The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Stratores



the people, or from the malevolence of personal enmity, (c. Mid. 535, c. Aristocr. 676.) Even Pericles himself (Thucyd. ii. 65) was fined by the people for imputed mismanagement, but really be­cause the Athenians were disappointed in their expectations.

In the times of Chabrias and Phocion, however, the greater part of the generals regularly remained at home to conduct the processions, &c., as the citizens did to enjoy them, leaving their wars to be conducted by mercenaries and their leaders. (Demosth. Phil, i. 47. 12.) Some of them too were not commanders of all the troops, but only of the horse and foot of separate armies (ffrparrjjbs 6 eirl t&v oirXav or 6irXiru>^ and 6 tirl r5>v nrTrewz/) : and one of them, the general of the administration (6 eVi ttjs 5ioi«!97(r6ws), performed part of the judi­cial labours of the strategi, and other civil services, such as that of giving out the pay of the troops. (Bockh, Publ. Econ. of Athens, p. 381, 2d ed. ; Dem. pro Coron. 265. 11.) We must also re­member that the Athenian navy as well as the army was commanded by the Strategi, whence the " praetoria navis " or flag-ship is called cn-par^yis va.vs. (Hermann, Lehrbuch der griech. Staatsalt. § 152.)

The strategi at Athens were perhaps the most important officers of the republic, especially during war; and amongst them are numbered some of her most distinguished citizens, Miltiades, Themistocles, Pericles, Phocion, &c. But the generals of the early times differed in many respects from the con­temporaries of Demosthenes. Formerly the general and the statesman were united in one person ; the leader in the field was the leader in the assembly, and thus acquired a double influence, accompanied with a double responsibility. But in later times, the general and the professed orator or statesman were generally perfectly distinct (Isocr. de Pace., 173), and the latter, as ought always to be the case in free states, had by far the greater influence. The last of the Athenian generals who was con­sidered to unite the two characters, was Phocion, who was general no less than forty-five times. (Pint. Plioc. 5.) Accordingly the various parties into which the state was then divided had each their orator and general, the former acting as a recognized leader (Demosth. Olyn. ii. 26) ; and a general, when absent on foreign expeditions, was liable to be maligned or misrepresented to the people by an unfriendly and influential demagogue. (Demosth. de Cherson. 97. 12.) Heiicewe cannot wonder that the generals of the age of Demosthenes were neither so patriotic nor so distinguished as those of former times, more especially when we call to mind, that they were often the commanders of mercenary troops, and not of citizens, whose presence might have checked or animated them. Moreover, they suffered in moral character by the contamination of the mercenary leaders with whom they were associated. The necessity they were under of providing their hired soldiers with pay, habituated them to the practice of levying exac­tions from the allies; the sums thus levied were not strictly accounted for, and what should have been applied to the service of the state was fre­quently spent by men like Chares upon their own pleasures, or in the purchase of a powerful orator. (Thirlwall, Hist, of Greece^ vol. v. p. 214.) An­other effect of the separation of the two characters, \vas that the responsibility of the general and of


the orator or minister was lessened, and it was in most cases easy for a general to purchase an appa­rently disinterested advocacy of his conduct. There was this further abuse connected with the sj^stem, that according to Isocrates (dePace^ 168), military command was so much coveted, that the election of generals was often determined by the most pro­fligate bribery.

The most eminent generals of the time of De­ mosthenes were Timotheus, Chabrias, Iphicrates, and Diopithes : Chares and Lysicles were inferior to them both in loyalty and skill, but the former and the mercenary Charidemus were frequently employed. Towards the decline of the Roman empire the chief magistrate at Athens was called ^rpaT777os, or the Duke : Constantine bestowed on him the title of Meyas ^rar^yos or the Grand Duke. (Julian. Orat. i.) The military chiefs of the Aetolian and Achaean leagues were also called Strategi. The Achaean Strategi had the power of convening a general assembly of the league on extraordinary occasions. [AciiAicuM foedus, p.5,b.] [E.W.]

STRATORES. 1. Imperial Equerries subject to the Tribunus Stabuli. Their proper duty, as the name imports, was to saddle the horses ; they also led them from the stable and assisted the emperor to mount. Hence they were termed in Greek az/a£oAe?s. From the addition of miles to their title it appears that they were considered as part of the military establishment. (Spartian. Caracall. 7; Amm. Marc. xxx. 5 ; see Ducange, s. v.} Consuls and praetors had their stratores as we learn from inscriptions (Orell. Inser. n. 798, 3250, 3523), and perhaps aediles also. (Orell. n. 1584.)

2. Officers sent into the provinces to select horses for the stud of the prince or for the general service of the state. (Amm. Marc. xxix. 3 ; Cod. Theod. 8. tit. 8. s. 4 ; Cod. 12. tit. 25 ; Salmas. ad Capitolin. M. Antonin. 8, ad Trebell. Pott. Va­lerian. 3.) These in all probability belonged to the same body with those mentioned above ; the title stratores a publicis rationibus^ by which they are usually distinguished in works upon Roman antiquities, rests upon no authority except the letters STR. A.P.R. in an inscription (Gruter, p. dlxix. n. 8), the interpretation of which is very doubtful.

3. Jailors under the orders of the C'ommenta-riensis or Chief Inspector of Prisons. (Cod. Theod. 9. tit. 3. s. 1.) To these Ulpian refers (Dig. 1. tit. 16. s. 4), " nemo proconsulum stratores suos habere potest, sed vice eorum milites ministerio in provinciis funguntur," although the passage is quoted in most dictionaries as bearing upon the stratores of the stable. (Compare the Notitia Dig-nitatum Imperil Orientis^ c. 13 and c. 101 in Grae-vii Tlies. Rom. Antig. vol. vii. p. 1375 and p. 1606.)

. V.)

4. In the later Latin writers and especially in the monkish historians of the middle ages, stratores denote a chosen body of soldiers sent in advance of an army to explore the country, to determine the proper line of march, to select the spots best fitted for encamping, and to make all the arrangements necessary for the safety and comfort of the troops when they halted, their duties being in some re­spects analogous to those of the classical metatorcs, and in others to those of a modern corps-de-guides. (Symmach. Epist. ad Theod. et Valent. 1 ; Du-


About | First | English Index | Classified Index | Latin Index | Greek Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of