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After the loss of your fleet and the investment of Athens1 you discussed ways and means of re-uniting the city. As a result you decided to reinstate those who had lost their civic rights, a resolution moved by Patrocleides. Now who were the disfranchised, and what were their different disabilities? I will explain.2

First, state-debtors. All who had been condemned on their accounts when vacating a public office, all who had been condemned as judgement-debtors,3 all those fined in a public action or under the summary jurisdiction of a magistrate, all who farmed taxes and then defaulted or were liable to the state as sureties for a defaulter,4 had to pay within eight Prytanies; otherwise, the sum due was doubled and the delinquent's property distrained upon.5

1 The fleet was lost at Aegospotami, Sept. 405; this disaster was followed by the siege of Athens, which finally capitulated in April 404. The decree of Patrocleides was passed in the autumn of 405.

2 For the relevance of the following paragraphs see Introd. pp. 331-332.

3 Persons against whom judgement had been given in a civil action, but who refused (a) to pay the damages awarded to the plaintiff by the court, (b) to cede to the plaintiff property to which he had established his claim, were liable to a δίκη ἐξούλης. Such suits were common at Athens, where the machinery for ensuring that a judgement was enforced was lamentably defective.

4 Tax-farmers usually formed themselves into companies headed by an ἀρχώνης who personally contracted with the state for the purchase of the right to collect a given tax. The agreed sum was not paid until the tax had been collected; and so the ἀρχώνης had to furnish sureties, who became liable if he himself defaulted. It was the practice to auction the various taxes, the highest bidder obtaining the right to farm them, cf. Andoc. 1.133.

5 The six classes of state-debtor here enumerated suffered disfranchisement only so long as their debt remained unpaid. They were allowed eight Prytanies (i.e. roughly nine months) in which to find the money; at the end of that time their property was distrained upon for double the original amount. Should the confiscation fail to produce the requisite sum, they remained ἄτιμοι until the balance was forthcoming.

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