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To begin with, he persuaded you to revise the assessment of the tribute of the subject-states made with the utmost fairness by Aristeides.1 Chosen with nine others to perform the task,2 he practically doubled the contribution of each member of the alliance, while by showing how formidable he was and how influential, he made the revenues of the state a means of procuring revenue for himself.3 Now just consider: when our safety depends entirely upon our allies and those allies are acknowledged to be worse off today than in the past, how could anyone do greater mischief than by doubling the tribute of each?

1 In 478 B.C., at the formation of the Confederacy of Delos. According to Thucydides (Thuc. 1.96), the tribute as assessed by Aristeides amounted to 460 talents. It is difficult to accept this statement, as the existing quota-lists show that even between 450 B.C. and 436 B.C., when the Confederacy was far larger and contributions of money had almost entirely superseded those of ships, the total sum collected never exceeded 455 talents. The original assessment of Aristeides cannot have produced much more than 250 talents.

2 Nothing is known of this reassessment. In 425 B.C. the existing tribute had been practically doubled, probably at the instigation of Cleon (I.G. i1. 63); and the speaker may conceivably be making a mistaken reference to this, although Alcibiades would have been only about twenty-five at the time, and therefore too young to be concerned in it. A second attempt to increase the revenue was made c. 413, when a 5 per cent toll on maritime commerce was instituted in lieu of tribute (Thucyd. vii. 28).

3 i.e. he used his position to extort blackmail, under threat of an excessive assessment.

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