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By Steven Johnstone

Content material: Haggling -- Measuring -- protecting music -- Valuing -- participating -- Apportioning legal responsibility -- identifying -- universal greek weights and measures

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Enacting the Conflict of Exchange The basic antagonism (as the Greeks perceived it) of economic exchange, as well as the form it took in haggling, sustains Herodas’s seventh mime (third century bce), in which a woman named Metro and some friends go to the cobbler Kerdon’s shop to look at shoes. While on the surface Herodas’s mimes are merely vignettes of daily life depicted through dialogue, they achieve a complexity and humor through ambiguity, layering, and conjunction with other mimes. In the seventh mime, Herodas encodes a Haggling 25 psychosexual drama between Metro and Kerdon into the conventions of haggling, with surprising results.

Instead, Metro uses the conventions of haggling to berate and humiliate him. 112 They converse at length through the conventions of haggling. , “It is not the case 26 chapter two that some parts are well made and others not, but all the [handiwork] is equal”), reveals how much his materials cost, laments that he has a large family to feed, and predicts that the variety of his stock will satisfy every woman. Then the discussion of prices begins: Metro: For how much do you want to sell that pair which you lifted up before?

And let him not set a higher or lower price on the same day” (917b–c). Changing the price, therefore, is evidence of fraud, lies, and kibdeleia and violates the general rule against trying to get what’s not yours because it misrepresents the real value of the object. ”123 Thus, Plato objects to the adulteration of the real value of an object through the practice of varying the price, as in haggling. Plato’s argument drew upon popular ideas about the relation of price to value. True, his critique of haggling conforms to his theory that the changeability of our world shows its unreality and inferiority, but others agreed with his critique of haggling.

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