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Economy of the Sacred in Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor$
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Beate Dignas

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199254088

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199254088.001.0001

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Assessing Sacred Wealth: Finances, Land, Administration

Assessing Sacred Wealth: Finances, Land, Administration

Chapter:
(p.13) Chapter 1 Assessing Sacred Wealth: Finances, Land, Administration
Source:
Economy of the Sacred in Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor
Author(s):

BEATE DIGNAS

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199254088.003.0002

Two dimensions of the cults are crucial for an assessment of temple finances in Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor in a wider sense: sacred finances and sacred land. This chapter examines the role of sacred revenues and land within and outside the polis or city. If one looks at the physical context of Greek sanctuaries, the impact of religion on economic activity is immediately visible: the construction of buildings used for religious purposes consumed great resources and created an extraordinary demand for labour. Although the economy of cults was not so much based on the economics of dedications, these did contribute to the prosperity of the cults. Many inscriptions give an idea of a sacred budget, that is of the regular and irregular expenses and revenues of a cult, as well as the costs and profit of sacrifices, the upkeep of sacred buildings, the taxes imposed on worshippers, fines, foundations, legacies, and the like.

Keywords:   finances, land, sacred wealth, sanctuaries, Roman Asia Minor, Hellenistic period, religion, cults

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