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[128] For some are driven to rehearse and bewail amongst themselves their poverty and privation while others deplore the multitude of duties enjoined upon them by the state—the liturgies and all the nuisances connected with the symmories and with exchanges of property;1 for these are so annoying that those who have means find life more burdensome than those who are continually in want.

1 The burdens of state expense were theoretically carried by those best able to bear them. The twelve hundred richest citizens were divided in accordance with their wealth into twenty classes, called symmories. Special tax levies for war purposes were levied upon them in proportion to their means. Besides, men of the wealthiest class were called upon to perform the “liturgies” at their own expense. One of the most burdensome of these was the trierarchy—fitting out a battleship for service and maintaining it in fighting trim for one year. If a man called upon to undertake such a burden felt that another could better afford to stand the expense he had the right to demand that he do so or else exchange property with him. See Isoc. 15.145, note, and the introduction to that discourse.

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    • Isocrates, Antidosis, 145
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