strategus

In ancient Greece, a general, often functioning as a magistrate with wide powers.

Cleisthenes introduced an annual board of 10 strategi in Athens to be commanders of the army; one or more, all equal, were responsible for each operation. In the 5th century BC they gained political influence, in part because they were elected and could be reelected, thus were able to entrench themselves in office. In the Hellenistic Age they were the supreme magistrates in most federations and leagues. In Egypt (3rd century BC–4th century AD) they were civil governors.

* * *

▪ ancient Greek officer
plural  Strategi,  Greek  Stratēgos,  plural  Stratēgoi, 

      in ancient Greece, a general, frequently functioning as a state officer with wider functions; also, a high official in medieval Byzantium.

      An annual board of 10 strategi was introduced in Athens during the reorganization of the tribal system under Cleisthenes (c. 508 BC), each of the 10 tribal units being represented in the army by a taxis (“regiment”) led by a strategus. At the Battle of Marathon in 490, the 10 strategi formed a council, which advised the polemarch. After 487, when the archons came to be chosen by lot, the polemarch was superseded by the strategi as commander of the army, and the command of the taxeis passed to taxiarchs subordinate to them. Usually several strategi were assigned to a particular operation; sometimes one strategus alone received command of a small-scale campaign, and occasionally all 10 may have been employed on a major undertaking. When more than one strategus shared command of a campaign, they were in law equal, and any predominance that one of them may have exercised depended on his personal qualities.

      In the 5th century the strategi exercised political influence, especially in foreign affairs. They may have had special rights of access to the Boule (council), which prepared the agenda for the Ecclesia (assembly). Sometimes they conducted negotiations with foreign states, but treaties needed ratification by the Ecclesia. They were often included among the officers required to swear to treaties on behalf of the state. The importance of the office was further enhanced by two aspects: it was elective, as opposed to the magistracies filled by lot, and allowed the strategi indefinite reelection. Men commanding public confidence could thus establish themselves in considerable power, owing to the continuity and time afforded by the office.

      In Hellenistic Greece the strategi became supreme magistrates in most federations and leagues (e.g., the Achaean and Aetolian). Alexander the Great and his generals and the Macedonian kings also appointed officers with this title. Strategi as civil governors of nomes—having almost completely lost their military character—appeared in Egypt in the 3rd century BC and continued under Roman rule until the 4th century AD.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Strategus — Stra*te gus, n.; pl. {Strategi}. [L., fr. Gr. ?. See {Stratagem}.] (Gr. Antiq.) The leader or commander of an army; a general. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Strategus, S. — S. Strategus (3. Juli), ein Martyrer zu Constantinopel (Tarsus?). S. S. Euphemia6. (I. 637.) …   Vollständiges Heiligen-Lexikon

  • strategus — noun The leader or commander of an army; a general. See Also: strategy …   Wiktionary

  • strategus — stra·te·gus …   English syllables

  • strategus — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Strategus aloeus — Male Strategus aloeus Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia …   Wikipedia

  • Strategus antaeus — Strate …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Strategi — Strategus Stra*te gus, n.; pl. {Strategi}. [L., fr. Gr. ?. See {Stratagem}.] (Gr. Antiq.) The leader or commander of an army; a general. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Coleoptera in the 10th edition of Systema Naturae — Main article: Insecta in the 10th edition of Systema Naturae In the 10th edition of Systema Naturae, Carl Linnaeus classified the arthropods, including insects, arachnids and crustaceans, among his class Insecta . Insects with hardened wing… …   Wikipedia

  • strateg — STRATÉG, strategi, s.m. 1. Comandant militar în unele cetăţi ale Greciei antice; fiecare dintre cei zece magistraţi supremi ai Atenei, aleşi pe o durată de un an. 2. Comandant de oşti, bun cunoscător al strategiei. – Din fr. stratège, lat.… …   Dicționar Român

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.