How Rich Greeks Once Paid Taxes…Back in Ancient Times

Hard to imagine, but back in the days of the Ancient Greece, the richest of the rich competed to pay the most taxes, while the poor were treated to festivals and shows from the money taken from the taxes.

Things sure have changed since 323 BC when Athens was considered a wealthy city and the rich were tripping over themselves trying to see who could pay the most taxes. Basically, the top 300 richest people would pay property taxes, but the trick is, that they did not pay taxes to the state.

Instead, those who paid taxes made sure that the services required by society were fulfilled — by seeing to it themselves. The Ancient Greeks would brag if they were rich enough to pay taxes, and then they would add to their boasting by showing off the public events and which of Athens’ triremes they had paid for. In other words, the bigger the festival they paid for with their taxes, the more they could show-off their riches and claim to be the richest of the land.


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