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DEMIOPRA´TA

DEMIOPRA´TA (δημιόπρατα) were property confiscated at Athens and sold by public auction. The confiscation of property was one of the most common sources of revenue in many Greek states; and Aristophanes (Aristoph. Wasps 659, Eq. 103, with the Scholia) mentions the δημιόπρατα as a separate branch of the public revenue at Athens. A chapter of Boeckh's Public Economy is devoted to this subject (book iii. ch. 14; cf. also 2.8, p. 197, E. T. = Staatsh.3 1.251). These sales. were under the direction of the POLETAE (q. v.), who presented their reports to the people in the first assembly of each prytany (Pollux, 8.95); they also set up lists of δημιόπρατα (probably after the sale) upon tablets of stone in the Acropolis, at Eleusis (where many forfeitures; accrued to the temple of Demeter and Cora under the law of ἀδέβεια), and elsewhere. Several fragments of such lists are preserved in inscriptions; one of the most important, throwing: light on the prices realised by the Poletae, is discussed in Boeckh-Fränkel (2.129 ff.). The danger of confiscation was constantly impending over public debtors, such as the farmers of the revenue and their sureties, and those in arrear with taxes (ὑπερήμεροι): and it was aggravated by the encouragement given to informers, especially when, as in the time of the Social War, the treasury was labouring under chronic deficits (cf. Boeckh, P. E. p. 435=Staatshh.3 1.511). For examples of the harshness with which the law of distraint might be carried out, and the suffering thereby caused to individuals, see Dem. c. Androt. p. 610.56 ff.; c. Timocr. p. 762.197; and the speech against Neaera, p. 1347.6 ff. Not only the contents of a house might be taken under an execution, but the very doors were sometimes wrenched off (Lys. de Bon. Aristoph. § 31 ; Dem. c. Timocr. 1. c.). On δημιόπρατα in general, see Boeckh--un>Fränkel, Index, s. v. Güter; Meier, de Bonis Damnatorum, p. 160 ff.

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