Landscapes of the ancient Peloponnese. A humangeographical approach
journal contributionposted on 25.03.2010, 16:39 by D. Graham J. Shipley
This paper suggests new approaches to the ancient history of the Peloponnese, Greece. It is intended as a spur to discussion rather than the consolidated result of complete work. It proposes that ancient historians could now go further than before in adopting ideas from geographical approaches, which may allow us to investigate – in greater depth than before – aspects such as the meanings and emotions attached to landscapes, the nature of regionalism, and the extent and nature of connections and interactions between regions and smaller units. This suggestion arises from the author’s current work on Macedonian power in the Peloponnese. The period this article deals with approximately runs from the defeat of the southern Greeks by Philip II of Macedonia in 338 BC to the Roman intervention in the Peloponnese during the 190s BC. This period of about 150 years saw the southern Hellenic city-states (poleis, sing. polis) dominated at certain times and to varying degrees by Macedonian warlords and kings. The hellenistic Peloponnese offers scope for a new geographically informed history, not least in view of the frequent observations by the second-century BC historian Polybios about geographical relationships between the Peloponnesian states, and between the Peloponnese and other parts of Greece.