The Athenian Polis as Administrator of Sacred Realty

Papazarkadas Nikolaos

in Sacred and Public Land in Ancient Athens

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199694006
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732003 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

The Athenian Polis as Administrator of Sacred Realty

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This is the largest and arguably central chapter of the book, in which the author investigates real property administered by the polis of Athens, i.e., by the central government. He offers an exhaustive account of property belonging to Athena, as the poliadic goddess of Athens; to the so-called Other Gods; to new divinities, primarily Amphiaraos and Asklepios; and to the two Eleusinian Goddesses. After a thorough analysis of the Aristotelian Athenian Constitution 47.4-5, the key literary passage on Athenian administration of sacred lands, Papazarkadas investigates the financial mechanisms by which sacred rentals were invested in order to sustain cultic activity. Such schemes show the importance of sacred landholdings for the smooth function of Athenian religion. Finally, the author probes leasing within the wider frame of Athenian finances, especially in the Lykourgan period.

Keywords: Athena; Other Gods; Amphiaraos; Asklepios; Eleusinian Goddesses; Athenian Constitution; sacred landholdings; sacred rentals; religion; finances; Lykourgan period

Chapter.  39068 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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