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Document Details :

Title: Rehabilitating Homer's Phoenicians
Subtitle: On Some Ancient and Modern Prejudices against Trade
Author(s): PEACOCK, Mark
Journal: Ancient Society
Volume: 41    Date: 2011   
Pages: 1-29
DOI: 10.2143/AS.41.0.2129562

Abstract :
Trade in Homeric society is held to be dishonourable. Its disreputable nature allegedly explains Homer’s unfavourable portrayal of Phoenicians, the main purveyors of trade in the epics. I examine six aspects of trade which scholars cite as explanations for Phoenicians’ poor standing. None provides a convincing explanation because Greek wealth acquisition shares many of the allegedly disreputable characteristics of its Phoenician counterpart. Rather than accept a Homeric ‘double standard’ (the same activities being judged positively when carried out by Greeks, negatively when carried out by Phoenicians), I argue that Homer does not disapprove of the Phoenicians.

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