Koinon of Macedonians

The Koinon of the Macedonians (Greek: Κοινόν Μακεδόνων) was a commonwealth institution or a confederation of all Macedonian communities united around the king, resembling earliest Greek koina. Epigraphic evidence ranges from the 3rd century BC to the Roman period.


  • Howgego, Christopher; Heuchert, Volker; Burnett, Andrew (2005), Coinage and Identity in the Roman Provinces, New York: Oxford University Press, p. 102, ISBN 0-19-923784-0.
  • Walbank, Frank William (1992), The Hellenistic World, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, p. 84, ISBN 0-674-38726-0.
Government of Macedonia (ancient kingdom)

The earliest government of Macedonia was established by the Argead dynasty of Macedonian kings some time during the period of Archaic Greece (8th–5th centuries BC). Due to shortcomings in the historical record, very little is known about the origins of Macedonian governmental institutions before the reign of Philip II of Macedon (r. 359–336 BC), during the final phase of Classical Greece (480–336 BC). These institutions continued to evolve under his successor Alexander the Great and the subsequent Antipatrid and Antigonid dynasties of Hellenistic Greece (336–146 BC). Following the Roman victory in the Third Macedonian War and house arrest of Perseus of Macedon in 168 BC, the Macedonian monarchy was abolished and replaced by four client state republics. However, the monarchy was briefly revived by the pretender to the throne Andriscus in 150–148 BC, followed by the Roman victory in the Fourth Macedonian War and establishment of the Roman province of Macedonia.It is unclear if there was a formally established constitution dictating the laws, organization, and divisions of power in ancient Macedonia's government, although some tangential evidence suggests this. The king (basileus) served as the head of state and was assisted by his noble companions and royal pages. Kings served as the chief judges of the kingdom, although little is known about Macedonia's judiciary. The kings were also expected to serve as high priests of the nation, using their wealth to sponsor various religious cults. The Macedonian kings had command over certain natural resources such as gold from mining and timber from logging. The right to mint gold, silver, and bronze coins was shared by the central and local governments.

The Macedonian kings served as the commanders-in-chief of Macedonia's armed forces, while it was common for them to personally lead troops into battle. Surviving textual evidence suggests that the ancient Macedonian army exercised its authority in matters such as the royal succession when there was no clear heir apparent to rule the kingdom. The army upheld some of the functions of a popular assembly, a democratic institution which otherwise existed in only a handful of municipal governments within the Macedonian commonwealth: the Koinon of Macedonians. With their mining and tax revenues, the kings were responsible for funding the military, which included a navy that was established by Philip II and expanded during the Antigonid period.


Koinon (Greek: Κοινόν, pl. Κοινά, Koina), meaning "common," in the sense of "public," had many interpretations, some societal, some governmental. The word was the neuter form of the adjective, roughly equivalent in the governmental sense to Latin res publica, "the public thing." Among the most frequent uses is "commonwealth," the government of a single state, such as the Athenian.

Frequent in the historical writings is a sense of "league" or "federation" an association of distinct city-states in a sympoliteia. As government of a league, koinon comprised such functions as defense, diplomacy, economics, and religious practices among its member states. The word was carried over to other political associations in mediaeval and modern Greek history.

In Epirus itself there had in ancient times existed the Koinon of the Molossians. There was a Lacedaemonian League, centred on Sparta and its old dominions for a period under Roman rule, a Koinon of the Macedonians, also under Roman rule. In modern Greek history, during the Greek War of Independence, a local self-government termed Koinon was set up in the islands of Hydra, Spetsai and Psara.

Some federations termed Koinon were:

Ionian League (Koinon Ionon), formed in the 7th century BC

Koinon of the Aeinautae, recorded on an inscription which was found in Eretria, island Euboea, dated to the 5th century BC

Acarnanian League (Koinon ton Akarnanon), existing 5th century BC to c. 30 BC, with interruptions

Chalcidian League (Koinon ton Chalkideon), existing c. 430 to 348 BC

Phocian League (Koinon ton Phokeon), existing 6th century BC to 3rd century AD, with interruptions

Thessalian League (Koinon ton Thessalon), existing 363 BC to 3rd century AD, with interruptions

League of the Magnetes (Koinon ton Magneton), existing 197 BC to 3rd century AD, with interruptions

Aenianian League (Koinon ton Ainianon)

Arcadian League (Koinon ton Arkadon)

League of the Oeteans (Koinon ton Oitaion)

Euboean League (Koinon ton Euboieon)

Epirote League (Koinon Epiroton), existing from c. 320 to c. 170 BC

League of the Islanders (Koinon ton Nesioton), existing from c. 314 to c. 220 BC and 200 to 168 BC

Cretan League under the Roman Empire to the 4th century

Koinon of Macedonians existing from 3rd century to Roman period

Lycian League, founded in 168 BC

League of Free Laconians, a league of cities in Laconia established by Roman emperor Augustus in 21 BC

Koinon of the Zagorisians under the Ottoman Empire, 1670–1868

Aetolian League (Koinon ton Aitolon), early 3rd century BC to roughly 189 BC when it came under Roman influence

Achaean League (Koinon ton Achaion), 280 BC to 146 BC, dissolved by the Romans after the Battle of Corinth (146 BC)

List of Macedoniarchs

This is a list of all the known Macedoniarchs, an official that was the head of the Koinon of Macedonians. It is known that there were only 11 such officials.


Macedoniarch (Greek: μακεδονιάρχης) was a Roman-era title for the president of the Koinon of Macedonians. The title was only given to 11 people.


Polyaenus or Polyenus ( POL-ee-EE-nəs; see ae (æ) vs. e; Greek: Πoλύαινoς, translit. Polyainos, "much-praised") was a 2nd-century CE Macedonian author, known best for his Stratagems in War (Greek: Στρατηγήματα, translit. Strategemata), which has been preserved. The Suda calls him a rhetorician, and Polyaenus himself writes that he was accustomed to plead causes before the Roman emperor. Polyaenus dedicated Stratagems in War to the two emperors Marcus Aurelius (r. 161–180) and Lucius Verus (r. 161–169), while they were engaged in the Roman–Parthian War of 161–166, about 163, at which time he was too old to accompany them in their campaigns.


Veria (Greek: Βέροια or Βέρροια), officially transliterated Veroia, historically also spelled Berea or Berœa, is a city in Macedonia, northern Greece, located 511 kilometres (318 miles) north-northwest of the capital Athens and 73 km (45 mi) west-southwest of Thessalonica.

Even by the standards of Greece, Veria is an old city; first mentioned in the writings of Thucydides in 432 BC, there is evidence that it was populated as early as 1000 BC. Veria was an important possession for Philip II of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great) and later for the Romans. Apostle Paul famously preached in the city, and its inhabitants were among the first Christians in the Empire. Later, under the Byzantine and Ottoman empires, Veria was a center of Greek culture and learning. Today Veria is a commercial center of Central Macedonia, the capital of the regional unit of Imathia and the seat of a Church of Greece Metropolitan bishop in the Ecumenical Patriarchate as well as a Latin Catholic titular see.

The extensive archaeological site of Vergina (ancient Aegae, the first capital of Macedon), a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing the tomb of Philip II of Macedon, lies 12 km (7 mi) south-east of the city center of Veria.

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