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date: 20 March 2023



  • D. M. MacDowell


  • Ancient Economy
  • Greek Myth and Religion

Tamiai means ‘treasurers’. In Athens the most important officials with this title were the treasurers of Athena. They were ten in number, appointed annually by lot, one from each of the ten phylai. According to a law attributed to Solon only pentakosiomedimnoi were eligible, but by the 4th cent. bce this rule was no longer enforced. They had charge of the money and treasures of Athena on the Acropolis. They kept the money in a building called opisthodomos (the location of which is doubtful), and they received and made payments in accordance with the decisions of the people. They paid out money not only for religious purposes but also for military use, especially during the Peloponnesian War, and to defray other secular expenses. Many of their records are preserved on stone and are an important source of information about Athenian finance. In 434 a similar board of ten treasurers of ‘the other gods’ was instituted to take charge of money and treasures belonging to other Attic shrines, which were now brought together into a single fund. It also was kept in the opisthodomos, but separately from the money of Athena. In 406 the two boards were replaced by a single board of ten treasurers of Athena and the other gods. The two separate boards were re-established in 385, but by 341 they were again replaced by a single board. After the abolition of the kōlakretai and the hellenotamiai other treasurers were instituted to take charge of various funds: the treasurer of the people (ταμίας τοῦ δήμου‎‎), the treasurer of military funds (ταμίας στρατιωτικῶν‎‎), and so on.


  • W. S. Ferguson, The Treasurers of Athena (1932).
  • D. Harris, The Treasures of the Parthenon and Erechtheion (1995).