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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

Import and export were part of life in the world of archaic and classical Greece, where political fragmentation created a unique distribution of available resources. In the modern world, exchange equals trade to a large extent but that was not necessarily the case in archaic and classical Greece. The two main questions posed in this work are, firstly, how important a part of exchange was trade in the archaic and classical periods and, secondly, what was the role of the state, if any, in foreign trade. Exploring any aspect of the Greek economy today necessarily refers back to Finley and his views on the subject. The main axis of Finleys argument concentrates on elite mentality, which he argues was acquisitive but not productive. Beyond the theoretical and methodological problems of Finleys model, a major issue is clearly economic: governmental intervention.

Keywords: archaic period; Finley; foreign trade; governmental intervention; Greek economy

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