Title: Some institutional problems concerning the succession to Alexander the Great: prostasia and chiliarchy
Authors: Meeus, Alexander # ×
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Franz steiner verlag gmbh
Series Title: Historia-zeitschrift fur alte geschichte vol:58 issue:3 pages:287-310
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.
ISSN: 0018-2311
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Ancient History, Leuven
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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