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EPI´DOSEIS (ἐπιδόσεις) were voluntary contributions, either in money, arms, or ships, which were made by the Athenian citizens in order to meet the extraordinary demands of the state. When the expenses of the state were greater than its revenue, it was usual for the prytanes to summon an assembly of the people, and after explaining the necessities of the state, to call upon the citizens to contribute according to their means. Those who were willing to contribute then rose and mentioned what they would give; while those who were unwilling to give anything, remained silent or retired privately from the assembly. (Plut. Alc. 10, Phoc. 9; Dem. c. Mid p. 567.162; Theophrast. Char. 22; Athen. 4.168 f.) The names of those who had promised to contribute together with the amount of their contributions, were written on tablets, which were placed before the statues of the Eponymi, where they remained till the amount was paid. (Isae. Or. 5 [Dicaeog.], § § 37, 38.)

These epidoseis, or voluntary contributions, were frequently very large. Sometimes the more wealthy citizens voluntarily undertook a trierarchy, or the expenses of equipping a trireme. (Dem. c. Mid. p. 566.161.) We, read that Pasion furnished 1000 shields, together with five triremes, which he equipped at his own expense. (Dem. c. Steph. i. p. 1127 § 85.) [p. 1.749]Chrysippus presented a talent to the state, when Alexander moved against Thebes (Dem. c. Phorm. p. 918.38); Aristophanes, the son of Nicophemus, gave 30,000 drachmas for an expedition against Cyprus (Lysias, pro Aristoph. bonis, § 43); Charidemus and Diotimus, two commanders, made a free gift of 800 shields (Dem. de Cor. p. 265.115). The liberality of Demosthenes himself was especially noteworthy: besides other liturgies, he gave on different occasions three triremes, and also at one time eight talents, to which he afterwards added three more for the building of the walls, one talent after the battle of Chaeroneia, and another for the purchase of corn. These acts of munificence were recorded in the decree by which a crown was voted to him. When in Macedonia on the embassy, he also spent large sums in ransoming Athenian prisoners (Dem. F. L. p. 394, § § 169-70=186-7; Aeschin. F. L. § 100). (Boeckh, P. E. pp. 586-7=Sthh.3 1.686; Schömann, Assemblies, p. 292.)

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