GEEK RANT – DO NOT READ
You CANNOT read a primary source historical text with any hope for understanding it without at least attempting to grasp the economic implications that the authors, subject matter, and sitz-im leben faced.
I’d go so far as to say it may be THE primary subtext that a reader has to use in unpacking a text.
The economic conditions of any give historical era drive the narratives of everything from the ruling body to the nature of life in the family unit. How is skipping the driving narrative of a time period beneficial to the interpretation of the text?! Yet how often is this matter skipped in analyzation of the Pauline text of the Bible? Or Sumerian flood mythology? Or the Illead? Or Chaucer?
It seems as though economic considerations are only made in what some consider to be “purely” historical studies (as if there is such a thing!).
To assume that a text is limited to the words on the page, and not the context it is written in is a foul of the first degree to any experienced reader. But to assume that some elements of context trump the economic conditions of the day is a error that will create a ripple effect of bad interpretation for the entire piece.
You don’t want that, do you? DO YOU?!
TL;DR: Do your due diligence and study the full landscape of a primary source!!!! Including the economics of the day!!
Ok, I feel a little better now.