A History of Trust in Ancient Greece

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9780226405094: A History of Trust in Ancient Greece

An enormous amount of literature exists on Greek law, economics, and political philosophy. Yet no one has written a history of trust, one of the most fundamental aspects of social and economic interaction in the ancient world. In this fresh look at antiquity, Steven Johnstone explores the way democracy and markets flourished in ancient Greece not so much through personal relationships as through trust in abstract systems—including money, standardized measurement, rhetoric, and haggling.

Focusing on markets and democratic politics, Johnstone draws on speeches given in Athenian courts, histories of Athenian democracy, comic writings, and laws inscribed on stone to examine how these systems worked. He analyzes their potentials and limitations and how the Greeks understood and critiqued them. In providing the first comprehensive account of these pervasive and crucial systems, A History of Trust in Ancient Greece links Greek political, economic, social, and intellectual history in new ways and challenges contemporary analyses of trust and civil society.

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About the Author:

Steven Johnstone is associate professor of history at the University of Arizona. He is the author of Disputes and Democracy: The Consequences of Litigation in Ancient Athens.

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Book Description 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 155mm x 25mm x 231mm. Hardcover. An enormous amount of literature exists on Greek law, economics, and political philosophy. Yet no one has written a history of trust, one of the most fundamental aspects of social and econ.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 242 pages. 0.544. Bookseller Inventory # 9780226405094

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Book Description Book Condition: New. University of Chicago Press, Chicago / London, 2011. XII,242p. Original amber cloth with dust wrps. Steven Johnstone has written a stimulating, if curious, book on trust in classical Greece. Across seven substantive chapters the author covers a series of seemingly disparate topics - all without so much as mentioning the word pistis. The result is a historical lipogram: an anthropological archaeology of the practices, but not the discourse, of trust. This is also a timely book; current events (cf., e.g., Losing Faith in American Institutions) and the recent interest in ancient institutional analysis makes trust, and in particular 'impersonal trust', or 'the ways that abstract systems allow people to routinely interact, even with strangers, as if they trusted one another', (2) a subject of prime importance to anyone interested in the development, successes, and failures of political, economic, and legal institutions, ancient or modern. (.) In sum, this is an important and thought-provoking book, but more of a prolegomenon to the history of trust in classical Greece than that history itself. But all histories must begin somewhere, and so we are indebted to Johnstone?s ingenuity and effort in blazing the difficult trail of this hitherto neglected history.' (DAVID M. RATZAN in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2012.09.04). Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 47453

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