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Corinthian Congress

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The Corinthian Congress of 338/337 BC was a meeting of representatives from almost all the Greek states of the Balkan Peninsula, convened by Philip II of Macedon to conclude a general peace and create a Panhellenic alliance. This event effectively completed the process of subjugation of Balkan Greece to Macedonian rule.

After Chaeronea, Philip went on a campaign to Southern Greece. All the cities of the Peloponnesian Union, with the exception of Sparta, recognized the authority of the Macedonian king. Philip avoided the practice of unilateral commands. They formed a defensive and offensive alliance with each city separately. The basis of this union was to preserve the internal autonomy and freedom of this city. To resolve issues affecting the whole of Greece, Philip convened a general Greek conference in Corinth in 338 BC — the Corinthian Congress (Sanhedrin). All Greek states were represented at the congress, with the exception of Sparta.

The president of the congress was Philip himself. The Congress declared an end to the war in Greece and the establishment of universal peace. Then we started discussing other issues. Greek fragmentation was overcome by the creation of an all-Greek federation, with the inclusion of Macedonia and under the presidency of the Macedonian king.

Bust of Philip II of Macedon

An eternal defensive and offensive alliance was formed between the united states and the Macedonian king. Under pain of severe punishment, no state or Greek was to oppose the king or help his enemies. All disputes that arose between the Greek states were referred to the Amphictyon court. The head of the College of amphictyons was Philip. Any changes in the constitution of cities, confiscation of property, cancellation of debts, calling slaves to revolt, etc. were declared criminal acts. Finally, the Congress decided to start a war with Persia. Philip hoped to divert attention from Greek affairs with a "quick and happy" war in Asia. The leader (hegemon) of the allied Greek militia was appointed the same Philip. The word "king" does not appear in the acts of the Congress of Corinth. In his dealings with the Greeks, Philip never called himself a king (basileus). For the free Hellenes, he was not a basileus, but a hegemon.

Silver tetradrachm of Philip II from the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

Related topics

Ancient Greece