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The Economies of Hellenistic Societies, Third to First Centuries BC$
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Zosia Archibald, John K. Davies, and Vincent Gabrielsen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199587926

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199587926.001.0001

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The Well-Balanced Polis

The Well-Balanced Polis


(p.177) 9 The Well-Balanced Polis
The Economies of Hellenistic Societies, Third to First Centuries BC

John K. Davies

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a micro-economic case study of the way in which a single city — Ephesos — successfully sustained its existence and impetus within the post-Alexander economic world. The rise of Ephesos to primacy among the seaboard cities of western Asia Minor in the Hellenistic period is attributed to a combination of stable components and changing circumstances. The two principal developments — the growing maritime inaccessibility of Miletos and the planting of Graeco-Macedonian settlements in the hinterland — were significant. However, they had the impact they did only because they were compatible with the stable components of Ephesos' environment. These were: a haven which could be turned into a port, reasonable access to the Anatolian hinterland, and a major shrine.

Keywords:   Hellenistic period, cities, economy, Miletos, Graeco-Macedonian settlements, ports, Anatolian hinterland, shrine

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