Money and the Early Greek Mind: Homer, Philosophy, Tragedy (Paperback)
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Short Description for Money and the Early Greek Mind An original theory that connects the development of coinage to the origins of rational philosophy in ancient Greece.
- Published: 28 February 2009
- Format: Paperback 384 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780521539920 ISBN 10: 0521539927
- Sales rank: 389,195
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Full description for Money and the Early Greek Mind
How were the Greeks of the sixth century BC able to invent philosophy and tragedy? In this book Richard Seaford argues that a large part of the answer can be found in another momentous development, the invention and rapid spread of coinage which produced the first ever thoroughly monetised society. By transforming social relations, monetisation contributed to the ideas of the universe as an impersonal system (presocratic philosophy) and of the individual alienated from his own kin and from the gods (in tragedy). Seaford argues that an important precondition for this monetisation was the Greek practice of animal sacrifice, as represented in Homeric Epic, which describes a premonetary world on the point of producing money. This book combines social history, economic anthropology, numismatics and the close reading of literary, inscriptional, and philosophical texts. Questioning the origins and shaping force of Greek philosophy, this is a major book with wide appeal.