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June 2020

CancelledThe distribution of economic and political power in ancient empires9:30 am - 5:00 pm (11). School of Classics ,Swallowgate Room 11Wednesday 10 June 2020 to Thursday 11 June 2020

More informationEvent type: AcademicConferenceAudience: All audiencesAcademic Schools and Departments: Classics
This event has been created by: Sam Dixon

Event Details

While the distribution of wealth in modern societies has recently received considerable attention (notably following the recent work of Thomas Piketty), it remains a relatively poorly understood aspect of ancient empires. This is the more unfortunate as the economic top layers played a pivotal role in governing these empires. Administrative posts were generally assigned to wealthy men, while they simultaneously allowed these men to increase their wealth.

This conference aims to explore the distribution of wealth and its mutually constituting relationship with political power for different ancient empires. Modern scholars often assume a simple correlation between political power and wealth. This is illustrated by the pervasive use of social tables (which are based on the socio-political structure of society) to estimate the distribution of wealth. Although economic and political power networks were indeed strongly integrated in many ancient empires and this strong entanglement is further endorsed by our elitist-biased literary sources, detailed studies of premodern economies and administrations reveal a more nuanced relationship between wealth and political power.



10 (Wednesday) 9:30 am - 11 (Thursday) 5:00 pm



Swallowgate Room 11