Chapter 2 (31-39)

Chapter 2 (31-39) - Rachel Scicluna Chapter 2 2. Four Men...

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Rachel Scicluna Chapter 2 2. Four Men in a Boat (P. 31 – 39) The interest of the most influential figures of the twentieth century historiography of the Med are primarily interested in the ‘interactionist’ approach. Mikhail Rostovtzeff His 2 major works are “The Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire (1957) and “The Social and Economic History of the Hellenistic World (1941) which have influenced the economic history of the ancient world. He was a Russian liberal and went into exile in the West when the Bolsheviks seized power. Before he left Russia his work involved the history of nomadism in south Russia as well as agrarian history. What attracted Rostovtzeff in the classical Med world was the enduring vitality of the Med. Cities and the cultural and economic achievements of the bourgeoisie. It may seem strange to regard him as a Med historian. Med trade was for him strongly affected by major political changes, whether the creation of the Greek colonies or the increasing dominance of Italy; it did not possess a vigour of its own. Nor did he relate it much to its geographical setting. It extended far beyond the Med: his analysis of the workings of the Hellenistic economy embraced much of Asia. Seaborne trade is certainly primary and unites the Med on a focus such as Rhodes or Delos. He interprets interaction as a cultural process largely independent of the accidents of the physical environment. Romantic Mediterraneanism was fundamental to his vision of the past; the archaeological emphasis in his writings reflects a perception of Antiquity as a field of ruins – a perception closely akin to that of the Grand Tourist. Rostovtzeff’s vision of the structure of ancient society is now obsolete and his bourgeoisie was a chimaera. His combination of literary, epigraphic and archaeological data, represent the only way forward in this field. The grandly interactionist conception of Rostovzeff – of the Mediterranean as a network of ‘channels of trade’ – was shared by the influential figure of Pirenne. Pirenne Born in 1862 in Belgium and whilst Rostovtzeff did his greatest work in exile, Pirenne came up with the famous ‘Pirenne thesis’ in a concentration camp in WWI. Since Gibbon’s
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2012 for the course ANTH 3303 taught by Professor Hadder during the Spring '11 term at Texas State.

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Chapter 2 (31-39) - Rachel Scicluna Chapter 2 2. Four Men...

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