previous next

Manufacture and Trade

Many Athenian manufactured goods were produced in households like that of Aristarchus, which turned to the production of cloth1 after the Peloponnesian War, or in small shops2, although a few larger enterprises did exist. Among these were metal foundries3, pottery workshops4, and the shield-making business employing one-hundred twenty slaves owned by the family of Lysias5 (c. 459-380 B.C.); businesses larger than this were unknown at this period. Lysias, a metic ( metoikos 6 , resident alien) from Syracuse whose father had been recruited by Pericles to come live in Athens, had to use his education and turn to writing speeches for others to make a living after the Thirty Tyrants seized his property in 404 B.C. Metics could not own land in Athenian territory without special permission, but they enjoyed legal rights in Athenian courts that foreigners without metic status lacked. In return metics paid taxes and served in the army when called upon. Lysias lived near the harbor of Athens, Piraeus, where many metics were to be found because they played a central role in the international trade in such goods as grain, wine7, pottery, and silver from Athens' mines8 that passed through Piraeus9. The safety of Athenian trade was restored to prewar conditions when the long walls10 that connected the city with the port, destroyed at the end of the war, were rebuilt by 393 B.C. Another sign of the recovering economic health of Athens was that the city by this time had resumed the minting of its famous silver coins11 to replace the emergency bronze coinage12 minted during the financial pressures of the last years of the war.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: