Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Economics and Finance


Although, a ubiquitous number of articles has arisen recently debating the validity of the so-called "Capitalist Peace," there has been little exploration of the theory from an ancient historical perspective, primarily due to the lack of trade data between countries or city-states. As the primordial birthplace of trade and democracy, there is perhaps no better example than ancient Greece to shed insight into the possible validity of the capitalist peace theory. Utilizing new research involving trade in ancient Greece, this paper seeks to explore the relative validity of the "Capitalist Peace" in ancient Greece by conducting a qualitative analysis of selected trade relationships during the important years of Athenian dominance in the Aegean, namely, 445 BCE to 400 BCE. Trade in key agricultural imports, such as wheat, livestock and other goods, is viewed as a primary indicator of Athenian economic interdependence with other Greek city states given their assumed necessity to Athenian survival. In addition to these goods, the exportation of relatively less essential agricultural as well as cultural goods and commodities is used to support and illustrate relatively deeper trade ties between Athens and other city states. This research finds that violations to both the democratic and capitalist peace theories indicate the need for further research and consideration of other factors that might better explain the existence or absence of conflict between states.



Faculty Mentor

Shannon Peterson

Departmental Honors Advisor

Frank Caliendo