Robartus Johannes van der Spek

Robartus Johannes van der Spek
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam | VU · Faculty of Humanities

Professor emeritus of Ancient Mediterranean and West Asian History

About

56
Publications
25,137
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139
Citations
Citations since 2016
31 Research Items
73 Citations
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Introduction
Robartus Johannes (Bert) van der Spek currently professor emeritus at the Faculty of Humanities, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He does research in the history of the Ancient Near East, especially Hellenistic Babylonia, and in economic history. Ongoing project: edition of Babylonian Chronicles of the Hellenistic period and historical sections of the Astronomical Diaries from Babylonia.

Publications

Publications (56)
Article
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A reaction to a column by financial geographer (University of Amsterdam) Ewald Engelen in the Dutch weekly De Groene Amsterdammer of 16 December 2021, who interpreted the worldwide vaccination program as an example of the experiment by the psychologist Stanley Milgram which showed that test subjects are ready to obey authority figures who instructe...
Preprint
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The corona crisis has provoked a vehement debate on how to beat a coming economic crisis. All suggested solutions entail debts in the future which will hamper recovery. In this paper I show that in these special circumstances monetary financing is a viable option, because it avoids huge debts in the future. Many will will object that it will not he...
Book
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This thoroughly revised third edition offers a survey of the history of the ancient Near East, Greece and Rome. Covering the social, political, economic and cultural processes that have influenced later western and Near Eastern civilisations, this volume considers subjects such as the administrative structures, economies and religions of the ancien...
Article
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The book starts with a description of the Babylonian economy on the eve of the Macedonian conquest, and then discusses a number of major issues: I. The direct consequences of the Macedonian conquest (331 – 305 BC); II. The Seleucid empire and the question whether it can be considered a new "oriental" empire or rather something new (305-187 BC); III...
Article
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Sonja Plischke’s Die Seleukiden und Iran is an attempt to study Seleucid empire building in Iran. In view of the fact that indigenous written sources from Iran are practically absent, Plischke decided to include Babylonia in this work, since the written cuneiform evidence from that region is fairly abundant. She detects some general tendencies—such...
Book
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R.J. van der Spek & Bas van Leeuwen (eds.), Money, Currency and Crisis. In Search of Trust, 2000 BC to AD 2000. London and New York: Routledge: 2018. Money is a core feature in all discussions of economic crisis, as is clear from the debates about the responses of the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States to the 20...
Chapter
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Introductory chapter to the book: R.J. van der Spek & Bas van Leeuwen (eds.), Money, Currency and Crisis. In Search of Trust, 2000 BC to AD 2000. It discusses the origin of money, trust, and monetary institutions.
Article
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Review article of: J. Haubold, G.B. Lanfranchi, R. Rollinger & J. Steel (eds.), The World of Berossus, Classica et Orientalia 5. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2013. Because the book appeared already quite some time ago, I did not summarize all the chapters; instead I have opted to make some remarks on the following topics: 1. The date of Berossu...
Article
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Note first of all the mistake in the review as regards the name of the author, which is Bresson, not Cresson. It is a good book on the economy of the Greek city-states, with in-depth study of data and taking modern economic theory (e.g. institutional economics) into account. One serious drawback is the lack of knowledge of the non-Greek world, whic...
Article
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A new interpretation of the term Manûtu ša Bābili is presented here. It is not the exchange rate between shekels and drachmas, as was generally assumed, but it is the Babylonian subdivision ("counting") of the mina as opposed to the Greek mina. A Babylonian mina counts 30 staters, a Greek mina 25 staters.
Chapter
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Electronic open access edition available at http://www.sbl-site.org/publications/Books_ANEmonographs.aspx. At its height, the Persian Empire stretched from India to Libya, uniting the entire Near East under the rule of a single Great King for the rst time in history. Many groups in the area had long-lived traditions of indigenous kingship, but thes...
Article
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Spend ECB billions on investments in solar energy in Greece The negotiations between institutions of the European Union and Greece are moving into a dead end street. Greece has insurmountable deficits and many measures proposed to reduce state spending in Greece lead to economic contraction, so that it will be more difficult for Greece to repay it...
Chapter
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Since the work of Persson (1999), market efficiency has gained attention once more. Most studies focus on the medieval and early modern period, where the often heard argument is that higher market integration leads to more efficiency and better economic development. This argument has made many scholars of medieval and ancient economies aware of the...
Chapter
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This volume breaks new ground in approaching the Ancient Economy by bringing together documentary sources from Mesopotamia and the Greco-Roman world. Addressing textual corpora that have traditionally been studied separately, the collected papers overturn the conventional view of a fundamental divide between the economic institutions of these two r...
Book
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This volume(no. 68) in the series Routledge Exploration in Economic History examines the development of market performance from Antiquity until the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Efficient market structures are agreed by most economists to serve as evidence of economic prosperity, and to be prerequisites for further economic growth. However, t...
Chapter
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This is the publication of one of the most important documents of the Hellenistic period. It is a statement by the temple authorities in Babylon (236 BC) concerning a grant of land earlier made by king Antiochus II to his wife Laodice and his sons Seleucus (II) and Antiochus (Hierax), who in turn had granted it to Babylon, Borsippa and Cuthah, now...
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This article is part of a special issue of JESHO on EMERGING AND DECLINING MARKETS FOR LAND, LABOUR AND CAPITAL IN THE VERY LONG RUN: IRAQ FROM C. 700 BC TO C. AD 1100. Because the evidence is meagre, this article takes a qualitative rather than a quantitative approach to the markets of land, labour, and capital in Hellenistic and Parthian Babylon...
Article
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Review of a book on the organization and power structure of the Seleucid Empire. In my review I paid special attention to the position of cities (critique of the use of the word "polis") and royal control of agricultural land.
Book
An illustrated introduction to the history of the Near East and the Graeco-Roman world in Antiquity. 338 pages.
Chapter
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In the Hellenistic period, Greek and Near Eastern traditions came into closer contact than before, increasing the cohabitation of Greeks and non-Greeks. This chapter focuses on the Seleucid empire, since it was the main heir of the earlier Persian empire. The empire contained high civilizations with their own ancient histories: Babylonians, Persian...
Book
Edition of cuneiform chronicles form Babylon from the Hellenistic period (331-31 BC). Currently abbreviated as BCHP. Preliminary publication online http://www.livius.org/babylonia.html
Article
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This is a review article on Alice Slotsky, The Bourse of Babylon (1997) and Péter Vargyas, A History of Babylonian Prices in the First Millennium BC (2001). It is the manuscript version as published on www.achemenet.com > publications en ligne > sous presse. See also publications regarding prices and market performance on https://vu-nl.academia.edu...
Article
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Addendum: Notes 8 and 9 are missing in the copy. Note 8 refers to M.J. Geller, 'Babylonian astronomical diaries and corrections of Diodorus', BSOAS 1990, 17 and my article on Nippur in n. 7 (idem n. 9). For the events of the capture of Babylon by Seleucus in 311 BC one should now also consult: R.J. van der Spek, ‘Seleukos, self-appointed general (s...
Article
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OelsnerJoachim: Materialien zur Gesellschaft und Kultur in hellenisticher Zeit. (Az Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem Ókori Történeti, Assziriológiai és Egyiptológiai Tanszékeinek Kiadványai 40. Assyriologia VII.) 547 pp. Budapest, 1986. - Volume 53 Issue 2 - R. J. Van Der Spek
Article
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Review of the standard work on slavery in 1984. Meanwhile new publications are relevant, such as the publication of many new texts by Cornelia Wunsch (Egibi Archive) and others. See also: Heather D. Baker, 'Degrees of Freedom: Slavery in Mid-First Millennium BC Babylonia' World Archaeology Vol. 33, No. 1, The Archaeology of Slavery (Jun., 2001), pp...
Book
Full-text available
Land tenure in the Seleucid Empire. Dissertation (doctoral)--Vrije Universiteit te Amsterdam, 1986. Includes English summary (p. 249-256), bibliographical references (p. 257-278), index, list of addenda et corrigenda, 15 theses ('stellingen'). Study of rights of ownership and possession in the Seleucid Empire (Hellenistic Asia) based on Babylonian...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Edition of published and unpublished chronicles from Babylon since Alexander the Great, who died in Babylon 323 BC. Edition of the historical sections of the astronomical diaries are an ancillary project. Preliminary online at www.livius.org > Mesopotamia (old website).