Leiturgia (old Latin, from the Greek) or Liturgies were compulsory public services which the wealthy had to perform or subsidize for the state; a sort of special tax levied on the rich in the ancient Greek city states, such as Athens, and later in both Egypt and the Roman Empire. Originally, the well-to-do were required to aid without remuneration in the execution of important public works, such as collecting taxes, serving as public officials, providing food for the poor in times of famine, furnishing food and quarters for the army, supplying animals and drivers or outfitting ships for the transport of men and goods the state wanted moved, etc. Later, these liturgies became a means for those in power to despoil the wealth of large property owners and others not in political favor, with the result that they hastened economic decay.
- Percy L. Greaves, Jr. "Mises Made Easier ", 1974. Referenced 2014-07-18.