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Synopsis

This is the first full work since Hasebroek's Trade and Politics in the Ancient World to deal directly with the place of maritime traders in ancient Greece. Its main assumption is that traders' juridical, economic, political, and unofficial standing can only be viewed correctly through the lens of the polis framework. It argues that those engaging in inter-regional trade with classical Athens were mainly poor and foreign (hence politically inert at Athens). Moreover, Athens, as well as other classical Greek poleis, resorted to limited measures, well short of war or other modes of economic imperialism, to attract them. However, at least in the minds of individual Athenians considerations of traders' indispensability to Athens displaced what otherwise would have been low estimations of their social status.

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