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    Bribery in Athenian Politics Part I: Accusations, Allegations, and Slander

    Claire Taylor

    Greece & Rome, 2nd Ser., Vol. 48, No. 1. (Apr., 2001), pp. 53-66.

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    Greece Rome Vol.


    No. 1 April 2001

    B RI BE RY I N A T H E N I A N P O L I T I C S P A R T I :

    A C C U S A T I O N S , A L L E G A T I O N S , A N D



    C L A I R E T A Y L O R

    Corruption, intrigue, treachery, all common elements in the darker side

    of Athenian politics, and if many sources are to be believed, part of the

    essential make-up of the democracy.' The impression gained from the

    evidence is that Athenian leaders were well known for their profiteering,

    and the demos consistently supported their behaviour by electing them to

    positions of responsibility and following their advice. The simple truth

    was that money ruled in Athens: it got things done. Every level of

    Athenian politics was riddled with corruption, from the most important

    orators to the smallest deme election. The opportunities for self-

    enrichment were seemingly endless. Bribery could influence magis-

    trates, ambassadors, decisions in the Assembly, issues discussed in the

    Boule, elections, and in the courts. However, is this an accurate

    reflection of Athenian politics? Was corruption really so prevalent?

    There are numerous extant accusations and allegations of venality,

    some more believable than others, and this enables a picture to be

    built of the extent to which bribery was tolerated in the political arena

    and the cultural context of accusations.

    The Greek word most commonly used for 'bribery' is dorodokein,

    which simply means 'to receive a

    gift'.2 It is a neutral word without any

    moral connotations attached to it: dora is not a euphemistic term, but

    actually means both 'gifts' and 'bribes'. Although dorodokia is not the

    only word used for briber^ ^ it is the most frequent, and the most readily

    applied to political bribery. If dora are both gifts and bribes, bribery has

    close connections to the institutionalized social practice of gift-giving,

    and it is in the context of mutual obligations and reciprocity that political

    payments should be analysed. Moral assumptions should therefore be

    avoided, or at least pushed to the ba~kground.~

    In this article it is necessary to consider bribery as distinct from

    embezzlement: bribery is giving something to influence someone else to

    behave in a certain way or make a certain decision, and embezzlement is

    the misappropriation of public funds. The two are often coupled

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    5 B R I BE R Y I N A T H E N I A N P O L I T I C S P A R T I

    together and are closely connected: politicians often grew rich through

    their political activities and questions were often asked if, particularly

    poorer men, accumulated too much money. The sources often delib-

    erately confuse the two allegations to imply that the accused is especially

    ~ o r r u p t . ~aking money from office was to some extent legitimized and

    this enabled the line between acceptable profit and unacceptable reward

    to be easily blurred.

    This article also distinguishes bribery from ~ ~ k o p h a n c y ~lackmail

    arising from the threat of legal action. Sykophancy can be described as a

    form of bribery (paying money to someone to avoid a court appear-

    ance), but I have not discussed accusations of sykophancy as forms of

    bribery here for the following reason^ ^ Th e term sykophant does not

    necessarily denote corrupt motives and is often applied to any prose-

    cutor without a good case, or a case which is based on assumptions

    rather than evidence. It is also not necessary for the alleged



    make money out of his intended prosecutions, although this is fre-

    quently what actually happens. Sykophancy can be interpreted as an

    important mechanism in the upholding of the democracy in Athens,

    insofar as it prevented wealthy men withdrawing from public life by

    refusing to fulfil their duty that was participation in the life of the polis.

    In other words,


    was arguably an essential feature of the

    Athenian democracy which sought to include all citizens in polis life and

    it only receives a bad press because it sought to forcibly include those

    men who had the resources to complain. These are the people of which

    we hear the most. However, it is difficult to interpret bribery in an

    advantageous way. Bribery did not seek to strengthen the democracy,

    only to harm the state through skewed obligations and venal transac-


    ources and their problems

    Accusations of bribery were common in Athens, and they are preserved

    mainly in oratory and comedy. The corpus of fourth-century law court

    speeches is the main medium of preservation and there are many

    references to bribery therein. These include references which led to a

    real trial, and those which are clearly unfounded slander. Trials could be

    brought about by the discovery of a venal transaction (such as the trial of

    a magistrate in Lysias

    21 , but were commonly combined with other

    charges to form a more serious accusation of treason. In these cases it is

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    B R IB E R Y I N A T H E N I A N P O L I T I C S P A R T I

    often difficult to know to what extent the accusation of bribery was

    tacked onto other charges, and not the main subject of the trial. Also,

    there is no way of knowing how many of the references in law court

    speeches were simply popular charges, even rumours, not brought to

    trial in any formal way, or whether they referred to actual legal decisions.

    Many accusations may be exaggerated or distorted in order to furnish

    the speaker s argument further. The golden rule in reading law court

    speeches is: if a statement does not add anythmg to the argument it is

    probably true, otherwise question it. A cynical approach maybe, but it

    must be remembered that the speakers were only trying to win the votes

    of the jury, not trying to establish the truth of the matter that came

    before them. It is, therefore, crucial to remember that no accusation can

    be accepted without question.

    The other main source for bribery allegations is comic drama: a

    medium where politicians frequently endured severe personal abuse,

    including accusations of corrupt activities. Allegations against a poli-

    tician ranged from insults about his family background to his sexual

    preferences and his motives for his political actions. Although these

    insults must shed some light on how the Athenians viewed individual,

    prominent men they should not be taken too much out of context: they

    were designed to make the audience laugh. Aristophanes was telling

    jokes. His plays were written in order to win a drama competition and

    not to pursue an anti-sleaze political campaign. This said, in order to be

    a successful comic poet, the accusations must have had at least some

    basis in reality, otherwise the Athenian audience would have not found it

    funny, indeed they would not have had a clue what he was talking about.

    There are, therefore, limitations in the acceptance of many bribery

    accusations. The seriousness of many of these accusations can be called

    into question, even outright disputed, and they should not always be

    seen as true reflections of the political climate.

    Accusations and allegations

    In all the Greek states not in some of them but in every one of them it chanced that

    there had sprung up the most abundant crop of traitorous, venal and profligate

    politicians ever known within memory of manlund. (Dem. 18.61)

    Bribery accusations, both general and specific, were numerous in

    ancient Athens and although it is impossible to tell the extent of bribery

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    56 B R IB E RY I N T H E N I N P O L I T I C S P R T I

    in political life, or the extent to which it was ignored, politicians very

    frequently took the opportunity to hit each other with allegations and

    tried to prosecute their opponents in the law courts. Included is a table

    of some of the most important incidences of bribery from Athens 58


    It is not a definitive list, nor is it meant to be, but it is included

    simply to give some indication of the range of incidences of bribery in

    Athens as the sources give them. Throughout the article the numbers in


    denote the catalogue numbers as they appear in the table.9

    A glance at the table demonstrates that bribery accusations were

    widespread in Athenian politics. Th e table shows that large numbers of

    strategoi (9, 11 28), ambassadors (19, 26, 29), and other important

    politicians (27, 30) were at risk from allegations, and that some of these

    were unfounded (5) or relied on little evidence (30). Also evident is the

    attempt to bribe large numbers of people in juries (13, 23). However,

    there are no examples of electoral bribery and little evidence for bribery

    in the lower levels of political life (32).1 Many of the accusations that

    came to trial employed the procedure of eisangelia (5, 17, 20, 22, 25,

    27, 28, 29, 31, 33), a procedure reserved for very serious crimes

    against the state, which demonstrates the gravity of bribery accusations

    in Athenian politics. Other accusations use different procedures of

    prosecution, such as the euthyne (16). It is also apparent that large

    numbers of accusations and trials resulted from defeats in battle (8, 9,


    14, 28). The main accusers in many cases are political rivals (5, 28,

    29, 30, 31, 34): men who would benefit the most from their opponent s


    The table shows that all categories of important political figures

    seem, at one time or another, to have been at risk of allegations of

    corruption: strategoi, if they were unsuccessful in a military operation;

    ambassadors, if they were successful in bringing about a peace

    settlement; orators, if they proposed controversial decrees. The natural

    rivalries of Athenian political life, combined with the vast opportunities

    for self-enrichment and the need for the demos to hold its politicians to

    account ensured a situation where allegations were very frequently

    made. It was not just in the Assembly where accusations were made:

    the law courts served as an arena for political battles and sometimes the

    stakes were so high that corruption of a jury was an attractive, if

    expensive, prospect (13, 23). The Athenians worked hard to prevent

    law court bribery in particular and were fairly successful. The daily

    selection of dikasts and the stiff penalties awarded to anyone found

    either giving or taking bribes firmly told potential bribers to stay away.

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    B R IB E R Y I N A T H E N I A N P O L I T I C S P A R T I 7

    However, attempts were still made to bribe large numbers of men and

    were, in at least one case, successful


    Why did the Athenians take bribes

    Combine the potential for economic advancement with opportunity and

    the essential motivation behind most cases of


    can be

    explained. It is widely accepted that most magistrates, after the

    oligarchic revolution of 41 1, did not receive any financial compensation

    for their time in 0ffice.l This lack of remuneration realistically enabled

    only rich men to participate fully in the democracy at the highest level. It

    was these men who ran for the higher offices of state and who controlled

    Athens through regular public

    spealung in the Assembly.12 The tempta-

    tion to increase income through illegal means must have been too great

    for some to bear. Financial profit was to some extent acceptable and it

    was a recognized part of politics, if not entirely approved of. There was,

    however, a widely held perception that poorer men were more at risk of

    temptation than their wealthy counterparts and that they were more

    susceptible to bribes. Rich men should not have felt the need to

    supplement their income with theft from the state or the acceptance

    of gifts which would sway their opinions.13 Demades is the classic

    example of a poor man turned bad by bribery, but this is no more

    than an assumption.14 It is not necessary to follow the Athenian

    prejudice and believe that Demades was poor: he could not have been

    as poor as he is often portrayed since he had sufficient resources to start

    a political career. Accusations of poverty should not always be taken

    seriously. fivals regularly accused each other of low birth and link this

    with bribe taking: Demosthenes accuses Aeschines of escape from

    poverty through the acceptance of gifts from Philip of Macedon. The

    purpose of this accusation comes not from a desire to attack corruption

    in Athenian politics, but from the need to portray Aeschines as a beggar

    who has become wealthy through venality:

    You were raised from servitude to freedom, and from beggary to opulence, by the

    favour of your fellow citizens, and ye t. you take the pay of their enemies and conduct

    political intrigues to their detriment. (Dem. 18.13


    l 6

    It is perhaps better, therefore, to see these views as the prejudices of the

    Athenian political elite and consider them in this light rather than simply

    take them at face value.

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    Cat no.











    B R I BE R Y I N A T H E N I A N P O L I T I C S P A R T I

    Table 1. Accusations Of Bribery In The Sources


    Ath Pol 19.4

    Hdt. 5.5

    Hdt. 9.2

    Nepos, Milt 7

    Nepos, Cim 1

    Hdt. 6.132-6

    Plut. Cim 4.3

    Dem. 26.6

    Diod. 10.29

    Plut. Them 23

    Nepos, Them 8.2

    Diod. 11.54.4

    Ath Pol 27.1




    Plut. Cim 14.4

    Nepos, Milt 7.5

    Dem. 19.273-5

    Thuc. 6.60

    Thuc. 2.21.1

    Thuc. 5.16.3

    Eph. fr. Hist. 70, F193

    Diod. 13.106

    Plut. Per 22

    Plut. Nik 28


    Wasps 960-1



    Thuc. 4.65.3 4

    Philochorus fr. 127


    Peace 18


    The Alcmaeonids bribe the Delphic Oracle to

    ensure Spartan support, before 50817.

    Thebes tells Persia an invasion of Greece is

    unnecessary due to the power of bribery in Greek

    diplomacy, 490.

    Miltiades accused of accepting bribes from

    Persia to withdraw from Paros, 489. Probably

    fined 50 talents.

    Sparta bribes Themistocles' opponents in Athens.

    Eisangelia of Cimon for allegedly receiving bribes

    not to invade Macedon, 463. Probably a false


    Possible eisangelia of Callias for accepting bribes

    from Persia to bring about the 'Peace of Callias',

    c.449. Fourth century fabrication?

    Pericles allegedly bribes Spartan


    Pleistoanax and Cleandrides to retreat from

    Athens, 431.

    Strategos Laches is accused by Cleon of bribery

    and embezzlement after his return from Sicily,

    425. Probably acquitted.

    (Probable) eisangelia of strategoi Sophocles,

    Eurymedon, and Pythodorus accused of accepting

    bribes to withdraw from Sicily, 424. Sophocles

    and Pythodorus exiled. Eurymedon fined.

    Athens bribes Sparta to agree to 'Peace of

    Nicias', 421

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    Cat no.













    Source s)

    Thuc . 7.48.4

    Lys. 25.25

    Ath. Pol. 27.5

    Isoc. 18.23

    Diod. 13.64.6

    Xen. Hell. 2.1.32

    Lys. 14.8

    Plut. Alk. 37

    Paus. 4.17.3

    Paus. 10.9.1 1

    Lys. 12.9

    Lys. 21.21-2

    Lys. 30.2, 9, 23

    Xen. Hell. 3.5.1

    Hell. Oxy. 7.2-5

    Paus. 3.9.8

    Lys. 27.3-4

    Dem. 19.277-9

    Andoc. 3

    Lys. 27.14




    Strategoi in charge of the Sicilian Expedition

    refuse to return to Athens due to fear of

    prosecution for bribery, 4 13.

    Epigenes, Demophanes, Cleigenes sykophants)

    accused of taking bribes to drop prosecutions,


    Anytos successfully bribes a jury to acquit


    after failing to keep Pylos out of the hands of the

    Spartans, 409.

    Adimantus accused of accepting bribes to betray

    the Athenian fleet at the Battle of Aegospotamoi

    he was the only commander the Spartans did

    not execute), 405.

    Willingness of the regime of the Thirty to accept

    bribes Lysias offers Peison money to ensure his

    safety, 403.

    Unnamed magistrate charged at euthyne with

    taking bribes, 40312.

    Eisangelia of Nicomachus for taking bribes and

    attempting to overthrow the democracy. Death

    penalty proposed, outcome unknown, 399.

    Persia sends Timocrates to Athens to distribute

    bribes. Epicrates and Cephalus accept money,


    Epicrates, Onomasas, and colleagues on embassy

    to Persia, 39413 or 39312. Epicrates acquitted,

    Onomasas convicted.

    Eisangelia of Epicrates, Andocides, Eubulides,

    and Cratinos for accepting bribes on embassy to

    Sparta. Sentenced to death in absentia, 39211.

    Epicrates and fellow envoys attempt to bribe

    prosecution to drop case. Possibly connected

    with no. 20, but more likely a separate

    prosecution for embezzlement, 39211.

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    Cat no.












    Lys. 28.3

    Lys. 29.5

    Lys. 30.2

    Dem. 19.180

    Lys. 29.1 1

    Dem. 24.134




    Lys. 26.24

    Xen. Hell. 5.1.26

    Dem. 24.134

    Xen. Hell. 7.1.33-40

    Plut. Pel. 30-1

    Dem. 19.137

    Hyp. 3.1-2

    Din. 1.14-17

    Din. 3.17

    Diod. 16.21.4

    Aes. 2.6

    Aes. 3.79-81

    Dem. 19.116

    Din. 1.28

    Hyp. 4.29

    Aes. 1

    Aes. 1

    Dem. 19

    Plut. Dem. 15

    Table 1



    Eisangelia of Ergocles for taking bribes and

    embezzlement. Convicted and executed, 389.

    Apographe against Philocrates after execution of

    Ergocles. Officially accused of complicity in

    Ergocles offence, but also accused of taking

    bribes and attempting to bribe the jurors (1 100

    men) in Ergocles trial, 38918.

    Philepsios accused of financial irregularities,

    probably bribery, 388.

    Eisangelia of Thrasybulus of Collytus for

    demanding a bribe of 30 rninae from Athenian

    POWs to arrange their release, 38817.

    Leon accuses Timagoras of accepting bribes

    from Persia on embassy for King s Peace.

    Sentenced to death, 367.

    Eisangelia of Callistratus accused of accepting

    bribes to propose decrees against the interests of

    the people in the Assembly, 36110.

    Eisangelia of Timotheus, Iphicrates, and

    Menestheus for accepting bribes from Chios and

    Rhodes after losing the Battle of Embata, 35615.

    Eisangelia of Philocrates for accepting bribes

    from Philip for the Peace of Philocrates. Fled

    before verdict and condemned to death in



    Aeschines accused of taking bribes. Never came

    to trial (due to Aeschines prosecution of

    Timarchus for a sexual offence), 346.

    Eisangelia of Aeschines for accepting bribes from

    Philip on Second Embassy to Macedon in 346.

    Demosthenes prosecutes and loses by 30 votes,


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    Cat no. Source(s)



    Hyp. 3.3


    of Agasikles for bribing the

    Din. fr. 16 Halimousioi to enroll him as a citizen when he

    was a public slave. Outcome unknown, 3361324.


    HYP. 3


    of Euxenippos for accepting bribes to

    make a report against the interests of the people.

    Also charged with being pro-Macedonian and

    other crimes. Death penalty proposed, outcome

    unknown, 330-24.


    Din. 1


    against Demosthenes for accepting 20


    talents from Harpalus. Nine others also accused.

    Diod. 17.108 Demosthenes convicted and exiled, 32413.

    The opportunity, and the temptation that goes with it, was undoubtedly

    present in the Athenian political system. Financial gain was a legitimate

    reward of office, and although some restrictions were placed on

    politicians through accountability measures such as the euthyne, strategoi

    were allowed to gain wealth through, for example, booty gained in war.

    Rhetores could increase their income through speech writing, as did

    Demosthenes. Once a politician had a high profile his regular business

    dealings must have had the potential to improve. Such legitimate

    methods of profit were complemented by illegitimate ways of making

    money through the acceptance of gifts and filching state finances. In a

    society of supposed political equals, there were still certain inequalities:

    wealth bestowed influence in the democracy as it had done in archaic

    aristocratic societies, and the acquisition of wealth, by any means,

    increased the power a person had over


    Slander and personal vendetta

    It is clear, therefore, that Athenian politicians had the means, the

    mechanism, and the opportunity to be involved in bribery, and also to

    allow the wealth of allegations and accusations against opponents to

    flow. The role of politico-personal relationships was important to this

    process and a closer look at many accusations suggests an ulterior

    motive on the part of the accuser. Many trials were enacted by the

    defendant s arch-rival 26, 28 30, 31, 33, 34), and the majority of

    allegations, of any sort, naturally come from the accused s political

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    B R I BE R Y I N T H E N I N P O L I T I C S P R T I

    enemies. In the context of these personal vendettas there is often an

    allegation of bribery, and it has been suggested that many accusations

    were little more than rhetorical discrediting tactics along the same lines

    as your father was a slave , or your mother was a whore , and should

    not be taken too seriously (17).19 It was thus common to prosecute a

    rival out of sheer malevolence. Demosthenes suggests that Aeschines

    motives for prosecution over the receipt of the gold crown were far from

    legitimate: the chosen line of the present trial, he complains, contains

    the spite of personal enmity, insult, slander and mud-slinging in equal

    measure (Dem.


    This is difficult to disagree with, since

    Aeschines motivation definitely seems to be deeply rooted in his intense

    rivalry with Demosthenes and a large section of his speech is devoted to

    an attack on Demosthenes political career.20

    This personal vendetta and feuding can be seen in many trials

    involving bribery allegations. The accused was often a victim of

    undisguised political manoeuvrings, for example the trials of Cimon

    (5), Aeschines (30, 31), and Demosthenes (34). Slanderous accusations

    served to reaffirm political opposition, disguised the shady actions of

    accusing politicians, and removed rivals from power. These three

    examples show how bribery allegations were heavily indebted to the

    political atmosphere of the time, and serve as a caution to the reader to

    be wary of the political circumstance in which an accusation was made.

    Cimon was accused of receiving bribes not to invade Macedonia in 463

    by Pericles and Ephialtes (5). Sealey describes the trial as a prelude to

    the great rivalry between Cimon and Pericles, signifying the beginning

    of Athenian opposition to Cimon, which eventually led to his ostracism.

    The young Pericles part in the trial sought to propel


    onto the

    political stage. Pericles is accused of prevarication in the trial and

    making a deal with Cimon, which sought to further Pericles career

    whilst saving C i m ~ n s . ~ hatever the circumstances, Cimon was

    acquitted of an almost certainly false charge which was not pursued

    by his opponents. This accusation, therefore, can be categorized as a

    fabrication, designed to attack a political rival, and was merely a

    symbolic attempt at opposition to the political dominance of Cimon.

    Political wranglings can also be detected in the trial of Aeschnes for

    receiving bribes from Philip on the Second Embassy to Macedon in 346

    (31). Th e trial, in which Demosthenes accused Aeschines of accepting

    Philip s gifts, took place in the aftermath of the failure of the Peace of

    Philocrates, and Philocrates conviction for taking bribes from Philip on

    the same embassy (29). The prosecution of Aeschines should not merely

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    B R I B E R Y I N T H E N I N P O L I T I C S P R T I


    be seen in the context of an attack by Demosthenes on his rival an

    attack not supported by any evidence of misdeeds but also as Demos-

    thenes need to justify hls own behaviour concerning the Peace. Demos-

    thenes had originally supported the treaty, but after Philocrates

    conviction for bribery he needed to distance himself from it and the

    methods by which it was allegedly obtained. This he did by accusing his

    fellow envoy of accepting bribes to give false reports to the Assembly.

    The trial, and Aeschines near conviction, came about due to the

    political circumstances and needs of the day. Philocrates trial and the

    rejection of the Peace by the Assembly had made speaking for alliance

    almost a treasonable offence in itself: popular feeling was incredibly

    hostile to Philip. Demosthenes, who had been in favour of alliance

    originally, now needed to attack before he himself was attacked.22

    The trial of Demosthenes resulting from the Harpalus affair should

    also perhaps be seen in the wider political context 34). The Areopagus

    delay in publishing its findings suggests not so much procrastination,

    but an attempt to make full political capital from the decision. It is likely

    that the publication of the report coincided with the news that Demos-

    thenes embassy to Alexander on the question of the Exiles Decree had

    failed,23 so the Areopagus accused Demosthenes to placate Alexander.

    Internal politics ensured that Demosthenes was prosecuted, and his new

    rival Hypereides now controlled the foreign policy of the city. No piece

    of firm evidence was offered at the trial (in both surviving speeches), and

    of the nine others accused, at least three were acquitted.24This has led

    some to believe that Demosthenes was the victim of a plot to remove

    him from active politics due to his anti-Macedonian beliefs.25Unfortu-

    nately there is simply not enough surviving evidence to be able to say

    that Demosthenes was innocent of the charges his behaviour during

    the affair suggests a certain degree of guilt26 however the background

    to the trial demonstrates that political manoeuvrings had a decisive effect

    on the outcome.

    All three examples show that bribery accusations were not neces-

    sarily based on firm evidence that the accused had taken bribes. In

    most cases it is impossible to tell whether the accused was guilty or

    not, but it is evident that bribery allegations were used as political

    weapons against rivals. This is also demonstrated by the numerous

    cases where


    is not the main charge, but an add-on offence

    (20, 22, 23), and the high number of unsubstantiated accusations.

    Accusing opponents of accepting


    was a tactical ploy in the

    political game. Since slanderous personal attacks were so common in

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    64 B R I BE R Y I N A T H E N I A N P O L I T I C S P A R T I

    Athenian politics, and accusations were so impossible to substantiate,

    politicians could easily mobilize support against a rival by accusing


    of accepting bribes.


    were probably frequently offered and

    equally frequently accepted, and the Athenian public seems to have

    accepted this situation so long as the politicians did not betray the

    interests of the Political circumstances generated suspicion

    between politicians, but also allowed them to exploit their differences

    through bribery accusations. The upshot: it was ridiculously easy to

    slander an opponent.

    ( to be continued)


    A version of this article was written for submission as my undergraduate dissertation. My

    deepest thanks goes to John Salmon for his advice and encouragement. For its failings, however, the

    author bears sole responsibility.

    1. e.g., Dem. 25.15-16; Hyp. 1.24-5; P1. Rep. 359B-60D.

    2. For discussion of the vocabulary of bribery see F. D. Harvey, Dona Ferentes: Some Aspects

    of Bribery in Greek Politics in P. A. Cartledge and F. D. Harvey (edd.), Cru x: Essays Presented to

    G . E . M . de Ste Croix on his 75th Birthday (Exeter, 1985), 82-9. Also see G. Herman, Ritualised

    Friendship and the Greek City

    (Cambridge, 1987), 75ff.

    3. Chremata money , misthos rewards or pay are also used. Dekazein Yenning is most

    often used for bribing a jury. See Harvey, op. cit., 88-9, D. M. Macdowell, Athenian Laws About

    Bribery , R I D A 30 (1983), 63 ff.

    4. For the importance of reciprocity in Athenian society see A. Missiou in C. Gill,

    N. Postlethwaite, and R. Seaford (edd.), Reciprocity in Ancient Greece (Oxford, 1988), 188-91;

    M. Schofield in P. Cartledge, P. Millett, and S . von Reden (edd.) , Kosmos: Essays in Order, Conflict

    and Com mun ity in Classical Athens

    (Cambridge, 1998), 37-51; S. von Reden,

    Exchange in Ancient

    Greece (London, 1995), 93-5; T. W. Gallant, Risk and S urv ival in Ancient Greece: Reconstructing the

    Domestic Economy (Cambridge, 199I), 143-69.

    5. e.g., Demades. See J.K Davies, Athenian Propertied Families (Oxford, 1971), no. 3230, 100-

    1 (hereafter A P F ) .

    6. For discussion of the relationship between bribery and embezzlement see Harvey, op. cit.,


    7. I have followed Todd s spelling of 'sykophancy' (habitual prosecutor) as distinct from the

    English sycophancy (flatterer) to avoid confusion. See S. C. Todd, The Shape ofAthenian Law

    (Oxford, 1993), 92-3.

    8. For discussions of sykophancy see the articles by R. Osbourne and


    D. Harvey in P. A.

    Cartledge, P. Millett, and S. C. Todd (edd.), Nomos: Essays in Athenian Law Politics and Society

    (Cambridge, 1990); also D. M. Macdowell, Law

    in ClassicalAthens

    (London, 1978), 62-6, Todd ,

    op. cit., 92-4, R. J Bonner and


    Smith, The Administration ofJustice from Homer to Aristotle, Vol.

    II (Chicago, 1938), 39-74.

    9. T he table will also be referred to throughout my companion article, Bribery in Athenian

    Politics Part 11 , G R (Oct. 2001).

    10. For electoral bribery in the Roman Republic see M. Jehne in M . Jehne (ed.),

    Demokratie in

    Rom ? Die Rolle des Volkes in der Politik der romischen Republik (Stuttgart, 1995), 51 ff., P. Nadig,

    Ardet Ambitus (Frankfurt am Main, 1997), E. A. Bauerle, Procuring an Election: Amb itus in the

    Roman Republic (Univ. Of Michigan Diss. 1990), A. Lintott, J H S 80 (1990), 1 ff., L. R. Taylor,

    Par ty Politics in the Age of C aesar (Berkeley, 1949), 67 ff.

    11. Ps-Xen. 1.3 implies that high offices were not paid by saying that the demos only hold offices

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    65R I B E R Y I N A T H E N I A N P O L I T I C S P A R T I

    which involve the receipt of money where there is a chance of making a person profit ,

    distinguishing these offices with those of


    or cavalry commander. See also M . H . Hansen,

    The Athen ian Democracy in the Age ofDem osthenes

    (Oxford, 199l ), 240-1, R. K. Sinclair,


    and P articipation i n Classical Athe ns

    (Cambridge, 1988), 110. The restoration of the democracy in

    403 saw the reintroduction of state pay for jurors, the Boule, and (the introduction of pay in) the

    Assembly, but not for magistracies (except archons). See

    Ath . Pol.

    62, 41.3.

    12. For arguments of the sovereignty of the Athenian law courts as opposed to that of the

    Assembly see Hansen, op. cit. (n. 1I), 12, 179ff. and

    The Sovereignty of the People s Court in Athens

    (Odense, 1974), 17. For the reverse view see Sinclair, op. cit., 78,



    Mass and Elite in

    Democratic Athens

    (Princeton, 1990), 146ff.

    13. Ober, op. cit., 238 describes the Athenian viewpoint succinctly: the possession of wealth did

    not ensure incorruptibility, but the Athenians felt that it


    do so. For another view on the

    relationship between poverty and bribery see Sinclair, op. cit., 185: men of wealth presumably did

    not require such perks to commit themselves more or less to full-time public life, but that does not

    mean that they declined such perks.

    14. Din. 1.89, 104, 2.15, Diod. 17.15.3, Hyp. 5.25 all accuse him of bribery, and attribute it to

    poverty. However it simply shows that these type of accusations were common Athenian insults.

    A. Andrewes,

    The Greek Tyrants

    (London, 1956), 57 acknowledges this in a different context: the

    ingrained Greek habit of attributing low birth to a political opponent.


    A P F

    3230, 100-1; the very fact that he is included in this book demonstrates his wealth.

    Davies is perhaps too ready to attribute his wealth to the receipt of bribes. See also Sinclair, op.

    cit., 45.

    16. See R. Kulesza,

    Die Bestechung im politischen Leben Athe ns i m


    und J h v . Chr .


    1995), 74: Sein Ziel war, den Beweis herbeizufuhren, daO Aischines durch verbrecherische

    Tatigkeit vom Bettler zum reichen Mann geworden sei.

    17. Iphicrates was supposedly a self-made cobbler s son ,

    O C D 3 , A P F

    7737, 248-50. The

    generals of the Corinthian War greatly increased their wealth through booty. See


    K. Davies,

    Wealth and the Power of Wealth in ClassicalAthen s

    (New York, 1981), 66 ff. However, he comments:

    reliable (i.e. unprejudiced) quantified information is almost impossible to come by.

    18. For the connection of wealth and power see Arist.


    1284a19-22 who sees it as a reason

    for the use of ostracism in democratic cities: the


    pass a sentence of ostracism on those

    whom they regard as having too much influence owing to their wealth. See also Sinclair, op.

    cit., 186.

    19. Some accusations include personal insults such as in


    Nicomachus was accused of being

    bribed to record certain laws, but the prosecution also accuse him of being the son of a public slave,

    of being taken in late to a phratry, and of being employed as an under-clerk to a magistrate.

    Accusations in comedy also have a ring of personal attack about them, instead of being a firm

    accusation. See the numerous accusations made against Cleon in

    Ar. Eq in particular. For the use

    of bribery allegations as a discrediting tactic see H. Wankel in W. Schuller (ed.),

    Korruption in


    (Munich and Vienna, 1982), 32 ff.

    20. See especially Aes. 3.49ff.

    21. For Pericles motives in prosecuting Cimon see R. Sealey,


    84 (1956), 234-7.

    22. See E. M. Harris,

    Aeschines and Athenian Politics

    (Oxford, 1995), 116-18; J B. Bury and

    R. Meiggs,

    A History of Greece

    4th ed. (London, 1975), 433 ff.

    23. The Exiles Decree meant that all exiles in Greece would have to return to their country of

    origin. This was an unfavourable measure for Athens since it would effectively mean the restoration

    of Samos to the returning Samians. Another result of the embassy was that Demosthenes changed

    his mind and accepted Alexander s demands for his deification, which put suspicion on him. See

    I. Worthington,

    A Historical Commentary on Dinarchus: Rhetoric and Conspiracy in Later Fourth

    Century Athens

    (Michigan, 1992), 59.

    24. Aristogeiton, Hagnonides, and Polyeuctus of Sphettus were acquitted. Demosthenes,

    Demades, and Philocles were condemned. Demades fled before the trial and was condemned



    It is unknown what happened to the three other accused men. See Worthington, op.

    cit., 52.

    25. See Worthington, op. cit., 58-65: the verdict of Demosthenes guilt was politics, designed to

    remove him from active participation in politics. See also E. Badian,

    J H S

    81 (1961), 16-43.

    26. He changed his story: first he denied outright taking any money, proposing the



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    B RI BE RY I N A T H E N I A N P O L I T I C S P A R T I

    the death penalty for those found guilty, then admitting that he took the money as a loan for the

    Theoric Fund after the Areopagus published its findings.

    27. Hyp. 1.24-5. See Harvey, op. cit., 106-7, B. Strauss, ncient


    11 1985), 71,



    G R

    Oct. 2001).