Bankers operated from long tables set up in the agora, making loans at very high rates of interest

Bankers operated from long tables set up in the agora, making loans at very high rates of interest

Like all pre-modern societies, the Greeks were primarily an agricultural people. They practiced the agriculture of the ancient Mediterranean region. involving the cultivation of grains, vines and olives, and the keeping of sheep, goat and cattle.

Farms were very small – mere plots of land of a few acres. Aristocrats and other landowners would own larger farms, worked by slaves; but an estate of 100 acres was considered large.

The main challenge facing Greek farmers was that there was too little good farming land in Greece and the Aegean. This forced them to take to sea-borne trade on a scale unmatched by most other ancient peoples. However, land shortages continued to be a problem throughout the ancient times. They were a source of the social tensions between rich and poor which led, in Athens, to the rise of democracy, and in several other cities, to violent clashes between the different classes.

Trade

Very many Greek city-states were located by the sea. Also, many of them, confined as they were by steep hills and mountains, or by the sea itself (if they were on islands), suffered from a shortage of agricultural land. From an early stage in their history, therefore, many Greeks looked to the sea for their livelihood. For a https://rksloans.com/installment-loans-or/ period of about 150 years after 750 BC, many city-states sent out groups of their citizens to found colonies on distant shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. These established strong trading ties with their mother city.