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Trade In Ancient Greece

By Edited May 9, 2015 0 0

         People have traded since the dawn of time. The Greeks where known for their trading abilities. In this article I will talk about ancient Greece trading.

     The Greeks made a lot of money from trading goods. They revolutionized the world when it came to trading. Instead of keeping the barter system where people exchanged goods for goods the Greeks developed coinage which meant people could trade coins for goods. Although the Greeks used the barter system a lot they had the upper hand when it came to trading goods because of the development of standardized coinage. The coins the Greeks made where primarily made of metals like silver and copper.  These coins kept a steady value since they were made from a commodity themselves.

     The Greeks mainly traded agricultural goods like olives and grapes for luxury items like silk.  Trading these items made the people and governments of Greece rich. It is recorded that Athens charged a 1 percent tax on imported goods that came in their ports and they charged a 50 percent tariffs on imported olive oil. This was done to protect the domestic olive trade.  Among the things that were traded were

Pottery

slaves

food

ideas

metals

        The commodity listed above are just the main exports, hundreds of other items the Greeks produced were exported into neighboring  towns. Food was the commodity most widely exported. Since agriculture was big part of the Greek economy.

      Trading was a very profitable profession in ancient Greece and by trading things like olive oil and wine a trader could become very wealthy. Food was the most widely traded item in ancient Greece. The Greeks did not have a lot of metals and slaves so food was produced in vast quatitys. 

  Many traders where not Greek but foreigners. This was so because foreigners could not own land meaning they had to find other means of income. Trading was the next best thing if not better then farming. Being a merchant trader was not easy though. Many middle class traders spent weeks at a time at sea and when they got to a port to sell their goods they faced stiff competition. Despite this trading was very profitable.  For instance if a merchant traveled to the black sea region and brought back wheat which was produced in small quantities in Greece that merchant could make sometimes 20-50 percent more then they paid for the goods.

    As you can see trading goods was very hard yet rewarding in Greece. Even today people still trade goods in simular ways the Greeks did.

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