Strategos

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Strategos, plural strategoi, ' onMouseout='HidePop("30764")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Doric_Greek">Doric Greek
Doric Greek
Doric or Dorian was a dialect of ancient Greek. Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern Peloponnese, Crete, Rhodes, some islands in the southern Aegean Sea, some cities on the coasts of Asia Minor, Southern Italy, Sicily, Epirus and Macedon. Together with Northwest Greek, it forms the...

: στραταγός, stratagos; literally meaning "army leader") is used in Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 to mean "general". In the Hellenistic and Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

s the term was also used to describe a military governor. In the modern Hellenic Army
Hellenic Army
The Hellenic Army , formed in 1828, is the land force of Greece.The motto of the Hellenic Army is , "Freedom Stems from Valor", from Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War...

, it is the highest officer rank.

The office of Strategos in Classical Greece


Themistocles
Themistocles
Themistocles ; c. 524–459 BC, was an Athenian politician and a general. He was one of a new breed of politicians who rose to prominence in the early years of the Athenian democracy, along with his great rival Aristides...

, Aristides
Aristides
Aristides , 530 BC – 468 BC was an Athenian statesman, nicknamed "the Just".- Biography :Aristides was the son of Lysimachus, and a member of a family of moderate fortune. Of his early life, it is only told that he became a follower of the statesman Cleisthenes and sided with the aristocratic party...

 and Cimon were early examples of strategoi who were politicians as well as generals. Pericles
Pericles
Pericles was a prominent and influential statesman, orator, and general of Athens during the city's Golden Age—specifically, the time between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars...

 was a strategos very often throughout his career; from 443 until 429 BC. Cleon
Cleon
Cleon was an Athenian statesman and a Strategos during the Peloponnesian War. He was the first prominent representative of the commercial class in Athenian politics, although he was an aristocrat himself...

, Nicias
Nicias
Nicias or Nikias was an Athenian politician and general during the period of the Peloponnesian War. Nicias was a member of the Athenian aristocracy because he had inherited a large fortune from his father, which was invested into the silver mines around Attica's Mt. Laurium...

 and Alcibiades
Alcibiades
Alcibiades, son of Clinias, from the deme of Scambonidae , was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. He was the last famous member of his mother's aristocratic family, the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominence after the Peloponnesian War...

 were also strategoi. But at the end of the 5th century, with the collapse of the military and naval power Athens, and later because of an increasing tendency to specialization, military office ceased to be a means of acquiring political influence.

Little is known of the number and method of appointment of Athenian strategoi in the 6th century, but in 501 BC, a new arrangement was introduced by which ten strategoi were elected annually, one from each phyle
Phyle
Phyle is an ancient Greek term for clan or tribe. They were usually ruled by a basileus...

. The ten were of equal status: at Marathon in 490 (according to Herodotus) they decided strategy by majority vote, and each held the presidency in daily rotation. At this date the polemarchos had a casting vote, and one view is that he was the commander-in- chief; but from 486 onwards the polemarch
Polemarch
A polemarch was a senior military title in various ancient Greek city states . The title is composed out of the polemos and archon and translates as "warleader" or "warlord", one of the nine archontes appointed annually in Athens...

, like other archontes
Archon
Archon is a Greek word that means "ruler" or "lord", frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is the masculine present participle of the verb stem ἀρχ-, meaning "to rule", derived from the same root as monarch, hierarchy, and anarchy.- Ancient Greece :In ancient Greece the...

 was appointed by lot.

The annual election of the strategoi was held in the spring, and their term of office coincided with the ordinary Athenian year, from midsummer to midsummer. If a strategos died or was dismissed from office, a by-election might be held to replace him. Strategoi commanded both from land and by sea. A particular military or naval expedition might have one strategos or several in command; rarely did all ten go together.

At home the strategoi were responsible for calling up citizens and metic
Metic
In ancient Greece, the term metic referred to a resident alien, one who did not have citizen rights in his or her Greek city-state of residence....

s for military service
Military service
Military service, in its simplest sense, is service by an individual or group in an army or other militia, whether as a chosen job or as a result of an involuntary draft . Some nations require a specific amount of military service from every citizen...

, and for organizing the maintenance and command of ship
Ship
Since the end of the age of sail a ship has been any large buoyant marine vessel. Ships are generally distinguished from boats based on size and cargo or passenger capacity. Ships are used on lakes, seas, and rivers for a variety of activities, such as the transport of people or goods, fishing,...

s by the system of trierarchies
Trierarchy
A Trierarchy is a debt similar to a tax, and a duty similar to being conscripted, in the Navy of ancient Athens this type of obligation is called a liturgy. The person up on whom the duty fell is called a Trierarch...

. When a legal case arose from any of these matters, such as a prosecution for desertion
Desertion
In military terminology, desertion is the abandonment of a "duty" or post without permission and is done with the intention of not returning...

 or evasion of service, or a dispute over the duty to perform a trierarchy, the strategoi were the magistrates responsible for bringing the case to court and presiding over the trial.

In the 4th century a systematic division of duties was made: one strategos led the hoplites and one was in charge of the defense of Attica, two were in charge of the defense of Pireaus, and one supervised the trierarchy, leaving the remaining five available for other duties.

The Athenian people kept a close eye on their strategoi. Like other magistrates, at the end of their term of office they were subject to euthyna
Euthyna
The term euthyna , meaning straightening, was the examination of accounts which every public officer underwent on the expiration of his office in Classical Greece...

 and in addition there was a vote in the ekklesia
Ecclesia (ancient Athens)
The ecclesia or ekklesia was the principal assembly of the democracy of ancient Athens during its "Golden Age" . It was the popular assembly, opened to all male citizens over the age of 30 with 2 years of military service by Solon in 594 BC meaning that all classes of citizens in Athens were able...

 during every prytany on the question whether they were performing their duties well. If the vote went against anyone, he was deposed and as a rule tried by jury. Pericles himself in 430 was removed from office as strategos and fined, and in 406 the eight strategoi who commanded the fleet at Arginusae were all removed from office and condemned to death.

These arrangements illustrate one of the most striking features of Athenian democracy
Athenian democracy
Athenian democracy developed in the Greek city-state of Athens, comprising the central city-state of Athens and the surrounding territory of Attica, around 508 BC. Athens is one of the first known democracies. Other Greek cities set up democracies, and even though most followed an Athenian model,...

: reluctance to give power to individuals and fear that it might be abused.

Hellenistic and Roman use


Philip II of Macedon was elected as strategos autokrator (commander-in-chief with full powers) in the League of Corinth
League of Corinth
The League of Corinth, also sometimes referred to as Hellenic League was a federation of Greek states created by Philip II of Macedon during the winter of 338 BC/337 BC after the Battle of Chaeronea, to facilitate his use of military forces in his war against Persia...

. Parmenion
Parmenion
Parmenion was a Macedonian general in the service of Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great, murdered on a suspected false charge of treason....

 the Macedonian general had also the title of strategos.

Under the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 and later through the Principate
Principate
The Principate is the first period of the Roman Empire, extending from the beginning of the reign of Caesar Augustus to the Crisis of the Third Century, after which it was replaced with the Dominate. The Principate is characterized by a concerted effort on the part of the Emperors to preserve the...

, Greek historians often used the term strategos when referring to the Roman political/military office of praetor
Praetor
Praetor was a title granted by the government of Ancient Rome to men acting in one of two official capacities: the commander of an army, usually in the field, or the named commander before mustering the army; and an elected magistratus assigned varied duties...

. Such a use can be found in the New Testament: Acts 16:20 refers to the magistrates of Philippi
Philippi
Philippi was a city in eastern Macedonia, established by Philip II in 356 BC and abandoned in the 14th century after the Ottoman conquest...

 as strategoi (στρατηγοί). Correspondingly, antistrategos ("vice-strategos") was used to refer to the office of propraetor.

In the Hellenistic empires of the Diadochi
Diadochi
The Diadochi were the rival generals, family and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for the control of Alexander's empire after his death in 323 BC...

, notably Lagid Egypt
Ptolemaic Egypt
Ptolemaic Egypt began when Ptolemy I Soter invaded Egypt and declared himself Pharaoh of Egypt in 305 BC and ended with the death of queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and the Roman conquest in 30 BC. The Ptolemaic Kingdom was a powerful Hellenistic state, extending from southern Syria in the east, to...

, strategos became a gubernatorial office, presiding over the nome
Nome (Egypt)
A nome was a subnational administrative division of ancient Egypt. Today's use of the Greek nome rather than the Egyptian term sepat came about during the Ptolemaic period. Fascinated with Egypt, Greeks created many historical records about the country...

s. In Egypt, the unique office and title of epistrategos was created in the early 2nd century BC, which survived intact into the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

. Two such existed, one for the Chora (Lower Egypt except for Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

) and one for the Thebaid
Thebaid
The Thebaid or Thebais is the region of ancient Egypt containing the thirteen southernmost nomes of Upper Egypt, from Abydos to Aswan. It acquired its name from its proximity to the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes....

, acting as viceroys controlling the subordinate strategoi of the nomes
Nome (Egypt)
A nome was a subnational administrative division of ancient Egypt. Today's use of the Greek nome rather than the Egyptian term sepat came about during the Ptolemaic period. Fascinated with Egypt, Greeks created many historical records about the country...

.

Byzantine use



The term continued in use in the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

. Initially, the term was used along with stratelates
Stratelates
Stratēlatēs was a Greek term designating a general, which also became a honorary dignity in the Byzantine Empire. In the former sense, it was often applied to military saints, such as Theodore Stratelates....

and, less often, stratopedarches
Stratopedarches
Stratopedarchēs , sometimes Anglicized as stratopedarch, was a Greek term used with regard to high-ranking military commanders from the 1st century BC on, becoming a proper office and later an honorary title during the Byzantine Empire.-History:...

, to render the supreme military office of magister militum
Magister militum
Magister militum was a top-level military command used in the later Roman Empire, dating from the reign of Constantine. Used alone, the term referred to the senior military officer of the Empire...

(the general in command of a field army), but could also be employed for the regional duces
Dux
Dux is Latin for leader and later for Duke and its variant forms ....

. In the 7th century, with the creation of the Theme system, their role changed: as the field armies were resettled and became the basis for the territorial themes, their generals too assumed new responsibilities, combining their military duties with the civil governance of the theme. The first themes were few and very large, and in the 8th century, the provincial strategoi were in constant antagonism with the emperor at Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, rising often in rebellion against him. In response, the themes were progressively split up and the number of strategoi increased, diluting their power: while in ca. 842 the Taktikon Uspensky
Taktikon Uspensky
The Taktikon Uspensky or Uspenskij is the conventional name of a mid-9th century Greek list of the civil, military and ecclesiastical offices of the Byzantine Empire and their precedence at the imperial court. Nicolas Oikonomides has dated it to 842/843, making it the first of a series of such...

lists 18 strategoi, the Escorial Taktikon
Escorial Taktikon
The Escorial Taktikon , also known as the Taktikon Oikonomides after Nicolas Oikonomides who first edited it, is a list of Byzantine offices, dignities, and titles composed in Constantinople during the 970s...

, written ca. 971–975, lists almost 90. This process was furthered by the conquests of the 10th century, which saw the establishment of several new and smaller frontier themes. Throughout the period, the strategos of the Anatolic theme
Anatolic Theme
The Anatolic Theme , more properly known as the Theme of the Anatolics was a Byzantine theme in central Asia Minor...

 enjoyed precedence over the others and constituted one of the highest offices of the state, and one of the few from which eunuchs were specifically barred. At the same time, the Eastern (Anatolian) themes were senior to the Western (European) ones. This distinction was especially marked in the pay of their presiding strategoi: while those of the Eastern themes received their salary directly from the state treasury, their counterparts in the West had to raise their pay from the proceeds of their provinces. Over the 11th century, the strategoi were gradually confined to their military duties, their civilian responsibilities being taken over by the kritai ("judges"). Senior military leadership also devolved on the hands of the doukes or katepano
Katepano
The katepánō was a senior Byzantine military rank and office. The word was Latinized as capetanus/catepan, and its meaning seems to have merged with that of the Italian "capitaneus"...

, who were placed in control of regional commands combining several themes. By the 13th century, the term had reverted to the generic sense of "general", devoid of any specific technical meaning.

The Byzantines also used a number of variations of the title strategos: strategetes (στρατηγέτης, "army leader") was an infrequently used alternative term; the term monostrategos (μονοστράτηγος, "single-general") designated a general placed in command over other strategoi or over the forces of more than one theme; the terms strategos autokrator, archistrategos and protostrategos (πρωτοστράτηγος, "first-general") designated commanders vested with supreme authority; and the term hypostrategos denoted a second-in-command, effectively a lieutenant general
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

.

Modern use



In the modern Hellenic Army
Hellenic Army
The Hellenic Army , formed in 1828, is the land force of Greece.The motto of the Hellenic Army is , "Freedom Stems from Valor", from Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War...

, a stratigós (the spelling remains στρατηγός) is the highest officer rank. The superior rank of stratárchis
Stratarches
Stratarches or στρατάρχες ), means "master/ruler of the army" in Greek, and is a title associated with successful generals. In modern Greek usage, it corresponds to the rank of Field Marshal....

(Field Marshal
Field Marshal
Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

) existed under the monarchy
Kingdom of Greece
The Kingdom of Greece was a state established in 1832 in the Convention of London by the Great Powers...

, but has not been retained by the current Third Hellenic Republic. The rank of full stratigós is held only by the Chief of the General Staff of National Defence
Hellenic National Defense General Staff
The Hellenic National Defence General Staff is the senior staff of the Hellenic Armed Forces. It was established in 1950, when the separate armed services ministries were consolidated into the Ministry of National Defence...

, when he is an Army officer. All but one of the other Greek general officer ranks are derivations of this word: antistrátigos and ypostrátigos, for Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General
Lieutenant General is a military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages where the title of Lieutenant General was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a Captain General....

 and Major General
Major General
Major general or major-general is a military rank used in many countries. It is derived from the older rank of sergeant major general. A major general is a high-ranking officer, normally subordinate to the rank of lieutenant general and senior to the ranks of brigadier and brigadier general...

, respectively; a Brigadier General
Brigadier General
Brigadier general is a senior rank in the armed forces. It is the lowest ranking general officer in some countries, usually sitting between the ranks of colonel and major general. When appointed to a field command, a brigadier general is typically in command of a brigade consisting of around 4,000...

 however is called taxíarchos, after a táxis (in modern usage taxiarchía), which means brigade. The ranks of antistrátigos and ypostrátigos are also used by the Hellenic Police (and the Greek Gendarmerie
Greek Gendarmerie
The Hellenic Gendarmerie was the national gendarmerie and military police force of Greece.-19th Century:The Greek Gendarmerie was established after the enthronement of King Otto in 1833 as the Royal Gendarmerie and modeled after the French Gendarmerie. It was at that time formally part of the...

 before), the Greek Fire Service and the Cypriot National Guard
Cypriot National Guard
The Cypriot National Guard , also known as the "Greek Cypriot National Guard" or simply as "National Guard", is the combined arms military force of the Republic of Cyprus...

, which lack the grade of full stratigós.

Fictional uses


This position was featured in Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card is an American author, critic, public speaker, essayist, columnist, and political activist. He writes in several genres, but is primarily known for his science fiction. His novel Ender's Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead both won Hugo and Nebula Awards, making Card the...

's novel Ender's Game
Ender's Game
Ender's Game is a science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. The book originated as the short story "Ender's Game", published in the August 1977 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. Elaborating on characters and plot lines depicted in the novel, Card later wrote additional...

. In the novel, the position of Strategos was charged with overall command of solar system defense. The Strategos, along with the positions of Polemarch
Polemarch
A polemarch was a senior military title in various ancient Greek city states . The title is composed out of the polemos and archon and translates as "warleader" or "warlord", one of the nine archontes appointed annually in Athens...

 (responsible for the International Fleet of space warships), and the Hegemon
Hegemon of Earth
In the Ender's Game and Shadow series by Orson Scott Card, the Hegemon is the ruler of the planet. Even though the planet is still divided into countries, the Hegemon has power over them all....

 (the political leader of Earth, rather like a stronger version of the Secretary-General of the United Nations), was one of the three most powerful people alive. During an earlier war described in the novel, because of a belief in their inherent luck and brilliance--specifically, that no Jewish general had ever lost a war--all three positions were filled with Jewish people - an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Jew
American Jews
American Jews, also known as Jewish Americans, are American citizens of the Jewish faith or Jewish ethnicity. The Jewish community in the United States is composed predominantly of Ashkenazi Jews who emigrated from Central and Eastern Europe, and their U.S.-born descendants...

 as Hegemon, an Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i Jew as Strategos, and a Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n Jew
History of the Jews in Russia and the Soviet Union
The vast territories of the Russian Empire at one time hosted the largest populations of Jews in the diaspora. Within these territories the Jewish community flourished and developed many of modern Judaism's most distinctive theological and cultural traditions, while also facing periods of...

 as Polemarch
Polemarch
A polemarch was a senior military title in various ancient Greek city states . The title is composed out of the polemos and archon and translates as "warleader" or "warlord", one of the nine archontes appointed annually in Athens...

. The defeat of the Formics
Formics
The Formics, also known as Buggers, are a fictional insectoid alien species from the Ender's Game series of science fiction novels by Orson Scott Card.The term "Formic" is derived from formica, the Latin word for ant...

 by half-Māori Mazer Rackham changed this position. Bean was given the title of Strategos by Peter Wiggin
Peter Wiggin
Peter Wiggin is a fictional character in the science fiction novel Ender's Game and its sequels, written by Orson Scott Card. He has appeared in the novels Ender's Game, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind and in an upcoming short story to...

 after he assumed the role of Hegemon.

The dystopian slave-empire of the Draka
Draka
Draka may be:*Draka, Bulgaria, village in Sredets, Burgas Province*Draka Holding N.V., Dutch cable manufacturer*Fictional empire in The Domination series...

, in the series of books by S. M. Stirling
S. M. Stirling
Stephen Michael Stirling is a French-born Canadian-American science fiction and fantasy author. Stirling is probably best known for his Draka series of alternate history novels and the more recent time travel/alternate history Nantucket series and Emberverse series.-Personal:Stirling was born on...

, also uses "Strategos" together with many other military ranks and terms drawn from Classical Antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

 - though often with only the most loose resemblance to what they originally meant.

The position of 'Strategos' was also featured in the English language version of the Sunrise
Sunrise (company)
is a Japanese animation studio and production enterprise. It is a subsidiary of Namco Bandai Holdings. Its former name was Nippon Sunrise, and prior to that, Sunrise Studios...

 anime The Vision of Escaflowne
The Vision of Escaflowne
is a 26-episode Japanese anime television series produced by Sunrise Studios and directed by Kazuki Akane. It premiered in Japan on April 2, 1996 on TV Tokyo, with the final episode airing on September 24, 1996. Sony's anime satellite channel, Animax also aired the series, both in Japan and on its...

; the character Folken occupied the position when he served the Zaibach empire.

The oldest use of the term "strategos" in fiction may be found in the "Callirhoe
Chariton
Chariton of Aphrodisias was the author of an ancient Greek novel probably titled Callirhoe , though it is regularly referred to as Chaereas and Callirhoe...

" of Chariton of Aphrodisias
Chariton
Chariton of Aphrodisias was the author of an ancient Greek novel probably titled Callirhoe , though it is regularly referred to as Chaereas and Callirhoe...

which is dated in the first century A.D. There, Hermocrates is the "strategos" of Syracuse and the father of Callirhoe, living in the 5th century B.C. In fact, he was a historical person, the victor over the Athenians in 413 B.C., an event which stopped Athenian expansion to the West. His role as a character in the novel is rather limited. Although his position in Syracuse gives Callirhoe a background, and he gives consent to her marriage and fulfills a few official duties, his legal or constitutional position is not very clear.