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From: "Andrew Bollen" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Archaic Rome in Soldier
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2003 13:23:40 +1000

Josh wrote:

> Trade was very important. All of those Greek vases that we find, all
> over the Mediterranean, those were largely packaging for olive oil or
> wine or whatever.

I guess I'm influenced by Finley, esp. passages like Chap 5 of "The Ancient
Economy". His position, of course, is that large-scale trade in the ancient
world was very rare. He can find only two significant sources of "trade"
related income for Athens from the 4th Century on - silver and tourism. Fine
pottery is the only significant manufactured export he can find evidence for
(which apparently died out in the 4th cent). With few exceptions, he
believes that manufacture in the local world was for local consumption, and
quotes Hume: he "could not remember a passage in any ancient author where
the growth of a city is to be ascribed to the establishment of a
manufacture." Almost all available evidence for the manufacturers themselves
present them as being very small operators, "not even little Wedgewoods".
The largest operation he can find in 5th century Athens is Cephalus' shield
factory, employing 100+ slaves - note that it is *slaves*, not craftspeople,
who do the work, and that Cephalus was a metic, not a citizen.

Is there any historical evidence of a merchant like Hypereides fitting out
and commanding warships in classical Athens?


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