Before the Market

Work thumb

Views: 30

  • Title: Before the Market: The Political Economy of Olympianism
  • Author(s): Donni Wang
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: New Directions in the Humanities
  • Keywords: ancient economy, ancient Greece, capitalism, democracy, private property, the market, the state, polis, Greek city-state, Classical Athens, egalitarianism, private property, the commons, division of labor, inclusion, exclusion, economic history, money, land, reciprocity, mutuality, knowledge, technology, alternatives to capitalism, slavery, violence, feasting, mutual thriving, ecumenism, conviviality, horizontal exchange, Olympianism
  • Year: 2018
  • ISBN (hbk): 978-1-61229-900-6
  • ISBN (pbk): 978-1-61229-901-3
  • ISBN (pdf): 978-1-61229-902-0
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Wang, Donni . 2018. Before the Market: The Political Economy of Olympianism. Champaign, IL: Common Ground Research Networks. doi:10.18848/978-1-61229-902-0/CGP.
  • Extent: 206 pages


In this debut, Wang offers an entirely new way of conceptualizing economics and social relations. Drawing from a rich historical analysis of ancient Greece, she provides an exposition of ‘Olympianism’—a stunning program of political economy and identity formation that speaks directly to the crises in the 21st century. Olympianism comprises a series of distinct economic patterns which shaped the workings of property, labor, money, and knowledge in ancient Greece, around the time of its first democracy. As a comprehensive model, the Olympian system also sustained a set of particular metaphysical, ontological, and sociological narratives which gave rise to a unique subjectivity that was central to early democratic politics. Through exploring the links among culture, identity, and economics, Before the Market presents a compelling example that highlights the benefits that radical paradigm transformation could bring to societies all around the world.