Achaean League

The Achaean League was a confederation of Greek city states in Achaea, a territory on the northern coast of the Peloponnese. An initial confederation existed during the 5th through the 4th century BC.

The Achaean League reformed early in the 3rd century BC, and soon expanded beyond its Achaean heartland. It was first joined by the city of Sicyon, which provided it with its first great leader, Aratus of Sicyon. The League soon expanded it to control much of the Peloponnesus, considerably weakening the Macedonian hold on the area, but soon it ran into difficulties with the revived Sparta of Cleomenes III. Aratus was forced to call in the aid of the Macedonian King, Antigonus Doson, to defeat Cleomenes, and Antigonus re-established Macedonian control over much of the region.

After Aratus's death, however, the League was able to reap much of the benefits of Macedon's defeat by Rome in 197 BC. Under the leadership of Philopoemen, the League was able to finally defeat Sparta and take control of the entire Peloponnesus.

The League's dominance was not to last long, however. During the Third Macedonian War (171-168 BC, the League flirted with the idea of an alliance with Perseus, and the Romans punished it by taking several hostages to ensure good behavior, including the historian Polybius. In 146 BC, the league erupted into open revolt against Roman domination. The Romans under Lucius Mummius defeated the Achaeans, razed Corinth and dissolved the league. Lucius Mummius received the cognomen Achaicus ("conqueror of Achaea") for his role.

List of leaders (Strategi) of the Achaean league


  • Hannibal and the Punic Wars (
  • Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 (
  • Leaders of Achaea (

Retrieved from ""
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License