An Inquiry on the Existence of Capitalism in Ancient Greece

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Abstract
In this article, it is claimed that it is not possible to find a modern capitalist order in Ancient Greece. This claim is supported by the economic activities and historical findings of the ancient period and it is also shaped by reference to the 'primitivist-modernist debate'. In this context, firstly, Mosses I. Finley's primitivist views that claim capitalism cannot be possible in ancient Greece will be explained by taking into consideration the accounting system, commercial activity, social status, labor usages, and land treatments. Secondly, the article will analyze Michael I. Rostovtzeff’s objection to primitivist ideas, and reveal his thoughts by supporting modernist ideas on the existence of capitalism in ancient Greek. Based on these analyses, it is concluded that it is unreasonable to talk about the existence of capitalism in ancient Greece.
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Archival date: 2019-07-09
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2019-07-01

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