Non-Fiction Books:

Antiquity and Capitalism

Max Weber and the Sociological Foundations of Roman Civilization



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Antiquity and Capitalism by John R Love
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This is an ambitious study which addresses the classic questions of the emergence, flowering and decline of ancient civilization. The focus is the socio-economic structure of Roman antiquity, but the approach differs from those of both mainstream historiography and Marxism in that it is fundamentally sociological in orientation. Taking its lead from the work of the great German thinker Max Weber, the book explores the sociology of the Roman economy, Roman politics and related institutions at considerable length. But the work is not hostile to history and rather seeks a dialogue with the contributions of modern historians which it strives to complement and clarify. One of its key challenges is the view, often associated with Marxism, that nothing remotely resembling capitalism could have existed prior to the modern period. John Love argues that the concept of capitalism can be validly applied to antiquity, provided we recognise the ways in which ancient capitalism differs from other types of capitalism. In the course of his study, the author, whose background is in sociology and political theory, explains a number of key Weberian ideal types - the oikos , the market, the budgetary unit, the enterprise, market capitalism, political capitalism - and attempts with the aid of these concepts to show why, despite the palpable progress achieved in antiquity, a transition to the more rational economic structures of modernity did not occur.
Release date NZ
April 11th, 1991
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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