Persian Luxury in Democratic Athens

Karpyuk Sergey G.

The author traces the development of «fashion» for luxury in 5th century BC Athens. During the first half of the 5th century BC aristocratic fashion for Persian luxury grows ever more popular with the demos, as Aritophanes’ comedies witness. At the same time luxury loses its prestige in the eyes of the Athenian aristocrats, who prefer to adopt Laconic simplicity. Admiration of Spartan egalitarian values among 5th century BC Athenian aristocrats was thus a reaction to the growth of welfare of the Athenian citizens, who were now able to afford objects of luxury.

Keywords: Athens, polis, aristocracy, demos, democracy, luxury, Aristophanes, Thucydides
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