V. Pereshch, PhD in History, Associate Professor

The University of Modern Knowledge, Kyiv, Ukraine

ORCID: 0000-0002-4962-4207

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17721/1728-2640.2020.146.10


This article examines the terms rawakeja (an organization of lawagetas) and qasirewija (an organization of basileis) based on the evidence from documents written in the Linear B script. In an analysis of the Knossos text As 1516, the author finds that these organizations are groups that include a number of men who belong to specific settlements and are headed by lawagetas and basileis, respectively. Given the striking parallelism in this text between rawakeja and qasirewija, the author concludes that these organizations were similar in nature and performed similar functions. The study determined that a basileus, as a local leader, had the people from the area he headed under his control; these people themselves, subordinating to him within this organization, had to perceive him, first of all, not as a palace representative, but as their own, local leader. Analyzing the positions of the rawakeja and qasirewija in the text As 1516, the author concludes that the lawagetas played the same role in the Knossian rawakeja as the basileis played in their local qasirewija, and performed functions similar to those performed by the basileis, albeit on the scale of a metropolitan settlement; in addition, the lawagetas apparently had to coordinate the activities of all the basileis of the state. The lack of any clear evidence pertaining to the economic activities of rawakeja and qasirewija leads the author to reject the view that the activities of these organizations were related to the economic and craft sphere. Instead, the rawakeja and qasirewija, as groups of adult men recruited on the principle of living in one settlement, and being led by specific leaders, and as those who are dependent on the state, are comparable to the detachments of rowers listed in the An 610 tablet. All this, in turn, allows the author to draw the main conclusion that rawakeja and qasirewija are groups of men recruited by the state for the purpose of involvement in the military sphere.

Keywords: qasirewija, rawakeja, basileus, lawagetas, Mycenaean civilization, Achaean Greece.

Received by the editorial board: 02.09.2020

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