Ancient Athens - reconstruction of a house

Athens men attended formal drinking parties

The philosopher Plato taught his students and followers in a grove called the Academia

There have certainly been many plagues throughout recorded human history,

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Slaves were auctioned in Athens

Ancient Athens realized the consequences of over populating cities

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Economics and Athens Civilization (Greek)

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Greeks went under dark ages refers to non availability of archaeological records to examine historical occurrences. During this period Greek world remained without rulers and without law and order.  For centuries economic and social activities abandoned, became harsh for inhabitants to persist drove them to move on exploring other secured areas to settle. By 500BC new socio-political groups rose organized to form Democratic systems in Athens. Finally, by 776BC conducted first Olympics.

Athens introduced democracy, which privileged each citizen to participate in Athens administration that turned into public Governance. In 400BC Total population comprised of Metoikos 4% - 10,000 people, Athens 39% - 100000 and slaves 57% - 150000. ( - Only 40000 Athens by blood adult male aged above 18 were entitled to vote, rest including women were kept out of voting process. Democracy was shaped in 3 important foundations 1st Ekklesia – Was constituted for major decisions held 40 times a year. The assembly which could be attended by any of the voter but 5000 attended. 2nd Boule – a group of 500 men, 50 Athenian men from ten tribes served in the council for one year, met each day in the assembly who were also responsible for supervising bureaucratic functioning. System of electing members was by lottery than the election in order to avoid influence of wealth or popularity. 3rd – Dikasteria – The popular courts comprising of 500 jurors of aged 30, chosen by volunteers, conducted functioning every day. No lawyers were appointed rather purely based on the testifying the witnesses.

By middle of 600BC currency coins were introduced to simplify the trade and payments. 1st version - According to Herodotus 1.1-1.94 Lydia in Western Turkey was well known for the gold and around 560BC first to mint coins. Lydian emerged as new form of Hittite after collapse of Hittite empire in 1200BC. 2nd version – According to philosopher Aristotle, first Gold coin was minted by Demodike (Hermodike) of Kymi. 3rd version – Numismatists claims was first minted in the island of Greek Aegina. Aegina is the mother of the hero Aeacus who was born on the island then became the king. Aegina was the great sea power, was rival of Athens.

“Long back even before 6000BC Gold discovery was by accident when yellow glittering granules in soil, attracted a person or group became most (precious metal) prestigious and status symbol for men, ornaments for women and Gods, this craze still persists today. Gold never corrodes nor discolours, was the first metal ever discovered became most important metal of the world, instantly caught attention and became part of culture. Lustre, beauty, brightness of this yellow metal tempted societies intensely to appreciate as valued asset and above all its quality of easy workable further facilitated converting to ornaments. Though Bronze and Iron in the form of weapons played shifting civilizations but this yellow metal inclined human beings to unite by ornamenting temples. (Gold history) (Short story of Metals) Men and women considered Gold ornaments more than them, considered as privilege to own and keep in sage custody. Gold became a mark of security, disposed only in extreme situation when no other choice, was the first stage gets economic attention. In around 6000BC realized its purpose for economic security. The Value of Gold as currency was stable in most civilizations so became popular value exchange system.  The nations possessed gold in safe custody for use during troubled period. Till recently, the criteria of central bank’s gold possession was issuing currency notes valued to the gold held. In early 1930s when US faced acute deflation resulting rising unemployment, Government unrelated currency printing with Gold standard. It was essential step to pump money into market to stimulate economy and reduce interest rates.

Democratic system and coinage together led rise of merchants and wealthy aristocrats. Wealth became prominent feature of its foundation. Possibility could be that wealthy merchants shook hands with aristocrats to influence Akklesia and Boule in their favour. Wealthy aristocrats began controlling land and the Governments. Poor became poorer by the over weight of debts from wealthy elites. Democracy was designed to suit 100000 Athenians citizens, poor and slaves were refrained from fundamental rights. In one way, it was the first introduced democracy that could have some flaws as only Athenians took initiative for new system thus involved interest of own community. The democracy liberated individuals freely involve into economic activities signify inhabitants could freely invest, produce, exchange for own profits, own wealth and property. This era besides evolving democracy gave birth to initial form of “capitalism”.

Ancient Greeks realized the consequences of over populating cities. Therefore, they limited 20000 inhabitants or 5040 families per city. The day population rose from 20000 to 30000 it found new cities to populate. They realized the importance of agriculture; spreading urbanization could minimize agricultural land and damage fertile land. Besides, behind organized urban planning the motto was to have track over population and facilitate easy communication with population. 

Athenian economic democracy revolutionized trade structure which transformed to market economy. Economic democracy is a system that liberates inhabitants to proceed business functioning, without the interference of the Governments, such as production, investment, trading, service rendering, selling and consumption. Market economy or free economy is regulated by the market forces. Price is determined by the producer and the buyer on the basis of demand and supply.   In this system one more person is involved “wholesaler or Stockist” who buys from the producers and stocks. This category of the market plays important role to inflate or deflate prices. Athenian free market policy too would have initiated futures contract or market, where buyer, seller and investor involved for price determination for future delivery. The poor farmers went poorer in this free market system as farmers had to sell to the stockist who decided the price. 

Slave trade was active during Athenians reign. (SLAVERY IN ANCIENT GREECE by Kirsten Brown) - Household had as many as 10-20 slaves but majority had one slave. Price of a slave varied depending on the appearance and the worth. Athens treated slaves depended on the purpose they served. (Wikipedia) - All activities were open to slaves except politics. There were two categories of slaves 1st common slaves who did not have required rights. 2nd slave of God, possessed legal rights close to citizens, had rights to own lands. Relation with slaves in many cases was favourable and some slaves owned agricultural lands. Use of slaves was mainly in agriculture, mines, domestic, factories, some appointed in police or other administrative jobs, some were used in Navy and Army. According to Aristotle slaves were needed to be punished for disobedience and reward for good also Aristotle’s view was to treat slaves as own children and listen to their recommendations as they too could understand the reasons. The objective of using slaves in agriculture, factories, quarries, mines helped them to reduce cost of production.

Athens was an industrialized region manufacturing food, wine, furniture, tools, wool, leather shoes and sandals, vase, oil, perfume, ships, fine pottery, which they exported world over. As law liberated economic activity, merchants enjoyed promoting trade inland and foreign countries. However, Government interfered in trade of essential commodities such as food grain so could store enough stock for the population. Timely only when required, followed import restrictions on food grain so the farmers were protected. Non obedience of law had stiff penalties could extend up to death penalty. Besides, in order to promote goodwill and confidence among foreign buyers, it had constituted a body for quality control on all sales of products. Their imports were mainly timber, wheat, slaves, grain, salt fish, Thrace, papyrus, textiles, mineral and metal, glass, and spices from neighbouring Macedonia, Egypt and other regions. Macedonia was third party, who did not have own production of exported, they mostly sourced from Indus valley, Egypt, China, Africa, Persia and others. Macedonia’s main objective of colonization was to monopolise the resources.

They were active seafarers exploring trade routes starting new cities across Mediterranean Sea. (Ancient history Encyclopedia) - Government also incentivised as maritime loan through banks and financiers at around 12-30% interest depending on nature of trade, which was to be paid only after cargo reached the port, if failed to reach port loan was waved off. Athens had constituted marine courts so could, inland and foreign trade partners could seek justice. Frequent threat from pirates of land and marine resorted help of well equipped forces on charges paid to Government. Besides, Government levied taxes on import-export movement through road or sea. By 700BC established maritime routes encouraged foreigners to travel Greece that innovated and modified arts and crafts.

Banking systems existed since the time of Babylonia, regulated under Hammurabi codes. Central banking systems brought under Egyptian reign. But when coinage exchange got introduced, it evolved the scope of bank functioning. Ancient Athens transformed Banking systems and extended the role further. Economic liberty opened gates to private sectors in banking sector. Not only they operated money exchange but also lent money to merchants and Governments. There was Government authority “central Bank” to have control on these banks.

Banking” is significant tool for economy of any country. It seeks deposits from the general public, pays attractive interest and lends at higher interest to industries and trade to make profit from the difference of interest. Its role becomes important for the economy by enticing people for saving.  Pays attractive interest to depositors for several saving schemes, this facilitates depositor to withdraw any time, and the other scheme is long term deposits which gains more interest to depositor. The borrowers use this money to invest in industrial projects & services for expansions or new setup. More production and more consumption generates more employment thus improves economy. There are other institutions like insurance companies, Industrial development banks, and capital markets, seek long term individual investments and funding to Government projects or industrial units. Capital Market – Its functioning is different than the banks as this is only a market to raise and invest in long term.

• Government Bonds (Bond Market) – The Government raises fund through bonds (a debt security with guarantee to repay on due date with interest, issued to general public or corporate) for Government spending or investing in projects. This is mostly risk free investment as Governments can levy extra taxes to settle payment. However, under present situation, in Europe and US with troubling economy & catastrophic financial crisis, bonds becomes risky and invites heavy investors with surplus funds or Countries whose economy relied on exporting.

• Investment Bank or Corporate Bonds - Too function in similar way as Government. Corporate raises funds to avoid selling share holdings and avoid higher bank interest rates. Investment banks raise funds through bonds to refinance in retail market such as in housing, car or consumer goods. Banks make exorbitant profit by retail lending or refinancing to corporate.

• Industrial units share sale (Stock market) – Raises funds by selling the right of holdings to General public of corporate. Thus the investor becomes part of the industrial unit gains share of profits depends on the share holding. This market has two divisions – 1st primary market – is where new issues (right of share holdings) are offered. 2nd Secondary market – Issued shares are further traded by holder to others for margin.

560-511BC Athens came under rule of Pisistratus and his sons. During this period economy and cultural influence rose high, extending relation with Cumae, southern Italy, Southern France, Spain and other parts of the world. (Ancients History Encyclopaedia) During 500BC both Sparta and Athens were major powers in Greek region. Sparta was agricultural based economy with two kings, one always on the war whereas Athens democratic and market based economy. Athens economic growth and rebuilding wall around in protection against the harbour alarmed Spartan guessing would become the strongest and dominate. Both were rivals in all occasions, Athens sent troops to help Sparta but refused help and sent back, which provoked Athens. 431-404BC in Peloponnesian war both collided in the battle, long and complex battle damaged both but with Persian financial help Sparta defeated Athens in 405BC. In 432BC Athens found blockade of mineral and wood shipment movement due to fortification by Poteidaia who were close ally of Sparta. In retaliation Athens imposed trade embargo on Sparta’s alley Megara, which infuriated Spartans and declared war which did not happen as both avoided. In 431BC the Peloponnesian Army led by Spartan king invaded and devastated Attica.

Around 430-429BC a devastating plague, which, people believe typhoid fever took toll of one third of total population, situation further became easier to Spartans to take control of Athens. War and plague both contributed fall of Golden era and its democracy. The Athens weakened by import-export was lowered and economy suffered causing heavy damages to its foundation. Then in 339BC Athens and its allies declared economic sanctions on Macedonia, which, was against the treaty so infuriated Philip II the King of Macedonia and invaded and influenced own settlement conditions, which all accepted except the Spartans.


Be Cautious: Above information about economics are only basics based on my assumptions, may not be correct so use only if your teachers are satisfied. For history I referred Wikipedia and other sources whose links are cited.

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Best education is to gain positive knowledge to survive and perform. When in the education, seeking highest marks becomes priority the objective is only how to get best percentage by hook or crook. Is this not the guidelines for children to become selfish!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sadashivan’s quotes

"Life seems sometimes like nothing more than a series of losses, from beginning to end. That's the given. How you respond to those losses, what you make of what's left, that's the part you have to make up as you go."— Katharine Weber

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child labour photos, rural poverty photos, urban poverty photos, Ignoring rural development, Economics AND Management, Why women are poor and oppressed? TRADE & POVERTY relation, What is "BEHAVIOR", What is environment? Emotion is a reaction to the influence, What is culture? Africa to Indus-Valley (Dravidian,) Africa to Indus-Valley (Vedic Age), What is religion and how did it exist, What is civilization?, "ART" is reflection of identity!!! "Stress", "LOVE" is SUBMISSION to the ATTRACTION!!! THE COMMON LANGUAGES, Learning the skill to survive is "EDUCATION" !!! Evolution is a process for suitability !!!! Sex & Attraction, enjoy tribal dance click photos, Urbanization and the Future World, movies - videos, Handmade rugs/ carpets process photographs, social study books, SOCIAL STUDY TRAVEL LINKS.