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The Council also shares in the administration of the other offices in most affairs. First there are the ten Treasurers of Athena, elected one from a tribe by lot, from the Five-hundred-bushel class, according to the law of Solon (which is still in force), and the one on whom the lot falls holds office even though he is quite a poor man. They take over the custody of the statue of Athena and the Victories1 and the other monuments and the funds in the presence of the Council. [2]

Then there are the ten Vendors, elected by lot one from a tribe. They farm out all public contracts and sell the mines and the taxes, with the co-operation of the Treasurer of Military Funds and those elected to superintend the Spectacle Fund, in the presence of the Council, and ratify the purchase for the person for whom the Council votes, and the mines sold and the workings that have been sold for three years and the concessions sold for...2 years. And the estates of persons banished by the Areopagus and of the others they sell at a meeting of the Council, but the sale is ratified by the Nine Archons. And they draw up and furnish to the Council a list written on whitened tablets3 of the taxes sold for a year, showing the purchaser and the price that he is paying. [3] And they draw up ten separate lists of those who have to pay in each presidency, and separate lists of those who have to pay three times in the year, making a list for each date of payment, and a separate list of those who have to pay in the ninth presidency. They also draw up a list of the farms and houses written off4 and sold in the jury-court; for these sales are also conducted by these officials. Payment must be made for purchases of houses within five years, and for farms within ten; and they make these payments in the ninth presidency. [4] Also the King-archon introduces the letting of domains, having made a list of them on whitened tablets. These also are let for ten years, and the rent is paid in the ninth presidency; hence in that presidency a very large revenue comes in. [5] The tablets written up with the list of payments are brought before the Council, but are in the keeping of the official clerk; and whenever a payment of money is made, he takes down from the pillars and hands over to the receivers just these tablets showing the persons whose money is to be paid on that day and wiped off the record, but the other tablets are stored away separately in order that they may not be wiped off before payment is made.

1 Golden figures, kept in the Parthenon; probably there had been ten, but eight were melted down for coinage towards the end of the Peloponnesian War.

2 The number half erased may be 10 or 3.

3 Wooden boards coated with chalk, on which notices were scratched; they could be easily rubbed off, cf. Aristot. Ath. Pol. 48.1.

4 i.e., registered as confiscated.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • W. W. How, J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 7.144
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 48.1
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