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From: "Chris" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Archaic Rome in Soldier
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2003 14:55:15 +0000

I don't have the book on hand to reference as someone else did, but I 
remember a passage in Herodotus that explicitly says that traders were 
looked down on in Greece, more in some cities and less in others. He cites 
one city in particular - Corinth, I think, but I'm not sure - where they are 
hardly looked down on at all. But we can infer that there would be some 
prejudice in the other cities. Probably not quite as much in Athens as in 
Sparta, but still there.

re: Latro as an Immortal, I didn't actually know that foreigners were 
allowed in that unit - Herodotus didn't say an awful lot about it, and I 
haven't read other sources. But certainly that would help to explain things. 
Though, I'm not so sure his entire unit would have been used that way. If 
they were, it seems more likely that they would have been caught in the 
later fighting around Thebes than to have gotten so far away.

>How anachronistic are the glimpses we get? Eg: at the very start of Mist, 
>Latro says that he would have though the commander of a warship would be a 
>"horseman". Presumably by this he means somebody of equestrian rank, rather 
>than a low-status money-grubbing merchant. This seems like an accurate 
>portrayal of Roman attitudes during later times, but what do we know of 
>such distinctions from the archaic period? I guess I need to go back to 
>Livy or something.
>Also, I have doubts about the picture of Athens presented in the same 
>little passage. Did merchants really have high status in classical Athens? 
>I have a mental picture of a society where the honorable path to wealth was 
>through land, and booty taken in wars, and where on the nitty-gritty side 
>of things the silver mines were a far more important part of the "GDP" and 
>the war economy, than anything to do with trade & merchandise. Maybe I'm 
>wrong, but the Hypereides character doesn't feel right.

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