The Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans

The Monetary Systems of the Greeks and Romans


Edited by W. V. Harris

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 344 pages
  • Dimensions: 148mm x 218mm x 28mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 15 April 2008
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199233357
  • ISBN 13: 9780199233359
  • Illustrations note: 5 black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,557,185

Product description

Most people have some idea what Greeks and Romans coins looked like, but few know how complex Greek and Roman monetary systems eventually became. The contributors to this volume are numismatists, ancient historians, and economists intent on investigating how these systems worked and how they both did and did not resemble a modern monetary system. Why did people first start using coins? How did Greeks and Romans make payments, large or small? What does money mean in Greek tragedy? Was the Roman Empire an integrated economic system? This volume can serve as an introduction to such questions, but it also offers the specialist the results of original research.

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Author information

W. V. Harris is Shepherd Professor of History at Columbia University.

Review quote

This volume provides a welcome and up-to-date discussion of monetary systems in the ancient Mediterranean world. The perspectives are varied, well-researched and promise to generate significant debate... This volume illustrates the extent of these developments and raises important new questions and perspectives. Darrell J. Rohl in Archaelogical Review from Cambridge Monetary Systems serves as an excellent overview of the most interesting topics in ancient monetary history today and provides a valuable contribution to our understanding of the economic history of the ancient world in general. Darel Tai Engen, EH.Net Harris has done an excellent job of bringing to the fore themes that cut across the contributions. Vedia Izzet and Robert Shorrock the book represents a well thought out and balanced piece of work. Its controversial character precisely reflects the modern state of affairs in the study of ancient monetary history, but with its appearance, we have undoubtedly moved much closer to the correct understanding of what ancient money was. Sergei A. Kovalenko, Ancient West & East

Table of contents

1. The Monetary Use of Weighed Bullion in Archaic Greece ; 2. What Was Money in Ancient Greece and Rome? ; 3. Money and Tragedy ; 4. The Elasticity of the Money-Supply at Athens ; 5. Coinage as 'Code' in Ptolemaic Egypt ; 6. The Demand for Money in the Late Roman Republic ; 7. Money and Prices in the Early Roman Empire ; 8. The Function of Gold Coinage in the Monetary Economy of the Roman Empire ; 9. The Nature of Roman Money ; 10. The Use and Survival of Coins and of Gold and Silver in the Vesuvian Cities ; 11. The Monetization of the Roman Frontier Provinces: A Quantitative Revision ; 12. The Divergent Evolution of Coinage in Eastern and Western Eurasia