Not to be confused with merarch, a Byzantine military rank.

A meridarch or meridarches (Greek: μεριδάρχης, from meris, "division", and -arches, "ruler") was the civil governor of a province in the Hellenistic world (4th-1st centuries BCE), and could be translated as "Divisional Commissioner". Only two mentions of meridarchs are known from ancient sources, one from Palestine, the other from the Indo-Greek kingdom in India.


Shortly after 153 BCE, Josephus relates, Alexander Balas appointed Jonathan Maccabeus as strategos (general) and meridarch (civil governor of a province) of Judea, and sent him back with honors to Jerusalem (I Macc. x. 51–66; Josephus, "Ant." xiii. 4, § 1).

Indo-Greek kingdom

At the far eastern end of the Hellenistic world, in northern India, an inscription in Kharoshthi has been found, referring to a "meridarch Theodorus" and his enshrinement of relics of the Buddha:

"Theudorena meridarkhena pratithavida ime sarira sakamunisa bhagavato bahu-jana-stitiye": "The meridarch Theodorus has enshrined relics of Lord Shakyamuni, for the welfare of the mass of the people" (Swāt relic vase inscription of the Meridarkh Theodoros )

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