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Notes for the Athenian Game(s)

This has pretty much been said but it bears repeating… I began this unsure of where I was headed and
how fast I would be going. I am using a system which I recall as being friendly but others weren’t so
taken with. I have a terrible history when it comes to Supers games and that is what I have decided to
run. In short there are no end of wheels on this bus and any one of them could fall off, both on my end
and yours. I will try to do this right but if I mess up let me know and I will either course correct or pitch
the game.. LOL. My original idea was to carry the game into the future but I am no longer certain that is
what I will do, though it is still quite likely. To sum up: wheels, rotation, falling off, sudden stops, running
off a cliff, and maybe no future. If any of this worries you… me too! LOL Here are a few notes some of
this is lifted from a sourcebook some of it is my stuff; I hope it all creates an image you can get behind or
at least find interesting.

The game is set in Athens at about 550 BC and Persia is becoming something to worry about. Coins are
new but in wide use, though coinage can differ from city to city.

For the purposes of this game the following rates and coinage apply:

Talent of Silver 26 Kilograms of silver

Electrum or Dekadrachm 10 drachma 43 grams of silver or one Electrum coin (silver and gold
alloy)

Drachma (Athenian Owl) 6 obols 4.3 grams of silver

Obol .72 grams of silver

Spartan Iron Obol because it’s interesting Torso sized spit of iron about 6 of which could be held
in one hand.

There are other subdivisions but I don’t require that much verisimilitude in my game. The average
unskilled worked is paid about a drachma a day, One Talent is the equivalent of around nine years’
worth of wages for single skilled laborer working five days a week, 52 weeks a year. A skilled laborer can
earn 3 drachma a day or more. A Greek soldier on campaign received a ration of 1 choinix of wheat per
day. The price of wheat in Athens at about this time was 3 drachmai per medimnos. There are
48 choinices in a medimnos. Thus, one drachma could buy enough food for 16 days for one person, four
days for a family of four. The drachma in this time had roughly the paying power of $50 USD.

Standard Price List

Melee Weapons

Dagger……………………………………..15 obol

Mace…………………………………..……5 drachma

Axe………………………………………….5 drachma

Spear………………………………….……5 drachma
Sword……………………………………….10 drachma

Missile Weapons

Bow…………….…….……………………...7 drachma

Javelin……………….………………………5 drachma

Sling…………………………………………..5 obol

Arrows (six)…………………………………..6 obol

Slingshot (ten)………………………............2 obol

Armor Helmet………………………………………12 drachma

Breastplate………………………….........25 drachma

Shield………………………………….........13 drachma

Travel & Expeditions

Rowing boat………………………………….3 drachma

Small sailing ship…………………………..30 drachma

Merchant ship…………...……………...…150 drachma

Warship / galley……………………………300 drachma

Riding Horse………………………….………………25 drachma

Staff…………………… ……………………..5 obol

Sundry

Flask of oil…………………………………..10 obol

Torch…………………………………….……2 obol

Flint & tinder………………………………….5 obol

Rope (30 feet)………………………………15 obol

Bedroll……………………………………….4 drachma

Rations (one day)………………..…………..2 obol

Waterskin……………………………………..2 obol

Food & Lodging Night’s lodging…………………..……….2-10 obol*

One meal (including wine)………………..2-5 obol*

Jug (Kantharos or Chous [6 pints or 3 liters]) of wine…………………………………1-3 obol*

Livestock
Fowl…………………………………………….2 obol

Goat………………………………………..1 drachma

Mule………………………….………………..5 drachma

Ox…………………………………………….10 drachma

Household Goods

Table……………………………….2-10 drachma*

Bed………………………………………….4-15 drachma*

Chair……………………………………….1-5 drachma*

Decorated Kylix (wine cup 8 oz or more)…….3obol–2 drachma*

Statue……………………………100-500 drachma*

Lodging (most homes at this time look alike from the outside. Decoration and opulence for within the
building. Public places were the usual places that were visibly stand out and lavish. Many families might
live in a single home. To purchase a home instead of leasing multiply by 10.

Monthly lease on a poor house (3 rooms, a courtyard, wash room)……..15 drachma

Monthly lease on a modest house (5 rooms, courtyard, weaving room, andron (for men to gather in),
gynaikonitis (for women to gather in)……………………………..25 drachma

Monthly lease on a wealthy house (7 rooms, courtyard, rooms for weaving, andron, gynaikonitis, wash
rooms, kitchen, statues to your gods) …………………………….50 drachma

Monthly lease on opulent house (mansion)……………………………100 drachma

Servants and Services

Prostitute (one hour)…………………………………………………….3 obol

Entertainer / Performer (per hour)…………………………….1-30 drachma*

Attending a play……………………………………..2 obol – 10 drachma*

Throwing a Symposium………………………………30 drachma

Maintaining a slave (per month)…………………1-3 drachma

* prices vary with quality

The different CLASSES


Pentacosiomedimnoi (5+ Wealth or about 1500+ drachma/yr.)
The pentacosiomedimni or pentakosiomedimnoi were the top class of citizens: those whose
property or estate could produce 500 medimnoi of wet or dry goods (or their equivalent), per year.
They were eligible for all top positions of government in Athens. These were:

 9 archons and treasurers


 Council of Areopagus (as ex-archons)
 Council of 400
 Ecclesia

Hippeis (about 3-4 Wealth [3 dice is about 900 drachma/yr. 4 dice is


about 1200 drachma/yr.])
The hippeus was the second highest of the four social classes. It was composed of men who had at
least 300 medimnoi or their equivalent as yearly income.

Zeugitae (1-2 Wealth dice [1 die is about 600 drachma/yr. 2 dice is


about 750 drachma/yr.])
The Zeugitae or zeugitai were those whose property or estate could produce 200 medimnoi of wet
or dry goods (or their equivalent), per year. The term appears to have come from the Greek word for
"yoke", which has led modern scholars to conclude that zeugitae were either men who could afford a
yoke of oxen or men who were "yoked together" in the phalanx—that is, men who could afford their
own hoplite armor.
The zeugitae could serve as hoplites in the Athenian army. The idea was that one could serve as a
hoplite if he had enough money to equip himself in that manner, i.e. he could produce
200 medimnoi or more per year.
They were eligible for a few positions of government in Athens such as:

 Council of 500
 Lower offices of state
 Ecclesia

Thetes (No Wealth dice [about 500 drachma per year])


The thetes (serfs) were the lowest social class of citizens. The thetes were those who were workers
for wages, or had less than 200 medimnoi (or their equivalent) as yearly income. They could
participate in the Ecclesia (the Athenian assembly), and could be jurors serving in the law court of
the Heliaia, but were not allowed to serve in the Boule or serve as magistrates.

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