The Constitutional Subunits of Athens as Administrators of 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 Constitutional Subunits of Athens as Administrators of Realty

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Moving from the polis down to its subdivisions, the author looks into landed property managed by the Kleisthenic tribes and the demes. The tribes, an artificial and relatively new institution, were not endowed with vast swaths of land, at least not before the acquisition of Oropos in 335. On the contrary, the demes, acting as mini-poleis, were heavily involved in land administration from their inception. Many deme landholdings were sacred and supported deme cults in a fashion well known at the polis level. Other lands, however, lacked a sacred character. This distinction gives the author the opportunity to examine the structure of the budgets of the Attic demes. Towards the end of the Classical period, Athens initiated a project of land privatization, the so-called Rationes Centesimarum, using the demes as her main selling agents. By depriving the demes of some of their assets, this program arguably undermined the territoriality of many a rural deme.

Keywords: Tribes; demes; Oropos; land administration; deme cults; Rationes Centesimarum; land privatization; territoriality

Chapter.  28956 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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