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CONFEDERATIONS.                                179
ing them out of the sacred territory. These manoeuvres led
finally to the appointment of Philip of Macedon as general
of the council, and the Athenians, in self-defence, making an
alliance with Thebes, fought the battle of Chaeronea the same
In the course of his narrative -^Eschines mentions an assem-
bly convoked by the president of the council, " for that was
called an assembly where not only the deputies, but those
who sacrificed with them and consulted the oracle, took part,"
We may from this hint conceive of the council as originally
consisting of a senate and a people.
The council thus did very little in the way of uniting
Greece ; it became a mere tool of an unscrupulous party
in the last days of Grecian liberty, and it was very inefficient
in any way except on one or two occasions. And this ineffi-
ciency was owing mainly to the fact that the peoples repre-
sented there were most of them of little account, and the
regular business of the council almost exclusively religious.
Nor do the Athenians seem to have known much about it,
since ^Eschines has to tell them the nature of its constitution,
as if he were speaking of some foreign kingdom.
In the later confederations which sprang up after the divi-
sion of Alexander's conquests, and in the downfall of Greece,
the political element was predominant; the religious became
of no importance. These leagues were not originally meant
to be panhellenic leagues, nor was there then a revival of
nationality. They are in their plan and their partial success
among the most interesting studies of ancient political his-
tory ; and what is remarkable, their origin and centre are
found in states which, while Sparta and Athens flourished,
were feeble cities of minor races—in fact, partly out of the
Greek pale. This probably is one reason why they felt free
to act. In earlier times it fell to Athens, or Lacedsemon, or
Thebes, to initiate a policy. Now the leaders were taken
away, and they were obliged to act for themselves.