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The Roman Market Economy$
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Peter Temin

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147680

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147680.001.0001

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Price Behavior in Hellenistic Babylon

Price Behavior in Hellenistic Babylon

(p.53) Chapter 3 Price Behavior in Hellenistic Babylon
The Roman Market Economy

Peter Temin

Princeton University Press

This chapter talks about Hellenistic prices in Babylon, with which a large data set has survived. The price data come from a vast archive of astronomical cuneiform tablets from the ancient city of Babylon. These tablets are unique among documents pertinent to the study of ancient history. Because of the astronomical content, any evidence extracted from these texts can be dated with certainty. Furthermore, the market quotations always were expressed in the same terms: quantities that can be purchased for one shekel (a weight measure, not a coin) of silver. In addition, values of the same six commodities were listed in a set order: barley, dates, cuscuta (mustard), cardamom (cress), sesame, and wool.

Keywords:   Hellenistic Babylon, price data, astronomical cuneiform tablets, ancient history, market quotations, shekel, commodities

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