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[68] In the next place, they paid their quotas, not to preserve Athens, but to preserve their own democratic polity and their own freedom and to escape falling into such great misfortunes, through the setting up of oligarchies, as were suffered under the decarchies and the domination of the Lacedaemonians. And, more than that, they paid these contributions, not from funds which they had treasured up through their own efforts, but from resources which they possessed through our aid.1

1 The account here given of the Confederacy of Delos is a fair statement. It was in its origin a voluntary association of the Ionian Greeks, partly against Sparta, but mainly against the Persian Empire, not for protection merely, but for the enrichment of its members at the expense of the barbarians. Each member contributed its quota to the common cause, the more powerful members in ships the weaker in money, φόρος. The quotas appear to have been fixed by Aristides, although approved by the synod of the allies. See Thuc. 5.18; Aristot. Ath. Pol. 23-24.

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (2):
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 23
    • Thucydides, Histories, 5.18
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