The technique of minting coins arrived in mainland Greece around 550 BC, beginning with coastal trading cities like Aegina and Athens. Pottery finds can tell us about pottery manufacture and trade. The Hellenistic Age from the Battle of Ipsos to the Death of Kleopatra VII. Von Reden, S. Exchange in Ancient Greece. Finally, the minting of coins lent an air of undeniable prestige to any Greek city or city-state. temple to honor the goddess Athena. Ancient Greece was one of the dominant civilizations in the Mediterranean and the world for hundreds of years. In addition, reference will be made to some recent scholarly trends in the field. Considering that the average ship tonnage also increased in the same period, the total volume of trade increased probably by a factor of 30. Pearson, H.W. While peasants and artisans often sold their wares, there were also retail merchants known as kápêloi (κάπηλοι). The real centers of Greek culture moved to other areas in the world including the cities of Alexandria (Egypt), Antioch (Turkey), and Ephesus (Turkey). From "The Historical Atlas," by William R. Shepherd, 1911. Other than these main islands, Greece also include… temple to honor the goddess Athena. When such local issues were taken abroad, they were probably treated as bullion, as can be inferred from test-cuts often found on them. Kraay, editors. onward. Hence, in comparison with agriculture, manufacturing comprised a small part of the ancient Greek economy. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976. In fact, many cities were built directly on harbors. Despite the fact that much of the Greek mainland is mountainous and the rivers generally small, there was enough fertile land and winter rainfall so that agriculture could account for the bulk of economic production, as it would in all civilizations before the modern industrial era. The latter, which is typical of economic analysis today, is appropriate only for market economies. Two extended essays on household management and the means by which the state may obtain more revenues, respectively. It is first necessary to distinguish between the public and private sectors of the economy. A blank metal circular “flan” was placed on an obverse die that rested on an anvil and then was struck with a hammer bearing a reverse die. However, the situation gradually changed between the 8th and 4th centuries BC, with the increased commercialization of the Greek economy. In fact, it is fair to say, as Finley did, that ancient Greece was a “slave dependent society.” There were so many slaves; they were so essential to the economy; and they became so thoroughly embedded into the every day life and values of the society that without slavery, ancient Greek civilization could not have existed in the manner it did. Thus, many exchanges were performed in kind rather than in cash, even though value was always expressed in cash equivalents. Traditional ancient historians who relied on philology and archaeology tended to side with the modernist interpretation, whereas historians who employed new methods drawn from sociology and anthropology tended to hold to the primitivist view. Thus, slaves comprised over a third of the total population and outnumbered adult male citizens by three to one. Aristophanes, The Acharnians, v. 477-478). Cannabis helped ancient civilizations prosper. On the other hand, working with metal, leather, wood, or clay was a specialized activity that was looked down upon by most Greeks. In addition, a number of these important products were able to be produced by pastoral farmers who did not rely on flat lands for their sustenance but grazing grounds and gentle temperatures. Despite its chronic shortages of silver coins and its closed coinage system, Egypt still had a coin-based economy largely because of Alexander the Great, who flooded the economies of the eastern Mediterranean with coins and monetized some places in the Near East for the first time. Fisher, N.R.E. London: Thames and Hudson, 1979. Argues for the diversity of those responsible for trade involving Classical Athens. Unlike the other Hellenistic kingdoms, Egypt minted coins on a lighter standard than the Attic one universalized by Alexander the Great. Thasos' gold mines and Athens' taxes on business allowed them to eliminate these indirect taxes. Princeton: Princeton University Press. OTHER SETS BY THIS CREATOR. Whereas today “economy” refers to a distinct sphere of human interactions involving the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, oikonomia meant “household management,” a familial activity that was subsumed or “embedded” in traditional social and political institutions. Wage earning was very much looked down upon, since working for another person was thought of as an impingement on freedom and akin to slavery. The ancient city of Rome dominated most of Europe, Africa and the Middle East for centuries. London: Routledge, 2001. Translated by L.M. Paul Millett, a student of Finley, not surprisingly argues in his book, Lending and Borrowing in Ancient Athens, that bankers did not loan out other peoples money for interest and he formulates a model in which lending and borrowing were predominantly done for consumptive purposes and, therefore, thoroughly embedded in traditional social relations. Large fortunes were also subject to liturgies which was the support of public works. Metals were another important landed resource of Greece and so mining occupied an important place in the economy. Unfortunately, some of the most impressive technological innovations of the Hellenistic period, such as Heron’s steam engine, were never applied in any significant way. With the exception of Sparta and a few other city-states, women in ancient Greece, free citizens or otherwise, could not control land. Apr 25, 2020 . 2 This article will not discuss the preceding Mycenaean period (c. 1700-1100 B.C.) Economics: How did the civilizations grow and prosper? Sheep and goats were the most common types of livestock, while bees were kept to produce honey, the only source of sugar known to the ancient Greeks. The same “muteness” that frees such evidence from human biases also makes it incapable of telling us who traded the goods, why they were traded, how they were traded, how much they cost, and how many middlemen they went through before reaching their find spots. Although Millett may be right that much of the lending and borrowing in Athens was for consumptive purposes, particularly those secured by landed property, it is hard to deny that the evidence of productive lending and borrowing from banking practices, numerous maritime loans, and even temple loans in the Classical period constitute something more than just exceptions to the rule. Many smaller islands in the Aegean Sea also were under the Greek Civilization. onward, the modernists extrapolated the existence of a market economy in Classical Greece. Olive was one of the easier crops to be grown in Greece as its roots grow deep and hence are able to get moisture even in the hot and dry summer. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. During the Classical period of ancient Greek history (480-323 B.C. Located along the Mediterranean Sea, it became one of the largest empires in history. Whittaker. The World of Odysseus, revised edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. In 168 BC, Roman legions vanquished the Macedonians at Pydna. All in all, then, although the scale of the economy increased during the Hellenistic period, consumption still seems to have been the primary goal. Although the ancient Greek word oikonomia is the root of our modern English word “economy,” the two words are not synonymous. Athens was not particularly concerned with helping traders and enhancing their profits per se or in obtaining a trade surplus or to protect home produced goods against imported foreign ones. one of the first historians. Apr 21, 2020 . Beyond that, the male citizen was expected to devote himself to the wellbeing of the community by participating in the public religious, political, and military life of the polis. Thucydides, for example, does takes care to describe the financial resources of Athens during the Peloponnesian War. Thus, a more detailed description of the economy during the Classical period is possible and more attention to the distinctions between its various sectors is also desirable. This was due to healthy standards of living and an increase of medical inventions. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1988. Ancient Greece and Rome. Consequently, competition for fertile land was a hallmark of Greek history and the cause of much social and political strife within and between city-states. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983. Poems and dramas also contain evidence concerning the ancient Greek economy. The vase types indicate the goods they contained, such as olive oil, wine, or grain. that, like oikonomia on the household level, were consumptive in nature and fulfilled traditional social and political needs, not strictly economic ones. Parallel to the "professional" merchants were those who sold the surplus of their household products such as vegetables, olive oil, or bread. The literal meaning of the word is "gathering place" or "assembly". But manumission was quite self-serving for slave owners, since it made slaves much less likely to risk rebellion in the hope that they might some day be given their freedom. As you might have expected, nobody knows for sure when the history of cannabis in Europe started. Moreover, the evidence is insufficient to employ all but the most basic quantitative methods of modern economic analysis and has forced scholars to employ other more qualitative methods of investigation. “Recent Literature on Ancient Greek Economic Thought.” Journal of Economic Literature 17 (1979): 65-86. Many of the literary works listed below are available in the Loeb Classical Library and Penguin Classics series in English translations. Finds of hoarded coins are also invaluable for the information they reveal about the volume of coins minted by a given state at a given time and the extent to which a state’s coinage was distributed geographically. But other shipwrecks as well as evidence from the Attic Orators seem to indicate that the typical capacity of merchant vessels that traveled over long distances on the open sea was some 80 tons. Dependent groups such as the Penestae of Thessaly and the Helots of Sparta were taxed by the city-states to which they were subject. “Archaic Coinage as Evidence for the Use of Money.” In Money and Its Uses in the Ancient Greek World, edited by A. Meadows and K. Shipton, 7-21. In most cases described by the orators, the traders typically borrowed money from a citizen lender to finance the venture. In the agora one could find law courts, offices for public officials, and coin mints as well as shrines and temples. A brief and highly readable survey of the early Archaic period. Although the Republic represents the ideal city-state and the Laws presents a more realistic picture, both betray an elitist disdain for non-landed economic activities. The methods are largely coercive, not productive, such as cornering the market in grain during a famine, debasing coinage, etc. Like metics, they too were subject to special taxes, but few rights. Throughout most of ancient Greek history before the Hellenistic period, a free enterprise economy with private property and limited government intervention predominated. They had to learn how to use the land and the sea to make a living for their families. One aspect of ancient Greek slavery that is often cited as evidence for it being more “humane” than other slavery regimes is manumission. There was linen from Egypt, Ivory from Africa, Spices from Syria, and more. Greek and Roman Technology. The Origins of Roman Greece. “Greek Trade, Industry, and Labor.” In Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece and Rome, volume 2, edited by M. Grant and R. Kitzinger, 723-51. Roman influence began to grow in Greece during the Macedonian Wars, which pitted the Hellenistic Kingdom of Macedonia against the Roman Republic. Many of the potters of Athens assembled between the agora and the Dipylon, in the Kerameikon. Engen, D.T. Evidence concerning the economy also becomes more abundant and informative. For example, Michael Rostovtzeff assembled a wealth of archaeological data to argue that the scale of the ancient Greek economy in the Hellenistic period was so great that it could not be considered primitive. To the east, a small desert separates the river valley from the Red Sea, while the Sahara Desert lies to the west, stretching almost all the way across the continent. States such as Athens inscribed honorary decrees for those who had done outstanding services for the state, including economic ones. Well, from the perspective of the Greeks the US doesn't have a citizen body but instead a bunch of subjects who have no political power other than showing up on elections to cast vote for their representative from … Parthenon. Some slaves even lived on their own and ran their owners’ businesses largely unsupervised. In 1968 the well-preserved wreck of a merchant ship from c. 300 B.C. For example, Finley drew too sharp a distinction between the interests of non-citizen (and, therefore, non-landowning) traders and the landed citizens who dominated Athenian government. An Introduction to Ancient Greek Visual Art. Pearson, 3-11. Although the ancient Greeks achieved a high degree of sophistication in their political, philosophical, and literary analyses and have, therefore, left us with a significant amount of evidence concerning these matters, few Greeks attempted what we would call sophisticated economic analysis. The Romans were unusually adaptable and willing to change their strategy when compared to the rest of the ancient world. Ancient Egyptians lived throughout the Nile River valley and delta, shielded on all sides by deserts, seas, mountains and rapids. Women sold perfume or ribbons. I can find it in my book and put up here giani jackson. Epigraphic evidence comes in the form of stone inscriptions from public and private institutions. Athens also instituted special courts to expedite the adjudication of disputes involving traders, granted honors and privileges to anyone who performed extraordinary services relating to trade for the city, and made agreements with other states to obtain favorable conditions for those bringing grain to Athens. 1985. Despite limited resources, how/why did Greece prosper economically? About the only thing slaves did not normally do was military service, except in emergencies, when they did that too. Each city-state had at least one market place (agora) in the heart of city and a port market (emporion) as well, if it had a good harbor. Scheidel, Walter, Ian Morris, and Richard P. Saller, eds. Collection of articles that take the study of the economy in the Hellenistic period beyond Rostovtzeff. Recent scholarship continues to focus on the silver mines of Athens, drawing not only on the inscribed mine leases, but also on extensive archaeological investigation of the mines themselves. In this way, Athens protected the integrity of its own coinage as well as the interests of buyers and sellers. The distribution of finds of ancient pottery can, therefore, tell us the extent of trade in various goods. The ancient Greek economy is somewhat of an enigma. A classic that greatly influenced Finley. Though productive in silver, ancient Greece was not as rich in gold, which was found primarily in Thrace and on the islands of Thasos and Siphnos. Seeing extensive trade and use of money in Greece from the fifth century B.C. Athens had numerous laws to protect private property rights and had officials and law courts to enforce them. Thus, one recent trend in the scholarship has been to try to revise the Finley model in light of focused studies of particular sectors of the economy at specific times and places. The Greeks smelted iron, but only in wrought form. It is true that the latter might not have exactly the same economic interests as the former, but the interests of the two were nevertheless complementary, for how could Athens get the grain imports it required without making it in the interest of traders to bring it to Athens?. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983. Slaves were supplied by a variety of sources. The ancient Greeks did not add any innovations to these processes[citation needed]. Athens had an abundance of silver and we know much about its mining industry from surviving inscriptions of government mine leases to private entrepreneurs. Starr, C.G. A collection of articles along Finley lines. Though farming in ancient Greece was difficult due to the infertile land more than 50% of the population used to indulge in agricultural activities. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977. In the final war, a pretender to the Macedonian throne attempted to expel the Romans with the support of Corinth and other Greek city … Information regarding classical art comes more from literary resources that have been maintained over the centuries. One drawback of such evidence, however, is that the authors of these works were without exception members of the elite, and their political perspective and disdain for day-to-day economic activity should not necessarily be taken to represent the views of all or even the majority of ancient Greeks. Mali rose to the apogee of its power under Mansa Musa (1307–32?). This could be accomplished simply by farming a small plot of land. Part of the production went to domestic usage (dishes, containers, oil lamps) or for commercial purposes, and the rest served religious or artistic functions. The question whether bankers lent out money deposited by others at interest, however, is the subject of some debate. STUDY. As a culture (as opposed to a political force), Greek civilization lasted longer still, continuing right to the end of the ancient world.Philip of Macedon’s de… The mild climate enabled Romans to grow wheat, grapes, and olives. A good survey with an important discussion of ancient Greek attitudes toward economic growth. For instance, Euripides' mother sold chervil from her garden (cf. It is notoriously difficult to estimate the population of Athens or any other Greek city-state in ancient times. As the populations of cities were fairly small, crafts and manufacturing were largely carried out within households for internal consumption. Ancient Greece Integrated Technology • Interactive Maps • Interactive Visuals •S A poem containing advice and attitudes about farming in the early Archaic period, c 700 B.C. In contrast, Edward Cohen’s book, Athenian Economy and Society: A Banking Perspective, employs a close philological analysis of the evidence in his assertion that productive lending and borrowing, divorced from concerns for personal relationships, were common in Classical Athens and that bankers did indeed lend out deposited money at interest. This brief article, therefore, will not include any of the statistics, tables, charts, or graphs that normally accompany economic studies. On the other hand, ancient Greek values held in low esteem economic activities that were not subordinated to the traditional activities of managing the family farm and obtaining goods for necessary consumption. Von Reden, S. “Money, Law, and Exchange: Coinage in the Greek Polis.” Journal of Hellenic Studies 107 (1997): 154-176. The fact that they could use the coins independently of their original political context (and for what else besides economic purposes then?) and J. Salmon. The plays of Aristophanes, for example, make many references to economic activities, but such references are often characterized by stereotyping and exaggeration for comedic purposes. is a good reason to believe that the Greeks could do so as well. A turning point in the debate came with the work of Karl Polanyi who drew on anthropological methods to argue that economies need not be organized according to the independent and self-regulating institutions of a market system. The tie of the Greek monetary system to the supply of precious metals limited the ability of governments to influence their economies through the manipulation of their money supplies. The principal material they worked with was wool, but linen from flax was also common. Trade in ancient Greece was free: the state controlled only the supply of grain. To this extent, then, the Finley model holds true, even if it is clear that the Athenian state recognized that its interests were complementary with those of foreign traders and, thus, had to help them in order to help itself. It was much smaller in scale and differed in quality as well, since it generally lacked the productive growth mentality and the interconnected markets that are so characteristic of most of the world economy today. According to The Flow of History, the diversity of the early Roman state helped it expand its influence. The nature of the process naturally produced coins in which the image was often poorly centered on the flan. Although this was offset to some degree by political instability and warfare during the Hellenistic period, in general we do see economic activity on a larger scale and increased specialization as some places, such as Tyre and Sidon in Phoenicia, became renowned for particular products, in this case purple dye and glassware respectively. 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