The Oriental Institute Lecture Series organized by the University of Chicago brings notable scholars from around the country and abroad as they present on new breakthroughs, unique perspectives, and innovative research applications related to the Ancient Middle East.
Economic Growth and Growing Inequality in Times of Empire: The Babylonian Economy in the Sixth Century BCE
Presented by Michael Jursa, Professor of Assyriology at the University of Vienna, Corresponding Fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In the first half of the sixth century BCE, Babylonia experienced rapid economic development and increasing prosperity. The lecture explores the causes that led to this ‘golden interval,’ as J. Maynard Keynes termed such rare breaks in the (supposed) monotony of pre-industrial economic development. Chicago knows there is ‘no such thing as a free lunch,’ so the talk also looks at how the changes in the Babylonian empire’s core are reflected in its periphery, and it investigates the consequences of increasing prosperity for social cohesion in Babylonia.
6:30-7:00 p.m. Pre Lecture Tour/Registration
7:00-8:00 p.m. Presentation and discussion
8:00-8:45 p.m. Reception
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Michael Jursa, Professor of Assyriology at the University of Vienna, Corresponding Fellow of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.