Armies, Navies, and Economies in the Greek World in the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BCE


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




Classical Greek armies and navies on overseas campaigns normally obtained their food by buying it in markets, and relied little on foraging and other sources for their provisioning. These markets, provided by both cities and merchants, were administered in the same way as regular polis markets, and Greek military forces must sometimes have bought tens of millions of kilograms of grain and other foods in them. Greek armies also raised and sold large amounts of plunder to fund their campaigns. The figures we possess for the proceeds of these sales are far larger than other figures for trade in this period. This study of the provisioning and funding of Greek military forces provides, then, new evidence for classical Greek economies that suggests a world with structurally important amounts of market-orientated production of grain and other foods, robust commercial supply mechanisms, and high levels of liquidity and aggregate demand.