The Foreign Politics of the Arkadian League: from Lykomedes of Mantineia to staseis among homoethneis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the 60s of the IV century Lycomedes of Mantinea claims to the Arcadians, encouraging their unity and ethnic awareness, the hegemony of the Peloponnese. In Lycomedes’ project the awareness of their national character has a central role and leads the Arcadians to oppose not only the ancient rival Sparta, hostile to federalism, but also the "liberators" Thebans, characterised by an ancient federal tradition, and to seek rather the support of Athens, at this time the true champion of autonomies. Lycomedes death puts an end to this ambitious project and opens the way to the crisis of the Arcadian federalism, divided between the hegemonic aspirations of Tegea and Mantinea and their conflicting policies, supported by several international supports: the unity desired by Lycomedes is substituted by the staseis between homoethneis. In this case the ethnic awareness fails to result in a unitary policy. This vicissitude enables us to make some reflections on the role of national feeling in the foreign policy of the ethne, offering ideas to re-examine issues such as, for example, the relationship between Theban hegemony and development of federalism, asserted by M. Sordi and questioned by H. Beck .
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthnos and Koinon. Studies in Ancient Greek Ethnicity and Federalism
EditorsA Beck, K Buraselis, A McAuley
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series



  • Arkadian League
  • Federalismo greco
  • Greek federalism
  • Lega arcadica

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