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Inscriptions from Drama (region of Amphipolis) and Nea Potidaea (Cassandria) with identical texts of military regulations (possibly a royal diagramma), which according to their letter forms belong to the time of the last Antigonid kings, Philip V (221–179 B.C.) or Perseus (179–168 B.C.), attest the previously unknown term πυρόκαυσις (it can be translated as a «hearth» or «fire»). In the opinion of M.B. Hatzopoulos, the πυρόκαυσις is in some cases similar to the oἰκία (family, home) and should be understood as an administrative mobilization unit that provided one soldier for the military service. According to the alternative point of view proposed by Ch. Chrysafi s, πυρόκαυσις is equivalent to the term λόχος and denotes a unit of 16 soldiers who shared one fi re in the camp. However, one more hypothesis can be proposed, namely that the πυρόκαυσις is an administrative unit that included the king’s subjects (possibly including relatives) living nearby in a city or village, who in the event of mobilization may have actually formed the λόχος (a group of 16 soldiers) and were grouped during campaigns around one campfi re. At the same time, a larger number of people may have been assigned to the πυρόκαυσις, of whom only 16 were recruited in the army. The problem of the precise meaning of πυρόκαυσις awaits further research, especially if any new epigraphic documents elucidating this term come to light.


Πυρόκαυσις, λόχος, Antigonids, Macedonia, military organization, civil community.

Yuri N. Kuzmin

Samara Branch of Moscow City University, Samara, Russia

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