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date: 08 December 2021

tribute lists, Athenianfree

tribute lists, Athenianfree

  • Malcolm F. McGregor
  •  and P. J. Rhodes


  • Ancient Economy
  • Greek History and Historiography

Tribute lists (Athenian), records of the aparchai (first-fruits; pl. of *aparchē) of one-sixtieth given as an offering to *Athena from the tribute paid by the members of the *Delian League after the treasury was moved from *Delos to Athens, very probably in 454/3 bce. (It is likely that previously an offering had been given to Delian *Apollo.) From 453 the offerings were calculated not simply on the total but separately on each member's tribute, and numbered lists of these offerings were inscribed in Athens: for the first fifteen years (453–439) on a single large block of marble, for the next eight (438–431) on another large block, and thereafter on a separate stele for each year. It is possible that no tribute was collected in 448, when war against Persia had come to an end and the future of the League was uncertain (whether one year is unrepresented in the sequence on the first block continues to be disputed); in 413 a 5% duty on all goods transported by sea was substituted for the tribute (Thuc. 7. 28. 3–4), but the tribute was probably reintroduced in 410/409. From the beginning there was a tendency to list neighbouring states together; in 442 the practice began of organizing the lists in five regional panels (Ionian, Hellespontine, Thracian, Carian, Island); in 437 some inland Carian states were abandoned and what remained of the Carian panel was combined with the Ionian. Assessments of tribute (ranging from 300 drachmas to the 30 talents of *Aegina and *Thasos) were normally revised every four years: the general level remained constant before the *Peloponnesian War, and in 430, but serious increases were needed in 428 (probably) and 425. In addition to the lists of aparchai, we have substantial parts of the assessment list of 425 and smaller fragments of the assessment lists of 422 and perhaps 410. In so far as they are preserved or can be reconstructed, the lists give us a valuable indication of which states paid tribute, and how much they paid, from one year to another.


The standard work on the tribute records is B. D. Meritt, H. T. Wade-Gery, and M. F. McGregor, The Athenian Tribute Lists, 4 vols. (1939–1953).Find it in your libraryGoogle PreviewWorldCat For the most recent edition of the texts see Inscriptiones Graecae (1873– ), 13. 259–290 (aparchai), 71, 77, 100 (assessments).Find it in your libraryGoogle PreviewWorldCat