Friday, April 27, 2018

Review of Pirngruber, The Economy of Late Achaemenid and Seleucid Babylonia

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Reinhard Pirngruber, The Economy of Late Achaemenid and Seleucid Babylonia. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017. Pp. xiii, 249. ISBN 9781107106062. $99.99. Reviewed by Laurie E. Pearce, University of California, Berkeley (
The term “Seleucid” in this book’s title may pique the attention of Classicists, but the volume is an important read for any researcher concerned with the economic history of antiquity. This clearly written, well-organized volume, a revision of the author’s 2012 VU Amsterdam dissertation, establishes Reinhard Pirngruber as a historian of ancient economies who has responded to the call to think “about how to build models or how to relate models to the empirical facts.”1 Pirngruber’s work integrates econometrics and historical investigation, and produces “a piece of genuine ‘economic history with economy.’”

I try to keep track of work on late ancient Babylonia because of its general importance for understanding ancient Judaism. More on that here and links. It's good to see some serious synthetic work being done on that vast mass of cuneiform documentary texts.

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