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Ancient Greek History and Contemporary Social Science$
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Mirko Canevaro, Andrew Erskine, Benjamin Gray, and Josiah Ober

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474421775

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474421775.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

The Distribution of Wealthy Athenians in the Attic Demes

The Distribution of Wealthy Athenians in the Attic Demes

(p.376) 13 The Distribution of Wealthy Athenians in the Attic Demes
Ancient Greek History and Contemporary Social Science

James Kierstead

Roman Klapaukh

Edinburgh University Press

An equable distribution of wealth and of access to political power is often seen as a key condition for democracy. While some scholars of classical Attica (such as Lewis and Ismard) have taken the view that resources and influence were smoothly spread, others (Osborne and Jones, for example) have claimed that there existed significant clusters of privilege. This chapter draws on a dataset on demes compiled by Ober and Teegarden from a number of standard works (by Davies, Hansen, and Whitehead). After considering some methodological
problems raised by the nature of the evidence, it focuses on the question of whether wealth and power were distributed in a way that mirrors population density. Using a number of proxies for wealth and political power, it runs regressions aimed at seeing whether these variables were correlated with population across demes. It concludes that most of the indicators for wealth and participation in classical Attica match up very closely with population. A citizen's origins in a particular deme are never a good predictor of his wealth or influence in the classical democratic state.

Keywords:   Athenian democracy, Demes, wealth distribution, Athenian demography

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