρονηκότας κατὰ τῶν Ἑλλήνων: καὶ γὰρ ἐπὶ Ξέρξου συμμαχοῦντας τοῖς Πέρσαις ἐστρατευκέναι κατὰ τῆς Ἑλλάδος καὶ μόνους τῶν Ἑλλήνων ὡς εὐεργέτας τιμᾶσθαι παρὰ τοῖς βασιλεῦσι τῶν Περσῶν καὶ πρὸ τῶν βασιλέων τοῖς πρεσβεύουσι τῶν Θηβαίων τίθεσθαι θρόνους. [3] πολλὰ δὲ καὶ ἄλλα τοιαῦτα διελθόντες παρώξυναν τὰς τῶν συνέδρων ψυχὰς κατὰ τῶν Θηβαίων καὶ πέρας ἐψηφίσαντο τὴν μὲν πόλιν κατασκάψαι, τοὺς δ᾽ αἰχμαλώτους ἀποδόσθαι, τοὺς δὲ φυγάδας τῶν Θηβαίων ἀγωγίμους ὑπάρχειν ἐξ ἁπάσης τῆς Ἑλλάδος καὶ μηδένα τῶν Ἑλλήνων ὑποδέχεσθαι Θηβαῖον. [4] ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ἀκολούθως τῇ τοῦ συνεδρίου γνώμῃ τὴν μὲν πόλιν κατασκάψας»
  25. ^ I.16.7
  26. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Book ΙΖ' 48.[6] «οἱ δὲ σύνεδροι τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἐψηφίσαντο πέμψαι πρέσβεις πεντεκαίδεκα στέφανον φέροντας χρυσοῦν παρὰ τῆς Ἑλλάδος ἀριστεῖον Ἀλεξάνδρῳ καὶ συνησθησομένους τῇ κατὰ Κιλικίαν νίκῃ»
  27. ^ Savill, Agnes. Alexander the Great and his Time, p. 44 ISBN 0-88029-591-0
  28. ^ Alexander the Great: a reader By Ian Worthington Page 305 ISBN 0-415-29187-9
  29. ^ Plutarch, Alexander [13.1] & [13.2]: «Ἀθηναίοις δὲ διηλλάγη...ἀλλὰ καὶ προσέχειν ἐκέλευσε τοῖς πράγμασι τὸν νοῦν τὴν πόλιν, ὡς εἴ τι συμβαίη περὶ αὐτὸν, ἄρξουσαν τῆς Ἑλλάδος»
  30. ^ Pomeroy, Sarah B. Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History, p. 467 ISBN 0-19-509742-4
  31. ^ Trever, Albert Augustus. History of Ancient Civilization, Volume 1, p. 479 ISBN 0-7735-2890-3