Adam Smith and Johann Joachim Winckelmann met after two centuries. They founded the Economy and the History of Art in the same years: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations was printed in 1776, twelve years after the Geschichte der Kunst des Alterthums (1764), but the integration of the two doctrines and the research on the economy of art and culture have only been practiced for a few decades (one date for all: 1979 when the Journal of Cultural Economics). The volume that is published here, conceived and edited by Giovanni Marginesu, also within the framework of the research of the Archaeological School of Athens on the economy and ancient trade fits into this new direction of study. It sheds a light on Greece, after some very recent interventions on the productions of Roman art. The book is positivist on purpose: the ten essays were written not to confirm and contradict hypotheses and models but to collect and elaborate new information, obtained above all from epigraphs, marks on products and ancient texts, on which to build future hypotheses. The contributions are also in the perspective of quantitative history and cliometry, two other new magistries that research and elaborate numbers and accounts, quantitas more than qualitas (two Greek concepts, ποσότης and ποιοτης, which Cicero had already considered useful to translate into Latin) . Many authors have been students of the school and continue their research in our institution: the publication in Supplements ofAnnuario it is therefore particularly welcome.
The articles deal with some creative arts: architecture and statues, paintings and mosaics, to which a great value (and sometimes even a great price) was attributed, accepted and shared by social convention. But we also find other important technai to manufacture objects in large quantities and with use value: painted ceramics, terracotta building materials, writing tools (indispensable in cities where knowledge was a capital voice of the economy and public writings a widespread practice). Coins are considered not only for the value guaranteed by the state, but also as rounds of metal to be packaged and minted. Some works were equipped with shapes and images, they were mainly intended for the "conspicuous consumption"And not to distribution for mass use (apart from public buildings). The main scenario is Athens with other cities of the Greek world, also in the macroeconomy, especially from the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century BC The unproductive spending capacity of polis and of wealthy individuals supported an important sector of production, which until now has received less attention than the forms and style of sculptures and architecture, the masters and social position of artists, philosophy, iconology, aesthetics and to the semiology of images. In the writings that make up the supplement we find rather unknown "terracotta modelers and ex-voto painters", who unparalleled big names like Phidias, Zeusi and Parrasio, to repeat the words of Isocrates (Antidoses, XNUMXth century BC). The Authors reconstruct various aspects of the “secondary economy”: materials and labor, production and wages, costs and prices, material as well as symbolic values.
The hope is that this second Supplement ofAnnuario is a cornerstone of new research on the economy of art in Greece. Other themes will come, also with the contribution of archeology: contexts of use, procurement of materials, manufacturing techniques and tools, organization of workshops, atlas of manufactures for art and crafts, trade and markets of works. And again: the economy of art in Roman times, when Athens housed important workshops to satisfy requests from all over the Mediterranean and send products to the most distant kingdoms on the Atlantic. «I know viele Berichte. I know viele Fragen ».