“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.”
Luke, Chapter 2, Verse 1
“Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells.”
J. Paul Getty (1892–1976)
Plenty of archeologists have researched the lost city of Atlantis. Its location is not known—if it ever existed at all. What we do know about it, through hearsay, comes from various sources. The first mention might have been in Plato—or, as some believe, in Homer's account of Scheria or Ogygia.1
From these accounts we can surmise that Atlantis was certainly a prosperous place. Plato says of Atlantis that it contained “all that nature had to offer,” and Homer described Scheria in similar terms. The island is said to have had a king named Atlas and a constitutional framework that became the source of discussion among Plato and his fellow philosophers. But I believe (and based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever), that we can take things a step further and deduce a great deal about Atlantis' politico-economic system—and in particular its taxation system. In taking this imaginative leap, I want to describe in speculative terms, how a system of taxation might have evolved in that society. So, here goes… ...