MODULE DESCRIPTION 2017-2018


SPRING SEMESTER 20 CREDITS



AAP241 THE ANCIENT GREEK ECONOMY



CO-ORDINATOR: JANE REMPEL
OTHER TUTORS: GIANNA AYALA, PETER DAY, ROGER DOONAN, PAUL HALSTEAD, CAROLINE JACKSON, SUE SHERRATT


MODULE OUTLINE

This module explores the economic foundations of the ancient Greek world from the 8th to 2nd centuries BC, with particular emphasis on the Classical period (5th-4th centuries BC) and on the polis societies of Athens and its neighbours. This task involves critical engagement with different forms of textual, iconographic and archaeological evidence and throughout emphasis is placed on the challenges and rewards of combining diverse sources of evidence. Students are first introduced to key debates about the nature of the ancient Greek economy and the strengths and weaknesses of the sources available for reconstructing it. Thereafter, a series of paired lectures and seminars, organised chronologically and thematically, examines topics including settlement, land ownership and land use, slavery, craft production, trade, material culture and identity, and sacred economies in social contexts ranging from the early polis and Greek colonisation, through empire to the emergence of Hellenistic kingdoms.


BROAD ACADEMIC AIMS AND PRINCIPLES OF THE UNIT

This unit aims to introduce students to:
• key transformations in Greek societies of the 1st millennium BC
• the nature of the economic systems that underpinned these changing social formations
• the significance of the ‘modernist’ versus ‘primitivist’ debate concerning the ancient Greek economy
• the diversity of ways in which ancient Greek economy was socially, culturally and ideologically embedded
• the contrasting and complementary challenges and rewards of using a range of textual, iconographical and archaeological sources for the ancient Greek economy


MEASUREABLE LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this module students should be able to demonstrate:
• have knowledge of key transformations in Greek societies of the 1st millennium BC
• understand the nature of the economic systems that underpinned these changing social formations
• understand the significance of the ‘modernist’ versus ‘primitivist’ debate concerning the ancient Greek economy
• understand the diversity of ways in which ancient Greek economy was socially, culturally and ideologically embedded
• have a capacity to integrate diverse sources of evidence and to assess the merits of this evidence


PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT SKILLS ACQUIRED

Ability to critically evaluate a range of evidence and perform a theoretical analysis; group discussion skills


STUDENT ATTENDANCE AND INDEPENDENT STUDY

Type Hours
Lectures 12
Seminars 10
Independent/Group Study (including preparation for assessments) 178


ASSESSMENT

Method % of marks Length / words
Mid Term 20% 1000
End of Term 40% 2000
Examination 40% 1.5 hrs


EXAMPLE LECTURE/SEMINAR TITLES

  • The Ancient Greek Economy: Question and Sources
  • Moses Finley and the ‘World of Odysseus’
  • Citizens and land ownership: colonisation and the polis
  • Greek colonisation, ceramics and identity
  • Corinth and Athens: pots as proxies for trade
  • "How much does a Grecian Urn cost?" - Questions of value in Classical Athens
  • Extensive or intensive farming?
  • ‘Cash crops’: oil and wine?
  • Field survey and changing settlement
  • Farmhouses and the Classical countryside
  • Slaves and citizens: labour and leisure?
  • Mining, metallurgy and metals
  • Classical Athens: tribute, coinage and the grain trade
  • Black Sea networks
  • Household economies
  • Crafts in classical Athens
  • Sacred economies
  • Animal sacrifice: conflicting sources?
  • Regional economies: The Greeks in Egypt
  • Xenon Papyri