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The League of Aitolians (Mnemosyne, Supplements) Hardcover – 15 Sep 1999

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 590 pages
  • Publisher: Brill (15 Sept. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9004109110
  • ISBN-13: 978-9004109117
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 15.9 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,170,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'...the first major study of that association...This work becomes the standard study of the Aitolians for a long time to come.' J.M. Balcer, Choice, 2000. This book has been selected as CHOICE's Outstanding Academic Title for 2000.

About the Author

John D. Grainger, Ph.D. (1987), in Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Birmingham, has published on Hellenistic history, including A Seleukid Prosopography and Gazetteer (Brill, 1997).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pink Fluffy Bunny TOP 100 REVIEWER on 13 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a hefty book of 24 chapters; the Sections are:
P003: Prologue “A Pirate State?”
P029: Origin and Survival – 2 chapters – from “before 335” to 300 BC.
P087: Growth and Power – 4 chapters – 300–239 BC.
P167: Studies – The Constitution; Aitolian Wealth; The Armed Forces.
P217: The Macedonian Wars – 7 chapters – 238– 97 BC.
P407: The Roman Problem – 5 chapters – 197–167 BC (and after).
P549: Conclusion – The Achievements of the League
P555: Appendix, Bibliography, Index.
5 Maps.

From the Prologue:
“It is a commonplace of Hellenistic historiography that the Aitolians were pirates by sea and brigands by land, and that their conduct of warfare included a predilection for temple-sacking. It is a further commonplace that this is due to the pro-Achaian and anti-Aitolian bias of the historian Polybios, but that, despite this qualification, such a bias did have a basis in fact. And it is normal for those who recognise this bias to depreciate it, but not to go the further step and investigate the basis on which it rests by considering what the piracy and brigandage and temple-sacking by the Aitolians consisted of”. Primarily, it consisted of respecting the sanctuary and stealing everything outside it; just like any other Greek state. Unfortunately, as noted above, their opponents wrote the history books. However, the author has sifted through the contemporary historians, their commentarists (or whatever you call modern commentators), and surviving fragments and inscriptions, etc, to provide a history of a forgotten state, and a powerful and long-lasting one at that.

The Aitolian League was unique in that it didn’t expand by military conquest, but by being a more attractive proposition than its neighbours.
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