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A Cliometrics and Complexity Perspective on Ancient Greek Culture

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Laurent Gauthier

Abstract

Ancient history appears to be the persona non grata of cliometrics: not a mention in the field’s manual (Diebolt and Haupert 2019). Recent research combining cliometrics and complexity (Gonzales-Feliu and Parent 2016; Abry et al. 2022; Bastidon and Parent 2022), if it has not addressed Antiquity either, nevertheless opens the door to a new perspective on ancient Greece. By focusing on primary non-economic sources thanks to complexity sciences, a cliometric approach allows us to frame into economic terms the massive and complex cultural material we gathered from the Ancients. Concentrating on the generating mechanisms for various large-scale textual sources, in a complexity economics perspective, we consider how distinct constraints and objectives lead to measurable differences between judicial speeches, poetry, and epigraphic texts, for example. Based on thousands of inscriptions, we account for whom the Ancients worshiped with a shared-resources paradigm, and show how people’s names and naming strategies exhibit patterns consistent with a high degree of conformity. Finally, we show that the religious formulae the Greeks used to address their gods, in spite of their short and condensed nature, share the features of a language, and appear to be constructed as an optimal communication medium.
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Dates and versions

hal-03315002 , version 1 (05-08-2021)
hal-03315002 , version 2 (20-08-2022)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03315002 , version 2

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Laurent Gauthier. A Cliometrics and Complexity Perspective on Ancient Greek Culture. 2022. ⟨hal-03315002v2⟩
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