- Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Format: Paperback | 380 pages
- Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 28mm | 599g
- Publication date: 30 July 2009
- Publication City/Country: Cambridge
- ISBN 10: 0521117763
- ISBN 13: 9780521117760
- Edition: 1
- Illustrations note: 1 map 5 tables
- Sales rank: 1,650,377
The Seleukid empire, the principal successor-state of the empire of Alexander the Great, endured for over 200 years and stretched, at its peak, from the Mediterranean to the borders of India. This book provides a wide-ranging study of the empire's economy and the methods used by the Seleukid kings to monetise and manage it so as to extract tribute, rent and taxes as efficiently as possible. It uses a variety of Greek literary sources and inscriptions, cuneiform texts, archaeological, numismatic and comparative evidence to explore in detail the manner of exploitation of their lands and subjects by the Seleukid kings, their city-building activity, the financing of their armies and administration, the use they made of coinage and their methods of financial management. The book adopts a highly original, numerical approach throughout, which leads to a quantified model of the economy of an ancient state.
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Makis Aperghis originally studied engineering at the University of Cambridge. He returned to the study of Ancient History and was awarded a doctorate from University College London (2000).
Review of the hardback: '... the book succeeds in raising fundamental questions about the economy in imperial states. Aperghis' study is therefore relevant for more than economic history alone. Offering valuable insights into, and raising fundamental questions about, the finances of the Seleukid Empire, it is also of interest for political historians working on Greco-Macedonian imperialism in the East, perhaps even for those interested in the functioning of empires in general.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review
Table of contents
Part I. Preliminaries: 1. Sources and methods; 2. Historical summary; 3. The posing of a problem; Part II. The Underlying Economy: 4. Geography and population; 5. Production and exchange; 6. The granting of land; Part III. The Royal Economy: 7. Ps-Aristotle's Oikonomika, book II; 8. Revenue; 9. The handling of surpluses; 10. Expenditure; 11. Coinage; 12. A model of the Seleukid economy; 13. Financial administration; General conclusions.