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Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 98


MILETOS RAISES FUNDS BY OFFERING ANNUITIES

Greek text:   Miletos_41   ( I.Milet 3.147 )
Date:   211/0 B.C.
Format:   see key to translations

Greek cities sometimes needed to raise funds quickly, for defence or other reasons. Most cities did this by asking their residents to give loans or donations, such as Kos ( IG_12.4.1.75 ); these donations were in theory voluntary, but there was considerable social pressure to join in - see A.Chaniotis, in "Epigraphical Approaches to the Post-Classical Polis", page 92 ( Google Books ). However in this case Miletos chose an unusual method of raising funds, which suggests that its citizens were unwilling to make outright donations: see the analysis by J.D.Sosin, "Endowments and Taxation in the Hellenistic World" ( PDF ), pp.79-82.

The calendar of Miletos is described by A.E.Samuel, "Greek and Roman Chronology", pp.114-115 ( Google Books ). Following his reconstruction, donors in this scheme had to register by the 7th month of the year and pay the whole sum by the 12th month of the year; the annuity then started in the first month (Taureon) of the following year.

This inscription has been translated into French by L.Migeotte, "L'emprunt public dans les citÚs grecques", page 304; and into German by P.Hermann, "Inschriften von Milet: Nachtrage und ▄bersetzungen", page 181 ( Google Books ).


[A]   It was resolved by the people, as recommended by the prytaneis and those chosen for the defence of the city and the appointed councillors. The prytaneis and those chosen for the defence of the city and the appointed councillors proposed: in order that the funds that are lacking for the current year may be supplied in an assured way to the advantage of the city, without imposing a special tax on anyone for this reason or dismissing any of the hired soldiers, because both the public and individuals' private finances have suffered since there has been a dearth in the land for many years; the Milesians have voted that those male or female citizens who wish to give 3,600 drachmas on behalf of themselves or on behalf of others - 10 the same amount on behalf of each of them - shall be registered with the under-secretary of the council up to the eighth day of the month of Pyanepsion, and out of the amount that has been determined they shall immediately pay one hundred staters to those in charge of the public bank, and they shall pay the remainder at the latest by the eighth day of the month of Artemision, in the year of Kritoboulos as stephanephoros. The bankers shall register the money accruing to the account of the treasurers, and shall credit it to the account of the city. In return for the money given to the city, each of the donors shall receive thirty drachmas per month from the city, for as long as they live. This money shall be given each year by the treasurers, withdrawing and distributing the money, 20 in the same way as is prescribed in the laws for the priests and those who have won contests in games with a prize of crowns.

It shall not be possible for an anataktes to dock any of this money, or for anyone else to demand a contribution in return, as the money must not be removed and the donors must not receive less than the sum that has been agreed and is recorded in this decree. If anyone declares or proposes or puts to the vote or if an under-secretary publishes or if a secretary registers a motion of this sort, the motion shall be invalid and each of those responsible for it shall pay a fine of one thousand staters and they shall be deprived of civic rights until they pay the fine, and nonetheless the specified sum of money shall be reserved by the anataktai in subsequent years. Those responsible for such a motion shall be liable to prosecution for an equal amount by anyone who has been wronged. 30 Accusations concerning these matters may be registered with the examiners {euthunoi} without payment of a deposit, and whoever brings a prosecution shall take the fee to the court-room, and the trial shall be completed within thirty days after the affidavit is made; the deadline for an accusation shall be unlimited, and the money from the fine shall belong to whoever registers the accusation. If the anataktai do not reserve the money, they also shall be liable to prosecution, and the other penalties shall apply to them in the same way. If the treasurers do not give the prescribed amount of money on the specified day, the other penalties shall apply to them in the same way, and there shall be a distraint against those who do not give the money, of twice the amount to the treasury. 40 It shall be compulsory for the secretary of the treasurers to record these distraints. The redemption of pledges shall occur within the same number of days, as is ordained in the law to be made by the treasurers to tax-collectors who have made pledges. It shall not be possible either for anyone to make a distraint from the reserved annuity in any way, or for the magistrates to register a distraint, but the donations shall be kept entire and intact by the people for the donors, in the same way as is prescribed in the laws concerning the priests and those who have won contests in games with a prize of crowns.

If any of those who gave the proposed amount to the city depart from life, the people shall be released from repaying the donation and the reserved annuity, 50 but one hundred and fifty drachmas shall be given to the relatives of each of them for their burial, and this shall be arranged by the treasurers who are in office when each of them dies, from the money that has been collected for the expenses arising from decrees. If this money is not available, then the state bankers in office shall arrange it, and subsequent treasurers shall provide the money from the same funds. If any of the donors do not give all the money within the specified time, then the annuity shall not be reserved for them and the money that has already been given shall belong to the city. The annuity shall begin to be given in the month of Taureon in the year after Kritoboulos is stephanephoros, and the anataktai shall allocate the money second only to sacred matters.

60 This decree, and the names of those who give the whole amount of money, and the names of those on behalf of whom they give the money, shall be inscribed on a stele and set up in the temple of Apollo Delphinios. The wall-builders {teichopoioi} and the director of works shall take care of the preparation of the stele and the inscribing of the decree and the names. Those appointed in charge of the public bank shall provide money to pay for this from the money collected for wall-building. This decree shall be regarded as contributing to the defence and security of the city. It was resolved by the people that the decree shall be inscribed on a whitened board.

[B]   It was resolved by the people, as recommended by the prytaneis and those chosen for the defence of the city and the appointed councillors. 70 The prytaneis and the those chosen for the defence of the city and the appointed councillors proposed: the rest shall be as previously decreed; and if anyone registers the name of another male or female citizen, he shall be given the resulting annuity for as long as those registered are alive. If the one who registered the name dies first, then the one whose name was registered shall receive the reserved annuity for the remainder of the time. This decree also shall be inscribed on the stele. This decree shall be regarded as contributing to the defence and security of the city. It was resolved by the people that the decree shall be inscribed on a whitened board.




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