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Identity and resistance: The Islanders' League, the Aegean islands and the Hellenistic kings

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This article explores the Islanders' League (koinon ton nesioton) of the late fourth and third centuries (BCE). Through an examination of the epigraphic evidence (primarily the Nicouria inscription IG XII.7 506), I suggest that, rather than interpreting this League as a top-down imposition on the world of the South Aegean islanders by the Hellenistic kings (first Antigonos and Demetrios, and then the Ptolemies), we should view the League as an expression of and contributor to a strong regional island identity. During the late fourth and third centuries, the League changed patronage; I argue that it was not the specific identity of the patrons that mattered, but rather the complex negotiation of power relations and identity in the region.
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Keywords: Aegean Sea; Delos; Islanders' League; identity; insularity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of History, Classics and Archaeology,Birkbeck College, University of London, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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