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Chapter 1: Sagacity in Governance: The Greek Exemplar
The polity and economy of ancient Greece over the centuries throws up a fascinating interplay of relationships among the different interest groups in society. When the great administrative centres of the Mycenaean world began to collapse around 1200 bc, the repercussions were felt throughout the mainland and the Aegean Islands. Agamemnon's Mycenae, Menelaus' Sparta, Nestor's Pylos, Oedipus' Thebes, Theseus' Athens-all great centres of material prosperity for hundreds of years-went into a rapid decline1 and a Dark Age followed for several hundred years.
Greek society's evolution from the Archaic Period, covering roughly the 8th-6th centuries bc, to the Classical Period, the 5th-4th centuries bc, offers interesting insights into the process of economic change. For centuries, the ...