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What is Theorica?


In ancient Greece, Theorica was a state grant handed out to Athens’ poorer citizens to enable them to attend festivals, religious ceremonies and other forms of public entertainment. Processions, theatrical exhibitions and gymnastic contests were all celebrated in style and at great expense.

Where have you heard about Theorica?

Theorica is one of the earliest examples of public funding. It was established around 350 BC after the Social War by Athenian statesman Eubulus. The conflict had plunged the city into serious financial difficulties, so this pot of money was created to help locals buy tickets for festivals to give them a good time.

What you need to know about Theorica.

Although the main purpose of the fund was for public festivals, it was also used for other projects, including weapon building and work on the dockyards.

By appeasing the poorer class of Athenians that would normally have encouraged the pursuit of an aggressive foreign policy, Theorica contributed to a more pacifist approach that eased tensions between the rich and the poor in Athens.

The Theoric Board that oversaw the spending eventually became so influential that it overshadowed all other financial offices in Athens.

Find out more about Theorica.

Read our definition of Grexit to learn more about the Greek economy in more modern times.

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