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Marchands et marchandes dans la société grecque classique

Abstract : Which was the place women held in the dynamics of exchange in Greek classical society, particularly in Athens? Based on literary and epigraphical data, this paper firstly underlines the boundaries, existing both in the Greek and the Roman world, between local and long distance trade. If the former (kapeleia, tenuis mercatura) was underrated, the latter (emporia, magna mercatura) was more appreciated as socially useful. Yet within this hierarchy of values, women were placed in a low position, as they managed a local trade limited to some specific goods (food, clothes…). On the other hand, the variety of women’s occupations shows that they were fully integrated in the Greek system of specialized urban labour, known at least since the fifth century B.C. Regarding the spatial organization of the Greek market, especially in Athens, the women probably gather in different spontaneous groups according to the nature of the goods they sell. In conclusion, the gender logic does not seem to directly influence the social representation of women involved in trade in the classic «polis». However, gender imposed constraints determine the women’s place within the context of a social hierarchy concerning men as well as women.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 15, 2019 - 11:50:11 AM
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Maria Cecilia d'Ercole. Marchands et marchandes dans la société grecque classique. Mètis - Anthropologie des mondes grecs anciens, Daedalus/EHESS, 2013, Des femmes en action. L'individu et la fonction en Grèce antique, Hors Série, pp.53-71. ⟨10.4000/books.editionsehess.2855⟩. ⟨halshs-02099796⟩



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