This book is an English version of the book originally published in French under the title of Economies et societes en Grece ancienne. The opportunity has been taken to correct some errors, update bibliographical references, add a few passage to the selection of ancient sources, and improve the material presentation in several respects. But otherwise this remains substantially the same book as the original French version.
The book is aimed in the first place at an undergraduate audience, though it is hoped that it will also be of interest to a wiser, non-specialist readership interested in the history and civilization of Ancient Greece. It attempts to meet a need well-known to all those who have to teach Greek history in universities. Students, long dissatisfied with a purely political approach to Greek history, ask for more 'economic and social' history. One then has to answer--tand this book is a very modest attempt at an answer--that neither the 'economic' nor the 'social' category had in the Greek city the same independent status they now enjoy. The book takes its starting-point in this ambiguity; it accepts the challenge, but rejects the formulation of the question. Anyone who has been asked to explain once and for all the role played by slaves in social conflicts in the Greek world will understand what we mean.