Von Reden, Sitta
Von REDEN, Sitta
PERSONAL: Female. Education: Earned an M.A. and Ph.D.
ADDRESSES: Office—University of Bristol, Senate House, Tyndall Ave., Bristol BS8 1TH, England. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: University of Bristol, Bristol, England, senior lecturer in ancient history and classics.
Exchange in Ancient Greece, Duckworth (London, England), 1995.
(Editor, with Walter Scheidel) The Ancient Economy, Edinburgh University Press (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2002.
Contributor to From Myth to Reason?: Studies in the Development of Greek Thought, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1999, and Money and Its Uses in the Ancient Greek World, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 2001. Contributor of articles on cultural economics to periodicals, including Journal of Hellenic Studies.
WORK IN PROGRESS: A course book on money in classical antiquity; researching the monetization of Egypt in the third century B.C.
SIDELIGHTS: Sitta von Reden is a senior lecturer in ancient history and classics at the University of Bristol in England. She specializes in the study of ancient economies and social histories. Von Reden is the author of the Exchange in Ancient Greece, and she served as coeditor for Kosmos: Essays in Order, Conflict, and Community in Classical Athens and The Ancient Economy.
Kosmos is an examination of communal social customs in ancient Athens. The work contains essays on subjects such as religion, sports, politics, and sexuality. In his review of Kosmos in the Times Literary Supplement, James Davidson stated that "the collection is unified not by a single problematic concept, but by a setting, the social, political and topographical (if one dares) space of classical Athens, and encounters within it." According to Davidson, Kosmos helps "further to erode the static black-and-white 'zero-sum' opposition model that has dominated modern views of Greek society over the past decade, in favour of a more dynamic and complex picture, stressing fluid, playful and more messy engagements across the various divides. The Greeks emerge as real people involved in practical negotiations rather than as algebraic symbols in some diagram of abstracted ideals."
In the 2002 collection The Ancient Economy von Reden and coeditor Walter Scheidel present twelve essays about Greek and Roman economic history. "The strength of this book lies in Scheidel and von Reden's judicious selection and skillful editorial enhancement of articles of high quality and compelling content, almost all by authors of commanding scholarly stature," wrote Edward E. Cohen in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review. The work of Von Reden and Scheidel reflect the influence of scholar Moses Finley, whose 1973 book, also titled The Ancient Economy, "unveiled a view of the economic underpinnings of ancient economies in which markets and economic motivations played little if any role," observed Morris Silver on the Economic History Services Web site. Though Von Reden and Scheidel are proponents of Finley's economic theories, some of the essays selected by them offer different interpretations of the development of ancient economies. As Cohen stated, "To the editors' high credit, the appearance of uncritical fealty to a distinguished master is largely belied by the actual content of the volume." Silver remarked that "Scheidel and von Reden seem to second the call for studies moving the debate beyond the [Finley] agenda and benefiting from 'the conceptual and analytical repertoire of modern economics.'" Cohen praised The Ancient Economy, stating that "readers untutored in ancient history or classics will be grateful for the thoughtful aids diligently provided by Scheidel and von Reden. Sophisticated readers with substantial expertise in the ancient economy—and classicists in general—will be grateful for the easy availability of important work otherwise scattered in sometimes recondite publications."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Bryn Mawr Classical Review, July 8, 2000, Malcolm Wilson, review of From Myth to Reason?: Studies in the Development of Greek Thought; November 23, 2003, Edward E. Cohen, review of The Ancient Economy.
Times Literary Supplement, May 28, 1999, James Davidson, "A Tit for Two Tats," review of Kosmos: Essays in Order, Conflict, and Community in Classical Athens, pp. 9-10.
Economic History Services Web site, http://www.eh.net/ (January, 2003), Morris Silver, review of The Ancient Economy; (April, 2004), David M. Schaps, review of Money and Its Uses in the Ancient Greek World.
University of Bristol Web site, http://www.bris.ac.uk/ (November 16, 2004), "Sitta von Reden."*