Aetolian League

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Aetolian League,

confederation centering in the cities of Aetolia. It was formed in the 4th cent. B.C. and began to gain power in the 3d cent. in opposing the Achaean LeagueAchaean League
, confederation of cities on the Gulf of Corinth. The First Achaean League, about which little is known, was formed presumably before the 5th cent. B.C. and lasted through the 4th cent. B.C. Its purpose was mutual protection against pirates.
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 and the Macedonians. At its height, the league stretched across Greece from sea to sea, including Locris, Malis, Dolopes, part of Thessaly, Phocis, and Acarnania. Its federal structure consisted of a popular assembly of all citizens, a federal council in which representation was based on the size of a community's military contingent in the Legion's army, and an inner council. The league could levy taxes, raise armies, and conduct foreign policy. The members also shared a common currency and a uniform system of weights and measures. In alliance with the Romans, the Aetolians helped to defeat Philip V of Macedon at Cynoscephalae in 197 B.C. However, the Aetolians became increasingly dissatisfied with Roman interference in Greek affairs and subsequently allied themselves with Antiochus III of Syria. His defeat (189 B.C.) by the Romans spelled the ruin of the league. Although formally it continued, its power had vanished.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Aetolian League


a federation of ancient Greek city-states. Founded circa 320 B.C., the league originally included only Aetolian cities, but from the middle of the third century B.C., it embraced cities in central and northern Greece and the Peloponnesus. The supreme body of the league was the general assembly, which was convened once a year. Presiding over the assembly and handling administrative work was a strategos. The Aetolian League was conquered by Rome in 189 B.C..

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.