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Document Details :
Title: Kriton, stolarque au service d'Apollonios le diœcète
Author(s): HAUBEN, H.
Journal: Ancient Society
Volume: 36 Date: 2006
No less than 47 documents in the Zenon archive mention the
name Kriton. In Clarysse’s standard prosopography 34 are listed as
referring to the so-called stolarches of the dioecetes Apollonios, minister
for economic and financial affairs of Ptolemy II (285/282-246
BC) during the second half of his reign, and one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs
of his time.
The present article focuses on both the meaning of the term stolarches
(which occurs only once in the archive, viz, in P. Cairo Zen. I 59048)
and the manifold tasks, specific profile and individual career of
An exhaustive analysis of the Hellenistic and Roman literary, epigraphical
and papyrological sources seems to confirm the traditional
view that the stolarchia involved a (military or commercial) fleet command,
rather than a control of clothing or responsibility for equipment,
as claimed by more recent interpretations.
As commander of Apollonios’ small flotilla (obviously in charge of the
organization of river — not overseas — transport and communications)
Kriton was one of his most trusted employees as well as perhaps the
closest collaborator of the minister’s secretary (subsequently estate
manager) Zenon, especially in the years 258-256 BC, when Apollonios
and his staff were travelling around in Northern Egypt.
A study of the papyri not belonging to the core dossier of 34 texts leads
to the conclusion that, with the exception of two (PSI V 495 l. 7 and
P. Cairo Zen. III 59462), all the references to Kriton may probably
also be ascribed to the (ex-)stolarches, who, after the accession of
Ptolemy III (246) and the subsequent disappearance of the minister in
245, seems to have established himself (like his friend and former colleague
Zenon had done after his dismissal in 248/247) in the region of
Philadelphia in the Fayum, making a living from his vineyard, his ship
and other business.