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A distribution of two obols (about 3d.) a head, granted from the time of Pericles to the poorer Athenian citizens, from the common warchest (see HELLENOTAMIAe), to enable them to attend the representations at the theatre, two obols being the entrance fee levied by the lessees of the theatre. By degrees this grant was distributed to citizens who laid claim to it in the case of other entertainments. It was abolished towards the end of the Peloponnesian War, but again introduced after the restoration of the democracy; and a special fund, to which, by a decree of the people, the whole surplus of the revenue was to be devoted, was set apart for this purpose, under a special board, who had even for a time the management of the finances of the State. Demosthenes first succeeded, shortly before the battle of Chaeronea (338 B.C.), in putting an end to this system, which so severely taxed the resources of the State in time of war.
 
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PLACE HOLDER FOR COUNTER
gutter splint