Τρίτη 5 Μαρτίου 2024

General conscription decree of Philip V, 197 BC.

A very important inscription exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki takes us to the beginning of the 2nd century. e.g. The inscription vividly gives us the image of the dramatic days of the war of the Macedonian forces to face the Roman danger in its final phase. It dates back to 197 BC. and is one of the copies of the general decree for the conscription of the male population issued by King Philip V for the entire Macedonian territory. This is the largest royal diagram from the kingdom of Macedonia.
The text gives instructions for general conscription by town by enlisting the males of each household according to the census lists. The inscription reveals the criticality of the situation and Philip V's anxiety over the great lack of Macedonian recruits due to the long wars waged by the kingdom. This can be seen from the fact that the king enlists not only veterans over 50 but also minors as young as 15.
An extremely interesting element is the information that conscripts could object to the decisions of the conscription authorities. This fact shows that even in such difficult circumstances Philip V did not rule as a cruel monarch, but implemented the laws and had the interest of his subjects as his guiding principle, thus continuing the tradition of his predecessors, who according to the written sources they ruled by law and not by force.

The battle for which the recruitment is taking place took place at Kynos Kefales in southern Thessaly in the spring of 197 BC. The leader of the Romans was Titus Quintos Flamininus who defeated the Macedonian army and imposed the terms of the Romans.

The inscription was found in N. Potidaia of Halkidiki, ancient Kassandrea (POT 207)