Greece and its associated cities and kingdoms was conquered by the Roman Empire in the Second Century AD. The Romans left the Hellenic faith by and large alone, and the institutions of Hellenic Paganism flourished. However, this period of centralised rule ended with the 325, with the formation of the Triumvirate. Greece was placed under the control of the Emperor of Byzantium.
Beginning in 356, the Svear invasion rampaged through the Eastern Roman Empire, sacking Byzantium in 361. The Emperors fled to Pergamon, in Anatolia, to avoid the Svears, who turned around and settled in Dalmatia afterwards. The abandonment of mainland Greece by the Romans resulted in its fracturing, and the beginning of another era of Greece citystates vying for control of the Aegean. Though several states achieved some degree of power - Athens, Sparta, Thebes, Corinth, Megara, Thessalonika, Rhodes, Eprius and Crete among them - no one state was able to sufficiently dominate the region. Neither was the rump Empire in Pergamon, which was unable to project power effectively.
Avar Invasion and Formation of the ConfederacyEdit
In 376, another barbarian invader came to Hellas. The Avars rampaged through the Balkans, being lured to the trade wealth of the Meditteranean. After punching through the Angles and the Svears, they came to Thessalonika. With the majority of Greek city-states being uninterested in the affairs of the others, the meagre army of Thessalonika was destroyed in battle and the city was sacked.
The sack of Thessalonika sent shockwaves through Greece and the Aegean. For the first time since the Roman Empire, Hellas itself was under threat from a foreign power - the Svears were more interested in land to settle in then plunder, and had turned back after the destruction of Byzantium. The Avars showed every intention of penetrating throughout mainland Hellas and subjecting every city to the sword. As the Avars systemically moved through northern Hellas, the Athenian strategos Anaxemander was able to arrange for an army to be assembled, and see himself elected Tyrant (having replaced the Latin title Dictator, Tyrant had come to mean any leader who did not inherit or be elected to power in the standard way). The army of Anaxemander was gathered from the armies of the city-states and funded by the coffers of others. After sacking Larissa, pillaging Thessalia and destroying Opus, the Avars reached the city of Thebes and, intimidated by its walls, laid siege to the city. They were met beneath its walls by the Army of Anaxemander, who was able to turn them away beneath the walls of Thebes. Routed, the Avars turned away from Greece and crossed the Hellespont, before eventually settling in Cilicia.
Anaxemander was able to use his victory to secure the formation of the Confederacy of Hellas, in which all the states would pledge a part of their income and the use of their armies and fleets to the Tyrant, who would orchestrate their defence. Later, defence grew to include all foreign affairs, and in turn began to include war when trade began to fall under the umbrella of foreign affairs. Tyrants would be elected for life, and upon death representatives from all members of the Confederacy, as well as the leaders of the 12 Hellenic Cults, would elect a new Tyrant.
Expansion and CentralisationEdit
In the 400s, Hellas began to undergo a new phase of expansion, where the remaining Greek cities were to be integrated into it in the interests of securing the Confederacy in the Aegean. This campaign culminated in the fall of the rump Byzantine Empire in Pergamon in 425, establishing the Hellenic Confederacy as hegemonic over the entirety of the Aegean.
Even after this the powers of the Tyrant began to grow. The formation of the Academies of Athens, under the patronage of the Tyrant, ensured that the educated men (and some women) of the Confederacy were educated out of the Tyrant's purse. The Tyrant Pythoras also founded the harbour of Rhodes, which grew to become one of the premier ports in the entirety of the Eastern Meditteranean, on par with Byzantium at its height. Zeno's campaigns against the Svears to the north established the border tributaries of Macedon and Illyria, which are loyal to Hellas, and Pythagoras' construction of the Pharos of Rhodes has placed his mark upon the world as well.
Hellas still continues to be governed by the Tyrant, who controls not only a fleet, but also the income of all silver mines in Hellas, a portion of all taxes conducted on trade, and the armies of any city-state should he so wish. Aside from this, the wealth under his control is used to bankroll many other projects, meaning his influence extends further than just the law would explicitly allow.
The Tyrant is elected by the assembled representatives of the Confederacy, each of which has one vote. This vote is joined by a single vote from each representative of the Cults of the Twelve Olympians, each of which has the status of an honorary city-state.
The constituent members of the Confederacy are permitted to govern themselves as they wish. Some, such as Athens and Rhodes, are still democracies in the vein of the Golden Age of Athens, governed through the Ekklesial assemblies. Some are oligarchies, or governed by a Senate such as the newest state of Ithaca. Several such as Lakadaemon, Pergamon, and Bythnia are monarchies.
The faith of the ancient Hellenes has still remained in force until the present day, and continues to be the majority religion in Greece and its environs. Hellenic Paganism has solidified around the centralised Cults of the various Olympians, who operate the temples and the varying sacrifices and prayers, as well as the Oracles. The largest of these, those of the 12 Olympians, are honoured by having the status of honourary constituent members of teh Confederacy.