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Social ethic models: Roman, Greek, “Oriental”

Band 64 / 2015 / Heft 4
S. 487–510


Ancient elites settled on a view of good class relations - in particular, how to treat the most needy. The interest of this matter emerged in scholarship of the 1920s and 1930s. Surviving sources indicated three distinct traditions, Roman, Greek, and Oriental. Roman Haves reserved their concerns for the working class, and the manipulation of it for political advantage; Greek Haves competed for social rewards and celebrity, also ignoring the very humblest. Much earlier, Mesopotamian and Egyptian social ethic inculcated active concern for the poor, and this, transmitted to Jews and Christians, eventually overspread the Mediterranean world, the West.

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