What was the law of Leptines’ really about? Reflections on Athenian public economy and legislation in the fourth century BCE

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Abstract

The article investigates a case study of fiscal policy formation in fourth century BCE Athens: that of the law of Leptines. The law was enacted but later challenged through a procedure of constitutional judicial review (graphe nomon me epitedeion theinai). Through a detailed analysis of the arguments in the trial, the article reconstructs the financial issues that the law was meant to solve, regarding the liturgical system, and its wider implications. Recent scholarship has highlighted the complexity and sophistication of Athenian public finances and economic policy. The article finds a window into the debates from which the relevant institutions originated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440–464
JournalConstitutional Political Economy
Volume29
Issue number4
Early online date23 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018

Keywords

  • public finances
  • Athens
  • trade
  • taxation
  • ancient economy

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