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Feeding the Democracy: The Athenian Grain Supply in the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BC

Alfonso Moreno

Abstract

This study shows how Classical Athens, the largest and historically most important of the Greek city‐states, depended for its survival on a supply of grain from overseas sources, especially (in the fifth century bc) the conquered territories of its Aegean empire, and (in the fourth century) the distant steppes of Scythia (modern Ukraine and southern Russia). This trade was central to Athenian politics, and is here found to have been organized and controlled by powerful elites, a conclusion that challenges prevailing interpretations of Athenian democracy. New light is also cast on the nature of ... More

Keywords: Athens, Grain, Scythia, democracy, imperialism, Isocrates, Attica, economy, trade, Greece

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780199228409
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228409.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Alfonso Moreno, author
Andrew and Randall Crawley Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History, Magdalen College, Oxford University
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