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Technological innovation and economic progress in the ancient world: M. I. Finley re-considered

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kevin Greene


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Greek and Roman economic stagnation and technological blockage have long been accepted as facts, rather than interpretations. This status was reinforced in this journal in 1965 in an article by Finley, who has had a disproportionate influence upon historians of economics and technology because he reached a broad readership beyond classics and archaeology. Finley's views have been discussed vigorously in subsequent decades, but the outcome of the debate has not been widely communicated. This article uses new material evidence, reconsiderations of texts, and current theoretical approaches to offer a more dynamic picture of ancient, economic and technological activity and to raise awareness of specialist literature.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Greene K

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Economic History Review

Year: 2000

Volume: 53

Issue: 1

Pages: 29-59

ISSN (print): 0013-0117

ISSN (electronic):


DOI: 10.1111/1468-0289.00151