The Origins of Business, Money, and Markets

Keith Roberts

eISBN: 9780231526852

2011 (380 pages 6 halftones, 16 tables)

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(pages 1-380)
Complete Book Download (pages 1-380)

Download Table of Contents
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Table of Contents (pages 7-8)

Download Foreword by William H. McNeill
(pages 9-14)
Foreword by William H. McNeill (pages 9-14)

Download Preface
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Preface (pages 15-18)

Download List of Terms
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List of Terms (pages 19-22)

Download Introduction
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Introduction (pages 23-26)

Download Part 1: Business in the Ancient Middle East. Introduction
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Part 1: Business in the Ancient Middle East. Introduction (pages 27-30)

Download 1. The Beginning
(pages 31-49)
1. The Beginning (pages 31-49)

Download 2. Middle Eastern Empirtes, 1600-323 B.C.E.
(pages 50-68)
2. Middle Eastern Empirtes, 1600-323 B.C.E. (pages 50-68)

Download Part 2: Business in Ancient Greece. Introduction
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Part 2: Business in Ancient Greece. Introduction (pages 69-72)

Download 3. Markets and Greece
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3. Markets and Greece (pages 73-92)

Download 4. Business in Athens
(pages 93-105)
4. Business in Athens (pages 93-105)

Download 5. Hellenistic History: Prologue to Revolution
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5. Hellenistic History: Prologue to Revolution (pages 106-122)

Download 6. The Hellenistic Business Environment
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6. The Hellenistic Business Environment (pages 123-137)

Download 7. Hellenistic Business
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7. Hellenistic Business (pages 138-154)

Download Part 3: Business in Ancient Rome. Introduction
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Part 3: Business in Ancient Rome. Introduction (pages 155-160)

Download 8. The Early Roman Republic
(pages 161-178)
8. The Early Roman Republic (pages 161-178)

Download 9. The Late Roman Republic, 201-31 B.C.E.
(pages 179-197)
9. The Late Roman Republic, 201-31 B.C.E. (pages 179-197)

Download 10. The Principate, 31 B.C.E.-192 C.E.
(pages 198-219)
10. The Principate, 31 B.C.E.-192 C.E. (pages 198-219)

Download 11. Roman Society
(pages 220-238)
11. Roman Society (pages 220-238)

Download 12. Roman Business
(pages 239-266)
12. Roman Business (pages 239-266)

Download 13. The Downfall of Ancient Business
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13. The Downfall of Ancient Business (pages 267-284)

Download Concluding Note
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Concluding Note (pages 285-292)

Download Notes
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Notes (pages 293-342)

Download Bibliography
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Bibliography (pages 343-364)

Download Index
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Index (pages 365-380)

The Origins of Business, Money, and Markets

Understanding the origins of business is fundamental to grasping modern life, yet most historians look only to the nineteenth century to build their narratives. While the industrial revolution profoundly remade business practice and established much of the corporate organization we recognize today, the sweep of business history actually begins much earlier, with the initial cities of Mesopotamia. Traveling back to this society of ancient traders and consumers, Keith Roberts recasts the rise of modern business, exposing the flaws inherent in dominant histories and the parallels between early and modern business practice.

 

Roberts's fascinating narrative begins five thousand years ago in the Middle East. Explaining why prehistoric tribes had no "business," he describes the lack of material conditions and conceptual framework that made such an interchange impossible. Roberts then locates the origins of business in the long distance trade of ancient Mesopotamia, especially through slave trading, retailing, and financing, and maps the rise of modern models of currency, markets, and business in Greece, along with the emergence of banking, mercenaries, and reliable small coinage. The conquests of Alexander the Great brought these advances to the Mediterranean world and the Middle East. Agribusiness took root, and the Romans developed public contracting, corporations, and even shopping malls. Roberts concludes with the mysterious, virtual disappearance of business in the third century A.D. Each of his chapters vividly portrays the major types of business that thrived in a certain era and the status, wealth, and treatment of business owners, managers, and workers. The narrative throughout sustains a focus on issues of business morality, the nature of wealth, the role of finance, and the development of public institutions shaping business possibilities. In extent and content, Roberts's research is unparalleled, forming an absorbing account of a long neglected history.

 

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