The Ancient Greeks, were known for many things, art,architecture,war one thing the Greeks were not known for was trading. The ancient Greeks were amazing traders, and they should be known for it. In this article I will show you and tell you how the Greeks traded.
The Greek economy consisted primarily on trading. The Greeks like their ancestors, the Minoans and Meceneans, were famous sea traders. The Greeks brought in a lot of wealth from trading. Commodities like pottery,silver and olive oil where traded with neighboring nations for luxury items like silk and jewels. Even the Greek government made money off trading. Records show that Athens charged a 1.5 percent tax on all imported goods that came into its port.
The Greeks were very resourceful and were able to produce many items to sell. As skilled artisans, they made beautiful pottery. The Greeks like the Romans had slaves, and using slave labor, they were able to produce large numbers of items to trade. Below is a list of things that the Greeks commonly traded.
- olive oil
Olives and Olive oil were very important in Greek. The Greeks produced huge amounts of olives, and using olive presses that they invented, they were able to extract the sweet liquid out of them called olive oil. Today some Greek olive oil costs, thousands of dollars. In ancient Greece, people realized the value of this commodity and using the Greeks superior knowledge of sailing, olive oil made it's way across the mediterranean.
Grain was also very important to the Greeks but in a different way. The Greeks did not produce a lot of grain, instead they imported it from the Black Sea area. Grains were a staple in ancient Greece, and the Greeks spend tons of money importing Grain to feed it's growing population, in fact during times of drought, many Greeks starved. Grain was so important to the Greeks, that they would fine merchants who slowed the supply of grain down. In fact grain was so important, that some say the Greeks started a war over it.
Some archeologist believe that the Trojan war was real. Troy was a city that was located in present dat Turkey. All shipments coming from the Black sea area, went through Troy. The Trojans were very wealthy, since they charge taxes on all ships coming through. This tax increased the price of grain. Some people believe that the Greeks started a war with the Trojans to gain control of the grain trade route. To fight a long brutal war to get in control of the grain supply shows how much the Greeks relied on it.
The Greeks mainly used ships to transport goods, since it was dangerous on land. Traveling by ship was also easier for them because they lived in the Mediterranean. The ancient Greeks made amazing cargo ships that could carry over 1,000 tons of goods. These ships were used all across the Mediterranean and even today, modern ship design is based off of those early Greek cargo ships.
As you can see, trading was very important to the Greeks and had a huge influence on their everyday life. If you enjoyed this article, please check out some of my other ones in my profile.