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ARGYRO´LOGOI (ἀργυρολόγοι, with or without νῆες), the money-collecting ships of the Athenians, occur frequently in the Peloponnesian War (Thuc. 3.19, 4.50, 4.75; Xen. Hell. 1.1, 8; Aristoph. Kn. 1071). They were ostensibly employed in levying the regular tribute from the subject-allies; but as the needs of Athens became more pressing, their commanders often resorted to arbitrary exactions, even from neutrals. As they acted in small detachments, the number of strategi sent out was large in proportion to that of ships; and the bitterness they provoked is shown by armed resistance and sometimes by the destruction of the plunderers (Classen, on Thuc. 3.19). Alcibiades, who combined skill with popularity, was extremely successful in this kind of business, and on one occasion raised 100 talents in Caria alone (Xen. Hell. 4.4, 9). Boeckh is perhaps unduly severe in arguing, from the single instance of Miltiades, who after all was punished (Hdt. 3.133 ff.), that the Athenians went about as pirates even in the earlier and better times (Boeckh, P. E. p. 586; Hermann, Staatsalterth. § 166 ; cf. Grote, ch. 36, 3.312 ff:; ch. 47, 4.147 ff.).


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