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Symmoria

συμμορία). A copartnership, or company.


1.

A term used at Athens to denote a company formed to raise the property tax instituted in the year B.C. 428, to defray war expenses. (See Eisphora.) Each of the ten phylae appointed 120 of its wealthier citizens, and these were divided into two symmoriae of sixty members each, so that the number of members in the twenty symmoriae amounted to 1200 (called συμμορίται). Out of each of the twenty symmoriae, fifteen of the wealthier citizens were chosen, making 300 in all, whose duty it was to pay the taxes in advance on behalf of the rest. This sum had to be refunded to them by the rest in conjunction with the poorer taxable citizens, who were likewise apportioned off to various symmoriae, but without becoming actual members of them, and were drawn upon by the real symmoritae to an extent proportional to their means.


2.

After 358, this method was applied to the duty of equipping the war vessels, known as the trierarchia. (See Liturgia.) Each of the twenty symmoriae had a certain number of ships assigned to it; the real symmoritae (not including the poorer citizens) divided the expense among themselves, and a varying number (at the most sixteen) of the richest had to raise the money advanced for a ship. To manage its affairs, each symmoria had its superintendents, curators, and assessors. The magisterial control was in both cases in the hands of the strategi, being connected with the military supplies. Though, by arrangement, the raising of taxes and fitting out of the ships were accelerated, yet it was open to abuse if the symmoritae unduly burdened the poor by an unjust distribution. In the disputes which thus arose, the decision rested with the strategi. If any one thought that another ought to have been taxed instead of himself, he could avail himself of antidosis (q. v.). Even the metoeci, who (like the citizens) had to pay war taxes, were divided into symmoriae. Aristotle (Athen. Pol. 61) describes one of the strategi as individually responsible for superintending the symmoriae for building triremes. See Thumser, De Civium Atheniensium Muneribus (Vienna, 1880).

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