Lending and borrowing were commonplace in Athens during the fourth century BC and could involve interest rates, security and banks, but the part played by credit was very different from its familiar role in capitalist society. Using a combination of sources, but concentrating on the law-court speeches of the Attic orators, Dr Millett shows that it is possible to see how lending and borrowing were a way of ordering social relations between Athenian citizens. Although debt could be disruptive, it had as its more positive side the strengthening of ties between individuals. That was, in turn, an aspect of the solidarity between citizens that was a part of the Athenian democracy.
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