Philopoemen

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Philopoemen

(fĭləpē`mən), c.252–183 B.C., Greek statesman and general, b. Megalopolis. For years he fought as a mercenary in Crete. In 209 he became commander of the Achaean cavalry, with which he defeated the Aetolians and Eleans. He next became (208) general of 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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. He defeated Machanidas, tyrant of Sparta, at Mantinea. Nabis, successor of Machanidas, was driven out of Messene and was defeated (201–200) in Laconia by Philopoemen. When Nabis was assassinated, the Spartans were incorporated (192) into the Achaean League, but revolted and were again conquered (188) by Philopoemen. He was captured and poisoned by Messenian rebels. Philopoemen was glorified by his compatriot, the historian PolybiusPolybius
, 203? B.C.–c.120 B.C., Greek historian, b. Megalopolis. As one of the leaders of the Achaean League and a friend of Philopoemen, he was influential in Greek politics.
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Philopoemen

 

Born 253 B.C.; died 183 B.C. Greek general. Hipparch (cavalry commander) of the Achaean League in 209 and 208 and the league’s strategus eight different times, beginning in 207.

Philopoemen, having carried out a number of military reforms, achieved important victories over Sparta, including a battle at Mantinea in 206 and the liberation of Messene from the tyrant Nabis in 204–203. In 193 he forced most of the Peloponnesian city-states to join the Achaean League, and in 192 he compelled Sparta to join as well. Philopoemen stubbornly opposed Rome and fought for the independence of Greece, thus earning the epithet “the last Hellene.”

REFERENCES

Errington, R. M. Philopoemen. Oxford, 1969.
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