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Sacred and Public Land in Ancient Athens$
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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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The Constitutional Subunits of Athens as Administrators of Realty

The Constitutional Subunits of Athens as Administrators of Realty

Chapter:
(p.99) 3 The Constitutional Subunits of Athens as Administrators of Realty
Source:
Sacred and Public Land in Ancient Athens
Author(s):

Papazarkadas Nikolaos

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199694006.003.0003

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

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