A Rational-Actor Perspective on the Origin of Liturgies in Ancient Greece
In the classical period, it was a duty and an honour for rich Athenians to perform liturgies - to provide services for the common good. Using a rational-actor perspective, it is shown that the origin of this practice may go back to 594 B.C., when Solomon introduced a property qualification for office. This reform gave the rich Athenians an incentive to signal their wealth by publicly visible spending and provided an important impetus to liturgical spending. Institutional change is seen here to occur as an interplay between formal and informal rules, between institutions and individual behaviour.
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Volume (Year): 153 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
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