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Titel: Poiesis. Manufacturing in Classical Athens.
Oxford University Press, Oxford (.), 2014. XIII,384p. Hard bound with dust wrps. 'Peter Acton?s study of Athenian manufacturing is the product of expertise gained from many years in management consultancy. Management consultants have developed models that represent the forces behind success and failure, models that have been tested by the trajectories of the businesses with which they have worked. Some scholars have been reluctant to believe that those forces also functioned in antiquity, but Acton emphatically disagrees. In a book directed both to economic historians and to scholars who seek to understand the workings of particular industries, he applies a selected set of principles drawn from his business experience to the analysis of ancient manufacturing. The core of the book is devoted to individual industries as they functioned in Classical Athens, one meaty chapter for each: pottery; mining and metalworking (coins, armor, knives); textiles and leatherworking; woodworking (furniture, triremes); construction (public buildings, monumental sculpture); and food, drink, and items for personal care. Each follows the same pattern: a sketch of the craft/industry drawn from texts, the products themselves, and extant workplaces; reconstruction of the practical and economic realities of these enterprises, often with input from modern craftsmen; and, finally, a summary of the structure of production, assessed according to barriers to entry, potential for differentiation, and workshop size (craft vs. industry). These summaries provide new ways of looking at the manufacturing landscape, and they will certainly repay further study by those interested in the particular production in question.'(SUSAN I. ROTROFF in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2015.04.23). Antiquarian. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 47349
Inhaltsangabe: Despite the fact that Athenians consumed great quantities of manufactured goods, and around half of the residents of classical Athens can be shown to have been more or less dependent for survival on manufacturing in some form, this subject has been almost completely neglected by historians. Poiesis brings together ancient texts and inscriptions, recent scholarly analysis, archaeological finds, and the expertise of modern craftsmen to investigate every known facet of Athens' manufacturing activities. Authored by a management consultant and a recent PhD in Ancient History, the book presents the information in terms of contemporary business principles, drawing on supply and demand and risk-return analysis to explain events and choices. Manufacturing operations are classified in a novel framework based on competitive advantage and barriers to entry, concepts previously absent from ancient history. The framework explains why certain segments were suited to the sole craftsman and others to teams of slaves, and deduces earnings potential based upon competitive differentiation. The result is a new angle on how Athenian society operated; in particular it shows how fragmented industry structures, often the result of primitive technology, were fundamental to the workings of the Athenian democracy by enabling citizens to supplement their income through casual manufacturing activity. The book explains how manufacturing for sale emerged from autarchic peasant households, explores whether any of the industries examined changed to any great extent in Hellenistic and Roman times, and shows how some were transformed by the Industrial Revolution. It includes a methodology for quantifying the demographics of participation in manufacturing.
By presenting a new paradigm of historical analysis, one complementing political, military, and literary perspectives, the book will be valuable to classicists and ancient and economic historians.
Inhaltsangabe: Poiesis brings together archaeological finds, ancient texts and inscriptions, recent scholarly analysis, and the expertise of modern craftsmen to investigate every known facet of Athens' manufacturing activities. Despite the fact that Athenians consumed great quantities of manufactured goods, and around half of the residents of classical Athens can be shown to have been dependent for survival on manufacturing in some form, the subject has been almost completely neglected by historians. The book draws on the analytical techniques of contemporary business economics--supply and demand, competition theory, and risk-return analysis--to explain events and choices. Manufacturing operations are classified in an original framework that explains why certain segments were suited to the sole craftsman and others to teams of slaves, and deduces earnings potential based upon barriers to entry and competitive differentiation. The result is a new and refreshing angle on how Athenian society operated that complements political, military, and literary perspectives, with important and often surprising implications. Among other insights the analysis shows how fragmented industry structures were fundamental to the workings of Athenian democracy by enabling citizens to supplement their income through casual manufacturing activity.
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