Access to resources has been an underlying theme in the debates about ‘the Greek city’, specifically the relationship between political institutions and economic structures. The ways in which different scholars from at least the time of Weber have construed these relationships offer an interesting insight into the historiography of the polis. The purpose of this paper is to consider how particular sources of wealth were distributed and who had access to them, exploring what this analysis reveals both about the ideals of modern scholarship and the realities of the polis itself.