FIND in
<--prev V306 next-->
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

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

--- Crush


<--prev V306 next-->