Pōlētai (πωληταί) ‘sellers’, were Athenian officials. The date of their institution is not known, but they already existed in the time of *Solon. In *Aristotle's time there were ten, appointed annually by lot from the ten *phylai. They conducted the selling or leasing of property belonging to the state, especially property confiscated from convicted offenders. They sold as slaves *metics who failed to pay the metics' tax, and they let rights to work *mines, to collect taxes, and to carry out public works. The method generally used was an auction held in the presence of the *Boulē. The pōlētai then made out lists of the payments due from purchasers and tenants; sales of confiscated property and mining leases were inscribed on stone, and numerous fragments of these inscriptions have been found.Less
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