previous next

PENTECOSTE

PENTECOSTE (πεντηκοστή), a customsduty of 2 per cent. levied probably upon all exports and imports at Athens (Harpoc. s. v.). It is known to have been levied on woollen cloth and other manufactured goods (Demosth. Meid. p. 558.133), on ruddle (C. I. A. 2, 546=Hicks, No. 108), on cattle (C. I. A. 2, 814 a, A 39 = Dittenberger, No. 70; Hicks, No. 82), and on corn [Demosth.] Neaer. p. 1353.27. Corn, however, could only be imported, exportation being prohibited (Plut. Sol. 24). On imports the duty was payable on the unloading (Demosth. Lacrit. p. 932.29); on exports, probably when the goods were shipped. In paying the duty the merchant was said πεντηκοντεύεσθαι (Demosth. l.c.). The customs were farmed out, probably from year to year. They were let to the highest bidders by the πωληταί [POLETAE] acting under the authority of the senate. The farmers were called τελῶναι [TELONES], and were said ὠνεῖσθαι τὴν πεντηκοστήν. The chairman or principal of a company of τελῶναι was called ἀρχώνης (Andoc. 17. Boeckh, Staatsthaushaltung, is apparently wrong in Bk. 3.6 about the ἀρχώνης τῆς πεντηκοστὴς in this passage of Andocides; the πεντηκοστὴ meant must be the import-duty, as Bk. 3.4 takes it). Whether the customs on different articles of merchandise were farmed together or separately does not appear. The corn-duty, at least, was kept distinct ([Demosth.] Neaer. l.c.). But Andocides speaks (p. 17) as if all the πεντηκοστὴ was farmed at once. The collectors of the duty (πεντηκοστολόγοι) kept books, to entries in which (ἀπογραφή) Demosthenes appeals (Phorm. p. 909.7). For calculations as to the amount of revenue derived at Athens from this source, or in Macedonia, Thrace, or Rhodes, the reader may consult Boeckh, vol. i. pp. 384-7. Pollux (8.132) appears to identify the πεντηκοστὴ with a charge called the ἐλλιμένιον; but it is more probable that the latter was merely a duty paid for the use of the harbour. Another tax at the Piraeus was the ἑκατοστή, or 1 per cent. (cf. Xen. Rep. Ath. 1.1. 7), but it is impossible to discover what the tax was. It may have been identical with the ἐλλιμένιον, but there is no proof. For the speculations on its nature of Boeckh and of his editor Fränkel, see the Staatshaushaltung, edit. 3, vol. i. p. 390, and vol. ii. p. 77*. Aristophanes (Vespae, 658) mentions many taxes of 1 per cent. Smuggling was practised in Attica at the φωρῶν λιμήν (Demosth. Lacr. p. 932.28): see Dict. Geog. 1.325 b. [ELLIMENION; TELONES.]

Nothing seems to be known of customs-duties imposed by the Athenians by land.

[F.T.R]

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: