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The name given at Athens to liens (other than slaves) resident in Attica. When the State was most flourishing, they numbered as many as 10,000 adult men. The favourable position of Athens for commerce and the rich opportunities for carrying on trade and for selling merchandise induced both Greeks and barbarians to settle there. The Athenians besides had the reputation among the Greeks of being friendly towards foreigners. For the legal protection granted them by the State, they paid a sum of twelve drachmoe [8s.] annually for each man, and half as much for each independent woman; and they had to choose a patron (prostates) to conduct their dealings with the State in all public and private affairs, e.g. the bringing of an action. Whoever failed to do the one or the other was summoned before a lawcourt, and, if guilt , sold as a slave. They were prohibited from marrying citizens and from obtaining landed property; but they could follow any trade they pleased, on payment of a certain tax. They also had to pay the extraordinary taxes for war, and were obliged to go on ilitary service either in the fleet or in the land-army; they might be hoplites, but not knights. At festivals it was their duty to follow the processions, carrying sunshades, pitchers, and bowls or trays (filled. with honey or cakes). A decree of the people could, in return for special services, confer on them the isoteleia, which placed them on a level with the citizens with regard to "liturgies," or public burdens, freed them from the necessity of having a patron or paying a tax for protection, and gave them the right of holding property in land and of transacting business with the people or the authorities without an intermediary; but even this privileged class did not possess the active rights of a citizen.
Type: Standard
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