Although it is frequently asserted that Greek poleis routinely laid legal claim to marine fisheries or even territorial waters, making them subject to special taxes and regulation, these assertions have little or no foundation in the evidence. For Greek fishermen the sea was freely and openly accessible, a fact that reflects the limited regulatory reach of ancient poleis. This evidence for the legal status of the sea and its fisheries is mirrored by our evidence for the status of marine fishermen, conceived of as comprising distinct communities existing largely outside the legal and social structures of the polis.
- © 2012 by The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.