Trade and Politics in Ancient Greece

By Johannes Hasebroek; L. M. Fraser et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
COMMERCE IN ANCIENT GREECE

I. The Archaic Period

WE shall try in the following chapter to arrive at some conception of Greek trade in the classical period, and to determine as accurately as may be its volume and the stages in its development. This investigation will be essentially an attempt to discover (in so far as we have not already done so) the structure of the Greek economy as a whole. For the sake of avoiding confusions between different epochs we shall confine ourselves first to the period before the Persian Wars, reserving a study of the classical period to a later section.

The leading historians of to-day place the industrial and commercial awakening of Greece in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C.1 According to their accounts this was the period, more than two hundred years before the Persian Wars, when money came into general use, and manufacturers and traders at home and abroad first began to flourish and prosper. The newly founded colonies required goods of all sorts, agricultural and industrial, and their demands created an extensive and growing market for the surplus products of the mother country. Wine, clay, bronze, and wool were all exported in large quantities, in exchange for articles of everyday need. Chalcis, Corinth, Megara, Athens, Ægina, Rhodes, Cyrene and other maritime cities became large and wealthy manufacturing centres, and exported articles for mass consumption in wholesale quantities, penetrating into foreign countries and dispossessing the Phænician manufacturers of markets which they had hitherto monopolised. Miletus developed an

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1
Meyer, Kl. Schr., i, 104. The following statements of the current view are given almost word for word from the relevant passages in PöhImann , Soz. Frage and G. G., Beloch, G.G., and Meyer, Kl. Schr.

-44-

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Trade and Politics in Ancient Greece
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Translators' Note viii
  • Contents xi
  • Chapter I - The Trader 1
  • Chapter II - Commerce in Ancient Greece 44
  • Chapter III - Commerce and the State 97
  • Index of Subjects 183
  • Index of Proper Names 185
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