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What was trade like in ancient Greece

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What was trade like in ancient Greece

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Trade is one of the most important social activities for the maintenance of a society and for its growth. In this lesson from a TEACHER we will explain what was trade like in ancient Greece since this civilization was one of the most important in this economic framework, interconnecting the East and West of the Mediterranean and, in turn, the north and south of the Aegean; in fact, the Roman civilization would take advantage of these lines of commerce to establish its own.

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  1. The Greek economy
  2. What was the concern to create these colonies?
  3. Trade in ancient Greece

The Greek economy.

Since the emergence of Greek civilization we will find a great series of maritime movements (especially in the Marco del Egeo) of groups of Hellenes who marched to other places looking for products that did not exist in their land.

This was undoubtedly because Greece possessed a very steep terrain, which, although it is very fertile, has little space for the creation of large fields of cultivation. In turn, the

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wood was a rare commodity, although not so much the stone, existing large marble mines spread throughout the area.

To answer the first part of the question of what trade was like in ancient Greece, we must know that in the 6th century BC. C. the Hellenic population was very extensive, so much so that the city-states could not cope with being able to support such a large population. It was for this reason that the first colonial movements took place, beginning at first with the coasts of Anatolia, the Aegean islands, and even crossing the Pontus Euxin to reach the sea Black.

That would be the first stage of Greek colonization which was followed by the creation of Great Greece, located in southern Italy and in Sicily; finally, there would be some coastal areas of the Iberian and Gallic Mediterranean where settlements would be created.

What was trade like in ancient Greece - The Greek economy

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What was the concern to create these colonies?

Without a doubt, the Excess of population attached to the lack of resources mentioned earlier, it caused the Greeks in very early times to go to sea to find in other territories the materials that were lacking in their native land.

One way to end both problems was to send contingents of people to create commercial ports that later became colonies. These had to be in charge of parliamentary with the natural tribes of the place to obtain commercial deals, in addition to obtaining permission for the creation of their city-state.

In this other lesson from a TEACHER we offer you a summary of the Greek Empire.

Trade in ancient Greece.

Within our lesson on what commerce was like in ancient Greece, we must know that there were two types of commerce:

Maritime trade

This type of Greek trade came mainly from the need to import materials that there was not, as they were:

  • Wood.
  • Papyrus.
  • Spices
  • Linen.
  • Resins
  • Construction and / or decorative materials.
  • Metals

While these traded with products of which they had large surplus:

  • Olive oil.
  • Marble.
  • Wine.
  • Ceramics

This trade occurred both at the national level, that is, between the city-states that made up ancient Greece, and with the rest of the colonies that were scattered throughout the Mediterranean. In turn, it was in the ports where commercial treaties with other civilizations, such as the Phoenician, were made.

One of the most important elements in the commerce of ancient Greece, would be the appearance of the coin, which had two main functions:

  • For the Hellenic world the coin meant a value to the product that was bought or sold. It was an object of great prestige, as it was the result of the power of the State over others.
  • For the uncivilized world (according to the Greeks), this object had the metal value from which it was made. The elites of the tribal societies that traded with the Hellenic world and its colonies, collected these coins, which were either melted to make a series of ornaments or were kept as a symbol of can.

With the passage of time, these cultures would end up minting coins that were exchanged by products in the Greek colonies, being able to find some of these in deposits archaeological.

Domestic or land trade

We will also find an inferior trade in which the artisan workshops sold their products directly to the rest of the citizens of the neighboring polis and villages.

On the other hand, and within this, the kápêloi, a kind of merchants who went from village to village selling a series of products; We can assimilate this figure to that of the peddler.

How was trade in ancient Greece - Trade in ancient Greece

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