You are on page 1of 5

WWID04 17/11/2005 11:29 Page 348

Whos Who in the Age of Alexander the Great

Waldemar Heckel
2006 by Waldemar Heckel


agema. The elite guard of the infantry or the cavalry.

Agrianes. Also Agrianians. A group that lived in the northeastern corner
of Paeonia near the source of the Strymon River. Their contingent of peltasts,
armed with javelin, was used as an elite force by the King, often in con-
junction with the hypaspists.
akontistai. Javelin-men.
Amun, Amun-Re. The Egyptian sun-god, equated by the Greeks with Zeus.
Greek and Latin sources give his name as Amon, Ammon, and Hammon.
anaboleus. The individual probably a member of the Companions (even
the ile basilike) rather than a Page who helped the King mount his horse.
apologia. A defense. A sanitized or whitewashed account.
apomachoi. Soldiers unfit for battle.
archaioi xenoi. A unit of mercenaries perhaps soldiers who had served
together since the time of Philip II commanded by Cleander.
archigrammateus. Chief secretary.
archihypaspistes. Commander of the entire corps of hypaspists.
archikybernetes. Chief pilot (e.g., Onesicritus).
archon. Politically, a chief magistrate. Militarily, a commander.
argyraspides. Silver Shields. 3,000 veterans (former hypaspists).
Argyraspids. See argyraspides.
asthetairoi. See pezhetairoi.
ataktoi. The undisciplined or unruly. A unit of dissenters formed in 330
and placed under the command of Leonidas.
auletes. Flute-player.
bematists. A bema is literally a step or stride. Alexanders bematists were
those who kept records or distances and conducted surveys. Their works
appear to have contained more than mere factual information and not every-
thing they recorded was based on autopsy.
chiliarch. Literally, commander of a thousand but in Persian usage the chief
executive officer of the King or second after the King (hazarapatish).
chiliarches. Commander of a thousand men.
chiliarchos. See chiliarches.
choregos. A man who assumed the expenses associated with dramatic pro-
ductions. The service was known as choregia.

WWID04 17/11/2005 11:29 Page 349


choreutes. A dancer in the chorus.

consilium. Council, advisory group.
custos corporis. Bodyguard (also armiger).
doryphoros (pl. doryphoroi). Literally a spear-bearer, a doryphoros was a
member of the guard. In the Alexander historians the word is used as a
substitute for somatophylax, armiger, or custos corporis (i.e., a member of the
epimeleia. Guardianship.
epimeletes (pl. epimeletai). A guardian or manager of affairs. Used of a regent.
episkopos (pl. episkopoi). An overseer.
epistoleus. A letter-carrier (grammatophoros), courier.
epitropos (pl. epitropoi). Guardian or regent.
erastes. The older lover in a homosexual relationship. See eromenos below.
eromenos. A homosexual lover, that is, normally the younger partner in the
relationship (literally, the one who is loved).
gazophylax (pl. gazophylakes). Treasurer (that is, the guardian of a treasure in
one specific place).
gynaion. A little woman. The term can be used affectionately of an older
woman (e.g., Ada or Halicarnassus) or pejoratively of a woman of low stand-
ing or of a mistress or common-law wife.
harmostes. A military or garrison commander.
hazarapatish. See chiliarch.
hegemon (pl. hegemones). Normally, a military leader or commander.
Sometimes used as a substitute for strategos but often denoting an officer
of lesser rank. Also, the military leader of a league (e.g., the League of
Hellenica (Greek: Hellenika). Literally, Greek things or affairs. A history of
hetaira (pl. hetairai). A female friend, that is, a prostitute or courtesan.
hetairos (pl. hetairoi). Companion or friend. A high-ranking individual at court
or in the army. Hence a member of a select group of individuals who served
as officers, advisors, or administrators.
hieromnemon. A religious official. In the case of the Delphic amphictyony,
a state representative.
hippakontistai. Mounted javelin-men.
hipparch. Cavalry commander.
hippeis misthophoroi. Mercenary cavalry.
hippeis prodromoi. Cavalry scouts (also prodromoi).
hyparch. See hyparchos.
hyparchos. A lieutenant. Often used as the equivalent of satrap.
hypaspistai basilikoi. The Royal Hypaspists.
hypaspists. Elite infantry, selected for their strength and agility rather than
on a territorial basis. They were certainly more mobile (hence, perhaps more
lightly armed) and provided the link in the Macedonian line between the
pezhetairoi and the cavalry. There were two types of hypaspists: the regu-
lar hypaspists (3,000 in number and commanded by the archihypaspistes)

WWID04 17/11/2005 11:29 Page 350


and the Royal Hypaspists, who seem to have been drawn from a higher
social class. See Heckel 23753.
ilarch. See ilarches.
ilarches. Cavalry squadron commander.
ile (pl. ilai). A cavalry-squadron. In Diodorus, eile (pl. eilai).
ile basilike. The royal squadron (eile basilike, D). Commanded by Black
kitharoidos. One who plays the harp and sings in accompaniment.
logos. A story. In Arrian a report that comes from a primary source other than
Ptolemy or Aristobulus (also a legomenon).
Macedonica. See Makedonika.
Makedones. Native Macedonians. Macedonian citizens.
Makedonika. A history of Macedonia. See s.v. Marsyas.
megistoi. The most powerful individuals (in this case, after Alexanders death).
misthophoroi. Mercenaries. Cf. hippeis misthophoroi. Also xenoi.
nauarchos. Admiral. Fleet commander.
navarch. See nauarchos.
neogamoi. Newly weds. Those in Alexanders army in 334/3 who had married
before leaving for Asia Minor.
Paeonians. A tribe located in the region between the Strymon and Axius
(Vardar) rivers. They served Alexander as cavalrymen.
pais basilikos (pl. paides basilikoi). Royal Boy/Youth, that is, one of the Kings
patronymic (Greek: patronymikon). Literally, fathers name. The Greeks
had no family (or last) name. Instead a person was identified as son of x
with the fathers name appearing in the genitive case (e.g., Hephaistion
Amyntoros = Hephaestion son of Amyntor).
peltasts. Targeteers. Troops, more lightly armed than hoplites, named for their
shields (pelte, pl. peltai).
pentakosiarches. Pentakosiarch. A commander of 500.
pentakosiarchia. A military unit of 500. Half a chiliarchy.
pentekontoros. A fifty-oared ship.
Persica (Greek: Persika). Literally, Persian things or affairs. A history of Persia,
of which the most famous examples were written by Ctesias and Dinon.
pezhetairoi (also pezetairoi). The Foot Companions. The core of the
Macedonian infantry. Alexanders army included six taxeis (1,500 6 = 9,000)
of pezhetairoi. These were territorial levies. Those from Upper Macedonia
may have been called asthetairoi (thus Bosworth 1973); the term most likely
means close companions rather than best (aristoi) companions.
Philippica (Greek: Philippika). A history of Philip II of Macedon. The most
famous example was written by Theopompus of Chios.
Philippeum. A statue-group, showing the family of Philip II, set up at
Olympia. Only the base of it survives today.
philos (pl. philoi). Friend in the technical sense. See hetairos.
phrourarchos. Garrison commander.
presbeis. Envoys, ambassadors.

WWID04 17/11/2005 11:29 Page 351


prodromoi. Scouts. Also hippeis prodromoi. Cf. skopoi.

prostasia. Guardianship, regency.
prostates. A guardian or regent.
proxenia. An institution that allowed an individual of one state to represent
the political and diplomatic interests of another, in lieu of a permanent
consul or ambassador. See Marek 1984.
proxenos. An individual who was honored by a foreign state to represent its
political interests in his own.
psiloi (sing. psilos). Lightly armed troops.
psilokitharistes. A harpist, but one who plays without singing.
sarissa (sometimes sarisa). The Macedonian pike, which in the time of Philip
II and Alexander was about 1518 ft in length. The sarissophoroi (below)
carried somewhat shorter sarissai (ca. 14 ft).
sarissophoroi. Literally, sarissa-bearers. Cavalry armed with the shorter
cavalry sarissa.
satrap. Satrapes. Governor of a province (satrapy). Sometimes called hyparchos.
satrapy. Satrapeia. Name of a Persian province. The name and the system was
taken over by Alexander and his successors.
Seven. In Macedonia, the seven Somatophylakes. See Somatophylax. In Persia,
the seven conspirators against the so-called False Smerdis.
skopoi. Scouts.
somatophylakes. Bodyguards, in the general sense. The term was used of Pages,
hypaspists, and the Seven.
Somatophylax. Bodyguard. One of the seven personal guards (staff ) of the
sphairistes. A ball-player.
Stathmoi. Stages, title of works written by the bematists (see s.v. above).
strategia. Generalship. In Athens, ten men were elected annually to the
strategos. General. Used of a high-ranking military commander and of a mil-
itary overseer of a region.
stratiotes. A soldier or, in some cases, a professional soldier.
stromatophylax. Guardian of the household goods, particularly bedding.
Apparently a minor official at Alexanders court (see s.v. Proxenus).
syngeneis. Greek B. Kinsmen of the Great King. An honorific title
at the Persian court.
syntrophos. An individual (often a member of the Pages) who was raised at
the court in Pella with the Kings sons.
taxiarch. See taxiarches.
taxiarches. Commander of a taxis (see below).
taxis (pl. taxeis). An infantry unit, often translated battalion, sometimes
brigade. The strength of a taxis of pezhetairoi was 1,500. Chiliarchies (1,000)
of hypaspists and lightly armed troops are sometimes referred to as taxeis
as well.
thearodochos (= theorodochos). One who receives theoroi (ambassadors sent to
consult an oracle).

WWID04 17/11/2005 11:29 Page 352


theoros (pl. theoroi). An envoy sent to consult an oracle or to be present at

a religious festival.
toxarches. Commander of archers.
toxotai. The archers.
triakontor (triakontoros). A thirty-oared ship.
trierarchos (pl. trierarchoi). Commander of a trireme or, as in the case of the
Hydaspes fleet in 326 (following Athenian practice), the man who paid the
cost of fitting out a ship.
trierarchy. A public financial service. Rich men were expected, in Athens, to
fund the cost of fitting out a trireme. Alexander adopted this practice at
the Hydaspes in 316.
xenagos. Mercenary leader.
xenoi. Mercenary troops. Cf. misthophoroi.
xenos. A foreign friend (e.g., Demaratus of Corinth). Also a mercenary
(see xenoi).