Words of Wisdom:

"BMW is the ultimate driving machine" - Bimmer168


  • Date Submitted: 05/04/2011 03:34 AM
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When we discuss the economics of the ancient world, we must be careful not to use the formal Economics which we employ in analyzing our own society, since Economics is a function of the way a society runs, not the set of rules under which a given society operates. We cannot remove ourselves from awareness of the economic disciplines which our schools teach, and even if we formally try to suspend Economics as a framework, we retain the image of the economic framework in our language and our general pool of ideas. Yet some distancing of ourselves from modern economic theory is necessary in starting an investigation of a foreign world, in order to let the economic operations of that world display themselves in their own documentation. We must construct some kind of intellectual tabula rasa for use in studying an area which is far removed in time and from a documentary point of view relatively unknown.
When we speak of Economics of the Ancient World, we usually think of the work pioneered by Rostovtzeff and his followers, of the interpretation of history from an economic point of view, and of the study of epigraphic and papyrological materials which bear on costs and commodities. But there is a much earlier layer of historical material, which strangely is incorporated in the quasi-religious cloak of Greek Mythology.
When one compares the myths of ancient Greece with those of ancient India, one sees that the Indian myths are essentially spiritual in nature, while the Greek myths show a disorganized array of unconvincing religion, erratic personal histories, and what appear to be fragmented chapters in the history of the rise of civilization after the last glacial retreat. It is the thesis of this paper that parts of the early Greek, and even the pre-Greek historical record became embalmed in the Greek myths, which themselves were rigidified into literary storytelling by the time of the Hellenistic academies, and finally petrified into the "myth systems" of...


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