chapter  2
56 Pages

Work

Since the previous chapter discussed the disabling eff ects of legalised violence on non-combatants, it seems apposite to commence this chapter with a section on the ‘occupational disabilities’ of combatants and how ‘professional’ soldiers injured in war were provided for. Warfare and the ‘occupational risk’ of the professional soldier is a story that has been around since antiquity and the fi rst quasi-professional, standing armies.1 Nevertheless, the Athenians were apparently “the only Greek people known to us who made special provision for their poorer disabled citizens-perhaps originally those disabled in war”,2 in that an allowance mentioned for the fourth century BC may have been “designed originally for those disabled by war” during the time of radical democracy under Pericles in the fi fth century.3 In his Athenian Constitution (49, 4) Aristotle stated:

There is a law which lays down that those who possess less than three minae [300 drachmae] and who are physically maimed so as to be incapable of work are to be examined by the council and to be given two obols a day for maintenance at public expense.4