Trade and Politics in Ancient Greece

By Johannes Hasebroek; L. M. Fraser et al. | Go to book overview
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brutality, and which, remoulded to an ethical pattern, was to become the governing class of Plato's Ideal State. The economics of the Republic and the Laws appear much less Utopian, less divorced from contemporary fact, when the false assumptions of modern historians are cleared away.

I have only been concerned to determine the general type or character of the economic structure of the classical age, and the various forms in which this type has manifested itself. In spite of political changes and other special conditions these forms remained essentially the same throughout the centuries till Alexander and later. The scantiness of the evidence at our disposal has often made it impossible to trace developments in detail.

More space has been given to polemic than I should have liked. I hope I may find excuse in the present chaotic state of the subject and in my anxiety to contrast my conclusions as clearly as possible with the current views.



FOR the English edition I have preferred to leave the text of Staat und Handel im alten Griechenland ( Tübingen, 1928) as it stood. On the advice of the publishers most of the extracts from Greek writers have been omitted, without, I hope, impairing the force or the clarity of the argument. But any other alteration whether of addition or excision would have altered the original character of the book; and in particular any attempt to deal with the many criticisms which it has received would merely have increased the perhaps already disproportionate measure of polemic. Moreover, these criticisms have not persuaded me to change my main position, though I need scarcely say that I make no claim to have spoken the last word on the intricate problems of detail which


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