Some institutional problems concerning the succession to Alexander the Great: Prostasia and chiliarchy

Meeus, Alexander

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Document Type: Article
Year of publication: 2009
The title of a journal, publication series: Historia : Zeitschrift für alte Geschichte
Volume: 58
Issue number: 3
Page range: 287-310
Place of publication: Stuttgart
Publishing house: Steiner
ISSN: 0018-2311 , 2365-3108
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Humanities > Alte Geschichte, Archäologie (Mann 2011-)
Subject: 930 History of the ancient world to ca. 499, archaeology
Abstract: This paper analyzes the nature of two early Hellenistic Macedonian offices: prostasia and chiliarchy. I argue that the προστασία was indeed an office in the age of the Successors, although it is impossible to ascertain what its official designation was, as the sources use it synonymously with ἐπιμέλεια and ἐπιτροπή combined with various qualifiers. It certainly included the regency, and maybe the guardianship of the kings as well. The evidence for the latter function is very poor, however, and there are arguments against it being part of the προστασία/ἐπιμέλεια/ἐπιτροπή. That the chiliarchy was an office has of course never been disputed, but its nature has often been misunderstood. I argue that the interpretation which best fits the evidence, is that under Alexander and the Successors the chiliarch par excellence which the sources often mention in political contexts was the commander of the cavalry. As such the chiliarchy was not an administrative office, but obviously the commander of the horse, one of the most important units in the army, was very close to the king/regent. In Achaemenid Persia two distinct prominent officers had the title of hazarapatiš (chiliarch): the commander of the king’s elite infantry bodyguard, and the commander of the elite cavalry. It was in accordance with the latter that Alexander the Great introduced the title of chiliarch for the commander of his cavalry.

Dieser Datensatz wurde nicht während einer Tätigkeit an der Universität Mannheim veröffentlicht, dies ist eine Externe Publikation.

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