The Ancient Economy
"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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activity agricultural analysis ancient economy ancient history ancient world antiquity argued argument Aristotle army Athenian Brunt Caesar called Cambridge centre chap Cicero citizens city of Rome city-state Classical Antiquity classical Athens coins concept Demosthenes discussion drachmas Duncan-Jones Economic History Egypt estates evidence example exploitation export farm Finley Finley's fourth century B.C. freedmen fundamental Garnsey Gaul Graeco-Roman grain Greece Greek Greek and Roman Hellenistic helots historians imperial important income interest Italian Italy land landowners later Roman latifundia Lezoux loans London manufacture Max Weber metics military modern moneylending normally Oxford Paris peasant period Pliny Polanyi political poor population profits provinces Republic Roman emperors Roman Empire romischen scale second century sector senators sense sesterces slavery social status Strabo structure tenants third century Thucydides tion town trade Trajan Trimalchio urban Veyne wealth Weber Xenophon