A major new economic history of the ancient Mediterranean world.
In The Open Sea, J. G. Manning offers a major new history of economic life in the Mediterranean world in the Iron Age, from Phoenician trading down to the Hellenistic era and the beginning of Rome's imperial supremacy. Drawing on a wide range of ancient sources and the latest social theory, Manning suggests that a search for an illusory single "ancient economy" has obscured the diversity of lived experience in the Mediterranean world, including both changes in political economies over time and differences in cultural conceptions of property and money. At the same time, he shows how the region's economies became increasingly interconnected during this period.
The Open Sea argues that the keys to understanding the region's rapid social and economic change during the Iron Age are the variety of economic and political solutions its different cultures devised, the patterns of cross-cultural exchange, and the sharp environmental contrasts between Egypt, the Near East, and Greece and Rome. The book examines long-run drivers of change, such as climate, together with the most important economic institutions of the premodern Mediterranean - coinage, money, agriculture, and private property. It also explores the role of economic growth, states, and legal institutions in the region's various economies.
A groundbreaking economic history of the ancient Mediterranean world, The Open Sea shows that the origins of the modern economy extend far beyond Greece and Rome.
J. G. Manning
Princeton University Pres
Country of Publication:
15 March 2018
Professional and scholarly
List of Illustrations ixPreface xiiiAcknowledgments xxvChronology xxviiI History & TheoryIntroduction History, Theory, and Institutions: Approaching the Ancient Economy 31 New Directions and Broader Contexts in the Study of Premodern Economies 172 Ancient Economies: Taking Stock from Phoenician Traders to the Rise of the Roman Empire 393 Bronze, Iron, and Silver: Time, Space, and Geography and Ancient Mediterranean Economies 72II Environment & Institutions4 Agriculture and Labor 1095 The Boundaries of Premodern Economies: Ecology, Climate, and Climate Change 1356 The Birth of Economic Man : Demography, the State, the Household, and the Individual 1737 The Evolution of Economic Thought in the Ancient World: Money, Law, and Legal Institutions 1938 Growth, Innovation, Markets, and Trade 2169 Conclusions 262Appendix Climate Data 271Notes 277Key Readings 329Bibliography 333Index 405
J. G. Manning is the William K. and Marilyn M. Simpson Professor of History and professor of classics at Yale University. He is the author of The Last Pharaohs: Egypt under the Ptolemies (Princeton) and Land and Power in Ptolemaic Egypt, and coeditor of The Ancient Economy: Evidence and Models.
Reviews for The Open Sea: The Economic Life of the Ancient Mediterranean World from the Iron Age to the Rise of Rome
For too long, specialists have drawn lines through the ancient Mediterranean, with Egypt and the Near East on one side and Greece and Rome on the other. True to its title, The Open Sea washes these lines away, reuniting what should never have been separated. Manning provides a unified view of the economies of the first millennium BC, and everyone interested in the period will want to read this book. --Ian Morris, author of Why the West Rules--for Now Ranging over the entire Mediterranean from the Iron Age to the dawn of the Roman Empire, Manning draws on new evidence to rethink ancient history as a whole. Along the way, he makes clear what drove economic and institutional development in the ancient world: not huge empires but cross-cultural exchange and a very different sort of politics. --Philip T. Hoffman, author of Why Did Europe Conquer the World?