A Macedonian Aristocratic Family from Beroia

Kuzmin Yuri N.

Beroia, situated in western Bottiaia, was one of the most important cities of Macedonia. As Ch. F. Edson suggested, the Antigonid dynasty might have come from this city. A number of persons named Harpalos and Polemaios are attested in Beroia in the Hellenistic and Roman periods (namely between the 240s BC and the 40s AD): 1) Harpalos (248 BC, EKM I. 3); 2) Polemaios, son of Harpalos (223 BC, EKM I. 4); 3) Harpalos, son of Polemaios (178–172 BC, Syll.3 II. 636, v. 5; Diod. XXIX. 34. 1; Liv. XLII. 14. 3; 15. 1; App. Mac. 11. 3); 4) Harpalos (the late 2nd – early 1st century BC, EKM I. 2); 5–6) Harpalos, son of Harpalos (41–44 AD, EKM I. 60). The author argues that they all belonged to one family, which played an important role in Antigonids’ state and in the political life of Beroia, even after Macedonia became a Roman province. Of all the Harpaloi attested in Beroia only one Harpalos, son of Python, known from an inscription on a sarcophagus (EKM I. 202, ca. 150–100 BC), cannot be easily connected with the family. Obviously, the family of Harpaloi–Polemaioi could avoid the internment to Italy in 167 BC (according to the decree of L. Aemilius Paulus and the senate committee for Macedonian affairs, members of former royal administration of the last Antigonid Perseus and their children over 15 years old had to be interned – Liv. XLV. 32. 3–6). By that time, Harpalos (3), son of Polemaios, could have died (as he was not mentioned after 172 BC), and thus his family was allowed to stay in Macedonia. This is the most probable solution of the problem. One can admit that the family in question was related in kinship with Antigonids (A.B. Tataki). But its relationship to Harpalos, treasurer of Alexander the Great, assumed by some scholars (W. Heckel), seems to find no grounds, since the name Harpalos was quite frequent in Macedonia (LGPN. Vol. 4. P. 47–48). There are no reasons to think that there were links of kinship between the family of Harpaloi–Polemaioi from Beroia and Limnaios, son of Harpalos, who was granted land property in Kassandreia by Lysimachos in the mid 280s BC. The case of the Harpaloi–Polemaioi family is the only known example of an aristocratic family in Beroia, as well as in the whole of Macedonia, attested both under the kings and in the Roman time. It is particularly remarkable that this family did not lose its importance in the social life of its native city even after the Roman conquest of Macedonia.

Keywords: Macedonia, Beroia, aristocracy, Roman rule