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The Economy of Late Achaemenid and Seleucid Babylonia


  • Date Published: March 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107106062


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About the Authors
  • In this book Reinhard Pirngruber provides a full reassessment of the economic structures and market performance in Late Achaemenid and Seleucid Babylonia. His approach is informed by the theoretical insights of New Institutional Economics and draws heavily on archival cuneiform documents as well as providing the first exhaustive contextualisation of the price data contained in the Babylonian Astronomical Diaries. Historical information gleaned from the accounts of both Babylonian scholars and Greek authors shows the impact of imperial politics on prices in form of exogenous shocks affecting supply and demand. Attention is also paid to the amount of money in circulation. Moreover, the use of regression analysis in modelling historical events breaks new ground in Ancient Near Eastern Studies and gives new impetus to the use of modern economic theory. The book explains the theoretical and statistical methods used so that it is accessible to the full range of historians.

    • Applies statistical analysis to ancient price data, providing the reader with a formal model for price oscillations
    • Applies methodologies widely used in economic research to the study of antiquity, thereby breaking new ground for comparative history
    • Employs an up-to-date theoretical framework grounded in New Institutional Economics, thereby shedding new light on the market in Seleucid Babylonia
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107106062
    • length: 260 pages
    • dimensions: 255 x 182 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 21 b/w illus. 26 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The economy of late Achaemenid and Seleucid Babylonia: state of the problem, methodology and sources
    Part I. Structure:
    2. Some key developments in first-millennium Babylonia
    3. Land, labour and capital: the factors of production
    4. Price volatility and storage
    Part II. Performance:
    5. A price history of Babylonia, c.400–c.140 BC
    6. Historical events in a quantitative analysis.

  • Author

    Reinhard Pirngruber, Universität Wien, Austria
    Reinhard Pirngruber is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Universität Wien, Austria, working on a project dedicated to the diplomatics and palaeography of Neo- and Late-Babylonian archival documents.

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