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A History of Trust in Ancient Greece$
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Steven Johnstone

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226405094

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226405117.001.0001

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(p.35) Chapter 3 Measuring
A History of Trust in Ancient Greece
University of Chicago Press

This chapter offers a history of practices of measuring in ancient Greece. It examines the trade in grain to try to understand when and how Greeks used standard measures and practical units. The analysis reveals that expert traders did not use standard measures but instead used their expertise to gauge amounts by the size and number of shipping containers. This chapter also suggests that the laws enforced the use of standard measures in the agora was part of an attempt to mitigate the asymmetry of the relationship between buyer and seller.

Keywords:   practices of measuring, ancient Greece, grain trade, expert traders, standard measures, shipping containers

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