Athenian Economy and Society: A Banking Perspective by Edward Cohen PDF

By Edward Cohen

ISBN-10: 0691015929

ISBN-13: 9780691015927

During this ground-breaking research of the world's first inner most banks, Edward Cohen convincingly demonstrates the lifestyles and functioning of a marketplace financial system in old Athens whereas revising our figuring out of the society itself. hard the "primitivistic" view, during which bankers are simply pawnbrokers and money-changers, Cohen unearths that fourth-century Athenian bankers pursued subtle transactions. those dealings--although technologically some distance faraway from smooth procedures--were in monetary essence exact with the lending and deposit-taking that separate precise "banks" from different companies. He additional explores how the Athenian banks facilitated tax and creditor avoidance one of the prosperous, and the way girls and slaves performed vital roles in those relations businesses--thereby gaining criminal rights solely unforeseen in a society supposedly ruled through an elite of male citizens.Special emphasis is put on the mirrored image of Athenian cognitive styles in monetary practices. Cohen indicates how transactions have been suffering from the complementary opposites embedded within the very constitution of Athenian language and inspiration. In flip, his research deals nice perception into day-by-day Athenian truth and cultural association.

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Supplementing the banks' direct creation of money and expansion of credit through their loan and deposit processes, the trapezai issued guarantees of credit, expedited commerce by confirming availability of funds in bank accounts, and executed payment orders through which commercial transactions were settled and obligations met without the actual transfer of coins. In reality, far from "the absence of credit-creating instruments and institutions remain[ing] as an unshaken foundation of the ancient economy,"50 the Athenians utilized a profusion of credit-providing mechanisms and businesses.

43). For Menexenos's bank borrowings, see Isok. 17. 12 and below, pp. 39—40. Apollodöros's extravagant expenditures on clothes, women, and servants: Dem. 8, 45. His extravagant outlay on liturgies: Dem. 7. Cf. Dem. 39. 26. 2: 130—99; Pearson 1966. On ApollodOros as "a member of the aristocracy of Athens,' see Austin and Vidal-Naquet 1977: 150. Cf. Davies 1971: 437—42. '12See Isok. G. 112 212, esp. II. 20—24. Cf. Dem. , 36ff. For the importance of grain supplied by the Bosporan rulers, see below Chapter 6, n.

172 n. 54. Cf. Bogaert 1976. More generally, see Graf 1903; Schmalzriedt 1960; W. Campbell 1933. For governmental efforts to deal with the pervasive problem of counterfeit coins. see below. Chapter 5. n. 162. 81Even the nominal value of Greek coins was seldom indicated. See Suhle 1930; Robinson 1960. For the considerable variation in market-determined cunency values, see below, Chapter 5, nn. 28. 166. 82Bogaert (1968: 326—29) estimates exchange fees at 5—6%, in his opinion an inappropriately high rate justified by the "shortage" of money (but this estimate is based on only a few cases that are difficult to interpret: see my discussion in Chapter 2 on the unreliability of such cliometric conclusions).

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Athenian Economy and Society: A Banking Perspective by Edward Cohen


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