By Z. Archibald
The economies of classical and Mediterranean antiquity are at the moment a battleground. a few students see them as full of life and innovative, even proto-capitalist: others see them as static, embedded in social motion and standing relationships.Focusing at the important interval of the Mediterranean 330-30 BC, this ebook contributes considerably to the talk, through juxtaposing basic questions of idea and model-building with case-studies which study particular parts and types of evidence.It breaks new flooring via distilling and providing new and newly-reinterpreted facts for the Hellenistic period, by means of establishing the talk on how we must always change Rostovtzeff's vintage view of this era, and by way of delivering a compelling new set of interpretative rules to the controversy at the old financial system.
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Additional resources for Hellenistic Economies
They deserve a separate heading since they are not so much a commodity in themselves as a trace element reflecting the movement of the various commodities which they contained. 39 In theory, their evidence should be a godsend. In evaluating its potential, it is helpful to follow the format of the reports of Empereur and Garlan, and to distinguish the use of evidence about place of production from that of find-spot or contents. ) and in creating usable sequences of eponym-magistrates, there should be a realistic prospect of creating bar-graphs which would show, for each fabric and for each twenty-five or thirty-three year period, how many examples of each fabric were being produced.
Likewise, no-one aware of the sorts of fine houses which characterize the late classical and especially the Hellenistic period, notably at Delos but also elsewhere, can doubtthatwidespread social values allowed – even required – substantial resources to go into private house-building, house decoration with mosaics and wall-paintings, or fine furniture, in a way which had characterized only a few royal or would-be royal residences in the classical period. Equally, just as the Zenon archive reveals the degree of domestic elegance available to up-country colonialist Greeks, so too Athenaios’ accounts of the procession of Ptolemaios II at Alexandria in 279/8,66 of Antiochos IV’s procession at Daphne in 166, or of Karanos’ banquet,67 make clear that Hellenistic monarchs and aristocrats had the aspirations, and sometimes the resources, to emulate the levels of conspicuous consumption which Alexander showed at the funeral ceremonies for Hephaistion.
Here, Reger’s implicit and explicit answer, ‘Look at the movements which people and commodities are actually making’, is both commonsensical and helpful (helpful atleastwhen we have usable detailed evidence). However, ‘regional analysis’ is also debatable in various ways. One impinges at a purely practical level. Other work of mine in progress, which attempts to map the catchment area, or the zone of Hellenistic economies in the post-finley era 31 attraction, of the sanctuary at Delphi, reveals that it varies enormously according to function.
Hellenistic Economies by Z. Archibald