Meridarch

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A meridarch or meridarches (Greek: μεριδάρχης, from meris, "division", and -arches, "ruler") was the civil governor of a province in the Hellenistic world (4th-1st centuries BCE), and could be translated as "Divisional Commissioner". Only three mentions of meridarchs are known from ancient sources, one from Palestine, the two others from the Indo-Greek kingdom in India, one on a vase from Swat, the other on a copper plate from Taxila.

Judea[edit]

Shortly after 153 BCE, Josephus relates, Alexander Balas appointed Jonathan Maccabeus as strategos (general) and meridarch (civil governor of a province) of Judea, and sent him back with honors to Jerusalem (I Macc. x. 51–66; Josephus, "Ant." xiii. 4, § 1).

Indo-Greek kingdom[edit]

"Meridarch Theodorus" inscription in Swat relic vase.

At the far eastern end of the Hellenistic world, in northern India, an inscription in Kharoshthi has been found on a relic vase Swāt, referring to a "meridarch Theodorus" and his enshrinement of relics of the Buddha:

"Theudorena meridarkhena pratithavida ime sarira sakamunisa bhagavato bahu-jana-stitiye".

"The meridarch Theodorus has enshrined relics of Lord Shakyamuni, for the welfare of the mass of the people"

Taxila "meridarch" plate. The plate reads: "By....., the Meridarch, together with his wife. the stupa was established, in honor of (his) mother and father, for the presentation of a respectful offering."[1]

Another mention of a Meridarch appears on the Taxila "meridarch" plate. The plate reads:

"By....., the Meridarch, together with his wife. the stupa was established, in honor of (his) mother and father, for the presentation of a respectful offering."

— Taxila plate inscription.[2]


  1. ^ Plate I, image 2 of Kharoshthi Inscriptions With The Exception Of Those Of Asoka by Sten Konow, 1929, published in India p.1-6
  2. ^ Plate I, image 2 of Kharoshthi Inscriptions With The Exception Of Those Of Asoka by Sten Konow, 1929, published in India p.1-6