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Ritual and Communication in the Graeco-Roman World

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Eftychia Stavrianopoulou

The Funeral of Philopoimen in the Historiographical Tradition

Peter Kató

Texte intégral

I.

  • 1 Polybios, XXIII, 17-18, 2.
  • 2 IG V 2, 432= Syll3 624.
  • 3 Diodorus Siculus, XXIX, 18; Pausanias, VIII, 51, 8.

1A great number of usually thorough ancient sources speaks of the funeral of Philopoimen, the most successful and beloved of Achaean politician. One witness to that event, Polybius, has even treated it twice: the first time, in the late 180s, in his lost Biography of Philopoimen, and later in the Histories. Today we only possess fragments of the latter, treating the political and military circumstances of the funeral.1 A decree, preserved in an inscription, of the city of Megalopolis on the occasion of Philopoimen’s death does admittedly not contain any portrayal of the funeral itself, but it is still very important as a contemporary witness to the event.2 The most thorough description of the funeral does not make its appearance until in the work of Plutarch. Diodoros and the Periegetes Pausanias also speak of the funeral.3

  • 4 Pol., XXIII, 12, 3.
  • 5 Plutarchos, Philopoimen, 1, 4.
  • 6 Paus., VIII, 51, 7.
  • 7 Livius, XXXIX, 50, 9-10.

2The figure of Philopoimen is of exceptional importance to these writers: In Polybius, he is a man who “in virtue stands behind no one of the past”,4 in Plutarch, “the last of the Greeks”,5 and in Pausanias, not entirely in accord with the latter description, he is even praised as “the father of Hellenism”.6 The Roman historian Livy seems to stand outside of this tradition: in his work, one only finds the brief remark that Philopoimen was buried ab universo achaico concilio, and that he was granted divina honora.7 The restrained tone of this brief account is explained, through Livy’s own comment, by the idea that the Achaean leader was not a person of the same rank as the two great fighters of the second Punic war, Scipio and Hannibal.

3Through this short overview of the literary sources treating Philopoimen’s funeral it is evident that people have not lost interest in the story over the centuries. The record of this event nevertheless underwent changes or expansions between 182 BC and the 2nd century AD, which are discernible in the corresponding sources. The present study is about these changes, and also about the question of the cultural and socio-historical developments, which serve as background to the discrepancies between the different portrayals. Especially important among these developments is the change in funeral ritual for political personalities between the 2nd century BC and 2nd century AD. The example of Philopoimen therefore offers us the possibility of observing the interaction between ritual and text, and of demonstrating the influence of contemporary ritual practice on historiographical portrayal.

II.

  • 8 Pol., XXIII, 9, 13: according to the interpretation of Polybius it was a proclamation to all membe (...)
  • 9 Messene: C.A. Roebuck, A History of Messenia from 369 to 146 B.C., Chicago, 1941, p. 95-102; R.M. (...)
  • 10 Plut., Philop., 4, 1.
  • 11 It concerns three arbitrations regarding border disputes between Megalopolis and neighbouring muni (...)
  • 12 IPArk 31 B.5 shows that the historian Polybius and his brother Thearidas involved themselves as am (...)

4Before we delve into an analysis of the various sources, we should briefly review the history of the Achaean League and of the city Megalopolis in the first decades of the 2nd century. One notices a tension in both the foreign and domestic politics of the Achaean League at this time. In the foreign area, the falling out with Rome had had dire consequences for the League. Since the Achaean politicians, and especially Philopoimen, had refused to refer the settlement of the Spartan question to the senate, the Roman senate, after the secession of Messenia, announced to the Peloponnesian ambassadors that it was indifferent to it whether Sparta, Argos, or Corinth would win independence from the League, and that they would not get involved with the domestic affairs of the League.8 The domestic situation was also very sensitive: first the already mentioned secession of Messenia, and shortly thereafter that of Sparta, jeopardized the political unity of the Peloponnese that had been achieved in the 190s.9 Furthermore, it is easy to see how the great city Megalopolis was the one hardest hard hit by the exit of Messenia and Sparta, since it was situated so close to the new border of the Achaean League that it could be reached by a hostile army within one day, which the surprise attack of Cleomenes III in the summer of 223 had clearly shown.10 The epigraphic material from the end of the 180s bears witness to some territorial disputes with the neighboring cities.11 The city was able to stabilize its position through participation of the political elite in the arbitration process.12

5The contemporary records of the death and funeral of Philopoimen are to be viewed within this historical framework. After Philopoimen’s death, the Achaeans in Megalopolis held an assembly of the League in which Lykortas was chosen as the new strategos of the League. Both the assembly of the League and the people’s assembly of Megalopolis issued decrees of honor for the deceased Philopoimen at the same time. According to the decree of Megalopolis, Philopoimen’s remains should be brought to Megalopolis and be buried in the agora. As commander of the Achaean military, Lykortas led an army to Messenia, which was striving for independence, to restore the land to the League, and to bring Philopoimen’s remains to Megalopolis. After the devastation of the Messenian land and negotiations with the opponents of Deinokrates, who had been responsible for the secession of Messenia in the first place, the urn of Philopoimen was brought back to Megalopolis and buried in the agora.

  • 13 A. Chaniotis, “Sich selbst feiern? Städtische Feste des Hellenismus im Spannungsfeld von Religion (...)
  • 14 See Syll.3 624, 1; Diod., XXIX, 18 confirms the chronological correspondence between the two honor (...)
  • 15 Cf. the debate between Aigion and Sikyon regarding the burial of Aratos in 213/2, Plut., Aral., 53 (...)
  • 16 Plut., Philop., 21, 4.

6One infers a sign of this precarious domestic situation of Megalopolis from the posthumous honorary decree Syll.3 624, the earliest source for Philopoimen’s burial, in that it reflects the “Bedürfnisse, Ängste und Ideale”13 of the people of Megalopolis, and thereby offers us important clues about circumstances immediately after Philopoimen’s death. First of all, the city places great weight on the idea that the League itself not outshines it. This intention is made clear by the fact that the decision of the people of Megalopolis regarding the burial, the divine honors, and the arrangement of the death-cult for Philopoimen followed shortly upon a similar, non-extant decree of the League assembly.14 So the goal of the members of the people’s assembly was “that his fame become as great as possible, both in the League as well as in the home city”. The fact that the remains of the deceased should be brought “to our city”, i.e. not to another one, and be buried in the agora, served this goal, as is emphasized in the inscriptional text.15 One may explain these measures by the fear of the Megapolitans that the city lose its leading role within the Achaean League, as Plutarch confirms: the Arcadians who participated in the funeral procession to Megalopolis said that “with him they had lost their superior position among the Achaeans”.16

  • 17 The heroic honours decreed for Philopoimen are very similar to the honours for Aratos and Eudamos, (...)

7The honors manifested in great buildings and sculptures were topographically focused in the agora of the city.17 A hêroon thus arose in the sacral and political center of the city. That is also where as beautiful an altar as possible, of white marble (1. 9-10), and four statutes were supposed to have been erected, in several public and probably also sacral places. So the intention with these honors by the people’s assembly was to constantly remind not only the citizens of the city, but also any foreigner that might visit, of the figure and deeds of the Megalopolitan leader. The members of the assembly of the League were surely the first ones to be understood as said foreigners.

  • 18 Syll3 624, 1. 45: The priest of Hestia had to crown Philopoimen’s statue during the annual feast f (...)

8The cult rites regulated in the decree reveal much about the ideals of the citizens in this tensed situation. The cult rites, repeated yearly on the holiday of Zeus Sôter, suggest the identification of the deceased leader with Zeus. It is noticeable that the city appears in the foreground of almost all the regulations of the decision. We can recognize that by the fact that the goddess Hestia also plays an important role in the Hero-cult, which succinctly expresses the idea of the whole city assembling around the statue of the beloved leader as one family.18 The regulations according to which the city’s hierothytai were responsible for the sacrifice also indicate the special role of the whole city in the Hero-cult of Philopoimen. There are even further rules to this effect, whose content, however, is indiscernible due to their fragmentary state, though they contain the word polis at least three times.

  • 19 The epigraphic material from Megalopolis implies that this was not to be taken for granted. In the (...)

9It was very important during the crisis described above that the city appears unified both to those on the inside as well as those on the outside. As has already been stated, the present decree of the city’s people’s assembly was realized immediately after the honorary decree of the League. By virtue of the political situation, and of indications found in this inscription, we may assume a rivalry between the cult for Philopoimen in the League and its equivalent in Megalopolis. Megalopolis did of course take great pains to surpass the honors instituted by the League, and to emphasize the independent nature of the city cult. The oft repeated mentioning of the city’s institutions served this goal. As for the inner life of the city, the emphasis of the city’s institutions resulted in the fact that no particular segment of the population received a preferred role in the cult rites.19

10Based on the epigraphic sources dated to shortly before or after Philopo-imen’s burial, we may conclude that the crisis caused by Philopoimen’s death led to unified action on the part of the Megalopolitan citizens. One may recognize this in the level of personal political involvement on the part of the most distinguished citizens in inter-state affairs; in the area of cult rites, through the emphasis on the communal participation of the city’s population in the cult of Philopoimen; and in the clear separation between the rituals performed by the city and those performed by the League. This subtle interaction between politics and ritual served the strengthening of Megalopolis’ position in a clear politico-military context: the secession of Messenia and Sparta, which might threaten not only the powerful position of the city within the League, but even its actual existence.

III.

  • 20 K. Ziegler, s.v. “Polybios”, RE XXI, 2 (1952),col. 1472-3 does in my opinion convincingly reject t (...)

11If we now turn to the earliest literary portrayals of the events, it becomes clear that the inter-state political context formed a general framework throughout the portrayal of Philopoimen’s burial. The burial itself, as well as the evaluation of Philopoimen’s person, must have constituted an important theme of Polybius’ Biography of Philopoimen, which probably appeared by the end of the 180s.20 Due to the loss of the text and the lack of unambiguous quotes from or references to it, there is very little we can say about the work for certain. But when the dating stated is correct, then the Vita should be considered an almost immediate reaction to the crisis, related above, of Achaea and Megalopolis after Philopoimen’s death. So in all probability, the patriotic tendencies observed in the inscriptional text played a large role in the biography.

  • 21 Pol., XXIII, 12,1-9: Death of Philopoimen, evaluation of his person; XXIII, 15: condemnation of th (...)
  • 22 Pol., XXIII, 15,1-3.
  • 23 Diod., XXLX, 18.

12The extant fragments of the Histories of Polybius contain passages about the events of 182, but they are, with the exception of the brief evaluation of Philopoimen’s activities, limited to the diplomatic and military events, which is due to the specific choosing criteria of the Byzantine excerpts.21 The section of critique against the brutal measures taken by his father against Messenia says a lot about the interest and values of Polybius. He condemns the plundering of the enemy territory not on merely humane grounds, but far more on pragmatic and political ones: it was damaging because it rendered impossible a proper arrangement and peace, that is, the restoration of the political unity of the Peloponnese under Achaean leadership.22 But from the already mentioned Diodoros’ passage,23 which surely refers back to Polybius, one may still affirm, regarding the lost parts of the text that the historian wrote about both the honorary decree discussed above, as well as about the cult regulations. The presence of both themes, the military-diplomatic events and the reaction of the Megalopolitan people, leads to the conclusion that Polybius basically treated Philopoimen’s burial in the same emotional context that I have already established through analysis of the text of the inscription.

13Plutarch’s account, which offers us the most thorough and coherent narrative of the funeral we have, presents a decisive change in the historiographi-cal tradition. It is clear from the deviations from his main source, Polybius, that the biographer deliberately overworked the story of the funeral. Perhaps the most striking deviation from the Polybian version is the almost complete dissociation of the story from Peloponnesian inter-state relations. Political events, such as the sequence of leaders or assemblies of the League, are only presented in a cursory manner and are full of gaps. Instead of the diplomatic and military events, one finds in Plutarch the description of the emotional state of the Achaeans, and instead of the causal relationships of these events, he offers us a purely psychological motivation. One recognizes this change of interest very well in the motivation for the campaign against Messenia:

  • 24 Plut., Philop., 21, 1 (transl. B. Perrin, modified).

When the report of his death reached the Achaeans, their cities were filled with general sorrow and grief, and the men of military age, together with the members of the council, assembled at Megalopolis. Without any delay whatsoever they proceeded to take revenge. They named Lycortas as general, invaded Messenia, and ravaged the country, until the Messenians with one mind received them into their city.24

  • 25 Cf. Plut., Philop., 21, 2: Before his execution Philopoimen worried only about the life of his fel (...)

14So while the secession of Messenia played the most important role in Polybius, in Plutarch the sadness and depression about Philopoimen’s death are the factors, which cause the actions of the Peloponnesian population. As it is obvious from Polybius, the main objective of the campaign was originally the restoration of Messenia into the Achaean League, but Plutarch defines the campaign as revenge for Philopoimen’s death. One recognizes the same difference in the treatment of the course of the campaign. Plutarch does not even mention the domestic disputes of the Messenians and the Achaean-Messenian negotiations, portrayed in such detail by Polybius, and instead places the personal tragedy of Deinokrates in the center, as a moral opposite of Philopoimen.25

  • 26 For the first synodos, see Plut., Philop., 21,1; J.A.O. Larsen, Representative Government in Greek (...)
  • 27 Here I follow the dating of Errington, o.c. (n. 9),p. 241-245. On the distribution of synodoi, see (...)

15It may moreover be established that Plutarch’s account is subject to a scheme of time different from that of Polybius. As has just been stated, Plutarch leaves out several mainly diplomatic events that had been thoroughly portrayed by Polybius. This, together with the emphasis on the agitation of the Achaeans, leads to an impression with the reader that everything happened quickly in a very brief time span. We can only speak of an impression, since the narrative lacks any concrete indications of time. But the actual duration of the campaign may be limited to within the time-frame of the League assemblies that took place at its beginning and at its end, because we know from Polybius that a League assembly was held in Megalopolis immediately before the attack on Messenia, and then a second one at the time of the conquest of Messene26. Philopoimen died in May or June of 182, when an assembly of the League was supposed to have been held anyway. Since the synodoi were spread out from early in the year (April) to September, the second synodos must have taken place at the end of July or beginning of August.27 This indicates that the campaign of Lykortas lasted about two months. Plutarch’s account therefore is marked by a dramatic concentration of the events.

  • 28 Plut., Philop., 21,1.
  • 29 On prohouloi in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, see H. Schaefer, s.v. “Proboulos”, RE XXIII, 1 (...)

16The deviation of Plutarch’s diction in discussing the Achaean council also indicates a restructuring of the Polybian account. It says in Plutarch that the Achaeans went to Megalopolis with the probouloi in order to hold an assembly of the League there.28 But the word proboulos never occurs in the surviving parts of the Histories, and the council of the Achaeans is consequently named boule. It is difficult to say, why Plutarch made this obvious mistake. But since probouloi are attested not only in the classical period but also in the imperial period, it seems reasonable to reckon with the influence of the political terminology of the 1st/2ndcentury AD.29

17Regarding the subsequent course of events we must rely entirely on Plutarch, since the passages in Polybius about the funeral procession and burial have been lost. Plutarch’s description of the funeral procession into the great Arcadian city is divided into two contrasting sections. The first one is characterized by regulated order, the second by uncontrolled emotion. In the first section the political and military elite stand in the foreground, in the second the people.

  • 30 Such (socially) hierarchically ordered funeral processions are also attested in inscriptions, e.g. (...)
  • 31 Polybius did indeed consider his father, and therefore implicitly also himself, to be the politica (...)

18When the army under the command of Lykortas in Messene had set off on its return, the train of people was ordered along the lines of the social and military hierarchy. As Plutarch remarks, it was a combination of victory and funeral procession.30 The young Polybius led the procession with the urn in his hands; he was followed by the protoi of the Achaeans, and then by fully armed soldiers on decorated horses. It is easy to assume that Lykortas’ purpose with this arrangement was to present to the decision-makers, who had elected him as their strategos, his son Polybius as his successor and as the political heir of Philopoimen.31

  • 32 In the English translation by B. Perrin (Loeb) and the German one by K. Ziegler it is simply rende (...)
  • 33 Plutarch’s remark, which no doubt originates in Polybius, shows the extent to which the Megalopoli (...)
  • 34 The oldest example of ritual sacrifice in funerals comes from Homer, Mas XXIII, 171-6. As exceptio (...)

19The inhabitants of the villages and cities between Messene and Megalopolis, both men and women, young and old, ruined this strict hierarchy and order by greeting the remains of Philopoimen as though he were returning from a military campaign. Everyone crowded around the urn in order to touch it. So Philopoimen’s urn once again stands in the center of attention, as in the previous section, but this time in the center of a scene characterized by a tumultuous, uncontrollable, and spontaneous burst of emotion. A lamentation spread among the participants (διὰ πάντος … τοῦ στρατεύματος),32 since with the death of Philopoimen they also mourned the loss of the leading status of Megalopolis.33 Once the procession had reached Megalopolis, the burial took place in the agora, where, in addition, those Messenian prisoners who were responsible for the assassination of Philopoimen were executed.34

20The Arcadian people enter into the center of the story in this section: They gather around the urn as a quasi family of Philopoimen in order to mourn the family member (father?, son?, sôter?), and they thereby spontaneously articulate their deeply felt sorrow. The communal action already seen in the Polybian version as well as in the decree here undergoes a drastic alteration: The narration’s emphasis is no longer on the inter-state relationships. The political aspects of Philopoimen’s death are pushed into the background in Plutarch’s version. The relationship between the great leader and the populace is thereby emphasized all the more – that is to say, Plutarch deliberately produces it.

IV.

  • 35 See Plut., Alexander, 1, 2: “For it is not History that I am writing, but Biographies…” (transl. B (...)

21It is easy to ascribe these deviations between Plutarch’s version and its main source, the Histories of Polybius, to the literary genre of biography, as Plutarch himself was certainly not unaware of the independence of biography from historical writing.35

  • 36 Regarding the definition of commotion decrees, see R. van Bremen, The Limits of Participation. Wom (...)
  • 37 These alterations are already discernible since the late Hellenistic period, but not to the same e (...)
  • 38 van Bremen, o.c. (n. 36), p. 161-162.
  • 39 I.Knidos 71, 1. 4-13 [transl. van Bremen, o.c. (n. 36), p. 157].

22It is nevertheless necessary to offer an explanation for this so clearly intentional new portrayal of Philopoimen’s funeral in Plutarch’s account. The comparison with documents from the imperial era regarding the burials of members of the city elite is particularly informative in this respect. The Plutarchian portrayal of the story of the funeral reveals far-reaching structural, narrative, and thematic similarities with a certain subgroup of posthumous honorary decrees, namely the resolutions of consolation, or “commotion decrees”.36 We can observe in these decrees the alterations in burial ritual that pertain especially to the circle of participants and to the communal mourning.37 The resolutions passed on the occasion of the death of a prominent member of the current local society portray the reaction of the citizenry. The achievements which the deceased individual accomplished for his or her society are not always of great relevance in this regard, since members, especially female ones, of an important family were allowed, as quasi “benefactors of the community”, to receive posthumous honors in any case. In the narrative parts of the relevant decrees, “the irrational, uncontrolled, emotional aspect of the people’s behavior” is especially emphasized.38 A profound relationship between the deceased and the population would thereby be constructed, and illustrated further within the framework of the funerary ritual. This strong emotional state caused the people in extraordinary and even spontaneous assemblies to pass decrees regarding a death cult or a funeral within the city, usually in centrally located places, such as the agora or the theater. The people’s assembly and the funeral usually took place on the same date as the death itself. The Knidian decree for a female descendant of C. Iulius Theopompos contains all the characteristic elements of these public burials: “The demos, having worked itself into a state of considerable commotion, on account of her virtue and good name, eagerly gathered to the theatre, and when she was carried out in procession, they seized her body, insisted on a public burial and acclaimed her [virtue?].”39

  • 40 van Bremen, o.c. (n. 36),p. 156-163. Resolutions of such a type have survived from Amorgos, Aphrod (...)
  • 41 Regarding the so-called “domestication of public life”, see P. Veyne, Le pain et le cirque. Sociol (...)
  • 42 van Bremen, o.c. (n. 36),p. 161: “… it is the citizens themselves whose emotions are given an outl (...)

23Public burials of this type have been handed down to us mostly in inscriptions, but literary texts provide parallels as well.40 Their spatial and chronological scope in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD implies the acceptance of this modified ritual practice, which pertained to the members of the local elite. Against the backdrop of this new mourning ritual we see the gradual disappearance of the line between Polis and elite.41 Not only the family dependants and relatives stricto sensu are supposed to be present at the funeral procession and burial and to mourn the dead, which was originally a family affair, but the whole city.42 This “uninhibited” mourning by the citizens is placed in the foreground, and legitimizes the relationship to the deceased individual and his accomplishments for the community.

  • 43 Vgl. I.Knidos 72; P. Herrmann, “Zwei Inschriften von Kaunos und Baba Dag”, OAth 10 (1971),p. 57sq. (...)
  • 44 Philostratos, Vitae Sophist., 565-566.
  • 45 This corresponds to the “seizure of the corpse”, just about what is verified in I. Knidos 71,I.10. (...)
  • 46 IG XII 7,239,1. 31.

24It is precisely these characteristic signs of the “commotion decrees” that we find again in Plutarch’s account: the people’s grief at the news,43 which led to the “spontaneous” League assembly in Megalopolis, to the quick choice of Lykortas as new strategos, and above all to the military campaign against Messene, which is portrayed as a campaign of revenge. Then the victory- and funeral-procession with the weeping soldiers wearing victory wreaths followed. They in turn followed the urn, also with wreaths, containing the remains of Philopoimen, through the country to Megalopolis.44 The spontaneous participation of the people from all the various villages through which the procession passed formed another highlight. Everyone wanted to touch the urn, everyone wanted to carry it and take part in the collective mourning.45 The mourning affected all of them and they therefore had to endure it pandemi.46

25The conclusion readily suggests itself that Plutarch, in his description of Philopoimen’s funeral, referred back to the performance of mourning ritual that in his time pertained to the “benefactors” of a community, and to the corresponding honorary decrees. One does not, however, thereby doubt the historical credibility of his account, since comparison with contemporary sources (Polybius, posthumous honorary decree) has shown that it was by no means a question of mere inventions on his part, but rather of a conscious grouping of the events and the assimilation of them to the conditions of his time.

  • 47 Paus., VIII, 51, 5-8.
  • 48 Plut., Philop., 1, 4.
  • 49 See van Bremen, o.c. (n. 36), p. 167-169.

26The version of Pausanias should probably be placed in the same context. Pausanias47 leans mainly on Plutarch, but the portrayal of the Messenian debate regarding the captured Philopoimen forms the nucleus of his version. As already familiar from Livy and Plutarch, Deinokrates argued for the execution of Philopoimen, but the representatives of the people wanted to preserve his life. Pausanias says that they called him the “father of all Hellenism”. The earlier sources admittedly confirm both the contrary opinions of the Messenian people as well as the extraordinary popularity of the Achaean leader in all of Greece, even after his death.48 But the idea that Philopoimen should in his lifetime have been called the father of the Greeks does not appear in any of the other sources known to us. In my view, two possible explanations present themselves: either it was a question of a portrayal of Philopoimen common in Roman imperial times, which Pausanias makes relevant even for the 2nd century BC, or the Periegetes, due to his similar political experiences, correctly understood the implicit tendencies of the Plutarchian account, and made them explicit in his portrayal of the Messenian debates. The numerous proclamations by cities for their citizens as “father” or “mother” of the citizenry or of the city come to mind.49 In this issue, however, certainty is impossible.

27In conclusion, the outcome of this investigation is that the figure of Philopoimen and the portrayal of his funeral did not lose any of its relevance in the four hundred years after his death. History, however, saw considerable changes during the course of this time. Immediately after his death, the Peloponnesian inter-state relationships were still of great importance: the surviving passages of Polybius’ Histories and the Megalopolitan people’s resolution, preserved through inscriptions, testify to this. With the conquest of Greece by Rome, this aspect of the matter naturally lost its significance, as one sees in the accounts of the same events from the imperial period. Instead of League-politics, the emotional connection between the great individual and the citizens came to the fore. Influenced by the ritual practice of his day, Plutarch rewrote the original portrayal of Polybius and thereby presented his readers with a mourning ritual appropriate for “the last of the Greeks”.

Notes

1 Polybios, XXIII, 17-18, 2.

2 IG V 2, 432= Syll3 624.

3 Diodorus Siculus, XXIX, 18; Pausanias, VIII, 51, 8.

4 Pol., XXIII, 12, 3.

5 Plutarchos, Philopoimen, 1, 4.

6 Paus., VIII, 51, 7.

7 Livius, XXXIX, 50, 9-10.

8 Pol., XXIII, 9, 13: according to the interpretation of Polybius it was a proclamation to all members of Koinon whose intention it was to secede.

9 Messene: C.A. Roebuck, A History of Messenia from 369 to 146 B.C., Chicago, 1941, p. 95-102; R.M. Errington, Philopoimen, Oxford, 1969, p. 185-191; very little is known about the exit of Sparta: cf. P. Cartledge, A. Spawforth, Hellenistic and Roman Sparta, London/New York, 1989, p. 82-83.

10 Plut., Philop., 4, 1.

11 It concerns three arbitrations regarding border disputes between Megalopolis and neighbouring municipalities: Thouria (IPArk 31, II A, B) and Helisphasia (IPArk 31, I A). Dittenberger dated the third dispute with Sparta regarding Aigytis and Skiritis in the northern Eurotas valley (IvO 91-98) after 164. Recently, H. Taeuber, in a still unpublished lecture (held on February 24, 2005, in Szeged, during a conference entitled “Greek legal inscriptions and papyri”) has suggested the new dating of late 180s. Regardless of the question of dating, a border conflict in the years after Philopoimen’s death is likely, since Laconia’s secession practically forced to the fore the question of the affiliation of this strategically very important area.

12 IPArk 31 B.5 shows that the historian Polybius and his brother Thearidas involved themselves as ambassadors of Megalopolis in the dispute with Thouria. Their father, Lykortas, was at the time strategos of the League.

13 A. Chaniotis, “Sich selbst feiern? Städtische Feste des Hellenismus im Spannungsfeld von Religion und Politik”, in M. Wörrle, P. Zanker (eds), Stadtbild und Bürgerbild im Hellenismus, Munich, 1995, p. 154-155.

14 See Syll.3 624, 1; Diod., XXIX, 18 confirms the chronological correspondence between the two honorary decrees.

15 Cf. the debate between Aigion and Sikyon regarding the burial of Aratos in 213/2, Plut., Aral., 53. Whether the participants at the League assembly actually wanted to bury Philopoimen in another city, in Aigion for instance, cannot be determined. It is noteworthy that the Megalopolitans considered the city and not the League as their homeland (patris). In Polybius the word patris refers not only to cities, but also to areas extending beyond the polis, such as federal states. See H. Weissenow, “Bemerkungen zum Gebrauch von πατρίς bei Polybios”, Philologus 120 (1976), p. 210-214.

16 Plut., Philop., 21, 4.

17 The heroic honours decreed for Philopoimen are very similar to the honours for Aratos and Eudamos, who were also “Heroen mit politischer Wirksamkeit”, see E. Stavrianopoulou, “Die Familienexedra von Eudamos und Lydiadas in Megalopolis”, Tekmeria 7 (2002), p. 117-156.

18 Syll3 624, 1. 45: The priest of Hestia had to crown Philopoimen’s statue during the annual feast for Zeus Sôter.

19 The epigraphic material from Megalopolis implies that this was not to be taken for granted. In the honours for Eudamos, father of the Megalopolitan tyrant Lydiadas, the “ekgonoi” of the one honoured and the third “lokhos”, a military unit of the city, occupy a particular position. In the light of this honorary decree, the fact that no sign of such a special position is to be found in the cult of Philopoimen becomes very important. On the ekgonoi of Eudamos, see Stavrianopoulou, l c. (n. 17), p. 149-154.

20 K. Ziegler, s.v. “Polybios”, RE XXI, 2 (1952),col. 1472-3 does in my opinion convincingly reject the arguments of P. PÉdech, “Polybe et l’éloge de Philopoimen”, REG 64 (1951),p. 82-103 for a dating after 146 BC.

21 Pol., XXIII, 12,1-9: Death of Philopoimen, evaluation of his person; XXIII, 15: condemnation of the harshness and cruelty of the revenge campaign of Lykortas; XXIII, 16-18,2: restoration of Messenia and Sparta into the Achaean League; the reference to the inscription Syll.3 624 in Diod., XXIX, 18 also goes back to Polybius.

22 Pol., XXIII, 15,1-3.

23 Diod., XXLX, 18.

24 Plut., Philop., 21, 1 (transl. B. Perrin, modified).

25 Cf. Plut., Philop., 21, 2: Before his execution Philopoimen worried only about the life of his fellow-soldiers, and on hearing, that they eventually survived, calmly emptied the cup of poison.

26 For the first synodos, see Plut., Philop., 21,1; J.A.O. Larsen, Representative Government in Greek and Roman History, Berkeley, 1955,p. 178,has shown that it could not have been a question of an extraordinary synodos, as Plutarch’s version apparently suggests. It was a regular synodos, probably called by Archon, who was provisional strategos after Philopoimen’s death. For the second synodos, see Pol., XXIII, 16, 12.

27 Here I follow the dating of Errington, o.c. (n. 9),p. 241-245. On the distribution of synodoi, see W.P. Theunissen, Plutarchos’ Leven van Aratos met historisch-topographisch komentaar, Nijmegen, 1935,p. 39-40; GA. Lehmann, “Erwägungen zur Struktur des achaiischen Bundesstaates”, ZPE 51 (1983),p. 243.

28 Plut., Philop., 21,1.

29 On prohouloi in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, see H. Schaefer, s.v. “Proboulos”, RE XXIII, 1 (1957),col. 1228-1231.

30 Such (socially) hierarchically ordered funeral processions are also attested in inscriptions, e.g. I.Priene 104,9-13; 108,366-377. On ἀϰϕοραί in the 2nd and 1st cent. BC, see Ph. Gauthier, Les cités grecques et leurs bienfaiteurs, Paris, 1985,p. 61; E. Schwertheim, “Ein postumer Ehren-beschluss für Apollonis in Kyzikos” ZPE 29 (1978),p. 213-228,1. 42-48

31 Polybius did indeed consider his father, and therefore implicitly also himself, to be the political successor of Aratos and Philopoimen: cf. Pol., II, 40,2.

32 In the English translation by B. Perrin (Loeb) and the German one by K. Ziegler it is simply rendered as “army” and “Heer” respectively, although, due to the presence of civilians (old people, women and children), it cannot be considered a purely military procession. It would therefore be better to translate it as “all who participated in the procession”, see LSJ s.v. στράτευμα.

33 Plutarch’s remark, which no doubt originates in Polybius, shows the extent to which the Megalopolitans identified themselves with the deceased leader. But it has not been logically prepared for, and it does not connect thematically with the account of the campaign, since the previous sentences were almost exclusively about the revenge for Philopoimen’s death, and not about the power relationships within the Achaean League.

34 The oldest example of ritual sacrifice in funerals comes from Homer, Mas XXIII, 171-6. As exceptions, there were sacrifices (if not also human sacrifices) at funerals into the classical period: Cf. R. Garland, The Greek Way of Death, London, 1985,p. 35. It can be a matter of Homeric influence here, which means that the funeral of Philopoimen was likely deliberately portrayed according to the Homeric model.

35 See Plut., Alexander, 1, 2: “For it is not History that I am writing, but Biographies…” (transl. B. Perrin, modified).

36 Regarding the definition of commotion decrees, see R. van Bremen, The Limits of Participation. Women and civic life in the Greek East in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods, Amsterdam, 1996, p. 156-163 Regarding the chronological and geographical distribution of the resolutions of consolation, see N. Ehrhardt, “Tod, Trost und Trauer. Zur Funktion griechischer Trostbeschlüsse und Ehrendekrete post mortem”, Laverna 5 (1994), p. 44 sq.

37 These alterations are already discernible since the late Hellenistic period, but not to the same extent and intensity.

38 van Bremen, o.c. (n. 36), p. 161-162.

39 I.Knidos 71, 1. 4-13 [transl. van Bremen, o.c. (n. 36), p. 157].

40 van Bremen, o.c. (n. 36),p. 156-163. Resolutions of such a type have survived from Amorgos, Aphrodisias, Kaunos, Knidos, Kyzikos, Kyme, Thessaloniki, Olbia, and Neapel. Some examples: The funerals of Tatia Attalis, (1st/2nd century AD), of a relative of C. Iulius Theopompos (1st/2nd century AD, I.Knidos 71),of two unknown women in Aigiale and Arkesine (BCH 15 (1891),p. 575 sq.), of a woman from Knidos (I.Knidos 72), of Agreophon of Kaunos (2nd century AD), of Herodes Atticus (AD 177,Philostratos, Vitae Sophistarum, 565-566); see J.H.M. Strubbe, “Posthumous Honours for Members of the Municipal Elite in Asia Minor, 2nd-3rd cent. A.D.”, in XI Congresso Internazionale di Epigrafia Greca e Latina II, Rom, 1997,p. 489-500.

41 Regarding the so-called “domestication of public life”, see P. Veyne, Le pain et le cirque. Sociologie historique d’un pluralisms politique, Paris, 1976,p. 185-200; M. WÖrrle, “Vom tugendsamen Jüngling zum ‘gestreisten’ Euergeten. Überlegungen zum Bürgerbild hellenistischer Ehrendekrete”, in WÖrrle Zanker, o.c. (n. 13), p. 244; van Bremen, o.c. (n. 36),p. 156-170.

42 van Bremen, o.c. (n. 36),p. 161: “… it is the citizens themselves whose emotions are given an outlet, and who need consoling by way of public participation in the mourning ritual.”

43 Vgl. I.Knidos 72; P. Herrmann, “Zwei Inschriften von Kaunos und Baba Dag”, OAth 10 (1971),p. 57sq., 1. 1-5; Chaireas and Callirhoe, 1,5 (transl. B.P. Reardon, Collected Ancient Greek Novels, Berkeley, 1989): “Rumour ran all over the town, spreading the news of the catastrophe, and arousing cries of grief throughout the narrow streets, right down to the sea… and the whole demos as well quickly gathered in the town square, with various excited cries.”

44 Philostratos, Vitae Sophist., 565-566.

45 This corresponds to the “seizure of the corpse”, just about what is verified in I. Knidos 71,I.10. See also van Bremen, o.c. (n. 36),p. 157-159.

46 IG XII 7,239,1. 31.

47 Paus., VIII, 51, 5-8.

48 Plut., Philop., 1, 4.

49 See van Bremen, o.c. (n. 36), p. 167-169.

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