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Lecture

October 25, 2012- Trade and Currency.docx


Department
Classical Studies
Course Code
CLST 100
Professor
Christina Zaccagnino

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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.
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