Prophets and Markets: The Political Economy of Ancient by Morris Silver (auth.)

By Morris Silver (auth.)

5 by way of predations of the ocean peoples. even if, the weakening of Mycenean seapower, the destruction of the Hittite nation, and eventually, the trouble on Philistine power as a result of the alliance among David and the king of Tyre within the 11th century, mixed to open up "for the Phoenicians, within the first region of the 1st millennium B. C. E. enormous abroad buying and selling components" (Oded 1979a, p. 228). by means of the top of the 11th century, pottery from Cyprus, after an extended absence may once more be present in Israelite-occupied websites (Albright 1960, p. 47). the growth of the ocean exchange within the Mediterranean within which, judging through the track of Deborah (Judg. 5), the northern tribes of Asher and Dan (?) (see determine 1-2) could have parti­ cipated, used to be observed through the inauguration of camel caravans trans­ porting the products of southern Arabia to and during Israel (see Bulliet 1975, particularly p. 36). army victories over the Philistines and Syrians, receipts of tribute, and the gathering of tolls from the keep watch over of alternate routes including the overall revival of alternate all contributed to Israel's growing to be wealth. certainly, the David-Solomon interval (most of the 10th century) is frequently portrayed because the top of Israelite financial improvement. actually there's useful little additional­ biblical proof assisting this portrayal. for instance, despite the stated job of David and Solomon's scribes, just one instance of 6 "Hebrew" writing from this era, the Gezer Calendar, has been found.

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7 The ancients, after all, were not visitors from another galaxy, but human beings who faced difficulties and opportunities similar to our own. The understanding of this obvious point is deepened by Will (1977, pp. 264, 268): ADAPTATIONS TO SPREADING MARKETS 33 The Greeks, Romans and other Mediterranean peoples of antiquity were accustomed, as we are, to transporting choice liquids and perishables in disposable bottles of assorted standardized sizes and shapes. Like the buyer of today, the ancient buyer of wine, for example, could tell at a glance what kind and quality of beverage a bottle contained ....

The word 'ebed is also an Israelite technical term for a slave. The main difficulty of J. Macdonald's excellent analysis is that he seems to blur the distinction between 'ebed and na 'ar. Macdonald (1976, p. 58) equates wardum of the Mari correspondence with 'ebed and suggests that "everyone was a 'ebed (subject) of the king, whether royal na'ar or 'amah. Likewise in the Mari letters everyone is a wardum, be he Governor, suhahrum or slave. " But this leaves unexplained the existence of both na'ar and 'ebed seals.

88-9) Forbes (p. 73) raises the possibility that these names were actually proprietary brands. E. ) while saying, "It is nmst that satisfies thee" (Lutz 1922, p. 73). Officer Seals and Hierarchic Firms If ancient Israelite firms produced and marketed, say wine, oil, pottery, cloth, metals, or grain for a national or international market, they, like the throne itself, would have required the services of subordinate functionaries. The recent discovery of two seals has made it possible to distinguish between the 'ebed seals of royal officers and the na'ar seals of nonroyal officersY The ADAPTATIONS TO SPREADING MARKETS 35 na 'ar seals, which on paleographic grounds are dated to the eighth century by Avigad (1976, p.

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