The Ancient Economy
Introducing students to current controversies over the nature of the ancient economy, this volume brings together twelve influential studies by leading experts in the field. In 1973, Moses Finley unveiled a comprehensive model of the economic underpinnings of classical civilisation. Since then, supporters and critics have turned the study of the ancient economy into what has been called ‘an academic battleground’. In recent years, however, a growing number of scholars have aimed to move the debate beyond partisan controversies. This volume takes stock of these developments. Embracing a wide range of interdisciplinary perspectives derived from ecology, economics and cultural studies and drawing on literary, documentary and archaeological evidence, the contributions address crucial issues from agricultural production, the uses of money and the creation of markets to the scale of long-distance trade and economic growth in the Greek and Roman periods. In a general introduction and separate headnotes for each chapter, the editors provide a concise survey of recent debates, seeking to situate the different contributions in the broader context of contemporary scholarship. This is the first collection of its kind. It is designed to acquaint beginners as well as more advanced students with a variety of thematic and methodological approaches to the study of economic processes in the ancient world. All terms in foreign or ancient languages have been translated into English or explained in a comprehensive glossary. An up-to-date bibliographical essay covering pertinent scholarship in English offers guidance for further reading and the preparation of term papers.