March 2019

197 BC General enrollment decree

ΠΟΤ 207 Γενικό διάταγμα επιστράτευσης

The inscription, the largest royal decree of the Macedonian kingdom, gives us a very vivid image of the dramatic days of the war of the Macedonian forces as they entered the final phase of the Roman assault.

The inscription, dating to 197 BC, is one of the copies of the general enrollment decree for all male citizens issued by King Philip V (221-179 BC) of Macedonia.

The text gives directions for the general enrollment by city of all male members of each household, according to census catalogues. The critical situation and the agony of the Philip V are evident because the king also enrolls veterans above the age of 50 as well as children of only 15 years of age. The inscription confirms the information given by Titus Livius (33, 3, 1-5) that Philip had to enroll everybody as he lacked new conscripts due to the long wars waged by the kingdom.

Very interesting is the information that those enrolled could appeal against the decision of the army officials, which indicates that even in those hard times, Philip V did not rule as a harsh monarch, but respected the laws focusing on the well-being of his subjects. The battle took place at Cynoscephalae in southern Thessaly in the spring of 197 BC. The Romans were led by the consul Titus Quintus Flaminius who defeated the Macedonian army and imposed his terms.

The inscription was found at Potidaia, Chalkidice, Ancient Kassandreia (ΠΟΤ 207)

The exhibit is located at the exhibition Macedonia from the 7th century BC until the Late Antiquity.