Economics and Business in Ancient Greece

Trade

  • In Homer, Iliad book 7 line 472 — “…had Euneus given wine to be brought them, even a thousand measures. From these ships the long-haired Achaeans bought them wine, some for bronze, some for gleaming iron, some for hides, some for whole cattle, [475] and some for slaves;”
  • In Hom. Od. 1.178 — “And now have I put in here, as thou seest, with ship and crew, while sailing over the wine-dark sea to men of strange speech, on my way to Temese for copper; and I bear with me shining iron.”
  • Homer, Odyssey book2 line 287 — make ready stores, and bestow all in vessels— [290] wine in jars, and barley meal, the marrow of men, in stout skins;—”
  • In Euripides, Iphigenia in Tauris “Did they sail the pine-wood oars with double beat of surge, over the waves of the sea, [410] a chariot of a ship in breezes that move the linen sails, to increase the contest of wealth for their halls? For hope is sweet, and [415] insatiable in mortals, to their hurt, for those who bear away the weight of wealth, wandering over the wave and crossing to barbarian cities, with one expectation. But thought of wealth comes at the wrong time for some, [420] while for others it comes moderately.” line 408
  • Implements for minting coins–tongs, anvil with garlanded punch die, and hammer
  • a man buying an amphora
  • Woman seated in porch with youth, two men outside, one holding a purse.
  • kiln

Metal Working

Weaving

  • Homer, Iliad book XXII, line 433 — “as a careful woman that laboureth with her hands at spinning, holdeth the balance and raiseth the weight and the wool in either scale, making them equal, that she may win a meagre wage for her children;”
  • Hom. Od. 2.84 — “And she devised in her heart this guileful thing also: she set up in her halls a great web, and fell to weaving-“
  • Hom. Od. 5.62 — “..but she within was singing with a sweet voice as she went to and fro before the loom, weaving with a golden shuttle.”
  • woman seated with distaff
  • women preparing wool
  • women working wool

Agriculture

  • Hom. Od. 24.341 — “Pear-trees thirteen thou gavest me, and ten apple-trees, and forty fig-trees. And rows of vines too didst thou promise to give me, even as I say, fifty of them, which ripened severally at different times”
  • a bearded man picking grapes

References


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