The Primary Regulations of Tribute Payment in Mid 5th Century Athenian Arche According to Cleinias Decree


This essay aims to point out, through epigraphic sources and demonstration from the 5th century Athens, one of the most representative features and objectives of Athenian “imperialism” during the last two decades of the period called Pentekontaetia (the period of fifty years – 479–431 B.C.). One of the most important epigraphic sources from this period will be mainly focused– Cleinias decree (448/7, 425/4(?) B.C.). The importance of this decree is remarkable because of its accurate observation on the process of collection of the tribute (foros) in the mid-5th century Athenian arche. The financial regulations prescribed in the decree were effective for all members of the Athenian arche. And great impact were made on restriction of their autonomy at the expense of growth of Athenian dominance in the symmachy. The main objective is to achieve the importance of epigraphic ingredient and evidence as one of the most important (and in some cases irreplaceable) sources of information about the image of Athenian “imperialism” and Athenian relationship towards their subject-allies in the 5th century B.C. Being a representative type of epigraphic evidence, the degree was chosen to show how significant the annual collection of the tribute was for the Athenians, and how the Athenians used the collection of the foros, as Isocrates mentions to “publicly humiliate” the allies and how they strengthened their hegemonic position in Delian symmachy transforming it into their own thalassocratic “empire” and allies into their “subjects”. Besides the political motives and economical profits of Athenian “imperial” foreign policy, another element will be strengthened in the end. High impact will be formed in terms of Athenian who attempts to achieve not only political,  but also cultural government over its allies by linking and implicating some of the most important control mechanisms of imperialism with  a variety of religion aspects.


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