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Lecture

October 25, 2012- Trade and Currency.docx

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Department
Classical Studies
Course
CLST 100
Professor
Christina Zaccagnino
Semester
Fall

Description
Trade and Currency  Each city issued their own coins  In the majority of cities trade was used instead of coins, as currency was not accepted abroad  If one did not want to participate in trade they could export silver, which always made a profit  Coins were not widely used  Trade occurred mainly by sea because it was easier to reach the cities on the coast  Athens had two harbours  Astunomoi= officials of civic order  Agoranomoi= officials of the market  Metronomoi= officials of weights and measures  Sitophulakes= officials for grain supply  Athens had control of the Mediterranean sea  Some materials were just available in some areas of the Mediterranean Bottomry loan  First attested in 421 BCE  Trade by sea always meant the risk of shipwreck  The person whose cargo it was could lose everything if the ship did crash, but to avoid this, the Bottomry loan was used  Money was taken from the Bottomry loan to buy the cargo, and if the ship reached its destination safely and sold the cargo, the person could pay back the loan o However, the interest rates were very high Slavery Aristotle, Politics 1253b, 33: An animate or ensouled piece of property  Slaves worked in banks, in the police force, etc.  It was important for a household to have slaves  The presence of slaves made Athens’ democracy work o The free man had free time to go to the assembly, be jurors etc.  It was possible to become a slave if you could not pay back your debts/loans  In Athens the men who had less rights were slaves or foreigners  Slaves were often from other areas  They were easily recognizable by certain characteristics, such as their hairstyle (short hair for women) or tattoos.  Greeks would not have tattoos, so only foreign slaves did Metoikos
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