By Robin Osborne

Classical Greece offers an research of the actual surroundings of and the archaic legacy to the classical urban, its economic climate, its civic and non secular associations, the waging of struggle among towns, the prevalence and historical research of clash in the urban, and the non-public lifetime of the citizen, completing with heritage throughout the 5th and fourth centuries. Robin Osborne provides us with a concise, entire, and authoritative booklet that may be loved by way of classics and heritage scholars; scholars taking classes in classical Greek literature, philosophy, artwork, and archaeology; lecturers; and normal readers alike.

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In the fourth century, the Thessalian city of Pharsalus used the personal fortune of its most distinguished citizen as a rolling fund to equalize imbalances in income and expenditure from one year to the next (Xenophon, Hellenica . . –). The notion of fifth-century interdependence of imperialism and democracy in Athens necessarily raises the question of resources in the fourth century. The empire with its revenues came to an abrupt end in , and subsequent attempts to revive revenue-raising alliances (notably, the so-called ‘Second Athenian Confederacy’, –) proved abortive.

Epicrates, an Athenian citizen, was consumed with desire for a slave boy owned by one Athenogenes, a perfume manufacturer. At the prompting of Athenogenes, the boy, aided and abetted by a siren-like courtesan named Antigone, persuaded Epicrates to buy him along with his father and brother for forty minas: the three of them made up the work-force of the perfumery. Deprived of his work-force, Athenogenes offered to throw in the perfume business, arguing that the value of the raw materials would easily cover any trifling sums 34 | classical greece owed.

Uncertainties remain: it is just possible (though unlikely) that the figure may not include the duty on cereals: a later speech refers to ‘the two per cent tax on grain’ ([Demosthenes] . ). Either way, , talents remains an impressive figure (at least  drachmas for every adult, male citizen); and 42 | classical greece this with Athens at its lowest economic ebb, in the aftermath of defeat in the Peloponnesian War. Consideration of how imports were paid for should not imply that the Greeks themselves had any formal idea of a balance of payments; still less any prefiguring of the mercantilist doctrine (a sixteenthcentury notion) that the state should intervene to ensure the value of exports exceeded that of imports.

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