Book

The Open Sea: The Economic Life of the Ancient Mediterranean World from the Iron Age to the Rise of Rome

Book cover

Joseph G. Manning, the William K. and Marilyn Milton Simpson Professor of Classics, professor of history, and senior research scholar in law

(Princeton University Press)

In “The Open Sea,” Manning offers a major new history of economic life in the Mediterranean world during the Iron Age, from Phoenician trading down to the Hellenistic era and the beginning of Rome’s supremacy. Drawing on a wide range of ancient sources and the latest social theory, Manning suggests that the search for an illusory single ancient economy has obscured the diversity of the Mediterranean world, including changes in political economies over time and differences in cultural conceptions of property and money. At the same time, the book shows how the region’s economies became increasingly interconnected during this period — and why the origins of the modern economy extend far beyond Greece and Rome.

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