Download A history of trust in ancient Greece by Steven Johnstone PDF

By Steven Johnstone

Content material: Haggling -- Measuring -- maintaining tune -- Valuing -- participating -- Apportioning legal responsibility -- determining -- universal greek weights and measures

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Instead, banks, thousands of them, issued debt obligations, which looked like paper currency and functioned as money. 140 This gave rise both to an unsystematic expertise—there were knacks for assessing currencies141— and to privately published bulletins that listed the discount rates on various bank notes. 142 Of course, there were important differences between this and the Greek world: American notes had no intrinsic value but were always supposedly redeemable for something else (specie, travel miles, tax payments, merchandise), and the procedures of redemption affected the discounting.

Most poleis mandated standardization of measurement, however (also the subject of chapter 3). Here I will anticipate only one of my conclusions: Athens, at least, required the use of standard measures only in retail contexts, where information asymmetries would be most extreme (since traders at the wholesale level would likely have more expertise in the commodities they traded). Insistence on standardized measures in retail contexts, then, seems to have responded to the distrust evoked by the structural asymmetry of information caused by coinage.

Girl: How fancy! 105 Lynkeos’s treatise attempts to equip a shopper with clever and invincible sayings. This suggests that you could succeed not merely by adhering to convention, but also by a witty invention. Enacting the Conflict of Exchange The basic antagonism (as the Greeks perceived it) of economic exchange, as well as the form it took in haggling, sustains Herodas’s seventh mime (third century bce), in which a woman named Metro and some friends go to the cobbler Kerdon’s shop to look at shoes.

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