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EICO´STE (εἰκοστή), a custom duty of one-twentieth (five per cent.) upon all commodities exported or imported by sea in the states of the allies subject to Athens. This tax was first imposed Ol. 91, 4, B.C. 413-2, in the place of the direct tribute (φόρος) which had up to this time been paid by the subject allies; and the change was made with the hope of raising a greater revenue (Thuc. 7.28). The date 415, given by Boeckh in his first edition from which Lewis' translation is taken, was subsequently corrected by him; it was after the occupation of Decelea in the spring of 413. This tax, like so many others, was farmed, and the farmers of it were called εἰκοστολόγοι. It must have been more difficult to collect than the φόρος, and this at a time when the hold of Athens over the payers was much enfeebled; and there is good reason to think with Grote (ch. 61 init., 5.312) that the change was never fully carried out. It is certain that some states continued to pay φόρος after 413 (Xen. Hell. 1.3, § 9; C. I. A. 4.51). The text of Thucydides contains the unusual expression τὴν εἰκοστὴν ἐποίησαν, for which Badham conjectures ἐπέθεσαν, and Classen with more probability ἐπέταξαν: and Müller-Strübing regards the passage as an interpolation (Thukyd. Forschungen, p. 30 ff., quoted by Gilbert and Fränkel). The εἰκοστή however, does not rest upon the evidence of Thucydides alone (Bekk. Anecd. 185, 21: δεκάτη καὶ εἰκοστή: οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι ἐκ τῶν νησιωτῶν ταῦτα ἐλάμβανον); and the probable conclusion is that the new arrangement took effect in some of the subject states and not in others. The εἰκοστολόγος at Aegina mentioned by Aristophanes (Aristoph. Frogs 363) was, in Boeckh's later view, the collector of some special tax and not of the εἰκοστὴ in lieu of φόρος (Sthh.3 1.396, 2.351): Fränkel further points out, in confirmation of this, that the island had been occupied by Athenian cleruchi from the beginning of the war, and could not therefore have paid φόρος at all. With the fall of Athens both forms of taxation of course came to an end; but both were afterwards revived, the φόρος under the less invidious name of σύνταξις [SYNTAXIS]. Within a few years of the battle of Cnidus Athenian commanders were again levying the δεκάτη on the Hellespont (Xen. Hell. 4.8, § 27; Diod. 13.64), and, as we know from inscriptions very recently discovered, the εἰκοστὴ among their subject allies (e. g. Clazomenae, Mittheilungen d. archäol. Institutes, 7.174 ff.; Thasos, ib. 313 ff.). On an εἰκοστὴ attributed to the sons of Pisistratus, see DECUMAE p. 603 a. (Boeckh, P. E. pp. 325, 401 = Sthh.3 1.395 ff., 475; Fränkel, n. 537; Gilbert, Staatsalterth. 1.332.)

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hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Aristophanes, Frogs, 363
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 13.64
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 1.3
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 4.8
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.28
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