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Lending Money In Ancient Greece

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 1

Lending Money in Ancient Greece, How lending was done in ancient Greece.

Greece was the birth place of the first centralized bank. It was also one of the birth places of money lending. Lending money in ancient Greece started slowly and progressively as lenders began to find a way to increase their profits and entice people to get into financial transactions.

Earlier historical facts have shown that banking and money lending was something that some Greek merchants were familiar with and practiced. It was a way for people to make financial gains and become very wealthy. A noteworthy example was that of the slave called Pasion who rose to freedom and financial wealth because of his financial know how and money lending. Records show that in Greece wealthy people lent money to merchants to trade goods overseas. These loans resulted in double digit returns.


How lending was done in ancient Greece can be considered rudimentary when compared to all the advanced financial services offered by today's banks. Nevertheless, it was just what people needed at the time. Because some of the transactions took place in temples, it is likely that those who needed money would go to the merchants and asked for a loan in exchange for service and houses or fields. Some people with financial difficulties even had to sell themselves into slavery in order to secure a loan. Lending and borrowing wasn't the only thing carried out in ancient Greece. Money exchange was also part of the daily transactions as a lot of people coming from different parts of the empire needed a way to easily exchange their foreign coins into the locally accepted ones. Another service that was offered by the money lenders in Greece is coins validation. This was a way to control fraud and help merchants and ordinary people can detect if a particular coin is a valid form of currency. Lending money was another way the Greek economy thrived. Since most people had the ability to get a loan people were able to buy things they wouldn't be able to buy without a loan. The economy grew at a faster rate because of this. When people have access to credit they are able to expand their lives. For example instead of a farmer having to save up for 3 years too buy more land to farm he can get a loan and be able to buy more land quicker. Loans were not always a good thing though. Since people had access to easy credit gamblers were able to get loans and they could lose all the money quickly. If a debtor could not pay back his loan a few things might have happened. One that person would become a indentured servant until he paid back the loan, two the person would be killed or three all the persons possessions would be taken away. This happened to many people who borrowed money.
In conclusion lending money was a helpful attribute to the Greeks. This was yet another thing that helped their economy thrive.

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Comments

Aug 1, 2012 8:38am
andrewlemon
Intertesting article. Its a shame more modern Greece got a bit carried away with the whole borrowing idea rather than considering a bit of savings a long the way.
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