This introductory chapter first explains the rationale behind the present volume. The author briefly recounts the events leading up to his realization that nobody has yet described the ancient origins of business practices and how it developed into a significant part of economic life. The chapter then provides an overview of the history of business, the origins of which can be traced back to Mesopotamia about five thousand years ago. Business became more than a marginal activity through the Greek combination of coins and markets. From the sixth century
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