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    Economic Structures of Antiquity (Contributions in Economics & Economic History) (Hardback) By (author) Morris Silver

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    DescriptionThe economy of the ancient Middle East and Greece is reinterpreted by Morris Silver in this provocative new synthesis. Silver finds that the ancient economy emerges as a class of economies with its own laws of motion shaped by transaction costs (the resources used up in exchanging ownership rights). The analysis of transaction costs provides insights into many characteristics of the ancient economy, such as the important role of the sacred and symbolic gestures in making contracts, magical technology, the entrepreneurial role of high-born women, the elevation of familial ties and other departures from impersonal economics, reliance on slavery and adoption, and the insatiable drive to accumulate trust-capital. The peculiar behavior patterns and mindsets of ancient economic man are shown to be facilitators of economic growth. In recent years, our view of the economy of the ancient world has been shaped by the theories of Karl Polanyi. Silver confronts Polanyi's empirical propositions with the available evidence and demonstrates that antiquity knew active and sophisticated markets. In the course of providing an alternative analytical framework for studying the ancient economy, Silver gives critical attention to the economic views of the Assyriologists I.M. Diakonoff, W.F. Leemans, Mario Liverani, and J.N. Postgate; of the Egyptologists Jacob J. Janssen and Wolfgang Helck; and of the numerous followers of Moses Finley. Silver convincingly demonstrates that the ancient world was not static: periods of pervasive economic regulation by the state are interspersed with lengthy periods of relatively unfettered market activity, and the economies of Sumer, Babylonia, and archaic Greece were capable of transforming themselves in order to take advantage of new opportunities. This new synthesis is essential reading for economic historians and researchers of the ancient Near East and Greece.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Economic Structures of Antiquity

    Economic Structures of Antiquity
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Morris Silver
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 288
    Width: 156 mm
    Height: 234 mm
    Thickness: 17 mm
    Weight: 581 g
    ISBN 13: 9780313293801
    ISBN 10: 0313293805

    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: ECO
    BIC subject category V2: HBJD, HBLA
    B&T Merchandise Category: TXT
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: HBJF1
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1FB
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.3
    BIC subject category V2: KCZ
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1QDAG
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 05
    B&T General Subject: 180
    Ingram Subject Code: BE
    B&T Modifier: Continuations: 02
    Libri: I-BE
    BISAC V2.8: BUS022000
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 17830
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 07
    B&T Approval Code: A45500000
    BISAC V2.8: BUS023000
    BIC subject category V2: 1FB, 1QDAG
    DC20: 330.93
    LC classification: HC31.S555
    LC subject heading: ,
    DC22: 330.90901, 330.9/09/01
    LC classification: HC31 .S555 1995
    Thema V1.0: NHD, KCZ, NHC, NHG
    Edition statement
    New ed.
    Illustrations note
    black & white illustrations
    Imprint name
    Greenwood Press
    Publication date
    28 February 1995
    Publication City/Country
    Review quote
    ?The idea of transaction costs has much to offer ancient economic historians; a means of describing antiquity that emphasises its specific character and yet permits (indeed, encourages) cross-cultural comparison.?-Journal of Hellenic Studies
    Table of contents
    Transcriptions and Phonetics; Symbols; Structural Characteristics of the Ancient Economy; Gods as Inputs and Outputs of the Ancient Economy; Adaptations of Markets and Hierarchical Relationships to Transaction Costs; Who Were the Entrepreneurs?; The Problem of "Public" Enterprise; Commercial Transport, Gains From Trade, Storage, and Diffusion of New Technology; Markets in the Ancient Near East - the Challenge of the Evidence; The Existence of Markets; The Credibility of Markets; The Response to Changes in Economic Incentives and Public Policy; New Markets and Land Consolidation; Changes in Economic Policy and Organisation; Concluding Remarks.