was the title applied to the chief military commanders in inmost of the
constitutional governments of Greece; as a rule they had the direction of
foreign affairs as well as the leadership in war: and, as the control of
external relations was the most important part of administration in a Greek
state, the στρατηγία
was practically the
chief magistracy in the communities in which it is found.
Strategi were set up in the Ionian states of Asia Minor after the despotisms
had been overthrown in 504 B.C. (Hdt. 5.38
Argos we find οἱ πέντε στρατηγοὶ
commanded the five Argive lochi (Thuc. 5.59
): similar magistrates are also met with
at Syracuse (Thuc. 6.72
), in later times in
Boeotia (Keil, Inscrip. Boeot.
p. 114), and in Amorgus
ii. p. 209). They are also found
frequently at the head of leagues; after the founding of Megalopolis we find
at the head of τὸ κοινὸν Ἀρκάδων
(Xen. Hell. 7.3
), and in the
third century στρατηγοὶ
at the head of the
κοινὸν τῶν Ἀκαρνάνων
; Liv. 36.11
and the κοινὸν τῶν Ἀπειρωτῶν
(Dittenberger, n. 211). They were also the chief military officers of the
Achaean and Aetolian leagues [ACHAICUM and AETOLICUM FOEDUS
after the reconstruction of the Thessalian alliance in 196 B.C., a strategus appointed yearly is found at the
head of this confederacy [TAGUS
In Egypt, under the Ptolemies and under Roman rule, the στρατηγοὶ
were the governors of the nomes; over
these were the ἐπιστράτηγοι,
of the three great districts of the Delta, Heptanomis, and Thebais: both
these classes of officers being under the authority of the Praefectus
Aegypti (Kuhn, Verfassung des römischen Reichs,
at Athens, according to the
unanimous verdict of ancient writers, was the highest political office in
the state. Its importance was due to the great extent of the duties of
administration which it involved, and to the special power of initiative in
legislation with which its holder was invested; while the continuity in the
office, due to the possibility of indefinite re-election, rendered possible
a continuity of policy on the part of its holder. That this power of
permanent administration was actually realised in the history of Athens,
there can be no doubt; whether it was definitely contemplated in the theory
of the constitution will depend on the view that is taken as to the mode in
which the functions of this office were distributed; but in any case it may
be asserted that in the στρατηγία
the central point of Athenian administration, and any opinion as to the
position of the strategus must inevitably affect our views as to the whole
system of executive government at Athens. The strategi formed a college of
ten, based on the ten tribes of the Cleisthenean constitution: and the
number seems to have continued unaltered, as long as the collegiate
principle was observed; it was not until a late period, falling between the
years 52 and 42 B.C., that the college of generals
was replaced, probably through an act of the dictator Caesar's, by a single
magistrate bearing the title ὁ στρατηγός, ὁ
στρατηγὸς ἐπὶ τὰ ὅπλα
(C. I. A.
ii. n. 481, iii. n.
248; Gilbert, Staatsalt.
1.156, n. 3).
Amongst the powers of the strategi, the most distinctive was that of
summoning the assembly. The debate in the assemblies thus specially convened
) seems to have been limited
strictly to the proposal put before them by the general; and such assemblies
took precedence of all other meetings of the ἐκκλησία
(C. I. A.
1.40, 50.57, ἄλλο δὲ προχρηματίσαι τούτων μηδέ, ἒαν μήτι οἱ
); yet it seems that in convening them the
generals could not omit the formality of consulting the πρυτάνεις,
and that their motions, though
standing first on the orders of the day, could only be introduced through
the regular standing committee of the βουλή
, ἐκκλησίαν δὲ ποιήσαντας τοὺς στρατηγοὺς καὶ τοὺς πρυτάνεις,
). An important power, which resulted from this right of
convening the assembly on matters of foreign administration, would have been
the setting forth of the estimates of the military budget for the year,
together with proposals for raising the requisite supplies. Foreign
administration and finance must necessarily have gone closely together
during the greater part of the history of Athens, and have been united in
the same person; but the power of the generals was not limited to initiating
measures for such grants; they had the control of the details of
expenditure: the moneys voted from the treasuries of Athens for military
purposes were placed in their hands (C. I. A.
n. 273), and
there were other extraordinary sources of revenue, such as those from booty
(Lys. c. Ergocl.
§ 5), from the payments made by
merchant-ships convoyed in time of war (παρὰ τῶν
ναυκλήρων καὶ ἐμπόρων,
Id. de Bon.
§ 50) and from fines imposed at their own
discretion, over which they would probably have had entire control. As
minister of finance for foreign affairs, it was the strategus who nominated
to the trierarchy, in the 4th and probably in the 5th century (Dem.
p. 997.8), and who had the ἡγεμονία δικαστηρίου
in suits arising from it
(Suid. s. v. ἡγεμ. δικαστ.
), as well as a
similar presidency in the court constituted for the settlement of disputes
arising from the εἰσφορά
). Amongst the special military duties that
devolved on the strategi at home were the distribution and command of the
home forces, including the περίπολοι,
the control of the home defences (φυλακαὶ κατὰ γῆν
καὶ κατὰ θάλασσαν,
); duties which, after different
functions were distributed amongst different members of the college,
devolved on the general who bore the [p. 2.718]
στρατηγὸς ἐπὶ τῆς χώρας
(Plut. Phoc. 32
). In the case of certain levies
the generals exercised the right of personal selection (Philostr.
1.23, 1; Lys. c. Alcib.
p. 303, n. 1). They also had jurisdiction
in military matters; the appeals against the levy were made to them (Lys.
§ 4), and they had the ἡγεμονία δικαστηρίου
in the case of the
military charges known as the γραφαὶ ἀστρατείας,
1.21), which they either undertook in person or
remitted to the ταξίαρχοι
p. 999.17). Besides this jurisdiction at home, the
general seems to have had the power to punish with death the most serious
offences, such as treasonable negotiations with the enemy, and to confer
military honours for bravery in the field (Lys. c. Alcib.
1.22; Plut. Alc. 7
); while the public funeral
for citizens who had fallen in battle (δημόσιος
) was proposed by him (Aristoph. Birds 395
). The initiative in cases of treason seems also
to have been amongst his duties ([Plut.] Vit. Antiph.
and one of his chief responsibilities was the corn-supply of Athens
(τὴν παραπομπὴν τοῦ σίτου,
xiii. p. 423; cf. C. I. A.
331). The duties of the generals as regards foreign administration must have
involved the introduction of most of such business to the assembly;
questions arising from treaties or the details of foreign policy must have
been usually brought forward by them; while we find that they were
responsible for the execution of a treaty, saw that the oath was taken, and
that the proper sacrifices were offered on the occasion (C. I.
Suppl. vol. i. p. 10, ll. 67 and 19). The existence of the
Athenian Empire also added to the sphere of the general's powers; they must
have been the commanders-in-chief of the φρουραρχοὶ
and the φρουραί,
which we find in the subject states, as in Erythrae (C. I. A.
1.9). They saw to the exaction of the tribute when it was in arrears, by
commanding the ἀργυρολόγοι νῆες
(C. I. A.
3.19); and probably had the levying of
contingents from the allies in ships and men (Droysen, Hermes,
ix. p. 12).
It will be seen from this enumeration of their functions that the generals at
Athens were at once leaders in war, ministers of war, foreign ministers, and
to a great extent ministers of finance. It is difficult to see how such
powers could have been exercised collectively by a college. Distributed they
must have been, even in the 5th century B.C.,
where we as yet meet no trace of the subsequent differentiation of
functions; but it is not easy to say how this distribution was effected,
whether by agreement amongst the members of the college, or by lot, of the
use of which some traces are found (Thuc. 6.42
finally by the presidency of one of the members of the college who assigned
the duties of the others. It is not until the close of the 4th century,
about the year 325 B.C., that we find the practice
arising of assigning different spheres of action to the generals on
election. As late as the year 306-305 B.C. we find several generals elected
for the performance of the same function (στρατηγοὶ
οἱ ἐπὶ τὴν τοῦ πολέμου παρασκευὴν κεχειροτονημένοι,
C. I. A.
ii. n. 2733); but as early as 349 B.C. a mention is
traced of a general with a special competence, the supervision of the
ii. p. 26.29; Gilbert, Beiträge,
pp. 35-37), and at
a later period we find the functions assigned to the several generals
distinctly expressed in the titles borne by each. Such titles are (ὁ στρατηγὸς
) ὁ ἐπὶ
τὴν Μουνυχίαν καὶ τὰ νεώρια: ὁ ἐπὶ τὸν Πειραιᾶ: ὁ ἐπὶ
τὴν χώραν: ὁ ἐπὶ τὴν χώραν τῆν παραλίαν: ὁ ἐπὶ Ἐλευσῖνος:
ὁ ἐπὶ τὰς συμμορίας: ὁ ἐπὶ τὴν παρασκευήν: ὁ ἐπὶ τοὺς
ξένους: ὁ ἐπὶ τὸ ναυτικόν: ὁ ἐπὶ τὰ ὅπλα
ὁ ἐπὶ τοὺς ὁπλίτας,
title being borne by the general who stood at the head of the college and
was elected to the first place by the people (χειροτονηθεὶς ἐπὶ τὰ ὅπλα πρῶτος ὑπὸ τοῦ δήμου,
C. I. A.
2.331; Gilbert, Staatsalt.
The only known insignia of the general were the chlamys or military cloak
(Ael. VH 14.10
; Plut. Quaest.
1.4, 2) and the στέφανος
which was worn by all Athenian magistrates. They had
specially reserved seats in the theatre (Theophr. Char.
and conducted the military processions at the; Panathenaea (Dem.
i. p. 47.26). Their place of business was the
(Plut. Nic. 5
8), where they dined
at the public cost (Dem. de fals. Leg.
p. 490.190). Special
honours were sometimes conferred on successful generals, which took the form
of statues ([ANDOC.] c. Alcib.
§ 31), of public dinners in the Prytaneum (Aristoph. Kn. 709
), or of προεδρία
(ib. 575, 702). There is some evidence
that the generals received payment on foreign service, and it has been
concluded from a passage in Aristophanes (Aristoph. Ach. 602
) that the rate was three drachmae a day,
which was perhaps given as a σιτηρέσιον
rather than as a μισθός.
There are some difficulties connected with the date at which the generals
were elected; but there is almost a consensus of opinion in favour of the
view that during the greater part of the 5th century and onwards they were
elected towards the close of Mlunychion, at the beginning of the ninth
prytany, and entered office on the first of Hecatombaeon, the beginning of
the Attic year (Gilbert, Beiträge,
p. 7; Beloch,
Attische Politik seit Pericles,
pp. 271-273; Droysen,
ix. p. 16 ff.; K. F. Hermann,
§ 148, 7). They would thus
have been elected in April or May, and entered office in July, the interval
between the two acts being employed no doubt for the purpose of the δοκιμασία.
But in time of war a general's
command might be prolonged beyond his term of office, even though he were
not re-elected; thus Laches, who was στρατηγὸς
during 427-426, was first replaced by Pythodorus,
for 426-425 in the winter of
that year (Thuc. 3.86
; Gilbert, l.c.
p. 14). The generals gave
in their names before the nine archons (Poll. 8.87), and the elections were
conducted by them on the Pnyx (Hesych. sub voce
): election seems to have been
preceded by canvassing (Plut. Phoc. 8
was, in the 4th century, not unfrequently tainted by bribery. The generals
took an oath on coming into office, a special clause in which was τοὺς ἀστρατεύτους καταλέξειν
§ 15). Besides the ordinary qualifications
required for Athenian magistrates, the special qualifications required for
the generals were that they should be married and have children, and possess
property within the [p. 2.719]
bounds of Attica (Dinarch.
§ 71). There was apparently no
qualification of age, but the (στρατηγία
was not usually held before the age of forty (Gilbert, l.c.
p. 25). Re-election to the office in successive years was
frequent; Pericles was general for fifteen years and Phocion forty-five
times (Plut. Per. 15
8). A general might be deposed from office in the 4th century at the
held at the beginning of
each prytany, and at the close of his office was subject to the usual audit
), which in his case was
conducted before a heliastic jury under guidance of the thesmothetae (Poll.
8.88). This was mainly concerned with the account of the moneys which had
passed through his hands; it was probably on a charge of malversation of
funds that Pericles was convicted and fined (Thuc.
; Plut. Per. 23
and 35), but a
special γραφὴ κλοπῆς
might be preferred
against him, either at the εὐθυνὴ
together with other
charges, such as the γραφὴ προδοσίας
[see EUTHYNE; EPICHEIROTONIA].
The question as to what was the precise process of election to the στρατηγία
is at once the most important of those
connected with the office and the most difficult to answer. It is equally
doubtful who the electors were, and from what body the elected were chosen;
and according to our decision on these points must depend to a large extent
our estimate of the position of the στρατηγὸς
in the state. In the early period of Athenian history
the ten generals bore a close relation to the ten tribes; at Marathon each
general commanded a tribe (Plut. Arist. 5
and Plutarch's language in this passage and in another, where he describes
the employment of Cimon and his nine colleagues as judges in the theatre,
tends strongly to the view that the general belonged to the tribe which he
commanded (Plut. Cim. 8
, ἀπὸ φυλῆς μιᾶς ἕκαστον
: but see Gilbert,
p. 23, who points out that Miltiades,
who belonged to the tribe Oeneis, probably commanded the Aeantis). This was,
however, certainly not the case at a later period: Pollux tells us that the
generals were chosen out of all the citizens (ἐξ
Poll. 8.86); several instances are found of two
generals in the same year belonging to the same tribe; and, as Gilbert says,
“It would have violated all considerations of political expediency
if the Athenians, through the condition that a general must be taken
from each tribe, had robbed themselves of the possibility of employing
two gifted and experienced men, because they happened to belong to the
same tribe” (Beiträge,
p. 24). Yet it is
known at the close of the 5th century the generals offered themselves as
representatives of special tribes (Xen. Mem.
); and, as they were chosen out
of all Athenian citizens, two modes of election have been suggested: either
that the generals were elected out of all the Athenian people by the special
tribes and for the special tribes, or the view which is held by Droysen,
that they were elected for each tribe from all the Athenians by the whole
ix. p. 8). The first, though in
accordance with modern ideas of representation, is thought to be
inconsistent with ancient ideas on the subject (Beloch, l.c.
p. 279), while the second is contrary to all the analogies of
tribal election in Athens (Pastoret, Histoire de la
vi. p. 290). A modified view has been
put forward by Beloch, which, while it gives a theory of election, contains
a definite suggestion as to the distribution of powers within the college.
He holds that the college consisted, not of ten equal members, but of a
on the analogy of the treasurers of Athens and
of the Hellenotamiae: the expression ὁ δεῖνα καὶ
being found applied to the στρατηγία
in an inscription (στρατηγοῖς Ἱπποκρατεῖ Χολαργεῖ καὶ συνάρχουσιν,
C. I. A.
n. 273). This president, he considers, was elected
by all and out of all, but his nine colleagues each by his own tribe and
from his own tribe, one of the ten tribes each year giving up its right to
election. Consequently “in nine cases out of ten a general must have
belonged to a phyle that was already represented, or conversely, when
two generals are found to belong to the same phyle, one of them must be
the prytanis” (Beloch, l.c.
p. 287). This
seems confirmed by the fact that between the years 441-0 and 356-5 there are
nine certain instances of two generals, but no certain instance of more than
two, belonging to the same tribe in the same year (Beloch, l.c.
p. 276; Droysen, Hermes,
ix. pp. 3 and 4): this occurs twice when Pericles, once
when Laches is general, and one of the names is usually of sufficient
eminence for us to consider its bearer a possible president of the college.
of the college he also thinks
to be signified by the expression στρατηγὸς τηγὸς
which is twice used in reference to Pericles
). Gilbert had thought that the additions πέμπτος, τέταρτος αὐτὸς
to a general's name signified
some superiority of power possessed by that general over his colleagues, and
that this power is the same as that expressed in the words στρατηγὸς τηγὸς αὐτοκράτωρ
: thus ὁ δεῖνα πέμπτος αὐτὸς
would mean that the
general possessed authority over his four colleagues who went on the
expedition with him; ὁ δεῖνα δέκατος
would signify, not necessarily that the general's nine
colleagues went with him on an expedition, but that he possessed the power
of an αὐτοκράτωρ
over the whole college
p. 42 sq.
). It is certain that a general was appointed αὐτοκράτωρ,
not at the elections, but with reference to a
definite service, although it is possible that, in the face of a pressing
danger, a general might be elected with autocratic powers at the archaeresia
(Plut. Arist. 8
, χειροτονηθεὶς αὐτοκράτωρ
). Only the most general
instructions were given to such a that commander: he was freed from the
necessity of consulting the βουλὴ
on the details of
administration, could raise supplies at his own discretion (Thuc. vi, 26),
and had perhaps authority over his other colleagues; three generals were so
appointed for the Sicilian expedition (Thuc. l.c.:
οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι ἐψηφίσαντο εὐθὺς αὐτοκράτορας
εἶναι καὶ περὶ στρατιᾶς πλήθους καὶ περὶ τοῦ παντὸς πλοῦ
τοὺς στρατηγοὺς πράσσειν ἧ ἂν αὐτοῖς δοκῂ ἄριστα εἶναι
: cf. Plut. Arist.
and 11), and Alcibiades in 408 B.C. was ἁπάντων ἡγεμὼν αὐτοκράτωρ
(Xen. Hell. 1.5
theory, on the other hand, is that the πρύτανις
differed from the αὐτοκράτωρ
in that a general was appointed πρύτανις
at the ἀρχαιρεσίαι,
reference to a definite service; that the one had a standing, the other only
a temporary superiority over his colleagues; and that the two expressions
would have coincided only when one στρατηγὸς
was appointed, in which case the president of the
college would undoubtedly have been selected as the general on whom these
special exemptions were conferred. If Beloch's theory is valid, this
president of the college was the first minister of Athens; and it is no
anachronism to speak of “party” government in the sense of
“ministerial” government, when we are dealing with Athenian
That this “ministerial” power was realised in later times is
shown by an inscription of a στρατηγὸς ἐπὶ τὰ
who records that περιστάντων
τῇ πόλει καιρῶν δυσκόλων διεφύλαζεν τὴν εἰρήνην τῇ χώρᾳ
ἀποφαινόμενος αἰεὶ τὰ κράτιστα--καὶ τὴν πόλιν ἐλευθέραν καὶ
δημοκρατουμένην αὐτόνουον παρέδωκεν καὶ τὰς νομὴς κυρίους τοῖς
(C. I. A.
ii. n. 331). For the
earlier period of Athenian history, it is difficult to establish a
constitutional basis for this power: yet that it existed cannot be doubted.
It is shown by the language in which Pericles' position is described (Thuc. 2.65
εἵλοντο καὶ πάντα τὰ πράγματα ἐπέτρεψαν
: cf. Diod. 13.42
): he was alone responsible for the
conduct of affairs, and had the power to prevent the ἐκκλησία
from assembling (Thuc.
). It is true that the expression
ὁ δεῖνα καὶ συνάρχοντες
denote a changing presidency; and the expressions τρίτος, τέταρτος,
and even δέκατος
may be explained of specially conferred powers, yet
something more seems to be demanded for a position such as that of
Themistocles at Salamis (Plut. Arist. 8
Pericles during the last fifteen years of his life, and of Nicias in 425
B.C. (Thuc. 4.28
): in these cases a definite
leadership of the college seems to be implied, however vague and conjectural
may be the powers which we are enabled to attribute to such a presidency.
(Gilbert, Beiträge zur innern Geschichte Atticus im Zeitalter
des Peloponnesischen Krieges,
pp. 1-72; Handbuch der
i. p. 220 ff.;--Beloch,
Die Attische Politik seit Perikles,
Anhang i. pp.
265-330; Droysen, Hermes,
(Bemerkungen über die Attischen Strategen
F. Hermann, Lehrbuch der griechischen Antiquitäten,
i. Die Staatsalterthümer
§ § 123, 2; 129, 9; 148; 152; 166. On minor points see
ff.; Müller, de tempore quo bellum Pelop. initium
p. 44.) [A.H.G
. Ἀθ. πολ.,
100.4, speaks of στρατηγοὶ
in the time of Draco, mentioning the
qualification that they must be married, and adding that they must have
children over ten years of age. As the text stands we are told of a property
qualification of 100 minae; but, since the qualification of an archon (at
that time a more important office) was only ten minae. this is unlikely, and
(implying a qualification
of eight minae) may be a truer reading than ἢ
The election of one strategus from each tribe in the time of Cleisthenes is
mentioned in 100.57: we learn also that after the reforms of Cleisthenes
they were still of lower rank than the archons and subordinate in military
rule to the Polemarch (100.22, τῆς δ᾽ ἁπάσης
στρατιᾶς ἡγεμὼν ἦν ὁ Πολέμαρχος
). This bears out the
account of Hdt. 6.109
, placing the growth of their importance later.
From 100.61 we learn that, instead of one being elected as in older times
from each tribe, the ten were now chosen by χειροτονία
from the whole body of citizens (ἐξ ἀπάντων
), which obviously gave a greater
freedom for choosing the best men. It is not, however, stated when this
change was made.
The assignment of the five first strategi to special duties is mentioned as
fixed and definite: 1. the commander of hoplites on service out of the
country: 2. over the local defence and general-in-chief in case of invasion:
3. over Munychia: 4. over the shore (= the χώρα
of C. L. C.
178, 179, as Mr. Kenyon
remarks)--3 and 4 are reckoned together as ἐπὶ τὸν
: 5. ἐπι τὰς
the duties specified being to make out the register of
the trierarchs, to carry out the ἀντιδόσεις
and to preside at legal proceedings connected with
the trierarchy (cf. p. 892 a
). The other five
strategi were employed as occasion demanded (τοὺς δ᾽
ἄλλους πρὸς τὰ πάροντα πράγματα ἐκπέμπουσιν
). It is
added that the strategus could imprison and fine (ἐπιβολὴν ἐπιβάλλειν
) anyone guilty of breach of
discipline on service, but that the fine was rarely resorted to. It will be
seen from the above that the treatise gives a clearer view of the question
of election (discussed on pp. 719, 720), and a definite apportionment of
their functions in more regular order (cf. p. 718 a
). In this point the supposed date of the treatise will bear out
Gilbert's deduction from inscriptions (Gr. Staatsalt.
221), that the [p. 2.1072]
special office of στρατηγὸς ἐπὶ συμμορίας
between 334 and 324 B.C.; and agrees also with the
fact, which he notices, that a further apportionment of offices, not here
mentioned, such as ἐπὶ τὸ ναυτικόν, ἐπὶ τοὺς
&c. (presumably taking up the other five
strategi), is traceable first in reference to an event (C. I.
2.331) shortly before 315 B.C. (i. e. later than the date
assigned to Ἀθ. πολ.