The Class Struggle in the Ancient Greek World from the Archaic Age to the Arab Conquests (ISBN 01-9872-112-9), published in 1982, is a major work of the British classical historian G. E. M. de Ste. Croix.
In the book, De Ste. Croix — a fellow of New College, Oxford — makes a broad-ranging attempt to establish the validity of historical materialist analysis of the ancient world, among other historical periods. De Ste. Croix begins with the attempt to define exactly what terms such as "class", "exploitation", "surplus" and "mode of production" mean, in the sense they were used by Karl Marx. The book, which spans diverse historical periods, covers questions as varied as the emergence of democracy in Ancient Athens and the social importance of the decline of the Greek city-state during the Roman Empire.
In defending the viability of 'class struggle' as an analytical framework applicable to the ancient world, De Ste. Croix claims that Marx's conceptions are remarkably close to Aristotle's political philosophy and Thucydides' historiography. He cites numerous fourth and fifth-century BC sources to argue that Greek writers themselves (including Plato) saw political tendencies rooted ultimately in economic interests.
There is also lengthy discussion of the significance of the mode by which surplus value is generated. De Ste. Croix makes the point that a mode of surplus extraction, a concept devised by Marx, is significant and is not necessarily the same as the mode of production engaged in by the majority of a population.
De Ste. Croix was criticised by some reviewers for the suggestion that women formed a separate social class in the Ancient Greek World.