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    Ray, Nick M. 2012. The Encyclopedia of Ancient History.

  • Print publication year: 2007
  • Online publication date: March 2008

1 - Introduction

This introductory chapter of the book begins by presenting the goals of the book, summarizing the state of knowledge in ancient Greek and Roman economic history, and contributing to shaping future research. Most ancient historians rely on literary sources produced by and for a leisured elite. The publication of huge numbers of inscriptions, papyri, coins, and mute archaeological data has transformed scholarship in the last two generations, and Greco-Roman economic historians are now asking new questions and using new methods to answer them. The book can help students of classical culture understand the material forces that made the Greeks' and Romans' cultural achievements possible, and can allow economic historians of other times and places to fit the Greco-Roman experience into the broader sweep of world economic history. The chapter also gives an outline of the content available in other chapters of the book.
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The Cambridge Economic History of the Greco-Roman World
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