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Sacred and Public Land in Ancient Athens$

Nikolaos Papazarkadas

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199694006

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199694006.001.0001

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(p.260) APPENDIX II Moriai: Sacred Arboriculture in Classical Athens

(p.260) APPENDIX II Moriai: Sacred Arboriculture in Classical Athens

Sacred and Public Land in Ancient Athens

Papazarkadas Nikolaos

Oxford University Press

i. Athena’s Olives: Administration, Politics, and Economics

Τὴν γοῦν Ἀττικὴν ἐκ τοῦ ἐπὶ πλεῖστον διὰ τὸ λεπτόγεων ἀστασίαστον οὐ̂σαν ἄνθρωποι ᾤκουν οἱ αὐτοί.

Certainly Attica, where the soil is poor and thin, enjoyed for the longest time freedom from civil strife and so was occupied by the same inhabitants.1

This is how Thucydides describes, in his distinctively succinct style, the infertility of the Attic earth in the preface to his History. Yet it was the same meagre soil that forced the Athenians to cultivate that holiest of fruits, the olive. Oleoculture must have been an important element of the Athenian economy from an early period, for Solon is famously said by Plutarch to have prohibited the export of all agricultural products except for olive oil.2 Even more revealing of Athenian attitudes is the depiction of olive leaves on Athena’s helmet on the obverse, and of a small olive twig on the reverse, of the Athenian silver coinage.3 Last but not least, a certain category of olive-trees, the moriai, was singled out as so sacred that a specific administrative scheme had to be deployed for its management. In fact, among the various types of sacred real property the moriai constitute such an unusual case that a (p.261) separate treatment seems indispensable.4 As it happens, we possess an array of precious scraps of information bearing on the issue, although not enough to avoid some speculation, and, of course, the wish that more evidence had survived.

The myth about the contest between Poseidon and Athena for the patronage of Athens is well known. The name of the illustrious city-state leaves no doubt about the outcome of the struggle, and the event was sculpted on the west pediment of arguably the most sumptuous edifice of antiquity, the Parthenon.5 Athena’s gift to her protégés was the olive she planted on the sacred rock of the Acropolis. From this primordial olive twelve new trees were transplanted in the sanctuary of the hero Akademos and comprised a sacred grove. These trees, we are told by our ancient sources, were called moriai.6 The etymology remains obscure, but the most compelling explanation is the connection of the word moria with the stem *μερ, which bears the meaning ‘to be part of’: the moriai were part of Athena’s property.7 Regardless of the soundness of this etymology, the fact remains that the sacred olives (p.262) were considered as considerably more important than common plants and that accordingly the Athenians adopted an overprotective stance towards them. An aetiological myth was promptly invented, and has been transmitted to us by Herodotus: the legendary olive-tree was burnt by the Persians, when they occupied the Acropolis in 480, but sprouted new growth the very next day. From that day onwards the Athenians considered it their task to protect at all costs the scions of the sacred gift of their patron goddess.8 The myth, of course, reflects the longevity of olives as well as their ability to regenerate even after having been burnt: oliva in totum ambusta revixit.9 In any case, the sacred olive in question might have been blossoming on the Acropolis already in the late seventh century: Epimenides, we are told, requested a branch from the tree as his reward for the purification of the city. Late literary evidence aside, the archaeological record is hard to dismiss. Few if any would now doubt that the incised tree of the so-called olive-tree pediment from around the mid-sixth century actually represents Athena’s gift.10

As far as the relevant ancient sources are concerned, by far the most important testimonium is to be found in the Aristotelian Athenian Constitution. Writing about the allotted officials of Athens, the author of the Ath. Pol. comes to the theme of the athlothetai (Commissioners of the prizes), who were in charge of the Great Panathenaia:

κληροῦσι δὲ καὶ ἀθλοθέτας δέκα ἄνδρας, ἕνα τῆς φυλῆς ἑκάστης. οὑ̂τοι δὲ δοκιμασθέντες ἄρχουσι τέτταρα ἔτη, καὶ διοικοῦσι τήν τε πομπὴν τῶν Παναθηναίων καὶ τὸν ἀγῶνα τῆς μουσικῆς καὶ τὸν γυμνικὸν ἀγῶνα καὶ τὴν ἱπποδρομίαν, καὶ τὸν πέπλον ποιοῦνται, καὶ τοὺς ἀμφορεῖς ποιοῦνται μετὰ τῆς βουλῆς, καὶ τὸ ἔλαιον τοῖς ἀθληταῖς ἀποδιδόασι. συλλέγεται δὲ τὸ ἔλαιον ἀπὸ τῶν μοριῶν· εἰσπράττει δὲ τοὺς τὰ χωρία κεκτημένους ἐν οἱ̂ς αἱ μορίαι εἰσὶν ὁ ἄρχων, τρί’ ἡμικοτύλια ἀπὸ τοῦ στελέχους ἑκάστου. πρότερον δ’ ἐπώλει τὸν καρπὸν ἡ π (p.263) όλις· καὶ εἴ τις ἐξορύξειεν ἐλαίαν μορίαν ἢ κατάξειεν, ἔκρινεν ἡ ἐξ Ἀρείου πάγου βουλή, καὶ εἴ [τ]ου καταγνοίη, θανάτῳ τοῦτον ἐζημίουν. ἐξ οὑ̂ δὲ τὸ ἔλαιον ὁ τὸ χωρίον κεκτημένος ἀποτίνει, ὁ μὲν νόμος ἔστιν, ἡ δὲ κρίσις καταλέλυται. τὸ δὲ ἔλα[ιον] ἐκ τοῦ κτήματος, οὐκ ἀπὸ τῶν στελεχῶν ἐστι τῇ πόλει. συλλέξας οὐ̂ν ὁ ἄρχων τὸ ἐφ’ ἑαυ[τοῦ] γιγνόμενον, τοῖς ταμίαις παρ[αδί]δωσιν εἰς ἀκρόπολιν, καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν ἀναβῆναι πρότερον εἰς [Ἄρε]ιον πάγον, πρὶν ἂν ἅπαν παραδῷ τοῖς ταμίαις. οἱ δὲ ταμίαι τὸν μὲν ἄλλον χρόνον τηροῦσιν ἐν ἀκροπόλει, τοῖς δὲ Παναθηναίοις ἀπομετροῦσι τοῖς ἀθλοθέταις, οἱ δ’ ἀθλοθέται τοῖς νικῶσι τῶν ἀγωνιστῶν. ἔστι γὰρ ἀ̂θλα τοῖς μὲν τὴν μουσικὴν νικῶσιν ἀργύριον καὶ χρυσᾶ, τοῖς δὲ τὴν εὐανδρίαν ἀσπίδες, τοῖς δὲ τὸν γυμνικὸν ἀγῶνα καὶ τὴν ἱπποδρομίαν ἔλαιον.

Ten men are appointed by lot as athlothetai, one from each tribe. After being scrutinized they hold office for four years: they administer the Panathenaic procession, and the musical contests, the athletic contests and the horse race; they are responsible for the making of the robe (peplos), and together with the council for the making of the amphorae, and they present the olive oil to the athletes. The oil is collected from the sacred olive-trees (moriai). The (eponymous) archon exacts it from the owners of the land on which moriai grow, one and a half kotylai from each tree. Formerly the city let out the contract for collecting the crop, and if anyone dug up or cut down a moria he was tried by the council of the Areiopagos and, if convicted, sentenced to death. Nowadays, however, the oil is levied from the owners of the land, and the law remains but trials are no longer held: the state now obtains the oil simply from the property, not specifically from the sacred olive-trees. The (eponymous) archon collects the oil produced in his year of office, and hands it over to the treasurers (of Athena) on the Acropolis: he is not allowed to take his place in the council of the Areiopagos, until he has handed all the oil to the treasurers. The treasurers keep the oil on the Acropolis for the meantime, and then at the Panathenaia they measure it out to the athlothetai, and the athlothetai give it to the victorious contestants. The prizes are money and gold for the winners of the musical contests, shields for the winners of the euandria, and olive oil for the athletic contests and the horse race.11

It is clear from this extract that at some unspecified point sacred olive oil was being collected through a tax-farming system, but by the time of the Athenaion Politeia another scheme was in operation. Now, Aristotle’s account partly corresponds to, and partly contradicts, what we know from another ancient writer: Lysias’ seventh speech, entitled Areopagitikos: Defence in the Matter of the Sekos, addressed a charge brought by a certain Nikomachos against an anonymous Athenian for having uprooted a σηκός (sekos). Sekos is a difficult word, and already in post-Classical antiquity (p.264) commentators were struggling to understand whether it designated the stump of a sacred olive or a fence surrounding a moria.12 Be that as it may, the alleged offence took place in 397/6, even though the case came to court at a slightly later, unspecified date.13 In fact, as the defendant claimed in the course of his speech, he had initially been indicted for clearing an olive-tree from his land, but, as the initial charge could not be sustained, a new one was brought against him, namely that he had removed a sekos. Needless to say, the defendant categorically denied that a single private olive-tree, let alone a moria, had ever existed in his plot.14 Primarily by virtue of the literary evidence above, several reconstructions of the administration of moriai have been put forward, with varying degrees of success. Here a full critical synthesis of these various suggestions will be attempted.

Although groves of sacred olive-trees, such as the one in the Akademeia, certainly existed, it would appear that the usual pattern was that of isolated moriai on private estates.15 Of late, it has been suggested that already before the late sixth century the large estates of the landed gentry abounded with (p.265) moriai, an interesting theory that is hard to prove.16 What lies beyond doubt is that the haphazard distribution of moriai across Attica gave rise to a complicated situation, which called for an elaborate response on behalf of the Athenian state. At the beginning of the fourth century the surveillance of the moriai lay with the Areiopagos, the venerable court which occupied itself with religious matters.17 A board of assessors (ἐπιγνώμονες) was sent once a year to inspect the sacred olive-trees, but a monthly inspection carried out by members of the Areiopagos seems to have been in operation too, though we are unaware of the exact nature of both procedures.18 It is worth noting that these committees had the power to impose fines on farmers mishandling moriai, or more probably on farmers tilling land too close to the trees, without necessarily bringing the culprits to the court.19 The absence of the (p.266) eponymous archon from the procedure is noticeable, and perhaps not coincidental. By this time, the penalty for those breaking the relevant law must no longer have been death, but rather exile and confiscation of the convict’s property, as repeatedly implied in the speech.20 However, the existence of moriai on one’s land did not modify one’s rights over it. The owner could pretty well farm his land by himself or lease it out to an interested individual for as long as he wished, his only obligation being the protection and cultivation of Athena’s own trees.21 At approximately the same time a major legal and procedural alteration seems to have taken place. This inference is drawn not only from the combined study of the two passages in question, but also from archaeological observations. An explicatory digression is necessary at this point.

Aristotle’s account underpins a very strong connection between the fruit of the moriai and the most glorious Athenian festival, the Great Panathenaia, a link that can be traced archaeologically.22 Of course, organic materials such as olive oil are not for the most part preserved, but the same is not true of their containers. These are the so-called Panathenaic Amphorae, ceramic vessels that due to various circumstances have survived in large numbers and constitute one of the best studied types of fine Greek pottery.23 This shape of ware first appears in the middle of the sixth century with the establishment of (p.267) the Panathenaia by the archon Hippokleides, an event which is today unanimously dated to 566/5.24 But what is really unique is the persistence of the shape and its decoration for more than five hundred years, down to the first century before our era, a persistence that went as far as the preservation of the old-fashioned black-figure decoration long after it had been rendered oudated by the new red-figure technique. As for the iconography, it consisted of a front panel with an Athena of the warrior-type framed by two columns and a reverse one with the depiction of the athletic event at which the winning contestant had excelled. The conservatism of the Panathenaic amphorae does not mean that they did not undergo any changes over the course of time. On the contrary, the turn of the fifth century marked major innovations. The first novelty was artistic: instead of roosters, the potters started depicting statues on the two columns framing Athena. The second change was the appearance of the name of the eponymous archon next to the trademark dipinti that read τῶν Ἀθήνηθεν ἄθλων (from the prizes of Athens).25 This latter feature has been justifiably connected to the introduction of the administrative scheme described by Aristotle. That is, the old procedure whereby the city leased out to individuals the right to collect olive oil from the moriai was replaced by a new one in which the responsibility lay with the eponymous archon of each year.26 The first fully preserved example is that of Pytheas, eponymous archon of 380/79, but most scholars accept that the name of Philokles, archon of 392/1, can be restored with plausibility in a certain fragmentary vase-inscription and thus the chronology of the new law can be placed somewhere between 396/5 and 393/2.27

But why should the administrative procedures have undergone such a drastic modification? At first glance, the Lysianic speech seems to provide a satisfactory answer. The devastation of Attica in the course of the (p.268) Peloponnesian War had presumably reduced oil production down to the point that olive-oil needs for the Great Panathenaia and the other public religious feasts could not be met. Furthermore, in the atmosphere of lawlessness that accompanied the harsh regime of the Thirty, the whole economic infrastructure of Athens was so severely disrupted that reorganization soon became a necessity.28 Others disagree. If this had been the case, why should a considerable span of time have lapsed before measures were eventually taken? Besides, there is a new consensus among scholars that the ravaging of Attica by the Peloponnesians was less dramatic than previously assumed. Hanson, in his double capacity as ancient historian and agriculturalist, has cogently pointed out that olive-trees in particular are very difficult to uproot or burn and that the effort demanded for a large-scale devastation of this kind is so enormous that it renders such plans unappealing to any potential perpetrators.29 Thus, for the revisionists, the reorganization was of political importance, a proof of the Athenians’ willingness to reassert their power by glorifying anew their most majestic festival, the Panathenaia, something in which they had excelled during the fifth century.30

These scholars draw attention to the partly preserved inscription IG II2 2311 (Syll. 3 1055), a list of prizes awarded to the victors of the Panathenaic contests.31 On epigraphical grounds the list has traditionally been dated to the first quarter of the fourth century—a chronology tallying well with the procedural alteration described above—but Tracy has now fixed the floruit of the letter-cutter in question between 409/8 and 386/5.32 The decision to inscribe the list on stone, rather than on some perishable material, has justifiably been seen as indicative of a major change in the form of the games; hence its connection to the new system for the collection of the oil from the moriai. Here it is worth recalling that IG II2 2311 may not be the earliest list of Panathenaic prizes after all. A long-neglected fifth-century document, IG I3 1386, has more than once been associated with the Panathenaic Games.33 The inscription records prizes for victors of athletic contests, with Lewis thinking of amphoras of oil but doubting the connection to the Panathenaia mainly because the amphoras in question seem to be half those recorded in IG II2 2311.34 But Johnston, who has saved IG I3 1386 from (p.269) oblivion, has reaffirmed the Panathenaic origin of the list.35 If so, IG II2 2311 becomes all the more important, because it arguably shows a very conscious attempt on the part of Athens to strengthen the prestige of her paramount festival by doubling the prizes offered. All things considered, is there anything that could have triggered Athenian imperialistic aspirations and, by implication, the new statute concerning the moriai? The battle of Knidos lends itself to this idea. After the shock of their defeat in 404 by the Lacedaemonians, the Athenians showed a remarkable ability for expeditious recovery. Still, it was only after the naval battle of Knidos in 394, when the Persian fleet under the command of the self-exiled Athenian Konon crushed the Peloponnesians, that Athens re-emerged in the front line of Greek affairs, claiming for herself a protagonist’s role.36 It is in the light of this success, I submit, that one must understand Athenian decisiveness in the use of the Panathenaia as a vehicle for the pursuit of a renewed expansionist policy. A date after the battle of Knidos seems perfectly plausible. Since the battle occured in August 394, almost simultaneously with the Great Panathenaia of that year, a new law could have been passed and put into effect starting from the following Panathenaia, that of 391/0.

If the significance assigned to the reorganization of the Panathenaia seems exaggerated, some statistics might suffice to strengthen this claim. SEG LIII 192 (i.e. IG II2 2311) shows that there were three age classes of Panathenaic competitors, namely boys, beardless youths, and men. It also slightly modifies Aristotle’s account by demonstrating that both those taking first and second victories in the gymnastic and the equestrian events were awarded jars of olive oil. Victorious men were naturally offered a higher prize than their younger counterparts in the same competition, but differentiation also existed among winners of different sports in the same age category. As for the ratio of prizes conferred on victors and runners-up of individual contests respectively, this is, by and large, 5 to 1, though the proportional pattern is not strictly followed throughout. This observation, coupled with more than a century of meticulous study, has established that the total number of jars needed for the Great Panathenaia should have been somewhere between 1200 and 2150 vessels. Shear’s maximal figure of 2100 can be considered a satisfactory starting-point for calculations.37 Still, a quantitative analysis based on the aforementioned estimate can be rather elusive for two reasons. First, there is the fact that amphorae for any forthcoming Great Panathenaia (p.270) were made during the three years that preceded the festival, the tendency being for the majority of them to be made two years ahead. The reasons for this have been postulated in terms of practicality: the officials in charge would not take the risk of collecting olive oil just a year ahead of the games, when a bad crop could result in an insufficient supply, nor did they like the idea of collecting the fruit three years in advance, thus running the risk that the juice would go rancid.38  Reasonable though this may seem, I suspect that biennial cropping of olive-trees could also have had its importance. Alternate-year bearing of the olive is a well-known phenomenon that even modern advanced agricultural research has failed to explain adequately. Biennial cropping is quite often followed by what botanists call synchronization. In comprehensible terms this means that over considerable areas or regions ‘on’ and ‘off’ fruiting years of thousands of olive-trees coincide. Therefore, a picture can be envisaged in which most Attic olive groves had their ‘on’ years two years ahead of the Great Panathenaia.39 A second obstacle in any quantitative analysis is that not all Panathenaic jars were of the same size. At first sight this is perplexing, but parallels from Venetian Crete should help us dispel any difficulties. Thus the standard capacity unit for olive oil in sixteenth-century Crete shows a remarkable fluctuation over time.40 Clearly, what mattered was not long-term stability of the capacity, but uniformity within the same year or within the same short period. Indeed, statistical analysis of the Panathenaic amphorae would show that the trend is for the capacity of the jars to decrease in the course of time. The smallest ones come from the late 320s, both before and after the destructive Lamian War. Such a decrease probably reflects a deterioration of Athenian finances and/or a reduction in oil production, the two factors standing in a mutual, dialectical relationship.41 Yet it seems that jars pertaining to individual Panathenaia were roughly of the same size with only a couple of tantalizing exceptions. Independently, Johnston recently revisited the capacity problem, noted that most ‘Classical Panathenaics lie within the 35–39 l. range’, and concluded, no doubt soundly, that such limited differentation in size was tolerated by those involved in the whole procedure.42

(p.271) With these things established, one can proceed with the estimation of the average volume of Panathenaic amphorae. A relatively well-documented Panathenaic cycle is that of 358/7 with an average capacity of 38.34 litres per jar, which is slightly smaller than an Attic metretes.43 This would mean that at least 80,514 litres of olive oil were awarded to the winners of the games, if we accept c.2100 amphorae per Panathenaic contest. Since Aristotle explicitly states that the archon collected one and a half kotylai from each trunk, that is c.405 c.c.,  it is not hard to estimate how many trees the prize oil could have come from. The result is an extraordinary 198,800 trees. This was not the aggregate of olive-trees cultivated in Attica, but was obviously higher than the total number of the moriai, since Aristotle clearly says that by his time oil was not exclusively collected from the sacred trees.44 Now, the size of Attica has long been estimated at about 2400 km2, out of which some 840 km2 were available for agricultural and arboricultural activities.45 Is, then, the number of 198,800 trees arrived at above a realistic one, given the cultivable extent  of Attica? It appears so. The estimated density of tree-planting in Roman Tripolitania is 30–40 trees per hectare.46 On the basis of the median of 35 trees per hectare, 198,800 trees would correspond to 5680 hectares (c.64980 plethra), that is almost 56.8 km2, or 6.76 per cent of the Attic cultivable soil. Foxhall, however, believes that the planting density in Classical Athens was much closer to that of modern Methana (c.100 trees per ha.).47 If so, we should be thinking in terms of 1980 hectares, or 19.8 km2 of Attic soil (c. 2.35 percent of the cultivable land) contributing to the production of Panathenaic oil. Looking at the issue from a different perspective, we might recall another of Foxhall’s recent estimations: the yearly oil consumption per wealthy Athenian household was between 200 and 330 kg.48 On a 1 litre = 0.96 kg ratio, the 80,514 litres of Panathenaic oil would have weighed some 77,293 kg. So much oil would have covered the yearly needs of 235 to 386 wealthy Athenian families (or, self-evidently, the yearly needs (p.272) of many more families of low economic standing). Obviously the figures are estimations, but they can at least provide a rough idea of the arboricultural background of the sacred-oil system.

These statistics give rise to a further question. Why would the Athenian state have provided such lavish prizes, and, more importantly, why would it have wasted some of its more precious agricultural assets? The Athenians certainly had a huge appreciation for their olive oil production and applied strict regulations to its trade. A scholion on Pindar’s tenth Nemean hymn informs us that no one, other than the Panathenaic victors, was allowed to export olive oil out of Attica.49 This position has often been taken at face value, but archaeological evidence modifies the assertion. Panathenaic amphorae have been discovered all over the ancient Greek world, though, as expected, the majority have been found in Attica. They were deposited as votives in sanctuaries, put in tombs to accompany the dead, but were also used in domestic contexts.50 Some certainly belonged to athletes who had taken their prize, or part of it, back home after the end of the games. The vast quantity of amphorae found in shrines are usually seen as the tangible manifestation of the victorious athletes’ gratitude to propitious divinities.51 In this light, it may not be surprising that most of them have been found on the Athenian Acropolis.52 However, we are told a different story in cases where a number of Panathenaic amphorae, with depictions of contests as diverse as the pankration and horse-racing, are found together. Such archaeological contexts certainly suggest commercial activity, especially since Panathenaic amphorae sometimes bear ‘trademarks’.53 It seems almost impossible that the winner of the full-grown horse race, for instance, would have been able to move his prize of 140 vessels a considerable distance, let alone to consume it by himself.54 And it is highly unlikely that a merchant in Cyrenaica would have been involved in the trade of exclusively Panathenaic jars. The most plausible hypothesis is that Panathenaic amphorae full of olive (p.273) oil were purchased in Attica by tradesmen who approached the victors offering them cash in order to acquire the precious commodity.55 Now, this scenario certainly does not comply with the law which purportedly allowed only the victors to export olive oil. But the law ought not to be completely fictional. What, in fact, it might have promulgated was that only Panathenaic olive oil could be exported. Even this interpretation, however, appears to contradict the Solonian law on the ban on exports of all Attic agricultural products with the exception of olive oil.56 The legal mismatch has passed largely unnoticed. One could assume the revocation of the Solonian law and its substitution with the one attested by the scholiast on Pindar, but this presupposes that the former really dates back to the early sixth century. Though some scholars are keen to believe its Solonian origin by virtue of it having been inscribed on an axon, others think that the reference to the public treasury (τὸ δημόσιον) makes it more likely that the text is a fourth-century invention.57 This in turn would make the two laws, the ‘Solonian’ and the ‘Panathenaic’, contemporary, although a different chronological set for each law within the fourth century cannot be ruled out. In fact, it is not inconceivable that the two passages are extracts from one and the same legal text. In any case, even if we accept the authenticity of the Solonian law in question, as I am inclined to, we should seriously doubt that the law was still in use in the Classical period. The exportation of olive oil cannot have been as widespread a phenomenon as students of Classical Athens uncritically assume.

As demonstrated above, the quantities of olive oil offered every four years as prizes for the Great Panathenaia were substantial. To my mind this observation points in a hitherto unnoticed direction: beyond their political significance, the Great Panathenaia were part of a carefully orchestrated plan for the state-controlled supply of Attic olive oil in international markets.58 Admittedly, fewer than half of the preserved Panathenaic amphorae have (p.274) been found outside Attica and, given the periodicity of the games, Panathenaic olive oil could not have contributed enormously to the trade balance of Athens. Yet the fact that most of the preserved Panathenaic amphorae outside Attica are to be found in areas which comprised important exporters of grain to Athens can hardly be coincidental.59 The short-term benefit to the Athenian state in the shape of tax imposed on the exported cargoes of olive oil would have been modest. In the long term, however, Athens would have lured merchants into the Athenian market; and of course merchants, more often than not, arrived with the longed-for grain. This hypothesis finds some corroboration from other evidence. When the Athenians decided in 346 to bestow exuberant honours on the Bosporan rulers Spartokos and Pairisades for their role in the grain supply of Athens, they did so by commissioning the athlothetai to fulfil this in the Great Panathenaia—not just the games of 346, but every Great Panathenaia. By undertaking to oversee this unusually regular award together with the traditional preparation of the Panathenaic amphorae,  the athlothetai might have been carrying out two duties less incompatible with each other than the casual observer may initially think.60 Moreover, archaeologists have long noticed that the Panathenaic amphorae stylistically draw their origin from the so-called SOS amphorae—vessels used for transportation of olive oil in the seventh and early sixth centuries—either directly or indirectly via the ‘à la brosse’ amphorae.61 But the SOS amphorae (or their immediate successors, the ‘à la brosse’ ones) disappear at approximately the same time when Panathenaic ones make their appearance, the implication being that the latter took over their predecessors’ function.62 And last but not least, there is here a very (p.275) strong case for constructing an argumentum e silentio. Hard as one might search, it is impossible to find for the Classical period any archaeological evidence of Attic oil exports other than that of the Panathenaic amphorae.63

One further point needs clarification: after the introduction of the new legislation that allowed the exploitation of all olive-trees indiscriminately for the collection of Panathenaic oil, one might expect the latter to have lost its symbolic value; it would no longer have been the sacred product of the goddess Athena herself. Todd provisionally branded this process desacralisation, before, rightly, dismissing it.64 An apt remark made by Bentz in his most recent treatment of the issue could remedy this puzzle. The one and a half kotylai of olive oil that had to be collected from each root roughly corresponds to a tenth of the estimated fruit of olives: it was a dekate, a tithe.65 Though not explicitly stated by Aristotle, it seems possible that the olive oil collected for the Panathenaia was a sacred tax in kind, a 10 per cent imposed on Attic oleoculture on behalf of Athena. This hypothesis can be reinforced by comparison with independent sources. In the 24th Demosthenic oration there are two references to tithes of the Goddess (τὰ ἱερά, τὰς δεκάτας τῆς Θεοῦ καὶ τὰς πεντηκοστὰς τῶν ἄλλων Θεῶν), though no context is provided as to their provenance.66 The Demosthenic corpus preserves another law which contains clauses for the protection of private olive-trees:

᾽Ἐάν τις ἐλάαν Ἀθήνησιν ἐξορύττῃ, ἐὰν μὴ εἰς ἱερὸν Ἀθηναίων δημόσιον ἢ δημοτικόν, ἢ ἑαυτῷ χρῆσθαι μέχρι δυοῖν ἐλάαιν τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ ἑκάστου, ἢ ἐπὶ ἀποθανόντα δέῃ χρήσασθαι, ὀφείλειν ἑκατὸν δραχμὰς τῷ δημοσίῳ τῆς ἐλάας ἑκάστης, τὸ δὲ ἐπιδέκατον τούτου τῆς θεοῦ εἰ̂ναι. ὀφειλέτω δὲ καὶ τῷ ἰδιώτῃ τῷ ἐπεξιόντι ἑκατὸν δραχμὰς καθ’ ἑκάστην ἐλάαν. τὰς δὲ δίκας εἰ̂ναι περὶ τούτων πρὸς τοὺς ἄρχοντας, ὡ̂ν ἕκαστοι δικασταί εἰσι. πρυτανεῖα δὲ τιθέτω ὁ διώκων τοῦ αὑτοῦ μέρους. ὅτου δ’ ἂν καταγνωσθῇ, ἐγγραφόντων οἱ ἄρχοντες, πρὸς οὓς ἂν ᾐ̂ ἡ δ (p.276) ίκη, τοῖς πράκτορσιν, ὃ τῷ δημοσίῳ γίγνεται· 〈ὃ δὲ τῇ θεῷ γίγνεται〉, τοῖς ταμίαις τῶν τῆς θεοῦ. ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ἐγγράφωσιν, αὐτοὶ ὀφειλόντων.67

This law dates to the fourth century, a period when the procedure described by Aristotle was already in force. If my interpretation is correct, the 10 per cent fine owed to the goddess by the violators of the law constituted Athena’s compensation for the loss of her 10 per cent share in the oil-production. No surprise then that her treasurers were enjoined to recover the fine. It is worth noting that only the needs of public cults could permit the breach of the relevant restriction in the felling of olive-trees.68

Another document which has surprisingly never been brought into discussion in connection with the moriai is the famous First-Fruits decree. Regardless of its exact date, it contains a rider proposed by Lampon—presumably the well-known seer—on the drafting of a regulation about the aparche of olive oil. It is Lampon himself who is authorized to present the draft to the Council in the ninth prytany; subsequently the Council is ordered to submit the draft to the assembly.69 Due to the elliptical diction not much of substance can be said about the rider. It follows a decree which sets up regulations for the delivery of the first-fruits of grain to the officials of the Eleusinion in honour of Demeter and Kore. Olives, however, were not under the protection of the divine Eleusinian duo; the privilege belonged to Athena.70 And in all probability, it was her officials, the treasurers, who would be assigned tasks similar to those undertaken by the hieropoioi in the main decree. More than a century ago, and in a different context, Mommsen made the very apt comparison between the ῾Ράριον πεδίον—a sacred field at Eleusis that belonged to the two Goddesses and where their sacred crops were cultivated—and the μορίαι, the sacred trees of Athena.71 Yet time and again scholars have overlooked this point and have been misled into taking (p.277) the aparche of olive oil in the amendment to refer to the Eleusinian cult. Not only is this not self-evident, but, I believe, it is wrong. If anything connects the second rider to the main decree it is the similarity of the addressed problem, the administration of an aparche. As the first rider, with its provision for the intercalation of a second Hekatombaion, shows, there is no a priori reason to try and look for an internal correlation between Lampon’s second rider and the decree itself. It is true that no mention of moriai is made in the amendment. Since the inscription belongs to the fifth century one might have expected some reference of a more explicit nature. I do not, however, regard this omission as particularly serious: the crux of the extract is the administration of the ἔλαιον, the olive oil, not of the olive-trees. Unless one day the decree on the first-fruits of olive oil comes to light we cannot retrieve the content of the draft that Lampon would have submitted to the Boule. Given our present state of knowledge about the rider, it is plausible, albeit not certain, that Lampon’s missing decree would have contained the old regulations concerning the farming of the right to collect olive oil from the moriai, as described by Aristotle.

Be that as it may, the last Panathenaic amphora bearing an archontic inscription dates to 312/11, and on this basis it has been inferred that a further change in the administration of the festival was introduced by Demetrios of Phaleron. First the treasurer of the military fund and, after the 140s, the agonothetes of the Panathenaia appear to have taken over the role previously held by the eponymous archon.72 Yet the cause of these changes and the way they might have affected the administration of the moriai is unclear and goes beyond the scope of this study.73

ii. The Sanctity of the moriai

One more theoretical question is still in need of an answer: should one attribute any specific sacredness to the moriai or was their religious aspect a superficial one? We can start our investigation with a unique vase scene attributed to the Dinos Painter. An amphora found in the Geroulanos estate at Trachones (site of the deme Euonymon) has on its front the depiction of the collection of olive oil from a moria. A bearded man called Alkimos appears to pour the oil from one amphora to another (perhaps a Panathenaic jar). Alkimos is helped by a younger man who wears similar clothes. The two men have been interpreted as farmers in whose lands moriai thrived. Interestingly the whole scene takes place under the watchful eye of none other (p.278) than Athena herself. One could hardly expect a more eloquent iconographical confirmation of the divine ownership of the moriai: they lay under the protection of Athena.74 From Sophocles’ Oedipus Coloneus we know that not only Athena, but also Zeus, with the telling epithet Morios, held the sacred trees under divine protection.75 As it happens, in this capacity Zeus was considered significant enough to be included as the recipient of a triple sacrifice in the official sacrificial calendar of Athens from the late fifth century.76 Moreover, the defendant of the Ἀρεοπαγίτικος: περὶ τοῦ σηκοῦ ἀπολογία delivered his speech before the Areiopagos precisely because that was the court that adjudicated on certain religious cases.77 When the same man rhetorically raised the point of his competence to cut down and encroach upon moriai lying in his other estates, he employed the verb ἐπεργάζεσθαι, a technical term long perceived by scholars to denote trespassing upon sacred land.78

Thus, from the Athenians’ point of view the moriai certainly fell within the category of sacred realty. It is, however, surprising to discover that even their enemies took a similar stance. Fragments from the work of both Androtion and Philochorus, the two most prominent Atthidographers, concur on the point that when the Lacedaemonians invaded Attica during the first stage of the Peloponnesian War, they spared the sacred olive-trees out of fear of Athena’s vengeance.79 Another less eminent Atthidographer, Istros, (p.279) provides a more explicit account: curses were imposed upon anyone who felled the moriai.

ὁ δ᾽ Ἴστρος καὶ τὸν ἀριθμὸν αὐτῶν δεδήλωκεν γράφων οὕτως * * * εἰ̂ναι δὲ κλάδον † ἀπὸ τῆς ἐν Ἀκαδημείαι ἐλαίας ἀπὸ τῆς ἐν ἀκροπόλει φυτευθῆναί φασιν. ἐπάρατον † δ᾽ἐποιήσαντας τοὺς ἐμβαλόντας† αὐτὰς ἐκκόψειε φίλος ἢ πολέμιος, δι᾽ ὃ Λακεδαιμόνιοι τὴν λοιπὴν γῆν δηιοῦντες τῆς μὲν Τετραπόλεως ἀπέσχοντο διὰ τοὺς Ἡρακλείδας, τῶν δὲ μορίων διὰ τὰς ἀράς.80

And Istros defined their number writing thus * * * there is a branch † from the olive-tree in Akademeia which, they say, was planted from the olive on the Acropolis. † making accursed those who invaded (?), † should anyone, either friend or foe, cut them down; that is why when the Lacedaiemonians were ravaging all the rest of the countryside they stayed away from the Tetrapolis because of the Heraklidai, and away from the moriai because of the curses.

Those imprecations involved both friendly and hostile perpetrators and hence there is no reason to assume that they were an Athenian defensive device against their invading foes, but rather a generally applied religious prohibition. A gloss found in the Etymologicum Genuinum is relevant:

μορία: ἡ ἐλαία. οἱ μὲν πᾶσαν ἐλαίαν οὕτω καλοῦσιν, οἱ δὲ τὰς ἱερὰς τῇ θεῷ…τινές δέ φασι διὰ τὸν ἐπὶ Ἁλιρροθίῳ μῦθον, ὃς ἑαυτὸν ἀνεῖλεν πελέκει 〈ἐκκόπτων τὰς ἐλαίας, οἱ δὲ ὅτι Ἄρης αὐτὸν ἀνεῖλεν〉 βιασάμενον αὐτοῦ τὴν θυγατέραν Ἀλκίππην. ἀπὸ οὐ̂ν τοῦ περὶ αὐτοῦ μόρου, ὅτι ἀνῃρέθη κόπτων τὰς ἐλαίας, μορία ἐκλήθη. Σέλευκος.

moria: the olive. Some call thus every single olive-tree, others those consecrated to the goddess…some say [that the moriai are thus called] because of the myth concerning Halirrothios, who killed himself with an axe while cutting down the olives, others say that Ares killed him because he had raped his daughter Alkippe. (p.280) Thus it was after his death (moros), since he had died cutting down the olives, that the tree was named moria. Seleukos.81

Seleukos’ etymology cannot stand up to linguistic scrutiny, but the tale might have been the mythological crystallization of the imprecations discussed above: death was the destiny of anyone who dared decimate the sacred olive-trees, heroes included. The story does not end here. The Parium Chronicum and almost all Atthidographers connect Halirrothios’ murder by Ares and the latter’s subsequent trial on a hill in Athens with the naming of the hill as Areios Pagos.82 Here again, what we witness is probably the rationalistic retrospection of the Areiopagos’ involvement in trials concerning the felling of moriai, although the actual sequence of events is hardly retrievable.

In his account of the enmity between the Athenians and the Aeginetans, Herodotus tells one of those fabulous stories he is so fond of: in olden times Epidauria was totally barren and, in their despair, its inhabitants asked for the help of the Delphic oracle. Pythia advised them to set up statues of Damia and Auxesia, eloquent personifications of regenerating powers, and, moreover, to make these statues of olive-wood. Subsequently, the Epidaurians asked for the assistance of the Athenians considering the Attic olive-trees to be of supreme holiness (ἱρωτάτας δὴ κείνας νομίζοντες εἰ̂ναι). The Athenians agreed to supply them with olive wood asking in return that the Epidaurians offer annual sacrifices to Athena Polias and to Erechtheus. The oracle proved to be working.83 What followed need not occupy us here. The crucial thing is that the sacredness of Attic olive-trees was a condition accepted by the parties involved. And yet Herodotus fails to mention moriai. Given his acclaimed religious interests, this is surprising and leaves us bewildered as to whether moriai were the source of the timber at issue at all. But then Herodotus refrains from mentioning moriai, even when he recounts the miraculous blooming of the incinerated olive-tree on the Acropolis. Furthermore, the fact that it is Athena Polias and Erechtheus—alter ego of Poseidon—who feature as the recipients of sacrifices from the Epidaurians would suggest an underlying connection between the timber used and the (p.281) moriai via the contest myth.84 Whatever the truth, the tale is an important proof of the notional sacredness of the Attic olive-trees. Similarly, and maybe even more importantly, the ancient holy image of Athena Polias was made of olive-wood.85 Both stories, then, perfectly illustrate another dimension of the sacredness attributed to the olive trees: it was an immortal property, inherent and transferable in a way similar, but antithetic, to the way that miasma can be transferred from a polluted agent to whomever he comes in contact with.86 Retrospectively one realizes how the ἔλαιον from the moriai would have kept the sacredness of the producing trees.

If the Herodotean passage abounds with ambiguity, independent epigraphical evidence points to the existence of sacred olive-trees that cannot be classified as moriai. In a late fourth-century sacred calendar of unknown provenance, we encounter the phrase τῶν ἱερῶν ἐλαῶν;87 these do not appear to have been moriai, but rather olive trees planted in a temenos belonging to Herakles and rendered sacred by virtue of their location. We remain baffled concerning the olive trees in the Euboean temene leased out by the Athenians in the 420s, though an epigraphical restoration would make them sacred too.88 Finally, no sacredness is immediately evident in the case of the olive trees in another Herakleion, that of the Salaminioi,89 or of the two hundred olive trees that were to be planted in the temenos of Neleus in the emphyteutic lease IG I3 84 (418/7). Overall, such evidence urges us to identify two different categories of sacred trees: on the one hand moriai, distinguishable sacred olives with no or very limited geographic concentration, and, on the other hand, flora consecrated to divinities as part of a wider frame of sacred real property.90

(p.282) The preceding discussion has various implications. In particular, the extracts of Atthidographic lore would prove the defendant of the seventh Lysianic speech a liar, in that his insistence on the destruction of moriai by the Peloponnesians contradicts the picture we have drawn above. Secondly, they confirm the often adduced and yet rarely proven doctrine that sacred property was considered inalienable. Still, it seems at least enigmatic how the invaders would have been able to distinguish the sacred olive trees from the profane ones.91 Surely some must have been enclosed with a wooden fence such as that implied by the title of the Lysianic speech, in which case the issue at stake would have been an entrenched area containing a moria, not solely a tree.92 By way of comparison, we might recall here the sacred fig in the Eleusinion, which seems to have been surrounded by a specifically designed structure.93 The possibility of delimitation has now been forcefully explored by Foxhall, who pronounces: ‘Marked off as they were, [the moriai] would have been immediately identifiable to both local farmers and invading armies’.94 That elsewhere olive trees themselves could be and were perceived as landmarks can now be seen beyond doubt in a recently published Parian deed of sale.95 Two further suggestions, not incongruous with the one just investigated, could be put forward: (a) the moriai were distinguishable because of their age;96 (b) the moriai were distinguishable because of their subspecies, or probably cultivar.97 I raise these possibilities only to plead agnosticism.

(p.283) Paradoxically, whereas the visibility of the moriai can prove a frustratingly elusive topic, their very existence and especially their proliferation might be susceptible to good interpretative attempts. The functional explanation might be the easiest: from the Acropolis to the Akademeia, and from there to the Attic hinterland, the dissemination of the olive might have followed a centrifugal pattern formulated by the polis. The aims might have been practical—increase of agricultural output—but the means might have been religious: consecration of the fruit-bearing tree. But the dissemination need not have been state-sponsored. Still in mainland Greece: thousands were the olive trees donated to monasteries or church establishments throughout the Byzantine and Ottoman period. A society that was wont to dedicate an assortment of objects, garments, precious jewellery, would not have shied away from dedicating trees.

In conclusion, it seems that, since exogenous circumstances did not allow the Athenians to stay attached to ancient religious traditions by relying on their dying moriai, a formula was found which did not disturb the sacred prerequisites in the course of their administrative tactics. Agrarian societies demonstrate a remarkable ability to accomplish a balance between their practical needs and their embedded religious beliefs, and the Athenians constitute an excellent example of this.98 Despite the evidence adduced, scholars have often favoured the designation of moriai as state-property.99 This is a biased misreading of Greek religion within the framework of the polis. As with the temene, the revenue-bearing estates, the administration of the sacred olive trees was in the hands of human agents, citizens appointed by, and accountable to, the polis. The nominal ownership, however, belonged to the Goddess, as most ancient writers repeatedly emphasize. More precisely, it related to Athena in her capacity as Polias, the official divine protectress of the city. In effect, we may conclude, her moriai along with their fences (σηκοί) were nothing but tiny temene like those attested as belonging to Athena in inscribed leases.100 Over and over again it has been illustrated how the political community of Athens perceived and articulated itself in a nexus of myths and rituals comprising ideas like the autochthony (p.284) or the exclusive grant of agricultural knowledge by the Gods.101 It is in this light that moriai should be dealt with, as a means by which one can capture some glimpses of Athenian history, from religious taboos to personal legal skirmishes, to imperialistic aspirations and economic ventures.


(1) Thuc. 1.1.5 with Hornblower 1991, 12.

(2) Plut. Vit. Sol. 24.1–2: τῶν δὲ γινομένων διάθεσιν πρὸς ξένους ἐλαίου μόνον ἔδωκεν, ἄλλα δ’ ἐξάγειν ἐκώλυσε, καὶ κατὰ τῶν ἐξαγόντων ἀρὰς τὸν ἄρχοντα ποιεῖσθαι προσέταξεν, ἢ τίνειν αὐτὸν ἑκατὸν δραχμὰς εἰς τὸ δημόσιον· καὶ πρῶτος ἄξων ἐστὶν ὁ τοῦτον περιέχων τὸν νόμον (He allowed the sale of products to foreigners only in the case of olive oil, and prohibited their export, and he ordered the archon to lay curses against those who exported them, or else pay a fine of a hundred drachmas to the public treasury. The first axon is that which contains this law; trans. by Dillon and Garland 1994, 82); cf. Descat 1993. For the Mediterranean perspective see Horden and Purcell 2000, 211. The claim by Moreno 2007, 334, that the ban was enforced by the σιτοφύλακες (grain-guardians) fails the evidential test.

(3) The olive leaves on the brow of Athena’s helmet are thought to have been introduced on Athenian coinage after 480, if not later (after 475): Starr 1970, 8–12; Wartenberg 1995, 6. The olive twig, however, is usually associated with the Group L owl tetradrachms (post-510 according to Kroll 1981, 24–30). For these and related problems of early Athenian coinage, see now Flament 2007, 34–54.

(4) For brief separate discussions of the moriai see Latte 1935; Isager and Skydsgaard 1992, 203–5; Der Neue Pauly 10 (1990), s.v. μορία.

(5) Parker 1987b, 198–200; Palagia 1998, 40–59.

(6) Ar. Nu. 1005: ἀλλ᾽ εἰς Ἀκαδημείαν κατιὼν ὑπὸ ταῖς μορίαις ἀποθρέξει (but you will go down to the Akademeia and you will start a race under the moriai); Paus. 1.30.2: ἐν Ἀκαδημίᾳ δέ ἐστι Προμηθέως βωμός…καὶ ἔνδον Ἀθηνᾶς, τὸν δὲ Ἡρακλέους ἐποίησαν. καὶ φυτὸν ἐλαίας, δεύτερον τοῦτο λεγόμενον φανῆναι (In the Akademia there is an altar to Prometheus…and one to Athena, and within they have built one to Herakles. There is also an olive-tree, said to be the second that appeared), with Papachatzes 1974, 394–5;  Phot. s.v. μορίαι ἐλαῖαι· ἱεραὶ τῆς Ἀθηνᾶς, ἐξ ὡ̂ν τὸ ἔπαθλον ἐδίδοτο τοῖς νικῶσι τὰ Παναθήναια· ἠ̂σαν δὲ πρῶται ιβ´ τὸν ἀριθμὸν αἱ μεταφυτευθεῖσαι ἐκ τῆς ἀκροπόλεως εἰς τὴν Ἀκαδημίαν (moriai olives; the sacred olives of Athena from which the prizes used to be given to the Panathenaic victors. There were at first 12 olives which were transplanted from the Acropolis into the Akademeia); thus Suda s.v. μορίαι. It seems likely that the planting of the twelve trees in the Akademeia was the initiative of Kimon, who was the first to create a grove in the shrine, according to Plutarch, although the latter does not explicitly mention moriai; Plut. Vit. Cim. 13.7: πρῶτος δὲ ταῖς λεγομέναις ἐλευθερίοις καὶ γλαφυραῖς διατριβαῖς, αἳ μικρὸν ὕστερον ὑπερφυῶς ἠγαπήθησαν, ἐκαλλώπισε τὸ ἄστυ, τὴν μὲν ἀγορὰν πλατάνοις καταφυτεύσας, τὴν δ’ Ἀκαδήμειαν ἐξ ἀνύδρου καὶ αὐχμηρᾶς κατάρρυτον ἀποδείξας ἄλσος, ἠσκημένον ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ δρόμοις καθαροῖς καὶ συσκίοις περιπάτοις (he was the first to beautify the city with the so-called liberal and elegant resorts, which were so excessively popular a little later, by planting the Agora with plane trees and by coverting the Academy from a waterless and arid spot into a well-watered grove, which he provided with clean running-tracks and shady walks; trans. by Perrin 1914).

(7) Frisk 1970 s.v. μορίαι; Isager and Skydsgaard 1992, 203–4. The alternative etymological interpretations offered by Photios (s.v. μορίαι ἐλαῖαι· ἤτοι ἀπὸ τοῦ μόρου καὶ τοῦ φόνου τοῦ Ἁλιρροθίου ὀνομασθεῖσαι οὕτως ἢ ὅτι ἐνέμοντο καὶ ἐμερίζοντο τὸ ἔλαιον τὸ ἐξ αὐτῶν Ἀθηναῖοι ἅπαντες: moriai olives; they were thus called either from the death and the murder of Halirrothios or because all the Athenians enjoyed and shared the oil from them) are hardly convincing.

(8) Hdt. 8.55: ταύτην ὠ̂ν τὴν ἐλαίην ἅμα τῷ ἄλλῳ ἱρῷ κατέλαβε ἐμπρησθῆναι ὑπὸ τῶν βαρβάρων· δευτέρῃ δὲ ἡμέρῃ ἀπὸ τῆς ἐμπρήσιος Ἀθηναίων οἱ θύειν ὑπὸ βασιλέος κελευόμενοι ὡς ἀνέβησαν ἐς τὸ ἱρόν, ὥρων βλαστὸν ἐκ τοῦ στελέχεος ὅσον τε πηχυαῖον ἀναδεδραμηκότα (Now it was so, that the olive-tree was burnt with the rest of the shrine by the foreigners; but on the day after its burning, when the Athenians bidden by the King to sacrifice went up to the shrine, they saw a shoot of about a cubit’s length sprung from the trunk; trans. by Godley 1925), with Vannicelli 2003, 257–9; cf. Sourvinou-Inwood 1990, 306.

(9) Plin. HN 17.241 (an olive tree, even after being completely incinerated, rejuvenates). The miraculous aspect of Herodotus’ story was therefore not the regrowth of the olive (thus Harrison 2000, 69), but its celerity.

(10) Plut. Vit. Sol. 12.12: ᾽Ἐπιμενίδης μὲν οὐ̂ν μάλιστα θαυμασθεὶς, καὶ χρήματα διδόντων πολλὰ καὶ τιμὰς μεγάλας τῶν Ἀθηναίων, οὐδὲν ἢ θαλλὸν ἀπὸ τῆς ἱερᾶς ἐλαίας αἰτησάμενος καὶ λαβὼν ἀπῆλθεν (Well then, Epimenides was vastly admired by the Athenians who offered him much money and large honours; but he asked for nothing more than a branch of the sacred olive-tree, with which he returned home; trans. by Perrin 1914). Olive-tree pediment: Kiilerich 1989, esp. 10–21; Ridgway 1993, 290–1; Hurwit 1999, 113–14 (dates proposed for the pediment range from 580 down to 540).

(11) Arist. [Ath. Pol.] 60.1–3; translation by Rhodes 1984.

(12) Harp. s.v. σηκός (cf. Gernet and Bizos 1959, 107; Todd 2000, 79 with n. 5). There seems to be little, if any, value in Phot. Bibliotheka, 489a14, ὁ σηκὸς δὲ νῦν εἰ̂δός ἐστιν ἱερᾶς ἐλαίας (‘in this context the word sekos is used of a type of sacred olive’), probably a guess. In this I follow a suggestion by Wilson 1994, 250 n. 3, even though both he and Todd 2007, 478, ultimately favour the interpretation of νῦν as ‘now’, detecting echoes of Hellenistic exegesis.

(13) The date of the speech is given as ‘considerably later than 397’ by Lamb 1930, 145; as 396 by Tzoumeleas, 159; as c.396–395 by Carey 1989, 114, who is cautiously followed by Todd 2007, 480–1; Gernet and Bizos 1959, 110 simply note that 397/6 is the terminus post quem.

(14) Lys. 7.5: ἡγοῦμαι τοίνυν, ὠ̂ βουλή, ἐμὸν ἔργον ἀποδεῖξαι ὡς, ἐπειδὴ τὸ χωρίον ἐκτησάμην, οὔτ᾽ ἐλαία οὔτε σηκὸς ἐνῆν ἐν αὐτῷ (In my view, therefore, members of the council, my task is to show that, when I acquired the land, there was neither an olive-tree nor a sekos upon it); 7.10: ὃς δύο ἔτη ἐγεώργησεν, οὔτε ἰδίαν ἐλαίαν οὔτε μορίαν οὔτε σηκὸν παραλαβών (he farmed it for two years, and did not take over any private olive-tree, or moria, or sekos); trans. here and throughout by Todd 2007.

(15) Note Lys. 7.24, where the defendant claims, certainly with rhetorical exaggeration, that there were a lot of moriai in his other landholdings, and Arist. [Ath. Pol.] 60.2 (cf. Foxhall 2007, 118–19). Surely something similar underlies the notoriously obscure passage of Arist. [Oec.] II, 1346b: Βυζάντιοι δὲ δεηθέντες χρημάτων τὰ τεμένη τὰ δημόσια ἀπέδοντο, τὰ μὲν κάρπιμα χρόνον τινά, τὰ δὲ ἄκαρπα ἀεννάως·τά τε θιασωτικὰ καὶ τὰ πατριωτικὰ ὡσαύτως· καὶ ὅσα ἐν χωρίοις ἰδιωτικοῖς ἠ̂ν (When the Byzantians were in need of money they sold the temene that were administered by the city; those under crops, for a term of years, and those uncultivated, in perpetuity. Likewise they sold temene administered by thiasoi and temene administered by phratries, especially those located on private estates), where state-controlled landholdings feature as enclaves in private properties; cf. Lambert 1997a, 279, and see Chapter 4, n. 15 above. As late as the 1960s in villages of Lakonia one could find in the middle of landholdings isolated trees that belonged to owners other than those of the encapsulating lands (account of A. P. Matthaiou, an eyewitness).

(16) See Tiverios 2000b, 520–2, who interprets Attic graffiti on Archaic SOS amphorae as belonging to Athenian olive cultivators; more recently Tiverios 2007, 8–9. Harding 1994, 149 will speculatively connect olive-oil production to the twelve trittyes and push the whole institution back to the Bronze Age.

(17) Apart from the evidence discussed below, the jurisdiction of the Areiopagos is clear from the transmitted title of Lysias’ speech and, of course, from Aristotle’s unambiguous statement ἔκρινεν ἡ ἐξ Ἀρείου Πάγου βουλή, presumably the same as the βουλή of the Lysianic speech (cf. Foxhall 2007, 118).

(18) Lys. 7.25: αὐτοὺς τοίνυν ὑμᾶς τούτων μάρτυρας παρέξομαι, ἐπιμελουμένους μὲν ἑκάστου μηνός, ἐπιγνώμονας δὲ πέμποντας καθ᾽ ἕκαστον ἐνιαυτόν (so I shall provide you yourselves as witnesses, since you supervise every month and you send out inspectors every year), with Wallace 1985, 122 (Albini 1955, 46 is wrong to conflate the two boards); Harp. s.v. ἐπιγνώμονας, with Rhodes 1993, 673 (cf. the epignomones of the Klytidai—interestingly, supervising transactions related to wood-felling—in SEG XXII 508 ll. A42–5, B43–7, with Fantasia 1977, 52; Behrend 1990, 241). The official title of those councillors of the Areiopagos carrying out the monthly inspection was probably ἐπιμεληταί, as implied by Lys. 7.29: τοῦτον δ᾽ ὃς γεωργῶν ἐγγὺς τυγχάνει οὔτ᾽ ἐπιμελητὴς ᾑρημένος (this man who, as it happens, is neither farming near me nor has he been elected as a supervisor); cf. Todd 2007, 531. To judge from the participle ᾑρημένος, the superintendents were elected, rather than chosen by lot. At any rate, Lys. 7.7: ἐπίστασθε δέ, ὠ̂ βουλή, ὅσοι μάλιστα τῶν τοιούτων ἐπιμέλεσθε (and you know, members of the Council, especially those of you who have supervised such things), shows that not all members of the Areiopagos participated in the inspection.

(19) This is certainly the implication of Lys. 7.25–6: ὡ̂ν οὐδεὶς πώποτ’ ἐζημίωσέ μ’ ὡς ἐργαζόμενον τὰ περὶ τὰς μορίας χωρία. καίτοι οὐ δήπου τὰς μὲν μικρὰς ζημίας οὕτω περὶ πολλοῦ ποιοῦμαι (none of these has ever penalized me for working the ground around the moriai. Now surely, when I pay so much regard to those small penalties…), and 7.29: δεινὸν δέ μοι δοκεῖ εἰ̂ναι ὑμᾶς μέν, οἱ̂ς ὑπὸ τῆς πόλεως τὸν ἅπαντα χρόνον προστέτακται τῶν μορίων ἐλαιῶν ἐπιμελεῖσθαι, μήθ’ ὡς ἐπεργαζόμενον πώποτε ζημιῶσαί 〈με〉…(and I feel it is extraordinary that you, who have been charged with the supervision of the sacred olive-trees in perpetuity by the city, have never either penalized me for encroaching on one of the them…); cf. Rhodes 1993, 673; Horster 2006, 168. Here ζημίαι must be the technical term designating summary fines imposed by officials for minor offences (thus Gernet and Bizos 1959, 116; Todd 2007, 531). This and the speaker’s reference to the tilling of ground around the moriai are reminiscent of the Solonian law that prohibited farmers from planting trees too close to neighbouring plots: Plut. Vit. Sol. 23.7: ὥρισε δὲ καὶ φυτειῶν μέτρα μάλ’ ἐμπείρως, τοὺς μὲν ἄλλο τι φυτεύοντας ἐν ἀγρῷ πέντε πόδας ἀπέχειν τοῦ γείτονος κελεύσας, τοὺς δὲ συκῆν ἢ ἐλαίαν ἐννέα (he also showed great experience in the limits which he set to the planting of trees; no one could set out a tree in a field within five feet of his neighbour's field, or, in case it was a fig-tree or an olive-tree, within nine; trans. by Perrin 1914), with Foxhall 2007, 116.

(20) In Lys. 7.3, 25, 41, the two things at stake are the speaker’s fatherland (πατρίς) and property (οὐσία). See Rhodes 1993, 673; Todd 2000, 77–8. Clearly the de facto abandonment of the death penalty mentioned by Aristotle had already taken place before 397/6. Horster 2006, however, suspects inadvertent distortion of the truth on behalf of Aristotle.

(21) Thus the property in question of the seventh Lysianic speech changed hands seven times within a period of  fifteen years! For a scholastic tabulation of the relevant transactions see Carey 1989, 125.

(22) See also n. 6 above, and Lucian, Anach. 9: ΑΝΑΧΑΡΣΙΣ: Τὰ δὲ ἀ̂θλα τίνα ὑμῖν ταῦτά ἐστιν; ΣΟΛΩΝ: Ὀλυμπίασι μὲν στέφανος ἐκ κοτίνου…παρ᾽ ἡμῖν δὲ τοῖς Παναθηναίοις τὸ ἔλαιον τὸ ἐκ τῆς μορίας (Anacharsis: What sort of prizes do you have? Solon: For the Olympics the prize is a crown from a young olive branch, whereas for our Panathenaia the prize is the oil from the moriai).

(23) The most up-to-date discussion is now Bentz 1998; see also Tiverios 2007. Eschbach 2007 and especially Themelis 2007 have provocatively suggested that the Panathenaic amphorae should be dissociated from the games. Despite some seemingly believable arguments, this new revisionist position violates the semantics of Panathenaic amphorae, including the existence of archontic inscriptions for which see below. For a critical (and persuasive) response see Johnston 2007.

(24) Parker 1996, 89, and now Neils 2007.

(25) Statues on columns: Bentz 1998, 53–4; archontic inscriptions: Bentz 1998, 57–9, who at 57 n. 310 justifiably reproaches scholars for taking the genitive ἄθλων to mean ‘from the contests’ and not ‘from the prizes’. Tiverios 1974, 142–4 n. 4 claims that Panathenaic amphorae not bearing archon-inscriptions should not be considered as prizes offered to the winners of the Panathenaic contests.

(26) That a tax-farming system operated before the change discussed here is almost unanimously recognized from Arist. [Ath. Pol.] 60.2 (cf. Todd 2007, 483). Commenting on Lys. 7.2., Foxhall 2007, 119, simply translates ‘those who bought the fruit of the sacred olives’. Todd 2007, 513, suggests that τοὺς ἐωνημένους τοὺς καρποὺς τῶν μοριῶν ‘is a shorthand for a system of tax-farming, in which the polis sells to the highest bidder the right to collect in this case the olives’. In view of terms used in the Athenian grain-tax law SEG XLVIII 96 (πωλεῖν, πριάμενος/οι;  cf. Stroud 1998, 28–30, 51–2), Todd is almost certainly right.

(27) Valavanis 1987, 479; Bentz 1998, 24, 57–9. Evidently the upper chronological limit is provided by the seventh Lysianic speech. Shear 2003, 96–7 has challenged some of these dates, but good epigraphic work by Tracy seems to offer new corroboration (see n. 32 below).

(28) See Lys. 7.6–7, with Carey 1989, 122–4; Rhodes 1993, 674; Todd 2007, 517–21.

(29) Hanson 1998, passim, esp. 157–61; 236–7. Eder 1995 and Davies 1995 equally dismiss the notion of a large-scale crisis in early 4th-cent. Athens.

(30) Valavanis 1987, 479–80.

(31) Shear 2003 now provides the authoritative text (= SEG LIII 192, to which I will be referring throughout).

(32) Tracy 2003b.

(33) First, it seems, by Raubitschek 1939, 158.

(34) See Lewis, IG I3 1386 ad loc.

(35) Johnston 2007, 103–4.

(36) Seager 1967; Mossé 1973, 32–4; Strauss 1986, 125–9; Hornblower 2002, 223–4, 227.

(37) For the lowest figure of 1200 jars see Tiverios 1974, 147–9 n. 29; Johnston 1987, 125–9 has suggested 1423 amphorae per Panathenaia, whereas Bentz 1998, 17, 1567 jars. Shear 2003, 102–3 has convincingly demonstrated that more than 2000 vessels were needed for each quadrennial celebration.

(38) Gardiner 1912, 192; Vos 1981, 43 contra Rhodes 1993, 674; cf. Amouretti 1986, 195. Note that olive-harvesting for oil takes place from November to February: too late for the Great Panathenaia of any archontic year, too early for the forthcoming Panathenaia.

(39) Forbes 1992; Shear 2003, 96–7, though realizing the significance of biennial cropping, dismisses the lack of evidence for oil collected on Panathenaic years as coincidental; but our sample is big enough to render the accidental factor unlikely.

(40) Hatzaki 2003, 86; Polymerou-Kamelake 2003, 210–11.

(41) Cf. Bentz 1998, 40. The actual equivalent of a metretes was 38.88 litres according to Neils 1992, 39; 39.395 litres according to Shear 2003, 102.

(42) Johnston 2007, 102.

(43) Tiverios 1974, 149 n. 31.

(44) The scepticism expressed by Todd 2007, 483 n. 26, is unwarranted. Arist. [Ath. Pol.] 60.2, unequivocally states that the olive oil was not extracted from individual trees, but from the whole property. The interpretation of this passage by Rhodes 1993, 674 is crystal-clear and should leave no open questions.

(45) Foxhall 1992, 156, thinks that some 1000 km2 were cultivated in Attica; Garnsey 1985, 65, based on Jardé 1925, 48–52, reaches 28.75% of Attica as cultivable land, that is 690 km2 (but this probably does not include forested areas); cf. Sallares 1991, 309–13. I have benefited substantially from the numbers that Moreno 2007, 3–15 has meticulously collected and I accept here 35%, or 840 km2, as the extent of Attica’s cultivable land.

(46) Mattingly 1985, 32; Forbes 1992, 93.

(47) The concentration of 156 trees per hectare accepted by Moreno 2007, 65 for Euonymon seems implausibly high.

(48) Foxhall 2007, 85–95.

(49) Scholia in Pind. Nem. 10. 64a: οὔκ ἐστι δὲ ἐξαγωγὴ ἐλαίου ἐξ Ἀθηνῶν εἰ μὴ τοῖς νικῶσι; Böckh 1886, II 54 thought that the law stipulated the exemption of the victors from taxes imposed upon their olive oil, but his interpretation is flimsy.

(50) Bentz 1998, 95–116.

(51) Tiverios 2000a, 28–9.

(52) Bentz 1998, 111; Tiverios 2000a, 25; Kotsidou 2001, 56. However, Aristotle’s statement that the sacred olive oil was stored by the treasurers on the Acropolis could certainly account for the great numbers of Panathenaic amphorae from the sacred rock. Moreover, in Attica itself there were some other divinities who were recipients of the prestigious vessels. One found in the Eleusinian sanctuary, for example, bore a dedicatory inscription to the local hero Dolichos (this is the interpretation of the amphora Bentz 1998, no. 4.327, favoured by Tiverios 2000a, 29 n. 86).

(53) Tiverios 1974, 150–1; Valavanis 1986, 456; Bentz 1998, 107–8.

(54) IG II2 2311 ll. 67–8 (=SEG LIII 192 ll. 116–17): ἵππων ζεύγει ἀδηφάγωι | ΗΔΔΔΔ ἀμφορῆς ἐλαίο.

(55) Valavanis 1991, 17–18; Tiverios 2000b, 525. Vos 1981, 41 (cf. Mommsen 1898, 79 n. 1) has suggested that any olive oil surplus was sold by the state, but this is not supported by our sources.

(56) Plut. Vit. Sol. 24.1–2; see n. 2 above.

(57) Samons 2000, 57 argues that the existence of a public treasury (τὸ δημόσιον) before the reforms of Cleisthenes should be doubted, though not entirely dismissed. The authenticity of the law is, however, accepted by Descat 1993, Kroll 1998, 225–6, and now Gagarin 2006, 267–8. As for the so-called Solonian laws, scholars tend nowadays to believe that the majority of them are 4th-cent. documents in the guise of Solonian statutes. However, Scafuro 2006, and Blok 2006, are recent studies that put more trust in the genuine Solonian origin of some of these laws.

(58) The co-operation of the Boule (the Council of the 500, not the Areiopagos) with the athlothetai for the supervision of the construction of Panathenaic vessels (Arist. [Ath. Pol.] 60.2) is indicative of the significance attached to the whole scheme by the Athenians.

(59) e.g. North Africa and the Black Sea states (see Valavanis 1986, 457; Bentz 1998, 111–19; Kotsidu 2001). The early 2nd-cent. honorific inscription IG II2 903 perfectly illustrates the interconnection between grain import and olive oil export between mainland Greece and the grain-producing areas of Pontos; cf. Gauthier 1982, esp. 289–90, who provides an improved text and insightful observations, and Horden and Purcell 2000, 211–12.

(60) RO 64 (IG II2 212), ll. 20–42. The comment by Rhodes and Osborne 2003, 323 (‘The award of crowns regularly, rather than on a single occasion, was an unusual and expensive honour, for rulers whose continuing support for Athens was highly valued…’) says it all. The particular aspect of exchange of commodities, grain for oil, explored here is noted by Gauthier 1985, 156 (see also n. 59 above). Not unreasonably, Hagemajer Allen 2003, 235–7, sees IG II2 212 as ‘a commercial and political treaty’ disguised into ‘an honorary grant’ of multiple benefactions.

(61) Johnston and Jones 1978, 132–4, 140–1; Valavanis 1986, 454; Docter 1991 (see the caution advocated by Descart 1993, 159–60, and Garlan 2000, 89–90). By publishing the inscribed fragment (in Attic script) of an SOS amphora from the Thermaic Gulf, Tiverios 2000b, 519-23, has conveyed further good evidence for the interpretation of these vessels as containers of Athenian olive-oil.

(62) See the discussion by Tiverios 2000b, the synopsis in Tiverios 2007, 2, and the good remarks by Johnston 2007, 101–2. Note also that one of the earliest issues of Athenian ‘Wappenmünzen’ has on the obverse the design of an amphora, thought to be of the Panathenaic type (Kraay 1968, 2). The date of this issue roughly coincides with the inception of the Panathenaia and with the introduction of the Panathenaic amphorae (thus Cahn 2001). Incidentally, Flament 2007, 14–17 associates the earliest ‘Wappenmünzen’ with the rule of Peisistratos, who is often credited with the inception of the Great Panathenaia.

(63) Observed already by Tiverios 2000b, 525 in relation to the second half of the 6th cent.; cf. the important brief note by Lawall 2005, 203. This observation may have implications for the viability of the model of olives as a cash-crop recently advocated by Moreno 2007, esp. 64–76.

(64) Todd 2007, 484–5.

(65) Thus Bentz 1998, 117 n. 619. The point is now taken up by Foxhall 2007, 118.

(66) Dem. 24.120; cf. 24.130:…ὥστε διὰ τούτους ἢ τῶν δεκατῶν τῶν τῆς θεοῦ ἀμελῆσαι.

(67) Dem. 43.71. The speech is dated by Gernet 1957, 94 to c.370/65; however, his claim (ibid. 120) that the law may be Solonian does not seem sustainable. Thompson 1976, 63 and Usher 1999, 267 n. 79 suggest c.345 as the date of the speech. For the template of the law see Carey 1998, 99–100.

(68) Cf. Wilhelm 1951, 1–3; although his emendation ἐὰν μὴ εἰς ἔργον Ἀθηναίων δημόσιον is not necessary, his adducing of LSCG 150A (protection of the cypress-trees in a Koan temenos) is illuminating. See also Kränzlein 1963, 56–7.

(69) IG I3 78 (ML 73), ll. 59–61: περὶ δὲ τ ἐλαίο ἀπαρχς χσυγγράφ|σας Λάμπον ἐπιδειχσάτο τι βολι ἐπὶ τς ἐνάτες πρυτανείας· | hε δὲ βολὲ ἐς τὸν δμον ἐχσενενκέτο ἐπάναγκες (traditionally dated to 422, but Cavanaugh 1996, 92–92 suggested a date c.435, and some scholars, e.g. Rhodes 2008, 505, are now nodding favourably).

(70) This point was raised very early by Foucart 1880, 252, but ever since it has received no attention. Cole 1995, 314–15 and 324 n. 130 has brought out a similar connection between the first-fruits from the καρποὶ ξύλινοι and Dionysos as attested in SEG XLI 1003 B53–5 (Teos).

(71) Mommsen 1898, 7; thus more recently (unaware of Mommsen’s remark) Siewert 2001, 3.

(72) Shear 2003, 97–8.

(73) See now Barringer 2003; Williams 2007, esp. 150–1.

(74) ARV 2 1154/38 bis; cf. Fink 1963; Steinhauer 1998, 39; Neils 2001, 126–7; Themelis 2007, 21–3, who rightly describes the vase as a family heirloom. For Trachones/Euonymon see now the ultimate, albeit highly challenging, account by Moreno 2007, 37–76.

(75) Soph. OC 704–6, ὁ δ᾽ αἰὲν ὁρῶν κύκλος | λεύσει νιν Μορίου Διὸς | χἀ γλαυκῶπις Ἀθάνα (for [the olive] is looked upon by the ever-seeing eye of Zeus Morios and by grey-eyed Athena; trans. by Lloyd-Jones 1994) with Kamerbeek 1984, 108–9, and Guidorizzi et al. 2008, 290–1. Zeus’ altar was probably located in the Akademeia: cf. Travlos 1971, 42.

(76) SEG LII 48, face A, fr. 12, ll. 8–9:  Δ〈ιὶ〉 Μορίω〈ι〉 τρ[ίττοιαν] | βόα̣ρχον̣, with Lambert 2002c, 385.

(77) Harrison 1971, 38; Wallace 1985, 106–12; Todd 1993, 306–7; De Bruyn 1995, 113–16, who argues that the procedure followed in cases involving damaged moriai was that of eisangelia; cf. the same court’s concern with the administration of the Sacred Orgas (Appendix I).

(78) Lys. 7.24, 29 (cf. Lattermann 1909), and n. 19 above. ἐπεργάζεσθαι in the context of sacred land: Aeschin. 3.113; IG II2 1126.15; cf. the noun ἐπεργασία in Thuc. 1.139. Perhaps we should consider anew Scheibe’s emendation of ἐργαζόμενον into ἐπεργαζόμενον in Lys. 7.25 (but Carey in the latest OCT edition of Lysias has retained ἐργαζόμενον).

(79) The fragments have been transmitted to us in the scholia to Sopohocles’ Oedipus Coloneus l. 699: ἐγχέων φόβημα δαΐων. Androtion (FGrH 324 F39): ‘For when the Lacedaemonians invaded Attica with (?)x10000 Peloponnesians and Boeotians under the leadership of Archidamos, son of Zeuxidamos, king of the Lacedaemonians, they kept their hands off the so-called moriai out of fear for Athena (…ἀπέσχοντο τῶν λεγομένων μορίων Ἀθηνᾶν δείσαντες)’, with Harding 1994, 69, 148–50; Philochorus (FGrH 328 F125): ‘Various scholars including Philochoros recount that the Lacedaemonians kept their hands off the moriai (…ὅτι ἀπέσχοντο τῶν μορίων)’. It is tempting to see a certain juxtaposition between Archidamos’ pious disposition and Kleomenes’ hubris in felling the trees of the Eleusinian grove (Hdt. 6.75.3), for which cf. Appendix I.

(80) FGrH 334 F30, with Jacoby 1954, 644–5. It is worth noting that the offering to Zeus Morios mentioned above (n. 76) occurs in a set of sacrifices that can be localized in the area of the Marathonian Tetrapolis (Lambert 2002c, 385) and we may hypothesize a certain connection between this and the lemma of Istros. A late 5th-cent. amphora from the Athenian Agora (Agora XXX, 138–9 no. 22) has a scene which has been connected to the moriai. Interestingly, one of the figures is labelled Κοπρεύς, a secondary Attic hero related to the reception of the Heraklidai in Attica (cf. Corbett 1949, 306–8; Wilkins 1993, 56). Note also the Heraklean connection envisaged in IG I3 255.

(81) EM 590.42–50 with Reitzenstein 1897, 165; cf. Suda I. 1248 and Schol. in Ar. Nu. 1005d–h, where the death of Halirrothios is related to the contest between Athena and Halirrothios’ father Poseidon.

(82) IG XII (5) 444, ll. 5–6: ἀφ’ οὑ̂ δίκη Ἀθήνησι[ν ἐγέ]νετο Ἄρει καὶ Ποσειδῶνι ὑπὲρ Ἁλιρροθίου τοῦ Ποσειδῶνος, καὶ ὁ τόπος ἐκλήθη | Ἄρειος Πάγος, ἔτη XHHAPPENDIX II Moriai: Sacred Arboriculture in Classical AthensΔXHHAPPENDIX II Moriai: Sacred Arboriculture in Classical AthensΙΙΙ (From the time when the lawsuit between Ares and Poseidon was held in Athens over Halirrothios, the son of Poseidon, and the place was named Areiopagos, 1268 years). The relevant sources have been conveniently collected, translated, and analysed by Harding 2008, 33–5, 205–7.

(83) Hdt. 5.82, with Figueira 1991, 117; Nenci 1994, 277–9; Horster 2006, 182.

(84) Poseidon-Erechtheus: see Gourmelen 2004, passim, and esp. 294; 342.

(85) Schol. in Dem. 13.

(86) Cf. the explanation put forward by Bentz 1998, 62 in relation to Panathenaic amphorae dedicated to Athena Polias: the sanctity of the olive oil rendered the vessels suitable for cultic use (endorsed by Kotsidu 2001, 56). A similar point could be made with regard to the well-known IG I3 1454 (now scrutinized by Ma 2009), in which an Eteokarpathian family is being honoured for having provided a cypress tree for the temple of Athena Polias. The cypress came from the sanctuary of Apollo at Karpathos. Meiggs 1982, 200–1, offers a utilitarian interpretation of the inscription, but the sacred origin of the cypress in question tallies perfectly with the two passages quoted above.

(87) IG II2 1211B l. 4: [ἐκ τ]ῶ̣ν ἱερῶν ἐλ〈α〉ῶν (with Papazarkadas 2007a, 170–1).

(88) L. 6 of IG I3 418 reads: [….]Ι ἐλαῖαι, φσιλὲ ΔΔ etc. Since the text is stoichedon, [ἱερα]ὶ ἐλαῖαι is a possibility, if the letter in the fifth stoichos is indeed an iota and not a numerical figure.

(89) Agora XIX L4b ll. 8–11: τοῦ μὲν Ἡρακλέον τοῦ τεμέ|νους ἄνετομ μὲν εἰ̂ναι ὡς οἱ βωμοὶ κ|αὶ τὸ ἐπέκεινα τοῦ ἰκρίου ὡς αἱ ἐλ|άαι αἱ πρῶται.

(90) The sacred olive tree in Plut. Vit. Thes. 18.1 might have been such a case, although the use of the definite article might allude to the sacred olive on the Acropolis: ‘When the lot was cast, Theseus took those upon whom it fell from the prytaneion and went to the Delphinion, where he dedicated to Apollo on their behalf his suppliant’s badge. This was a bough from the sacred olive-tree (τῆς ἱερᾶς ἐλαίας), wreathed with white wool.’ The distinction between moriai and other sacred olive-trees advocated by Horster 2006, 183 is based on an erroneous reading of the sources. Outside Attica, I note the case of the olive trees of a Syracusan temenos that were uprooted, apparently with no qualms, by Syracusans defending their beleagured city against the Athenian invaders (Thuc. 6.99.3: τάς τε ἐλάας ἐκκόπτοντες τοῦ τεμένους, with Hornblower 2008, 529, who notes Thucydides’ silence about the impious act).

(91) A question that baffled Mommsen 1898, 78 n. 7, and in modern times Harding 1994, 149.

(92) Todd 2000, 79 with n. 5. Phot., Bibliotheka 489a14, identifies a sekos with a moria, but this is almost certainly an educated, albeit erroneous, guess.

(93) IG I3 386 ll. 163–4: ⊢ ⊢ ἐφ᾽ ἱερᾶι συκε͂ι κέραμον | σκευάσαντι, where money is disbursed for the repair of the roofing of this alleged building.

(94) Foxhall 2007, 120–1.

(95) SEG LIV 794 ll. 8–10: μῆκος δὲ ἀπὸ τοῦ ὅρου εὐθε[ - - -  | ἕως ] τῆς ἐλαίας τῆς ἐπὶ τῆς ὁδοῦ τῆς δευτέρας : ἀ|[πὸ τοῦ] ὅρου τοῦ παρὰ τὴν ἐλαίαν.

(96) Cf. Foxhall 2007, 118. Note that a lost Aristophanic play comically branded the sacred olive on  the Acropolis πάγκυφος (Pollux, Onomast. 6.163 and Hesych. s.v. ἀστὴ ἐλαία ἡ ἐν ἀκροπόλει ἡ καλουμένη πάγκυφος διὰ χθαμαλότητα), no doubt because it had been reduced to a pitiful aged bush.

(97) Cf. Mommsen 1898, 78 with n. 4; EM s.v. μορίαν: οἱ μὲν πᾶσαν ἐλαίαν οὕτω καλοῦσιν· οἱ δὲ τὰς ἱερὰς τῷ θεῷ ὅτι δημοσίαν μοῖραν ἐκ τῶν καρπῶν ἐλάμβανον· Ζήνων ὁ Μύνδιος, ὅτι τὸ βρῦον τῶν ἐλαίων ἐκάλουν μόρον· ἔνθεν αἱ ἀνθοῦσαι ἐλαῖαι μορίαι ἐλέγοντο, seems to imply a differentiation by subspecies.

(98) Cf. Manville 1990, 97.

(99) Thus Fernández-Galiano 1953, 139: ‘Los olivos públicos (μορίαι ἐλᾶαι)’; Albini 1955, 46: ‘olivi sacri (μορίαι) appartenenti allo Stato’; Vos 1981, 41: ‘The moriai were the property of the State’; Rihll 1991, 107: ‘All [moriai] were public property’. Todd 1993, 307–8 n. 20, ‘The fruit of these moriai (sacred olives) belonged to the state’, is more carefully phrased.

(100) Similar conclusion drawn by Foxhall 2007, 120: ‘The moriai, therefore, appeared symbolically as “mini-temene” (sacred precincts) in the fields of Attica, separated from the secular world by a physical boundary.’

(101) e.g. Detienne 1973.