Rhodes examined the systems of other poleis such as monarchies and oligarchies,along with organizations larger than the polis such as federations and leagues. Althoughthese systems were larger, these systems or their government failed to impress Rhodes.Boeotia, a federation with Thebes as hegemon, made others within the federationsecondary citizens.
Rhodes looked down upon the Homeric monarchy possessed byMacedon as “rudimentary” and autocratic. The hereditary system lacked any formalcouncil or ministries with only the king giving orders enforced by his loyal army.
Alliances and leagues also were a form of union, albeit a loose confederation united onlyin foreign policy. These unions allowed the Greeks to combine their power to weaken or destroy enemies. This system permitted Philip of Macedon to control the Greeks with theLeague of Corinth, thus limiting Greek freedom.
Macedonian revolts throughout theLeague of Corinth proved that many Greeks disliked Macedonian domination.
Rhodes placed the polis as the most effective state system available to the Greeks during the fifthand fourth centuries, whereas other systems were innately unfair which sometimes causedrevolts.The polis system allowed Athens to reap the benefits of peace effectively,ensuring security, prosperity, and perhaps happiness for its citizens. One important goalof Athens was the increase of commerce by reducing piracy, a parasite that sucked thewealth out of the Greek commercial system. The Athenians established a naval base andcolony on the coast of the Adriatic Sea to intercept pirates and protect trade.
Bosworthdid not place enough emphasis on piracy suppression as a reason for the expansion of the
Rhodes, “The Polis and the Alternatives,” 581-82.
Rhodes, “The Polis and the Alternatives,” 586-87.
Rhodes, “The Polis and the Alternatives,” 588-89.
Aspects of Greek History
, (New York: Routledge, 1996), 491.
Conquest and Empire