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The Making of the Ancient Greek EconomyInstitutions, Markets, and Growth in the City-States$
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Alain Bresson

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691183411

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691183411.001.0001

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The Polis and the Economy

The Polis and the Economy

(p.96) IV The Polis and the Economy
The Making of the Ancient Greek Economy

Alain Bresson

, Steven Rendall
Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the process that allowed the Greek city-states to achieve an impressive level of economic growth. It begins with a short historical overview of the development that took place in Greece from the end of the Bronze Age until the Archaic period, when the “eighth-century revolution” enabled Greece to experience a first phase of significant growth, including population growth. It then considers the taxation system of the city-states, focusing on the fundamental question of tribute and its replacement by comparatively modest levels of communal taxes and private rents in the framework of the polis. It also discusses the role of dignitaries, temples, and the king in the way in which local markets were supplied, as well as status of property and land ownership within the framework of the city. Finally, it compares the status of what the Greeks called “civic land” and “royal land”.

Keywords:   city-states, taxation, tribute, polis, markets, property, land ownership, civic land, royal land, economic growth

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