Ancient History Competition 52

This Spartan’s servant was heard saying that his master had many owls roosting in his roof. Then the master was charged with embezzlement. Who was the master?

Economic historian and numismatic consultant


  1. Gylippos. The owls were Athenian coins.

  2. Gylippos, formerly Spartan commander in Sicily, whom Lysander had sent home with money from the Athenians and other spoils (Plutarch, Lysander 16). Gylippos took a bit from each bag, opening and then sewing up the bottom so as to leave the seals intact, and not realizing there was a note in each bag giving the correct total. When the ephors had the bags counted, the missing moneys were discovered, and Gylippos was given away in the manner describes – the “owls” were, of course, those of Athenian coinage.

    • You are absolutely right! You were also especially fast today!

  3. Learnt something new… thanks for sharing

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