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The Economy of the Greek Cities

From the Archaic Period to the Early Roman Empire

Léopold Migeotte

Publication Year: 2009

The Economy of the Greek Cities offers readers a clear and concise overview of ancient Greek economies from the archaic to the Roman period. Léopold Migeotte approaches Greek economic activities from the perspective of the ancient sources, situating them within the context of the city-state (polis). He illuminates the ways citizens intervened in the economy and considers such important sectors as agriculture, craft industries, public works, and trade. Focusing on how the private and public spheres impinged on each other, this book provides a broad understanding of the political and economic changes affecting life in the Greek city-states over a thousand-year period.

Published by: University of California Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vii

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p. ix-ix

The first edition of the present work (Paris, 2002) has already been translated into Italian (Rome, Carocci, 2003) and Modern Greek (Athens, Papadimas, 2007). Both translations have been revised by the author, who provided the translators with a fair number of modifications and supplementary bibliographical ...

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pp. 1-13

The study of the economy of the ancient world has been much reinvigorated and enriched over the last few decades. There have been many detailed research studies into realia and these have provided precious information, despite their non-theoretical nature, which in many cases limits them to observation and ...

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1. The Greek Cities and the Economy

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pp. 15-66

This chapter presents a broad outline of the material, mental, and institutional context within which the economy of Greek cities developed. It constitutes a basis for the three chapters that follow it and introduces a number of questions that they will pursue and study more ...

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2. The World of Agriculture

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pp. 67-91

Throughout antiquity, agriculture remained the basis of city economies. As in all barely mechanized rural societies, Greek agriculture required a large workforce, especially at harvesting and grape-picking times, and it occupied a large majority of the population, probably at least 80 percent. Agriculture provided a ...

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3. Craft Industries and Business Ventures

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pp. 92-116

The double title of this chapter is designed to cover a wide spectrum of activities of varying scale, ranging from small workshops to large businesses, with one feature in common to all: they all involved the transformation of natural products into finished articles. The usual Greek word for these activities was ...

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4. Trade

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pp. 117-172

Over the centuries trade made great progress within cities and, above all, between them. Of course development was neither regular nor uniform, and it took place alongside the expansion of agriculture and craft industries. But it was the development of what was truly commerce, effected by the use of money, that ...

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pp. 173-178

This book has attempted to show, within a few pages, how the ancient Greeks conceived of their economic activities and organized them within the framework of their cities. Describing characteristic features, sector by sector, it has endeavored, where possible, to sketch the evolution of production and trading, ...


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pp. 179-189


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pp. 191-200

Production Notes

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p. 201-201

E-ISBN-13: 9780520944671
Print-ISBN-13: 9780520253667

Page Count: 216
Publication Year: 2009