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Tax, Rule and Corruption in Isocrates

As part of the broader Twisted Transfers project my own subproject looks to classical Athens and the corpus of Isocrates’ speeches and letters. Specifically, I look to his presentation of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ rule (both individual and collective) and from that how ‘state’ spending and revenue collection are conceptualised in light of his ideological bent. This subproject exploits a semantic fissure in Testart’s ‘transfers of the third kind’ (t3t), who conceives such transfers – which incorporate tax relationships – as both obligatory and unilateral, as well as existing within asymmetrical power relationships between giver and receiver. I also aim to examine the potential semantic sliding (euphemistically or otherwise) of Greek terms for taxation, tribute and contribution within transfer relations, as well to get to grips with the flexibility of Testart’s unilaterality as a concept in classical transfer relationships.