The Ancient Economy Research Paper

The Ancient Economy
A discussion on whether the economy of the ancient cities of Greece and Rome could be considered primitive.
# 51898 | 4,379 words | 13 sources | APA | 2004 | GB
Published on Jun 29, 2004 in History (Greek and Roman)

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This paper examines how most historians, without debate, describe the ancient economy as one of subsistence, of living in a precarious relationship with the terrain, season and weather. In particular, it analysis the ancient economies of Greek and Roman cities covering a range of sources and subjects from trade, to coinage to modern approaches to ancient attitudes. It also looks at modern schools of thought concerning land, tax, trade, agriculture, industry and banking. It concludes that the ancient economy was actually a system of immediacy- what was best for the period existed, whether it was more or less primitive that the period before.

From the Paper:

"The self-sufficient nature of the oikos in producing goods for its own use would not be sufficient for trade to the extent of which we have seen. The manufacture of self produced goods is fitting to a period which exists for the period, survival is immediate and the "now" is more important that making provisions for the future, as we have seen in agriculture. The introduction of trade diverges from this economical introversion and opens up the economical sphere. We should not be surprised to see an increase in manufacturing outside the oikos as trade increases , the two are incontrovertibly linked, more surpluses equals more trade, and more trade produces the wealth to create more trade. Similarly, towards the end of the 4th century we should not be surprised to see a specialisation in manufacturing. As Finley states, in large cities involved in commercial trade " one [trade] is easily enough to support a man of necessity he who pursues a very specialised task will do it best" . We can see an evolution from simple house-bound manufacture to large scale specialization for trade. Our one criticism of manufacture within the Graeco-Roman world can be neatly summarized in the story repeated by a number of Roman writers of a man who invented unbreakable glass."

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APA Format

The Ancient Economy (2004, June 29) Retrieved November 29, 2022, from

MLA Format

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