From: "The Wynns"
Subject: Re: (urth) Archaic Rome in Soldier Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2003 01:42:20 -0600 > > 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. >Then Andrew replied: > [Finley in "The Ancient Economy"] 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)... > > Is there any historical evidence of a merchant like Hypereides fitting out > and commanding warships in classical Athens? I'll take on Finley first. I haven't read Finley and I don't know what he means by "evidence" or "rare". The impression I get from Herodotus is that sea-trade was not rare among Ionic Greeks and Phoenicians (although sometimes one gets the idea that it was considered a seemly profession for no one else). Greek traders seemed inclined to buy anything -- including things for which there was no local value (Herodotus 2:39). And what about all the trade routes in the Near and Middle East some dating back into prehistory? Cyrus may have not thought much of the Ionians markets (according to Herodotus 1:153) but he did build the Royal Road from Sardis (capitol of Ionic Greece) to Susa (sixth century) which immediately became an important trade route. However, Herodotus' history is rife with references to Ionic Greek and Phoenician merchant ships. Does Finely explain this discrepancy? It is true that I know of no reference from Herodotus or Thucydides that Athens created its navy on the backs of the merchant class, but it would be a reasonable inference on Wolfe's part. Athens' extensive standing navy was built only after the Persian War, from tribute of client states. Where would Athens' "wooden wall" have come from? Where would their competent sailors have come from? Reasonably, since the Ionians were sea-traders -- they had to defend themselves from (and fight as) pirates and privateers. The following are some quickly drawn references from Herodotus suggesting that traders were not rare world-wide and could be competent warriors.... Herodotus 2:141 Tale of an Egyptian king that neglected the "warrior class" and went to war and conquered drawing his army entirely from the "traders, artisans, and market-people". Herodotus 5:9 "Sigynnae is the name which the Ligurians who dwell above Massilia [modern Marseilles] give to traders, while among the Cyprians the word means spears." --- Crush --