The Ancient Economy
University of California Press, 1999 - Business & Economics - 262 pages
"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 antiquity argument Athenian Athens called Cambridge century century B.C. chap Cicero citizens city-state classical coins communities concept considerable discussion early economic emperors estates evidence example exception existence fact farm figures Finley fourth grain Greece Greek hand historians holdings imperial important included income interest Italy labour land landowners late later latifundia least less loans London means never normally peasant perhaps period political poor population possible practice production profits question reason remains respect Roman Empire Rome scale senators sense significant slavery slaves social society sources status structure suggest supply third tion town trade urban wealth Weber whole