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Hellenistic Economies

Hellenistic Economies

Hardback

Edited by Zofia H. Archibald, Edited by John Davies, Edited by Graham Oliver, Edited by Vincent Gabrielsen

$142.50

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  • Publisher: ROUTLEDGE
  • Format: Hardback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 145mm x 222mm x 25mm | 766g
  • Publication date: 5 January 2001
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0415234662
  • ISBN 13: 9780415234665
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 30 line drawings, 15 maps and 17 b&w photographs

Product description

The economies of classical and Mediterranean antiquity are currently a battleground. Some scholars see them as lively and progressive, even proto-capitalist: others see them as static, embedded in social action and status relationships. Focusing on the central period of the Mediterranean 330-30 BC, this book contributes substantially to the debate, by juxtaposing general questions of theory and model-building with case-studies which examine specific areas and kinds of evidence. It breaks new ground by distilling and presenting new and newly-reinterpreted evidence for the Hellenistic era, by opening the debate on how we should replace Rostovtzeff's classic view of this period, and by offering a compelling new set of interpretative ideas to the debate on the ancient economy.

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Back cover copy

CAN WE MAP THE ECONOMIES OF CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY? IF SO, HOW?The economic activity of the Hellenistic age, c.330-30 BC, has been neglected since Rostovtzeff's classic study of 1941. Yet it deserves consideration in its own right. It was in this phase that large territorial polities emerged in most parts of the eastern and many areas of the western Mediterranean; economic activity expanded perceptibly within these units, and can be charted across and beyond them in various directions. The material evidence available has accumulated on an enormous scale, and a reassessment is clearly long overdue.Now Hellenistic Economies provides an up-to-date, comprehensive study of the period, which explores how we may more clearly understand and analyse the economic activities and interactions of the Hellenistic world. In doing so, it presents important general questions of theory and model-building alongside case studies which examine specific areas and kinds of evidence, much of it new. These show that no simplistic formula is acceptable, and that crucial distinctions must be made between fiscal and real economies, or between micro-regional and long-distance patterns of production and exchange.This much-needed volume makes a substantial contribution to the debate. Its valuable combination of evidence, interpretation and argument mean it will be required reading for all those studying the ancient economy.

Flap copy

The economies of classical and Mediterranean antiquity are a battleground: some scholars see them as lively and progressive, even proto-capitalist; others view them as static, embedded in social action and status relationships. Hellenistic Economies contributes substantially to the debate, by juxtaposing general questions of theory and model-building with case studies which examine specific areas and kinds of evidence.The focus is on the Mediterranean from 330 -- 30 BC, as the central period of ancient history, when previously separate or loosely-linked political, social, cultural and economic processes came to interact more closely, forming what we now know as 'classical antiquity'. Although neglected by theorists in recent decades, it provides an ideal repertoire of evidence -- of the intersections of city, rural and royal economies; of the effects of monetisation and urbanisation; of the power inherent in the possession and control of primary materials such as salt, corn or timber; of the social and political resonances set up when goods moved long distances within a landscape of micro-regions; and of the economic and other effects of royal and civic systems of patronage and benefaction.This volume breaks new ground by distilling and presenting new and newly-reinterpreted evidence for the Hellenistic period, much of it unfamiliar but of prime importance for all students of antiquity. It opens the debate about how the Rostovtzeffian picture of the period should be replaced: and it offers a set of interpretative ideas which the debate about ancient economies cannot afford to ignore.