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Lycurgus

(c. 390—325 bc)


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(c.390–c.325/4 bc),

Athenian statesman, active after the battle of Chaeronea (338). He played the major part in the control of the city's finances for twelve years, raising the revenue to perhaps 1,200 talents a year, and financing projects by raising capital from individuals; scattered epigraphic evidence attests the wide range of his activities. The powers by which he did it all are obscure. Probably he occupied different offices including the position of steward of the military fund and controlled the whole by personal influence, which manifests itself to us in the varied decrees which he proposed. He carried through a diverse building programme including the completion of the arsenal begun by Eubulus, the rebuilding of the theatre of Dionysus, the construction of docks, and the improvement of the harbours. The substantial increase in the navy in this period is ascribed to him. He concerned himself also with the arrangements for processions and festivals, and had statues of the three great tragic poets erected and an official copy made of their works (later borrowed by Ptolemy II Philadelphus for the library of Alexandria and never returned). In politics he was bitterly suspicious of Macedon and was one of those at first demanded by Alexander (2) the Great in 335. He prosecuted Lysicles who had been a general at Chaeronea and any who after the battle seemed to show signs of defeatism. The fragments of his speeches attest the wide range of his prosecution of corrupt practices.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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