Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The office of strategos in Athenian democracy
In the Athenian democracy, strategoi were elected by name rather than chosen by lottery and expected to command at both land and sea. This office replaced the earlier polemarch as a commander of troops. The common translation general is a little misleading.
Following the reforms of Pericles, all Athenian positions except the strategos were selected by lottery and were paid so that any Athenian citizen could take part in office. The role of strategos remained a difficult to achieve position as both wealth and popularity were required to fill the office.
Some of the more notable Athenian strategoi were:
- Pericles the great proponent of Democracy in Athens
- Thucydides the author of The Peloponnesian War
See also Archons of Athens for a list of the known strategoi.
This position was featured in Orson Scott Card's novel Ender's Game. In the novel, the position of Strategos was charged with overall command of solar system defense. The Strategos, along with the positions of Polemarch and Hegemon, was one of the three most powerful people alive. Because of a belief in their inherent luck and brilliance, all three positions were filled with Jewish people - an American Jew as Hegemon, an Israeli Jew as Strategos, and a Russian Jew as Polemarch.
The position of 'Strategos' was also featured in the English language version of the Sunrise anime The Vision of Escaflowne; the character Folken occupied the position when he served the Zaibach empire.
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