[For what I mean by "an entrepreneurial and prosperous city," see the bulleted points below.]

We're looking for a name for a research project. We're trying to be creative with the name and one of the ideas is to name it after an ancient city with the features I describe below. The city can be from any era and from any part of the world. It can be well-known or barely-known. It can even be mythical.

Features, roughly ordered by importance:

  • Entrepreneurialism is in the air: pervasive optimism marked by people's bold and creative pursuits — commercial or otherwise
  • Prosperous life for most of the citizens
  • A thriving trading hub
  • At the crossroads of different cultures
  • Rich in arts and crafts

Obviously, the city or its name shouldn't evoke any negative image.

As you name a city (or cities), please provide the facts that show that it does fit the description (to the extent that it does — it doesn't have to be a perfect fit.)

Thanks in advance.

[Edited to make it a good subjective question. The original question did not ask to back up choices with facts. Also edited the title of the question, which originally was "Which were the most entrepreneurial cities in different eras?" And, some smaller edits were for clarity.]

  • How do you measure entrepreneurialism in order to determine which cities had the most of it?
    – Steve Bird
    Mar 10 '17 at 20:46
  • Please forgive the fuzzy adjective "entrepreneurial" in my question. I'm not really looking for a scientific ranking based on well-defined criteria -- just names of some cities that more or less fit the description I gave.
    – ba_ul
    Mar 10 '17 at 21:10

Novgorod is a great fit

Novgorod (meaning New City), founded before 859, was a major city on the trade route from the Baltic to the Black sea. Later on, it became a prominent city of the Hanseatic League, and produced many trade goods such as furs, honey, and religious artworks. It enjoyed a high degree of culture and literacy. Starting from 1136, it was an early democracy where even the lower classes (but not serfs) were able to vote. From its inception, Novgorod has been a crossroads between Scandinavian, Baltic, and Slavic cultures.

Novgorod was the capital of the eponymous Russian principality for centuries, and was one of the few places that emerged relatively unscathed from the Mongol yoke. Sadly for Novgorod, it was annexed by Muscovy in 1478, and its influence and prosperity declined rapidly.

  • That's an excellent suggestion. I didn't know about Novgorod. Thank you.
    – ba_ul
    Mar 10 '17 at 21:14

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