Prologue to Revolution
The markets and businesses that supplied democratic Greek city-states might well have remained a regional curiosity had Alexander the Great and his successors not wrought a social and economic revolution in the Middle East. The fascinating story begins with politics and power. This chapter is the prologue to the story of how Alexander the Great and his followers gave business to Western civilization. It provides a brisk summary of Hellenistic political history. It discusses the Hellenistic political revolution that made money, markets, and business common to urban economies throughout virtually the entire civilized Western world. It also had a profound impact on long-lasting features of business life like the guild system and the disrepute of business practitioners.
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