Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2003.11.24
Scheidel on Cohen on Scheidel/Von Reden. Response to 2003.11.23
Response by Walter Scheidel, Stanford University (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Edward Cohen offers a fair and thoughtful review of our reader of articles on the ancient economy. At first, I was puzzled by his repeated complaints about the "retrospective" and indeed "strangely anachronistic" character of our volume that infuses it with "the atmosphere of yesteryear." But my astonishment faded very quickly when I discovered that Routledge's version of our volume (which is distributed in the US) is not completely identical with the original version published by Edinburgh University Press. In the British volumes, the page facing the title page contains a concise statement of purpose that explains the overall objective of the series "Edinburgh Readings on the Ancient World." According to this outline, each reader is meant to provide "a selection of the most important work" on a particular topic: a challenging assignment, to be sure, but one that clearly defines the whole series as a collection of published work designed to introduce students and non-specialists to major issues and debates in ancient history. In other words, "yesteryear" is exactly what we wanted. In the Routledge copies I have seen, that page is blank, forcing American readers to infer the objective of the series from the format and contents of each volume. I will make sure to alert the publisher to this source of confusion.