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Chremonidean War

Chremonidean War
Date267–261 BC
Result Macedonian victory; Antigonid Hegemony over the Greek city-states is confirmed
Macedon Greek states, notably Athens and Sparta;
Ptolemaic Egypt
Commanders and leaders
Antigonus II Gonatas Chremonides
Areus I 
Ptolemy Philadelphus
unknown unknown
Casualties and losses
unknown unknown

The Chremonidean War (267–261 BC) was fought by a coalition of Greek city-states against Macedonian domination.

The origins of the war lie in the continuing desire of many Greek states, most notably Athens and Sparta, for a restoration of their former independence along with the Ptolemaic desire to stir up discontent within the sphere of influence of its Macedonian rival. Ptolemy Philadelphus's ambitions in the Aegean were threatened by Antigonus Gonatas's fleet, so he carefully built up an anti-Macedonian coalition in Greece. He especially concentrated on courting Athens, by supplying her with grain.

The anti-Macedonian faction in Athens, led by the stoic Chremonides, took power and proceeded to declare war on Macedon (possibly as early as the autumn of 268 BC). The first year of the conflict saw only minor confrontations, though they generally ended favorably for the anti-Macedonian coalition. After the indecisive campaign season of 266 BC, the war began to turn against the Greek city-states, and in 265 BC Antigonus was able to win a decisive and crushing victory outside Corinth in which the Spartan King Areus I fell.

With their primary ally defeated and too militarily weak to confront the Antigonids alone, the Athenians could do little but wait behind their walls and hope the Ptolemies could send aid before the inevitable siege. Unfortunately for them, however, Philadelphus would not be ready to mount a major expedition until after Athens had already been starved into surrender in either 262 BC or 261 BC. In the end it did not matter since when the Egyptians finally tried to send aid and reinforcements to Athens, their fleet was defeated off Cos (probably in 261 BC). This action, called the Battle of Cos, also features in the narrative of the second of the Syrian Wars with a strong alternative date of 258 BC.

After the fall of Athens, she lost her last pre-Hellenistic vestiges of independence and was garrisoned by Macedonian troops until 229 BC.


  • Green, Peter (1993). Alexander to Actium: the historical evolution of the Hellenistic age. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-08349-0. 

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