That time Greeks invaded Africa: Carthage’s struggle against Agathocles (311 – 306 BC)

In June 310 BC, a fleet under the command of Agathocles, the tyrant of Syracuse, set sail to Africa, in order to attack Carthage. After six days of sailing, once encountering and driving away a carthaginian fleet, Agathocles landed somewhere near Cape Bon (in modern day Tunesia). He ordered his ships to be burned, so …

The Helots of Ancient Sparta?

When you think of Sparta, an image will most likely form of hoplites formed in line or on march. Men in gleaming armour, surly eyes and possibly the odd six pack. Spartan society attracted a lot of interest both in the time of the ancient Greeks and later, its mystique cultivated by a lack of …

Federal States: The Rise and Fall of the Arkadian Koinon

Today, federal states are a popular form of government throughout the world. Some examples include the European Union or countries like Belgium, Canada, German and the United States. Within a federal state, different governments (federal and regional/local) interact with one another to ensure an optimal working of the federation. However, it is not always easy …

Hellenistic cities IV: Pergamon

Today we continue with a new part of our series on Hellenistic cities: Pergamon.  This was an ancient city located in modern-day Turkey, which played a significant role in the political and cultural landscape of the Hellenistic period. The city’s strategic location, powerful rulers, and impressive monuments made it a major player in the Hellenistic …

Economy and Politics I: The Economics of a Decentralized Society

The summer is almost at an end, and that means it is time for a new series! This time guest writer Alexandros Pardalis looks at the ways in which economy and politics interacted in Ancient Greece and how novel methods of economic organization helped the Ancient Greeks flourish. The importance of the Greek city states …

Hellenistic People III: Lydiades of Megalopolis

On this website you can find all sorts of articles about the Ancient Greek world. But the main goal of the Hellenistic History platform is to provide you with more insight into the different aspects of the Hellenistic world. Aside from this series, in which we have a look at some of the famous and …

Hellenistic Cities III: Messene

The last post in this series is from quite a while ago. About high time we change this and delve into the short history of yet another Greek city during the Hellenistic period. This time we turn our eye to Messene. This city lies in the southern part of the Peloponnese in close proximity to …

Myth and Polis XI: Hellenistic kings and kinship myth

We have now reached the eleventh part of the series on the use of mythological kinship in Greek diplomatic interaction. Since most of the sources come from the epigraphic material of the Hellenistic period, we have already looked several times at how mythological kinship was used by cities in that period in their interactions with …

Myth and the Polis IX: Foundation Myths

Look at the buildings of an ancient Greek city and you cannot help but notice the references to Greek mythology are everywhere. As well as specific buildings for the veneration of local heroes, such as the Erechtheion on the Acropolis, there were temples to the gods, such as the temple of Apollo in Corinth. And …

Myth and polis VIII: Alexander’s use of myth during his campaigns

We have already reached the eighth part of this series. In the last two contributions, I have paid extensive attention to the figure of Alexander the Great and we have looked at which mythological ancestors the Macedonian king had and how this descent can still be seen in material sources. In this last part on …