Federalism in Greek Antiquity

How Greek federal states tried to reconcile the forces of integration and independence

© Cambridge University Press

An anthology by ancient historians Prof. Dr. Hans Beck from McGill University, Montreal and Prof. Dr. Peter Funke from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” in Münster provides the first comprehensive reassessment of federalism in Greek antiquity. The world of ancient Greece witnessed some of the most sophisticated and varied experiments with federalism in the pre-modern era. In the volatile interstate environment of Greece, federalism was a creative response to the challenge of establishing regional unity, while at the same time preserving a degree of local autonomy. To reconcile the forces of integration and independence, Greek federal states introduced, for example, the stratification of legal practice, a federal grammar of religious festivals and cults and the notion of proportional representation. Federalism in Greek Antiquity provides the first comprehensive reassessment of the topic. It comprises detailed contributions on all federal states in Aegean Greece and its periphery. With every chapter written by a leading expert in the field, the book also incorporates thematic sections that place the topic in a broader historical and social-scientific context. Identity and Integration (Preliminary works cf. P. Funke - M. Haake (eds.), Greek Federal States and Their Sanctuaries [2013]). This first comprehensive study for half a century integrates all the available bodies of evidence into an accessible account. The book combines scholarly trends and approaches from diverse fields including classics, history, religion and cult, political science and law.

Literature: Beck, Hans, and Peter Funke (eds.), Federalism in Greek Antiquity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2015.


1. Introduction to federalism in Greek antiquity
Hans Beck and Peter Funke

2. Federalism and ethnicity
Jonathan M. Hall

3. The community of the Hellenes
Lynette G. Mitchell

4. Akarnania and the Akarnanian League
Klaus Freitag

5. The Aitolian League
Peter Funke

6. The Achaian League
Athanassios Rizakis

7. Boiotia and the Boiotian Leagues
Hans Beck and Angela Ganter

8. The Euboia League – an 'irregular' koinon?
Denis Knoepfler

9. The Lokrians and their federal leagues
Giovanna Daverio Rocchi

10. Phokis
Jeremy McInerney

11. Microfederalism in Central Greece: the Dorians and Oitaians
Denis Rousset

12. The Thessalian League Richard Bouchon and
Bruno Helly

13. The Arkadian Confederacy
Thomas Heine Nielsen

14. Elis (with Akroria and Pisatis)
James Roy

15. Traces of federalism in Messenia
Nino Luraghi

16. Molossia and Epeiros
Elizabeth A. Meyer

17. Federal Makedonia
Miltiades B. Hatzopoulos

18. The Chalkidike and the Chalkidians
Michael Zahrnt

19. Federalism and the sea: the koina of the Aegean Islands
Kostas Buraselis

20. Federalism on Crete: the Cretan koinon and the koinon of the Oreioi
Angelos Chaniotis

21. The Italiote League and Southern Italy
Michael P. Fronda

22. The Lykian League
Ralf Behrwald

23. Federalism in the Kyrenaïka?
Alex McAuley

24. Forerunners of federal states: collaboration and integration through alliance in Archaic and Classical Greece
Kurt A. Raaflaub

25. The Hellenic Leagues of late Classical and Hellenistic times and their place in the history of Greek federalism
Bernhard Smarczyk

26. Peaceful conflict resolution in the world of the federal states
Sheila Ager

27. The economics of federation in the ancient Greek world
Emily Mackil

28. Ancient theoretical reflections on federalism
Cinzia Bearzot

29. Greek federalism, the rediscovery of Polybius, and the framing of the American constitution
Gustav Adolf Lehmann