LAURIUM (Aabptov, mod. ERGASTIRI) , a
See also:town in
See also:Greece, famous for the
See also:silver mines which were one of the chief
See also:sources of revenue of the Athenian state, and were employed for coinage . After the
See also:battle of
See also:Themistocles persuaded the Athenians to, devote the revenue derived from the mines to
See also:shipbuilding, and thus laid the foundation of the Athenian
See also:naval power, and made possible the victory of
See also:Salamis . The mines, which were the
See also:property of the state, were usually farmed out for a certain fixed sum and a percentage on the working; slave labour was exclusively employed . To-wards the end of the 5th century the output was diminished, partly owing to the Spartan occupation of
See also:Decelea . But the mines continued to be worked, though
See also:Strabo records that in his
See also:time the tailings were being worked over, and
See also:Pausanias speaks of the mines as a thing of the past . The
See also:ancient workings, consisting of shafts and galleries for excavating the ore, and pans and other arrangements for extracting the
See also:metal, may still be seen . The mines are still worked at the
See also:day by French and Greek companies, but mainly for lead,
See also:manganese and cadmium . The population of the
See also:modern town was 10,007 in 1907 . See E . Ardaillon, "
See also:Les Mines du Laurion dans 1'antiquite," No. lxxvii. of the Bibliotheque
See also:des ecales francaises d'Athenes et de Rome .
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