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Epirote League

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Title: Epirote League  
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Subject: Epirus, Doric Greek, Chaonians, Gitanae, Phoenice, Lakka Souliou, Koinon, Charops of Epirus
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Epirote League

The Epirote League (Northwest Greek: Κοινὸν Ἀπειρωτᾶν, Koinòn Āpeirōtân; Attic: Κοινὸν Ἠπειρωτῶν, Koinòn Ēpeirōtôn) was an ancient Greek commonwealth (koinon) of Epirote communities.[1]


The coalition was established between 370 and 320 BC, (firstly as the Molossian League in 370 BC), which helped unify the three main tribes of Epirus (i.e. Molossians, Thesprotians, and Chaonians).[2] The political, economic, and cultural center of the Epirote League was Dodona.[3] Dodone was the religious, political and cultural centre of the Molossian League and later of the Epirote League. Pyrrhus of Epirus became leader of the League in 297 BC.[4] When King Agathocles of Syracuse conquered Corcyra, he offered the island as dowry to his daughter Lanassa on her marriage to Pyrrhus of Epirus in 295 BC.[5] The island then became a member of the Epirote League. It was then perhaps that the settlement of Cassiope was founded to serve as a base for the king of Epirus' expeditions. The island remained in the Epirote League until 255 BC when it became independent after the death of Alexander II of Epirus.

Although the League remained neutral in the first two Macedonian Wars, it was ultimately dismantled in the Third Macedonian War (171–168 BC), with the Molossians siding with the Macedonians and the Chaonians and Thesprotians supporting the Roman Republic.[6]

Decrees of the League

Copies of the decrees (proxeny and citizenship decrees, manumission records) of the Molossian and Epirote League were set up in Dodona. All members had common citizenship.[7] Regarding the dialect of the Epirote League, it was not Corinthian Doric and even the alphabet was not Corinthian; it was probably Northwest Doric, as some recorded inquiries at Dodona appear to indicate.[8] The first epigraphical evidence of the Molossian League goes back to 370 BC under the king (or basileus) Neoptolemus.[9]

See also



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