Assessing the Economic Life of the Greek Oikos

5:00pm - 7:00pm / Sunday 17th October 2021
Type: Webinar / Category: Department
  • Suitable for: Everyone.
  • Admission: Free.
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In spite of long-standing and still prevailing historical notions that Greek households tended towards economic self-sufficiency, the archaeological evidence presents an overwhelmingly different picture. This divergence in opinion and interpretation is largely due to the continued reliance on a limited range of standard textual evidence for Greek household organization and management (e.g., Xenophon’s Oikonomikos). Even traditional archaeology has found itself blinkered by the dominating influence of such sources. However, recent developments in household archaeology have moved analysis beyond the study of domestic architecture as house plans in isolation to settlement-wide and regional considerations. In addition, a more considered study of artifacts has reintegrated them into their archaeological context, making it possible to ask questions of domestic assemblages as a whole. What emerges is the household taking full advantage of the economic opportunities, and succumbing to the pitfalls, of supply and demand; in short, participation in a market economy. This paper will take up evidence for the economic life of Greek households as integrated with, and indeed integral to, the polis and regional economies, drawing on archaeological as well as historical evidence.

Presenter: Associate Professor Bradley Ault, University of Buffalo, SUNY.

Zoom link details:

Meeting ID: 989 0725 7680
Passcode: T.7Rz2r+