World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Naucrary

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

Contents

  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
  • See also 3
  • Further reading 4
  • Sources 5

Etymology

The word is derived either:

  1. 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
  2. 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

See also

Further reading

  • The Constitutional Antiquities of Sparta and Athens. By Gustav Gilbert. Pg 133+

Sources

  • Photius, who is clearly using the Ath. Pol. (he quotes from it the last part of his article totidem verbis)
  • Schomann, Antiq. (p. 326, Eng. trans.) — quoted by JE Sandys (Ath. Pol., viii., 13) — refutes Gilbert, Greek Constitutional Antiquities (Eng. trans., 1895), and in Jahrb. Class. Phil. cxi. (1875) pp. 9 seq.
  • AHJ Greenidge, Handbook of Greek Const. Hist. p. 134
  • for derivation of name, G Meyer, Curtius Studien (vii. 175). where Wecklein is refuted.

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.