Traders in the Ancient Mediterranean presents a framework on which to hang ancient Mediterranean buying, selling, and transporting of goods. In five focused chapters, each written by a field expert, Traders in the Ancient Mediterranean offers a diachronic analysis of the ancient Mediterranean trader from the Late Bronze Age (1500-1100 BCE) through the Roman Imperial period (27 BCE-400 CE). The book focuses on local traditions, embedded historical context and socio-political goals of traders as individual actors, to provide an analysis of the impact of trade on ancient Mediterranean life beyond the traditional boundaries of the economy. As a result, two main types of behavior are analyzed, inter-regional and regional. The political and social developments of the Late Bronze Age and the Hellenistic and Roman periods, characterized by the rise of large multi-regional empires such as Assyria, Babylon, New Kingdom Egypt, Seleucid Syria and Ptolemaic Egypt, facilitated increased volume and demand for long-distance, extra-mural trade. Alternatively, the regionalism of Early Iron Age communities such as the Greek, Etruscan and Phoenician city-states tended to encourage focused exchange onto smaller, local networks to such as degree that larger structures, and longer distance trade were slow to form and thrive. A conclusion that all regions share, however is that ancient Mediterranean traders maintained a general disregard for the "laws" of supply and demand. Their behavior was dominated by intense official interference (and even competition) by revenue-hungry political entities. Consequently, for the ancient trader and the consumers he (or occasionally she) serviced, the prices of movable goods were always volatile, high risk was always a factor, and the integration of markets into an ordered economy superficial and tentative.
|Publisher:||The Association of Ancient Historians|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.52(d)|
About the Author
Timothy Howe teaches at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. He is Associate Field Director of the Antiochia ad Cragum Archaeological Project (ACARP) in Southern Turkey, has excavated and supervised field programs in Cyprus at the Mycenaean Bronze Age site of Kalavassos Aghios Demetrios and Neolithic site of Tenta, and has excavated in Greece at ancient Sparta, Corinth, and the Athenian Agora. He has written over 20 articles and book chapters as well as four books on the archaeology of Mediterranean agriculture and trade, Alexander the Great, ancient Mediterranean warfare, and Greek and Latin historiography. He also serves as Senior Editor for the ancient studies journal The Ancient History Bulletin.