THE CENTRAL THEME of this study is the rise of the Greek merchant class, its seizure of power,decay, and final subjection under Macedonia and Rome.
The approach is Marxist, and in applying the theories of historical materialism to ancient Greece Dr. Wason has produced solutions for many much-disputed problems.Sparta’s internal development and foreign policy receive new interpre-
tations, and the Bronze Age and later periods are used to throw into relief what was really new in the Greek period. The whole question of slavery, and the fact that it did not revive after the breakdown of feudalism in Europe, is raised in an
entirely new form.Dr. Wason has written her book in the conviction that it is as im-
portant to help to create history as to study it. For several summers before the war she travelled across Europe to the Balkans and the Near East with her husband, learning to know this part of the world far more intimately than is possible for the ordinary visitor. It is on the
foundation of her contact with so many countries and peoples, as well as of her study of Greek history and practical and theoretical experience of the Labour movement,that the present book is written.