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a territorial district in Attica.
The naucraries probably came into being in the seventh century B.C. There were 48 such districts in existence, 12 for each of the four phylae, or tribes. Their primary function was to maintain the navy; every naucrary was required to furnish the crew for one ship and to equip two riders for war. Each naucrary was headed by a naucrar, replaced yearly, who was charged with provisioning and financing the ship, supervising its construction, and actually commanding it. The naucrars made up a council.
The naucraries flourished under Solon. Cleisthenes increased their number to 50 (ten in each of five phylae), but their political significance declined with the emergence of a new territorial unit, the deme. In the fifth century B.C. (possibly in 483, under Themistocles), the naucraries disappeared; the navy had begun to be built with resources provided by the state and its wealthy citizens with the introduction of a new type of liturgy (public assessment), the trierarchy.