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[1347a] [1]

It happened that certain aliens residing in the city had lent money on the security of citizens' property. As these aliens did not possess the right of holding such property, the people offered to recognize the title of anyone who chose to pay into the treasury one third of the amount secured.

Hippias of Athens offered for sale upper stories that projected over the public streets,1 together with flights of steps, railings, and doors that opened outwards. The owners of the buildings bought them, and in this way a large sum of money was collected.

He also called in2 the existing currency, promising to pay the holders at a fixed rate. But when they came to receive the new mintage, he reissued the old coins.

Those who were expecting to equip a war-vessel or preside over a tribe or train a chorus or undertake the expense of some other public service of the kind, he allowed, if they chose, to commute the service for a moderate sum, and to be enrolled on the list of those who had performed it.

Moreover, whenever a citizen died, the priestess of the temple of Athena on the Acropolis3 was to receive one quart measure of barley, one of wheat, and a silver obolus.4 And when a child was born, the father paid the same dues.

The Athenian colonists at Potidaea, being in need of funds for the war, agreed that all should make a return of their property for assessment of tax. [20] But instead of each returning the entire amount to his own parish, properties were to be assessed separately, each in its own locality, so that the poor might propose a reduced assessment; while those without any <landed> property were assessed at two minae a head. On these assessments each man paid the State the full amount of the war-tax.

The city of Antissa had been accustomed to celebrate the festival of Dionysus with great magnificence. Year by year5 great provision was made for the occasion, and costly sacrifices were prepared. Now one year the city found itself in need of funds; and shortly before the festival, on the proposal of a citizen named Sosipolis, the people after vowing that they would next year offer to Dionysus a double amount, collected all that had been provided and sold it. In this way they realized a large sum of money to meet their necessity.

On one occasion the people of Lampsacus were expecting to be attacked by a large fleet of triremes.6 The price of barley meal being then four drachmae for a bushel and a half, they instructed the retailers to sell it at six drachmae. Oil, which was at three drachmae for six pints, was to be sold at four drachmae and a half, and wine and other commodities at a proportionate increase. In this way the retailer got the original price,

1 Cf. Goethe,Warheit und Dichtung, Book I. "In Frankfurt, as in several ancient cities, those who had erected wooden buildings had sought to obtain more room by allowing the first and higher floors to overhang in the street. . . . At last a law was carried that in all entirely new houses the first floor alone should project; above that, the wall should be perpendicular." The poet's father, wishing to rebuild his house without sacrifice of floor-space, underpinned the upper stories and renewed the building piecemeal from below. Cf. also 14.

2 Lit. "rendered invalid."

3 This was the public treasury, like the Temple of Saturnus at Rome.

4 1/6 of the drachma. See 3 above.

5 Or "All through the year."

6 War-ships, each propelled by some 174 rowers ranked in three tiers.

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