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Title: Exchange, coin, and the economy of the Greek sanctuary
Author: Goodenough, Jane
ISNI:       0000 0003 7035 3963
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis aims to discuss the intersection between the sacred and the economy, and to explore the impact of religious context upon patterns of economic behaviour and financial mentality. The increasing use of coin in particular is shown to have a great impact on the ways in which the economy of the sacred is conducted and sacred wealth is conceptualised. It begins by showing the economic significance of sacrifice, and the economic and financial practices which sacrifice engendered; the economic impact of festivals is then discussed, and the role of sanctuaries as centres for economic exchange: both exchange in which the sanctuary itself took part, and exchange between private individuals for which the sanctuary acted as a focus. It then discusses the difficulties faced by Greek sanctuaries, and the states which controlled them, caused by the process of exchange and economic interaction; they are shown often to be aware of the economic problems and opportunities which arose from the practice of religion, and willing to address them in order to improve the smooth functioning of sanctuaries and festivals. The use of coin in particular is analysed, and the problems of coin acceptability in the sanctuary compared with similar problems in the polis; the coin-based needs of sanctuaries are found to have significant influence upon the minting habits of states and the monetisation of society, sometimes even going so far as to create their own currencies, in part to facilitate economic transactions. The sanctuary of Olympia is investigated as a case study for sanctuary intervention in economic matters. Religion is shown to be one of the most important influences on economic activity in the ancient Greek world; but the effect of the religious context was not homogenous, and economic pragmatism was as common as the abnegation of profit for the glory of the god.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available