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trierarchy


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Gk. trierarchos

means ‘trireme‐commander’, but at Athens in the 5th and 4th cents. bc the trierarchy was a liturgy, which the richest citizens could be called on to perform for a year. The state provided the ship and its basic equipment, and normally paid for the crew, but the trierarch had not only to command the ship but also to bear the costs of maintenance and repair, which could amount to as much as one talent. After 411 it became common for two men to share responsibility for a ship, and contractors could be found who would relieve the trierarchs of their personal involvement; reforms in 357 and later involved the organization of those liable in symmoriai (‘partnerships’). The liturgy was abolished by Demetrius of Phaleron.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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