Economic Structures of Antiquity

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995 - 262 من الصفحات
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The economy of the ancient Middle East and Greece is reinterpreted by Morris Silver in this provocative new synthesis. Silver finds that the ancient economy emerges as a class of economies with its own laws of motion shaped by transaction costs (the resources used up in exchanging ownership rights). The analysis of transaction costs provides insights into many characteristics of the ancient economy, such as the important role of the sacred and symbolic gestures in making contracts, magical technology, the entrepreneurial role of high-born women, the elevation of familial ties and other departures from impersonal economics, reliance on slavery and adoption, and the insatiable drive to accumulate trust-capital. The peculiar behavior patterns and mindsets of ancient economic man are shown to be facilitators of economic growth.

In recent years, our view of the economy of the ancient world has been shaped by the theories of Karl Polanyi. Silver confronts Polanyi's empirical propositions with the available evidence and demonstrates that antiquity knew active and sophisticated markets. In the course of providing an alternative analytical framework for studying the ancient economy, Silver gives critical attention to the economic views of the Assyriologists I.M. Diakonoff, W.F. Leemans, Mario Liverani, and J.N. Postgate; of the Egyptologists Jacob J. Janssen and Wolfgang Helck; and of the numerous followers of Moses Finley. Silver convincingly demonstrates that the ancient world was not static: periods of pervasive economic regulation by the state are interspersed with lengthy periods of relatively unfettered market activity, and the economies of Sumer, Babylonia, and archaic Greece were capable of transforming themselves in order to take advantage of new opportunities. This new synthesis is essential reading for economic historians and researchers of the ancient Near East and Greece.

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الصفحات المحددة


Gods as Inputs and Outputs of the Ancient Economy
B Syncretism as an Investment in Trust
C Oaths and the Gods
D The Contribution of Temples to Economic Growth
An Application of Behavioral Economics
Adaptations of Markets and Hierarchical Relationships to Transaction Costs
Investment in Name Capital
C An Alternative Interpretations of Gift Trade
B Water Transport
C Storage and Monopoly Power
D Diffusion of Technology
Markets in Antiquity The Challenge of the Evidence
The Existence of Markets
The Credibility of Markets
The Response to Changes in Economic Incentives and Public Policy
New Markets and Land Consolidation

D Importance of Family Firms
E Family Ties and Innovation
F Women as Businesspersons and Entrepreneurs
G Employment of Slaves and Adoptees
H Size if Firm and Versatility of Firm
Who Were the Entrepreneurs? The Problem of Public Enterprise
Commercial Transport Gains from Trade Storage and Diffusion of New Technology
A Land Transport
A Sumer
B Archaic Greece
C Babylonia
Changes in Economic Policy and Organization
Concluding Remarks
Selected Bibliography
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مقاطع مشهورة

الصفحة 104 - Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God and said, Behold, if the Lord made windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, you shall see it with your eyes, but shall not eat thereof (2 Kgs.
الصفحة 154 - There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.
الصفحة 71 - ... among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats: and of such shall be my hire.
الصفحة 158 - And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein ; the owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money unto the owner of them ; and the dead beast shall be his.
الصفحة 130 - And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers (this describes the expense and luxury as well as the oppression of kings) and he will take your fields and your vineyards, and your olive yards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
الصفحة 11 - If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man's house; if the thief be found, he shall pay double.
الصفحة 22 - The most important of all the Italian fairs was that which was held at Soracte in the grove of Feronia, a situation than which none could be found more favourable for the exchange of commodities among the three great nations. That high isolated mountain, which appears to have been set down by Nature herself in the midst of the plain of the Tiber as a goal for the pilgrim, lay on the boundary which separated the Etruscan and Sabine lands (to the latter of which it appears mostly to have belonged),...
الصفحة 91 - When you sow in the eighth year, you will still be eating old grain of that crop; you will be eating the old until the ninth year, until its crops come in.
الصفحة 107 - He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him : but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.
الصفحة 22 - In that day there shall be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians.

نبذة عن المؤلف (1995)

MORRIS SILVER is Professor of Economics and Chairman of the Economics Department, City College of the City University of New York./e Professor Silver has published extensively on economic issues, including three books on economics in the Ancient World.

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