The Achaean League and Collective Identity

Achaean League triobol, 175-168 BC, McClean 6431-6432. Obverse depicts the god of the League Zeus Homarius, Reverse depicts AX monogram, meaning of the Achaeans.

“The Achaean League seems to have been, on the whole, a rather admirable institution. Its early history and development is, however, somewhat more complicated than I realised…”
– Walbank (2002) 140.

This page will layout the work I conducted in 2018-2019 for my undergraduate dissertation, which was entitled “The Achaean League and Collective-Identity.” I have decided to expand my research into this topic over the summer in preparation for my Master’s Degreee.


Blog Posts

What was the Achaean League and why should we study it?

The Early Achaean League 900 – 371 BC
(Originally Chapter 1 of my dissertation)

Federalism in the Hellenistic Period
(Based on extracts from Chapter 2)

What is Collective Identity?

Achaean Coins

Achaea and Rome: 192 B.C. – 146 B.C.
(Originally Chapter 3)



I’ve included my dissertation bibliography below.

Primary Sources

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, Volume X, trans. Geer, R.M. (Loeb: Cambridge MA 1954)

Homer, The Iliad, trans. Lattimore, R. (The University of Chicago Press: Chicago 2011 Edition).

Livy, The History of Rome, Volume IX, trans. Yardley, J.C. (Loeb: Cambridge MA 2017)

Livy, Rome and the Mediterranean, trans. Bettenson, H. (Penguin: Harmondworth 1976)

Plutarch, Lives, Volume X, trans. Perrin, B. (Loeb: Cambridge MA 1921).

Plutarch, Lives, Volume XI, trans. Perrin, B. (Loeb: Cambridge MA 1926).

Polybius, The Histories, Volume V, trans. Paton, W.R. revised by Walbank, F. and Habricht, C. (Loeb: Cambridge 2012)

Polybius, The Histories, Volume VI, trans. Paton, W.R. revised by Walbank, F. and Habricht, C. (Loeb: Cambridge 2012)

Polybius, The Histories, trans. Waterfield, R. (Oxford University Press: Oxford 2010).

Pausanias, Description of Greece, trans. Jones, W.H.S. (Loeb: Cambridge MA 1918).

Xenophon, Hellenica, trans. Brownson, C.L. (Loeb: Cambridge MA 1918 and 1920).

Secondary Sources

Assmann, J. (2011, first published in German in 1992) Cultural Memory and Early Civilisation: Writing, Remembrance, and Political Imagination. (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge).

Austin, M.M. (2006) The Hellenistic world from Alexander to the Roman conquest: a selection of ancient sources in translation (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge).

Badian, E. (1952). The Treaty between Rome and the Achaean League. The Journal of Roman Studies, 42, 76-80.

Cartledge, P. and Spawforth, A. (1989) Hellenistic and Roman Sparta: A Tale of Two Cities. (Routledge: London)

Derow, P.S. (1989, 2nd ed.) ‘Rome, the fall of Macedon and the sack of Corinth’ in, The Cambridge Ancient History: Volume 8, Rome and the Mediterranean, 218-133 B.C. eds. Astin, Walbank, Fredersiksen and Ogilvie (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge). 290-323.

Dimakis, N. (2016) Social Identity and Status in the Classical and Hellenistic Northern Peloponnese (Archaeopress: Oxford).

Erskine, A. (2002) ‘O brother where art thou? Tales of kinship and diplomacy’, in The Hellenistic World: New Perspectives, ed. D. Ogden. (Classical Press of Wales: Swansea) 97-117.

Fuks, A. (1970). The Bellum Achaicum and Its Social Aspect. The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 90, 78-89.

Grainger, J.D. (2013) Rome, Parthia and India: The Violent Emergence of a New World Order 150-140 BC (Pen and Sword Books Ltd: Barnsley).

Grainger, J.D. (2017) Great Power Diplomacy in the Hellenistic World (Routledge: Abington).

Gruen, E. (1984) The Hellenistic World and the Coming of Rome: Volume 2 (University of California Press: Berkley)

Hall, J. M. (1997). Ethnic identity in Greek antiquity. (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge).

Hall, J.M. (2015) ‘Federalism and ethnicity’. In H. Beck & P. Funke (Eds.), Federalism in Greek Antiquity. (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge). 30-48.

Hansen, M.H. (2006) Polis: An introduction to the Ancient Greek City State. (Oxford University Press: Oxford).

Larsen, J.A.O. (1967) Greek Federal States: Their Institutions and History. (Claredon Press: Clarendon Press).

Meskell, L. (1999) Archaeologies of social life. (Blackwell Publishing Ltd: Oxford).

Morgan, C. and Hall, J. M. (1996) ‘The Achaian Poleis and Achaian Colonisation’ in Introduction to an Inventory of ‘Poleis’: Symposium August, 23-26 1995, Volume 74, eds M.H. Hansen. (The Royal Danish Society of Sciences and Letters: Copenhagen).

Morgan, C. and Hall, J.M. (2004) ‘Achaia’ in An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis, eds. Hansen, M.H and Nielsen, T.H. (Oxford University Press: Oxford) 489-504.

O’Neal, W. (1994). The Messenian Affair, Philopoemen, and Roman Policy. International Social Science Review, 69(1/2), 31-35

Rizakis, A. (2015) ‘The Achaian League’ in Federalism in Greek Antiquity, eds H. Beck and P. Funke. (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge).

Runciman, W. G. (1982). ‘Origins of States: The Case of Archaic Greece’. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 24(3), 351-377.

Runciman, W.G. (1990) ‘Doomed to Extinction: the polis as an evolutionary dead-end’, in The Greek City from Homer to Alexander, ed. O. Murray and S. Price. (Clarendon Press: Oxford). 347-367.

Scott, M. (2010) Delphi and Olympia: The spatial politics of panhellenism in the archaic and classical periods. (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge).

Snodgrass, A.M. (1971) The Dark Age of Greece: An Archaeological Survey of the Eleventh to the Eighth Centuries BC. (Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh).

Shipley, G. (2018) The Early Hellenistic Peloponnese: Politics, Economics, and Networks 338-197 BC (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge).

Tarn, W. and Griffith, G.T. (1954, 3rd Edition) Hellenistic Civilisation (University Paperbacks: London).

Thonemann, P. (2015)

Walbank, F. (1979) A historical commentary on Polybius, Volume 3. (Claredon Press: Oxford)

Walbank, F. (2002) ‘Hellenes and Achaeans: ‘Greek nationality’ revisited’ in Polybius, Rome and The Hellenistic World, eds. F. Walbank. (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge).

Internet Sources

Chaniotis, A., Pleket, H.W., Stroud, R.S. and Strubbe, J.H.M., “SEG 47-344. Epidauros (Asklepieion). Casualty list of the campaign at the Isthmos of Corinth, 146 B.C.”, in:Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum, Current editors: A. T. N. R.A. Chaniotis Corsten Papazarkadas Tybout. Consulted online on 13 March 2019

Woodhead, A.G., “SEG 14-375. Aigion. Fragmentum foederis (?), ex. s. IVa.”, in: Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum, Current editors: A. T. N. R.A. Chaniotis Corsten Papazarkadas Tybout. Consulted online on 13 December 2018


Figure 1: Achaean League Triobol by Ancientcoincollector (accessed 08/02/2019) (wikimedia commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)