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These are the functions of the Nine Archons. They also elect by lot ten men as Stewards of the Games, one from each tribe, who when passed as qualified hold office for four years, and administer the procession of the Panathenaic Festival, and the contest in music, the gymnastic contest and the horse-race, and have the Robe1 made, and in conjunction with the Council have the vases2 made, and assign the olive-oil to the competitors. [2] The oil is procured from the sacred trees; and the Archon levies it from the owners of the farms in which the trees are, three quarters of a pint from each trunk. Formerly the state used to sell the fruit, and anybody who dug up or cut down a sacred olive-tree was tried by the Council of Areopagus, and if found guilty punished with death; but ever since the olive-oil has been provided as rent by the owner of the farm, though the law still stands, the trial has gone out; and the state's claim to the oil is calculated on the estate and not on the number of trees.3 [3] So the Archon collects the tribute of oil accruing in his year, and passes it on to the Treasurers at the Acropolis, and he is not allowed to go up to the Areopagus before he has handed the full quantity over to the Treasurers. These have it in their keeping in the Acropolis always, except that at the Panathenaic Festival they dole it out to the Directors of the Games and these to the victorious competitors. For the prizes are for the victors in music silver money and gold vessels, for those in manly beauty shields, and for those in the gymnastic contest and the horse-race olive-oil.

1 See Aristot. Ath. Pol. 49.3 n.

2 In athletic contests the prize was a vase of oil and a garland of foliage from the sacred olive-trees.

3 i.e. the amount per tree stated above is only approximately calculated.

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 49.3
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