The Ancient Economy

Front Cover
University of California Press, 1999 - History - 262 pages
3 Reviews
00 "Technical progress, economic growth, productivity, even efficiency have not been significant goals since the beginning of time," declares M. I. Finley in his classic work. The states of the ancient Mediterranean world had no recognizable real-property market, never fought a commercially inspired war, witnessed no drive to capital formation, and assigned the management of many substantial enterprises to slaves and ex-slaves. In short, to study the economies of the ancient world, one must begin by discarding many premises that seemed self-evident before Finley showed that they were useless or misleading. Available again, with a new foreword by Ian Morris, these sagacious, fertile, and occasionally combative essays are just as electrifying today as when Finley first wrote them. "Technical progress, economic growth, productivity, even efficiency have not been significant goals since the beginning of time," declares M. I. Finley in his classic work. The states of the ancient Mediterranean world had no recognizable real-property market, never fought a commercially inspired war, witnessed no drive to capital formation, and assigned the management of many substantial enterprises to slaves and ex-slaves. In short, to study the economies of the ancient world, one must begin by discarding many premises that seemed self-evident before Finley showed that they were useless or misleading. Available again, with a new foreword by Ian Morris, these sagacious, fertile, and occasionally combative essays are just as electrifying today as when Finley first wrote them.
 

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Review: The Ancient Economy

User Review  - David Robertus - Goodreads

An excellent diagnosis of a problem that far too many assumptions have been made about in the past. This study looks at the ancient mindset of what an economy was (and was not). It provides a very ... Read full review

Contents

Foreword to Updated Edition by Ian Morris
ix
Preface
9
The Ancients and Their Economy
17
Orders and Status
35
The State and the Economy
150
Further Thoughts 1984
177
Abbreviations and Short Titles
208
Index
255
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

M. I. Finley, who died in 1986, was Professor of Ancient History and Master of Darwin College at Cambridge University. Ian Morris is the Jean and Rebecca Willard Professor in Classics and Chair of the Classics Department at Stanford University.

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