The Business Life of Ancient Athens
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The Business Life of Ancient Athens
The Business Life of Ancient Athens is an informative book about different aspects of Ancient businesses and Ancient ways of dealing with money. This book first starts out by explaining the agricultural aspects of Ancient Athens. Agriculture was not well for Athens, so they had to trade a lot. It is recorded as early as the 6th century BC that grain was a very big part of an average Athenianís diet. Therefore; much grain trade was necessary because Greece land was very bad for agricultural purposes. Athens had grown industrially and commercially within time, and this was also a problem: overpopulation. Also, many Spartan tribes over and over attacked Greece and destroyed any crops that might grow in the soil. Peasants were also sent to work at farms but they lost care in their farms and found it better to live in the city, living off small amounts of money that came from doing state services. During this time, many people learned ways of math because they needed to know how much grain is needed per person. Although these calculations are not totally accurate, they are a start in banking and maybe even other ways of mathematics. The Peloponnesian War also occurred- leaving Greece(Attica) with nothing. Attica was forced by famine to go under Peloponnesian rule. By now, trade had come in an uproar. Many people had found it easy to trade by sea. So many merchants with not enough money would borrow money from rich people and then buy cargo space on a ship. In most cases the merchant went on the ship to get the goods to sell. Then on returning, the merchant would sell the goods, and then pay off the lender, with a 22.5 percent interest rate. In many cases, problems occurred, sometimes a merchant returned late, could not pay all of the money back, or something or other. Therefore the idea of a collateral was invented. Also, courts were established to rule these sorts of fights amongst the people. These courts werenít used in the winter because of stormy weather and so not to interrupt commercial business. Courts were required to solve a case within 30 days, this procedure only applies to cases where and actual legal documented agreement was made between the lender and the merchant. Many merchants did not return, therefore the collateral was the lenderís to keep. But often the merchant didnít have anything good to start with so many lenders lost money.
Next, the book talked about Banking and Bankers. Early banking dates back all the way to Sumer and Akkad where many specialized in weighing things and telling of precious metals. Banking was first found where coinage started, in the middle of Asia Minor, around the 7th century BC. Coinage was also thought to have started with Minoans, but they are not sure. It is thought that the idea of banking may have started with the priests of Sumer and Akkad, priests were always the "bankers" of temples and organizer of the money. The Greeks took the information from these past priests and formed a banking system that consisted monetary transactions. And they concentrated in dealing with strictly money and giving out money. The Romans took this idea further and made what is similar to modern 1980ís bank situations(banking has progressed in the last decade). With banking, the Greeks learned frugal manner and ways of living with money, and not bartering.
Lastly, this book speaks about Mining in Ancient Athens. Around 500 BC. Mining was introduced in Athens. If the ways of the mining business had not come, Athens would have probably lost an oncoming war with the Persians, but because of the mining, many new people joined Athens and Persia decided not to invade. They feared it because it had become much greater in strength. If mining had not come, there would have been no Athenian Empire, or an Age of Pericles. So, in the scabrous hills of Laurium, silver struck. Everyone was fascinated with this new idea. In present day Laurium, you can still see the remains of the mining and see everything. Many things were not found out about the mining, because not too many records were kept. But many modern engineers and archaeologists
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Greek people, Laurium, Silver mining, Banker, Bank, Peloponnesian War, Classical Athens, Attica, Athens, Pericles, Delian League, Decelea
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