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On-site photograph of the 2nd century AD Politarch inscription in Thessaloniki.

Politarch (Greek: πολιτάρχης, politarches; plural πολιτάρχαι, politarchai) was a Hellenistic and Roman-era Macedonian title for an elected governor (archon) of a city (polis). The term had been already attested in the Acts of the Apostles (17:6,8) concerning Thessalonica, as well in modern archaeology. The institution is called Politarchate and the variant ptoliarchos appears in a poetic epigram. The first evidence of the title is dated to the reign of Perseus[1][2][3] in Amphipolis, where the king with two politarchs honoured Artemis Tauropolos after a Thracian campaign. One of the earliest extant inscriptions to use the term "Politarch" was located on the Vardar Gate in Thessaloniki. The Gate was unfortunately destroyed in 1876 but the inscription, which dates to the 2nd Century AD, can now been seen in the British Museum in London.[4]

The title was also used for the local commissioners of the Greek provisional government during the Greek War of Independence.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Amphipolis — 179 BC? — SEG 31.614
  2. ^ Archaeology and the New Testament By John McRay Page 295 ISBN 0-8010-6267-5
  3. ^ Macedonian Institutions Under the Kings: Page 135 By Miltiadēs V. Chatzopoulos ISBN 960-7094-89-1
  4. ^ British Museum Collection [1]