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"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.
|Foreword to Updated Edition|
|Some Dates for Orientation||11|
|Map: The Roman Empire in the Second Century A.D.||14|
|I||The Ancients and Their Economy||17|
|II||Orders and Status||35|
|III||Masters and Slaves||62|
|IV||Landlords and Peasants||95|
|V||Town and Country||123|
|VI||The State and the Economy||150|
|VII||Further Thoughts (1984)||177|
|Abbreviations and Short Titles||208|