Naucrary

Last updated

The Naucrary (Ancient Greek : ναυκραρία) was a subdivision of the people of Attica, [1] among the most ancient in the Athenian state.

Attica Region of Ancient Greece

Attica, or the Attic peninsula, is a historical region that encompasses the city of Athens, the capital of Greece. It is a peninsula projecting into the Aegean Sea, bordering on Boeotia to the north and Megaris to the west.

Classical Athens city-state in ancient Greece

The city of Athens during the classical period of Ancient Greece was the major urban center of the notable polis (city-state) of the same name, located in Attica, Greece, leading the Delian League in the Peloponnesian War against Sparta and the Peloponnesian League. Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes following the tyranny of Isagoras. This system remained remarkably stable, and with a few brief interruptions remained in place for 180 years, until 322 BC. The peak of Athenian hegemony was achieved in the 440s to 430s BC, known as the Age of Pericles.

Contents

Etymology

The word is derived either from naus (ναῦς "a ship") and describes the duty imposed upon each naucrary, of providing one ship and two (or, more probably, ten) horsemen; or from naio (ναίω "I dwell"), in which case it has to do with a householder census. The former is generally accepted in view of the fact that the naucraries were certainly the units on which the Athenian fleet was based. [1]

History

The view once held (on the strength of a fragment of Aristotle, quoted carelessly by Photius) that the naucrary was invented by Solon may now be regarded as obsolete (see the Aristotelian Constitution, viii. 3). Each of the four Ionian tribes was divided into three trittyes ("thirds"), each of which was subdivided into four naucraries; there were thus 48 naucraries. [1]

Aristotle philosopher in ancient Greece

Aristotle was a philosopher during the Classical period in Ancient Greece, the founder of the Lyceum and the Peripatetic school of philosophy and Aristotelian tradition. Along with his teacher Plato, he is considered the "Father of Western Philosophy". His writings cover many subjects – including physics, biology, zoology, metaphysics, logic, ethics, aesthetics, poetry, theatre, music, rhetoric, psychology, linguistics, economics, politics and government. Aristotle provided a complex synthesis of the various philosophies existing prior to him, and it was above all from his teachings that the West inherited its intellectual lexicon, as well as problems and methods of inquiry. As a result, his philosophy has exerted a unique influence on almost every form of knowledge in the West and it continues to be a subject of contemporary philosophical discussion.

Photios I of Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople

Photios I, , also spelled Photius or Fotios, was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 858 to 867 and from 877 to 886; He is recognized in the Eastern Orthodox Church as Saint Photios the Great.

Solon 7th and 6th-century BC Athenian statesman and lawgiver

Solon was an Athenian statesman, lawmaker and poet. He is remembered particularly for his efforts to legislate against political, economic and moral decline in archaic Athens. His reforms failed in the short term, yet he is often credited with having laid the foundations for Athenian democracy. He wrote poetry for pleasure, as patriotic propaganda, and in defence of his constitutional reforms.

The earliest mention of the term is in Herodotus (v. 71), where it is stated that the Cylonian conspiracy was put down by the "Prytaneis (chief men) of the Naucraries." Although it is generally recognized that in this passage we can trace an attempt to shift the responsibility for the murder of the suppliants from the archon Megacles, it is highly improbable that the Prytaneis of the Naucraries did not play a part in the tragedy. [1]

Herodotus Ancient Greek historian

Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire. He is known for having written the book The Histories, a detailed record of his "inquiry" on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars. He is widely considered to have been the first writer to have treated historical subjects using a method of systematic investigation—specifically, by collecting his materials and then critically arranging them into an historiographic narrative. On account of this, he is often referred to as "The Father of History", a title first conferred on him by the first-century BC Roman orator Cicero.

Cylon was an Athenian associated with the first reliably dated event in Athenian history, the Cylonian Affair, an attempted seizure of power in the city.

Megacles or Megakles was the name of several notable men of ancient Athens, as well as an officer of Pyrrhus of Epirus.

Thucydides is probably right, as against Herodotus, in asserting that the nine archons formed the Athenian executive at this period. It may be conjectured, however, that the military forces of Athens were organized on the basis of the naucraries, and that it was the duty of the presidents of these districts to raise the local levies. It is certainly remarkable that the Aristotelian Constitution of Athens does not connect the naucrary with the fleet or the army; from chapter viii. it would appear that its importance was chiefly in connection with finance. [1]

Thucydides Greek historian and Athenian general

Thucydides was an Athenian historian and general. His History of the Peloponnesian War recounts the fifth-century BC war between Sparta and Athens until the year 411 BC. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of "scientific history" by those who accept his claims to have applied strict standards of impartiality and evidence-gathering and analysis of cause and effect, without reference to intervention by the deities, as outlined in his introduction to his work.

Archon is a Greek word that means "ruler", frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is the masculine present participle of the verb stem αρχ-, meaning "to be first, to rule". Derived from the same root are words such as monarch and hierarchy.

The naucrary consisted of a number of villages, and was, therefore, a local unit very much in the power of the naucraros, who was selected by reason of wealth. The naucraros superintended the construction of, and afterwards captained, the ship, and also assessed and administered the taxes in his own area. [1]

In the reforms of Cleisthenes, the naucraries gave place to the demes as the political unit. In accordance with the new decimal system, their number was increased to fifty. Whether they continued (and if so, how long) to supply one ship and two (or ten) horsemen each is not certainly known. Cheidemus in Photius asserts that they did, and his statement is to a certain extent corroborated by Herodotus (vi. 89) who records that, in the Aeginetan War before the Persian Invasion, the Athenian fleet numbered only fifty sail. [1]

See also

Further reading

Sources

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Wikisource-logo.svg  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Naucrary". Encyclopædia Britannica . 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 276.

Related Research Articles

Battle of Marathon 490 BC battle in the Greco-Persian Wars

The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC, during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. The battle was the culmination of the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to subjugate Greece. The Greek army decisively defeated the more numerous Persians, marking a turning point in the Greco-Persian Wars.

Themistocles Athenian statesman

Themistocles was an Athenian politician and general. He was one of a new breed of non-aristocratic politicians who rose to prominence in the early years of the Athenian democracy. As a politician, Themistocles was a populist, having the support of lower-class Athenians, and generally being at odds with the Athenian nobility. Elected archon in 493 BC, he convinced the polis to increase the naval power of Athens, a recurring theme in his political career. During the first Persian invasion of Greece he fought at the Battle of Marathon and was possibly one of the ten Athenian strategoi (generals) in that battle.

Battle of Salamis battle

The Battle of Salamis was a naval battle fought between an alliance of Greek city-states under Themistocles and the Persian Empire under King Xerxes in 480 BC which resulted in a decisive victory for the outnumbered Greeks. The battle was fought in the straits between the mainland and Salamis, an island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens, and marked the high-point of the second Persian invasion of Greece.

A cleruchy in Classical Greece, was a specialized type of colony established by Athens. The term comes from the Greek word κληροῦχος, klērouchos, literally "lot-holder".

Polemarch Senior military title in various ancient Greek city states

A polemarch was a senior military title in various ancient Greek city states (poleis). The title is derived from the words polemos (war) and archon and translates as "warleader" or "warlord". The name indicates that the polemarch's original function was to command the army; presumably the office was created to take over this function from the king. Eventually military command was transferred to the strategoi (στρατηγοί), but the date and stages of the transfer are not clear.

Battle of Mycale battle

The Battle of Mycale was one of the two major battles that ended the second Persian invasion of Greece during the Greco-Persian Wars. It took place on or about August 27, 479 BC on the slopes of Mount Mycale, on the coast of Ionia, opposite the island of Samos. The battle was fought between an alliance of the Greek city-states, including Sparta, Athens and Corinth, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I.

Greco-Persian Wars series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire of Persia and poleis of the Hellenic world in the fifth century BC

The Greco-Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire and Greek city-states that started in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC. The collision between the fractious political world of the Greeks and the enormous empire of the Persians began when Cyrus the Great conquered the Greek-inhabited region of Ionia in 547 BC. Struggling to rule the independent-minded cities of Ionia, the Persians appointed tyrants to rule each of them. This would prove to be the source of much trouble for the Greeks and Persians alike.

Battle of Artemisium Naval battle of a Greco-Persian War

The Battle of Artemisium, or Battle of Artemision, was a series of naval engagements over three days during the second Persian invasion of Greece. The battle took place simultaneously with the more famous land battle at Thermopylae, in August or September 480 BC, off the coast of Euboea and was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, including Sparta, Athens, Corinth and others, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I.

Battle of Plataea final land battle during the second Persian invasion of Greece

The Battle of Plataea was the final land battle during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place in 479 BC near the city of Plataea in Boeotia, and was fought between an alliance of the Greek city-states, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I.

Mardonius was a leading Persian military commander during the Persian Wars with Greece in the early 5th century BC who died at the Battle of Plataea.

Miltiades athenian statesman and military hero

Miltiades, also known as Miltiades the Younger, was an Athenian citizen known mostly for his role in the Battle of Marathon, as well as for his downfall afterwards. He was the son of Cimon Coalemos, a renowned Olympic chariot-racer, and the father of Cimon, the noted Athenian statesman.

In ancient Greece the chief magistrate in various Greek city states was called eponymous archon. Archon means "ruler" or "lord", frequently used as the title of a specific public office, while "eponymous" means that he gave his name to the year in which he held office, much like the Roman dating by consular years.

Inaros II

Inaros (II), also known as Inarus, was an Egyptian rebel ruler who was the son of a Libyan prince named Psamtik, presumably of the old Saite line, and grandson of Psamtik III. In 460 BC, he revolted against the Persians with the help of his Athenian allies under Admiral Charitimides, and defeated the Persian army commanded by satrap Achaemenes in 460 BCE. The Persians retreated to Memphis, but the Athenians were finally defeated in 454 BC by the Persian army led by Megabyzus, satrap of Syria, and Artabazus, satrap of Phrygia, after a two-year siege. Inaros was captured and carried away to Susa where he was reportedly crucified in 454 BC.

Xanthippus Athenian politician and father of Pericles

Xanthippus was a wealthy Athenian politician and general during the early part of the 5th century BC. His name means "Yellow Horse." He was the son of Ariphron and father of Pericles. He is often associated with the Alcmaeonid clan. Although not born to the Alcmaeonidae, he married into the family when he wed Cleisthenes' niece Agariste, and would come to represent their interests in government. He distinguished himself in the Athenian political arena, championing the aristocratic party. His rivalry with Themistocles led to his ostracism, only to be recalled from exile when the Persians invaded Greece. He distinguished himself during the Greco-Persian Wars making a significant contribution to the victory of the Greeks and the subsequent ascendancy of the Athenian Empire.

First Persian invasion of Greece

The first Persian invasion of Greece, during the Persian Wars, began in 492 BC, and ended with the decisive Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. The invasion, consisting of two distinct campaigns, was ordered by the Persian king Darius the Great primarily in order to punish the city-states of Athens and Eretria. These cities had supported the cities of Ionia during their revolt against Persian rule, thus incurring the wrath of Darius. Darius also saw the opportunity to extend his empire into Europe, and to secure its western frontier.

Second Persian invasion of Greece Invasion during the Greco-Persian Wars

The second Persian invasion of Greece occurred during the Greco-Persian Wars, as King Xerxes I of Persia sought to conquer all of Greece. The invasion was a direct, if delayed, response to the defeat of the first Persian invasion of Greece at the Battle of Marathon, which ended Darius I's attempts to subjugate Greece. After Darius's death, his son Xerxes spent several years planning for the second invasion, mustering an enormous army and navy. The Athenians and Spartans led the Greek resistance. About a tenth of the Greek city-states joined the 'Allied' effort; most remained neutral or submitted to Xerxes.

Ameinias or Aminias was a younger brother of the playwright Aeschylus and of a hero of the battle of Marathon named Cynaegirus. He also had a sister, named Philopatho, who was the mother of the Athenian tragic poet Philocles. His father was Euphorion. Ameinias was from the Attica deme of Pallene according to Herodotus, or of that of Decelea according to Plutarch. He distinguished himself at the battle of Salamis as a trireme commander. His brother Aeschylus, also fought at the battle.

Achaemenid destruction of Athens

The Achaemenid destruction of Athens was accomplished by the Achaemenid Army of Xerxes I during the Second Persian invasion of Greece, and occurred in two phases over a period of two years, in 480-479 BCE.