A after 146? Reflections on the Political and Institutional Situation of Boeotia in the Late Hellenistic Period1

Christel Müller

When the Romans decided on the dissolution of the Boeotian Confederacy dur- ing the in the winter of 172/1bc, their primary aim was to reduce the Boeotians to a political life based on cities. described that aim as τὸ δὲ κατὰ πόλιν διελεῖν τοὺς Βοιωτούς (“to divide the Boeotians by main- taining them each in their own city”) and contrasted it with the aspirations of the Boeotians themselves who would have preferred a collective submission of the koinon.2 The dissolution amounted to an absolute dismantling of the institutional structures of the confederacy and was a response to the hostile stance adopted by several cities—Haliartos, Koroneia, —that formed a coherent group linked by their shared traditions and common interests, as I have already shown elsewhere.3 The Roman objective was fundamentally political and the policy that the Romans pursued corresponds to a dismem- berment, a spatial disarticulation of the federal skeleton that entailed much more than the destruction of its central organs. In principle, this also affected the confederacy’s territorial subdivisions or districts, the tele, whose existence was highlighted in the 1990s both by Denis Knoepfler4 and Thomas Corsten.5 Accordingly, from 172/1 onward there were no federal archons in Boeotia, no federal magistrates such as Boeotarchs, no , no federal assembly, no federal judicial institutions. Under the Empire, however, we can see that a Boeotian confederacy again existed: it often acted alongside other regional confederacies at the heart of a

1 I would like to thank here Nikolaos Papazarkadas, the Aleshire Center for the Study of Greek Epigraphy and the Department of of the University of California at Berkeley for their kind invitation to take part in the Boeotian organized in September 2011. I extend thanks to the audience of the conference for helpful comments, to the anonymous referees, and mostly to Prof. Snodgrass for his critical remarks on my paper. Any errors remain of course the author’s responsibility. 2 Polyb. 27.1: cf. Appendix no. 1. 3 Müller 1996 and 2007. 4 Knoepfler 2000, 2001 and 2002. 5 Corsten 1999, pp. 38–47 (map, p. 44).

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2014 | doi: 10.1163/9789004273856_007 120 müller collective qualified by sources as Achaean, -achean and even Panhellenic.6 Even if the federal archons had disappeared forever, the naopoioi are well attested, as are the synedrion and a federal seat, at the Itonion of Koroneia: this is well shown by the long epigraphical dossier of the 1st century bc concerning the benefactor of Akraiphia.7 One of the essential questions for Boeotian in the Roman era is therefore to know how things moved from the Hellenistic to the Roman Imperial confederacy and what stages there were in its resurrection after 172/1bc.

I Context, Sources and Questions

The two centuries covered by this difficult question, that is basically the late Hellenistic period, present at the same time both historiographical and his- torical problems. Contemporary Boeotian history is marked by wars, which is not new, but the interests at stake go far beyond Central : think first of the , the last major war to be fought among , then of the Mithridatic War and finally of the Civil Wars of Rome. All these conflicts saw major incursions into, and levies upon, the territory of Boeotia, uprooting of its inhabitants, and diverse reorganizations. To give a brief résumé of the events that affected Boeotia, one can start by recalling that the people of Thebes, and very probably those of Thespiai and , took the side of the in 146bc. This stance cost them dearly and, at least for Thebes, saw the dis- mantling of its walls and the disarming of its inhabitants. But above all, these cities were placed by Mummius, as Cicero notes, sub imperium populi Romani dicionemque.8 That subjection, however, did not prevent an agreement being made that granted privileges to the Dionysiac technitai of Isthmus and Nemea (they had a branch at Thebes). A famous inscribed letter probably by Mummius has preserved the decision.9 The next episode occurs during the Mithridatic War, between 88 and 86bc. While Chaironeia is occupied by the Romans, the Boeotians hesitate between an alliance with Archelaos, Mithridates’ general, and the alliance that they finally form with .10 Not all the cities come out of the war without losses

6 Cf., e.g., IG VII 2711. 7 IG VII 2711, 2712 and 2713: on this series of inscriptions, cf. Müller 1995. 8 Cic. Verr. 2.1.55: cf. Appendix no. 2. 9 Aneziri 2003, pp. 361–362, B6, and Le Guen 2001, I, pp. 187–188, no. 34. 10 App. Mith. 29.