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Trade in the Ancient MediterraneanPrivate Order and Public Institutions$
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Taco Terpstra

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691172088

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691172088.001.0001

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Public Institutions and Phoenician Trade

Public Institutions and Phoenician Trade

(p.33) 2 Public Institutions and Phoenician Trade
Trade in the Ancient Mediterranean

Taco Terpstra

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the trade diaspora, an institution that was all but obligatory for regular, long-distance trade in the absence of third-party enforcement. Traders could do business in a foreign community because people from their homeland had moved there permanently and could vouch for them. If a promise to pay or deliver according to agreement was not fulfilled, foreign settlers could be held accountable for any debt of their fellow citizens. All members of a diaspora network—itinerant and stationary alike—ultimately faced expulsion if they behaved opportunistically. The chapter then focuses on a single diaspora: the Phoenician. Because of their centuries-long Mediterranean mercantile tradition, one can trace their interaction with public institutions through much of Greco-Roman history.

Keywords:   trade diaspora, long-distance trade, third-party enforcement, traders, diaspora network, Phoenician diaspora, Mediterranean mercantile tradition, public institutions, Greco-Roman history

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