History

The history of Achaia dates back to ancient times, while civilization in the area emerged from the end of the Neolithic era, as the findings attest. The first inhabitants were the Pelasgians, who had founded many settlements in the area then called Aigialia, as Pausanias mentions. Later the Greek tribes came to the area, first the Ionians from Attica around 1406 BC, who imposed it by dividing it into twelve cities with the capital, Eliki, renaming it until then Aigialia in Ionia. The area was directly linked to the major centers of the great Mycenaean civilization, and after the Trojan War, in which a number of its cities took part, the Dorians used it as a passage from central Greece (1100 BC) to spread it. in the Peloponnese. The Dorians ruled throughout the Peloponnese with the exception of what was then Ionia, forcing the Achaeans of the greater Sparta region and Argos to seek asylum in the land of the Ionians. The Achaeans finally occupied the area in 1088 BC. and they gave her the name that is kept to this day, that is, Achaia.

The Achaeans transformed the settlements into cities, each consisting of seven or eight municipalities, which they shielded. They also founded Patras and Leontio. The founding of Patras is likely in 1082 or 1041 BC. with the unification of the settlements of Aroi, Anthia and Mesatida, at the urging of Progeny and his son, Patraa. However, the Achaeans retained two Ionian institutions, the administrative one, that is, the union of the twelve cities with the capital of Eliki, and the religious which was the so-called amphibian institution, which was bringing all the inhabitants of the country to Eliki for a common sacrifice. of Elikonios Neptune.

Around 800 BC The House of the Attrides was overthrown by the government and the “Landowners’ Republic”, also known as the Aristocracy, was established. It was then that the Achaeans founded the first federal organization of humanity, the “Achaean League”, the so-called “First Achaian Confederation”, whose seat was the capital Eliki. Later the seat was moved to Aigio. There the representatives of the twelve cities gathered and met to regulate their common interests. The institution of the “Achaemenid Common” was an example of a democratic federation of cities for both Greeks and foreigners, since even the Romans were interested in the Roman Senate in the 5th century BC. sent ambassadors to the “Audience” to follow the proceedings.

From the 7th to the 5th century BC A decline and isolation is observed in the Achaean country, as it is characteristic that they did not participate in the Persian wars, which were of great importance both for Hellenism and for the rest of Europe. The striking isolationism that distinguished them at that time is also evident from the fact that after the Persian Wars, when the two political-military centers in Greece began to form, the Athenian hegemony and the Peloponnesian Alliance, the Achaeans were again absent. with the organization of the finances of their country, which had already appeared by 480 BC. when their first silver coins were released, which was cut by the city of Aigai, followed by the West, Pellini, Aegira, and Eliki, as well as other cities in present-day Achaia, which were then Arcadian like Clitorus and Psophida. At that time, Achaia flourished remarkably in sculpture, architecture and other forms of art.

Later the Achaeans had begun to emerge from isolationism and participate in Greek things by participating in Corinth (395-387 BC), Thebes (371-362 BC) and the Holy War (355-345 BC). X.). The conquest of Achaia by the Macedonians resulted in the deployment of guards in the Achaia towns that had been divided, while the ancient “Common of the Achaeans” was dissolved. It also changed the democratic regime, expelled citizens and disrupted production processes resulting in economic disruption. The catastrophic invasions of the Galatians followed, but they exhausted and defeated the Macedonian army in 281 BC, which was exploited and rebelled against by the Achaean cities against Macedonian rule. Then, at the initiative of the West, a new Achaean federation, the “Second Achaemenid Confederation”, was established, which aimed to unify all Greek cities. After years of efforts, 43 cities and almost the whole of the Peloponnese except Sparta, which later joined. Many major cities of the area were fortified, except Patras, which only fortified its citadel.

When the Reformer Cleomenes prevailed in Sparta, the hatred of the Lacedaemonians for the Achaeans was rekindled, and because of the expansion of their Coalition, which encouraged the Aetolians who broke up with the Achaeans, followed by the Poles as a result, the Romans became involved in Greek affairs and tried to reduce the power of the “Second Achaemenid Coalition”, whose military forces crushed them in 147 BC. in Scarfia, Locrida. The following year all of Greece was under Roman rule, which they even called Achaia. Many Achaic cities such as Dmi were destroyed, but some, especially Patras, were of great benefit.

During the early Byzantine period Achaia experienced economic growth, which was interrupted many times by Gothic raids, but mainly by Slavs in the 8th century AD. who took advantage of the decline of the native population and occupied many Achaic settlements, from which they were expelled and therefore rebelled in 783 AD. A new Slavic invasion came shortly afterwards, in 805 AD, which was eventually rejected. Eventually the few Slavs who remained in Achaia were confined to the mountains, where they created the so-called Nezerohoria. They were fully assimilated by the Achaic population.

At the beginning of the 13th century Achaia, following the fate of many other Greek regions, was occupied by the Franks from whom it was liberated in 1430 and was already part of the Despotate of Mystras. However, in 1460 it was conquered by the Turks, who temporarily gave up their place to the Venetians in 1687, to regain power in 1715 until the liberation of Greece in 1828. A major event of the time, except for the Greek Revolution 1821, there were the Orlophics, since on March 29, 1770, Patriarch Patriarch Patriarch of Constantinople rallied the priests in Aigio and declared a revolution against the conqueror, which had an unfortunate end and had an adverse effect on the Greek population. Regarding the revolution itself of 1821, a few years before its start, a representative of the Friendly Society, Antonios Pelopidas, arrived in Patras from Constantinople to motivate prominent Achaeans to become members of the organization. Finally, the banner of the revolution rose in Kalavryta on March 25, 1821, after a five-day siege of the Turks in the castle of the city, and on March 23, the siege of the castle of Patras began. Achaia, however, experienced the conquest of the conquerors during the German occupation, after the Kalavryta was destroyed in 1943 while the Italian civilians were massacred in Patras in 1940.

Source: wikipedia