By David M. Pritchard
In his On the dignity of Athens, Plutarch complained that the Athenian humans spent extra at the construction of dramatic fairs and "the misfortunes of Medeas and Electras than they did on protecting their empire and scuffling with for his or her liberty opposed to the Persians." This view of the Athenians' lost priorities grew to become orthodoxy with the booklet of August Böckh's 1817 ebook Die Staatshaushaltung der Athener [The Public financial system of Athens], which criticized the classical Athenian dēmos for spending extra on gala's than on wars and for levying unjust taxes to pay for his or her bloated executive. yet have been the Athenians' priorities relatively as lost as old and glossy historians believed?
Drawing on traces of facts no longer to be had in Böckh's time, Public Spending and Democracy in Classical Athens calculates the genuine charges of faith, politics, and battle to settle the long-standing debate approximately what the traditional Athenians valued such a lot hugely. David M. Pritchard explains that, in Athenian democracy, citizens had complete keep an eye on over public spending. after they voted for a invoice, they consistently knew its fee and what kind of they regularly spent on such accounts. accordingly, the sums they selected to spend on gala's, politics, and the military mirrored the order of the priorities they'd set for his or her nation. through calculating those sums, Pritchard convincingly demonstrates that it was once now not faith or politics yet warfare that was once the overriding precedence of the Athenian people.
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Public Spending and Democracy in Classical Athens (Ashley and Peter Larkin Series in Greek and Roman Culture) by David M. Pritchard