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Festivals And Finances: The Economic Administration Of Athens

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on Demetrius of Phalerum's interest in the Athenian economy. The dramatic festivals of Athens are believed to have been a target of Demetrius' legislation. He is credited with the introduction of a new official, the agônothetês, whose appearance is coupled with a change to the festival liturgy, the khorêgeia. The interpretation and re-dating of the agônothesia have immediate ramifications for Demetrius' attitude to Athens' other financial liturgies, since his supposed restructuring of the entire liturgic system is largely predicated upon his supposed abolition of the khorêgeia. Throughout the fourth century, Athens' prosperity had come predominantly from two sources: the silver mines and trade revenues. These may have continued to furnish much of the wealth that Athens amassed under Demetrius' aegis, although both faced challenges.

Keywords: Athenian economy; Demetrius of Phalerum; dramatic festivals; financial liturgies; khorêgeia



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