The Politics of Ethnicity and the Crisis of the Peloponnesian League

  Funke, Peter, and Nino Luraghi, eds. 2009. The Politics of Ethnicity and the Crisis of the Peloponnesian League. Hellenic Studies Series 32. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.

IX. The Archaeology of Ethnê and Ethnicity in the Fourth-Century Peloponnese

Catherine Morgan

The Nature of the Evidence

Monumental Dedications

Perhaps the most prominent case, also considered by Maria Pretzler in this volume, is the group of ethnic monuments set alongside city dedications at Delphi. Discussion should begin with these city dedications, as they provide the context in which the ethnic monuments must be read. The spectacular series of Argive dedications which began in 456 with the Monument of the Epigonoi, culminated around 369 with the Hemicycle of the Kings. This celebrated Argos’ alliance with Thebes, and was thus a powerful symbol for the newly “liberated” Peloponnesians. [11] Over the next century or so, the area around the Hemicycle came to be filled with dedications. Immediately after its creation, however, when the area was still relatively empty, the placing close by of a small number of Peloponnesian monuments (including that of Lysander himself) must have created a very strong impression. Particular among these is the group celebrating the so-called autochthonous peoples of Arcadia dedicated by the Arcadian laos in ca. 369 (and plausibly linked with the confederacy of 370), which was signed by one of its sculptors as Samolas Arkas. [12] A number of Arcadian cities (Gortys, Kaphyai, Tegea, Mantinea, and Thisoa) had made civic dedications at Delphi during the fifth century, and Orchomenos did so too during the fourth. But this collective monument represents a deliberate departure. [13] To it might be added Pausanias’ reference (10.18.2–3) to the Achaean dedication of a statue of Athena which must either date early in the fourth century or to 189 CE, and the series of five monuments dedicated by the koinon of the Aetolians from the early third. [14] It would be premature to claim any major departure from the fifth-century predominance of city dedications, not least given the small numbers of extant bases and the doubts surrounding the date of some of the offerings mentioned by Pausanias. Nonetheless, one should not underestimate the likely impact not merely of these monuments individually, but of the ensemble they formed.


Coinage is a second area where, already during the fifth century, material statements had come to reflect the political salience of ethnic identity. Not least thanks to Thomas Martin’s wide-ranging discussions of the practical function and political value of Greek coinage, [15] from the perspective of a historian and with due acknowledgement of the many controversies and uncertainties involved, it is easy to see in broad terms how early coin issues could function as indicators of the political register (regional-ethnic or city) in which certain political and/or economic problems were perceived to be most conveniently addressed. This general formulation must surely be preferred to any implication of formal league authorities. When one considers the range of functions for which a verifiable form of revenue might have been needed—the acquisition of raw materials, military pay, taxes, fines and contributions to name but a few—it is clearly important to see what solutions (or claims to solutions) were advanced and in what way. Hence the considerable scholarly debate surrounding the fifth-century Arkadikon coinage, which began to be struck later than the first city issues (the obols and triobols or hemidrachms of Heraia ca. 510–470, and perhaps also Mantinea), [16] and most probably continued alongside a growing number of them (including those of Psophis, Pallantion, Pheneos, Alea, Kleitor, Thaliades, and Mantinea). [17] It is precisely this overlap and the interaction between city, sub-regional ethnic (in the case of the Parrhasians) and regional ethnic issues which have given rise to such a range of (notably religious and military) explanations for the Arkadikon issues. [18] The fact that city issues came from northern and western poleis, close to contested borders, and in the east from a city such as Mantinea, which was actively engaged in trade with its eastern neighbours, allows us to postulate distinctive needs met by different forms of issue. [19] Indeed, some fifty years ago Charles Seltman noted that the denominations of the Arkadikon coinage corresponded to gaps in the Olympic issues of neighbouring Elis. [20] Yet the separate die-sequences attested in the Arkadikon coinage have generally been accepted as evidence that issues were struck in local mints (and here I emphasize merely the principle, rather than the specific locations proposed, which remain matters of disagreement). [21] If so, it would be an over-simplification to see the ethnic and city registers as merely functionally distinct (let alone incompatible, an old argument now rightly rejected). [22] Whatever the immediate economic purpose of the Arkadikon coinage, it also made a wider regional claim with which those who struck and/or used it identified themselves.

Every aspect of this general fifth-century picture continued into the fourth. Most coin issues still represented the interests of individual poleis. After the Arcadian capture of Olympia in 365, for example, Pisa struck coinage with iconography which reflects its ancient role in Olympic history. [23] Megalopolis is the case with the widest implications by virtue of the circumstances of its creation. It is perhaps not surprising to find that when the city minted in the 360s, it was the Arkadikon coinage which served as the available model of a widely used, shared issue (quite apart from the historical claims and allusions which it embodied). [24] As ever, the Messenians are the exception: little as we know of the internal organisation of the new state, it surely contained poleis, yet the first coin issues carried the ethnic legend. [25] The form chosen, Messanioi, may, as Hall suggests, imply a city ethnic derived from the toponym Messene, [26] but in practice the situation was the reverse. The ethnic was already well established in use, and it is perhaps hard to see what else the inhabitants of the region would have called themselves: how to name the new town was a less obviously straightforward matter, however. Despite the likely existence of other poleis within the territory of post-independence Messenia, [27] Messanioi patently had wider significance, and the suggestion that it represents an ideal of community conceived in exile is wholly plausible. “The Messenians” minted silver staters, triobols and obols, plus a bronze issue too. The head of Demeter on the obverse surely reflects an important cult in a very fertile region (and conceivably, even at this stage, the role of the eponymous heroine Messene as founder), [28] whereas Zeus on the reverse of the stater and triobol must inter alia allude to Mt. Ithome. [29]

In concentrating on city issues, one should not ignore larger scale ethnic—if not federal—claims made via coinage. Staters were issued by the Arcadian League soon after 370, [30] and in Achaea, silver coinage (staters and related drachms and hemidrachms) of ca. 370–360 with the legend ΑΧΑΙΩΝ have rightly been seen as evidence for shared interests and collective pride after Leuctra. [31] The Arcadian issue probably reveals most about the aspirations of the cities who struck it, as against those, like Pheneos or Stymphalos, who preferred to strike on much the same model but with their own city legends. [32] Arguably, it is not until after the refoundation of the Achaean League in 280 that we find numismatic evidence for any significant shift in economic and political integration in any wider local or pan-Peloponnesian context (a major and controversial topic in its own right, and beyond the scope of the present discussion). That it took so long for any widespread intensification of coin issues or hierarchy of circulation to emerge begs both political and economic questions, especially when one considers the potential needs for verifiable forms of payment across the Peloponnese through the fifth and fourth centuries, for example for military supply. [33] While there are echoes here of the explanation of military pay offered for the Arkadikon coinage, the implication that commodity supply mechanisms continued to function without straining pre-existing fifth-century economic structures to breaking point is rather important.

The Built Environment: Background and Context

As emphasized, however, the main changes to be observed are in the built environment—in settlement hierarchies, the timing and nature of building programmes, as well as in the popularity and distribution of individual building types. Inevitably, the nature of the evidence makes the chronological focus of this discussion less precise than that of other chapters in this volume. Yet while one might expect some time lag between the creation of institutions and the provision of built facilities and monuments to house and/or express them, the significance of this should not be overestimated. The ability and will to mobilise the human and material resources necessary to build must have rested on perceptions of what was desirable and/or practical, drawn from wider experience of political and social realities. [34] Monumental construction is not merely symbolic in its own right, but illustrates the ability of the patron group to exploit complex social and economic networks. Again, this is of itself nothing new, but the intensity of building activity must have created an unusually rich range of opportunities for craftsmen and contractors willing and able to move freely from project to project across political boundaries, and thus for patrons to display their ability to command. [35] Whether this in turn created competition to assemble a good team with the right materials at the best prices is a matter of speculation. Alison Burford argued that the Epidauros building contracts indicate reliance on personal contacts established via proxenia and theôrodokia to draw in craftsmen and raw materials from other states at the best possible prices. [36] But if one accepts this argument (and it is not clear that one should), it must be understood within a well-established context of craft mobility. In the same way, while there is quite widespread evidence that proxenoi and other such persons took opportunities for personal advertisement via prominent public buildings in the cities in which they served—Antiochos of Lepreon’s dedication of the proedria seats in the theatre at Megalopolis, for example, soon after the foundation of the city [37] —there is no hard evidence to link this to a specific role in the construction.

Before turning to the settlement record, however, we should pause to consider the wider context of these changes, since the Peloponnese cannot be understood in isolation. Certain relationships were close to constants. The Corinthian Gulf was always a critical outlet for the mountain economies of the central Peloponnese and central Greece (Phocis, Locris, Aetolia and Boeotia). [39] Arcadian communities practised a diverse range of upland subsistence strategies, with (broadly) a greater emphasis on the traditional triad further east, and on herding further west, and noting the particular demands of high altitudes in the central and northern areas. [40] The need to exchange commodities across eco-zones (with, at the very least, short-distance internal transhumance) must have contributed to complex perceptions of territory and social group boundaries. [41] On a broader level, the strength of Arcadia’s links with the outside world, achieved via Achaea in particular, served to open up the regional economy and avoid the cycles of boom or bust characteristic of closed mountain systems through history. [42] In turn, the impact on the development of coastal, “bridge,” zones can be traced in a number of ways. An illustration which shows these processes to be well established long before the fourth century is the nature of Achaean script, which combines traits from areas all around the Gulf, and is on present evidence first attested on Ithaca around 700 BCE. It is hardly controversial to suggest that the local character of certain scripts was to a significant extent a deliberate creation: other contributors to this volume demonstrate that it was still a powerful tool into the fourth century in regions such as Messenia or Elis/Pisa. This particular example, however, shows with unusual clarity the vitality of connections focused on the Gulf zone. [43]

Changes in what was to become greater Aetolia (including the coastal territories then in other hands) were perhaps the most obvious and most directly experienced by Peloponnesians. This is due both to physical proximity and, at least initially, to Achaean political interests along the northern coast of the Gulf. Kalydon was formally incorporated into an Achaean League (of whatever form) shortly before 389 (Xenophon Hellenica 4.6.1) and held into the 360s, and after the demise of Athenian control and a period of independence, Naupaktos was Achaean until 338. [45] The old view that urban development occurred here only in the later fourth-third centuries, after centuries of backwardness, is plainly wrong. At Chalkis, which was incorporated into Aetolia on its removal from Achaea in 366, recent Helleno-Danish fieldwork has revealed evidence of an extensive Archaic precursor to the Classical-early Hellenistic city. [46] And at Naupaktos, the impact of the Athenian garrison and the presence of Messenian exiles is clearly shown in the physical expansion of the phrourion and the creation and expansion of town cemeteries through the second half of the fifth century. [47] Yet the later Classical expansion was real, and even though excavation at inland sites has been more limited, the picture here too is clear. [48] The Aetolians were certainly beginning to act more in concert by the 370s, and the Athenian protest to the Aetolian koinon made in 367/6 offers good evidence for the existence of a league by this date, even if we do not know its exact constitution. [49] Yet despite their warlike reputation, the Aetolians were no real threat on their own (they required Macedonian aid to take Naupaktos). I merely note that such a physical and political transformation, at that point unparalleled in the Peloponnese, was new, close at hand, and something to which Achaea at least, as the principal coastal state, had to respond.

Changes in the scale and nature of settlement in the Ionian islands may have been of even greater long-term significance in that they reflect a major shift of power to the west. On Kephallenia, so important to Athens through the second half of the fifth century (and host to Messenian exiles at Krane), [50] new, planned cities were laid out from the first half of the fourth century onwards, and there was a general increase in fortified settlements. [51] On Leukas, the main town cemeteries expanded markedly from the mid-fifth century and especially through the fourth (at the end of which the city was walled). [52] The late fifth-fourth century also saw the development of one of the most characteristic forms of rural settlement, the tower residences which combined agricultural and security (defence and observation) functions too. The intensity of exploitation implied by these facilities finds echoes elsewhere in the region. [53] In the case of Ithaca, the island’s limited resources and location as a stepping stone between Kephallenia and Leukas made it a peculiarly sensitive indicator of changes in local economic integration and orientation. Here the fourth century saw the start of major expansion at the two principal settlements, Aetos and Stavros, from a quite small Archaic and early Classical base. The findings of the Stavros Valley Project show intense late Classical and Hellenistic exploitation of the khôra of Stavros, and at Aetos, both pre-war excavations of the British School at Athens, and more recent work by the University of Washington at St Louis point to a major expansion in settlement. [54] Here too, a series of fortifications were established in the late fourth-early third century, including those on the acropoleis of Aetos and (somewhat later) Roussano (east of Stavros), and a tower residence at Ag. Athanasios. [55] The chain of fortified vantage points, running in an arc from Leukas through Ithaca to Kephallenia seems to have been in place by the early third century at the latest. The Leukas canal, navigable again perhaps from the mid-third century onwards (if we can trust Pseudo-Skylax 34), brought Corcyra into this ambit also. For the Peloponnese, the outcome was intensified traffic along the Gulf and a clear power shift westwards: this is most clearly seen in the expansion of Patras and Dyme discussed below.

Ethnically, most Azanian cities came to identify themselves as Arcadian, but the chronology of their monumental development shows, to a varying extent, similarity with coastal Achaea. Lousoi is an interesting such case. An Azanian city which identified itself as ethnically Arcadian after the demise of the Azanian ethnos (at least by the late fourth or early third century), [58] the chronology of its monumental development is closer to that of coastal Achaea, although details of architectural style show a more even balance of connections to north and south. The late fourth-century Ostbau is the earliest building in a series which included the Temple of Artemis Hemera of ca. 300 (strongly influenced in its architecture by the somewhat earlier Classical temples at Bassai and Tegea), Naiskos D, and then the Hellenistic bouleuterion and fountain house—and such settlement evidence as we have dates at the earliest to the third century. [59] But Lousoi should not be seen as typical either in date or in the development of specific building forms (the chronology of which will be discussed presently). The Pheneos survey, for example, has revealed evidence of towers that were surely more than just military in purpose from the end of the fifth to the mid-third century. [60] Further west, evidence seems closer to the Arcadian pattern outlined below: the theatre at Leontion dates to the second half of the fourth century, and at Kleitor there may perhaps be a fourth-century predecessor to the Hellenistic theatre later used for Achaean League assemblies. [61] Geography, and especially the direction and role of routes of communication, make such a mixed picture readily comprehensible.

From a wider Peloponnesian perspective, we should note the potential for comparative analysis of site hierarchy. It would, for example, be helpful to evaluate features such as settlement size and layout, and important progress in this direction has certainly been made (as discussed below) largely on the basis of surface data. [62] Inevitably, though, conclusions have tended to be rather broad-brush, and a lengthy new study would be required if we were to attempt to use surface data to draw more detailed comparison of regional development across the Peloponnese while taking full account of the variability both of the data and the methodologies via which they were generated. [63] This would be a worthwhile exercise which would likely add considerably to the account given here, but it is beyond the scope of this short chapter. For present purposes, there are a few cases where real change in the extent and built form of a settlement can be identified. One such is Stymphalos, where geophysical exploration has revealed a newly established, orthogonally planned city, with a theatre and a new temple of Athena. The excavator, Hector Williams, relates this change to synoikism, comparing Stymphalos to Mantinea as a possibly similar conception. [64] But more evidence of this kind is needed before models of ranking can be applied to data on site size and layout over any significant area. At present, monumental construction offers greater scope for documenting a degree of settlement ranking, as well as for varying perceptions of the wider significance of different building forms missing in earlier centuries.

Regional Comparisons

In his recent discussions of the relationship between demography and wider political power, John Bintliff has identified cycles of “urban take off,” which were always combined with expansion in rural settlement. [65] In the fifth century the main area of this “take off” corresponded with the political peak of the old polis lowlands (i.e. the northwest Peloponnese), in the fourth it reflects the rise of the central and southern Peloponnese, and in the third century we find the rise of Achaea, central and north-western Greece. Bintliff’s argument drew on data from a range of surface survey projects, but it echoes what can be observed in monumental investment and raises questions of site hierarchy which merit continuing research. Limitations of preservation and research must be acknowledged (although some building forms—theatres for example—tend to remain more visible than others). [66] The following review is preliminary and uncertainties of detail remain: nonetheless, the results offer a useful point of departure for argument.

Compared with the extent and scale of temple building in Arcadia during the Archaic period, the fourth century saw relatively few locations (re-)developed. [72] But what was undertaken was done on a lavish scale and designed to send out carefully conceived messages to a wide audience. This contrast is not unique to Arcadia: the nature of fourth-century religious building programmes throughout the Peloponnese differed in many respects from that of the previous, sixth-century peak, as will be further discussed. Here, however, the changes correlate with wider patterns of architectural investment. Lavish as they were, temples do not always seem to have been the highest priority for local investment. At Tegea, the fire of 395 which destroyed the Archaic temple necessitated the first rebuilding since the late seventh century. The proposed date of ca. 345–335 for the extant architectural remains leaves a gap of almost 50 years between the fire and the rebuilding. [73] Indeed, Geoffrey Waywell has suggested that if the Ada, Zeus, and Idrieus relief dedicated at this time was a document relief, it may be a thank-offering for a donation of money from the satraps of Mylasa. [74] He further suggests that the subject of the relief sculpture of the altar, the birth and life of Zeus (Pausanias 8.47.4), fits a Carian interest, although the version chosen, with Zeus attended by nymphs, surely also alludes to Mt Lykaion. Certainly, Ionianising sculptural and architectural traits are particularly prominent and the overall effect more elaborate than the slightly later (late fourth-or early third-century) temple of Artemis Mesopolitis in the new upper city of neighbouring Orchomenos. [75]

In the west, Iktinos’ temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassai (ca. 429) is clearly spectacular for its internal frieze, Corinthian capitals, imported marble, as well as its anti-seismic design and the sophisticated use of local stone. [80] While the exact arrangement of the frieze blocks remains unresolved, the iconography of the sculptural programme as a whole links military episodes (the Heraklean and Trojan Amazonomachies, and the centauromachy), with the return of Apollo from the land of the Hyperboreians, juxtaposing mortality and immortality, violence and civic order, in a way which, while fitting broader fifth-century values, is particularly apposite here. [81] It is the more remarkable for being constructed during a period of Spartan hegemony, rapidly followed by the incursion which resulted in the capture of its patron polis, Phigaleia. [82] The symbolic importance of the sanctuary, close to Messenian territory and to key battlefields, is attested by the removal of the statue of Apollo Epikourios to Megalopolis, after which dedications declined markedly (although Phigaleia itself rebuilt its more modest temple of Athena and Zeus Soter late in the fourth century). [83] Megalopolis, at least in its early years, concentrated on the duplication of cults and the acquisition and creation of cult symbols (i.e. statuary) from its constituent communities, as well as on the “protective” cult of Zeus Soter which acquired an architecturally innovative cult complex from ca. 340. [84] Yet while the foundation of the city did not result in any overall diminution of settlement in its territory (in fact in some places there was a steady increase to a Hellenistic peak, as survey data from Asea well illustrates), [85] temple building outside the city center remained relatively rare and generally later. The Asklepieion at Alipheira is the fourth-century exception, but Alipheira, strategically placed between Megalopolis and Triphylia, remained independent despite its involvement in founding Megalopolis. [86] Its wealth is further shown by its Macedonian-style tomb monuments of the late fourth or early third century which at present have Peloponnesian parallels only at third-century Phigaleia. [87] Throughout Arcadia, religious building remained a city matter. The pan-Arcadian shrine on Mt Lykaion had no securely identified cult building, [88] and the megaron at Lykosoura is only vaguely dated within the fourth to second centuries. [89] The selectivity shown in the pattern of fourth-century building and sculptural elaboration cannot be a matter of chance. The location of the cities involved shows a new dual, eastern and western focus, and as the model of Megalopolis confirms, this was not confined to temple building.

The picture in Achaea is rather different. The fifth-century expansion in the coastal cities surely reflects their ability to mobilise goods along the Gulf, to provide harbour facilities, and to exploit ever-intensifying traffic. [90] This continued through the fourth century, but the kind of monumental development discussed above mostly dates from the third onwards. Detailed reconstruction of the development of coastal cities in particular is complicated by the limitations of rescue excavation and centuries of overbuilding, although it is tempting to suggest from the limited evidence available that there is less obvious evidence of ranking than one finds in Arcadia. Nonetheless, there is clear evidence of fifth-century expansion and the establishment of new cemeteries at the two main ports, Aigion (which also acquired its first satellite settlements during the fourth century) [91] and Patras. Similar hints elsewhere include the fragmentary Parian marble temple pedimental group and roof tiles from Keryneia probably after 480—noting the expansion of the settlement at Mamousia in the late fourth to third centuries, after the destruction of Helike. [92] The far south of the khôrai of the eastern coastal cities seem (at least on present evidence) to have received less attention: Aigion’s inland temple at Ano Mazaraki may not have been rebuilt after the destruction of 373, for example, although dedications continued into the fourth century AD. [93] It should, however, be noted that, unlike western Achaea, these areas have not been surveyed systematically: the results of a recent survey in the Aegialea may alter this picture. [94]

A convenient starting point is the physical development of Corinth itself—invaded, politically divided, its territory ravaged, and its western trade severely diminished by a combination of circumstances locally and in the west. [103] The general lack of public building comes as no surprise, but even repairs to prestigious structures took time. The temple of Poseidon at Isthmia lay ruined for most of the fourth century after the fire of 390 (precisely dated from Xenophon Hellenica 4.5.4) and there is no evidence for any other major construction project in the sanctuary until the very end of the century at the earliest. [104] In the city center, expansion at the sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, where the body politic of Corinth dined in a large complex of dining rooms and represented their youth in large terracotta statues of votaries, [105] was abruptly halted until the end of the century. Dining activity continued, but investment in facilities stopped: when it resumed, the facilities were radically reshaped, with a new formal entrance to the lower terrace and (at least as preserved) a smaller number of dining complexes replacing the old dining rooms. [106] The major fourth-century construction in the city center is the South Stoa, the date of which, while much debated, is likely to fall broadly around 330. With its elaborate commercial and probably also administrative facilities, it may have drawn on outside funds—Broneer linked it with Corinth’s role as capital of Philip II’s Corinthian League. [107] The sense of a city running on its reserves is clear—and when military success did occur (with an attendant influx of booty), the comparative lavishness of its commemoration is notable. The victories of Timoleon were marked by a quadriga monument in the city center, set up by the Sacred Spring, and by a dedication of Carthaginian arms at Isthmia. [108] This rather bleak picture is, of course, based on investment in monumental construction, and should not be taken to imply more general disruption in other aspects of Corinthian civic and cult life. As noted, dining continued at Demeter and Kore, and at Isthmia, the use of the underground dining caves by an as-yet unidentified civic group, and of the Northeast Altar terrace, continued uninterrupted to the late fourth or early third century. [109]

When Corinth began to revive, late in the fourth century, investment favoured religious facilities, especially at Isthmia, where for two centuries the festival had been the principal means by which Corinth’s external image had been projected. The theatre acquired a new cavea and scene building, the Sacred Glen was established, and the temenos was landscaped with new roads and further terracing. [110] Even during the second half of the century, small changes were made to the stadium: phase IV of the Early Stadium had new statue bases, water channels and a relocated starting line. [111] But the facility was abandoned altogether late in the fourth century, and the stadium moved wholesale to a spacious new site beyond the temenos, an initiative again interpreted by Broneer as reflecting Macedonian influence in the city. [112] Macedonian cultural-political agendas aside, by prioritising investment of this kind Corinth was subscribing to one of the most distinctive aspects of fourth-century construction in the northeast. The main way in which both the old poleis and the newly powerful sought to engage with their Peloponnesian peers was by playing on the traditional link between founding or promoting games and political power. It was, after all, barely a century since Pindar had celebrated victors at the Isthmian games, and in doing so, provided detailed evidence of the intensity of competition across what was by then a rapidly growing network of festivals in the north-east Peloponnese and surrounding areas. [113]

The association between major sanctuary-building programmes and the institution of the theôrodokia has usefully been characterised as a desire to preserve the traditional networks which linked Greek poleis and the panhellenic sanctuaries in a changing world when proxenia alone was no longer sufficient. [114] Setting aside what has sometimes (and questionably) been interpreted as a pre-370 list of theôrodokia in Arcadia and Achaea (Syll.3 90), the earliest secure evidence for the theôrodokia as a discrete institution is a Pisatan decree of 365–363 for Kleandros and Sokles of Sikyon, erected at Olympia. If this Kleandros was indeed the general of the same name, this might imply a Pisatan initiative taken during her period of control of Olympia. [115] The Olympic theôrodokia was rapidly followed by those of Epidauros and, later in the fourth century, Nemea and the Argive Heraion, with Lousoi (geographically, the exception to the initial cluster) at the very end of the century, and finally, after a long gap, Hermione at the end of the third. [116] In all cases, this initiative followed hard upon the physical redevelopment of the sanctuary in question, and Lousoi apart, the festivals concerned were well-established. At Epidauros, a building programme was inaugurated in the first quarter of the fourth century, with the Temple of Asclepius first to be completed ca. 370. [117] At Nemea, a period of decline through the fourth century was brought to an end by the return of the games from Argos ca. 330, an event accompanied by the redevelopment of athletic and related facilities. In the main sanctuary area, the xenon and bath (probably a functional pair) date around the end of the fourth or early third century. [118] On a nearby site, however, a wholly new complex was created, consisting of a stadium with an innovative vaulted tunnel and an apodyterion, and the stadium area was adorned with bronze statuary. [119] Resemblances between building ensembles in the earliest revival sites are clear and surely not coincidental. The pairing of stadium and apodyterion at Nemea is closely paralleled at Epidauros, and both are chronologically close to (if not modelled on) what is plausibly reconstructed as a similar ensemble at Olympia. [120] At Nemea, however, the revival was rather brief: the return of the games to Argos, perhaps as early as 271, falls close to the archaeological date of ca. 275 for the abandonment of the stadium. It has plausibly been suggested that Argos was simply unable to sustain a festival so far from home in a time of weakness. [121] Recent contributions have discussed in detail the changed political balance in the northeast Peloponnese, noting the changing fortunes of the smaller poleis such as Kleonai or Sikyon, previously vulnerable, interstitial communities between (variously) Sparta, Argos and Corinth, [122] and the operation of religious associations in the changing circumstances of the fourth century is discussed elsewhere in this volume. [123] Here I merely note that the pattern of monumental investment by both the old (and now much weakened) powers and the rising smaller and/or previously less conspicuous poleis in this area shows particular attention to facilities in sanctuaries which hosted games. It therefore focused on a particular tried and tested form of city self-promotion, following on from the successes of Corinth and Argos in the previous century.


As this brief review has shown, direct material counterparts for the ethnic claims evident in the literary and epigraphical record are few. Many of these claims were short-lived; nonetheless, actions such as the numerous grants of citizenship made by Triphylia could make a real difference to individuals, [124] even though these did not translate into any lasting form of material behaviour. When considering the material record, attention inevitably focuses on the Messenians, but they are far from typical. Indeed, when one sets aside Messenian dedications at Olympia and Delphi, evidence of monumental dedications by ethnê is relatively slight and geographically restricted. Private dedications are perhaps truer to the general picture in that they reveal a continuing personal attachment to city and/or sub-regional identity to complement the regional ethnic. The early fourth-century offering made at Delphi by the son of Hetairikhos the Arcadian, of Thisoa of Mainalon, is a case in point. [125] A similar picture emerges from Olympia, [126] as well as from related sources such as personal names, funerary inscriptions, and the way in which foreigners are recorded in catalogue documents (as, for example, the records of contributions to the reconstruction of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi after the Third Sacred War). [127] A brief glance at the Peloponnesian volume of the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names (IIIA) shows names constructed from regional ethnics appearing as early as the sixth century, but while the fourth century saw the addition of Argeios, Arkadion, Arkas, and Achaiikos (all attested outside the obvious home region) these are all single instances. And both tombstones and the Delphi records reveal very little consistency even within a single city. [128]

The immediate picture may therefore seem rather unsatisfying. Little seems to have changed in comparison with the fifth century. Yet approaches to reading social relations in the material record of the Archaic and earlier Classical Peloponnese have grown so much more sophisticated in recent years that the background against which we must assess the fourth century is itself one of newly-appreciated complexity—our perception of what constitutes change has shifted. What can be observed, especially from the date and form of building programmes, is the beginning of shifts and dislocations within and between different, but closely connected, parts of the Peloponnese. As emphasized, the built environment has the power to shape the way individuals conducted their lives and thought about themselves and others. This review has shown in outline how new or very recent building forms were introduced, and old mechanisms—temples, festivals, athletic facilities—configured in new ways. Most construction was still conducted by poleis; direct responses in the ethnic register were far from inevitable. Interestingly, however, the archaeological record offers some confirmation of the conclusion drawn by other contributors to this volume that there was a contrast between the “city up” construction of Arcadian political identity (with a small number of powerful poleis staking claims to wider regional hegemony, whether or not accompanied by explicit reference to Arcadian identity), and the “region down” situation in Achaea, whose long coastal zone was subject to external characterisation, yet whose inland settlements often lay in close proximity to those of other groups or to rare routes through difficult terrain. Other such comparisons could easily be drawn, but the distinctive contribution of the material record here is to force us to focus on the long view. What began slowly with the creation of material symbols (coins and statuary) and the different forms and courses taken by building programmes, with their consequent impact on those who lived around and with them, thus offers an insight into the practical creation of Beck’s “federal grammar between polis and ethnos.”


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———. 1986. “Ανασκαφή Ιθάκης.” PAAH:234–240.

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———. 1983b. “Investigations at Stymphalos, 1984.” EMC 27:215–224.

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———. 1970. “The Archaic Coinage of Arcadian Heraia.” ANSMN 16:1–12.

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[ back ] * I am grateful to Peter Funke and Nino Luraghi for their invitation to present this paper, and for patient encouragement thereafter. The present version has benefitted greatly from discussion with Jim Roy, Maria Pretzler and Simon Hornblower: I particularly thank John Davies for a detailed critique.

[ back ] 1. Morgan 2003:1–16 et passim.

[ back ] 2. Morgan 2003:esp. ch. 2.

[ back ] 3. See e.g. Funke 1993 and Morgan 2003:6–7 for a review of past scholarship.

[ back ] 4. Beck 2003 (quotation at 78); for a review of past scholarship, see Beck 1997:20–29.

[ back ] 5. Morgan 2003:211–212.

[ back ] 6. Snodgrass 1989–1990; see also Siewert 1996.

[ back ] 7. See also Luraghi 2001, 2002 and 2003 (with full accounts of earlier studies). Alcock 2002: ch. 4.

[ back ] 8. Hölscher 1974; Jacquemin and Laroche 1982:192–204 (the restoration of Naupaktioi in the dedicatory inscription at Delphi is conjectural).

[ back ] 9. Luraghi, this volume; Alcock 1998; Alcock 1999. On the subsequent history of heroization in the new state, see Themelis 2003: esp. 24–29.

[ back ] 10. Pearson 1962 remains a useful account of the use of Rhianos’ Messeniaka in later accounts of the First Messenian War (although on his wider agenda and its opponents, see also Alcock 1999). Delphi: Jacquemin 1999:38–79, 85–86, 184–202. Ioakimidou 1995 offers the most recent review of the evidence but, where dependent on literary testimonia, tends to propose dates close to the event commemorated, which may be unreliable. Borbein 1973 remains a valuable review of the genres of statuary current in the fourth century, and of key developments within them.

[ back ] 11. Jacquemin 1999:55–56; Ioakimidou 1997:87–92, 241–255.

[ back ] 12. Jacquemin 1999:257–259; for the Arcadian dedication, see 187, cat. 066.

[ back ] 13. Jacquemin 1999:62–63; Ioakimidou 1997:119–124, 322–341.

[ back ] 14. Jacquemin 1999:62–64, 254–256.

[ back ] 15. Martin 1985:196–218; Martin 1995.

[ back ] 16. Head 1911:447–449; Kraay 1976:96. Heraia: Williams 1970.

[ back ] 17. Head 1911:444–456; Nielsen 2002:135–136.

[ back ] 18. To take only very recent literature, compare, for example, Psoma 1999 with Nielsen 2002:121–152 (the latter with a full review of previous scholarship).

[ back ] 19. Morgan 2003:82–85.

[ back ] 20. Seltman 1955:97.

[ back ] 21. Williams 1965:8–15; for critique, see most recently Nielsen 2002:136–140.

[ back ] 22. Kraay 1976:95–98, with previous bibliography.

[ back ] 23. Head 1911:426; Ruggeri 2004:181–183; Nielsen 2002:118–119; Giangiulio, this volume.

[ back ] 24. Nielsen 2002:140–141.

[ back ] 25. Grandjean 2003:99–101.

[ back ] 26. Hall 2003:146–155.

[ back ] 27. Shipley 2004:547–568.

[ back ] 28. Deshours 1993: esp.53–60.

[ back ] 29. Grandjean 2003:21–48, 59–65; Head 1911:426

[ back ] 30. Gerin 1986.

[ back ] 31. Warren 2007:109; see previously, Head 1911:431; Kraay 1976:101. For the wider context supporting this interpretation, see Morgan and Hall 1996:194–196.

[ back ] 32. Head 1911:452, 454; Schultz 1992; Tausend 1999:66 (M. Pretzler).

[ back ] 33. The Arcadian picture is thoroughly reviewed by Roy 1999.

[ back ] 34. Coulton 1977:17–20.

[ back ] 35. Davies 2001:221–223 with primary reference to Delphi: Feyel 2006: part II.

[ back ] 36. Burford 1969: esp. 35–39.

[ back ] 37. Fiechter 1931:21–22.

[ back ] 38. Morgan and Coulton 1997:103–118; Fletcher 1995: chs. 1, 2. Most such work is based in postindustrial environments (classic works include Lynch 1960: chs.1, 3; Saarinen 1976: chs. 4, 5): much remains to be done on the creation of the idea of a built environment in pre–Roman times (see Morgan 2003: ch. 2).

[ back ] 39. Freitag 2000: esp. 1–29; Morgan 2003:213–222, although discussion is based on earlier evidence.

[ back ] 40. Roy 1999.

[ back ] 41. For a summary of the arguments, see Morgan 2003:168–171.

[ back ] 42. Bintliff 1997:30–32.

[ back ] 43. Luraghi forthcoming. Achaean script: Jeffery 1990:221–224, 248–251.

[ back ] 44. Accepting that Xenophon’s remark (Hellenica 7.2.1) “if a state which is small has accomplished many deeds, it is even more fitting to set them forth” was indeed born out by a comparatively large number of references to otherwise ill-recorded poleis (Sikyon, for example: Lolos 1998:46–47). Davies 1997 advances the different, but compatible, argument that the pre-371 Spartan alliances in the Peloponnese, and the post-371 alliances aimed at containing Sparta within Laconia, initially led by Arcadia, were effectively mirror images of each other.

[ back ] 45. Grainger 1999:30–32.

[ back ] 46. Dietz et al. 1998 and 1999; Dietz et al. 2004:175–188 (the conclusion that the Archaic city may have been larger than the Hellenistic, which rests on the establishment of a late Classical cemetery over an Archaic habitation area [Eiring 2004] is intriguing, but requires more investigation).

[ back ] 47. Bommeljé et al. 1987:99. For the findings of recent excavations by the 6th EPKA, Patras, see Kolia and Saranti 2004; Saranti 2006.

[ back ] 48. For gazeteers, see Bommeljé et al. 1987: ch. 6; Freitag, Funke and Moustakis 2004:379–390. Building: Funke 1987 and 1997.

[ back ] 49. Rhodes and Osborne 2003:35. On the league: Scholten 2000:13–16; Beck 1997:43–54; Corsten 1999:133–159; Freitag, Funke and Moustakis 2004:379; contra Grainger 1999:29–53, who nonetheless infers a form of precursor koinon based on the shrine of Apollo at Thermon.

[ back ] 50. Thucydides 2.7, 2.30–33, 2.80 (Hornblower 1991:290, 362). Randsborg 2002:2.29–31.

[ back ] 51. Randsborg 2002: vol. I, catalogue group 3.

[ back ] 52. Andreou 1998 for a summary of evidence from rescue excavations of several decades. Fiedler 1996.

[ back ] 53. Morris 2001; Morris and Papadopoulos 2005 for a wider review of arguments for tower function.

[ back ] 54. The Stavros Valley Project is co-directed by the author (for the British School at Athens) and Dr. Andreas Soteriou (35th EPKA, Argostoli). These observations rest on re-examination of (mostly) unpublished data from the pre-war work of the British School at Athens (S. Benton, W. Heurtley) and renewed fieldwork (excavation and survey) conducted in 2002 and 2003, publication of which is in preparation. Aetos: observations based on notes of Benton’s (largely unpublished) finds by the late John Cook, and Symeonoglou 1984; Symeonoglou 1985:205–215; Symeonoglou 1986:236–238. See Steinhart and Wirbelauer 2002: ch. 4 for earlier antiquarian finds, which confirm the growing wealth of both centers through the second half of the fourth and third centuries.

[ back ] 55. Partsch 1890:54–63 remains the most complete account; see also Randsborg 2002:1.109-110; Steinhart and Wirbelauer 2002:110–111, 114–115 for Haller von Hallerstein’s drawings of these monuments. Ag. Athanasios: Kontorli-Papadopoulou 2001:320–326; the British School excavations of 1930 and 1937 in the tower area will be published by the author.

[ back ] 56. Pikoulas 1981–1982; Nielsen and Roy 1998; Morgan 1999:416–424.

[ back ] 57. Petropoulos 1985.

[ back ] 58. Nielsen and Roy 1998:11, 16, 23–26.

[ back ] 59. Mitsopoulos-Leon 2001b offers a convenient summary with references; on the temple, see Ladstätter 2001.

[ back ] 60. Tausend 1999:306–330.

[ back ] 61. Leontion: Rossetto and Sartorio 1994:251; Kleitor: Petritaki 2001.

[ back ] 62. Bintliff 1997; Morgan and Coulton 1997:87–88, 91–99, 126–128. The remarks of Osborne 2004:168–170 are apposite: it is insufficient to focus on the top end of the size scale given the range and pervasiveness of assumptions about the classification and interpretation of site size at each point on the scale. This is not to dismiss the exercise—merely to note the extent and nature of issues involved.

[ back ] 63. Analogous to Alcock 1993: esp. chs. 2, 3, 4 or, for the Bronze Age, Wright 2004. Alcock and Cherry 2004 contains a wealth of discussion of the problems of intra- and inter-regional comparison, of integrating excavation and survey data, and of establishing standards for comparison of survey projects of different vintage and methodology (see especially papers by Attema and van Leusen; Cunningham and Driessen).

[ back ] 64. Williams 1983a and 1983b.

[ back ] 65. Bintliff 1997; Bintliff 1999.

[ back ] 66. Frederiksen 2002:67–69.

[ back ] 67. Rhodes and Osborne 2003: no.14 (SEG 37.340.3–7); Nielsen 2002:345–379, on Helisson and Mantinea see 34, 116–117, 294–295, 359–363 and Funke in this volume.

[ back ] 68. For a general review of the significance of particular forms of public architecture, see Hansen and Fischer-Hansen 1994; Morgan and Coulton 1997:103–116. Bouleuteria: Gneisz 1990: part A, ch. 1; Hansen and Fischer-Hansen 1994:37–44; Theatres: Frederiksen 2002:80–88.

[ back ] 69. Fourth-century Peloponnesian theatres as listed by Rossetto and Sartorio 1994, in approximate chronological order (and with Arcadian sites underlined): cats. 262 (Megalopolis, post 370), 313 (Mantinea II, fourth-century, after 370), 213 (Phleious, mid fourth-century), 270 (Tegea I late fourth-century), 251 (Leontion late fourth-century), 268 (Orchomenos, late fourth-century with third-century choregic monuments), 153 (Corinth, first cavea under Roman theatre, late fourth-century), 207 (Elis, cavea end fourth-century), 225 (Isthmia II, end fourth-century), 229 (Orchomenos Kalpaki fourth-century with third-century proedria thrones), 255 (Keryneia Mamousia, pre-end fourth-century?), 235 (Kastro Platanias Helleniko, fourth-century cavea). The existence of a theatre at Phigaleia by 375/4 is attested by Diod. 15.40.2. Bouleuteria, as listed by Hansen and Fischer-Hansen 1994: Mantinea (date disputed: Gneisz 1990: cat. 37 dates the first phase to the fourth century), Megalopolis Thersilion (ca. 370: Gneisz 1990: cat. 38), Megalopolis (city bouleuterion, date?; for a contrary interpretation, see Gneisz 1990, cat. 39), Olympia (rebuilding?; Gneisz 1990: cat. 47 dates construction phase 3 to 374 or later), Sikyon (late fourth-century); Orchomenos had already built in the fifth century (see also Gneisz 1990: cat. 50). Gneisz 1990 adds to this list Lousoi (cat. 36, fourth/third-century).

[ back ] 70. For recent research on the theatre, see Karapanagiotou 2001; Karapanagiotou-Oikonomopoulou 2006. On the Agora area: Kreilinger 2006.

[ back ] 71. See also Frederiksen 2002:89–90.

[ back ] 72. Voyatzis 1999:153–159.

[ back ] 73. Norman 1984:191–194.

[ back ] 74. Waywell 1993.

[ back ] 75. Blum and Plassart 1914; Østby 1990–1991:327–337.

[ back ] 76. Ruggeri 2004:102–107 reviews the question of the identification of Skillountia with ancient Makistos, and summarizes archaeological findings from the acropolis and cemeteries.

[ back ] 77. Trianti 1985.

[ back ] 78. See most recently Arapogianni 2002 on Prasidaki, with comparative discussion.

[ back ] 79. Nakasis 2004 offers the most recent review of the architectural evidence for chronology.

[ back ] 80. The architecture is fully reviewed in Cooper 1996.

[ back ] 81. Madigan 1992:esp. 87–90; on the frieze, Jenkins and Williams 1993.

[ back ] 82. Cooper 1996:50–51, 53–55, which makes the proposed provenance of the marble used for the temple, Cape Tainaron (Cooper 1996:107–114), somewhat curious.

[ back ] 83. Statue: Cooper 1996:70 (citing Pausanias 8.30.3). Athena temple: Ergon 1996:41–47 (X. Arapogianni).

[ back ] 84. Jost 1985:220–235; Jost 1994; Jost 1996. Sanctuary of Zeus Soter: Gans and Kreilinger 2002.

[ back ] 85. Megalopolis: Pikoulas 1988. Asea: Forsén and Forsén 2003:260–273.

[ back ] 86. Orlandos 1967–1968:169–202; Jost 1985:81–82.

[ back ] 87. Orlandos 1967–1968:203–243; Arapogianni 2001:305.

[ back ] 88. Jost 1985:180–183 (noting an adjunct building, possibly a xenon, of the end of the fourth century).

[ back ] 89. Jost 1985:172–178 with previous bibliography.

[ back ] 90. Hence Thucydides’ reports of Phormio’s use of Patras as a naval base in 429 (2.83.3–5), and (5.52.2) Alcibiades’ attempt to persuade its citizens to construct long walls to the sea in 419. Among material connections, Papapostolou (1990:467–468) emphasizes lingering Attic influence on funerary reliefs of the fourth century from Patras.

[ back ] 91. Aigion: Papakosta 1991; Morgan and Hall 1996:176–177. Patras: Papapostolou 1990.

[ back ] 92. Katsonopoulou 2000, with previous bibliography. Anderson 1953.

[ back ] 93. Petropoulos, Pontrandolfo and Rizakis 2002:155, noting that further research is required into the function of a partially excavated later structure on site.

[ back ] 94. Petropoulos, Pontrandolfo and Rizakis 2002, 2003, 2004.

[ back ] 95. Dyme: Lakaki-Marchetti 2000. Patras, see n. 89.

[ back ] 96. Petropoulos and Rizakis 1994:esp. 197–198, 203–205; Petropoulos 1991.

[ back ] 97. Petropoulos 1994.

[ back ] 98. Katsonopoulou 2002; Morgan and Hall 1996:175 with references to previous work in the area.

[ back ] 99. Gogos 1992: Pt. I and Pt. II ch. 4A on chronology.

[ back ] 100. Vordos 2002 (and accepting with him the identification of the Trapeza site as Rhypes, which is not uncontroversial).

[ back ] 101. I thank Agiati Benardou for discussion of fifth-century Corinthian settlement and economy based on her London University doctoral thesis.

[ back ] 102. Salmon 1984:357–362; Tuplin 1982; Robinson, this volume.

[ back ] 103. For an overview, see Salmon 1984:354–386; Roberts 1983:64–135. Western trade: Munn 1983:352–363 (departing from a flourishing fifth-century picture: Munn 2003).

[ back ] 104. Gebhard and Hemans 1998:10–15, 17, 41–51, fig. 18: temple fire debris was used in the construction of Road G and Terrace 7 at the very end of the fourth or early third century.

[ back ] 105. Bookidis 1995:245–246; Bookidis and Stroud 1997:259–260. I am grateful to Nancy Bookidis for information on these pieces in advance of the publication of Bookidis, forthcoming. While their exact meaning (fulfilling cult roles, for example, or celebrating age and/or social status) and the occasion(s) of their dedication are the subjects of continuing research, we can at least suggest that the vast majority represent real or idealised sub-adult members of Corinthian elite families.

[ back ] 106. Bookidis and Stroud 1997:171–230 (lower terrace), 231 (middle terrace).

[ back ] 107. Broneer 1954:94–99; Williams 1978:15–16 with previous bibliography. Austin 1981:n42 (the League decree = Staatsverträge III, 476; Plutarch Demetrius 25.2 locates the meeting at the Isthmus).

[ back ] 108. Williams 1978:145–146, with previous bibliography; Rhodes and Osborne 2003:no.74. Isthmia: Xenophon Hellenica 5.1.28–34. On the background to these victories, see Salmon 1984:389–392; Roberts 1983:136–153.

[ back ] 109. Gebhard 2002; Gebhard and Hemans 1998:21–26.

[ back ] 110. Theatre: Gebhard 1973:29–60. Sacred Glen: Gebhard and Hemans 1998:41, with previous bibliography; see also Anderson-Stojanovic 2002.

[ back ] 111. Gebhard and Hemans 1998:38–40.

[ back ] 112. Broneer 1973:55–63, 66.

[ back ] 113. Morgan 2007.

[ back ] 114. Perlman 2000:18–29.

[ back ] 115. Perlman 2000:63–65; as she notes, the terms of the mid-fifth century decree at Olympia (B6970), which honours two foreigners who received the sacred embassy, especially the phrase τάν θε<α>ρίαν δέκεσθαι, plainly imply the immediate precursor of the formal institution. The link between this decree and the institution of the theôrodokia is fully explored by Siewert 2002:365–368.

[ back ] 116. Perlman 2000:22–26, fig. 2.

[ back ] 117. Burford 1969:32–35, 53–81.

[ back ] 118. Birge et al. 1992: ch. 2 on xenon (Kraynak), ch. 3 on bath (Miller).

[ back ] 119. Miller 2001 (see especially 164–172 for the possibility that the Sosikles whose name is recorded on tile stamps from the apodyterion, was the Sosikles/Sokles recorded at the Argive Heraion, and possibly something akin to ‘city architect’ in Argos at the time); some 200 fragments of bronze likely come from 2 or 3 statues. The presence in the stadium of contingents of spectators from Argos, Sikyon, Phlious and Kleonai, is illustrated by the distribution of coins from these cities: Knapp 2005:22–30.

[ back ] 120. Miller 2001:177–224 who also presents the less secure case of the Panathenaic stadium at Athens.

[ back ] 121. Miller 2001:93; Marchand 2002:192–198 offers a persuasive account of the respective roles of Argos and Kleonai in the revival at Nemea.

[ back ] 122. Kleonai: Marchand 2002: esp.490–500 (ch. 5 offers the fullest account to date of the physical development of the polis center). On Sikyon, see also Lolos 1998: esp. 55–59, 78–117 and ch. 5 (on fortification); it is hoped that Lolos’s renewed fieldwork on the city plateau (—consulted in June 2005) will provide information on the early city, but at present, material evidence becomes plentiful only from the late fifth century onwards, and reveals the extent and wealth of settlement throughout Sikyonian territory.

[ back ] 123. Robert Parker, this volume.

[ back ] 124. Rhodes and Osborne 2003:n15.

[ back ] 125. Jacquemin 1999:cat. 467.

[ back ] 126. Jacquemin 1999:pls 4b and 5b offer instructive comparison, however: a larger number of central Peloponnesian poleis are represented at Olympia individually, rather than as part of the combined Arcadian and Achaean offerings made at Delphi.

[ back ] 127. Rhodes and Osborne 2003: no. 66; Bousquet 1988:85–101.

[ back ] 128. Fraser 2000a and 2000b.